Tradition Keepers

Revenge of the giant (?) weather beavers, stomping their way across Alibam like Frost Giants across Asgard? My browser tells me it is 61 degF in Greater Metropolitan Arab and that it won;t get much warmer before it starts to cool off. Maybe? And dire storms and winds and the dreaded “T” word that means misery and absence of electrons, sort of a Terrestrial dark matter inundation. And yes, I know it’s Saturn’s day but I couldn’t resist the horrible pun.

Had a nice walk in the park this morning other than the agony of the slow deterioration of my faithful “old” motorcar that I use to go to and from gym. Its afflictions are now at the point that I may have to give it proper internment. How and why is it that we become so attached to inanimate objects? Is it because when they fail us it is because of actual failure and not some vicious whim?

On which note, I have been musing on the upcoming cessation of support for Winders XP. MegaHard is hard up for cash flow and has been beating the malware alarmist drum hard enough to rip the heads. Frequently. Somehow the message seems to be failing, which is both refreshing and concerning.

I noticed an article yesterday that touted the idea that unlike old machines – my trusty motorcar – computer OS do not necessarily rot with age. I didn’t think enough of this idea to save the articles since MegaHard rots their OS over time with incessant overhead additions and updates. A new install of XP runs fine. A years old install of XP runs like my bowels on a hectic day. But I also noted another article [Link] saying that a rather horrendous fraction of their sample population of IT folks, the lesser priesthood of Holy Mother MegaHard, were not sacrificing XP (0.33.) Rather,

“Of the folks hanging onto XP for dear life, over half said they hadn’t made the switch because of a lack of budget, 39 per cent said they didn’t have the time and 31 per cent said they didn’t have the resources. “

Notice that all three of these reasons are management failures. Not IT failures. This looks like one of those if-the-mule-is-still-pulling-the-plow-then-don’t-feed-it management scenarios. Of course this usually ends up with (a) a dead mule, (b) how to dispose of the dead mule, and (c) fines from the revenooers for cruelty to animals and improper health safety practices.

I also ran across an article trying to convey conversion to Apple OS or Linux.[Link] I cannot speak to the former but the latter seems riddled with the usual journalistic STERCUS. For example:

“You’ll have to replace all the applications you use, and you’ll have to hunt down software and drivers for your printer, wireless network adapter, and other peripheral devices—or replace them with Linux-compatible equivalents.”

This is not only dated wrong, it is misconception wrong. First of all, if there are Winders clients that you can’t live without, you can run them in WINE or on Winders in a Virtual Box. In almost all cases there are excellent Linux equivalents (fuctionally) that are easier to use and don’t cost. I gave up on MS Office long ago for, first, Open Office, and then, Libre Office because of simplicity of use and reduced completion times on projects.

And the peripheral thing is horribly dated. Several years dated, which leads us to wonder when was the last time the journalist used Linux? Never. Not surprising. And searching is almost a thing of the past. Everything on my peripheral shelf – except a Kodak all-in-one that was designed NOT to be compatible with anything but Winders XP and earlier – worked with drivers the OS installed during its installation.

This is actually a good thing. Chances are that those Winders apps you can’t live without you either can, or if you can’t, they won;t run on W7 or W8. So moving to Linux and running your Winders clients in a Virtual Box that won’t talk to the internet directly means you can keep XP as long as you want and it will be quite secure and safe with only a few minimal safeguards on the Linux side. And if you don;t sign up for Unity or Gnome 3 you can avoid the tile GUI thing entirely.

Hopefully the storms tonight are equally easy.

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