Thursday, November 29, 2007

XP rocks

I mean seriously. XP really rocks. At least, compared to my Vista box.

I couldn't take it anymore. Some days it would run fine for the whole day. Other times, every 30 minutes a blue screen of death, memory dump, reboot. No clue why. Could not figure out why. Finally got to the point where I just didn't give a shit why.

The only reason I had the machine was as my TV. I like Media Center. I really liked it on Vista. But not enough to keep Vista.

OK, so, I'll just revert. I tried to find a copy of MCE05 for my 4 core HP monsterbox but, alas, THERE ARE NO XP DRIVERS for this hot little baby. Vista only. Oh man. My most advanced piece of hardware, because of this Vista Trash on it, is effectively, useless.

So, I give up. I go to I find an old 2006 MCE05 packing Media Center PC and I BUY The damn thing. It's not much more expensive than Vista Ultimate, so what the hell.

Oh My God. I'd forgotten how different XP was from Vista on my home TV watchin PC. It's faster. I mean, alot faster. Seems like, maybe, twice as fast.

Think about that. A 2006 2 core AMD against a 2007 Quad Core Intel chip with 150% of the memory. Twice as fast.

And copying from one hard drive to another... holy cow, it's... well, easy. No confirmation dialogs and 'you don't have privileges to do that' dialogs I have to decipher and then there's Clt/Alt/Del...

The TASK manager just comes up. Poof. Right there. No dimming of the screen and one, two or three 'is it ok to continue' dialogs.

I'd forgotten for a bit what it was like to just use my TV/computer in a way that was fast, simple and friendly. I am not trying to be sarcastic here. This is really what I'm sitting here thinking while using this XP based Media Center PC.

The only word I can think of is 'refreshing'. Now, imagine that. An OS that's what, 6 years old now that's, literally, twice as good as the latest version of the next version of the OS.

What the hell is Microsoft thinking?

No more PC's with Vista. I'm going Mac, Ubuntu or XP (preferably in that order) on all new machines in the future. The first question I'll have for any PC I buy from this day forward is: Does it have XP drivers? No? No thanks.

Goodnight Redmond, and good luck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 a little evil

I just had an disconcerting experience from the website They want to be the 'Google, of People search' according to CEO Jaideep Singh.

But I have my doubts.

Not that it's not a good idea, but more because of the tactics they use to get information.

I signed up for it a few months ago when it first went public. Cool. Interesting. Didn't work very well yet but to be expected for a brand new/beta system.

I checked it out again last night and it had a new 'check for your friends' feature that allows you to import your email address book and find people you know on Spock. Nothing overly odd there, lots of sites do this.

What's not good, is how they misrepresented what they were doing.

I went ahead and had them check my gmail address book. It came back with 'found X profiles on Spock, would you like to connect?'

Not invite, connect. At least, that was the implication (I don't remember the exact phrasing).


Well, it proceeded to send out emails to all those people with ME as the sender asking them to join Spock.

Turns out they didn't have accounts already. They just had what appears to be spidered profiles scraped off the internet and aggregated on Spock.

What they did with me was use my name and contact list to 'validate' those profiles and get the users to log into Spock without really telling me what they were doing. They implied that these people already had profiles and I was just adding them to my network.

Instead they effectively conned me into letting them use my name to get a bunch of people to sign up for a service I'm not sure I'll use, let alone recommend. Actually, I can tell you now: I do not recommend them.

This is slightly evil, maybe even a bit more.

So, to my friends and associates: I'm sorry. I was suckered. You can bet it won't happen again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Goofy Stupid

At first, I just didn't have words for this.

This has been going on for a few weeks now and I've been watching in disbelief.

A couple in Boulder has 'claimed an emotional attachment' to about 1/3 of an empty lot next to their home and have filed (and won!) ownership of 1/3 of that land.

From the Denver Post: " Richard McLean and his wife, attorney Edith Stevens, used an arcane common law called "adverse possession" to claim the land for their own."

This lot was purchased by
Don and Susie Kirlin in the early 80's. They planned to someday build their dream home on it. When they went to put up a fence around the property, Mr. McLean (and ex-Boulder Judge, apparently) had a restraining order in hand in under 3 hours.

This is goofy stupid. Since when does someone who owns a plot of land for almost 20 years, and lives 200 yards away, LOSE their right to a big chunk (34% apparently) because someone living next to it used that land (trespassing, effectively) and 'grew attached' to it? This made it pretty much impossible for the Kirlin's to build on the land.

This is goofy stupid. Even for Boulder.

I'm not a hard core land rights guy. I like the open space around Boulder. I think there are times when it the greater good of the community outweigh a single individuals desire to hold onto land for the sake of holding on to it, but this is dumb. This is an empty building lot good for one thing: building a house on. There is no greater good at work here, only selfishness and a well connected and legally slick persons ability to manipulate the system for their own personal gain at another persons personal loss.

One thing I would recommend to anyone who owns an empty lot in Boulder: Build a fence around it. Now. I'd also put a sign that said "No Trespassing. And all Ex Judges and Lawyers be warned.. this is my damned land".

Truly goofy stupid.

An excellent read from an ex-evangelical.

  As you know, I once was an evangelical megachurch pastor and my pastoral career stretched over many years. Eventually, I could no longer t...