Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stay Away: IE 8

OK – with very little fanfare and even less enthusiasm from the populace at hand, Microsoft released IE 8.0.  I should say UNLEASHED, instead of RELEASED.  What a poor implementation of a browser.  It is almost as if with each subsequent release of the software, it gets a little poorer and a little harder to use.  We install it, because it is thrust upon us, and we start using it with its faults and we get ‘used’ to those faults, so when the next version comes out, we hope that it will be better and take the plunge, only to find the cycle has started over again.

I installed IE 8 on my laptop and my home system (both Vista, SP1) and found that my browsing experience has slowed to a crawl.

Not only that, bringing up ‘simple’ web pages now initiates this thing called COMPATIBILITY MODE – what the hell is that?! When I mean ‘simple’ web page, I mean MRTG based page – some text, and a couple of static graphics that auto-refresh.  No Java Script, nothing of the sort.

And if I wasn’t in COMPATIBILITY MODE, my images would break and all this shit would happen.  CRAPPY!

I uninstalled it – packed it away and went back to IE 7. 

To add ‘insult’ to injury – just try finding the UNINSTALL function for IE 8 on Vista – doesn’t exist – there is no UNINSTALL feature – you have to download a utility from Microsoft to uninstall IE 8.  Ummm, don’t look now, but I think that violates the Microsoft clause on software that is ‘designed for Windows XP’ where it says an application must have an entry in ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS. 


Do not install IE 8 – Wait for Firefox 4 or Safari 4 or whatever!


Friday, March 20, 2009

A Tribute to Battlestar Gallactica

Tonight ended a 4 season run of the definitive Sci-Fi series to grace television for the past 10-15 years.   From the onset of the series, it gripped and moved me, both from a nostalgic sense to it's contemporary take. 

The story of man vs. machine.  The utter brutality of surviving against overwhelming odds and the stories of the people, both good and bad playing out like some celestial orchestra or opera.  I am a huge Edward James Olmos fan and his Bill Adama is great.  Katee Sackhoff is not only hot and absolutely gorgeous, but she also has become the perfect STARBUCK - I didn't think a woman could be Starbuck, or Boomer. I was wrong - so wrong.

I am finishing up the final 2 hour series finale and I am sad.  Here it is, 7 minutes to the end.  Kudos to the writers for weaving such a tale over the past several years and bringing it all to a great ending.

What an ending - to finally cast off the chains of technology and luxury and find this perfect planet, unmolested and untouched by the greed and industrialization of man. 

I love the ending with the robots dancing to Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower".

Anyway - if any of the cast or crew of B.G. ever read this... Thanks!  Thank you for capturing my attention, weaving a great story and leaving me wanting more.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I am a geek, and I like it!

Hi.  My name is Bill... and I am a GEEK!

(Hi, Bill)

As of today, I have been a geek for 36 years, 353 days, 5 hours.  Well not quite that long, but I have been a uber-geek since about the 6th or 7th grade.  You remember me, right?  I was the guy in the glee club (it was termed choir, thankfully, to lessen the amount of beatings by the jocks). I was in the band? remember that too?  I played with G.I. Joe (Dutch, Snake-Eyes, Cobra Commander and Destro) and I even had the G.I. Joe Hovercraft (damn that was so cool).  I liked Star Wars, but was a huge fan (and still am) of anything Star Trek!

My best friend in Middle School was a guy named Greg Gierke - we played G.I. Joe together.  Unfortunately, I never really go into Dungeons and Dragons like some of my other friends.  I was introduced to it in the 6th grade and I fell in love right away.  Where else could I play a character in a fantastic world of fantasy, rolling dice for the outcome and enjoying good times with my friends.  I am still fascinated (to this day) with AD&D, Warhammer, and all sorts of board games.  I bought the first edition of World of Warcraft board game - still in it's cellophane wrapping, in my closet!  I am awaiting my son's further development to start to understand the wonderful world of RPG's.

But I took my love for gaming in the mid 80's and parlayed it into a love for computers and technology.  I am a super Apple Nut and have created for me a job that allows me to play with computers all day long and help companies develop into thriving I.T. organizations.  In less than 2 weeks, I turn 37.  I have three children, Andrew, Erica and Ryan.  I have a cat.  I have been happily married for 12 years and love my wife and her family very much.  But... I am still a kid inside. I know when I have responsibilities I need to take care of and I know when it is OK to have fun.

I like my life.  I like how I was raised.  I enjoy the many benefits of having such a blessed experience from God.  and... I am a geek!

I just ordered my AD&D 4E set of books (DM, Player's Handbook, vol. 2, Monster Manual and another book) and I may never play, or might not play for a few more years, but I enjoy having them, reading them and being swept away in the nostalgia of my early life.  Someday - I will play again and I hope that the experience is fun and memorable.

My son is too young to play, but someday - he will be just right and what adventures we shall have!