Adventure in the Journey

Well, I survived another expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. Other than having to put my motorcar in hospital for a bit of bashing and and smashing, the trip was only onerous and tiring. Even the density of kamikaze drivers was low.

So I had occasion this morning to enjoy a new podcast, an episode of “The Linux Luddites” that is neither eroded by excessive (and obnoxious) commericals nor absent of technical content. And the readers are both pingers of overstuffed Canonical and Saint Mark, with a tasteful British accent and phraseology, so the general environment is conducive and congenial. They made mention of an intriguing claim, that corporate organizations are switching from WXP to Chrome to avoid the recurring MegaHard taxation.

While this rationale makes eminent sense, I am not sure about the choice of Chrome. Unless one’s client (app) base, for the entire organization, is web based, this is a recipe for a Death-by-a-thousand-cuts. More intriguingly, the media has been totally silent on this, at least from my POV. All I see is journalists bemoaning the abandonment of MegaHard for Linux. This has evolved from outright horror and revulsion to nauseous (and grudging) acceptance. Just this morning I ran across an article [Link] that dictated a list of to-dos after one had converted. As with most such lists it is flawed; as with most such journalist lists it is deeply flawed to the point of error.

It amuses me that most journalists use some form of specialized software in their writing but they somehow totally ignore, or are oblivious, that anyone else may have to use some specialized software. Only the slimiest mold of bogs are not in this situation, and nerds are most deeply mired in it. I for one am quite pleased that WXP has reached EOL since now I can disconnect my WXP boxes from the network and actually get more work done. I may even at some point put XP on one of my Linux boxes in a virtual engine. (Quantum foam in place of steam?)

The point remains, as I now realize, that when VISTER and W7 came out, WXP was left behind and all those accustomed WXP clients didn;t work right or at all. So for those of us with a tool orientation, then was a good time to sever our relationship with MegaHard.

I also ran across a cartoon: [Link]

and realized this can be seen as a metaphor for switching from MegaHard to Linux. It is a grand destination with some adventure in the journey.

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OS Angst

Not bad so far. The weight bouncers were a bit overbearing and menacing this morning but otherwise gym was passable. The weather is no too bad and the podcast, an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” was about the arguments over the history of the Vietnam conflict and was amusing in its political maneuverings if nothing else. But I still feel a bit like I was beaten with a cudgel.

This is the time – evidently – of OS angst. I ran across an article [Link] in the Register about how MegaHard is going to divorce itself from the disaster that is W8 by ceasing to support the first version of the OS, the one without the START button. They just cut the cord on WXP – except for those who are willing to pay large sums for continued support, like the Yankee government’s Internal Revenue “Service” – and now they are cutting the cord on a year (?) old OS, their supposedly best and newest? Do they intend to just get out of the OS business and leave that to Fruit, Gooey, and the League of Free Software? Nah!, they;re too greedy and venial for that.

On which azimuth, I came across a rather strange article [Link] entitled “Are Windows Users Disappointed When They First Try a Linux OS?” The title is evidently motivated by the question:

“why aren’t the disgruntled or bored Windows users fleeing by the millions to Linux?”

which is presumably motivated by the perception that not enough disgruntled WXP (redundant?) users aren’t embracing some distro of Linux as avidly as meat lovers the Atkins diet? I suspect the author assumes a higher demographic fraction of rationals among WXP users than realists do. Or that some article was needed as filler and come-on. It is after all, short and a bit sensationalist, even for modern journalists.

First of all, I rather gave up on evangelizing Winders users to Linux a long time ago. Like most evangelism it is more likely to fail resoundingly than to be successful, and that the success are usually due to rational rather than nutjob arguments. Which few evangelists can manifest. The rational that is. Evangelism, be it OS or religion, is mostly about fanaticism and the evangelist and not the product nor the recipient. So I wait for someone to ask. And convince me that they are going to give the OS a real try. Bimbos, of either gender, need not apply.

Having said that, and installed – usually – one of the WXP look alikes, I can report that new users all express disappointment. Most of that expression has to do ultimately with learning something new. It is in the nature of MegaHard and Winders to condition users not to learn. That’s one of the reasons that W8 was such a resounding failure. MegaHard did a foot shoot, with a recoilless rifle! That’s one of the reasons it’s nice that WXP is so tolerant of parallel installs of Linux.

Some of those who get this far regress but most progress and adapt and LEARN, stumbling mostly with the difference in update and install philosophies/procedures to a new stage of disappointment, disappointment that Winders could have be so much better. So those who do adopt, not just try, Linux are usually satisfied and much better users than they were with Winders. And that is good. Quality is often better than quantity and this is one of those cases. Leave the slime mold users to winders, or even fruit or gooey. We should be happy with a “band of brothers”.  And sisters. Which raises the question of why more female users are rationals than male users?

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Ice Cream Progress

Closer. I think. The biggest problem right now is getting JAVA to work, which I am only working on so that Ubernote will work……. And enabler not a desirable. Necessity. At least in terms of modal work procedures.

Anyway, the constitutional was enjoyable until my back started complaining, which is modal – also! – for this time of year, so it will get less nasty in a few weeks.

Not much to comment on because I am still trying to get basic functionality. And thence devote some attention span to the exterior universe.

Film at 11.

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Bonus Army?

It may be recalled that Douglas MacArthur got exiled to the Philippines which led to all that mumblage about “returning”, which led to the thread on this blot. Anyway, what is less known is that MacArthur got exiled to the Philippines because of his obedient suppression of the “bonus army” in the early days of the “Great Depression”. Did good, at least from the standpoint of the politicians in office but micturated the populace and became one of the occasional top generals who becomes a scape goat. So much for politician integrity.

Anyway, I am back, or at least I once more have a primary deskbox, a Dell Precision T5500 that decided it didn’t like my last changes to get it up to my needs. So I spent much of yesterday dealing with all manner of digital ankle biting. Not yet settled in but at least we have landed.

And we did have a good constitutional in the park this morning. No jocks, no felines, no nasty weather, just a mediocre podcast episode and the protests of an ORF corpus. The latter are mostly from FD SCP telling me I have to clean up some of my gear piles and dispose of the storage system. That latter bothers a bit since FD SCP has what seems a chromosomal infatuation with storage systems. But I did the intelligent, rational, pain avoiding thing and complied and should be continuing with such for a few more days.

So coupled with softening and fulfilling the implementation of this “new” deskbox, I will be working my way back into the blog as I can give some attention to things other than HW and SW foibles.

I Have Returned! And without the Yankee Navy!

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Font Flatulence

Rain again. But less so. So I went walking in the park. And no trotting jocks. Just a couple of cats and maybe the park wolf. All those high schule hormones and pheromones – and noise – surely scared him/her off yesterday. Solitary wolves are either bonkers or very insecure. And I had forgotten how noisy even silent, exercising high schule students could be. So the volume of the educationalists is natural but indicates how asentient they are.

I had occasion, in between raindrops and foggy exhalation, to consider an article [Link] I saw yesterday about some high schule kid who analyzed the type faces used by the Yankee government and how much ink – relatively – each uses. It’s a pretty good analysis, comparable with what Gartner would do, maybe a little better, but still superficial to the actuality, which is understandable in his circumstances but not in Gartner’s.

He went past the paper and such to how much ink gets used, and assumed equal density of type faces. Not a bad assumption but probably off a bit. And he concluded that if the YG would exclusively use a skinny type face they would save a bunch of money. Nice idea. Very appealing. But probably wrong.

First of all, it doesn’t apply to things printed using presses and not computer printers. Whole different dynamic and economics. Also, as noted, thing that are printed on presses tend to go to people who want to hold and read. And they need a visually conducive type face. Which probably isn’t a skinny type face. In fact, it’s probably a pretty heavy serif font. Because that works best with human reading. And that’s the basic problem with this, and most such, analyses. They over look the human aspects.

First of all, the best way to cut costs is to cut paper use. Ink and paper costs are deterministically connected. But a lot of paper use is dictated by regulation (e.g., record keeping) and human comfort. Lots of folks in government, especially those over thirty, want to read off paper and not a screen. And lots under thirty have found that you can’t take a screen to a meeting and make notes on the image. Easily, nor well. And a lot of meetings are spent editing and critiquing documents.

The best way to cur paper and ink costs, on computers at least, is to go to work group printers. That way people don’t print out pictures of cats and they don’t print stuff that isn’t important enough to walk down the hall. But many of these aren’t color printers and people don’t like walking down the hall to get print-out or they like to print out cat pictures and they convince their boss that they really need a printer on their desk for productivity reasons. And once one in the cubical farm has one, every other person needs one. It’s a social thing.

Also, while computers and printers are often controlled a bit, ink supplies aren’t. So economy of using ink means convincing managers to economize and they won’t. Because their ink costs aren’t that much of budget and hence not worth the attention.

An unadressed factor is font size. While correspondence  usually has a designated font size – thanks in large part to the Yankee Government Printing Office who got unfairly slurred in this analysis – working documents don’t. And a lot of them get done in oversized characters with extra line spacing. So editing and comments can be penned in.

I’ll stop here. It’s not that the kid didn’t do a good piece of work. It’s just that what he did is more a political bashing truncheon than actual organizational reality. A thing you usually have to be in the organization to know.

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Internet Prevarication

The lowering of temperatures has begin. While the temperature was greater this morning than last, the convective cooling was greater and more miserable. And the weather beavers are foretelling nastiness overnight.

The gym was again blissfully shy of bullies. Even the staff bullies were somehow restrained as if they lacked critical mass to sally forth and bludgeon the seniors in their usual fashion. The podcasts almost made up for it in the form of being TOO short. SCIENCE was below 20 minutes. NPR was down to sixteen. I am going to have to find other ‘casts or change my program.

One of the NPR episodes had to do with some anniversary of the internet. As is usual it was riddled with errors, inaccuracies, prevarications, and poor construction. It did strike me however, that the lesson we have learned from wireless (radio,) television, and the internet is that stercus, not cream, floats. As a result all three media have become as bad as they can be at any moment with a steady increase of bad over time. Wireless today is garbage, television is a collection of all the varieties of porn except biological, and the internet is a carnal pit of capitalism and greed. And they will get worse.

But I am still laughing at the fool who announced that we had to learn not to save what we liked on the internet because it would be there forever. Well, we now know forever is awfully short.

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Rainy Day Mutterings

Since it is rainy, and I don’t really want to stir, clearing a few tabs seems a useful endeavor leading up to breaking of fast. First, I have to note a very entertaining article [Link] criticizing Apple and Gartner for being unable to do analysis. I don’t care too much about Apple, at least so long as I have any other choice in products, or can somehow eke out existence without the product, but eviscerating Gartner appeals to my hunter side.

Back when I worked for the Yankee army I had to deal with Gartner numerous times, all identically flawed and unpleasant. The company seemed to be outside evolution. It made the same mistakes and somehow garnered the same exorbitant profits for giving bad advice. They used the same one-model-fits-none-but-we-apply-to-all approach and after I while I understood why – it always assured they had something nasty to say about everyone’s operations. So its not that they are averse to analysis, just only within their money-making model that applies to no one but somehow makes them lots of money.

I recall that we used to think leeches were only bad because they not only sucked blood but spread diseases. Medical practice has since found valid uses for them of benefit but I am not holding my breath that Gartner will ever be found to be of any benefit. I have evolved the conjecture that they have the solitary merit of antagonizing subordinates thus permitting executives to appear benevolent when they relax or suspend the irrelevant and wasteful recommendations of Gartner.

Next, I came across an article [Link] about how MegaHard is offering piddly sums to XP users to switch to a newer Winders. Let’s see, if I go to a MehaHard store – none in Nawth Alibam, incidentally – and buy a new computer with a newer Winders – read W8 in all its don’t-work for a couple of kilobucks, Yankee tender, then MegaHard will give me a hundred bucks rebate. And that’s a deal? No wonder they are losing marketspace. [Link] And don’t know why. Could it be that they have spent so long with Winders being the (almost) only OS that when lots better comes along they can’t see it.

Wasn’t there a children’s fairy tale about an emperor and his clothes?

Ceramic Catafalque

I can recall when all bathrooms had ceramic tiles. Some were completely tiled. And they were a rectal pain of chronic proportion to maintain what with the grout getting dirty and moldy and the tile itself getting dull with a film of that hermaphroditic chemical we call soap. Today, the only tile in my bathroom is a linoleum that has the texture of tile.

The same can be said for all of my computers except my cellular telephone and tablet. (Yes, I have a tablet. It’s a rare 7.5 cm one that I never use and hence constantly needs charging, but I have one.) And yes, I do have Unity and Gnome 3 installed on a couple of machines but I also have conventional GUIs as well that get used in other than experimental mode. And those experiments are long gone and the tile GUIs reside from laziness to remove them.

But I am confronted this morning with the question of whether the tile GUI or Megahard is dead? If the former, then someone needs to tell Canonical because April fast approaches. If the latter, then we should go rent a back hoe on the theory that dead horses are a health risk and should be buried (or turned to pet food) sine die.

Is seems [Link] that Mozilla has ceased work on a Metro version of FireFox. Which means that the W8 tile GUI is irrelevant. Or that W8 is irrelevant. Or that Megahard is irrelevant. Hence the question.

Mozilla, it may be remembered is the organization that checked Megahard’s visions of a thousand year reich. They did this by making Internet Explorer a back woods buffoon. A village idiot. And since then MegaHard has shown an amazing talent for parading sans clothing.

In many ways, Mozilla is the true champion of FOSS, not Canonical. I can easily see spending $50 on a FireFox Fone, knowing that in short order its app store will rival or surpass Android’s. I cannot see paying $300+ for an Ubuntu phone and having to wait for apps that really work with the small screen. Apps that will probably have to be written by Canonical since they have micturated all their volunteer coders by micturating on them.

The tile GUI works on the small screen just like chicklet keys worn on a calculator. But neither work scaled up. Someone tell Canonical that.

XP Continuance

A lovely morning. Finally high enough temperature for me to go awalking in the park. And thereby an opportunity for outdoor thought, which, at least in the old Confederacy, is different from indoor thought, which we have altogether TOO much of these days.

I had occasion to consider all  the grrr brrrr about Winders XP end-of-support. I chose that metaphor instead of end-of-service because one can still get good service out of WXP. Well, more than out of WV/W7/Wate.

All you have to do is unplug the wireless adapter and the CAT5 cable. Yes, disconnect from the network. If you do that the only way malware can get to your box is via physical media and the only way it can get out is via physical media. So in effect, you can use WXP in this mode with better security than ever before.

Being disconnected from MegaHard doesn’t hurt, of course.

You probably want to make a mirror image backup of the hard drive.

And you’ll still need a way to talk to the internet. Do that using a box running Linux or Chrome or even Android. And move stuff from one to the other using physical media. And yes, this is very DOSish, but we didn’t have much worry in those days about security.

And you can keep using your WXP clients to be productive, much more productive than before, and laugh at MegaHard for their colossal rectal painatude and vertical copulations.

Hiding in a Crowd

The weather beavers are making noise again. Another spate of inadequate heat looms.

Meanwhile the gym was relatively quiet with only a few obnoxious weight bouncers – yes, Qadgop, there are weight bouncers who are not obnoxious – and no educationalists this morning. The podcast episodes – science, as usual for Two Day – were unremarkable. This seems to be a reflection of the post-holiday season blahs. And there was rain as well. Not that I dislike winter rain. So long as it is raining there is adequate heat.

Speaking of adequate heat, one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, forwarded me a link [Link] about how some English computer security organization judged Ubuntu 12.04 a more secure OS than Winders nor AppleOS. Also than Android but then wet tissue paper on a comb is more secure than Android.

Canonical reacted in their usual whiney fashion of saying the assessment wasn’t good enough. Does the jerkness completely pervade the organization and is just concentrated in Shuttleworth? I note with some satisfaction that it was the LTS that got the nod and not the latest slabOS watered poorly as a boxOS that snagged the recognition. But I don’t expect that distinction to cross Canonical’s ego barrier.

In this day, with all the nonsense of credit hacking and the death of passwords and AV, it is heartening to know that there is something that offers some modicum of security. Even if the vast majority of humanity lacks the neuron excitation to avail themselves of it  Of course there is a certain advantage to living amidst a general population of easy kills. Predators tend to seek them out first.

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