Windows Seven

August 31st, 2009

~ The light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train (wreck).

So you should buy an Apple, an Apple computer.  Or the other possibility is that you don’t really need a computer.  If you are my age most of your life was spent without computers in the home or at the office.  Sure there were a few Univacs around, a few IBM Mainframes.  Sperry Rand made a fairly nice machine; but there was no IBM Home Division or IBM Personal Computing Division.  The “B” in IBM stood for Business – it was not IHM (International Home Machines).  A “home machine” was a washer or a vacuum cleaner or maybe a phonograph (“record player” if it was a newer model).

The really neat thing about computers (they said) was that the hardware could accomadate just about any endless variation of software.  That unique aspect made computers flexible and that flexibility was good.  Enter the brilliant mind of Bill Gates.  Bill made the realization that if only one software program existed from just one company then all computer manufacturers would have to buy that one program.  Microsoft was born and the theoretical “flexibility” of computers went the way of the suds from a washing machine – down the drain.

A lot of big businesses manufacture personal computers.  Sony does, Dell does, HP does, NEC still does I think.  IBM does not.  We don’t need to talk about Compaq – it is a name that needs to die so that America can rest in peace.  What is amazing is that since Microsoft (MS) is so dead that even the idea of pulse is imaginary that the manufacturers of computers have not supported a new software so that PC sales don’t follow Microsoft into the dustbin of history.  About three out of four pending computer sales in America (and the world) stays pending because MS Vista had the vision of an automobile without glass in the front.  The program was obviously going nowhere and every visionless Vista sold created a new danger for all the other drivers (computer ones) on the road or on the net.  There is a reason why blogs have been replaced by tweets.  You don’t need an operating system to “tweet”.  Just stick two fingers together and blow.

But Bill the Billionaire is so greedy that he let the computer industry languish as his Billy bellicoseness cost sale after sale of laptops and hometops and desktops.  People could afford the computer; but another bullshit software program was (and is) financially and emotionally out of reach.  No sale, no deal.

Finally something was said about a Windows Seven, as if it were a pending wonder of the world or the prequel to Oceans Eight (as in a Hollywood Bustbuster, or greenhouse warming gone really bad).  Just the name sounds bad; why waste your money.  That was a statement, not a question.  Of course it would have been easier to just call the product Vista Seven, the Millinium Edition, 2000 or Bust.  Maybe seven is the number of bad rip-off software variations that Bill and company has floated to get rich while driving America crazy and getting everyone tied up on endless “hold” on phonelines from “customer support” that is of course never (NEVER) really supportive.

The next generation won’t even worry about believing in science or God; they will be united by their universal disbelief in the concept of “support” expecially if it has to do with telephones, computers, or probably government programs (but that is another rant for yesterday – because like Merlin I’m now working my way back in time, post by post).  Unlike Merlin I’m moving forward in time too, which proves that Merlin was narrow minded and that the scientists are wrong and that one can be all things to all people if one really works at it.

So lets put the concept in the form of a number.  The number is (866) 234-6020.  Call it.  Call it often.  Call the number before you even think about buying a computer with an MS operating system.  The recording (automated voice face) which is not a very intelligent artificial intelligence will start the conversation by informing you that Windows Seven is not working.  The He Voice (why is it not a she voice) will do this by asking a question.  The question is whether you are having problems with your Windows Seven software.  If this is supposed to be a conversation starter I now know why Bill Gates was always referred to as a Geek, and in those days Geek meant bad, stupid, social misfit, someone probably too rich to do anyone real any good.

So all the “good” people at the dying Microsoft phone pool are doing duty in the war to save Windows VII.  Like the effort in Afghanistan the war was lost long ago, for the same reasons; the principal reason being that one should never have gone there in the first place; making enemies instead of friends; trying to make money instead of making sense.  It doesn’t matter how you package it, the contents smell bad even through the cellephane wrapper.  The “dregs” of the MS world are left to handle all the other calls, like the calls about making Silverlight work if you have XP and use Mozilla Firefox and not the MS Internet Explorer versions 1 through 60.  Of course Microsoft hates Firefox; it’s like fire and water, like chocolate versus beets, like brussel sprouts versus Mandarin oranges.

Yes, there will be those that swear by beets, brussel sprouts, and Windows 6 plus 1.  They will prefer texture to taste, color to sensuality, Belgium to China (or is it the youthful “gosh” to the adult “good”).
Windows 5 plus 2 will be like eating cotton candy; pretty, pink, fluffy – leaving absolutely no substance or satisfaction when you have nothing left but a paper stick and are more than a few bucks poorer.  Here’s to Bill the beeteater – I guess he was never born with taste.  And no, money cannot buy taste.

Silverlight was designed to sell high speed internet services and connections in the “connectivity” world.
That world is designed to disconnect you from your time and money with the result of wasted time and the moving of what was your money to elsewhere.  Have your passport ready when you call Microsoft.  The Bill Gates crowd can never get enough current personal information that they will then immediately use against you if you say one wrong word or ask one wrong question.  They know who you are, what you said, what you want.  Even if you use Firefox they need to know what Explorer product you bought.  Is it just pride?  I think it is more about sales and intimidation and monopoly.  At least in Belgium the Microsoft empire was called on the carpet for being the bully boys that they are.

So now you know the anatomy of Windows 3 plus 1 plus 3.  Do the math.  It always adds up to be the same.  The new product is the worst of Vista with a little Millinium thrown in.  Can’t you just wait?  The world of great PC computing began and ended with XP; it was a marketing mistake to make a product so good.  Windows 7?  GOSH.  And if gosh isn’t good enough, just bite into the pink.  And when the pink is gone, buy an Apple or pull out your fingers and just blow.  Who needs a computer afterall until someone new comes up with a new standard operating system that can be the new standard for a better world?

I would call it “Doors”, as in, “When God closes the windows, he (or she) opens the doors”.

[2009.08.31 / Monday – Windows Seven]

Computer on a keychain

August 30th, 2009

~ Sometimes progress moves at the speed of light when you can see the light.

The problem with the Qala Bist format offered before modification by WordPress is that when one reads down they go back, not forward, in time.  Imagine reading the end of a novel first, then working back to the beginning; finally “ending” with the introduction of the characters that you started with at the “climax”.  So Qala Bist August 2009 is reserved for reading down and having reading down moving forward, not back.  You already know this because August 31 was day one in the sequence.  Counting backward to go forward (the countdown) is the “science way” of reaching the stars and exploring space so maybe there’s a point to the whole thing.

Anyway, the topic is science as in computers as in math because that is all that computers are really about – math.  The theory is that virtually everything can be reduced to numbers, that numbers can be reduced to dots and dashes (Morse Code) of binary off/on pulses of electricity or maybe even non-electricity (fluidics); but, then what scientist bothers to measure the nano-content of space pressure waves for messages from the stars?  The battery operated or plug-in computer is really so basic that it is base when it comes to the potential for applying intelligence to problems.  The spice of personal computing came from selling the sizzle; from selling the bubble; from selling the fantasy of what you could do with a computer rather than what you would do with one.

When I bought my first personal computer IBM and Bill Gates were not even out there yet.  My first computer was an Osborne.  I bought it in a Macy’s Department Store.  For all you Mac freaks and PC freaks who are using laptops it is worth noting that the Osborne was probably the first successful laptop ever made and actually sold in stores.  Admittedly it was a little heavier than the current laptops and the amber screen was a bit smaller (7 inches as I recall) but the computer was very portable as if Bill Gates thought that “portability” had any future as it pertained to computing or computers or anything else way back in 1984.  If you read too much you probably read George Orwell and since it was 1984 you had learned from Brother George that telescreens were fixed things in fixed places and the idea that telescreens should move about was about as popular an idea as thinking that Big Brother was a good guy (or a bad guy) and now that we are so far beyond all that I’m not really so sure anymore.  Anyway, the point is that Osborne’s were different; Osborne understood the future of portability.

But I was talking (or writing) about content and the content of bubbles which is mostly hot air.  In extolling the virtues of the new “personal computer / home computer” revolution some article of the time actually pointed out that these slow, under powered, memory deficient machines (compared to our current mega-power behemoths) offered the purchaser more computing power in ten minutes than the entire lab team at the Manhattan Project had in five years of moving about the plastic bars and parallel sticks that constituted slide rules, which were for scientists the very definition of computing power in 1943 or 1945 or back in the age of the dinosaurs when Hubble and Einstein and Fermi ruled the earth.

I guess the point was that computers were power, based on the idea that everyone wanted “power” as in the Will to Power, as in that the Nazi thing was definitely not dead if one just tweaked the content and sold the bubble and forgot the reality of bad going bad.  I did not buy my Osborne to make it easier to make nuclear weapons.  But I guess that a few guys in North Korea and maybe Iran got the message and bought the Bill Gates IBM’s when they came out and got busy taking advantage of the potential of these little beasts (meaning affordable ultra-power computing).

All I wanted was a faster word-processor which since I did not know then the word “word-processing” I thought meant faster typewriter.  This is natural from a guy who still uses one finger (one-finger) to type; the excuse being that I learned to type on an ancient (1935) Underwood when I was about five or six years old.  That would make the year about 1954 and the typewriter about nineteen years old with keys that could really stick and hence needed pounding which was hard unless one used ones strongest finger to pound which for this six year old was the first finger on the right hand which was the same one that I used to point at the round Flick’s tube at the candy counter in the movie house on Carson City (Nevada) that contained chocolate drops that I always bought when I went to the movie house in Carson City, Nevada.  Never underestimate the importance of chocolate.

The Osborne came with Tic-tac-toe software.  It came with pie-chart software.  It came with a basic accounting package that nobody in America ever figured out how to use, but it sounded good that for the price of a computer one could become a basic accountant and do away with ones paid accountant.  Hence, began the sizzle.  Computers were extremely expensive typewriters; they were laboriously unreliable as substitute accountants; but where else could you find someone to play tic-tac-toe with for hours without having to ever sharpen a pencil – and if one bought a new computer one could play chess with oneself instead of trying to decipher the software that never seemed to really work.  Remember, the bomb (atomic bomb) worked because it was designed with people using slide rules and not computers.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

In no time computers were sold with the entire history of the world software (Encarta); Time Inc. timelines containing countless decades of politically correct trivia; the capacity to “run” the entire CIA World Factbook; and a really neat urban planning simulation (Sim City) that clearly demonstrated the utter futility of planning a world based on cars – a lesson totally lost on GM since they were still buying IBM Mainframes in 1991 and were thus “out of the loop” of American consciousness.  Americans are traditionally savers, so they saved everything.  They saved copies of (nearly) every simulated city they ever built, of every abortive effort at reconciling their books, of every draft of every letter that they ever rewrote.  Every 3.5 disc was saved and since the software often didn’t work most intelligent person saved hardcopy backups of everything ever committed to disc or memory or both.  The inevitable computer “hard-drive” crash reinforced the need to use paper to cover for the paperless efficiency of the collective electronic memory of science.  The dirty little secret is that Bill Gates made his money buying forests, and feeding the need for paper mills with the incentive of failed software.  Why else do you think he moved to Seattle, Washington the Evergreen State, home of endless forests?

So what are computers really good for besides selling trees?  It gets back to basics.  First is probably gaming, which is not gambling, but more about pinball.  Hint, a real pinball machine is better than any computer simulation.  Second is typing (writing).  Computer keys don’t stick, but it’s way too late for me – “one finger Donny”.  Third, is movies.  But, computers cannot dispense the Flick’s, don’t have the atmosphere (a 1930’s retro design computer – what a concept!), don’t offer the lodge seats or the smell of popcorn.  Anyway, Netflicks is better and it keeps the US Postal Service alive.  And making bombs (or having them) is so boring (BORING) and so old style – plans, plutonium, science, cyclotrons – crisis a minute as one talks about using nukes to stop nukes; did I say “boring”.

So it comes down to computers are for archives.  My Kodak is the only real reason for a computer, pictures from my camera and your camera and from “Pictures we like”.  And then there is the “paper trail”; the endless piles of pulp that maybe we are finally getting rid of as we scan or OCR or type up the letters that we like, that we want to save to remember a past before the days of data files and telescreens and data-banks that are more important than money banks because the money is worth nothing now and only data has any perception as having any real value.  Amen.

“Sorry” to be the first person to tell Bill Gates this but the modern computer is on a keychain.  It is OK with XP.  It is sometimes referred to as a flashdrive (USB Flash Drive) or a Zip Drive or maybe the names change so fast that it doesn’t matter – you know what I mean.  $20 bucks for enough memories to last a lifetime available as a keychain at a store near you.  And it is 100% portable.  Osborne was so right.

P.S.  As to the technical reality of needing a computer to run your Flash Drive; computers are everywhere; it will take fifty years for the current crop to all die out.  The seas could cover the forests first (according to Al Gore).  Any HDTV can “play” your pictures and “display” your letters (word documents) – bigger screen, better resolution, no computer necessary.  So use the life left in your existing computer to (flash) drive your future.  Slide rules rule.  The rest is just about the memory (memories).

[2009.08.30 / Sunday – Computer on a keychain]