Category Archives: Computers

Long time no talk, eh?

Yeah, I’ve been elsewhere.  I’m back here again.

New categories for new things in my corner of the Universe.

There’s now a aquarium.  15 gallons with 11 fish therein. Betta, 4 tetras, 3 cories, and 3 platys. Nobody tries to eat anyone else.

Thanks to Ken getting a membership at the local Y, we played Camp Sloper last weekend. Nice little course. Cutting down on the number of discs in the bag is starting to pay dividends.

To the surprise of pretty much nobody, Francona wasn’t the problem in Boston. Hopefully the GM has had an automatic ass-kicking machine installed in his office.

My main workstation has self-destructed for the last time.  Rather than rebuild it, I’m simply going to make the new laptop play full-time business machine.  I’m putting a new power supply in the micro monolith I built last year so I can run the GTX460 in it.

More details in other posts.  Maybe.

Laptop Repairs

Like any laptop, mine’s been dropped a time or seven.  the top of the case cracked.  Nobody on the planet seems to have one aside from IBM parts, and I’ll be damned if I’m paying $60+ for it.  Every time I try to get a parts machine off eBay, I get sniped at the last minute.

Until THIS time.  now my laptop is whole again, even got the missing foot back on the bottom.  And got a bonus relatively new battery too!

So this is an iPad.

Ok, I’m told there’s a WordPress app, but the iPad doesn’t like the visual editor.

As a device, in the thirty seconds or so I’ve played with it, it seems pretty cool. Not necessarily something I’d buy, but I can see the appeal.

Spell check and auto-correct is nicer than on the Pre. The keyboard works fine, I don’t know what all the bitching is about.

Maybe I’ll play with it more later.

A month already?

Dang, that went by quick.

Other than Mozilla being a complete dong, and the TAPI service getting hosed randomly from the speakerphone app (the modem isn’t “officially” supported, so that’s probably the cause) it’s been smooth sailing.

Opera’s a nice browser, but I miss AdBlock.  I’ve been putting domains in the “blocked  content” section of Opera, which works well enough for now.

The power management on 7 ought to save me 10-15 bucks a month on electricity since I can now let the machine go in to standby.  The wake-on-modem feature is still goofy, it wakes the machine up almost immediately – just like it did on XP – so it’s gotta be a problem with the modem.

Which means I really ought to find a better voicemail solution.

One Week.

since I upgraded to 7.  Sorry, I know it doesn’t fit the song.

Anyhow, after fighting with a few ill-behaved installers, everything’s running.

I removed all the plugins and extensions from Firefox that I don’t have in a clean-slate install, figuring maybe one of the ones in my profile horked things.  It seems to work, but I haven’t really pushed it.

Still bad that a single app (or an extension to same) can take the OS out.

Still investigating.  Further news as events warrant.

Mozilla 3.6 EPIC FAIL!

Right.  Got everything going again.  Quickbooks?  Check.  Callstation (Voicemail and phone) Check. Pidgin? Check.  Mozilla?

Not so check.

So I’m running Mozilla, doing the morning surf, and the window blinks and freezes.  What follows next is a system fail of epic proportion.  Yes, a 32-bit app Brought a 64-bit operating system to its knees.

So, not believing that this could possibly be the case, and figuring it must be hardware because both times it happened my RAID wanted to rebuild, I tested the drives.  They’re fine.  And Mozilla under 32 bit Fedora worked fine.

To test my hypothesis, I installed Opera and ran that all day.

The system’s still up.

You do the math.  And yes, I googled, and found reports of Mozilla crashing on Win 7 x64, but not blowing Windows completely the fuck away.

Windows 7 and software developers.

I’ve finally gotten around to putting 7 on the Big Workstation.  Went 64 bit and the whole nine.  Decided to mimic the experience I’m putting my customers through by making it a domain member and working as a limited user.

What a pain in the ass.

Installing software is easier on 7 than XP as a limited user, I’ll grant that.  But this arrangement only points out just how far behind the times software developers are.  I mean, this has been an “official” best practices thing for the better part of a decade now, and software still doesn’t get it.

The big hitters (Office 2007, Visual Studio 2008) work fine when installed as “Administrator” but used as “BrianC”.  In fact, most stuff does.  FOSS like Pidgin and 7-Zip work fine.

But then there’s the exceptions.  Quickbooks itself worked without an issue.  But the Quickbooks Outlook Sync program only works for the user that installed it.  So simply elevating to Administrator doesn’t cut it.  So it’s log out, go back in as admin, bump my domain user to local administrator, go back in as me, and install.

Same thing with the Palm software.  Desktop installed fine, but then started Hotsync in the Administrator context, rendering the first (bluetooth only, no USB drivers for you 64 bit folks!) sync useless.  Where it gets worse is all the related apps.  Documents To Go didn’t install itself properly (since it didn’t see a profile), Smartlist To Go wouldn’t install at all until I was a local administrator myself.

Come on folks, get with the times.  Microsoft is trying to make an operating system that doesn’t get hosed by users running with Administrator privileges because you clowns can’t get your shit together and write software that allows people to run with lower privileges on their machines.

Windows 7 Pro RTM – first impressions

I’ve installed it on a six year old Thinkpad. It runs better than XP did on the same machine. So far all my apps work, but then again there’s been time for developers to accommodate the changes that Vista required and for me to upgrade in the normal course of events. Because ATi sucks, I had to rely on a hacked driver package to get the video to work, but other than that it’s been pretty smooth. Installed from a USB stick.

In other news, I’ve got the RC installed on a 7 year old Athlon XP with an nVidia 7600GS in it. This was my “daily driver” until I replaced it in 2007. I’ve got most of the stuff I use on a daily basis installed on it and running fine.

Windows 7 – what Vista should have been.

Just when I was ready to hate Lenovo

I’m experimenting with the X31.  Figured I’d toss a new drive in it and put Windows 7 on there.  The vista drivers for power and other stuff don’t work, of course.

Lenovo has drivers for the Windows 7 Beta/RC.

I don’t remember seeing this happen for the Vista release.  Maybe MS finally got their shit together and has the hardware vendors getting ready to support older hardware on the new OS.  That would be quite a change, eh?

Oh, so far?  Windows 7 runs fine on a 6 year old laptop.