* Posts by James Carter

10 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007

Asus pulps Apple in hardware reliability survey

James Carter

My MacBook Pro is a real POS

Tis true; only Apple really supports Apple products. So most of their support traffic is entirely under the radar. I do know this: The MBP that I am typing this on is a stylishly designed and extremely poorly engineered product. At less than 20 months old the MoBo ("Logic Board" in Apple land parlance) failed completely and cost me over $1,130US to repair it. Part of the LED screen illumination has fail giving a non-uniform image. And the wireless "Airport" Adapter is sporadic at best and currently disabled. Any computer that generates enough heat to create a surface that is too hot to touch is certainly operating with inadequate thermal control and is not working within the temperature specifications of a majority of its components.

This was the first and will be the very last Apple product that I ever buy.

OpenOffice 3.0 - the only option for masochistic Linux users

James Carter
Gates Horns

It installed quite easily on my MBP

Right next to NeoOffice 2.5. Maybe the use of OO file dialogs is intended to make the package more OS agnostic, eh?

But I do the graphing portion of OO and all it's derivatives really sucks and blows.

Software pirates put sizeable dent in UK economy

James Carter
Black Helicopters

Say what?

So counterfeit software costs the economy how much?

What about the artificially high costs of retail software? How much money and how many jobs were lost to finance the licensing of MS products? Office 2003 still retails for over $300 US. Of that, I would conservatively estimate that $250 is pure profit and the cost is supported only by the monopoly that MS has in the corporate desktop sector.

I would like to see the BSA study that captures the amount of money lost to crashed files, malware attacks, and patches or updates due to the poor software quality. I'll bet it makes the amount claimed for "counterfeit" losses look quite diminutive...

Latest Vista SP1 tweak open to everyone with a week to spare

James Carter

Hour long wait before proceding...

The need for an hour wait is quite simple, Watson. It takes that long to boot the bloated bloody Vista OS.

Now you know...


Windows Service Pack refuseniks offered temporary respite

James Carter

There IS another way around it...

Have the firewall block all access to microsoft.com and any domains owned or registered by Microsoft. Further, have the AV system place any code signed by Microsoft in the bit bucket. That's what a proper AV system and firewall should do anyway.

'F*cked' record companies in 'cataclysmic' meltdown - manager

James Carter

"[E]nough old music, how about some new music?"

My sentiments exactly!

Where are new musicians that actually produce the new music that's actually worth listening to?

I search hard and long for artists and tracks that I would want to hear even once. I haven't purchased more than a few CDs that were recorded in this millennium. Most of the new stuff I hear is has little more than 4/4 timing and 3 chord guitar riffs with party girl or pretty boy singing about their personal problems and angst.

What happened to the idea of compiling a set of songs (like an "album" - okay that dates me doesn't it?) that gave texture and story in words and sounds that could take you somewhere and back emotionally? What happened to musicians that had sufficient training to play a variety of styles and instruments and wove the lyrics with the instrumentals in songs lasting longer than 160 seconds?

I find that I am buying mostly electronica styles of music now as at least that can have some rhythm and texture but these are from indie artist selling at emusic.com. But it's frustrating because I would really to buy and enjoy new music a whole lot more. I just can't find anything worthwhile.

Joni Mitchell is quoted as saying that music is no longer "meditative" but instead "calculated" and it's calculated to pander to the stupid end of the masses. Then she goes on to say that "just how stupid do they think the masses are?" She mentions an advet for the record companies that says they aren't looking for talent anymore, just a certain look and a willingness to cooperate.

Maybe that's why music sales are tanking

iPhone contract charges unveiled

James Carter

The "myPhone" alternative

I don't text and I don't surf. I don't take pictures or movies either. I plan events and restaurants in advance and ask locals for directions if I have difficulties.

I use a plain old Pay As You Go cell phone. Phone costs $39.99. 1015 minutes costs $106 (tax included) and I buy these bi-annually or so.

It's just a myPhone that's used only for talking to humans or perhaps leaving voice mail. Go figure - a phone that's just a phone...


Justy Dinosaur

Slammer turns Florida election result into worm food

James Carter

Welcome to the new democracy

I am past resident of Sarasota. In fact, my father graduated from Sarasota High School (SHS) in '51 and I followed some 26 years later.

Sarasota was the home of Pee Wee Herman (SHS alumnus as well, I believe) and is where he was busted for flogging his willy in a porn theatre. SHS has its very own circus that it presents annually due to the large number of circus families residing in Sarasota. John and Mable Ringling are still well known and celebrated in that town where "The Greatest Show on Earth" had exteriors of Main Street in the Circus parade rally scene.

It is also part of the Congressional District for Katherine Harris who is most well known for her role in certifying Florida election results that sealed the Presidency for "Dubya" himself. The election result that is currently under litigation was to replace Harris as she ran for one a Florida's Senate seats instead (and failed miserably).

With such a colourful history, I think it's quite unfair to cast disparagement upon that fine City. I believe that Sarasota has a rich and interesting heritage to preserve and this little chapter will keep it on the top of our minds when we think of clowns and the amusement that they provide. After all, what's one little election compared to free publicity. Just ask Tom Dobbs...

Sun warns Microsoft - 'You'd be wise to listen to your customers'

James Carter

Microsoft's real problem revealed

As Jonathan states: "Remember, they wouldn't be motivated unless your products were somehow missing the mark."

That's the long and short of MS thrashing and posturing. I knew Vista was to be a train wreck before it left the "platform." Even as a MS Partner, I ignored Vista and instead started evaluating Linux. Now, I am about a third of the way through conversion to OSS and Linux/GPL software.

This decision was not based entirely upon cost, but that was a contributor. The WGA fiasco and licensing were real issues as well. But the real motive was to jump off of the whole MS juggernaut as it was heading in the wrong direction. I have never understood why each and every MS OS release increases the resource requirements while returning so little in increased functionality. I have also added the criterion that the OS should respond to the user and not the other way around.

I have Solaris Express running in a VM on the Fedora Core 6 lappy. It's responsive and the developer tools are quite competent. But it looks old and clunky compared to the Linux distros I have assessed. For a few "flashback" moments, the X Windows installation looked frighteningly old school with the old color palettes and desktop with boxed thick-border windows. Things settled down when we booted into the installation and Gnome came up instead.

I think that the best course for Sun is to concentrate their limited resources on their best capabilities and protected IP in order to offer software for Linux in the server market. Although, I am not sure how this can fly with the impending release of GPLv3...

MS update ate my CPU cycles

James Carter

Not to worry...

This is just Microsoft's gentle reminder that you really should be upgrading to Vista/Office2007. So get with the program!