Archive for September, 2005

Wedding plans heating up

Monday, September 12th, 2005

So the big day is coming up. 9/24/05 to be exact. Just about everything we can think of is in place. We’re dealing with political fallout fairly well, I think. I guess we’ll see.

I was just informed that there were a couple of people missing from the guest list. They weren’t invited. Judging by the reaction of a particular other guest, maybe they should’ve been. Funny how everyone says it’s “your day”, but meanwhile it seems like all you’re trying to do is keep the peace and make other people happy.

Blog spam

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Should I just turn comments off on my blog? What are you doing about blog spam? Do you know what blog spam is? If you don’t, and you have a blog, you should!

Here’s an example: I posted an entry a couple of hours ago. I just looked at my blog page, and lo and behold, there was a comment. I don’t get many of those, and I don’t expect many of those, but I got one, so I read it. As I expected, it had a link to some escort website in Georgia. I deleted the comment immediately (thank you blogger.com, for putting that link there).

I think I’m going to do away with comments altogether and disallow them in the settings for my blog. People that need to get hold of me about something in my blog are likely to have my email address, or they’ll know where to find it. Everyone else can bugger off.

They say Vista will be better

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

I just read a PC World article that says, well… this:

My PC’s firewall, antivirus scanner, spyware remover, pop-up blocker, and spam filter all agree: Windows is sorely lacking in PC security. That situation may not change until Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) comes out sometime next year.

This implies that things will, in fact, get better with the release of Vista. I wonder why they think that. The minute Windows was connected to a network, there were problems. When Windows ’95 came out, there were even more problems. When Windows ’98 came out, there were even more problems. Then NT/2000 used buzzwords like “security built-in”, and there were still more problems, and now things were really bad because NT really made a dent in the server area, so things weren’t just bad on the desktop, they were bad all over!

Then Windows XP came out. Now, for those who don’t know, Microsoft is far, far better at marketing than they are at making software. Even Microsoft employees will tell you this. Marketing bohemuth that it is, the best they could say about XP is that it was “their most secure operating system to date” or something just like that. This drew laughter from the entire technology community – even Windows administrators blew it off and prepared for the next generation of worms and viruses. Sure enough, within something like 20 minutes of the release announcement of Windows XP, reports followed of it being hacked. Let the games begin!

It turns out that the speed with which XP was broken was quite telling, because some months ago numbers were released that stated that, if you leave a default install of XP connected to the internet, it will (on average) be infected with a virus, worm, spyware, or whatever. Admins complain that they can’t even get XP updated before it’s infected. Microsoft somehow didn’t get the message that just about all infections an XP machine falls prey to are delivered over the internet, and decided the internet was the perfect delivery mechanism for updates. Oh the irony!

I could go on like this for days about Microsoft’s history with security and privacy. The point is, while there is no such thing as 100% security in any operating system, there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as 10% security in the Windows environment.

Windows now has two battles to figh: Educating a user base that they’ve always told in the past “you don’t have to know anything, just click here”, and trying to protect these users from the internet, as well as the oblivious monster created by Microsoft: themselves. The double entendre there is intentional, by the way.

The Family in Louisiana is OK

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Well, looks like my brother and stepdad are doing ok. Things are really hectic down there. They live in Baton Rouge, about an hour from New Orleans. I lived in Baton Rouge as well for a few years. I loved it there.

The population of Baton Rouge tripled overnight, making it difficult to get much done. You can’t just run to the store to buy anything, because a lot of it is just gone. The people who lived in Baton Rouge seemed to be all gone as well, off finding relatives who were displaced by the storm (or worse, not displaced). So my stepdad (Ted) was reporting a skeleton crew at work.

My brother, Russ, got a phone call the Saturday before the storm and was told not to plan on coming to school on Monday or Tuesday (he’s a junior in HS). He still hadn’t been back as of early this week, iirc.

They had intermittent power outages there, some flooding, and phones were out for some time, but things seem to be pretty much back to normal now.

My Pool Game is Rotting

Friday, September 9th, 2005

I can smell my pool game from here. It’s clearly been tucked into some deep, dark crevice, like between the refrigerator and the cabinets, or under the couch or something.

Actually, it’s just been shelfed for awhile until this book gets out the door. I shot one rack to give my eyes a rest from typing, and man does my game suck right now. I shot 9-ball last night, which is not my favorite game, but I could only run 4 balls at a time. One night last week I felt particularly brave and shot straight pool, figuring I wouldn’t run more than 20-25 balls anyway. Boy was that optimistic! I sank 4, then 2, then 9, and I left it at that. Three tries to clear 15 balls is very, very “no bueno”(tm).

Well, that’s all for now. Back to writing.

Does this get factored into the TCO numbers?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

This morning, I’ve now spent 30 minutes googling, testing, and troubleshooting for a guy who was having trouble getting outlook to talk to our outbound mail server. I suggested various things, of course asked for more information, and while waiting for responses, went off to see if others had seen this issue. Of course, every conceivable issue has been seen with outlook I guess.

Anyway, about 5 minutes ago, the guy emailed me to tell me that everything is fine. It turned out that his Norton Anti-Virus was the cause of the problem.

Great. 30 minutes wasted because M$ can’t figure out how to put together an OS that doesn’t require a third party application to keep it from blowing up. The aisles at compUSA and Fry’s are lined with boxes of software to clean up the windows registry, clean up unused files, debuggify, de-infect, de-spam, etc. Consumers spend millions per year (at least!) trying to get Microsoft Windows to work *as advertised*. This is a sad state of affairs.

For home use: if you’re not technical, go get a Mac. If you are technical, run Linux. You’ll be better off.