HomeIE 4 is Evil!GUIsFilesAboutLinks
My opinions:
Technology exists to make our lives easier.

At least, that is what we should be using technology for. Time and time again I come across devices or software that completely fail in this regard, either by poor design, or even intentionally. Devices these days seem to be designed to market to people, to limit what you can do with a device because some big company wants it that way, or just hacked together.

YouTube
There used to be an incredible variety of stuff on youtube. Now it is just a pile of clips 5 year olds recorded with their cell phones - with advertisements. And their recent update made it incompatible with my computer.  All the good stuff (much of which you will never see on US television.) has migrated over to various peer-to-peer sites.

Comcast
Comcast is Evil. I still miss TechTV. They murdered it. There is nothing on anymore. And the cable bill kept going up and up and up and up and up! Finally I canceled the stupid thing. Think I'll go read a book instead.

OTA TV
Canceling cable, I switched to watching only Over The Air television. Over all I am very happy with it. All of the stations come in crystal clear, many have sub channels, and they all have program guide descriptions. And it's free!

DVDs/Blue-ray
"Disks" are obsolete. Higher definition video can only add so much to a movie. The future is unencumbered hard drive based video storage. Why would anyone buy a movie on DVD/Blue-ray disk that takes up as much physical space as an old VHS tape? A modern hard drive can easily fit thousands of movies at a decent quality. Clueful people have been doing it this way since the first episode of South Park, ages ago.

DVRs
Unfortunately, modern digital video recorders are crippled to limit what you can do with the videos you recorded. This makes them a step behind VHS in usefulness. Am I the only one that remembers when anyone could record anything they wanted off of TV and then share that tape with anyone else?

Wide screen
Where did the sudden perceived need for "wide screen" come from? I always expected that movie-theater like wide screen formats would die out as TVs and TV movies became more popular. But both TVs and Monitors are now all "Wide screen" these days. This means TVs regularly show old video that is cropped on the edges - or worse yet, stretched. For a typical computer desktop a wide screen works just fine, but the wide screen aspect ratio causes all kinds of problems with older applications and games. For example, a drawing application running at 1024*768 can no longer properly draw a circle as the image is always stretched to fill 1440*900 - which results in an oval. Also newer LCD monitors no longer operate with oddball lower resolutions that many old multsync CRTs were capable of. In other words, no more running MAME games or MESS machines at native resolutions.

Games
Thanks to the invasive copy prevention mechanisms game produces put in most games these days, I wouldn't touch a boxed game with a 10 foot pole! I'm sorry, my computer does not belong to YOU. I'm not keeping a CD in the drive, I'm not attaching some stupid dongle, and I'm not keeping an internet connection open so you can validate. I was actually OK with doc checks, but people don't even know what a manual is these days. Modern consoles? I duno, hardware is too locked down for my tastes. Flashy graphics and realistic 3d worlds? Who needs it? Long live the 1993 classic DOOM!

The "Crash Key" (Windows Logo key)
Crash Key
I call it the "Crash Key" because on older versions of Windows, pressing it while a DOS program was running could cause Windows to crash.

It makes me sick that PC keyboard manufacturers would put a key on all of their keyboards that contains a copyrighted, trademarked symbol. Up until about the mid 1990s standard IBM PC compatible keyboards did not have this key, and adding a vendor specific key like this on a non OEM keyboard would have been considered absurd. It is obvious that at some point Microsoft paid keyboard manufacturers a truckload of money to add this key in an attempt to make other operating systems such as DR-DOS, OS/2, or Linux seem out of place on a "Microsoft" PC.

This key is a modifier key that does provide some useful keyboard shortcuts in Window. Other operating systems make use of this key as well these days, but these other operating systems are forced to limp along with this Microsoft owned symbol stuck in their face when a generic symbol would make more sense.

Hmm, discovered this Windows-logoless Inland Pro PS/2 Keyboard on sale for cheap recently. Our good friend Bill must have forgotten to bribe them.

Web browsers
A web browser is an application that retrieves documents over a network, and renders them on a computer screen.

To think of a web browser as more than that is insanity. Yet people insist on continuing to try to shoehorn other technologies in to a web browser, and users pay the price in usability while vendors pay the price in maintainability.

Firefox
Firefox Rocks! And with Firefox it is always time to party!

Safari
Based on the open source KDE rendering engine it is a fresh, clean, speedy, modern implementation compared to other rendering engines.

Opera
A very speedy small web browser popular on mobile devices. Reliable, renders most pages well. Sometimes faster and often more responsive than other browsers due to less overhead and more efficient memory usage.

Chrome
Not really sure why Google decided it needed it's own browser, especially since Google has various marketing deals with Firefox. Chrome is based on the KDE rendering engine so it is fairly speedy and slick. Apparently it sends back some information about your browsing habits to google. I guess that's why they wanted it.

Netscape
Back in the day Netscape 3.0 was king of the hill. They made some mistakes but were murdered by Microsoft.

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer is evil! EEEVIIIIIIIIIILLLLL! (Have I mentioned that?)

Windows 1.x through 3.x
Literally a graphical shell that ran on top of MS-DOS. Both the MS-DOS Executive and Program Manager shells were primitive and unfriendly compared to the original Macintosh Finder.

Windows 95
An impressively re-designed user interface that seemed very well thought out, researched and tested. The Explorer shell (no relation to Internet Explorer at this point) heavily lifted ideas from the Macintosh Finder, but it worked the way I wanted a desktop user interface to work and did so seamlessly with existing Windows application.
Underneath the hood Win95 still ran on top of DOS and was still based on Windows 3.x but most of the user applications had been ported to 32-bit. The upside was it was compatible with most DOS/Windows 3.1 applications and utilities.
The Windows 95 OSR/2 update brought Windows 95 to near perfection by adding FAT32 and USB capability.

Windows 98/Internet Explorer 4
*BAAAAARRRFFFFF*
All the hard work and testing done for Windows 95 UI thrown down the drain as IE replaced the inner workings of the Window Explorer deskop. Why? I can't think of any technical reason. They did it to crush Netscape by forcing IE to always be installed. The few sensible UI enhancements could have been done without IE. It made IE start faster than Netscape because 90% of IE got loaded in to memory at startup - and made everything else run slower  And the IE 4 Channel Bar? They literally put a "this space for rent" sign on a section of the desktop and sold advertising space to the highest bidder. Sick.

Windows 2000/XP
MS did a good job at finally merging the stability of NT 4 with the functionality (DirectX, FAT32, USB) of Windows 9x. Too bad about IE shell though. And that unfortunate "bozo the clown" theme they included by default on XP.

Windows Vista
Under the hood not much different from Windows XP (or 2000 or NT 4 or NT 3.51). Above the hood they poorly ripped off MacOS X. Copying a few ideas would be no big deal, but they POINT BY POINT copied all of the major features of MacOS X, and stuffed them in to Windows in ways that don't entirely make sense. Oh, and new Digital Restrictions Management to keep me from doing what I want with my computer and data? No thanks.

Windows 7
Microsoft rearranged the desktop again, marketed the heck out of it, and everybody ate it up. They didn't change anything significant from Vista that a regular person would care about. It will come bundled with all new PCs, but there is no real reason for anyone to run out an upgrade.

Macintosh
These days an Apple Macintosh is just an overly glorified IBM-PC compatible running a modern version of NeXTStep. They are still proprietary hardware since they won't permit MacOS X to run on anything else. Really I feel they lost some uniqueness when they switched from PPC.

Linux
An operating system that is not tied to a specific vendor is critical to the diversity and competitiveness of the computing industry, and Linux delivers. A world without Linux would be like a world where IBM PC compatible computers were still only available from IBM!

ReactOS
ReactOS is the future of Windows. What Linux did to commercial Unix, ReactOS will do to Windows.

MAME
Most old games are more fun than the crap you can buy today. One of my favorite oldies is OutRun.
Fake OutRun screen shot
Screw the race, that guy should just make out with the hot chick.

Drive faceplate colors:
Why is it that all cases and drive face plates on CD/DVD/Floppy/Etc drives are black these days? Back in the PC/XT days they were all black, and then everybody switched to beige. Now black is back and you can't even find a beige face plate any more. Of course nothing beats iOmega Blue. :)
 

Back to stuff about me