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Wednesday, September 25, 2002

what's hot what's not

The days of my life

The biggest reason I haven't been posting recently is I've been busy. Last Saturday I blew up my truck. The good news is synchronicity is alive and well. As I was waiting for the engine to cool down so that I could put water in the radiator to continue my appointments, my wife was at bingo winning $5600.

As I mentioned last week I have been using Dragon Systems NaturallySpeaking program instead of typing. I was well on the way of becoming comfortable with this when one of my caps on my front teeth fell out. So now as I am speaking this I am training the program over again. Since it is one of my front teeth, the S sound and TH sounds require the most training. And of course when I have the dental work finished I will be training this once again which I don't mind because I really, really, really, like this program!

Monday morning had me taking my wife to work so that I could use the car to make my rounds. First thing I stopped by my mechanics office to see if he had anything available for sale. I am now the proud owner of a 1992 Grand Caravan that runs like a top. Arriving at my clients office to pick up payment for work I had done at his home over the weekend, I spent a couple of hours mixing and repairing computers we had replaced so he could ship one to his daughter in Washington D.C. the other one we stripped for parts.

While while I was performing a lobotomy on one and cannibalizing the other computer, one of my other clients trashed her hard drive, the one containing the payroll program and yes Monday is payday at this shop. I spent the afternoon formatting hard drive, reinstalling the operating system, payroll and other software, restoring the data from the zip disk backup and bringing them up to speed that pretty well shot Monday in the butt.

Tuesday had me picking up my new wheels, the Grand Caravan; power windows, power brakes, powered door locks, air bags, bucket seats, dual air conditioning, automatic overdrive transmission, red outside, Grey inside and in excellent mechanical condition. With enough room to carry all the stuff that is needed to build repair, maintain or create networks.

Later that morning had me helping my dentist who had some of their office computers ripped off. The good news is that the patient records were on a computer the thieves had overlooked, so we were able to load the software on a loaner computer and they are filling and billing as we speak. That afternoon I was I was reviewing industry specific management software for another client.

Management software sucks. It all seems to use Access as its database, makes wonderful claims about how user-friendly it is, insists on pre defined fields for the management of the data and most of it is written by programmers who have never seen the industry that they are writing the program for. Subsequently, they have these wonderful structures for containing data and absolutely no reasonable or logical way of slicing or dicing the data in a form that the guy who's buying the program to improve his life can actually use. Despair sent me to the bingo hall with my wife Tuesday evening. No bingo, but I did pretty well at the slot machines.

This morning I woke up to the sound of my six dogs barking. My son had stopped by to iron his pants for a job interview. My wife dropped him off, and I was on the road soon after. First up was my computer parts store where I picked up some parts to build a new 266 front side bus computer. Next up was my payroll client reconnecting her to the Novell network which runs her body shop estimating program put out by a company called Mitchell International.

Once you get past the estimating portion of an automobile repair, the car gets turned over to the technicians who with the complexity of today's motor vehicles usually need information that goes far beyond just restoring the sheet metal to put paint on the car, such as airbag information, wiring diagrams, sensor location and testing information. Today I installed one such product for one of my clients which generated a key pair and required an authorization number to activate the product in the same way that Windows XP is activated.

This is the first commercial application I've seen of a digital rights management that ties the software installation to a specific computer outside out of Windows XP. Philosophically I disagree with this approach to any type of software product. Pragmatically I'm more offended as it raises the level of complexity in using computers for small-business.

And if you spend any significant amount of time with any of the Windows OS products you know what I mean

Microsoft Patch o' the Day

It's the Microsoft VM! It's in your browser. The code that used to be known as JAVA until MS started having 'better ideas' (read proprietary extentions) and Sun slammed the door on the use of the JAVA Code.

Flaw in Microsoft VM JDBC Classes Could Allow Code Execution (Q329077)
read here - go there
Source: Microsoft

The Register puts this into real speak.

Flaws in Microsoft VM. Fix now
read here - go there
Source: theregister.co.uk

HOORAY! another day of downloading patches for clients! Hell they just saw me monday.

Opinion

It's Time to Stop the Music

I want you to stop buying Commercial Music and going to Movies for six months.
Because if You do not cut off their money they will cut off your Internet access. They have already killed Internet Radio.This is not about the short term pain of your favorite musician, they have already been screwed so royally that it is amazing that you can even recognize them.

It's Time to Stop the Music
read here - go there
Source: the head lemur

p i x e l v i e w

Shelley Powers
Some folks can work with technology, some folks can write, very few can do both. Shelley does.

p i x e l v i e w - Shelley Powers
read here - go there

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