THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 343 January 3 - 9, 2004
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January 3, 2005
To all those who asked that I convey my sentiments to Kelly's family, I'll do my best. We're getting ready to go to the services now.
It is column time and CES time, so this site will be updated sporadically. I should have a report from Las Vegas, but there will also be CES reports at www.byte.com from all the staff, including one from me.
I have several important items to be put into mail. I'll see if I can get them done before we have to leave this morning. I have managed two of them.
|This week:||Tuesday, January
I am off for Las Vegas for CES. I will update this tonight or tomorrow.
I'm here. My hotel doesn't have high speed connections, and I was too late to connect through the Press Room. But all looks well. It's a huge show.
January 5, 2004
Connectivity is bad in the press room. Too many people. They never bring enough equipment to these things, and they never reckon on the people who just use a machine to do web browsing for hours before they file their 500 word report to the East Misery Shopping News. The tchotske collectors posing as press are bad enough, but the ones who eat all the bandwidth really get my goat. Oh well.
As you see I finally got on, and it it working. DNS problems continue; what works at home doesn't seem to work here, possibly because my cable modem DNS isn't available if connected through other means? Anyway, it is working now, but I need a universal DNS address to put in as a secondary...
I'll try to do a real story tonight, but it is after all column time. Sigh.
If anyone knows the secret formula for getting a HP 1100 TabletPC to display the output of the screen on an external monitor I'd appreciate mail on this. I know there is a way to toggle this and I cannot figure out what it is . What I get from help is a way to make a second desktop but that is exactly what I don't want. I have a flat screen external in my room and I want to be able to use that rather than the small screen. I expect it isn't worth a lot of effort, but I would like to know; I've done it before I am sure.
Off to lunches and things.
January 6, 2004
Consumer Electronics Show is huge, and there's a lot of walking involved. Tonight was Show Stoppers, one of the press reception/exhibitions that have become so important for press coverage of the shows. Last night was Mobile Focus/Digital Focus. All these shows are excellent and a great aid to the press, but they are also exhausting. The show hosts try their best to keep the invitees limited to "significant press" in part to keep the costs down -- Los Vegas hotel catering isn't cheap -- and in part to keep the crowds down so those who go to these special showings have a chance to talk to the exhibitors -- as we almost never do on the show floor.
It all works surprisingly well. I presume there are some who don't get in who ought to be there, and a few times I have brought a guest I thought fit that category, but usually I leave that to others. I've been to too many of these shows to get into the gears....
Met Cheryl Currid, Andy Seybold, Will Hearst, John Lazarus, and John Dvorak as well as many other old friends at Show Stoppers. Will Hearst is now Chairman of the Board of Akimbo www.akimbo.com so I suppose I'll have to pay more attention to that group now if only for old friendship's sake. Besides, Will is pretty sharp. Lazarus used to be in charge of strategy for Microsoft, and did right well out of his stint there. Andy Seybold annually hosted the wireless conference dinners at Comdex, and can take his bows for his successful predictions: wireless is now ubiquitous, as he said it would be.
Alex and Dan and some of the other Chaos Manor associates were tech crew providing wireless and wired up connectivity for the show. All told I had a good, if exhausting, time. Not perhaps as exciting as the old Pournelle/Dvorak COMDEX parties that Will Hearst paid for (this was the party you could come to if you could find it), but those days were long ago. The legends keep growing, but some weren't legends, like the time we were running low on drinks and Philippe Kahn put cases of champagne on his credit card to keep things going...
I got some work done in the Press Room today. It's all complicated by my resolution to stay on a low carb diet while at this show. So far I have done so. No bread, no potatoes, and no desserts, with one exception: I did have a strawberry dipped in melted chocolate last night. Tonight I managed no dessert at all. And none of the free chocolates and hard candy that is everywhere on the show floor. If I can quit smoking after thirty years -- and I did, almost 20 years ago -- then I should be able to stay on a stupid diet for a few weeks to get rid of some excess pounds. Or so I hope.
Tomorrow another day of walking the show floor. There was a time I could do that endlessly but sciatica makes me stop and sit down every couple of hours. Just as well, since that forces me to make notes.
And I am grinding out the column, word by word. Just stare at the screen until beads of blood appear on your forehead...
January 7, 2004
It's wet and rainy and I am half an hour's walk from the LVCC. There are no taxis so it's march, march... But the Press Room is warm, there are hot and cold running electrons, and Starbucks coffee, and some good conversation with other press people. I'll have to go walk the floor shortly.
I have discovered that DVD-RAM is not dead. There is a whole pavilion devoted to it. It's used in high end audio, as well as what it was intended for as data recording. There are combination drives as well as DVD-RAM specific drives. I'm glad to see this because I find DVD-RAM to be the right solution to archive quality data and program storage. The media costs more, but not that much more, and it's sure reliable.
We have meetings with nVIDIA and AMD and I'll go by Belkin to say hello. Belkin makes a DVD-RAM external drive. I don't know if Plextor does, but Belkin stuff is pretty reliable. I'll also cruise past D-Link, which, incidentally, gets put at the top of the "D's" when doing an alphabetical sort.
I may be getting too old for these things, though.
We had our meetings. The weather kept getting worse and about 3 PM I decided enough was enough, went back to the motel, packed, and drove home. I'm back at Chaos Manor where it is wet.
Note the Microsoft antispyware program released today.
January 8, 2005
I'm home, all is well -- but I have this problem. Can anyone tell me how to turn off "Word On Line"? That is, while most of my systems just bring up Word when I open the program, my TabletPC insists on bringing up "Word On Line" in a splint window with Word. Word on Line then insists on trying to go on line, and doesn't want to let me just open a document and get to work until I shut it down. Why must I shut down "Word on Line" when I open Word? And assuming I might some day want it -- I am not sure why I would -- how would I get it back again?
Is there a Word On Line expert in the house? Can you explain why my TabletPC seems to be infected with this thing while the rest of my machines behave as I expect them to? Is there an advantage to having "Word on Line" open? What is it supposed to do for me?
I am trying to get both the year end and CES column (combined) out, and I don't have time to spend looking into "Word On Line" so I would appreciate the help here.
Which takes care of the problem, but I never knew any of this was there. I probably should have taken the tour of Word 2003 or something, but in fact it never crossed my mind that Word would default to going out looking for stuff on the web.
January 9, 2005
I have finished the column and it will go in tonight. Now I think I will kill some gnolls...
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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