* Posts by Sean O'Connor

17 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

Microsoft kicks Ubuntu update in the hardy herons

Sean O'Connor
Gates Horns

The didnt use a new computer...

Recently a client of mine bought a new Dell laptop with XP just before the cut-off and when we got it, it was only XP Sp2 and majorly behind on updates. We ran the windows update and the first thing it wanted to do was download XP Service pack 3. We let it...

But after it installed SP3, no other Microsoft updates would install. We couldnt even get IE 7 to install. Every automatic update and install from network admin download versions failed.

After we uninstalled Sp3 we were able to install IE7. After IE 7 was installed we reinstalled SP3 and suddenly all the other automatic updates worked...

So if you have a new XP sp2 machine, and let it install SP3 first like it wants to, afterwards all of Microsofts updates are unavailable... Whats that in uptime? 5%?

In Google We Trust: Health docs depo now open to Americans

Sean O'Connor
Thumb Down

I knew it would be in the EULA

From Google Healths EULA


9. Changes to this Agreement

Google may change this agreement and will post the modified agreement at https://www.google.com/health/html/terms.html. If you do not agree to the modified agreement, you should stop using Google Health. Your continued use of Google Health after the date the modified agreement is posted will constitute your acceptance of the modified agreement.


The typical we can change this agreement at anytime, its your responsibility to keep checking the page, we wont inform you directly...

Section 11, warranty, of course absolves them of any wrong doing...

But of more interest is Section 13 that states in any LEGAL disagreement, you agree to ONLY challenge them in their home County, Santa Clara, California.

Sean O'Connor
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EULA change?

And I am sure somewhere burried in the EULA will be the typical language they have the right to change the terms of usage at anytime to include ad targetting and selling of your information to third partys...

And lets look back on the front page with the number of times Google has handed over personal information without so much as a fight?

I'll pass.

Five misunderstood Vista features

Sean O'Connor
Gates Horns

Xp doesnt do search indexing? Really?

Did Microsoft forget they put Microsoft Desktop Search out as a mandatory update last year? And desktop search 3.0 was rolled out to XP machines but autoupdate. I've had to go through and manually remove the Desktop Search from every XP machine infected with it because it slowed them to a crawl.

I like how Microsoft whitewashes over a "feature" that they also provided in updates for XP but claim XP doesnt have...

Windows XP SP3 blame game begins

Sean O'Connor
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Microsoft is starting to remind me of Banyan...

I remember when I was a Banyan Vines engineer and when we got new patches for Banyan servers they would often create worse bugs than they fixed... It was not uncommon to patch the patch before you applied it to the server... I even remember one instance where instead of rolling out a whole new patch, we had to patch the patch for the patch for the server...

Most of Active Directory was designed based off of Banyan's Streettalk Directory which Microsoft licensed...

Banyan use to be a fairly popular network operating system... Where are they now? Microsoft might want to take note...

Windows XP SP3 sends PCs into endless reboot

Sean O'Connor

Correction to Stephen...

Stephen Usher Posted:


"Basically, HP (and others) to save costs produce one hard disk image irrespective of the computer's processor type, and they install the Intel power management driver."


Actually thats incorrect, they make one drive image for each System model. While Win98 and supposidely Vista are smart enough to find their boot partitions, NT, Win2k, Win2k3, and XP will fail to boot if you put the drive into a computer with a different chipset and controller. The machine simply bluescreens. Try it sometime, take your harddrive out and put it in a different computer with a different chipset.

Since AMD and Intel chipsets and controllers are different, no machine from Dell or any other OEM would be able to boot if they only made one drive image.

Typically the drive images are produced a couple of months before the computers ship, thats why even a brand new pc is usually months behind on patches.

Yahoo? We don't need no stinkin' Yahoo!

Sean O'Connor
Gates Horns

I love how...

Balmer says Microsoft NEEDS the Yahoo acquisition to remain competitive in the Search Engine and Ad serving business...

Yet Gates comes out and says Microsoft DOESN'T need Yahoo...

When is the next board vote? You know Balmer's head is on the chopping block. Yahoo's stock price is up, Microsofts shares are down after this and even Gates says Balmer was wrong about needing Yahoo.

Do we even need to go into his other mis-steps?

DARPA reveals 2009 hyperplane test schedule

Sean O'Connor
Black Helicopters

Only Blackswift flying will debunk Aurora myths?

The conspiracy theorists are worried that Aurora's existance will be called into doubt if Blackswift gets off the ground next year?

What about the fact that the SR-71 was pulled out of retirement after only 4 years. She was retired in 1990 and Congress ordered them back to service in 1994, 2 of which were mission ready and flying again by Fall of 1995. And then put back into mothballs by 2000.

NASA still flies one specially configured SR-71 for scientific testing.

In 2007 the Airforce did announce the SR-72 program but didnt expect to have a functional plan until 2020.

Ballmer bitch slaps Vista

Sean O'Connor

Why not install XP on older hardware?

..."You wouldn't install Windows XP on a Pentium 2 233MHz with 64MB of RAM, would you?"...

Actually I have and it worked just fine. Took longer to boot up, but ran ok with Office 2000 installed on an old Dell Laptop.

Now Microsoft is notorious for performance anomalies... It was found that MS skewed the benchmarks in XP trying to show how it out performed Win2k. And ironically on older hardware upto 128mb of RAM XP did get higher performance marks on older P2 and P3 systems. But once you upped the memory over 256mb the benchmarks showed the Win2k pc's performance got a sudden jump.

There was speculation MS purposely did something to the code in XP so that it would beat Win2k at lower memory. They even specifically forbid publishing of benchmark tests utilizing more than 128mb of ram. I think it was PC Magazine that went ahead and published the whole article even after MS threatened them.

I bought a brand new laptop, dual core 1.8ghz, 2gb of ram, etc... And it was dog slow under Vista... It was a royal pain in the butt, and the sleep mode instead of actually shutting down is a joke. It wastes the battery on the laptop. I'd get to jobsites and find my battery was dead... And often times it was close to over heating because its actually still powered up the whole time, and while in the bag the heat has nowhere to go... I got to the point I would just force shut it down by holding the power button. It was frustrating. I finally wiped the laptop and loaded Ubuntu 8.04 on it just as a test with every intention of reinstalling XP or Vista on the laptop... But I am so much happier with the speed and performance of the system under Ubuntu that I am now leaving it that way. And I have a lot more tools available for diagnoising network problems for a lot cheeper than buying windows versions...

Sure I cant use Outlook anymore, but Zimbra and web based email has made that a mute point anyways...

Apple gets (slightly) less sneaky with Windows Safari play

Sean O'Connor
Thumb Down

Didn't Paypal just list Safari as "unsecure"?

I could have sworn I just read an article where Paypal is going to start blocking unsecure browsers and "Safari" was listed as one of the browsers they are going to block...

So how can installing Safari on a PC be a good thing? And how is forcing unsecure software onto a PC a good thing? You think Apple would have learned from Microsofts own mistakes...

US gov may forbid BAE Eurofighter sale to Saudis

Sean O'Connor
Black Helicopters

re: US Army Sales

"It's like with what Boeing did to Concorde in the 70's. Boeing couldn't make an SST even though the government gave them massive amounts to research either directly or through Mitary/NASA. So they basically told congress that they had to ban Concorde flying into the US or boeing would go bankrupt. At the time both Pan-Am and TWA had large orders in for Concorde for the transatlantic route."

Where did you come up with such bollocks... There was no such thing... French and British airlines use Concordes for translantic flights to the US all the time. The Concordes were only barred from operating at supersonic speed inside of US airspace.

Now in Febuary 1999 two US Congressmen proposed a bill to ban Concord flights to the US if the EU moved forward on a proposed "Hush-Kitted" aircraft legislation which would effectively bar any aircraft over 25 years old from operating within the confines of EU airspace. And this was after the EU Commission admitted the Hush-kit engines were not any more environmentally friendly than current modern cleaner burning engines. Neither the ban nor the Hush-kitted engine proposals were ever passed.

Now the US has already stated they have no immediate plans to allow sale or export of the JSF to anyone other than close NATO allies and the F-22 Raptor is barred from any foriegn sales. The Saudi's are not part of NATO therefore not eligible to purchase the JSF.

There's no way Ballmer survives Yahoo! disaster scenario

Sean O'Connor
Gates Horns

Second time around with the stores

Funny thing is they have tried the Microsoft stores before... They partnered with Sony and built several Sony/Microsoft centric stores... The Metreon in San Francisco was one of several and after the joint venture failed to boost sales enough to justify the expenditure they backed out leaving Sony to hold the bag.

Vista SP1 customers get free support

Sean O'Connor

The final straw...

After all the problems I encountered with two machines and Vista SP1 I have thrown up my hands and already wiped the laptop and installed Ubuntu. I've been wanting to for a long time, but after Vista SP1 broke outlook 2007 I had it. Microsoft wanted to charge me for support and refused to talk to me without a credit card number.

Here it is a month later and NOW they are offering free support... To late, they already lost me as a customer...

One question though, how is it Beryl can do the same and flashier graphic effects than Aero without the demanding hardware requirements? This machine is fast on Beryl yet dog slow with Aero...

Vista SP1 downloaders bite back

Sean O'Connor

SP1 forced a format and reinstall...

You read it right... I installed Vista SP1 on my machine and it broke Office 2007. Outlook would not run at all. Nothing would fix it, repairing, reinstalling Office, installing the Office 2007 Service pack, nadda. Final option was calling Microsoft and they wanted a credit card number to proceed. Their Service pack for their OS broke their Office software!!!

After three days I was finally forced to format the whole machine and reinstall everything fresh to get it fixed. No joke, a complete format and reinstall from scratch...

Of course that wasnt the first or only problem. I work in a multi-lingual corporate environment where we have multiple language packs on every system so that our users from France, Germany, and China can all walk into the US offices and see the language set they are most comfortable with no matter what workstation they use. Low and behold, if you have any language packs installed (each are 800mb to 1.6gb downloads) you cannot install the service pack. Nor is there a multi-lingual version yet. All of the languages we use are available in seperate patches but useless to us as a whole because we deploy machines configured with them all. We are not about to go back and remove the language packs from a couple of hundred machines just to install service packs everytime. Then have to wait to download them again...

I have also had problems with Intel Raid drivers on the desktop after SP1. Wasnt Intel a Microsoft technology partner? So how the hell does a Service Pack break a trusted partners driver?

Luckily for the users, I was the only one saddled with a Visa machine at work, one desktop and one laptop for evaluation. Been stuck with them since Vista first came out and I am still not happy with it. I constantly use my older P4-2.4 ghz laptop with XP more often than a new dual core laptop running Vista, the XP machine is a lot faster and is three years older!

Sprint axes 4,000 jobs, closes 125 stores

Sean O'Connor

Nextel purchase was the downturn...

I've had Sprint for 8 years and for most of the area's I work in coverage is really good. Only when I went down to Alabama for a one week consultation job did I find I had no service anywhere...

Customer service was decent and when I broke a phone I could go in the store and hand them the bad phone and walk out with a brand new one, no questions asked since I had Warranty service on my plan. If I missed a payment one month then I just had to make it up the next month no problem.

When Sprint bought Nextel and they merged, everything went into the crapper. They canned the Sprint customer support people and kept the Nextel Billing and Support people. Suddenly, over night even, you would get Nextel Customer Support who knew nothing of the Sprint network or system and not able to help you at all with anything. They also dumped their billing department and took to using the Nextel department. Tons of billing issues the first couple of months as they tried to merge the systems and no there is no leeway. If your payment isnt in by the due date, your phone is turned off at 7am that day. Yet takes forever to get them to turn it back on even if you pay by credit card. Forget trying to get it turned back on at a store, takes upwards of 2 days that way.

You break a phone now, going to the store they hand you an envelope and you have to mail your phone in and wait for a refurbished phone thats usually still screwed up. A couple had worn out power outlets so the cables just rolled around and you never really got a good charge on them. But you are still out a phone for a week while you wait for them to receive your phone and send you a replacement. But you still pay for your service even though you dont have a phone.

And they discovered that they can not make the Nextel and Sprint phones work on the same network so they will eternally be running two different networks. Thats got to drive costs up needlessly.

Its a work phone so I am stuck with it. I use to like Sprint, but now loathe them after the Nextel merger.

Silicon Valley struggles to save toxic landmark

Sean O'Connor


My roommate is one of the facility engineers for NASA AMES which maintains Moffett Field and Hanger One now. They have been trying for years to tear it down but the historical societies keep filing injunctions to stop them.

The Navy says it will cost 12 to 15 million to tear down the building and clean up the land. But contrary to what the historical groups are saying, NASA actually puts removing all of the toxic materials from the building, reconditioning it and cleaning the surrounding area could reach upwards of 80 million dollars.

There was even a proposal by the Navy and NASA to put up a smaller building on the spot but that was also rejected by the Historical Groups. The irony here is they bulldoze over just about everything around here and for years people complained about the hanger because it looks so out of place where it is. Now that the government wants to tear it down because of toxic materials, suddenly there is a group thats trying to save it. They have had no luck in finding funds to match their proposals to save it. Nor do they have enough support or following to get anything done once and for all. All they have been able to do is file motion after motion seeking injuctions and keep the whole thing tied up in the courts. Costing the tax payers more money and further taxing the surrounding environment as more and more pollutants seep into the surrounding wetlands...

Vista upgrades not so 'express' after all

Sean O'Connor

Still waiting since January...

I bought a new Toshiba Laptop Satellite P105-6104 January 15th, 2007 and immediately filled out the forms for the Vista Home Premium upgrade I rated for purchasing the laptop. Three days later I received an email saying my order was received and processed and I should receive my CD in 4 to 6 weeks. April 2nd I get an email from Moduslink:

Thank you for submitting your order for Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit CD/DVD OEM.

Your order has been shipped. You should receive your order within 3 weeks. If you do not receive your order, please contact us via email MSTUPVISTANA@moduslink.com by May 1, 2007, for English language versions of the product and June 1, 2007, for non-English language versions of the product so that we may research your request and ship your order.

So here it is 11 weeks later, nearly double what they promised and now I am told I must wait another 3 weeks? How is that customer service? How is that fullfilling the orders in any kind of "reasonable" time frame? I honestly believe if I hadnt contacted them twice over the last two months I might never receive the upgrade, after paying them for shipping too...