Random stuff

From a pro-Kucinich piece on Salon by Rebecca Traister:

There is no better illustration of exactly how far right political discourse has swung, and how self-loathing and beaten down the Democratic Party has become, than that among its presidential candidates, the one most willing to consistently, unapologetically stand for the things on which the party is supposedly built (some of your more basic civil liberties) is also the guy who believes in aliens.

(That’s right; the writer is  talking about Republican candidate Mike Huckabee). By the way, do you know Guiliani was married to his cousin for 14 years? (Here’s some more old dirt or water under the bridge, depending on how you look at it).

Ehow is getting better. Check this index. So much better than the ad-clogged about.com

Background history on the writer’s strike.

Here’s a great slightly tongue-in-cheek essay by Hal Licino comparing a Mac from the 1980s with a modern AMD PC. But the comments are even better. My fave:

He tells me that the entire process of continually automating more of his work has had absolutely no impact on his productivity or the profitability of his business. Why? Because the exact same technology in the hands of government has enabled government to exert increasingly onerous restrictions and regulatory requirements on his business.

In short, the technology has simply allowed him to keep pace with government edicts.

If we really want to increase general productivity and profitability, we need what I like to call the “One Hand-Written Law Per Page Amendment.” This would require all laws to be written by a Congressman or a Senator with a quill pen. It would need to be legible and comprehensible to anyone with a greater than 6th grade public education. Each bill must be no longer than one hand-written page. At no time are bills or laws allowed to be converted to electronic medium. Furthermore, Congressmen and their staff are limited to record-keeping methods and technologies as were available in 1779, i.e. quill pens, hand-made parchment paper, and filing systems comprised of (at best) hand-made wooden boxes.

Here’s a comment from the same article by a Unix guy going for retro-Microsoft.

I have a linux network in my house but my 12 year old wanted a machine that would play some windows based games. I took a 2.3 Ghz machine that was a couple of years old; installed a clean version of Windows ME (dont laugh yet) using the 98micro option of 98Lite; added an open source memory manager that fixed the dreaded memory leak problems of all DOS based windows systems; added an older, completely functional, firewall that does not require internet explorer (since it is not there anyway); found hardware drivers for using the newer hardware on Windows ME; performed the normal 9x speed tweaks; and added Axis print monitor for using my networked printers (inkjet & dot matrix).

I chose ME because it is essentially 98se with the same networking stack as Windows2000 and has full USB support. 98Lite took out all the useless crap that came with ME and replaced windows explorer shell with the shell from windows95. This is one very lean operating system setup.

This is easily the fastest machine that I have ever owned. It is fully functional for most people who do not need all the garbage that Microsoft tries to throw on us as “improvements.” It has very few vulnerabilities because the vulnerable code is not there. It boots in about 5 seconds and shuts down instantly. Wintop rarely reports that this machine ever uses more than 10 percent of the processor at any given time and it never hits the virtual memory.

The latest Firefox, Open Office, Media Player Classic (for watching DVDs,) Kermit95 within the filesystem limitations, Irfanview, and Diablo2 all function flawlessly and extremely quick.

By the way, I reinstalled XP SP1 on my mom’s machine. She had a Pentium 4 processor plus 256 MB. Wow, that was painful. It took 8 hours to get the machine updated to the latest version of Windows. (Yes, we are buying more RAM for her). Her main complaint was performance. Also, her OS was riddled with lots of stupidware and spyware. the SP2 just hurt. Interestingly, although the new OS was better and faster, it was not that much faster. But for the 1 hour I noticed that Windows was still on SP1, it was appreciably faster. I think that the upgrade to SP 2 just demanded a tougher machine. In retrospect, I wonder if keeping it on SP 1 would have been an option because the difference between SP 1 and SP 2 was really noticeable.






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