Computers

That is a lot of work

The Washington Monthly chronicles what he had to do to clear his mom’s PC of spyware. He describes 6 fairly elaborate steps he had to go through to finish the task. Naturally, the whole discussion immediately deteriorated into a Mac v. PC thing. Lots of shrillness from all sides. Whee.

Gotta say, though, that currently, the Mac just doesn’t engender the problems that the PC can cause for personal users. Maybe more people should consider using the Mac for home use? Even if Mac home use were to increase, I don’t think we’d see a lot Mac viruses — I’d imagine virus writers would rather hit businesses or governments than, say, your mom. Everyone always thinks the PC is easier, but how easy is it constantly running virus and spyware checks? Of being afraid of your own email?

Fading ones and zeros

Today’s NYT has an article summarizing one of the issues I’ve been exploring over the last few years: what affect will the loss of personal documents created on personal PCs have on our historical and cultural record? As the NYT found, Even Digital Memories Can Fade. Even while businesses and professional archivists work to devise long-term solutions to digital preservation, PC users find themselves in trouble:

In the meantime, individual PC owners struggle in private. Desk drawers and den closets are filled with obsolete computers, stacks of Zip disks and 3½-inch diskettes, even the larger 5¼-inch floppy disks from the 1980′s. Short of a clear solution, experts recommend that people copy their materials, which were once on vinyl, film and paper, to CD’s and other backup formats.

Yet the the new formats themselves are not a panacea. They, too, will fade over time. Archivists who work with personal documents are going to be faced with quite a challenge over the next few years.

The Fun of an RSS feeder

Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been playing with the new beta version of NetNewsWire (I use NNW lite from time to time). This beta version is really kind of fun. I liked being able to open up stories into another tab to read. Here are some of the stories I looked at today:

Unhappy Customers Slam FreeiPods.com; Owners Blame Apple — If we don’t get ‘em, you don’t get ‘em.

When the hell did John Byrne lose his mind? — Somewhere around NextMen, I think.

Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed — OK….

Craziest — Cool Scrabble Flash movie. For me, 311 points would be a good game.

When The Web Goes Missing, Users Suffer Withdrawal – It’s not just me.

Woot! — A new high-tech bargain every day.

Kanji Alive – A neat little dictionary and kanji tutorial. It’s web-based and uses QuickTime. I found it a little slow but over all it’s very cool!

If America were Iraq, What would it be Like? — It would suck. About his subsequent story, however — Cat Stevens may be an ass, but I’m not sure he should have been deported. If the grounds are he supported the fatwa against Rushdie, can we deport members of anti-abortion groups who support murdering doctors?

TalkLeft Censored By Paypal – Post a politically incorrect link, lose your money.

The TIVO limited edition IPod — Two cool things that are cool together. If three more people buy TIVOs and give me credit, I could get one! OK, I already have an IPod, but this one is newer. With a TIVO logo. And then Seth could have one, too.

When does 24 hours = 3 months – You didn’t really want that software, did you? A tragic story of trying to buy just one product.

Bushisms! The Movie — Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning.

The one thing I wish I could do is note which blogs these links come from. If there’s a way to do that, I haven’t figured it out yet. Just assume they come from those lovely links to the side.

Some day….

I will get a cool gadget where they won’t come out with an even cooler version soon after. I love my Treo but that’s really, really pretty!

Why pay more?

Look at all this stuff you can get for free! Software, memory card readers, and other random things. Well, you have to pay first, but it’s all Free After Rebate.

What happens if you play them backwards?

I knew that computer programs could be stored on tapes, but I didn’t know you could put them on LPs. Cool.

Neat Toy

Thanks Mom!

The Treo is really nice. With the new law, I was able to keep my old cell number. Naturally, the first thing I did with it is load Bejeweled….

The machines behind the machines

From MF: Penguins for President?

For what it’s worth, the Republican National Committee is running Microsoft IIS on Windows 2000, while the Democratic National Committee is running Apache on Linux. As of this writing, November 5, 2003, the RNC has an uptime of 4.26 days (maximum of 39.04) and a 90-day moving average of 16.91. The DNC has an uptime of 445.02 days (also the maximum) and a 90-day moving average of 395.38 days.

The site also lists what individual candidates are running on their campaign websites.

The Chronicles of George

I know a guy named George. He’s very bright and articulate. He’s not from Texas. He may be an exception.

This George here is not the president. He’s tech support. But he’s almost as articulatiful. George has a particular love for the word “havening,” whatever that is. His ability to write completely unhelpful trouble tickets is probably unparalleled. And there are over 40 pages of examples of just how unhelpful he could be.

I guess someone needed to ventl

Portable Wifi WC

The MSN iloo — wireless toilets for everyone!

Question: Would you touch the keyboard?

(Jason and Seth: not without gloves!)