Archive | November, 2002

Post dated 2002-11-30 00:00:00

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Another bit of software silliness I ran into today. I needed to find out if it was practical to drive from home to Toledo, Ohio. The machine that had my mapping software on it has left the premises, so I had to choose a volunteer and install the software. Disk One, Disk Two. At the end, the software congratulates me (or itself?) and informs me that the software was installed successfully, presenting me with a button labeled ‘Finish.’

Now, wait a minute. The problem was ‘how long is it from home to Toledo?’ The machine restated the problem as ‘Can you successfully install this package?’ and left me at the finish line.

It could have offered to start the package, don’t you think? Isn’t that probably why I installed it? Isn’t that probably why many people isntall many software packages?

I click on the ‘Start’ button. This is a WinXPPro? box with full default Candyland theme. No package visible. If I am clever enough to float my mouse over the ‘All programs’ option, a little tooltip pops up to inform me ‘New programs installed.’ Isn’t it possible I knew that? Who swapped the disks the computer asked for? And is that that sufficiently passive for you?

It’s more like a game of hide-and-seek. “I know what you’re looking for, and I’ve hidden it somewhere in the cascading menus over here. Bet you can’t find me!”

Post dated 2002-11-29 00:00:00

Friday, November 29, 2002

Steve and I struggled Wednesday to downgrade an older PII-366 laptop from Win2K to Windows 98SE as a test platform for a client project. Since it’s NTFS, we’ll need to blow away the partitions. The MSDN CD for Windowsw 98 isn’t bootable. Found a wonderful resource for bootdisks at – where else? – So, of course, the floppy disk doesn’t work any more. Sheesh.

Today we’ll buy a copy of partition magic and try to resize the partitions so we can dual boot Win98 and 2K.

Post dated 2002-11-23 00:00:00

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Succeeded in re-assembling Steve’s double-hung window. Stripping and reglazing turned out to be far more challenging than we thought. Next time, we’ll plan to take the window out after the first frost.

Post dated 2002-11-21 00:00:00

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Back home. Spending a slow day catching up on email, snail mail, newspapers and house chores.

Robert X. Cringely starts his column about Comdex and ends with his predictions about the IT economy for 2003 and 2004. We’ll see.

Microsoft released Security Bulletin MS02-066 this week, about a number of security problems primarily with IE. It looks pretty bad. However, I saw something in the security message I got that I had never seen before – an MSKB number from the far end of the number range. Until this time, I’ve seen the numbers progress sequentially over time, from the 70 thousands, to the 100, 200 and 300 thousands. This message had a reference to an 800 thousand number, and clicking on it did indeed bring it up — this wasn’t a typo. I wonder what they are up to…

Post dated 2002-11-20 00:00:00

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

I hate to see the party end, but I’m not sure I could have taken much more. The closing session was great, and featured a professional magician. Very fun.

Had a nice quiet lunch with a few friends afterwards, and started the long trek home. We were hours and hours early to the airport, as I’ve been traumatized enough being late, and had no reserves to deal with it this time. Flight was uneventful, the Logan Express showed up promptly, and the drive home went quickly. But it was still a little after midnight before we pulled into the driveway. It will be a quiet day tomorrow.

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