Saturday, November 24, 2001

Don't Want These Leftovers:
Dave Coursey over at ZDNet has posted his Top 13 Tech Turkeys of all time.

Dvorak's got his Bottom Five up as well.

Interesting if only for some flaky ideas by socially retarded but obsenely rich guys.
Are you XPerienced?
Windows XP is what Win98 and Me should've been. Although I'm not sure having the Start Menu's windows fade in and out was worth the $200 fee. Anyways, it's nice finally having NT code that can play games.

Friday, November 23, 2001

1.21 Jigawatts!
Having a bit of a nostalgia attack lately. I was surfing about the web, and remembered how much things have changed in such a short period of time. I've been online in some capacity or another for about eight years. I've gone from an Apple IIe on a 2400 baud modem to a 700 MHz PC on an ISP at 56.6 (no broadband yet). In those days, there were only various BBS's in glorious monochrome. Unless you were a student, then you had newsgroups, which I didn't. You had go through the process of actually asking somebody if you could join their little club, and then the SysOp would give you the thumbs up or down. Most BBS's had a rudimentary form of chat, mostly people in your local calling area. Some had files to download, mainly just technical stuff. The porn (what little of it there was) took way too long to download, and if you were out in the middle of nowhere, you were out of luck unless you wanted to pay a whopper of a long distance bill.

What I consider my real plunge into the online world was when I met my then-girlfriend (Mrs. Stryker) in '94 and she had a computer! She had an old 486sx 27 with Win 3.1 and Prodigy. Soon after meeting her, we also got The ImagiNationNetwork, which was run by the Sierra On-Line folks (makers of Leisure Suit Larry). It was an online gaming network, and I think it was the first of it's kind. I went by the name "Eggman" back then, and mainly hung out playing spades and doing trivia. INN upped their rates sometime later that year, so we dropped it and picked up both CompuServe and AOL. CompuServe never really panned out, so I was an AOL'er for about a year. This was back before all the graphics, and it only had a few thousand people. I even remember the emails from Steve Case boasting about hitting the 50,000 mark, then the half-mil mark later on. It wasn't until they started up with the graphics and the mass mailings of the diskettes and CD's that the service took off. By that time, I had moved to Japan, missing the explosion of the World Wide Web and the conversion of AOL from a two-bit chat and file program into a multimedia behemouth. Good times, good times.

Now look at us. Cruising along, downloading songs, watching video, chatting, listening to the radio, and shopping on this great network of computers. Even what I'm doing right now is pretty cool. I wonder if the great boom that comes along with the opening of any new frontier is past, leaving us with merely the steady refinement of what we have available now, or if there's still some great new things coming down the pike. I don't know yet. There seemed to be just an explosion of new stuff and innovative ideas in the early-mid 90's that doesn't seem to be around anymore. Some stuff is long forgotten (RIP, OS/2), but some things are still with us (hey, Microsoft!). You had the feeling back then that you were truly blazing trails. Every day seemed to offer something new and exciting. A new program to download, a new website, an exciting game to play. It was like walking through a cloud and snatching out little bits of cloud-stuff to look at and figure out before they evaporated into obsolescence, but the larger, surrounding scene was one of chaos and confusion. It felt as if you'd never be able to see it all.

Now it's different. Things seemed to have evened out and calmed down quite a bit. There's a few big companies around, and surfing, really surfing the web just isn't all it's cracked up to be anymore. I visit a few sites, maybe follow a link or two, but that's about it. I no longer check sites hourly for new programs to download, and I haven't been excited about a new Netscape release in years. Most websites just want to sell you something and everyone I know is online. Couldn't say that 5 years ago. I better stop now before I start lamenting the late, great past of computer games.

Now If I can just get a broadband connection, then I wouldn't spend so much time thinking about bygone days while waiting for MP3's to download.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Clowns to the Left of Me...
Hey sonny, it's getting cold in here. Toss another empty gesture on the fire for me, will ya?

That's right, you guessed it! It's another feel-good movement by Very Concerned White People ™. Last I checked, AIDS has severely ravaged most of Africa and other third world countries while sparing the overwhelming majority of the Western population. Most people in Africa and the third world have never placed a phone call, therefore most of them don't have weblogs to write about their experiences. Of course, this cannot stop the hoardes of addle-brained Very Concerned White People ™ from spending so much time doing something so worthless.

Here's a suggestion: Instead of writing or linking to something about AIDS, and patting yourself on the back for being such a Concerned Person ™, why not actually do something that requires sustained and meaningful effort on your part to actually eradicate this scourge from humanity? Hell, it might even require some personal sacrifice (Oh No!) on your behalf to help those afflicted with this disease. But that would be too much trouble, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Michael Lasseter: Dumbest Man in America (for now):
Suspect in custody in Atlanta airport incident. The dumbass was apparently late for a flight. Was he going to miss his honeymoon? His wedding? The birth of his child? Was he sprinting past security because one of his closest relatives was on death's door, and he may never see them alive again if he missed his flight? Nope.
According to authorities, Lasseter said he was running late for his flight to Memphis, on his way to Saturday's football game between Georgia and the University of Mississippi.
This git caused the world's busiest airport to shut down because he might miss the most anticipated football game in decades between two of college football's shittiest teams. This wasn't any ordinary shut-down where they just delay flights and hold passengers. We're talking Lock-Down:
DeCosta said all planes that were at the gates at the time of the security breach were emptied of passengers and moved away from the gates. The entire airport -- the world's busiest -- was evacuated.

"Every aircraft that was at the gate was evacuated -- every single one of them," he said.

The airport was closed for three hours.

As a result, an estimated 10,000 would-be travelers and employees jammed walkways in front of the terminals, and traffic was in gridlock as nearby streets were closed.
See, the terrorists have not stopped ordinary Americans from exercising their God-given right to be morons. I hope the game was worth it, dipshit.

Cruelty to People:
In a cold-hearted and cruel move, PETA is giving out Tofu turkeys to the homeless. Isn't it bad enough that these folks are out on the streets without any family or hope? Why scorn and mock their misery in this barbarous fashion? Hey PETA, here's a clue: Homeless people don't give a damn about your wacky agenda. They want real honest-to-goodness food, not some gelatanous bean curd molded into the shape of a bird. We want to feed them a nice, warm meal, not kick them while they're down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

What's the muzzle velocity of my 3/4" open-end wrench?
2002 will be the (drum roll) Year of the Warrior Spirit for Air Mobility Command. Hey kids, grab your hammers and growl menacingly at that damned hydraulic part the whole plane was built around! Jump, hoot, and holler at that one bolt that seems to have been torqued by a gorrilla! Savagely remove all 200 stripped screws from that wing root panel! Mercilessly attack that loadmaster who just smashed up your ramp actuator....

Yeah, give me a rifle and tell me to shoot up some bad guys then maybe we'll talk. Hey, here's an idea! How about a Year of Spare Parts or Year of Commercial Aircraft Aquisition, or even The Year We Make Contact (with manning reality). I suppose not. That would require paying more than lip service.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Maybe they should've named it Beta:
The astronauts are having trouble sleeping and understanding each other due to noise from fans and other machinery aboard the International Space Station reports CNN. The Russian made components are the biggest offenders when it comes to noise. Big surprise. It's like living in the suburbs. Everyone has nice, modern and quiet cars, but your damned neighbor has that old Chevy Nova that sounds like a freight train going by everytime he starts it up. The Russians are saying they're working on putting more mufflers on their equipment up there, but everyone who's had a neighbor with an old jalopy knows, there's little chance of that happening. Your only hope is that his ill-maintained engine finally gives up the ghost and he's forced to either ride a bike or buy something manufactured after the Carter Administration.

I suppose it could be worse. Mexico could've decided to put 16 in. speakers and sub-woofers all over the station and shaken the damned thing apart while playing Wu-Tang Clan.