Friday, January 30, 2004

Hopefully some of all of the blog reading I have been doing about application development is starting to sink in. I just bought a copy of "Microsoft ASP.NET Programming with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Deluxe Learning Edition" for like $20 from a discount bookseller through Amazon. 86% savings, not bad. Now when I get the Office 2003 Pro CD next week, I will be able to start to play with XML. Of course I may never leave this room. Actually I have been finding it more difficult to go to the cooking job and maintain any kind of continuity with computing. I seem to have to play for at least a couple of hours before I decide to get moving. I am getting some good use out of the blog reading, though, and even though I am coming into any development stone cold, I think that I have learned just by being exposed. The Don Box MSDN TV pieces really help. I am looking forward to my newest purchase.

I have been on eBay quite a bit lately, selling some ram and Outlook 2000. The Mike Rowe Documents are at like $32,000, although they look like hoax bids. Will be (semi) interesting to see if it actually gets sold for actual money.

In baseball news, Pudge has not yet actually signed with Detroit. hmmmm.....

Sunday, January 25, 2004

With all the blather on blogs etc about Longhorn and SPOT watches and the future of computing, why can't I simply set this computer to auto log on to My Yahoo (or My MSN, for that matter)? I am very concerned with what I have seen and read about Longhorn that it will add a whole mess of new features for power users and XMLheads, and still not make the basic day to day computer stuff simple to use. There's a reason that the XX% of computer users only use 5% of Word's capabilities or whatever. They DON'T NEED the other 95%!!! What they do need is for the 5% that they do use to work reliably, and to be able to be configured reliably. I don't see anything about that in all the MSDN blogs stuff. I'm afraid that we're in for a continued long rough ride.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I am beginning to get quite good at computer non-productivity, through blog reading and endless minimal tweaks to the system. The thought that sitting in front of the computer will cause me to be productive is not proving out in practice. Hmmm. Boy I really do like the way things are set up, though!! I forgot to include the Sharp 19" LCD monitor in my list of hardware in the last post. It sure is nice. I really enjoy the bigger screen, and it is much easier on the eyes than a CRT. I've got Windows Media Player set up to play a small selection of internet radio, and that's nice too. Funny though with all of this hardware and software you can't just turn on the radio!! Kind of like cell phones. With all the advances in telephony, cell phones sound crappier than phone quality in the late 50's!!! I called a guy tonite about some car parts I bought online from him. Called his work #, got him on the road heading home, his phone kept crapping out, and I would have been better off to get a recording saying he was gone for the day!! Oh well I guess I can't really fight the windmills of silly technology.

Not tonite anyway.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

OK just to have a couple of posts all on the same day, here's my current hardware setup, too:

AMD 2400+ cpu
ECS K7VTA3 (usb 2.0, lan, ac97)
2x 512mb pc2700 ddr
2x Western Digital 7200rpm ATA 100 60g hard drives
48x/16x/48x CDRW
Visioneer 9020 USB 2.0 scanner

Comcast cable (about 2.1 mbps)
Linksys 4 port router
HP JetDirect 300x print server/HP 1220cse printer
PIII 450mhz machine
AMD 1600+ machine

hopefully more soon.....(posts, I mean)
Wow. Just did an on the fly mobo/cpu change. I was looking to upgrade the cpu on the EPoX 8K3A+ to a 2400+ (does this work?). Anyway, I have been checking prices, and checked at Fry's last week. $87 for a bare cpu. Too much, but then their ad came out, and they had a 2400+/ECS KV7TA3 combo for $79! I figured I could just sell the ECS, but when I got home and dropped in the cpu all I got was loud beeping. Ended up switching out the mobo, too (but I get 6 onboard usb 2.0 outlets and onboard lan, so it's all good). Aside from a few glitches with trying to sneak by with a repair install of XP Pro, I had everything back up and running in one evening. Even fixed one annoying problem with a long boot time, which I'm pretty sure was caused by my resetting (in Administrative Tools) the drive letters on the 2 60g hd's. For some reason XP wants to letter them across the drives (C:(hd0, 1st partition), then D:(hd1, 1st partition). That bothered me, and I re-lettered the drives in Ad Tools. Well it took forever to boot after that (28 little sets of dots going by on the boot screen!). When I did the re-install, I let XP just do what it wanted, and now I'm booting much faster. About the only config left is to do the Enable Prefetcher tweak. Faster Higher, and all that.

Re-reading my (long ago) last post, looks like it's time for a Software List Update:

C: Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600.2055/IE 6.0.2900.2055/WMP
Office 2003 SBE (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher)
Front Page 2003
Access 2003

D: PageFile
E: Data
F: Utility storage
G: (Adobe) Scratch
H: Graphics
Adobe Acrobat Pro 6
Adobe Photoshop 7
Scan Soft Omni Page Pro 14/PaperPort 7
(I think I'll add Pixia here, for fun)
I: Ancestry
(I'll add PAF here)

I will say that two things made the re-install MUCH easier. Well 3 really, including keeping all data off the OS partition. One was the (shhh) sp2 version of XP, which saved a lot of critical updating. And then the Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard!!! I never seem to remember where all the checkboxes are to set all the little Office annoyances (should I have to?). Very satisfying to have everything just back to the way I like it with no fooling around. Amazing how much time that takes.

Newsgator was kind of tedious by comparison. I'll have to figure out how to get that a little more automated.
Haven't seen too much specific info on the upgrade supposed to be out on Monday. hmmmmm.

In general though I really like the current setup. I'm actually running out of things to go to Fry's for!

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