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User Journal

Journal Journal: Moved

You know what would be great? If Slashdot counted the number of times each of your journal articles was read. At least then, I'd know whether or not anyone is reading my journal.

Anyway, I happened to me checking out my profile and I noticed I haven't written anything since January 31. There's a reason for that: I've moved - from one side of the US to the other, in fact. It's been a lot of work and I'm just now able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If all goes well, I'll be moving into my new house on Tuesday. Hopefully, I'll have time to start writing a little more often, once everything settles down.

If anyone's interested, I quit my old job. I felt I was doing a good job, while my employer insisted I wasn't. I'm guessing I was right, since I had former customers fighting over who would hire me, and I'm working at one, now. Sometimes, I wonder if my old employer pissed me off deliberately, so I'd walk out and they could replace me with someone less expensive. Maybe I'll go into detail about it in a future journal entry.


Journal Journal: I still hate Windows

So, Friday morning, I had a job interview and I wanted a way to show my future employer I know what I'm doing. Every so often, at my current job, I give a Unix class. Since it needs to be geared towards using our software, I designed the course from scratch and wrote about 70 pages' worth of class notes. I figured they'd contain a fairly reasonably good cross- section of my Unix knowledge.

The problem was, this was a Linux administrator position and I'd used Wordpad to write up the notes. I had no way of knowing if they could read a DOC format file. No problem, I thought, I'll just get on my Windows partition, load the file into Wordpad, and save it as an RTF.

What really happened? Wordpad told me it "couldn't open a Word 6.0 file". Are you kidding me? Granted, I wrote the file on Windows 2000 and I was trying to read it on Windows XP, but that's ridiculous. How did I fix it? I checked my Linux partition for any applications that might help. Fortunately, I had forgotten to unselect Open Office when I installed my system. I simply did what I had intended to do with Windows. It worked perfectly the first time.

It's just one more reason Open Document Format is crucial, if we're going to store public documents on computers.


Journal Journal: I hate Windows

Well, I guess my first journal entry wasn't my last, after all. I've actually been working on something about marketing lies by computer hardware companies and I had hoped it would be my next entry, but no such luck.

I really hate Windows.

I'll be honest: Windows XP is a significant improvement over previous versions. I seriously believe the only reason Microsoft stayed in business between about 1987 and 1995 is that Unix hardware was too expensive for the average person. There's certainly no way you're going to tell me DOS, or even 16-bit Windows was easier to use than Unix, at the time. Between the 640k barrier, the nearly useless COMMAND.COM, and the bugs, I don't know how people who used Windows stayed sane.

Even the 32-bit versions of Windows weren't that great. NT4 blue-screened on me at least once a week. Windows 2000 was a little better. I'm still using it on my desktop at work and, with all the latest patches, it's decent. I won't even mention the toy versions of Windows, they're so ridiculous.

XP, on the other hand, is actually fairly stable. I've had a Sony Vaio laptop for about 4 years, now, and I've only had about a dozen crashes in that time. I've had an HP zv5000 laptop for about a year and it has only crashed once, that I can remember.

So I'm running XP on my HP laptop, here, trying to play Unreal Tournament. Until a few weeks ago, I was having a problem where, every 15 minutes, my screen would freeze for about 30 seconds, then switch back to my desktop, with UT still running. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.

Once, when I wasn't running UT, I happened to notice what looked like a DOS window in my taskbar - only for an instant. Then it went away. Ah-ha, I thought. I waited around for another 15 minutes and it returned, again for an instant. This time, however, I was watching with task manager. It turns out it was "hptskmgr" and "hposm". I'm not sure what they do, but they were ruining my gaming experience. How stupid is that? I'm sorry, but if you're going to interrupt a full-screen application, you'd better have something pretty damn important to say.

I really, really hate Windows.

I renamed both programs so they don't get called anymore. (Of course, whatever starts them now is leaving error messages in the system log.) Did that fix the problem? Of course not. Now, the crashes are less frequent, but they also seem to be completely random, and they screw up the resolution, so I have to reboot my system. I'm sure most of you reading this can imagine how annoying it is to have a really good score, only to have it reset by a system crash.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Windows?

So I think I'm done playing UT on Windows. On Linux, the image quality isn't quite as good and there's a little bit of flicker, but that's nothing compared to the problems on XP. So much for Windows being a better gaming platform.

User Journal

Journal Journal: First Journal Entry

This will be my first journal entry. Will it be my only entry? Sorry, don't have a clue. If it's possible to predict the future by examining the past, I'd say there will probably be just a few more entries.

I've tried several times, in the past, to keep a journal but I've never been successful. It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I can't stop writing. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a thought is worth at least 10 times as many. I'd talk about everything that happened for a day and then I'd go into excruciating detail about what each event made me think about. By the time I finished, I'd spent two to three hours writing about that day. Needless to say, I couldn't keep that up.

A few years ago, I wanted to try again, so I went out and got one of those digital voice recorders. I even made sure I got one with a USB connector, so I could transfer everything to the computer easily, index by date, etc. I figured I can talk faster than I type, so if I'm speaking, rather than writing, I should be able to keep up. Wrong. Instead, I just went into more detail. It was still taking me hours to talk about my day. I finally tried to record a little at a time, during the course of the day, but then I had to worry about privacy.

I guess I need to admit to myself that I won't be writing here every day, but every so often, I feel the need to write about something. Of course, there's never an appropriate Slashdot article when you need one, so maybe this journal will allow me that outlet.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley