Posts Tagged with "computers"

Microsoft Windows: Coming to a Coffee Table Near You

June 22nd, 2007 at 9:04 pm by Mark
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     A little while back, I did a review about the reacTable, a table-top music synthesizer.  People loved it.  So when Microsoft comes up with Microsoft Surface, people are going insane on the Microsoft-bashing bandwagon.

     Check this out …

     Sorry, cool stuff.

     Still, a lot of people are screaming that, “Microsoft is inventing a product which there’s no need for!”
     My honest opinion says that that those types of short-sighted Asshats can suck a big one. The new microsoft product has also been running into a lot of windows error code.

     Whether or not some people see a need for it or not is irrelevant.  There certainly are uses for it now.  Think in terms of business and Government, where untold sums of money are spent on Conference Calls, cameras, long distance charges, couriers, paper documents, signatures…
     Imagine the ability to slide a signed digital document across the desk to a guy sitting across the country … or at a manufacturing facility in Singapore … sending a design specification, and getting back photos of a prototype … having a Sales & Marketing meeting with the best

     I have to admit, however, that the little show when they sit my drink on the bar is definitely gonna distract me from watching the carbonation rise to a head in my Guinness…

Technologically Challenged

April 15th, 2007 at 11:20 pm by Mark
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In the last hundred years, Americans have become conditioned to radical, life-changing technology affecting their every-day lives.

Even between 1907 and 1917, things changed dramatically with the mass proliferation of indoor toilets, home electricity, automobiles and factory automation.  The 1920’s and 30’s brought us the golden age of Radio, talking movies, and a never-ending desire for coal heating.  The 1940’s and 50’s brought us hope for the future as first computers were constructed, and telephones and televisions became commonplace.  The 1960’s and 70’s brought us solid-state electronics, the beginnings of the Internet, commercial aviation, automated telephone switching, mobiles telephones and color televisions.  The 1980’s built on much of the technology of the 60’s and 70’s with enhanced miniaturization of large circuits and modular designs, along with the official opening of the Internet.  The 1990’s brought us widespread proliferation of the Internet, digital cameras, widespread proliferation of mobile telephones, faster everything….

….and an almost total reliance on Computers.

In this decade, computers are such a normal part of life that businesses would completely cease to function without a few.  Absolutely everyone is only a phone call away.  We can get across the country in a few hours, and around the world in just over a day (just counting the flight time, mind you).  In this decade, the world can sometimes seem very small.
These days, “technical support” is often little more than a hand-holding exercise.  Gone are the days when people would complain about their cup-holder being broken (the CD Drive, now replaced with newer, even faster inventions), or screaming because the box included a “mouse” — even grandmothers, or even great-grandmothers, now know that it’s not a foot pedal.  People call and talk about their work computer as if they own it personally — “My computer is messed up” — and actually understand the question, “What does the error message say?”

But having lived through this period of Computer proliferation, I’ve definitely seen my share of people unwilling, even unable, to accept new technology for what it is.

I can only imagine what life was like at the beginning the Renaissance period… but if they had a Helpdesk, it would certainly have looked like this…

Tip: Life of Red

But thanks to these developments, even those who are so-called technologically challenged can still grow and prosper in business. Agencies like Triple Media Agent SEO and similar companies offer full support for brands to thrive on the Internet and stay competitive. So, with that, I know my business can survive.

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Department of Dell-fense

January 31st, 2007 at 2:55 pm by Mark
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     You won’t believe this

…the Dell rep shows up and goes to work, and all goes well. … As he’s walking out the door, he says “by the way, it looks like the hard drive they (Dell) sent you wasn’t a new one …”

Dell actually gave me a hard-drive straight from the Department of Defense.

     Un-freaking-believable.  This means that, at some point, one of three things occurred:

  • A Dell rep walked out of a DoD facility with a hard drive, ignoring the usual disposal procedures
  • A DoD employee sent their laptop to Dell, ignoring the usual disposal procedures
  • The DoD upgraded a series of leased laptops, ignoring the usual disposal procedures

     A little over a week ago, a law enforcement official called me to hack into a seized notebook.  In under thirty seconds, I found the Administrator account (they had changed it — just like the DoD does), erased its password and reset the account protection on the file system.  I then logged into Safe Mode as the Administrator, deleted the passwords on the client accounts, handed it back to said law enforcement official and said, “Have fun with that.”  I got my $125, and went my merry way.

     Sure, not everyone can do it that quickly, but I know there are plenty of people out there who are perfectly capable of doing what I did.  Distributing Department of Defense hard drives to people with that kind of know-how could certainly be a serious risk to National Security.

     In my book, at least three people need to be held accountable for that kind of screw up.

Stupid Computer

December 19th, 2006 at 7:56 pm by Mark
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I’ve had this HP Pavilion 513W sitting here for a while now, but when the guy first asked me about it, it would lock up when it attempted to load the AGP driver — even in safe mode.
Now, I don’t make it a habit of working on Home machines for obvious reasons, but I know him, and was pretty sure of what was going on with it.  Told him I could take a look at it, but in the meantime, he wanted to see what HP said.  He had already made up his mind to buy a new system and was looking for the best time to buy new electronics on Nerds On Call, but upon my words to wait a few days till I have a complete look at it, they decided to wait. Apparently, he and his father also decided to do a system restore one last time, erasing all of his data.  Still, each time it got to Disc 6, the system would stop writing to its 80GB Hard Drive and halt.  Given all that, I was reasonably sure the restore CD’s were scratch just bad enough to quit working.

After finally locating an HP Operating System disc and trying that, I realized the machine would never boot into XP.  I changed the hard drive to no avail.  I changed the memory, power supply, and even the CPU, and even used the best thermal paste available on places whre it was applicable, and it still kept happening.

Today, just for a test, I unplugged the Combo CD-RW/DVD that came with that particular Pavilion.  To my amazement, the system booted right up, no problem.
Confused, I plugged up a Sony DRU-14A DVD-RW and the original 80GB drive, and XP Home is installed just perfectly (on a drive which previously complained intermittently).

Eventually, everthing was right.

Or so I thought…

The next hurdle was Windows Activation.  After a half hour on the phone with Microsoft Customer Service, they gave me a key required to activate Windows XP, and everything was good.

This is why I don’t work on Home machines … Strange things happen with Home computers that never happen on Business machines.

I wonder what’s gonna happen when he upgrades to Windows Vista next month?  😉


Death Toll Rises Due to Firefox

August 24th, 2006 at 6:24 pm by Mark
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     Nonsense title?  Check this out

     This week, we had Firefox cozying up to Microsoft in order to make a Windows Vista version of their product.

When Microsoft’s open source lab offered to help the Mozilla foundation with getting Firefox to run well on Vista, reactions ranged from skeptical and suspicious to surprised and excited. But in fact, the two teams have already been quietly working together. In this thread, Mike Schroepfer wrote “we are already in contact with your team via email”. The lab time would be helpful, though, according to Mozilla developer Mike Beltzner, who added “yes, we’d definitely be interested in getting some 1:1 support”.

It just goes to show that developers from organizations that are outwardly fiercely competitive are often quite civil with each other when nobody is looking. Perhaps that’s why projects like Apache and Eclipse are so successful.

     Which led me to do the following cartoon…

     Wonder if it’ll chew off its leg when it wakes up in the morning?