News Briefs 07-04-2006

Due to Billionaire Bill’s onerous f*#&ware crashing four times, I don’t have a clue if this is even most of the news, but at least I’ve got a parrot story for shadows.

Hat tip to Richard.

Quote of the Day:

Parrots, you should know right now, are enormously weird. Surreal. They bring with them a bizarre sense of wild and unfamiliar nature and you cannot feed them or watch them move and preen and waddle awkwardly down the hall without this sense of trippy otherness

Mark Morford, who exhibits remarkable restraint regarding the circumstances of his girlfriend’s screams.

  1. crashing
    Gurgeh

    Hmm, software crashing? I’ve heard of this, but, being a Mac user, I’ve never actually experienced it. Must be very annoying, he added, then choked on his own smugness.

    1. Microserf
      I share a house with two Mac cultists, and I know that choking sound well. Which is why I’m getting a brand new PC with Microsoft software installed next week. My fingers burn when typing on my housemate’s iBook (you may have smelled smoke when reading my Monday news). Douglas Coupland just made Microsoft (and B-B-B-B-Bill!) too seductive in his brilliant novel, Microserfs, I can’t resist. I’m sure I’ll burn in MicroHell — but hey, Eve did eat an Apple. Not even U2’s deal with Apple can turn me to the Light ….

  2. Billionaire Bill got me too this week
    My computer has been down and the phone line out due to the parrot chewing through the wires so I was totally cut off.

    Kat, I love the parrot story by Mark Morford.He is really in love with that parrot, I have seen what he has written before.
    He is so right too, there is an otherness about them.They know so much and constantly make fools of us.

    I sort of got lost this week with so much going on here that I lost a couple of days
    Do you think I could have been abducted by aliens? Finally?
    I only ask this as someone said I was looking rather smug lately.
    I’d hate to think they actually got to me and I missed it all.

    Your first link made me laugh….Awakening the divine within.
    There is no divine in me, probably only probes from those awful aliens.
    And I don’t remember any lollipop either.

    Lots of love,

    shadows

  3. Computing conspiracy
    Kat,

    I’m sorry to hear of your difficulties and frustrations with the computing system. Computers can do that to you. I’ve certainly had my fair share of computer delights. That’s why I have Grey hair. Frankly, I believe they do it on purpose.

    On the other hand, I didn’t have Grey hair before my daughters were born. Could be either one now that I think about it.

    As a favor, could you tell us what, specifically, failed and whether it was the same component that failed each of the four times?

    Finally, a minor point: You spelled “f*#&ware” with an “&” which is the British spelling. The generally accepted spelling is “f*#!ware”, without an umlaut.

    Michael Scott
    An FhΓ­rinne in aghaidh an tSaoil

    1. PCs have covertly developed AI
      >>That’s why I have Grey hair.

      So that’s it – and I’ve been thinking I had a B vitamin deficiency.

      >>As a favor, could you tell us what, specifically, failed and whether it was the same component that failed each of the four times?

      Undoubtedly, you meant as a favor to me, because one way or another, sounding off about it might help – by relieving the stress, at least.

      The reason my subject line says ‘PCs have covertly developed AI’ is because my PC only locks up or crashes when I’m doing a news search! I can surf all day long every other day, and it behaves just fine. But when I’m searching for news, the longer I’m at it, the worse it gets -it will hang up on some webpage, showing me that stupid hourglass that says it’s doing something, and no matter what I do, it just refuse to budge. It won’t let me click on the blank email form that I copy my headlines and urls into, so I can’t press ‘Send Later’ to save it. And if I don’t remember to press ‘Send Later’ quite frequently, this causes me to lose whatever news I’ve gathered since the last time I saved it. And since, at the very least, I have to do Control/Alt/Delete to get out of the hung browser, I also lose the browser’s memory of the webpages I’ve recently visited. Occasionally, after I’ve given up on it but haven’t yet done Ctrl/Alt/Del, I play a couple of games of Spider Solitaire to relieve the stress, and then when I maximize the browser again, it’s straightened itself out – but that’s the exception rather than the rule. Most of the time, even if I go eat dinner for an hour and then come back to it, it’s still hung up.

      For anyone out there who knows about these things, let me back up a bit and tell you about my system:

      869 MHz, Intel Pentium 111 Processor
      512 MB RAM
      22 Gigs of free harddrive space
      Windows XP Pro – newly installed just a couple of months ago, with very few extra programs added, and nothing uninstalled since.

      I run lean, with no frivolous programs that load automatically at start-up. The only extra program I run is Spybot, because it has that immunity feature that keeps all the spy cookies in its database from being ‘deposited’. Of course, you’ve gotta have your firewall, virus protection, and Restore running, as well as a few necessary things like your keyboard program, etc. On news-search days, I run with my Security setting on Medium, and my Privacy setting on medium-high. And…

      I’m still using AOL’s browser, because I just can’t stand using Internet Explorer – the main difference being that with AOL, I can click back and forth between my aol email form and webpages, but with IE, every time you click back on the webpage, the email form – or notepad or whatever – minimizes itself instead of the webpage just laying on top of it. (Yes, I’ve heard that I’d really like Firefox, and I keep threatening to download it, but you see, I have this little problem with making decisions, and with learning to use new software…) I’ve talked to AOL help many times over the years, so by now there are certain things I know I need to do to it occasionally. For instance, there’s a setting for the maximum disk space to use for online graphics, and every so often you’re supposed to purge this by re-setting the max down to 1 MB, closing the program, reopening the program, and then resetting the max. The default is 40 MB, but you can go up to 100 MB.

      On to other things. During my news search I try to remember to frequently save my news, close AOL, clear my cache and cookies, and run Disk Defrag. If I do all that – in that order and all at the same time – about every half-hour, it seems to help considerably. It only takes a few minutes to do it all, but 4 or five minutes out of every half-hour is about 16% of my time, which gets dead annoying after a few hours.

      Anyone with questions – or answers – is invited to chime in. I’m open to any reasonable suggestions. Considering the current state of my budget, and what I’ve already invested in this Windows PC, buying a MAC right now isn’t what I’d consider to be a reasonable suggestion. However, if anyone out there has a used one they’d like to donate to the cause, I’d be happy to supply you with a mailing address. Of course, you’ll also need to include your phone number so I can pester you with questions about how to use it. πŸ˜‰

      And if any of you wiccans out there would like to volunteer to exorcise whatever demon is inhabiting my current PC, I’m open to that idea too. πŸ˜‰

      Kat

      ps. Almost forgot… I do try not to show favouritism – I frequently use British spellings in my News Briefs too. πŸ˜‰

      1. Y’o
        Ah, so that’s why Americans spell “you” as “yo”? πŸ˜‰

        I can’t wait to have grey hair ala Sean Connery. Alas, I only have the odd white hair, which is a throwback to my childhood when I had white-blonde hair. It’s a Village Of The Damned thing.

        As for computer matters … I feel your pain, Kat. It’s been three months and four days since my PC blew up. The graphics card went first, and then the power supply, which started a chain reaction of smoking electrical parts that took out the motherboard, ram, sound card and harddisk. I’ve been using my housemate’s iBook G4 since, but have I learned my lesson? No, I’m getting a brand-spanking new PC on Wednesday. I’ll look after this one — my old PC had an inch of dust covering its internal parts. The dust moved.

        Right, time for today’s news ….

      2. grey
        I dont have grey hair, but my beard is showing it. In my case, it’s just age.

        Firefox is better than M$oft explorer. You can also try Opera (www.opera.com). You don’t have to replace your old browser with those, you can have 2 or 3 installed. Be not afraid.

        One nice thing about both Firefox and Opera is the “tabbed” browsing. This means you can have multiple pages in the same browser, you don’t need to open another window to go to a new page. This saves memory, it’s leaner.

        Also, you can check your local used computer store for a faster machine. You don’t need everything, just the basic box.

        Budget is always a consideration, so don’t go with Mac. Those things are like Scientology, you would be locked into the Mac universe for the rest of your life.

      3. Re: PCs have covertly developed AI
        [quote=Kat]I’m still using AOL’s browser, because I just can’t stand using Internet Explorer – the main difference being that with AOL, I can click back and forth between my aol email form and webpages, but with IE, every time you click back on the webpage, the email form – or notepad or whatever – minimizes itself instead of the webpage just laying on top of it. (Yes, I’ve heard that I’d really like Firefox, and I keep threatening to download it, but you see, I have this little problem with making decisions, and with learning to use new software…)
        [/quote]

        Aieeeee! How any TDG news editor could not use Firefox is beyond me. It’s not a ‘decision’, it’s a necessity…you don’t choose to breathe air, so don’t choose to use Firefox – just do it! Tabs, tabs, tabs…indispensable for any news gathering effort.

        Here, let me help:

        http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/

        Press the button, and it downloads. Install. Use, be happy, feel the warm glow.

        Peace and Respect,
        Greg

        1. Aieeeee!
          Yep, Firefox is indispensable, and not just for TDG news editors. It’s the secret to my success. I only wish Mozilla made computers as well …

          Download Mozilla Firefox, Kat. It’s very very very easy to use. You’ll never look back.

          I’ve been using Mac’s Safari the past few months, and it has a nifty function thingy (which I forget right now) that shrinks all the browser windows you have open so you can see them all scattered on the desktop like paper pages. It’s brilliant, and better than Firefox’s tab system — but the two of them combined is magic.

          So buy a Mac, Kat, and then download Firefox. πŸ˜‰

          1. Re: Aieeeee!
            [quote=Rico]I’ve been using Mac’s Safari the past few months, and it has a nifty function thingy (which I forget right now) that shrinks all the browser windows you have open so you can see them all scattered on the desktop like paper pages. .[/quote]

            There is a Firefox extension which does this as well – I’ve never found it to be of great use, but certainly that capability is there. Browse through the extensions, there are some handy tools in there:

            http://www.mozilla.com/extensions/

            Peace and Respect,
            Greg

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.