eXtra Notes

Blue Apple

Graham K. Rogers

Unpublished ideas that are not going to make it into print

Previous note (1) can be found here.
Previous note (2) can be found here.
Previous note (3) can be found here.
Previous note (4) can be found here.
Previous note (5) can be found here.
Previous note (6) can be found here.
Previous note (7) can be found here.
Previous note (8) can be found here.
Previous note (9) can be found here.
Previous note (10) can be found here.

I often wonder about Microsoft and its approach to business worldwide. Certain words come to mind: predatory, greed, voracious, juggernaut. I just watched the second part of the Matrix trilogy and there is a lovely quote by the Oracle who asks what do men with power alwasy want? More power. One questions the ethics of some businessmen in Europe, the United States and al;so in Thailand.

And this brings me to two of the ugliest video clips that I have ever seen. We may have seen the joke iPod advertisement with the Ballmer silhouette, but the real thing makes that pale in comparison. I came across two recently and they can be viewed (in QuickTime of course) by clicking on the two links here. The second of these is so widely-known that a search of Google, using the keywords "Monkeyboy Dance" will produce pages of hits. Not all are immediately accessible. Try these: the first one is at a Micorosoft developers' conference; the second is the famous Monkeyboy Dance. Do not have the volume set too loud.

Now onto some serious business; although there may well be some serious questions about Ballmer once you have seen those clips.

I have been in receipt of a fair amount of e-mail in the last few days after the column on ADSL + Macs + TRUE Corporation. I have appended the following to an article I sent in this week, but as this will be seen quicker, there are one or two things that could do with earlier confirmation. Here are those points with some additional comments:

While on the subject of the TRUE ADSL service, I had an outage this week. There have been a couple of short ones; and sometimes a reboot (or a restart if you are lazy) of the router will bring back the service. One day this week, however, there was zero, and for quite a time. I get withdrawal symptoms when I do not get my early morning fix of e-mail. After checking that the telephone part of the ADSL line was not cut, I decided to try the phone line with the internal modem. I have used this so little of late that the last month's usage from Inet showed zero hours, and it took me a while to find the phone line so that I could connect. A first time connection got me into the mail account and the download was, well, OK, but nothing like what I am getting used to. While online, I cranked up Safari and tried the TrueCorp website. There was no information about the outage. It came back within 30 minutes anyway.

I wrote a message to the TRUE Helpdesk and sugested that, as some people will still have modems, it might be helpful if information on extended service problems could be made availalble online. Good point, came the Helpdesk response, but we did have it on the automatic voice response line. I had not given that a thought, of course. The number, should anyone have forgotten (like me), is 02 900 9000 press 43.

I had one of those e-mails from Hell a couple of weeks ago when someone asked me for advice on what to do with a recalcitrant computer: a Wallstreet PowerBoook. The basic points of the query were as follows. Insead of the standard drive, he had put a 20G drive in and made three partitions: one for 9, one for OSX and one for luck, I guess. He was trying to use an external combo dive that he had picked up and to make a connection had also installed a couple of PMCIA cards, one of which wanted system 10.1 or higher and the other 8.6. He managed to get the Combo working with one card in system 9.2.2 but after an initial showing, with 10.2.8 he was unable to see anything.

He added some additional information and mentioned that he had tried Norton Disk Doctor and Disk Warrior. Anyone who has been around OSX for a while flinches when they see the Norton word: reputedly killed more than Hannibal Lecter. He also thought that his PRAM battery was dead, and he was running 10.2.8 on 384MB of RAM. The original RAM ran at 100MHz and the 256 he added ran at 133MHz.

osx.3My first response was that this was a spoof and someone was trying to set me up. A check of the e-mail address showed that he did in fact exist and that he had been a member of a Mac-specific site for a few months. Maybe he was genuine after all.

I started to look for information in MacTracker, a useful litle freeware utility I have been using for a few years that lists all Macs and their configurations. The author, Ian Page, now does a version for Windows but it is all getting a little big at 18MB. Nonetheless, armed with some data, I could work better. The site for the review of the combo drive was next -- positive comments from the writer here and a link to the manufacturer. This is where it got a little less easy. The model he as using was not listed on the webpage but, by a process of elimination found the drive and a variant. On the page was an OSX graphic, but when I looked closer, it showed 10.3, and when I looked closer still (I downloaded it and enlarged it) the 10.3 had been added, or the graphic altered from the original image.

Basically, I felt that there was no way he was going to get this combo drive running in OSX; and I also felt that he was running on borrowed time with the computer itself. As soon as we buy our toys, they are out of date. As the software moves on, the operating system plays catch-up, and the hardware is left behind. I think that to have an efficient system -- one that you can try out all the latest applications and hardware add-ons -- it is gong to need replacement every couple of years. What you have left is a machine that (usually) still has some life left and will cope quite well with the normal tasks like Internet use, Word processing and manipulating your holiday shots. If you start to push the computer beyond its capabilities (especially if it is not maintained well), it will bite back, or roll over and die.

All materials ©copyright G.K. Rogers. Free for individual use.

Other links:

Bangkok Post, Database
Mac Center: Thailand
OSX Faq Mac Dr Smoke's X Lab Site George Mann
Applelinks MacNightOwl MacNightOwl

Phuket Mac User Group

For further information, e-mail to Graham K. Rogers.

To eXtensions, Current items

To eXtensions, Year Two

To eXtensions, Book Reviews

To Education Page

To Motorcycles Page

Back to homepage