Monday, January 29, 2007

Are you ready for Vista?

Are you psyched?

Tonight at midnight stores across America are staying open late (or maybe they’re open early, whatever) to celebrate the debut of the new Windows operating system, Vista.

Microsoft was giving away Release Candidate 1 late last year, so, curious, I spent $5 to get a DVD copy. I could’ve downloaded it for free, but I didn’t have the patience. I’ve been playing around with Vista for about a month and a half on a spare computer with a clean installation.

My first impression was that it was pretty. Much of that has to do with the fact that they supply you with a nice set of wallpaper to choose from. There’s nothing like a beautiful Ansel Adams-type landscape to skew your perceptions. The icons are a little bigger. Like a Mac, you now have built in desktop gadgets. Also like a Mac when your cursor hovers over the icon for an open program in the task bar, your get a thumbnail preview. Oh, and you don’t have to buy a third-party application to burn a DVD. That’s finally built in so you don’t have to spend $80 on Roxio or Nero products. Well, duh. Took ‘em long enough.

Other than the prettiness, there is absolutely no reason to upgrade from XP. It’s not faster. If you’ve been getting by happily on a PC you bought in 2002 with 1 GB of RAM or less, you’re fucked now. If you really, really want this operating system, you need 2 GB of RAM and a 2 GHz processor, minimum. It’s not more stable. Yeah, I know I’m using RC1 and not the final version, but let’s face it – they’re giving away RC1 to tempt people to buy the real deal, right? This shit bombs big time. I haven’t seen crashes like this since Windows ME, and you know how bad that was. Sometimes it crashes on boot up for no reason. I’m on the other side of the room, nowhere near the keyboard and POOF! The system crashes and I have to do a hard restart. It was pretty consistently hanging after the screen saver came on, so I had to disable that.

Vista doesn’t like FireFox. There are no drivers for the HP printer I bought last March. The Sudoku game I bought three weeks ago doesn’t work. It says I don’t have a valid copy of Microsoft Office 2003 and I do, thank you very much. No surprises there. No way am I going to pay to upgrade to Office 2007. The bullshit invalidation of my Office 2003 made me go download the Open Office suite. Guess what? I like it. And it’s free. Guess who’s scrapped any notion of upgrading to Office 2007?

Vista gives you a hassle like the worst micromanager on Earth when you want to install something. Are you sure you want to install that? Do you know what that is? Do you trust the source? It views any installation – say, Adobe Acrobat Reader – as a potential security threat and it overreacts like ED-209 in RoboCop. Thankfully, it doesn’t shoot you.

I must say that I am excited about Vista, in a matter of speaking. I’m interested in the ripple effect and how the market is going to respond. I can’t wait to see all the bugs that are going to come to light. I just wish I could get in on the monetary action. A whole lot of people are going to make a whole lot of money this year retraining people and selling hardware upgrades, or trying to woo formerly diehard Windows users to Mac or Linux machines. Should be interesting.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

I love fake blogs. Here's Steve Jobs' so-called diary:
What kind of country has an "ombudsman" anyway? Well, Norway does. And here he is. Bjoern Erik Thon. And he says if we don't "open up" iTunes, Norway will take us to court. Okay, Norway. You want to play hardball? Tell you what. Saddle up the reindeer, strap some body armor over your queer-ass Dale sweaters, wrap your pretentious scarf tight around your chicken neck, and meet us on the field of battle. Or how about this? How about we just stop selling iPods in Norway? And we block anyone in Norway from getting access to iTunes? And we tell everyone there that Bjoern Erik Thon is the reason for this, and here's his home address and phone number, so go see him if you don't like it. Or even better: How about I run for president of Norway, win in a landslide, fire Bjoern Erik Thon, and pass a law outlawing Microsoft and making Apple products the only ones allowed in Norway?
Now I need to find a fake Bill Gates blog where he raves about Vista...

Read more about Steve here...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

In Praise of Science Fiction

You never know where you'll find someone praising Science Fiction, but here's a little gem from, of all places, the Huffinton Post blog:

The first step to enjoying science fiction is - well, the first step is getting used to the worst writing on earth -- but the second step to enjoying science fiction is getting past the titles.

And it's worth doing. Because we're living in a science fiction world.

We should have seen China's anti-satellite program coming, but the only venue where it was being discussed was You Only Live Twice.

There was this boring movie where this sonorous blowhard said the ice caps were melting, but it was called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, so no one paid any attention.

What if a cowardly dickweed with a messiah complex got to be President and started World War Three? Don't say The Dead Zone didn't warn you.

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Q is experimenting with radioactive lint. Now spies are running around London, killing each other with teeny tiny polonium specks.

I could go on, but I'm late for the convention and my mom's still sewing my costume.

And this isn't about me, anyway. This is about you. Snooty.

Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television, but you're not watching it just because it has robots in it. Yet you'll still watch Desperate Housewives. Like Nicollette Sheridan isn't more machine than man.


Monday, January 08, 2007

No time to blog!

I can’t get two seconds (okay, it takes longer than that) to myself to blog, it seems. I didn’t get to blog about:

  • James Brown’s death (I should’ve gone to the viewing at the Apollo. I’ve never been there).

  • President Ford’s death (It’s amazing how once someone has passed away, everyone has nice things to say. He could’ve used some of that while he was in office. He was always portrayed as a buffoon).

  • The first baby born in NYC was born to an illegal immigrant (Toys R Us at first tried to back out of giving the baby the promised $25,000. Talk about bad publicity).

  • It’s really, really freaking warm for January (I prefer that to the single digits we got a few years ago, but we know this is bad, right?)

  • Orlando is nine months old! (I have tons of pictures to post on his site. Sigh).

  • My cousin is visiting from Panama (and I think she’s really bored, but we’re trying).

  • My dog took a flying leap off the top of the stairs (What the hell was he thinking?? He didn’t get hurt, but that was very scary).

  • Nancy Pelosi (I don’t care what anyone says, she looks like a nice lady. Why does she scare people? I’d vote for her).

  • My mom almost burned down the apartment (She left food on the stove, then went to the supermarket. Thank God nothing actually caught fire, but the place still smells of smoke).

  • Randy Johnson is finally gone. (Yay!)

Belated Happy New Year, all.