January 31, 2003

Flash Me

Have you looked at the cost of flash memory? Memory Stick, Compact Flash, USB Flash Drives, SmartMedia, Secure Digital; All of these have one thing in common. They are all based on flash memory. This is really cool stuff. There are many applications for flash memory, but none as cool as the possibility of the instant-on computer.

Imagine this. You flip the power switch on your computer. Within a second (maybe a few more if you have a CRT), you see your computer desktop with a document open that you were working on earlier in the day. You begin doing research on the web, your document growing larger and larger as you work. Never once do you hit save. Suddenly, the power goes out. No problem. After an hour or so, the power comes back on. You turn your computer back on and within a second of hitting the on switch, up pops your document, right where you left off! If this were to happen today, you'd have lost at least part, if not all of your document as well as the links to any open web pages that you didn't put into My Favorites. Flash memory opens the door to computers never having to use volatile RAM again. And by using flash memory, your computer data storage could be tremendously faster since there are no mechanical parts. Say goodbye to hard drives, floppy drives, CD-ROMs, DVDs, Tape, etc. Some of the technologies I'm hearing rumors about will make all mechanical storage devices as obsolete as a manual typewriter.

Posted by queue at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Internet Spam Provider (ISP)

I have to add my thoughts to my brother's rant about spam on D.T.P. By Lee. I agree whole heartedly that ISPs need to be providing anti-spam services. I already pay for the storage of the e-mail. How hard would it be to add a small filter to the e-mail server to handle authorization lists? The nice part is, once the rejection lists were going, they'd save storage space for e-mail. Seems like the cost-benefits would be tremendous.

My brother did make one mistake. There are a few ISPs providing anti-spam services. Unfortunately, the only prominent provider offering the service, as far as I know, is MSN. Sorry, I'm not going to pay ~$22 per month for dial-up access. I can't even get my cable ISP to setup FrontPage extensions on the web server, let alone install any kind of anti-spam service.

Posted by queue at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | Category: Rant

January 30, 2003

Too Much LOTR?

I have a friend who has seen the second Lord Of The Rings movie 7 times already, and he was going tonight to see it an 8th time. I thought it was a great movie, but geez. I just wish I had the time to see one new movie a week.

Posted by queue at 08:57 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Punditry

Government Or Supplier Waste

Speaking of overcharging, in the time I've spent working for the government, I am astounded at how much suppliers try to overcharge the government for things. Many companies won't list prices on their web sites. I find those are the companies that will quote excessive prices for their products and I'm sure it's because they know it's a government quote. I'm convinced that the problem of government waste is not so much the government, but the suppliers who feel they can overcharge and get away with it. I've taken to laughing in the face of sales people when they try to overcharge. It's amazing how well that can actually work to get the price to a more reasonable level sometimes.

Posted by queue at 08:55 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Shipping And Handling (Sucker Tax)

I had a rude awakening today. I tried to order some mounting kits from ProVantage at work today. Twenty of these kits only cost about $50. This company had the gall to try and charge me $100 for UPS Ground shipping. And these are not large kits. I would have thought $20 would have been a little excessive. Needless to say I won't be ordering from that company... ever.

Posted by queue at 08:53 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Even Microsoft Deserves A Second Chance

Through the assistance of a salesman, I was able to get some resolution to my volume licensing problems with Microsoft. Basically, it forces me to purchase the box copies first, then buy the Software Assurance for those copies, then buy a single disk set through the SA program that doesn't have the activation code. At least that way, I'm getting full value for the money. It still bugs me that I have to purchase their 2 year agreement to do it.

Posted by queue at 08:50 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

January 29, 2003

Windows XPerience

I've been using Windows XP Professional for quite some time now, both at home and at work. I have to confess, I love it. XP truly is the best OS I've ever seen. The interface is more stable than any Unix based system I've come across (Mac, Linux, etc.), and it looks nice too. I'm not saying it couldn't use improvement. Microsoft has a long way to go. If you really want to make Windows usable, you should check out the Ease into XP and Make Windows Work Better guides at PC Magazine.

Posted by queue at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Technology

Another Bush, Another War

After listening to the State Of The Union address last night, I'm still not 100% convinced we should be going to war so quickly. President Bush claims he has overwhelming evidence. I say, let's see it. If it's as convincing as he says it is, then he'll probably get the American people, and possibly the rest of the U.N. behind him.

Posted by queue at 09:01 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Political

January 28, 2003

Microsoft's Micro-Intelligent Policies

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Microsoft Basher. In fact, I quite like some of their products. But my latest run in with their Volume License policies are really beginning to piss me off.

As many people are starting to realize, Microsoft's latest scheme is to force customers into upgrading every couple of years to ensure continued profits without actually providing quality upgrades. Right now, you can still purchase boxed licenses that are yours for the using as long as you like (assuming you don't install it on more than one machine).

So what happens when you try to purchase Windows XP Professional volume licenses to get the discount? First, you have to purchase no less than 5 copies. Fair enough. Second, forget full versions. You can only purchase the upgrade version. WHAT?! I'm building computers from scratch and I can't buy full versions at volume discount?

This little brainchild is aimed at forcing you to purchase at full price until such time as you're ready to upgrade the software on your machine. But wait, don't the machines typically die before the OS outlives it's usefulness? Get it? Before you know it, we'll be offered a "per-person" license that is good on any machine you go to. The catch? You won't "purchase" your license, you'll "lease" it, as a service.

Think I'm crazy? This is not news. Just take a look at the .NET initiative. This whole technology is aimed at providing software as a service.

Posted by queue at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

January 27, 2003

SPAM This

Speaking of laws, when is the government going to get off of their collective asses and pass some decent anti-spam laws?  It's nice and all that most ISPs will delete accounts used by spammers, but in the end, it is doing absolutely no good.  We need to go after the companies that enlist these spammers.

SPAM is on the rise with estimates of 36% of e-mail traffic being SPAM.  Let's put this in perspective.  Your ISP has costs associated with storing e-mail, computers to handle the internet traffic, and per byte costs for sending and receiving internet traffic.  Somewhere in the range of 1/3 of these costs are being forced on the ISP by spammers.  You know the ISPs are not going to eat these costs.  Many ISPs have already started charging more.  That's right.  You, the consumer, will end up paying.

Posted by queue at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

It's Not My Fault

What is it with this trend that's only getting worse?  Nobody takes responsibility for anything anymore.  Americans in particular are getting sue happy.  It HAS to be someone else's fault. It can only be an act of God (or common sense) that led U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet to throw out the lawsuit against McDonalds for making people fat.  I feel that if we do not overhaul our justice system soon, we are going to do ourselves in with frivolous lawsuits.

Posted by queue at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Rant

Blog Theft

Ok, let me get this out in the open.  My inspiration for starting to blog came from my brother, Lee.  You can read his blog at D.T.P. by Lee (Daily Tales and Punditry).  But to be fair to myself, I've been reading about blogging in PC Magazine for quite some time and keep telling myself I'd start.  My brother starting was just the jewel that lured me into the guild.

Posted by queue at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

Champions 'R Us

Absolutely incredible.  Despite the "wanna be" refs, the Bucs came out on top.  27 points on top to be precise!  I have to admit that even I expected a closer game.  The question now is, will we stay on top next year?  We can only hope.

Posted by queue at 09:37 PM | Comments (0) | Category: News

January 26, 2003

A Final Note, B#

Occasionally, I will attempt to share the computer knowledge I've gained over the years and continue to gain with each passing day.  Did I mention that I'm a computer scientist for a government agency?  I get to try out some of the most advanced toys...er, equipment available.  As the saying goes, "Why buy one when you can have two, twice the price."

Posted by queue at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

Permit Me To Rant

I admit it.  I love to rant about all kinds of things.  Regular visitors will get to hear my opinions on such topics as SPAM, pop-up and pop-under ads on the web, government life, technology, the entertainment industry conspiracy, and more.

Posted by queue at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information

SuperBowl or Supper Bowl?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made it to the SuperBowl!!! It sure is about time.  I'm originally from Tampa, I'll always be a bucs fan at heart.

This year, I'll be eating my supper, watching the game on a Mitsubishi 65" HDTV, and since ABC is broadcasting, I'll get to see the game in it's full digital HDTV glory!

Posted by queue at 09:49 PM | Comments (15) | Category: News

Starting Again

Welcome to Blog Queue.

Since I never had time to keep an actual web page going, I thought I'd give blogging a try.  No special software.  Just me using FrontPage. Maybe I'll get around to trying out some blog software at some point.

Posted by queue at 09:46 PM | Comments (0) | Category: Information