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User Journal

Journal Journal: The generosity of Bill Gates

When Bill Gates, or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, donates to humanitarian causes, there are a great number of people who rush to pat Bill/Microsoft on the back.

You see the same old statements, "How can Bill Gates be evil?", "Microsoft can't be all that bad", "Bill Gates is a saint", etc.

Even though the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supposedly nothing to do with Microsoft, everybody associates Bill with Microsoft, and Microsoft with Bill. When the foundation does a good deed it's a credit to Microsoft.

It's quite odd really: everybody seems to forget the misery Bill has caused via his company, and they focus only on the latest 'good deed'. Perhaps this is exactly what Bill wants?

It's like a serial killer donating his victims body parts to hospitals.

What about the poor schools in the U.S. that Microsoft audited, an action that cost the schools thousands? Did Bill care that the schools were poor? Where was this care and compassion then? It was purely business then, and it still is now.

Why can't people see that these donations go hand-in-glove with Microsoft's business objectives?

First it was Open Source in India, and Microsoft claiming that India was of "strategic importance", and attempting to push Microsoft solutions at the Government. At the same time, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated millions to fighting AIDS in India. Bribery?

Now it's Open Source in Africa, and Microsoft is pushing its solutions there, even offering free tuition to combat the 'threat' of Open Source. At the same time, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated millions to fighting Malaria in Africa. Bribery?

Both of the aforementioned countries showed high interest in Open Source, and both got donations toward fighting diseases specific to these countries.

Microsoft loves to get governments locked into its solutions, and is certainly just as anti-competitive as ever. Surely it's not that hard to see a pattern?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Microsoft's threat, insecure security, and survey rigging

I had a scour through my news archive, and I found a few items from 2001 - 2002...

So much for Linux not being a threat; and for those who believe Linux winning converts from Unix is not hurting Microsoft, leaked memos reveal the opposite:

"Linux is the long-term threat against our core business. Never forget that!"
"I need you to make sure that as many of these customers as possible continue to migrate off of UNIX, but on to Windows 2000 on Intel," - Brian Valentine (Microsoft)

Just for fun:

It may seem ironic, but privacy functionality in IE6 makes it possible to launch several attacks against the browser, and against Outlook and Outlook Express, security researcher Thor Larholm has discovered. - here

Microsoft rigs results, just like it still does with analyst studies:

This shining jewel in the world's economy, this commercial Titan with software on virtually every desktop on Earth, this Microsoft, has stooped to rigging reader surveys to rescue the crumbling myth of its popularity. - here

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stick Henge

If anybody were to pass by my garden, they would notice a small-scale, ancient-looking henge, remeniscent of some pagan astrology chart for lawn gnomes. Of course, this isn't really what it is.

It is actually my latest method for preventing cats using my garden as their latrine. It's a primitive squat prevention technique that makes your garden look mystic and intriguing. And, so far, it seems to be keeping the beasts at bay.

If I see any cats walking around in a strange manner -- suggesting a sore bottom -- I'll know that they've attempted to evacuate their bowels on my property, and have been summarily introduced to my henge.


User Journal

Journal Journal: 'su' stands for 'super-user' - WRONG!

I've seen so many documents stating: "the command 'su' stands for 'super-user'".

NO IT DOESN'T! 'su' stands for 'substitute user'. If you don't believe me, enter 'man su' at the command line.

The 'su' command should be followed by the name of the user you wish to become. When you call 'su' without specifying a user you are requesting to become the root user.

The 'root' user is referred to as the super-user, and rightly so, as root has full access to the Operating System and everything running on it.

So, you can enter 'su' and become super-user, but 'su' doesn't stand for 'super-user'.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fighting Microsoft

Just lately I've seen some articles written by people who seem to feel sorry for Microsoft, and who believe that it is wrong to dislike the company: "after all", they say, "look at what Microsoft has done for us all!".

Actually, we should do just that. We should look at what Microsoft has done, and is still doing.

Many people say that if it wasn't for Microsoft's input home users probably wouldn't have computers. OK. But, while Microsoft did a good job of getting everybody using computers, since then it has stifled innovation. It has been doing its best to make sure that all computer users run its software, and only its software. Once everybody is using its software Microsoft sits back, rubs its belly, and does absolutely nothing - take Internet Explorer for example. Only when a threat re-appears does Microsoft start to get to work again.

Competitive markets encourage innovation and progress. Microsoft has been against competition since the very beginning.

Today I've seen two articles depicting the struggle that is Everybody Vs Microsoft. This is why nobody likes Microsoft:

1) - Microsoft uses closed standards to prevent competition:

"THE OPENGL Foundation claims that the software giant, Microsoft is trying to shaft its free specification with the introduction of its super soar-away version of its Windows operating system Vista.

The foundation has issued a call to arms here, over [Microsoft's] plan to layer OpenGL over Direct3D in Vista.

Users need to have a composited desktop to obtain what Vole spinsters dub the 'Aeroglass experience'. However, the foundation fears that if an OpenGL Installable Client Driver is run under Vista, the desktop compositor will switch off and the performance will be pants."

2) - Those trying to compete with Microsoft use open standards:

"VMware, the leader in the fast-growing market for virtual machine software, plans to announce today that it will share its code with partners like I.B.M., Intel and Hewlett-Packard in an effort to make the VMware technology an industry standard.

VMware's partners regard the technology-sharing program as a welcome step. "This is a move toward open standards, and that is the path toward accelerating market growth and innovation," said Susan Whitney, a general manager in I.B.M.'s server business."

User Journal

Journal Journal: You can't ride a skateboard on water... 1

Situation: Windows becomes infected with a virus or two. Or three. Maybe three or four hundred. Anyway, it's screwed.

After being disinfected it may very well work, or seem to work; however, it's health is never going to quite be what it was.

If something goes wrong, such as a piece of software you've just installed that doesn't work correctly, you don't blame the piece of software that's not working. The likelihood is that Windows is in a state of near-death; the solution is to put it out of its misery and get to work on a fresh installation.

If you suggest to somebody that they reinstall Windows, or try the software on another machine, they'll complain that it's such a hassle and takes a long time. This is really quite amusing, as the same person would probably tell you how easy Windows is to install in an argument against Linux.

Ah well. Some people just don't accept things like it's best to format and reinstall Windows on a box that's been infected. I wouldn't be surprised to see them trying to skateboard on a lake, and getting angry with the water for not holding them up.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Outsource to India!

Steve was just on a call to an Indian chap situated here in the UK. The conversation was concerning a technical problem.

Anyway, said Indian chap was complaining about how frustrating it is now that support is outsourced to India, he said:

"All they say is update the firmware, update the firmware! It's bloody useless!"

That made my day!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Voice your complaint! 2

One thing I've noticed about people who go out of their way to complain about software: they usually have attrocious looking Websites.

Frames, vile animations, dangerous color schemes, and Java scripts telling you the time - as if it wasn't in your system tray anyway.

I wonder what lessons in psychology we can learn from this...

User Journal

Journal Journal: The arrogant - how lofty they are!

What is it with some people and arrogance? I really wonder what makes them tick.

If you say something that goes against what they believe, their immediate reaction is one of subtle derision; they don't stop to consider whether or not an alternative option could have any validity - their mind is set. Then they finally discover that their perfect way of achieving something is unreliable, and they have to give up.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Windows TCO higher - due to cowboy admins!

A guy from a company dealing in network installation and maintenance e-mails me, requesting help getting a mail server working through WinXP's firewall.

A company providing Windows network support having problems with XP's firewall? Crazy.

This isn't an uncommon situation.

If your company is paying for somebody like this to come out and administer your Windows network, you could be paying for hours of work that should really have taken minutes, or possibly paying for work required due to errors/neglect during a previous visit.

Yes, there may be plenty of people out there who can support a Windows network; but I can confirm, with many of these companies, that you're paying for a half-wit to do a half-job, and charge you double (or more) than necessary.

User Journal

Journal Journal: MCSEs - sheesh 1

I don't have an MCSE .

I have helped MCSEs with the simplest of problems on Windows. It's shocking to find that some don't even understand basic networking and administration.

The funny thing is, the ignorant MCSEs that I've helped have mostly all gone out of their way to make sure that people know they're an MCSE. "MCSE" is etched at the bottom of their e-mails; on their Website, "MCSE" is there for all to see (the big MCSE logos are the worst). Some of them even subtly inform you in their e-mail message.

So, my opinion of MCSEs, which is down to my experience in dealing with them:

Those that go out of their way to inform you of being an MCSE are probably extremely unworthy of their qualification.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Poo 2

I was about to go home from work, when I noticed that a bird had pooed on my jacket.

Some people say it's lucky. I bet those people only say that to take their mind off the fact that they have to clean poo off their jacket.

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