THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 194 February 25 March 2, 2002
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February 25, 2002
Repeated from last week:
The more I experiment with XP the better I like it as a workstation OS. It works, it's handy, some of the features are neat. For home users, and particularly those charged with maintaining Aunt Minnie's system, or setting things up for a number of users in a household, it has some real and solid advantages.
I need to comment in the column. It's time to examine the good, the bad, and the ugly of XP.
There are several questions to answer. On a technical basis, XP as an OS is probably a good thing to use, better than W 2000 depending on what you want to do, but in general better than 2000.
I have some positive features in mind. I would like comments on any that you know of.
The negative is massive or not depending one question: how far do you trust Microsoft?
XP requires activation and pretty well requires that you be attached to the Net and use it in connection with .NET for upgrades and bug fixes and security patches. Will that be all they do?
We know that Microsoft has unilaterally made some changes in license features through what were advertised as upgrades and bug fixes. I would be most grateful if all of you would take a couple of minutes to list the ones you know, and yes, I know that some of you have told me these things before, but I ask you to repeat them.
In addition to what Microsoft has done to change your OS without telling you it is doing that, I welcome SHORT speculation on things they MIGHT do, but please keep those speculations reasonable: I am not looking for reasons to ask His Holiness to order an exorcism.
On the other hand, Microsoft issues fixes and updates that patch the operating system: anything a virus or Trojan could do, Microsoft could do with one of those fixes. On the gripping hand, Microsoft is a business that wants to stay in business, and as I have repeatedly said, everyone I know at Microsoft is a good guy: I don't know the people who make some of the really appalling statements, such as the notion that Linux and open source software are Un-American.
This is an important question. Please, treat it as such. I do not want tirades, but I do want serious discussion.
I will try to deal with this in the next column, but it is late and I may not have all the evidence collected by then.
Three views of the Great Hall in Chaos Manor, as it looks this morning.
I have this in response to the column currently up:
This is a way to
improve the 2D image quality of the GeoForce 2/3
I will have to look into it. I can't make out who this mail is from.
You probably do NOT want to go to
See http://www.gouillou.com/assassinat.mpeg (434 KB)
You should be able to infer from the file title that it is rather grisly.
If that is insufficient warning, see mail.
|This week:||Tuesday, February
Ricochet may be coming back. I sure hope so.
Still cleaning up.
My thanks to all those who have recently subscribed or renewed their subscriptions.
Last week we posted the story about America West trying to confiscate and destroy a Congressional Medal of Honor on the grounds that it has sharp edges and the retired General who was carrying it was probably a terrorist. The story is cropping up everywhere. Don't we all feel safer?
Don't you wish you were flying America West so you could be searched three times and have your boots taken off? Incidentally the General is a WW II Marine ace and is some 80+ years old, clearly a terrorist who ought to have his boots removed three times by the arrogant incompetents America West hires. But we are all so much safer now. Fly America West and get your CMH confiscated. By rude arrogant incompetents.
Me, I won't fly America West at all. I have signed up for a Guest of Honor stint in New Jersey later this year, and there is PC Expo in New York; I may have to fly to get to those. I really don't want to. I don't want to go near an airport. I do not suffer fools well, and I don't like paying lots of money so that I can submit to imbeciles with authority.
I have a lot of material about XP and that will form part of the next column.
Roland and others tell me that Netwinder may be coming back. Hurrah.
And I have this, which I will try very quickly:
This is a way to improve the 2D image quality of the GeoForce 2/3 http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1577&p=5
I can't credit the sender because I have only a mail return address, no name. It appears to be quite a drastic remedy to the problem, and I am not recommending it, merely reporting.
I'm going to be driving up to Contact in the Bay Area ( I won't fly) so there won't be much here for the next few days.
February 28, 2002
Something to read while I am away: Why government projects cost so much.
And I am off to Contact. Back Monday night.
March 1, 2002
Spent the morning at NASA Ames largely on the subject of SETI. Pictures another time. Exhausting day, but we have DSL in the hotel room.
March 2, 2002
Still at Contact in the Marriott south of NASA Ames. Spent yesterday at Moffet Field. I was there last as a judge of the robot contest.
Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweikert giving keynote speech to Contact.
Mars Society founded Bob Zubrin speaks on his favorite subject.
And one of Schweikert's themes. I find it odd that he is all for developing the capability to deflect asteroids and other potential dangers to Earth, but to this day is not only adamantly opposed to strategic defense but rather dismissive of those who are for it. Probably has to do with his present position in Europe.
It was a good speech and raised an interesting point I'll bring out in another essay.
March 3, 2002
Home. Stuff to do. The satellite isn't working of course since I have pictures to upload. "Uplink proxy connection failure." Since I have changed nothing I am assuming there's something wrong with the satellite linkage. I can receiver from it, but I can't transmit. So it goes.
The Netwinder US Robotics Modem system works fine of course.