Monday, November 24, 2003

Either I'm getting more cynical or M$ is more transparent...

In the news article, Microsoft to Revamp Windows Security over at eWeek. They describe a new security feature that will be added to Windows Server 2003: "The server will query the security configuration of the device and try to confirm that anti-virus software is running and that current patches are installed. If discrepancies are found, the software will notify the user and offer instructions on correcting the problems." Sounds just fine 'til you remember that M$ is working on their own AntiVirus software.

Quote of the day:

"'I've decided that porn is what's going to drive 64 bits to the desktop,' said Computer Associates division Vice President Emma McGrattan, adding, 'CA will build the infrastructure.'"

The Rise of Fluff

No not fluffers. JoeUser.com has a commentary about how IT industry magazines have gotten lame. At first I thought it was really cool that InfoWorld switched to a normal magazine size, 'cause it would fit on my shelf better. But they changed everthing else too! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! The latest issue seems to have less fluff, but still not as much technical info as before. I also miss Brian Livingston's column. It's still a good mag for reading about new products. What I think is needed is a magazine dedicated to IT without big budgets; not all of us work for companies that can throw $200k at a SAN. I guess that's what the Linux magazines are for, but they're usually very anti Micro$oft and damn it, I just can't drop Windoze yet...

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Wired News: Feel Free to Jack Into My IPod

Kinda cool idea. Maybe WiFi could turn people in to walking music servers...

Ramblings on great computers

Here's an article listing the "top 10 computers of all time"... He's missing a lot of good ones and I don't understand the order he put them in. For me, my favorites were my Newton 2000, Apple ][gs, Sun 3, a Smith Corona luggable, Apple ][e, TRS-80 Model 1, a 486/33 w/ 16M of RAM, and an old 25MHz 386sx motherboard that I ran without a case all spread out on a desk running an alpha of the first NetBSD release (or was it FreeBSD?). The 386sx was kinda fun with people's reaction to it... and the tape drive i had on it threw off so much RF it would screw with everything... except the PC itself; that thing ran quite reliably off trash picked parts until I fried it overclocking it with a can of freon as the cooling system. The 486 was cool just for the fact that I had faster computer than anyone for awhile... at the time 16M was so much memory people thought I was just being stupid... made a nice RAM disk. The TRS-80 was the first computer we ever got at home... I learned some BASIC on it... I lived for picking though the program listings in Byte magazine. I just remembered my dad won a Radio Shack Pocket Computer model 2 at a users group we went too... did a lot of programming on that tiny screen. Early on with the TRS-80 there were several choices in operating systems... the coolest one (I think it was called ProDOS) was written by a guy that went to our users group. Much later on in life the I saw a lot of Radio Shack model 100's as hacker machines, and dumb terminals stuck the the side of a relay rack in network rooms. Another odd tidbit about Radio Shack computers... the Color Computer or CoCo... people still actively used them into the 90s. A guy I knew in college stuck his in a PC case, hooked a hard drive up to it, and ran OS9 on it. Not much needs to be said about the Apple ]['s... I remember the great divide back then was Commodore people versus Apple people (and then there were the LOOOOOOOSERs with Atari machines). Still have an AppleCat modem and I just picked up a ][e at a garage sale; still haven't put the two together. The Smith Corona was an 8088 machine with two 5.25" floppies, but it was enough to run KA9Q. My roommate Jay and I got a lot of enjoyment out of that little machine... mostly by pissing people off. The really remarkable thing about it was the resolution of it's ~7" screen it had very readable 16x9 pixel font and smooth scrolling. Ended up selling that to someone who gutted it and shoe horned a 386 into the case... oddly the dude who did this was a liberal arts major that needed a luggable machine so he could take it to inspiring places to write. The Sun 3 was the first Unix box I fell in love with... I'm still more comfortable on BSD than Sys V. I wish I still had the pic I used for the background on it... it was a drawing I found on the net named "horrorhead" or something like that... I also used it for posters for my radio show... it had a head cracked open with bats flying out and I put a caption that said "I gotta open my head and let the evil out..."; that particular radio show was titled named 3 Hours of Pain. The Apple ][gs was just too damn cool for the time... it did a lot with the hardware of the day. Mine was a Woz limited edition. It's a toss up between the ][gs and the Newton as to which is my all time favorite. I was SOOOOOO PISSED when Jobs dropped the Newton. I currently have an iPaq 3870 for a PDA, and it does what I need, but after all this time, they can't get the handwriting recognition as good as it was back then. Someone ought to pull the ROMs and crap out of an iBook and build a Mac PDA. Seeing as the top two machines on my list are by Apple, I suddenly feel silly sitting here writing this on a Thinkpad running Windows XP.

Friday, November 21, 2003

GSM/GPRS and CDMA PLUS Wi-Fi

Calypso Wireless has a video phone, PC card and accesspoint that use a technology called ASNAP to allow switching between cellular and 802.11 networks. They're trying to sell it to cable TV/broadband providers with no luck.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Intellivision Direct to TV

There a new nostalgia toy comming soon: Intellivision Direct to TV I've seen something like this already for Atari 2600 clasics. One thing about this that kinda sux is that it isn't like the original controller with the keypad.