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  • #2181415

    Direct From TechProGuild

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    by j sheesley ·

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    • #3176498

      Hey! What happened to the TPG Tracks?!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Since its inception, TechProGuild has broken topic areas
      down into tracks such as Windows Server, NetWare, Linux, and so forth to make
      it easy to find information related to the problems you’re facing. As you can
      tell in the TechProGuild Resources box and in the subnav at the top of the
      page, those track names have changed.

      We’ve decided to add a track to cover application software
      such as Microsoft Office and a management track to cover more strategic
      problems subscribers may face. We also decided to consolidate the Netware,
      Linux and Windows Server tracks into one large Server OS track. No, we’re not
      abandoning NetWare and Linux. It just made more sense to group those together.
      We’ll also include some Solaris and MacOS server content there as well. The
      Client OS track will focus on client aspects of Linux and MacOS as well as
      Windows.

      Existing content will be mapped as follows:

      • Windows
        Server, NetWare and Linux/Unix -> Server OS
      • Windows
        Client -> Client OS
      • Infrastructure
        -> Networking
      • Troubleshooting
        -> Hardware
      • The
        Applications track is new.
      • The
        Management track is new.

      You?ll also notice we?ve made some changes in the
      TechProGuild Resources box. The TPG Blog has returned – this time connected to my personal
      profile
      on TechRepublic. The TPG Tour is also back on the home page for
      people who are new to TechProGuild. Finally, the TechBooks link has moved to
      the left resource list.

      We?re hoping that the expanded and reorganized
      coverage in TechProGuild will make it easier for you to find solutions for the
      IT problems you face.

    • #3190341

      Back to the Future?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Going to lunch today, I passed one of those trendy little furniture stores in the shopping center where the restaurant was. In the display window, they had a very nice, and I presume very expensive, computer desk ensemble. You’ve seen the type – a corner unit complete with printer stand, overhead drawers, rolling chair, under desk storage – The Works.

      And what did they have sitting on the computer desk to illustrate the modernity and stylishness of the furniture?  A TRS-80 Model 4.  For those of you under the age of 30, that was one of THE hottest computers on the market back around the first term of the Reagan Administration. But there it was. Integrated keyboard. Dual full height floppy drive – 5 1/4 inch, of course. 24×80 black and white video display. 128K of RAM.

      It was actually kind of funny. Here they were trying to show off this elegant computer workstation set and they had sitting on it a computer that was probably older than some of the clerks in the store. The icing on the cake was the fact that they had a modern Hewlett-Packard Deskjet sitting on the printer stand next to it. Kind of like having a set of mag wheels on a horse drawn buggy.

      Of course, I could be wrong. They say that everything old is new again. And I cant think of many platforms that are more resistant to spyware and viruses than a TRS-80. Maybe it’s time for businesses to rethink Windows Server 2003 and take another look at TRSDOS.

       

       

      • #3194999

        Back to the Future?

        by octopuseize ·

        In reply to Back to the Future?

        TRSDOS might be the best OS ever. It can be the most correct variant of
        OS around. Have no comment on its programming capabilities though. This
        is when secured UNIX-like OS OpenBSD is not yet in. TRSDOS’ capability
        has limitation to handling network services (couldn’t find if TRS has
        support to these) e.g. DNS, mail, web, file unlike OpenBSD. I cannot
        say more about OpenBSD’s security features. I’ve tested it. Lets go and
        inform them of these new OS. Cheers!

      • #3097091

        Back to the Future?

        by tomgarza9 ·

        In reply to Back to the Future?

        I had a friend run his auto repair accounting on his TRS-80 Model 4 until Windows 95 was released. I cut my teeth on a TRS-80, with a data cassette recorder and learned BASIC, in high school.? ??

    • #3188312

      OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      It’s been a long time since OS/2 has been in the news. This morning I noticed an article on News.com stating that IBM has finally decided to stop selling OS/2. So yet again, when OS/2 makes the news it’s yet another declaration of its death.

      When I worked at the Jefferson County Police Department, I became a big
      fan of OS/2 3.0. We had deployed it on our computer aided dispatching
      workstations because it was the only multitasking operating system that
      worked on desktops and could still run all of the applications we
      needed to run without crashing every 15 minutes.

      IBM billed OS/2 3.0 and 4.0 as being a “Better DOS than DOS and a
      better Windows than Windows”. It certainly beat the daylights
      technically out of Windows 3.1 which was its initial main competitor.
      Warp, the moniker for OS/2 4.0, was even better than Windows 95, and
      arguably Windows 98. Microsoft kept making Windows better and by the
      time Windows 2000
      Professional shipped, OS/2’s technical advantages were mostly
      overshadowed.

      The problem was IBM couldn’t market OS/2 to save its life and never
      could overcome Microsoft’s license arrangements with hardware vendors.
      As such, OS/2 whithered on the vine. IBM tried to save it several
      times, but to no avail. And most of the time when you saw OS/2
      mentioned in the news, it was in some reference to OS/2’s Death being
      imminent.

      It’s a shame. I still run Warp on a computer at home. It still works
      really well. Like the TRS-80 I mentioned in the last blog post, it’s
      resistant to spyware and viruses.  Sadly now, it looks like it’s
      equally obsolete.  

      • #3188707

        OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

        by rasilon ·

        In reply to OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

        A moment of silence, please…..   🙁

        It’s really sad…… OS/2 at the end was better than Windows 95/98 and
        even 2000 ever was. OS/2 Lan Server was leagues ahead of NT server. It
        was only when XP and Windows 2000 Server came out that, IMNSHO, MS
        *started* to catch up….. While peopel still harp on the marketing
        aspects of it, the war was lost in the pre-install battle. Reality is
        that almost no one other than techies ever (and I mean *EVER*)
        update/replace their OS. Once MS was able to intimidate OEMs into
        exclusive contracts, it was over…. Losing access to the Windows
        source code was really just shooting a corpse…..

        Personally, I still have my Warp 4 CD’s as a piece of nostalgia….

        Hank Arnold

      • #3196762

        OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

        by petedude ·

        In reply to OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

        I used OS/2 at home for a long time before installing Windows9x in a multiboot setup, and briefly administered one OS/2 Warp Server at work.

        If it hadn’t been for OS/2, I’d have taken forever to get used to right-clicking and context menus– something IBM had going long before Windows or even my beloved Macs have.

        Interestingly enough, there are still large numbers of banks overseas I’m told that use OS/2 on their ATMs.  It was the first OS to provide that high a degree of uptime on standard hardware.

        There was also one book from the OS/2 development staff that covered all of the design that went into the Workplace Shell. . . incredible how much thought they put into their GUI.

        I miss OS/2 occasionally, but I’m glad I have my Macs.

    • #3196117

      Is it Firefox or FireFIX?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I’ve been a big fan of the Firefox brower. I’ve used it on Windows,
      Linux, and OS/2 since back when it was called Firebird. Even at version
      .6, it had features that Microsoft has yet to add to Internet Explorer.
      I probably use Firefox more than IE on a daily basis if I stopped to
      think about it.  This post is actually being written in Firefox.

      I must admit I’m starting to get a little bit irritated however. In the
      past few months, Mozilla.org has been releasing update after update to
      Firefox. Just this past week, Mozilla.org – in almost Microsoft
      Tradition – had to release a fix that fixed a fix.

      In and of itself, that’s not a bad thing. It’s great that they’re
      keeping up with security threats and fixing problems as soon as they’re
      encountered. And face it, no matter what you think about Open Source
      software, anything that’s designed by humans is going to have problems
      – no matter how talented and philanthropic they may be by devoting to
      their talents to such a project.

      What’s really irksome about the process is, there’s no easy way to
      update the browser when there’s a fix. If you want to get the latest
      update, no matter how small, you’ve got to download and reinstall the
      entire browser. Oh sure, there’s a little bit of help with the Update
      feature, but even so, it’s a complete reinstall.

      For most IT Professionals on their own machines, that’s not a big deal.
      But what do you do when you have dozens or hundreds of workstations
      that you need to keep updated?  Pushing out an entire new browser
      every week wastes time, bandwidth, and simply is not a solution. 
      Not to mention, reinstalling the entire browser can sometimes result in
      conflicts with add-ons or bookmarks. In a corporate environment, IT
      just doesn’t have time to put out all of these additional fires.

      Firefox 1.1 is due
      sometime this month with 1.5 at some point in the future. Software
      updates are supposed to be part of that release. Here’s hoping it works
      correctly when it finally ships. Of course, when the new version ships,
      that also means doing a complete reinstall again.

      • #3189170

        Is it Firefox or FireFIX?

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Is it Firefox or FireFIX?

        That’s why I prefer Mozilla browser. It’s not perfect. Update =
        reinstall, just like Firefox. But there are fewer “updates” over a
        given period of time.

        I tried Firefox. I tried the first three production versions. I didn’t
        like them because they didn’t have the same granularity in
        configuration that I was accustomed to having in Mozilla.

        I tried Opera 8. I even paid for a license. Imagine that! I found that
        there were more problems with Opera than with Mozilla so I went back to
        Mozilla. I’m currently using v1.7.8.

        So for the moment it’s Mozilla for me.

      • #3195759

        Is it Firefox or FireFIX?

        by wawadave ·

        In reply to Is it Firefox or FireFIX?

        Well it does bump up the d/l count in firefox. but for all the minor
        problems in firefox i have been nail in ie far far worse. ever hear of
        CWS 180SEARCH??? amany 100,s more!!!!

    • #3185749

      Vista?! What were they thinking?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ok. I can’t help but pile on with my reaction to Longhorn’s new name. Peter Spande and Rex Baldazo
      already chimed in with their takes on the name, so I
      thought I should as well – as I’m sure are millions of other people.

      In a word – Ick.

      What were they thinking? Two things popped into my mind. The first thing was the old Plymouth Colt Vista.
      This was a little car that was part-car, part-minivan. It tried to be
      everything to everyone. It got good mileage, but had no get up and go.
      It could carry lots of stuff, but beyond a bunch of kids and some
      groceries, it was too small for much else. In the end, it didn’t really
      do anything very well. Hmmm…

      The second thing I thought of was the Visa Card. Micrsoft’s old slogan
      was “Where do you want to go today?”. Visa International’s is
      “Everywhere you want to be.” So combining the two – Windows
      Vis(t)a – kind of completes the circle, doesn’t it?

      Anyway, I don’t get it. I guess I’ll wind up getting used to it.
      Windows XP sounded kind of clunky too at first. Now everyone just calls
      it XP. I’m sure that Windows Vista will wind up just being called
      Vista. When the beta ships, it will be interesting to see if the view
      is going to be good or not.

    • #3196280

      New Features on TechProGuild

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      TechProGuild already offers unique technical articles, downloads found
      nowhere else, and over 250 IT books that you can read and search
      online. What’s next? Articles and downloads work well for providing
      solutions to technical problems, but there are sometimes other ways of
      providing answers. To provide a richer experience, we’ve started
      experimenting with different kinds of content types.

      You’ll find some of these new experiments on the new TechProGuild Media Center
      page. On this page you’ll find our new Screen By Screens, which show
      you exactly what you’ll encounter when doing things like configuring
      DNS on Windows Server 2003. You’ll also find the TPG Podcast. This
      podcast, hosted by former TechProGuild Track Editor Michael Jackman,
      features news and commentary about tech issues as well as solutions for
      problems you face. Finally you’ll also find links to online tech videos
      from TechRepublic’s sister sites, ZDNet and CNET.

      The Media Center is part of the TechProGuild’s ongoing effort to
      provide unique and innovative IT solutions. Going forward, we’ll keep
      trying more things to make your TPG subscription even more valuable. If
      you have any suggestions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.

    • #3051994

      Well. That didn’t take long.

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Microsoft is placing a huge emphasis on security on Windows Vista. With
      all of the problems that IT professionals have with spyware and
      viruses, Microsoft knew that it had to do more to make the next version
      of Windows secure.

      Having just released the first beta for Vista, CNET News.com reports that there are already viruses
      in existence that can affect Vista. Four days. I don’t think that’s a
      record for a security problem to appear, but it sure didn’t take too
      long.

      Microsoft points out that the vulnerability so far only theoretical and
      only affects the Monad feature in Vista. Monad is the new command
      shell that Microsoft is using to replace the creaky Command Prompt with
      its echoes of DOS circa 1985. Along with the WinFS feature, Monad is a
      Vista feature that Microsoft tossed over the side in an effort to get
      Vista shipping on time.

      Microsoft says Monad will probably appear by the time that Exchange 12
      ships next year. Microsoft has also talked about creating a version of
      Monad that will run on earlier versions of Windows, but it will be hard
      to see how they’ll get that to work.

      In any case, there’s plenty of time for them to plug the hole before
      real viruses appear. Even so, it’s clear that just because Microsoft
      says that the next version of Windows is going to emphasize security,
      it doesn’t mean that hackers aren’t going to try to poke holes in it.

    • #3068090

      Happy 10th Bday, Windows 95!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ten years ago today, Microsoft shipped Windows 95. At the time I
      remember it was greeted like a new Harry Potter book. People were lined
      up for blocks at midnight to be the first ones to buy Microsoft’s new
      OS. Even the Rolling Stones got into the act as Bill bought the rights
      to “Start Me Up” as part of Win95’s promotional campaign.

      Windows 95 basically signalled the beginning of the end for OS/2.
      From a technical standpoint, OS/2 still blew away Windows 95 for
      stabilty and the ability to multitask programs. IBM unfortunately
      had no idea how to market it, and Microsoft gained the upper hand with
      its relationships with hardware manufacturers who were already
      licensing Windows 3.1. Even IBM’s own PC Division wouldn’t risk
      unfavorable licensing terms with Microsoft by shipping OS/2 instead of
      Windows 95.

      As an OS, Windows 95 was half-baked. The OS really wasn’t all that
      until Microsoft shipped Windows 95b the following year. Windows
      98 and Windows 98SE were the first really tolerable versions of Win9x.
      Of course then Microsoft seemingly intentionally killed the buzz by
      shipping Windows Me, which was a bloated pig of an OS that made
      everyone beg and plead for the rapid release of Windows 2000.

      What always amazes me is the way Microsoft markets its operating
      systems. In essence it does so by trashing the existing OS and then
      saying how the OS you really want is the next one.
      Microsoft acknowledged and trashed the instability of Windows 3.1 when
      it shipped Windows 95. Microsoft acknowledged and trashed the
      instability of Windows 9x when it shipped Windows 2000. Windows 2000
      suddenly became noxious when Windows XP/2003 shipped. And now
      that Windows Vista is on the horizon, we suddenly hear about all of the
      wonderful features coming in Windows Vista that will make us want to
      flee from Windows XP. Instead of stability this time however, the
      bugaboo is Security.

      It’s a lot like Ford saying “Boy… that Ford Pinto was a really crappy
      car. What were we thinking? What you REALLY want is the Ford Escort.” 
      And then people by the millions would trade in their Pintos for
      Escorts, only to be told that they should be waiting for the new Focus.

      Of course, Microsoft’s in a touchy position. It doesn’t want to talk
      about Linux too much for fear that people will actually give it some
      serious attention. It can’t trash the Mac for fear of getting the
      Justice Department’s attention again. Therefore, about the only
      marketing it can do is by doing a Mea Culpa about its current products.

      Like it or not, Windows 95 changed the world. Every time you click
      the Start button on your Windows workstation or its equivalent on MacOS
      X or Linux, you have Windows 95 to thank. Happy Bday, Windows 95!

    • #3065477

      Here we go again!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ever since my colleague Erik Eckel declared his semi-independence
      from Windows by buying an iBook, I’ve been getting the itch to once
      again start using something other than Windows. I’m not quite ready to
      make the investment that jumping to Mac OS X would require, but I’ve
      been toying with Linux off and on now for several years. So once again,
      I decided to give it another shot.

      This time, it’s SuSe Professional 9.3.
      Why SuSe and not RedHat, Fedora, or some other flavor of Linux? Quite
      simply, being a long time NetWare user, I’ve always been drawn to
      Novell’s version of Linux. I’ve installed, or rather fought with,
      various versions of RedHat before, but we’ve never been able to get
      along.  Plus, SuSe Professional 9.3 comes with everything but the
      kitchen sink. Enough applications come in the box that you almost don’t
      need to look elsewhere in order to get working as soon as the
      installation is done.

      Every installation I’ve done of SuSe has been fairly easy. Not as
      mindnumbingly easy as a WIndows installation, but not too painful at
      all. SuSe’s YaST installer is a snap and KDE 3.4 is a great UI.

      SuSe Professional 10.0 is shipping next month. I’m looking forward to that version to see just what changes Novell has in store.

      So far I’m still not 100% sure that Linux is a complete replacement for
      Windows on the desktop. XP is still good enough for most tasks. 
      Plus there’s that learning curve when moving to Linux/Unix after
      working with DOS/Windows for so long. Even so, after trying to escape
      Microsoft’s clutches by using OS/2 and NetWare, I’m willing to try it
      again by giving Linux another shot.

      • #3061374

        Here we go again!

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Here we go again!

        Once you go Mac, you never go back!

      • #3063150

        Here we go again!

        by carlos55 ·

        In reply to Here we go again!

        John,

        Like you, I also purchased the SUSE 9.3 desktop to see if it was ready for prime time yet.  I am a long time Windows (only) user who had looked at RH 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, and 9.0 as well.  I definitley do not believe it can be a general replacement for Windows right now, as you would need to ask users to give up some functionality.  I also noted that SUSE seems to run slower on the same machine as compared to Windows 2000.  Programs  take 5-10 seconds to start consistently.  Not sure what that is since one of Linux’s claims is that it runs faster.  The Linux desktop may not be bad in a 100% IT controlled environment where the user cannot do anything but run designated applications.  As desirable as that may be, I’m not sure many companies can or will do that.

        For SUSE (Linux) to be a viable desktop, I think MS would need to port Office over to it.  No one should hold their breath waiting for that…

    • #3061376

      Remembering Bob

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      When the news of Bob Artner’s passing was announced to us here at TechRepublic, we were all shocked.  Bob was an ever present force at this company. He put his fingerprint on just about everything on the site. He affected both employees and TechRepublic members.

      I’ve known Bob for almost 9 years, originally working with him at The Cobb Group. We never worked closely really until I came to TechRepublic. Two years ago, at the company Christmas party, I was engaged in a game of chess with a co-worker, Jim Wells.  Bob walked into the room we were playing in and announced “I got the Winner.”   Not wanting to face Bob, I promptly resigned the game, but Jim would have none of it. I eventually beat Jim and had to face Bob.

      I had never played Bob before. I didn’t even know that he did play nor how well. They say you’re never supposed to Beat The Boss, but Bob would see right through me throwing a game even if he didn’t play well. So I was conflicted. We played. After a very tough game, I won. I shouldn’t have worried about having to throw the game. He came quite near to beating me clean.

      We talked about the game for a few minutes and then rejoined the rest of our co-workers. Everyone wanted to know the outcome. I sheepishly smiled.  Bob announced loudly with a big grin: “You all remember John Sheesley who used to work here, right?”

      From then, we played almost weekly.  In the beginning it was back and forth. We’d split 50-50 on the games. Often times it came down to who made a mistake first. You could never make a mistake against Bob in a chess game. You would pay very quickly.

      Bob thought every move out carefully. You could see him build intricate attacks and strategies. I knew never to take a trade he offered, because he never traded unless he clearly came out ahead in the end. My game is usually very Tactical. His was almost always deeply Strategic.

      Bob was always magnanimous in victory and never scornful in defeat. Every game ended the same way. In victory or defeat, he sat back, crossed his arms, and had the satisfied smile of a connoisseur who had just finished a fine wine. He said simply, “That was fun. Thanks.”

      We hadn’t had the opportunity to play a couple of months. With vacations, busy summers, and company business, the matches just weren’t happening.  Earlier this week, I saw Bob talking to my co-worker Erik Eckel. I thought to myself: “I need to email Bob and get a game in this week.” The next day, we got the news of his passing.

      In the end, what can I say? Bob was a great leader. Bob was a great friend.

      That was fun. Thanks.

      • #3061373

        Remembering Bob

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Remembering Bob

        Very well spoken, John.

        I always meant to get around to challenging Bob at chess, but I figured I needed to elevate my game to the point where I could at least beat you first! And we know that’s only happened in those games in which you give me a move back.

        I quickly learned that, if I was going to challenge Bob, it was best to stick to subjective arguments. He could have easily taught logic and debate classes, and he would have taught them well.

      • #3229501

        Remembering Bob

        by regular_joe ·

        In reply to Remembering Bob

        First, a confession. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve logged into TechRepublic! While going through some old docs, I came across a collection of Artner’s Laws and I wondered if there was a published collection. So, I googled “artner”, and came back to TechRepublic. The news of Bob’s passing was a shock, not that I ever met him but I always enjoyed his point of view, hence my collection of some of his Laws. Looking back on some of his comments (e.g. Law of Star Performers”), I’d forgotten how honest and lacking in the usual BS Bob’s observations were. Bob was the little kid standing on the street watching the Emperor parade by in the nude! His passing is everyone’s loss.

    • #3063394

      Testing out Lenovo’s Tablet PC

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Having long been a fan of IBM’s ThinkPak line,  I was a bit
      concerned when IBM sold the line to Lenovo.  Whenever changes
      happen like that you become concerned about product quality,
      consistency and things like that.  Attending TechEd 2005 in
      Orlando this year, I caught a glimpse of Lenovo’s first major product
      introduction during the keynote – the new Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC.  That was the first indication that the ThinkPads were still going to be good.

      I finally got one from Lenovo the other day for a 90 day trial and
      review. Over the course of the next few months, you’ll find more
      articles and downloads in TechProGuild about Tablet PCs in general and
      the Lenovo Tablet in particular. Having kicked it around over the
      weekend, I thought this blog would be a great place to start.

      The first thing I noticed was that the letters IBM are still stamped on
      the cover. As part of the terms of the sale, Lenovo has the rights to
      use IBM on the machine, but they don’t have any further association
      with Lenovo. It’s a ThinkPad through and through.

      The Lenovo is light – lighter than the ViewSonic, HP, or Toshiba Tablet
      PCs that I’ve worked with before. The twist and layback screen isn’t
      anything new, but the picture is bright and clear. The keyboard has the
      solid feel that exemplifies the Tablet PC line.  My unit came with
      two batteries, the standard battery that came with the unit, along with
      Lenovo’s extended 8.5 hour battery. Although I haven’t timed it with a
      stop watch, the standard battery seems to hold for a good 3 hours under
      moderate use – easily beating my work-a-day HP notebook. I wasn’t able
      to run the bigger battery down, so chances are the 8.5 hour rating is
      close to reality. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

      The pen hides nicely within the unit, popping into place in such a
      manner as you won’t easily lose it. It tracks very nicely, with little
      delay in writing or drawing. The Lenovo has some built-in buttons along
      the face of the screen for paging up and down, pressing [Esc] and
      [Enter] along with a few others. They’re all positioned well and feel
      solid.

      For security, there’s a built-in fingerprint reader and embedded
      security chip. I haven’t played with those yet, but when I do, I’ll put
      some articles up that describe how they work.

      So is it perfect? No. For one thing, it takes a long time to boot. Even
      with a 1.5Ghz Centrino processor and 512 MB of RAM, I’m disappointed at
      the amount of time it takes before you can actually use it from the
      time you turn it on. Maybe I’m just too eager because it’s such a cool
      machine to play with, but still.  Part of the problem, I believe,
      stems from the numerous utilities that load during boot time, and I
      haven’t taken the time to see what’s necessary and what’s not, so I’m
      not ready to hold that against the unit yet. Once I get it fine tuned,
      I’ll pass judgement on the actual and perceived speeds.

      So far, the Lenovo Tablet looks like a great machine. Once I get used
      to some of its quirks, I’m going to have a hard time putting it down.
      If you were concerned about the ThinkPad brand after IBM sold it, don’t
      be. If this machine is any indication, Lenovo’s going to make the
      ThinkPad line even better. We’ll see over the next few months if it the
      cool factor wears off or not.

    • #3062881

      Hand Writing A Blog Entry

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      One Thing about using a Tablet Pc is that it requires you to get
      used to writing again. This entry is being entirely written by hand. As
      Such, it’s taking about 10 x as long as it normally would. It’s not
      that the Tablet does that Bad a Job, It’s Just that my writing
      is…..well… nearly illegible for humans, let alone a machine. So,
      I’m pretty darn impressed.

      I’ve erased most of the big mistakes, but still left in some of the
      minor Ones. Maybe it’s a good thing. Computers helped make my typing
      better, maybe they can help with my handwriting too.

    • #3071478

      A perfect 10.0?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      It’s been about 3 weeks now since I decided to dip my toe’s back into the Linux waters
      Three weeks is a long time in the world of IT. Since then, I’ve gotten
      my hands on a Lenovo Tablet PC which has taken most of my attention.
      Also since then, Novell has released SuSe Professional 10.0.

      Looking at the feature set, I don’t know if I’ll install it just yet.
      There looks to be some good stuff in it, but I’m still getting used to
      Linux in general.

      If there’s one thing that has always annoyed me about Linux, it’s the
      fact that SuSe, RedHat, Fedora, Debian, and crew seem to release a new
      version of Linux every 5 minutes, making it hard to keep up. Microsoft
      may take a lot of heat for taking forever to release operating systems,
      but in a business environment it at least gives you time to stabilize
      systems, get them rolled out, and everyone trained on them.

      After 10 releases has Novell finally gotten Linux perfect? Of course,
      not. If 9.3’s any indication so far however, it looks like SuSe
      Professional 10.0 might be worth looking at too.

    • #3066025

      What’s the matter with Tech Books???

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      One of the coolest features in TechProGuild is the Tech Books Library.
      In it you’ll find the full text of over 250 computer books. Those
      aren’t simple book chapters nor offers for books to buy. It’s a fully
      searchable online library.

      We recently redesigned the Tech Books Library home page
      to feature books better and to give you a better idea about what you’ll
      find in Tech Books. Some people have had problems reading the books
      found in the collection.

      TPG’s Tech Books Library is powered by
      Books 24×7
      .
      Books 24×7 uses a cookie on your machine to verify that you’re a
      registered and paid member of TechProGuild before you can access the
      Tech Books Library. If this cookie isn’t synchronized properly, you
      can’t access the books. It can get out of whack fairly easily, such as
      if your TechRepublic cookie becomes erased, you log out, or you log
      into TechProGuild on another PC.

      If you’re having a problem accessing TechBooks, click the
      Last Book Visited link
      on the TechBooks. This will reset the Tech Books cookie on your
      workstation. If you’ve disabled cookies, you must enable them for
      techrepublic.com.com and techbooks.techproguild.com. If you log off of
      TechRepublic or use your TechProGuild account from another workstation,
      you’ll have to use that link to access TechBooks as well.

    • #3060111

      Everything you need to get started with Linux??

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      SuSe Professional 10.0
      just arrived this afternoon and I’ve just started the installation. A
      first things hit me when I first got the box was that on the front in
      friendly green letters it says “Everything You Need To Get Started With
      Linux.” That’s certainly a pretty hefty claim. But then I started
      the installation….

      It seems like Novell has put everything in the box except for an Open
      Source Kitchen Sink. The 5 CD/1 DVD installation set contains goodies
      like OpenOffice 2.0, FireFox, Beagle, Samba, Novell iFolder, GiMP,
      Spam-Assassin, MySQL, Apache, Java 1.5, etc. etc. etc. The box claims
      to include 1000 Open Source programs, but who knows, I havent counted
      them. I chose to do a near-full install and when it’s said and
      done, it’s going to be a whopping 6GB install.

      That sounds like an awful lot, but once it’s done, there’s not much
      else I can think of that I’ll need to get some useful work done on the
      machine. It also includes both GNOME and KDE, so Im sure if I needed
      extra drive space, I could just make my mind up on one window manager
      and be done with it.

      The install is as clean as any other I’ve done with SuSe lately. So kudo’s there as well.

      It will be a while before I get everything installed and configured the
      way I like it. We’ll find out if SuSe does have everything and whether
      it’s a perfect 10.0 or not.

      • #3057869

        Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        by tdt ·

        In reply to Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        Hello I like to hear more so keep the blog going ! I installed 9.1 it fired right up.It seems tobe a good product let me knoe if youuse dial up or modem thats where I am not to smart about yet:( GBU and let us know how you like it thanks Otom

      • #3071162

        Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        by takeit2 ·

        In reply to Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        Yea, Im Doing SuSE 10.0 as well and most has been good so far.
        One difference, my set of disks from Novel has 5 CDs/1 DVD going to check on that…
        Package Management is really gotten better with little  heavy setup.

      • #3070976

        Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        by 3kl ·

        In reply to Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        I agree that Suse 10.0 is there best to date.  Perhaps it is the
        first time a release of their product has coincided with free time on
        my part, but it is certainly the first time I have been this pleased
        with the ability to get the system working with a limited amount of
        hassle.  As an admin for a 99.9% Windows server environment, it
        has always been a challenge to make Linux my workstation of
        choice.  For the first time ever I am so close I can almost taste
        it.

      • #3046110

        Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        by alvarocervantes ·

        In reply to Everything you need to get started with Linux??

        I have been using Linux as a desktop from around 6 years and I remember
        those days where video drivers was the big problem. Now days, I think
        the wireless territory is the problem. most of the Hardware companies
        do not build drivers for Linux and they are expecting the Open comunity
        to do it, of course they give money to maintain the developers
        enthusiatic. china is forcing most of the manufacturers to build thinks
        comparable with Linux, I like that. So, my best advice is to stick to
        manufacturers that follow standards, such as IBM, and ohers; in the
        software arena, Oracle, Sun, IBM, are some examples of companies that
        build software for Linux, and I don’t mind spending my money in them.
        Standards such as SCSI, Ethernet, USB, etc., are some of the best to
        follow. Fo instance, when buying a printer, check that it is Netwrok
        comparable (ethernet), and that it has a driver suported by the
        manufacturer (magicolor
        2430DL is a good example). Some manufacturers are making money from
        Linux (servers sales for example) but they fail to support their own
        hardware (I don’t want to say names), so watch out for those
        opportunistics. So the best thing for us to do is to buy from the
        manufacturers that uspport open standards and Linux specially.
        I have a system running Xandros 3.01, Mandriva 2006, Suse 10, MS Server
        2003, MS Windows Professional, and ubuntu once in while from the CD. I
        have 3 large Hard drives and I can do about anything I want, except
        games because I think it is a waste of my time. But, every distribution
        is better on on thing than others, so it is a good idea to play with
        all of them and find the one that will work for you. For instance, SUSE
        is good for genearal office work, internet, and  easy for managing
        your machine with Yast. But, for a developer Redhat, or Java Desktop
        from Sun (SUSE based) is better. Xandros is exellent for staying on top
        of the upgrades, it does everything automatically. Mandrake is provably
        the one that has the most drivers, but SUSE and Red Hat provably have
        the newest hardware drives; for example SUSE installs beatiful on IBM
        laptops, even the IBM special keys work. Xandros is the best choice for
        Linux new comers, it was Corel Linux before, which was the only
        distribution that I knew install by itself and make feel weird  5
        years ago, because it was impossible for any distribution not to have
        problems when installing. So, have fun with all of them and feel
        confortable, but be prepared to  learn some real computer
        knowledge (IDE, SCSI, USB, and other interfaces).
        One observation on SUSE 10, be carefull how you install your hard
        drives, if you have two or more, the connector makes a difference and
        BIOS play a role also; you have to know concepts like SLAVE/ MASTER
        relationship, Cable Select (which does not work as it shoud due to a
        problem with the flat cables). However, I just want to add that it took
        me two days to install MS server in a computer, most of the drivers
        were not in the discs; Linux normally takes me .5 hours and I can be
        productive right away. I install linux in my friends computers because
        I am tired of wasting my time fixing their Windows computers. So I
        think you will be really happy with your system and specially when your
        updates will be easy to do, and specially when you don’t have to
        reformat your hard drive for un upgrade or installation of a new
        version. I am listening radio with Real Audio 10, ripping ogg audio
        books, writing this message, cheking my email, looking at the local
        weather, and my kids and wife are logged into the same computer (using
        other keyboard, monitor and mice only) using whatever resources they
        want without the need of one computer for every one of them thanks to
        the power and openess of Linux; I saved 75% on hardware on this system.
        Have a great and productive time with Linux
        Alvaro

    • #3070885

      Linux: The Great Equalizer

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Grrrrr… Y’know I’m not a dummy when it comes to working with
      computers, but working with new technology sure does make you feel like
      one sometimes.  It can quickly make even an expert feel like a
      typical run of the mill ‘user’.

      Case-in-point – Linux. On my test machine, I decided to swap out the
      video card it was running. In WIndows that would be a simple enough
      task. Take one out, put another in. You might have to fumble around in
      VGA for a while until you got the right video driver, but that would be
      it.

      When I swapped out the video card in my SuSe 10 workstation, I was
      greeted with a friendly text console login prompt. X saw the new card
      and refused to start.  As a Linux Newbie, I went to Google for an
      answer about how to reconfigure it. After a bit of slogging about I
      came up with the xf86config command.

      xf86config makes anyone who came up learning DOS feel right at home. No
      fancy GUI, just a simple user-hostile set of menu choices poorly worded
      and properly confusing. Ok. It wasn’t that bad, but still.

      After about a dozen tries, I finally got the machine back up and
      working. The problem wasn’t getting the video card to work. The problem
      was getting the stupid MOUSE to work. I have the machine connected to a
      KVM switch, so any mouse choice I made either caused KDE to fail to
      load properly, or when it did, the pointer would run around insanely
      and refuse to respond properly.

      Google this time was no help at all. Finally, I hit on the right combination. During xf86config, you had to select Auto for the mouse protocol and then /dev/input/mice for the port. Now the KVM, mouse, and new video card all work together properly.

      I guess I can’t really blame Linux for the problem. It’s a case of
      shooting myself in the foot. I should have learned the lession OS/2
      taught me a long time ago – once you get a system up and running –
      Don’t Touch It!

      • #3046463

        Linux: The Great Equalizer

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Linux: The Great Equalizer

        I don’t know about SuSe, but many Linux distros autodetect new
        hardware.  In Red Hat and Fedora there is a nice little
        auto-detector called Kudzu.  Kudzu will automatically run on boot
        (if set to) or you can manually run it at the command line.  Not
        only will it detect new hardware, but it will setup X automagically!

      • #3046287

        Linux: The Great Equalizer

        by robert_m_knight ·

        In reply to Linux: The Great Equalizer

        I feel your pain. I am still so new to linux that when the same thing
        happen to me I just reinstalled the OS. Everything worked fine and I
        was less fustrated again. I am testing out Ubuntu and soon to be
        Kubuntu as well. I have a copy of SuSe, but no test machine to install
        it on.

      • #3046085

        Linux: The Great Equalizer

        by elijah_a ·

        In reply to Linux: The Great Equalizer

        Got the similar problem during my early years of using linux … when I
        still have redhat7 … slackware and debian … everything was a pain
        to setup.

        But now that we have newer versions of fedora, ubuntu, mandriva, etc
        … it’s never a problem for me anymore. At least during those first
        few years I learned a good deal on troubleshooting a penguin box.

      • #3045644

        Linux: The Great Equalizer

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Linux: The Great Equalizer

        I try not to mess with systems too much when they work; but let’s face it.  As frustrating as it is (and I am growing increasingly frustrated with my inexperience in solving linux problems) you learn more and become a better system administrator by changing things and seeing what works.

      • #3118543

        Linux: The Great Equalizer

        by jwm.mckay ·

        In reply to Linux: The Great Equalizer

        I guess this is just the sort of learning we did back around 95..   the transition from Dos7/Win3.11 to Windows95.  For all the bad press it get’s, anyone but an expert would surely have to admit that Microsoft brought computing to the great masses. 

        I remember loading device drivers for disks etc, under Unix at that time and still bear the mental scars.  Drive letters and prompts that meant little; dissimilar devices having the same name bar 1 suffix, meant you’d no immediate idea which device you were supposed to be dealing with.  CPM style command structure with inverted source/destination (from MS Dos), different slashes etc, and the best bit was when you created a file that already existed…..   Destroyed without any warning.  What fun??? 

        I still couldn’t be bothered trying Linux now, with the Unix experience I’ve suffered in the past.  And this aspect of hardware detection just isn’t practical to the masses.  Personally I’m dissapointed that so many experts see these issues as ‘minor’ and can’t see that they’d be absolute disasters to many users.  I’m also disappointed that the Linux purists and developers appear not to have learnt from MS in this aspect…  effectively wasting 10 years.  I guess it’s a case of priorities and absolute needs, and that is perhaps part of the Linux problem…..  too dependent on experts,a nd not enough emphasis on actual end users!  I know you’ll all say it’s more secure, doesn’t get hit by virusses, etc but that’s no answer at all.  It’s a blinkered kop-out. 

        The idea that you just reload the OS is just insane.  We’ve all got data that we need, we back it up BUT there’s always something you forget.  I wouldn’t bother with a disk image either as I’ve 240 GB split over three partitions..  2 boots and a data.  I mirror to an ethernet disk, and back up to DLT but I’m still not going to reload until it’s REALLY, REALLY needed. 

        Most folk want something that works like the telly…   switch it on and watch.  We can do that with MS 95/98/2000/XP but are clearly some way off with Linux.  Please don’t tell me you can add this and that, and download xxx…  That’s masking the issue.  One product, one source, plug’n’play!  Until that happens Linux won’t interest the common user.

    • #3043666

      Reconfiguring new hardware with YaST

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      In my last entry,
      I mentioned how I was being frustrated with SuSe Linux’s inability to
      detect a changed video card and elegantly install the drivers for a new
      one, forcing me to fight with xf86config instead.  JMGARVIN
      commented that RedHat and a few other Linux distributions could
      autodetect new hardware using a tool called Kudzu.

      So, I went back and looked again. SuSe Professional doesn’t support
      Kudzu, but it does include YaST, which does the same thing.  When
      I ran YaST on the workstation before I tried xf86config, it didn’t
      work. YaST refused to detect the new card, so I didn’t think it was the
      proper tool.

      Trying the same routine on another workstation, YaST detected the video
      card change with no problem. I didn’t have to fight with xf86config at
      all.  It reconfigured KDE properly and everything worked
      fine. 

      So, it just goes to show there IS more than one way to skin a cat… or in this case, reskin a penguin.

      • #3046397

        Reconfiguring new hardware with YaST

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to Reconfiguring new hardware with YaST

        the nice thing with linux, you can download the sources and compile any tool to see if you like it.
        even if it isn’t supported by your distro.
        Mandriva being the exception as they moved things around so much you need to rebuild the sources to get an app to work right

      • #3045643

        Reconfiguring new hardware with YaST

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Reconfiguring new hardware with YaST

        reskin a penguin. heh!

    • #3114326

      Living with Lenovo

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ok? so we?re in Month
      2 now of the Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC trial and I thought I?d get you up
      to speed about how it?s going. 
      Personally, when they first came out, I thought of Tablet PCs as being
      nothing but big gimmicks. I wasn?t convinced by what I read about them that
      they were usable, let alone worth the extra money you?d spend for one over a
      standard laptop. I can?t really say that any more.

      With the reversible
      lid, going between the pen and the keyboard is a snap. You don?t even
      need to
      rotate the on-screen image. As soon as you flip it around, the screen
      goes
      automatically from landscape to portrait and back again. The
      handwriting
      recognition is amazing. Sometimes, it even reads my writing when I
      can?t.  The  portrait  view on the Thinkpad  makes
      viewing  Web pages , Word  documents and everything  a
      lot easier.

      I initially had some
      speed problems with the unit. It?s still sluggish at times, but most of that I
      attribute to the Norton Anti-virus that came with the unit. It seems like
      Norton slows down every machine I?ve ever used, but it?s better than no virus
      protection at all.

      I use FireFox as my main  Web browser, and was
      surprised to discover that the Tablet Input Panel – the little 
      pop-up that appears to allow you to  handwrite  data rather
      than type it  in –  didn’t work properly.  
      Sometimes when you went to enter data into a field, it would pop-up,
      other times it wouldn’t.   This wasnt’t a problem with the
      ThinkPad at all though.  It’s a known issue of Firefox in a Tablet
      PC environment.   Doing a little bit of digging, I
      finally  found a solution.

      The Lenovo has now become
      my standard portable. I had a trusty HP Omnibook, but that?s now gathering dust
      ? well until I have to return the ThinkPad that is. I?ll keep you up to date on
      it.

      • #3117147

        Living with Lenovo

        by bshaw ·

        In reply to Living with Lenovo

        I’m looking at Lenovos too. Is it not possible to buy these things with
        the 8 cell battery? They come standard with a 4 cell battery and that
        is not sufficient. 

      • #3117031

        Living with Lenovo

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Living with Lenovo

        At Lenovo’s Tablet PC Website,
        you can order Tablet PCs online. If you choose the Customize And Buy
        option, I noticed at the bottom of the screen in the Power section, you
        can select the longer life battery to come with it. It’s currently
        listed as an upgrade for $143. 

    • #3116994

      Getting fed up with Firefox

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ok ? let?s start of
      by saying that I use Firefox every day. It?s my main Web browser when doing
      almost everything that doesn?t absolutely require Internet Explorer. I?ve been using Firefox way back since
      version 0.6 when it was still called Firebird. I?ve used it on Windows, OS/2 and
      Linux. The problem is, the more I use Firefox, the more irritated I?ve become
      with it.

      First, there?s the
      issue of updates. No software is perfect so patches are to be expected. And the
      Firefox folks do a great job of making updates available when problems crop up.
      Unfortunately, with Firefox that means that you have to reinstall the entire
      browser, not just simply apply a patch to fix the problem. In a business
      environment where you have to support dozens or hundreds of machines, I don?t
      see how that makes it a viable alternative to IE.

      Second, Firefox is
      slow. No matter what OS or computer I?ve used Firefox on, it?s slow. I
      wouldn?t
      quite go so far as to call it a bloated pig, but it?s slow. Way slower
      than IE. It?s slow to load.
      It?s slow to display menus. It?s slow to load Web pages. It?s slow on
      fast
      machines. It?s even slower on slow machines. I have a very old Compaq
      test
      machine ? a Compaq Presario 5712. With
      its blazing 450Mhz PII and 256Mb of RAM, Firefox can be painful. Most
      of the
      time, it?s easier to just load IE, get to the page you want, and be
      gone. Sometimes Firefox takes so long to load, I’ve thought the mouse
      click didn’t take, so I click it again only to wind up with multiple
      copies of Firefox running.

      Third, Firefox is
      buggy. I?m not a programmer and haven?t delved into the code, but you don?t
      have to be a programmer to be able to identify buggy code. IE has its share of
      problems as well, but Firefox is far from perfect. Case in point – there have
      been several times where I?ll have a few tabs open and suddenly the entire computer
      slows to a crawl. I?ll open up Task Manager, and find that Firefox has consumed
      several hundred megabytes of memory and is nailing the CPU at 80 ? 90% usage.
      It?s gotten to the point that when I?ve noticed the computer is running slow, I
      know to go to Task Manager and just kill firefox.exe – everything will be
      fine again. I could give other examples
      of Firefox bugs ? like how it inexplicably closes all of the active Firefox
      sessions (whether in tabs or separate windows) at once for no good reason, but I don’t want to belabor the point.

      Let?s face it ? just
      because software is open-source doesn?t mean it?s perfect. At the same time,
      just because software is created by Microsoft it doesn?t mean that it?s
      inherently evil. Firefox still has plenty of lumps in it, and hopefully the next version helps to
      iron some of them out. Even through all of that however, I still use Firefox
      (except on that old Compaq) because it still beats the pants
      off of IE most of the time.

      • #3116917

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by freddy.flores ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Quote:

        “Most of the time, it?s easier to just load IE, get to the page you want, and be gone.”

        I’ve installed Firefox several times only to have it unistalled a few hours later. Why? well you would think you are home free after installing it, not so fast, several plugins needs to be installed as well so you could more or less do all you do with IE and then you have to put up with the time it takes to load your pages.

        It is a great browser but still needs more work before I switch full time to it.

      • #3137727

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by starman77 ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        This is not an issue with Firefox 1.5 where you only have to download a small patch update and is installed when you restart Firefox.
        The issue abbout plugins, if you recall when you first install windows, even IE requires that you install flash and other media file plugins. So really that’s something one has to do only once. At least with Firefox, they make this as painless as possible.
        I have been using Firefox since it was firebird.

      • #3137726

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by steve ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        I’ve been using Firefox since 1.0 and with the exception of a few financial sites when setting up an account I have had no need to use IE.  Firefox has blocked more popups that have come up than IE has ever done.  I’ll be honest we don’t install on mass so we don’t hit the update problem.  Yes it is a bit of a niggle every time an update is issued but I can live with that compared to several IE patches every week or 2.  I’ve never had a machine run slow with Firefox on, so I guess I must be one of the lucky ones, but I have used a few of the tweaks to enhance the experience as it were.  Everyone has their own thoughts and preferences which is what makes this world so interesting.

      • #3137725

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by drobert ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Probably not many would agree, but personally, Netscape 8.0 is the best browser I’ve found yet.
        (Microsoft shudders when they see Netscape installed)
        You can choose either the FireFox or IE engine on a per site basis…it’s great.
        You can also customize your security settings for each site.
        A little slow, but I can live with it.
        Have used Netscape from its infancy and never understood why it died out;
        not many people seem to use it anymore.
        Might want to check it out.

      • #3137656

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by red_wolf9 ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox


        It’s sad that we as a culture are so fixated on instant gratification that we
        will use whatever product is fastest to provide us the afore mentioned
        gratification. Someone once told me “All good things come to those
        that wait”, I find it ironic that they never touched a PC (but I guess old
        rural farmers are set in their ways).

        “…when it was still called Firebird”
        I’ve been using it since it was call Phoenix (well before the Firebird naming
        fiasco), so the following comments are based on lengthy personal experience.

        “Unfortunately, with Firefox that means that you have to reinstall the
        entire browser, not just simply apply a patch to fix the problem.”
        Although this method is annoying, it does assure that the entire browser is
        refreshed. It does not change your configuration (from Documents and
        Settings) so it’s a minor inconvenience. If you are in a corporate
        environment and your not deploying software with a centrally managed solution
        you have bigger issues then running an install program and clicking OK a few
        times. No… wait, the Microsoft method is so much better ( http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009_11-5929689.html?tag=nl.e103 )

        “Second, Firefox is slow.”
        Granted it has gotten slower in the last two versions but comparing it to a
        browser that pre-loads portions of it’s code when your machine boots (even if
        you don’t use IE in that sitting) isn’t a fair comparison. There are
        trade offs here.. you want a browser that loads a few seconds slower and has a
        better security posture or a really fast loading spyware magnet. I
        promise you after browsing the Internet for a few hours with IE the magically acquired
        spyware will slow it’s loading to a crawl too.

        “Third, Firefox is buggy.”
        Did it occur to you that code on the page or the workings of an add-on (like
        Flash) might be to blame for this? There may be some issues with memory
        leaks, but after installing Adblock, FlashBlock and NoScript I have very few
        problems on the memory front and I don’t experience the any of the speed issues
        you give as examples. Perhaps you should try closing the last tab you
        opened and not the entire browser next time the processor gets hammered.

      • #3137603

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        I use Firefox’s Macintosh port almost every day. I’ve found that, while it takes a while to initially load, once it’s up it works better (loads pages properly formatted, supports embedded Java calls, enables proper use of Flash-heavy sites, etc.) than any other Apple-compatible browser I’ve tried (i.e., Safari and IE 5 for the Mac).

        That said, just last night I downloaded Opera. I need to spend some more time with it, as it looks very promising on the Mac. And, I noticed that, since downloading the most recent Firefox update this week, I can no longer post to the TechRepublic Blog (which uses the Jive platform) using Firefox on my Mac. That’s not what I call an update.

         

      • #3137594

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        First, the updates are quicker to install than microsoft’s updates. Hands down. No comparison. So that’s just stupid.

        Second, no it isn’t slow. You’re doing something wrong. I’ve never had
        my machine slow down from running Firefox, nor have I had it cause
        memory leaks or any of the other things you say it did. Personally I
        think you are a microsoft shill and it isn’t going to work. So that’s
        stupid too.

        Third, no it isn’t buggy. I have no idea what you are talking about.
        I’ve never had a problem with the exception of pages written
        specifically out of the standards so they will run on IE. I’ve never
        had my machine slow to a crawl because of tabs open, nor have I ever
        seen firefox.exe taking up more than 35 MB in the task manager. And it
        is always using 00 percent too.

        Personally I think you’re either a moron or an M$ shill.

      • #3136239

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by josharghhhh ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Preach it brotha’ wolf!

      • #3136186

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Ahhh… poke at someone’s sacred cow and notice all of the reaction you get.

        First wolf,
        computers are meant to be fast. Computers are designed for
        instant gratification. They’re supposed to make us more efficient. By
        your logic, we should all be using PC XTs and be blissfully waiting for the C:\> prompt to appear.

        What
        good does it do to get faster hardware when poorly written applications
        and operating systems drag the system down? For that matter, I should
        point out I have a 20 year old Tandy 1000 at home that boots Windows
        2.03 faster than my 2.8Ghz Dell boots Windows XP. Where’s the progress
        in that? Firefox 1.07 is a good application. But it could stand to be a lot better. Maybe that will be Firefox 1.5, once they finally manage to get it finished.

        And as for keyguy13, if you
        want to find a Microsoft shill on this Web site, you’ll have to look
        elsewhere. As for the moron on this post, the clearly thought out, well
        written, and rational response you gave points out who that would be.

      • #3136159

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by sadisynn ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Firefox, for saving “web page, complete”. Does a neater job there than Opera.
        Opera…..for everything else. Much better download manager (“transfers”)and handier with the tabs, opening an new page while keeping the present one on a separate tab.
        Netscape? aaaaaaaaaaa, archives pages with .jpg renamed to .jfif and not so convenient to open the file with another app. Install and use ’em all, where they have their advantages. Heck, I even open two or more browsers and copy and paste URLs from one to the other if needing the best of both simultaneously. Nuthin’ to it!

      • #3136156

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by techotter9 ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        There’s an old joke about a guy who goes to the doctor and complains:

        “Doc, every time I wave my hand it hurts”.

        “Well, don’t wave your hand then”

        The bottom line is that we’re not left without options here.  IE
        is not the only browser out there, and neither is FireFox, and neither
        is Opera or Netscape or whatever.  If one solution irks you less
        than any other, and they will all you irk you in some way, then use
        that one that is least painful.  I suppose I could go a step
        further and say that the nice thing about FireFox is that we have some
        say, either through our comments or through proactive coding, in
        shaping the final product. 

        That’s the objective course of action.  My subjective perspective
        is that I’ve never had an issue with speed and FireFox, although my
        experience with it only dates back to 0.9.  That doesn’t mean
        someone else won’t have problems, only that our working methodologies
        and scenarios differ and that FireFox will be quicker than IE for me,
        and slower for you.  On any given midafternoon after I’ve been
        accumulating webpages all day, I’ll have 3 or 4 or 5 instances of
        FireFox open with a half-dozen tabs open in each.  I’ll have 3
        email clients running (OL, OLExpress, T-Bird) along with office apps
        and a couple of gizmos like GoToMeeting, etc.  This is on a plain
        jane DELL P4 with a quarter gig of RAM running XP.  It works
        fine.  It really does.  It is painful when I have to use IE
        because of ActiveEx components and I have to sit and watch it take
        forever to do anything.  And it gets real stale, real fast, when I
        have to open another instance of IE if I want to have both pages up at
        the same time.  If I used IE the way that I use FF, then I would
        have at least a dozen instances open at any given time.  Now THAT
        would slow the system down.  Maybe IE7 will be a wonder.  I
        will try it and give it an honest evaluation.  But for the moment,
        in my working experience, FF has not exhibited any of the speed
        problems you talk about, and very few of the other problems with
        bugs.   For the moment, I’m going to continue giving all of
        my users the option to use either when I build or rebuild a box for
        them.  Most of them seem to prefer FF for generic surfing without
        my influencing them.  TMMV and so does yours and mine.

        Otter

      • #3136015

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Keyguy13,

        John a Microsoft shill? OS/2 I could see, if given the chance, but not Windows.

        The guy’s got TechRepublic running Linux on more test systems than I can count. He still runs NetWare!

        He’s just looking for the easiest, most efficient way to get things done. Seeing as how he and I have both encountered significant Firefox issues this week, I’d have to say I understand his perspective.

        Firefox is bloated. It’s huge. Takes a long time to load, too. But I don’t usually complain because Firefox has provided me with simplified access to a lot of Web-based features (online chess, Flash-heavy fantasy sports sites, complicated Web sites, etc.) I’d otherwise have more difficulty accessing on my Mac. But when the most recent Firefox update precludes me from using Firefox on my Mac to post to my TechRepublic blog (and send messages using Yahoo Mail), I will complain. That’s not an update. That’s a pain in the posterior. Especially as these elements worked properly before the update.

        50 million people use Macs. I suspect a lot of those folks use Yahoo Mail, too. How hard would that interaction have been to test? This is probably why I still use IE almost exclusively on all my Windows systems: it just works.

      • #3135927

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by minnarky ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        OK, here is my two cents worth.
        I have switched, almost exclusively, to using Firefox.  I love the
        tabbed browsing, as well as the many plugins/extensions available to
        enhance the browsing experience.  It is a little slower to load,
        but as one of the other posts pointed out if IE didn’t already have
        much of its code loaded into memory with Windows it would probably take
        just as long or longer.  But once it is loaded, Firefox is much
        faster than IE (on my machine).
        I also like the added security of Firefox.  Yes, you can lock down
        IE to make it more secure than the default settings, but since
        switching to Firefox my spyware removal programs haven’t had anything
        to remove because Firefox simply doesn’t let them in.
        I have had no problems like what you describe as “buggy
        behavior”.  I suspect that the problem lies in the web pages
        you’re viewing.  They probably have proprietary code designed to
        run only in IE instead of sticking to the web standards.  As
        standards compliant browsers become more and more popular, we will see
        less and less of these MS only sites.
        One of my machines is an AMD K6 166Mhz with 64MB ram (a real dinosaur), running Mandrake Linux, and Firefox runs just fine.

      • #3136515

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by charles farley ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Most any version of Firefox I’ve ever had–on Linux or Windows–has run
        perfectly fine and wasn’t slow in the least.  If your computer is
        slow (or perhaps it’s just you who’s slow), that’s your problem,
        jackass.  Don’t blame a perfectly-good piece of software for your
        personal problems.

      • #3136435

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        I WILL NEVER CHANGE THE IE ON ANY SUPER FF. BECAUSE FF IS APPLICATION WITH A LOT OF BUGS AND SILLY ALGHORITHM OF EATING THE HTML AND OBJECT CODES FROM PIPES TO BROWSER SCREEN.

        it is my opinion, you can have another.

        Bye, bye

      • #3136397

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by teseg ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Firefox is Not for Everyone – But it Could Be for Most People
        Extensions – not Firefox – are the cause of most system slowdowns and buggy responses. I’ve been toying with Firefox for about a year and now have 1.5rc installed. Firefox in it’s most basic form works well and is not buggy. When you change theme’s and add extensions you open up the door to potential problems. Most extensions work well with FF but some do not work well with each other. I have experienced slow load times using Adblock while others have not. When I’ve removed Adblock my page load time improves. If you like to toy around with things you’ll love Firefox. If you want a solid browser you’ll like Firefox. If you do not have a creatve curious bone in your body Internet Explorer is your best bet.

      • #3137373

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by prisms_inverted ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        i think at this time perhaps the only reason i had to log off from a website was the inability of firefox to display the rich editor sort of stuff … if i didn’t press on some wrong buttons …

      • #3137313

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by lukcad ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        My position is very strong to be opposit team of FF. They had a lot of issues that their alghorithm support all CSS1, CSS2. I don’t believe to it, because all programs for web has bug only regards FF poor executing of the requirements of W3 standarts about CSS. I never will forget their lie about that they have fully tested compatibility with CSS. It was not, it is not now and it will never will.  All that i can do for them to point about their errors and write letters to their support team. But i afraid they will forgot about dream time.

        Sincerely, LukCAD

      • #3137298

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by mikatrob ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        You don?t have to be a programmer or hacker to exploit IE.

        Not to be a shit, I use both at times dependent on task and customer code.

        We use test labs, systems with no patches (virtually none) manually secured by turning down services and manual disable of IE elements.


        We have noticed Win .x platforms with SP4 after implementation to boot about ? the time as before, certain patches break certain things.


        For networks that need to be ?updated? learn to write scripts and that solves the whole problem with having to install the entire browser.


        Or manually lock down IE and reg patch - again with scripts to the entire floor.


        Both have their advantages dependant on the needs for the task at hand, but while Firefox can close down and work funky at times, after closer inspection we have noticed at least ? patches to the floor create havoc with many 3 party apps ? meaning not MS software, When IE crashes the entire system is rebooted, when Firefox crashes the browser closes and the drive rattles.


        If you have to manually ?lay hands? on each computer, it is by far the admins dream browser, not having to fight silent installs wasting valuable time (and that?s what we are talking about ? Time and Money) on the same problem day in and day out wondering how many systems do you re-image today?

        Bit of a pickle it is, highly suggest learning to write scripts. ? do not need programmers knowledge to be at rest with a smile. We already have enough to do with all the work on those old beloved Compaq?s around.

      • #3137110

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by rodak ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        Yeah, it’s a bit slow to load the first time, but I’ve never noticed it
        to be slow after that.  I did have some problems with it maxing
        out the CPU, usually while I was downloading a lot things, but I found
        that by turning off the “Show Download Manager” option, that’s pretty
        much gone away (oddly enough, sometimes the blasted Download Manager
        still rears it’s ugly head, and things slow to a crawl, but just
        closing it fixes that).

        But aside from security (a WAY bigger issue than these other
        annoyances, imho), my absolute favorite reason to run Firefox is the
        AdBlock extension.  Now I don’t have to look at those annoying
        banner ads (like the one at the top of THIS page, which I just nuked –
        no idea what they were selling, but they’ll never sell one to me like
        that!)

      • #3135869

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        When you consider that Internet Explorer, is much sleeker and not top laden with rules and regulations, “Heck
        you can’t even decide the manner in which you would prefer to view your menus”, Internet Explorer is much
        easier to manipulate and far easier to control in just about every facet, why in the world would you want to
        change all that just to go to a program that by  definition “Must” have it’s own way, is not easily placated and a
        general Pain in the Royal Canadian. Why.?
        I’ll stick to my IE Explorer \ Outlook Express and consider it an  improvement as I don’t have to do battle with all
        the other so called Browsers out there and their trunk full of idiosyncrasies.
        It always amazes me that people are willing to just about kill themselves to learn a new program such as Firefox
        or whatever but won’t take two seconds to learn and get to know and understand what is under their very noses.
         
        In my opinion, nothing has come along yet to beat the IE Explorer and from what I’m reading now it doesn’t look
        like there are going to be any major changes anytime soon. Thisisn’t bashing, these are facts
        I would suggest developing a thorough and I mean thorough knowledge of what is right under our own noses
        and maybe, just maybe some of the problems will disappear.
        I hope.  🙂
        Regards
        Aaron 
      • #3135580

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by joweht ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        I read some of the critcicisms of Firefox posted here and I wonder if
        people are talking about the same browser I am using, or what benchmark
        is being used.

        Firefox slow ? Buggy?  I have a 3 mb bookmark file, three tool
        bars, extra’s like G mail notify and about 5 to 10 tabs open most of
        the day. I regularly run my other apps as well as a web server and
        Database server on the same machine , and I run Firefox on 4 machines
        just at home, and have experienced 1 crash over the 3 or so years I
        have been using Firefox. Is firefox being compared to other Browsers or
        to notepad?

        I don’t think IE is evil , and I do think that IE 5 deserved to win the
        browser wars, and everyone benefited from a defacto standard. But
        Tabbed browsing, Bookmark organisation ( MS Favourites is a complete
        POS for organising book marks) and the fact that I don’t have to switch
        gears for something as basic as web browsing when I move from a windows
        machine to a Linux machine would be advantages enough. I might even be
        prepared to weigh some disadvatages against those advantages, but I
        have not experienced them, and I have not experienced these problems
        through the few hundred computers where I have installed Firefox for
        Clients, (ususally to take care of some problem caused by IE’s affinity
        for Malware). I have not had anyone complain about performance or
        stability, and the very small number of people who moved back to MS IE
        full time did it because they were comfortable in that interface, or
        because one of their prime activities online was using a site that used
        IE only features such as Active X,, and not because they had
        experienced problems with Firefox in terms of stability or Performance.

      • #3119000

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by phazed_reality22 ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        there is no way that explorer is faster than firefox x.x on any machine. Ok, it may take a little longer to load up when initially executed…perhaps this is because IE partially loads components during windows startup (which, naturally slows the entire bootup process). If this nags you that bad, then maybe you should check out some of the the plug-ins mozilla has to offer, because when looking into this issue even the slightest bit you would notice that they have designed one just for this, along with many other features IE will never match until years later…claiming that it was their idea all along of course.

      • #3118931

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by kenfong ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        The reason for me to switch from IE to Mozilla or Firefox is not about performance or ease of use. It’s because many computers in our company are haunted by BHO worms, which could take a few hours to remove. The lack of tabbed browsing, pop-up killer, and a handful of extensions are other reasons I find IE lagging.
        I’ve experienced a few Firefox glitches too, but the fix as simple as killing the app from task manager, and I’ve only done that <10 times in the past year. If you have a problem with IE, you probably need to reboot or perhaps spend hours to search for a cure - obviously you can't uninstall IE and do a clean install.
        Patches is a good idea. But when installing a new computer requires 30 patches and 5 reboots (xp sp2 comes with IE6.0, which needs to be upgrade to 6.01 followed by a nunmber of patches for 6.01), I appreciate Firefox's full build simplicity.

      • #3118485

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by roho ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        As a web developer I use all available browsers I can get installed on
        my system. So I have seen my fair share of irks and breakdowns of each.
        Firefox remains my main browser, for several reasons. From a developer
        point of view it is the best W3C compliant rendering browser I have. As
        a web surfer I like it because of the many extensions available.
        So when someone gets fed up with my favorite browser I am getting interested. Not to flame him for being a moron, but to see why he is displeased.

        Some time ago there was discussion after Symantec cam up with a report stating Firefox had more security holes then Internet Explorer. Many thought this was not completely true, including me. Any bad news about Firefox is worth reading and commenting as we should learn from that to make Firefox better or just to spread the gospel.

        Now the points brought forward in this post are IMHO valid observations.

        • Updates.
          Updates can be somewhat cumbersome, but I think it is still a smoother
          process then Internet Explorer’s updating system. Still version 1.5
          should improve this. It hasn’t yet bothered me much.
        • Slow.
          Slow in initial loading. Yes, it is. But IE is an unseparable part of
          the OS and is already loaded when the Windows loads. So, comparison is
          a bit unfair.
          Slow in use. I have not reaaly had any problems with that. I have
          ususally about ten applications running at the same time: Outlook,
          SharpReader, Firefox, a couple of instances of Visual Studio, Firefox,
          Internet Explorer and more. I have not found that Firefox brings my
          system to a grinding halt it ususally is one of the others.
        • Buggy.
          I agree that most of the problems I have had in Firefox were related to
          Extensions and/or Themes. Although every now and then Firefox does
          crash, but not more often then IE.

        What I liked most about the post was that we have someone who uses
        Firefox everyday make some critical remarks about the product. His main
        point that Open Source is not per se the magical Silver Bullet, but
        just another piece of software and so is bound to have bugs. And since
        it is not written by yourself there are always things that you might
        wish it could do, like getting a cup of coffee.
        I have to do that myself, now. Well, all right.

      • #3118382

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by gymbutt ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        ‘Firefox’ is your main browser.  Maybe because it is much safer at
        this point in time.  I have to disagree however, with the CPU
        usage and your update issue.  I have a 3200+ AMD CPU and with
        ‘Firefox’ and ‘Thunderbird’ running my average CPU usage is 3%. 
        The memory usage does seems high, but I figure that software complexity
        will keep escalating and CPU manufacturers will continue to advance CPU
        capabilities to accomodate the demand.  Updating ‘Firefox’ has
        been streamlined.  I run the 1.0.7 version and by double-clicking
        the Icon next to the ‘Mozilla’ logo in the upper right hand corner;
        ‘Firefox’ automatically looks for and installs updates.  A list is
        provided when any addons can not be updated. 
        As for the need for speed, both ‘Firefox’ and ‘IE Explorer’ have their
        speedy and pokey personalities.   Also, when addressing ‘IE
        Explorer’ only sites,  installing an addon that allows the user to
        view a site via ‘IE Explorer’ solves the problem and you don’t have to
        exit ‘Firefox’.

        I use ‘Firefox’ for the following reasons:
            1.    More secure than IE Explorer. 
            2.    ‘Firefox’ can be customized
        extensively with a large selection of Exetensions, Themes and Plugins.
            3.    I can tweak and control
        ‘Firefox’ depending on the site visited and the potential for malware
        intrusion.
            4.    I have more trust that the
        ‘Mozilla Organization’ will address security and other issues faster
        and more honestly.

      • #3119687

        Getting fed up with Firefox

        by nonexistant ·

        In reply to Getting fed up with Firefox

        I first tried out Firefox around version 0.6 and innitially I was
        amazed by how fast it was compared to IE.  But then, after a few
        version upgrades and the addition of god only knows how many themes and
        extensions (all of which are from different, and unnofficial
        sources…and they demand periodically to be upgraded too…), Firefox
        started slowing to a crawl, hanging, maxing out the cpu and
        crashing.  I’m not an IT pro…just a home user running an old
        second-hand IBM with an 800Mhz P3 and 128Mb of RAM…I’m also not what
        most people would consider a “geek” either.  So it took a while
        and a lot of stumbling around trying to find the right search terms on
        Google before i found out what was wrong and in the meantime i took to
        using the Mozilla Suite instead – but after a while that started doing
        similar, especially if I tried using the Azureus P2P software at the
        same time.  Turns out it’s all the themes and extensions (which
        sort of seems to make sense at least to me – lots of addons from
        different sources, none of whom seem to co-opperate with each other
        seems to me to be a brilliant recipe for a creating a total mess of
        conflicting code.)  Small wonder Firefox and Mozilla slow down and
        freeze up really…

        (By the way, I still use Firefox, Mozilla and IE….and Netscape and
        Opera as well, but Mozilla is the browser that seems to get most use
        from me.)

    • #3136133

      Going from a Neon to a Viper

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I drive a Plymouth Neon to work every day. Not a Dodge Neon mind you,
      but a good old fashioned Plymouth Neon. Nothing fancy. It’s a nice
      little car. Gets great gas mileage. Runs nice. Peppy 2.0 liter 16 valve
      4 cylinder. Not fast mind you, but it gets the job done. Certainly not
      a Viper by any stretch of the imagination. But I like it. I wish
      it was faster sometimes, but I still like it and use it.
      That about sums up my experience so far with my Lenovo Tablet PC. Until now.

      It’s been a nice little unit. I use it every day. I like it, but
      I really had expected it to be faster than it was. I had
      mentioned the speed problems I’ve had with it in other blog entries.
      I originally thought it was because it was loaded down with too many
      services. Then after I removed the unnecessary stuff, it still was
      slow. Then I started suspecting Norton Antivirus which is notorious for
      slowing down machines. But not even Norton’s could make it as slow as
      it felt.

      Not any more. Now my Tablet PC is a Viper. It boots fast, opens
      programs fast. Everything’s zip, zip, zip. What was the difference?
      Power Management.

      Lenovo shipped me the unit with its Power Management settings
      configured to run the CPU at its slowest setting whether it was plugged
      in or on battery. Specifically, it was running at 243Mhz. Kind of like
      running a 10 cylinder Viper on 2 cylinders.

      With my HP Omnibook and Dell Inspiron, the Power Management settings
      were always configured to run at low speed on battery and high speed
      when plugged in. I didn’t initially think to check to see if the Lenovo
      was configured the same way, just rather made the assumption it was.

      Using IBM’s Power Manager, you’ve got about a dozen different choices
      for how the Tablet PC operates on AC and on battery. You can also set
      custom configurations. Mine came from Lenovo configured for Timers Off,
      which essentially set everythint to the slowes possible setting to
      maximize battery life and speed recharge times.

      The first thing I did was set it back to Thinkpad (Default). That made
      the Tablet work like my Dell and HP – faster on plug-in, slow on
      battery. The difference for the Thinkpad’s settign was how it handled
      the CPU when plugged in. On the default setting, the CPU is configured
      for Adaptive speed when plugged in. That means that the more you use
      it, the faster it goes. When you’re not using the computer as much, it
      throttles back the CPU. On battery, it still ran slow all the time.
      When I ran the tests with the CPU on Adaptive, the computer told me it
      was now 593Hmz. Closer, but not the fully advertised 1.5Ghz.

      So, I set the settings to Maximum Performance. That was Full Power all
      the time – battery or A/C. Immediately it registered at the full speed
      and the computer responded exactly the way I expected it to out of the
      box. Naturally however, the battery took a major hit. Running at full
      speed, IBM’s 6.5-hour battery now exhausts itself in about 2 hours. And
      because it’s running at full power when plugged in, the battery also
      charges slower. I wound up with the speed of a Dodge Viper, and
      mileage to match it.

      For now it’s back to what should have been the original default. Why
      Lenovo shipped it to me as it was, I can only speculate. Now it will go
      fast when docked and slow to preserve battery power when not. I
      may play with the Adaptive CPU speed to see how it affects battery
      life, but that will be for another blog entry or TPG Article.

    • #3117800

      Happy Birthday Firefox!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      After the last blog entry I made about FireFox
      and its accompanying torrent of responses, I was almost hesitant to
      write about Firefox again. But, yesterday marked Firefox’s 1st
      anniversary of public release, so I figured I had to at least offer
      congratulations. 

      Until last year the browser wars were basically considered over. Opera,
      Safari, Mozilla, and what was left of Netscape  buzzed around IE
      like mosquitos around an elephant. Now all the buzz is around Firefox.

      Firefox 1.5 is right around the corner. I just downloaded and installed Release Candidate 1.
      The installation went well with no big gotchas. As soon as I’ve kicked
      it around a while, I’ll give you my impressions – and try to find a
      fire extinguisher for  the responses.

    • #3131220

      First glitches with Firefox 1.5

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Here I was all ready to enter a new blog entry about Microsoft and how it was mulling creating free versions of some of its applications with advertising built-in.  So, I clicked Add A New Post and entered a title. Unfortunately I couldn’t enter in body of the blog. For some reason, the entry screen here doesn’t support Firefox 1.5.  Luckily, I was able to just fire up IE to enter this.

      I’ll have to check with the team that’s in charge of our blogs to see if it’s a Firefox issue or a Jive issue.  Even so, let’s hope it’s not a harbinger of what the next version of Firefox is going to bring.

      • #3131200

        First glitches with Firefox 1.5

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to First glitches with Firefox 1.5

        lol

      • #3129055

        First glitches with Firefox 1.5

        by alangeek ·

        In reply to First glitches with Firefox 1.5

        I won’t use IE at all, except as an absolute last resort. I mostly use Opera for everything, then Firefox if necessary, then anything else I have available (Konqueror or Netscape on Linux) before I’ll ever fire up IE.

        Unfortunately, TechRepublic just broke the “Next page” or “Forward” function for Opera in the discussions, so it now just goes to a Dice.com ad. I hope they fix this soon.

    • #3131866

      Microsoft Works ? Brought to you by TechProGuild?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Now that OpenOffice 2.0 has
      finally shipped
      and Microsoft has released Office 12 into
      beta
      , a lot of noise has cropped up around office suites. Even competitors
      you haven?t heard of in a long time such as the WordPerfect Office Suite are
      making news again. One of the more interesting articles I saw, was where
      Microsoft is embedding ads into certain of its office
      products such as Microsoft Works.

      Works, as you probably know, is Microsoft?s entry level
      office suite. Running an older version of Microsoft Word and some
      Works-specific spreadsheets and databases, Works is supposed to give people who
      buy computers some software to get basic work done after they buy a low-end
      machine. I don?t know of any small business that actually runs on Microsoft
      Works. It?s aimed purely at the entry-level home user.

      Even so, it?s interesting that Microsoft is considering
      embedding ads into the software. They?re still mulling about how it would work.
      I assume it would be something similar to the way that Opera used to do it on
      their web browser ? you?d have a banner at the top by the menu bar. But I?m
      sure Bill has something much more clever in mind.

      What’s kind of amazing in that article is the fact that Micrsoft
      only makes $2 on each copy of Works that it bundles with PCs. Of
      course, spread out over probably millions of machines that come with
      Works preinstalled, you’re talking real money. But even so Bill
      probably has that much loose change in his couch at home.

      For now, I guess enjoy that ?free? software that come with
      your computer. It?s possible that soon your office suite and your operating
      system itself could start popping ads up while you?re trying to work. It?s even
      possible that Microsoft software could be brought to you by TechProGuild
      someday!     

    • #3122295

      Happy 20th Bday Windows!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Yesterday (November 20) was the 20th birthday of everyone’s favorite
      operating system – Windows. Windows 1.0 shipped November 20,
      1985. Looking back at Windows 1.0 now is something of a joke. The old
      graphical DOS Shell that came with DOS 6.0 was more graphical than
      Windows 1.0. You could run a few programs in Windows 1.0, but it
      was mostly a file manager.

      Windows 2.0 was only slightly better. A few programs such as Excel
      actually debuted on this version of Windows. Later incarnations of 2.0
      such as Windows 286 and Windows 386 began to show the direction that
      Windows was starting to take.

      Windows 3.0 – and especially Windows 3.1 – was where Windows finally
      took off. As with most things Microsoft, the first couple of releases
      weren’t the ones you wanted. You had to wait until they started getting
      things closer to right, and that took, and still takes, about 3
      versions. Windows 3.0 was nice to look at, but a disaster to run.
      Especially if you wanted to multitask DOS programs. I used DesqView
      back then and it was much better for multitasking than 3.0. Windows
      3.0’s interface was better than 2.0, but still left much to be desired.
      It wasn’t until Windows 3.1 that Windows really took off.

      I still have a copy of Windows 2.03 running on a Tandy 1000 of mine at home. I fire it up every once in a while, mostly to play Balance Of Power.
      As I’ve pointed out before, it’s kind of funny that my 7Mhz
      286-accellerated Tandy 1000 running Windows 2.03 boots faster to the
      desktop than my 2.8Ghz P4 Dell boots Windows XP.

      Windows has survived the onslaughts of Mac, Linux, and OS/2 on the
      desktop. It’s conquered Unix, OS/2, and NetWare on the network. With
      Windows behind it, Microsoft Office destroyed Lotus 123, WordPerfect,
      and dBase. Internet Explorer crushed Netscape in just a few years.

      Will Windows remain #1 forever? It’s hard to tell. Chinks have appeared
      in the Microsoft armor, but as of yet it doesn’t look like it. We’ll
      see what the next 20 years hold. Noone would have guessed we are where
      we are today based on Windows 1.0 20 years ago.

      • #3122286

        Happy 20th Bday Windows!

        by rexworld ·

        In reply to Happy 20th Bday Windows!

        I think the next 20 years will see less, not more, innovation in
        software.  We’re at the point where there’s so much code in even
        the most pedestrian applications, it takes a while to add new
        functionality and features.  Look at the huge temporal gap between
        Windows XP and Windows Vista.

        That’s what’s in store for us, I suspect.  There will be
        innovations on the edges–iPod is a good example, DVR another. 
        But the Operating System is going to be a much slower upgrade path from
        here on out.  Which I think also means that Windows’ dominance is
        here to stay for a good long while.  With upgrade cycles this
        long, it’s going to be quite a while before anybody dislodges Microsoft
        from the top of the heap.

    • #3122127

      Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Now that the big Holiday Shopping Season is upon us, not to mention that time of year when you?re busy trying to finish spending what?s left of your IT Budget, you?re probably watching the flood of sale ads. As you?ve probably noticed in many sale ads, almost everything comes with a rebate nowadays.

      Rather than just lowering prices on items, retailers such as CompUSA, Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, and so on team up with manufacturers to offer rebates to advertise ?lower? prices on items. Often an item will have two rebates tied to it. Sometimes there are as many as three or four.

      Why offer rebates and not just straight up lower prices? Because rebates work ? for sellers. They entice people into buying the product because of the lower price and then often the rebates aren?t ever processed or received by end users. A recent article in Business Week pointed out that 40% of advertised rebates never get redeemed. Retailers and vendors keep all the extra money and still get the original sale.

      Personally, I don’t like rebates. If I have to choose between two products, I’ll almost always go for the product which is truly ‘on sale’, even if the one with the rebate winds up being slightly cheaper in the end.

      You don?t have to worry about rebates when you?re a TechProGuild member. Original articles, downloads, and access to the 250-book TechBook library are all free. You can?t get any cheaper than that. Also, as a TechProGuild member, you get 20% off of all purchases from our online catalog, even on third-party books such as our O’Reilly Hacks-Pack bundles. That?s 20% off the top straight-up. No rebate forms to fill out, send in, and hope you ever get back.

      Want to see who’s next On the Soapbox? Find out in the Blog Roundup newsletter. Use this link to automatically subscribe and have it delivered directly to your Inbox every Wednesday.

      • #3122066

        Rebates: Savings or scams?

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Scams, absolutely scams.

        If a retailer or manufacturer truly wishes to promote a product, they’d simply reduce the price (as in, have a sale, not cut-the-UPC-from-the-box-then-remove-the-special-rebate-code-then-address-the-form and send two copies, originals only, to Sri Lanka).

      • #3121932

        Rebates: Savings or scams?

        by rexworld ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I’m actually going to agree with Erik on this one.  Every now and then he’s right.  🙂

        It’s so misleading to advertise a sale price in big bold print, and
        then put a little asterisk with tiny print that details the multiple
        rebate forms you have to submit to actually get that price.  The
        biggest scam is the taxes–the store may claim the “final price” is $20
        after the $40 rebate, but in fact you had to pay sales taxe on the full
        $60 purchase price.  You don’t get the taxes refunded, yet the
        store is allowed to claim the lower sales price in their ads.

      • #3127686

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by mill3502 ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Let’s face it, it’s very attractive to retailers because they show higheer profits and that is the name of the game.  They put it on the consumer to get their money and as you pointed out 40% of the time you don’t.  I’m still waiting for my rebate from a unnamed PC manufacturer and it’s been 3 months.  And last when you cut that UPC you give up your right to return the product for a refund because you have destroyed the packaging and the most you can claim is a swap again keeping profits up.

         

      • #3127474

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by mirrormirror ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        SCAM!  I have had my rebate rejected with the note that they need original documents sent to reconsider my rebate.  Well, DUH…I can’t send the originals ’cause I already sent them in the first place!!!  Now, I refuse to buy anything that I have to send something in for a rebate.  What get’s me is that the store will advertise their product at the price that it would be if you actually get the rebates.  I think the stores and manufacturers should have a lawsuit filed against them for complicity in nonpayment of rebates.  In advertising the price with the rebates, aren’t the stores implying that you will receive your rebate?  Where’s a lawyer when you need them?

      • #3127473

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by gsg ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Most people are too lazy to fill out the rebates.  They buy the product with the best of intentions but never get around to it.  On the other hand, if you do your research, and turn in the rebates, and bug them until you get your check, it can turn out OK.  That’s how I purchased a $1600 laptop for only $800.  Oh, and it was an open stock item.  If you purchase open stock items, then the “sticker price” is just a place to start.  Best Buy and Circuit City in particular will negotiate with you on their open stock items.

        So the short of it is, yes, they are a scam, but only because of basic human nature.  If you send those rebates in, and make sure you get them back, then you can get a good deal.

      • #3128691

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by jay ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I’ve only had 1 rebate rejected, since then I always send the mail
        certified, costs about $2.50 but worth the time and effort to get the
        money.  You have to read the instructions very carefully, if it
        says circle the sales price and you don’t, that means the form isn’t
        filled in right and it gets rejected.  Some are very sneaky, the
        rebate form will have check boxes but the instructions say to circle
        the item you have.  Most will reject PO boxes even though they use
        a PO box to collect the forms.
        I use a PO box for all mail and for a long time I could put the street
        address of the post office  and my box number as a suite number
        and it would get delivered, but that all stopped after 9/11, guess the
        terrorists were doing this too.

        Intuit even did a direct deposit of my $100 for Quickbooks.

        If you feel you’ve been ripped off let the manufacturer know, file a
        complaint with the postal service, complain to the store, tell them you
        bought the product on the belief the rebate would be
        honored.   Call the local TV station that has a victim’s
        advocate / troubleshooter program, let the store and manufacturer know
        you’re doing that.  Call your credit card company and see if they
        can withhold payment to the store.  The sellers are counting on
        your laziness not to pursue this, the odds are in their favor you’ll
        bitch and moan and do nothing else.
        Jay

      • #3128674

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by zaferus ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        The retailers defend rebates as a way for them to “track” the success of their promotions.  But you’re right the real reason is they can advertise a lower price and not have to pay all of it back.

        I’ve had rebates I’ve sent in and never gotten the money – when I call they say there is nothing they can do since I’ve already sent in the original UPC and they won’t take anything else as proof.  Nice, huh?

      • #3129101

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by skyzyx ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I bought a dell computer three years ago and was supposed to receive a 100 dollar rebate…after numerous phone calls and letters of complaint I’ve given up trying to get it…other than wasting my time…it proved to me that rebates are more of a “bait” than anything else

      • #3129063

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by alangeek ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I’ve read postings from people who claim to have worked at rebate centers. They often state that the marketing people assure the retailers that they will reject as many as 40% or more of all rebate applications received to limit the retailer’s payout. Other people have mentioned receiving rejection emails claiming that the form was never received, when that’s the only way they would have gotten the email address in the first place. It’s all a major scam, and I’m sick of it. I had one of my rebate checks for $50 sent to me with someone else’s name on it, so I wasn’t able to cash it. The last purchase I made required ** 7 ** forms to be filled out and sent in to various addresses across the country, and in the case of some that went to the same address and PO Box, it was stated that they must be sent in separate envelopes or they would not be honored. This is getting way out of hand.

      • #3129033

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I generally avoid rebates, too. The only time I will make an exception
        is when I have had a positive rebate experience with that company in
        the past. For example, DirecTV is really good about their rebates (2
        week turnaround), so I will buy their products that require rebates.

      • #3129027

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by dobbinsm ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I think that if the government wants to do something really great for the consumer, they could pass a bill eliminating rebates and make the manufactor and stores give you the precentage off up front.My stomach curls up in knots with disgust and anger everytime I see a rebate offer. I would like to take that rebate offer and …….. well, you get the picture.

      • #3128984

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by jo.shell ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I have had some good luck in the past with rebates of smaller dollar amounts, but I’m currently waiting for rebates on a computer I bought.  Okay I bought it in the summer, and I’m still waiting!  The last “delay” was that they said they didn’t have my correct zip code.  Well, no…you won’t have the correct zip code when YOU only type in 4 numbers!!  Hummm, and my copies had 5 numbers on the zip.  Go figure.  Of course, from the time I got that problem corrected they say its another 6-8 week wait.  And all this started when it took me almost 2 hours (yes, TWO) to fill out all the forms, scan it all so I would have copies, and mail them off..in separate envelopes of course!!  Never again is what I’m saying!!!!!  It is just a big rip-off. 

         

      • #3129393

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by fyrewerx ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I’ve had ten rejected rebate requests — all from the biggest scammer of all:  Symantec.  Each time, I made copies of all submittals, and STAPLED all required submittals together.  When I received the “reject notice” via email or website posting, I’ve successfully challenged all ten.  It may not be completely Symantec’s fault — just sloppy handling by their rebate contractor, Parago.  However, Symantec should realize they are losing customers by allowing the scam to continue — or maybe they just figure they have all their customers “locked in.”

         

      • #3129341

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I have made it a rule, a long time ago, that I “NEVER” go for rebates. Rebates are the bottom feeder’s way of trying to get your money and then lead you one hell of a dance if you try to get any of it back. I go in, buy the product, paid for in full, and leave. I’ve even had sales clerks try and stear me unto this rebate thing, then I point out that I’m living in Canada and they are in Florida, Texas, San Fernando, or whatever, then I ask her what she thinks my chances are that I’ll get a fair shake if anything goes wrong with the product. All she does is raise her shoulders and smile.

        That’s what the rebate program is worth, and so I made it a rule for myself, If I can afford it, fine, if I need to rebate the darned thing, they can keep it.

        God even Symantec has tried this nonesense and been represented poorly. If they know it, then they deserve what they get in lost sales, but if they don’t know it, “WAKE UP SYMANTEC” you’re being done in by you’re own reps.

        We won’t around forever.

        Thank you for your attention

        Aaron 🙂 

      • #3126877

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by nobodyhome ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        The best experience I have had with rebates is with Staples (office supply company) “Easy Rebate”
        system.  It is all done online, they keep you informed as to progress, and you do get the rebates within
        the time they specify.  No mail-in or shaving off a UPC label is necessary.  Of course, it applies only
        to items bought at Staples, in-store or online.

        That said, I still detest the rebate system of price inflation.

      • #3126833

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by born4fun ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        There is no question in my mind  that most rebates are scams. Look at the numbers. About 80% of people purchasing rebated items don’t ever complete the rebate forms or mail them in during the reqired time period. Of the 20% that do complete everything and meet all the absurd requirements  30% to 40% will have their rebates refused as incomplete, out of date or not for the advertised product. And this does not include the additional few percent who’s forms will be listed as not received at all. Thus for all the advertising benefits to the retailer or manufacturers, the actual cost is about 12%, not the 40-50 or 60% of prices being advertised. The worst offenders in my opinion are those in the direct sales channel. Dell Computers makes you buy something at full price, fill out a bunch of forms, send them in and wait 6-12 weeks to get a rebate. Try telling their financing arm (DFS) that you will begin making payments as soon as you receive their rebate and see what happens to your credit rating…Shame on you Michael Dell!  Shame on all the retailers who participate in this ongoing scam, and shame on us as consumers for not insisting that the retailer sell us the item for the price advertised before the asterisks and wait for the rebates from the manufacturers themselves.

      • #3126815

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by hermit47 ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I worked for a call center that had Dell for a client, doing their customer support. In the time I worked there, Dell had gone through many confrontations with customers over strict policies with rebates. The issue escalated to the point where Dell requested that we try to press policy, but rather than lose customers over misunderstandings, send a request to the rebate center to reprocess the rebate. It was our understanding that Dell made provisions with the rebate center to accept and reprocess rebates that were accompanied by the request sent by customer service reps. The only rebates refused at that point would be ones that were neglected and in some cases outdated by up to a year or more; Also ones that were offered under limited circumstances like offers for a particular configuration, but the customer added or changed items in the purchase, would be refused.

        While it is true that rebates are nothing more that a “come on” to make the purchase. Flyers and advertising are nothing more to retailers than a tool to draw customers to the point of purchase. Packaging is nothing more that art to entice the sale, so if they splash the “come on” at you and you purchase, then the art worked. Any rebate I have ever seen has always had rules to follow to redeem it. That’s what makes it different from an up front sale. I have also noticed that the price stores put on THEIR shelves is the price you pay at the register/check-out. That is the market or retail price, and other types of sales and discounts would be applied to that price.

        Perhaps the best lesson learned in any of this is simply;

        • Read the fine print before the purchase, then decide whether it is a good deal.
        • When rebates are offered, terms are written either in fine print on the document, or if on the web, links are attached for the details of the offer, read it.
        • Pay attention to footnotes and asterisks, they are the “ifs” of the offer.
      • #3126807

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by boomslang ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        About the only thing that works is Staples online rebates. They give
        you the rebate info on a duplicate receipt, you go to the website, fill
        in the information and they pretty much process it within the time
        period they say is needed to fulfill it. I have yet to be burned on one
        of these type of rebates.

        Where it gets sticky is when the rebate is a third party manufacturer
        rebate that the manufacturer will not allow Staples to process through
        their website. STAY AWAY FROM THESE. They pretty much conform to the
        40% failure rate mentioned, and it is not worth your time fighting for
        the $10 rebates as you will waste way more than $10 of your time and
        life trying to get them to be honored. I shop with that in mind and
        read the rebate crud. If it is one of these types, I just do not buy
        it. Hit Pricegrabber or Nextag and usually you can find it cheaper
        anyway. Vote with your dollars and DO NOT SUPPORT these fraudulent
        come-ons.

      • #3126803

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by da philster ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Mail-in rebates exist because people let them exist.

        Somewhere along the line, the idea of satisfying the customer has disappeared. The customer has to jump through hoops to be served. Try reaching a real live person for assistance. Good luck! Welcome to “Press this or Press that hell” So the manufacturer saves a few bucks on real live people. Isn’t the customer’s time worth anything? Someone is definitely getting “shortchanged” here.

        Back to mail-in rebates. I agree with all the deficiencies already listed and would like to add that many people put the full purchase price (plus taxes) on their credit cards on which they already run balances. The merchants that have their own cards (often at APR in the 30% per annum range) make out quite handsomely on the “rebated” amounts on which the interest clock ticks away.

        Personally, when I am offerred a mail-in rebate deal, I just walk away from it AND tell them why. I neither have the time nor the patience for this kind of foolishness.

        “You can make a difference”

      • #3128101

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by 123xyz ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Insert comment text here

         “Rebates” are used as incentives to purchase their products – not to offer the buyer any “cut in price”. They want to sell and collect their monies. . .and then “cut bait” to move to the next fish). They have absolutely no desire to  assist in fulfilling any “rebate” promise. You are totally on your own after they get your money. A big sell pitch for buying a Dell computer (and signing up for Verizon’s DSL when buying the computer) was a rebate of $100. I bit the bait – months later, no rebate. I checked “on line” as I was told to – it told me “none” under “Rebate”. I went ballistic and was just as determined to get the $100 as they were to not giving it to me. I didn’t let up – documenting everything – I thought that Dell certyainly must have some integrity somewhere! Guess they decided I was too much trouble, and they sent me their check for $100. My opinion is that if this was a true “rebate” and not “reBAIT”, I would not have had to fight for my money. To the retailers who do this, I say SHAME ON YOU for making this a part of your selling strategy. Rebate should be spelled . . . REBAIT!  As I see it (and have experienced it), that’s what it is used for – BAIT.

        Barbra Richman

      • #3127875

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by darcellep ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Customer service has went to hell in a handbasket.  Most people in customer service act like you are being a pain in the butt when all you need is informaton.  I worked in Customer Service for 28 years and I was very concerned why customers were irate.  I always told my customers to document everything.  Most everyone has a large calander in their home.  I use to tell my customers document on your calender jeverytime you had to call, the person you spoke with, and the reason you were calling.  If the representative told you they would do a follow up with you on such and such a date, circle it on the calender with the letters FU and the company name.  File a complaint with the BBB against the company if necessary.  I did not receive a rebate of 300.00 for a computer I purchased and the company went bankrupt.  I like most of these postings will not buy anything that has a rebate unless it is given up front with my purchase.  Let these manufacturers know how you feel, call them and file a complaint directly with them and maybe that could change the guidelines on their so called “rebates”.

      • #3127862

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by pet ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        You can be a cynic and call them scams, or you can judge them for what they are: making customers jump through a few hoops to claim their savings. The business week article that 40% of advertised rebates never get redeemed are the fault of customers, not companies unwilling to rebate them. The onus is squarely on the customer to follow the instructions correctly to get their money back. No one forces you to buy something with a mail-in rebate. Here’s an old news flash I revealed earlier this year: http://www.techforthetimid.com/2005/05/are-mail-in-rebates-scam.html

      • #3129777

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by chug ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I agree that given the choice I would much rather not deal with rebates, and I agree that the reason retailers do them is because they know most will never even be mailed in.  BUT, until the general public just quits buying things on rebates, rebates will never go away and there are just too many good deals to pass up to not use them.  I do probably 20 or 30 rebates each year for at least the last 5 or 6 years and have NEVER had one that I didn’t get the money.  I get maybe 1 per year that I do get a rejection notice for but I always keep copies of everything I mail in (I just scan them and keep PDF copies on my PC instead of keeping paper, but keep paper if that’s your only option) and any time I’ve had one rejected I contact the company immediately and they have me resend the copies and it’s always accepted after that.

        Also, almost all rebates can be tracked on web sites now and this makes it much easier.  I check the status on my rebates online about 2 weeks after I mail it to make sure it was accepted, and then about a week after the deadline the form said I should get my check to see if the check had been issued yet.

        The one BIG complaint I do have is that it takes so dang long to get the rebate check after it’s received.  With e-mail notification on most rebates now you know exactly when they received it and most rebates take at least full months to get the check after it’s received.  CompUSA rebates are the WORST, they usually take close to 6 months!  This is even when the rebate form clearly states “8 to 10 weeks” or maybe “12 weeks”.  With some very rare exceptions I never get rebates within the time frame the form says I should.  One thing I would like to see is somebody (some state attorney generals maybe) go after these companies and make them stick to the time frames they advertise.

         

      • #3129772

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by hewitt_charles ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Right on the money. I don’t even want to think of how much money I’ve been hosed out of because of the rebate scam.

        I really like sorry can’t have two rebates for the same two products  go to the same address. Even though I bought two of the widgets. I would rather just buy something without the d__m rebate than get ripped again or buy online. Rebates just suck!!—ch

         

      • #3126572

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by hypnotoad72 ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Scam.

        MAXTOR said I lost out on a $100 rebate, claiming I did not include the original receipt.  That was a lie.

        COREL said I didn’t send in the Paint Shop Pro rebate form in soon enough.  That was a lie.

        MICROSOFT said I didn’t include sufficient proof of
        purchase information, so I had to carve up my other OS box. 
        Whatever, but I did get the rebate.  (which reminds me, I’ve lost
        out on OTHER rebates (usually ‘competitive rebates’) because of this
        box-cutting bull.

        Been 3 months now and I’m still waiting for $20 from another company as
        well.  Pity I didn’t get “We’re telling you to bugger off because
        ____” as I’d love to add in their name too.

        Mail order or nothing, I won’t play the infantile game anymore. 
        They don’t care, apart from going back on their word using excuses they
        know we can’t prove against (they hold the evidence!)

        And thanks to open source, more and more rebates become a non-issue.

      • #3126433

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by dwightp ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Recently purchased a color laser printer thru Staples.  It had a $50.00 Staples rebate.  Because my arm was in a cast, a  Staples manager at the store, who sold the product, filled out the rebate form and attached all the correct slips and UPC code.  Several weeks later, rec’d notice that the rebate had been rejected because the attached UPC was the wrong one.  Back I went to Staples and showed the store manager the email.  She told me she was sorry but there was nothing that could be done and she only filled out the forms for me as a “customer service”.  Took out my Staples card and asked if I could borrow a pair of scissors as I WOULD NOT SHOP at a store that treated it’s customers the way Staples did.  She asked me to wait a moment and came back with $50.00 is discount coupons (had to buy almost $500.00 to get the $50.00 savings).  I mailed my cut-up card to the VP in charge of customer service, along with the discount coupons and a letter and copy of all the rebate documentation.  About 2 weeks later; I got a new card in the mail saying they were replacing the damaged card!  NEVER AGAIN!  Unless the rebate is an “instant” rebate, I will not buy the product and NEVER AGAIN at Staples!

         

         

         

         

      • #3126353

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by sql_joe ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Never had a problem with the Staples Easy Rebate program.  I am wary of others.  I think sometimes they’re just very slow (accruing interest).  Its been more than once that I’ve received a check in the mail from someone and had to do research, only to learn it was a rebate check from over a year ago!

        George

      • #3126270

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by chug ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        Regarding Staples Easy Rebates, I’ve never done one of these but I read something somewhere that the rebate isn’t actually a check that you can cash or deposit, but instead more like a gift certificate or gift card good for credit only at Staples.  Is that true?  If so, that’s absolutely worthless to someone who doesn’t shop there often.  I almost bought something out of their day after Thanksgiving ad until I saw the comment about the easy rebate only being store credit.

      • #3095945

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by suavebob0 ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        The rebate matter sounds like the US Postal Service. My boss complained about my appointments with the Veterans Administration Hospital. I told him that I was given these appointments by my doctor and he made the decision that they weren’t important. I kept my appointments and he wrote me up. I made a grievance, but level 1 was with my supervisor who gave the usual answer (DENIED.) My level 2 was with his partner downstairs who came up and berated me in front of my coworkers and gave the usual answer (DENIED.) My level three was between two people (one from Connecticut and one from New Jersey [I’m from the Bronx, NY and was workingin White Plains, NY.]) When I went to arbitration, the arbitrator sat down with me and told me that hegets to go on many trips around the country arbitrating Postal disputes and is paid very well. Naturally, he have the same answer (DENIED.) I went to the EEOC and they told me that because I worked for the US Postal Service, I would have to go to the Postal Service EEOC. The called me on the day of the arbitration and asked where I was for the hearing (Everyone lese was there, where were you?) They were told that I was at work (because I had found a job because I needed an income.) I called them back the next day and told them that I wasn’t there because I hadn’t received notification of a hearing. They had a copy of the Return Receipt Requested which was not signed on the back (the Postal service sends everything Return Receipt Requested because they do not pay for it.) They got me in touch with someone from New York City who DENIED my request for another hearing and got me in touch with someone from Washington, D.C. (who, also, DENIED my request for another hearing) and ever since then, I’ve been getting the run-around. It took me two years before I got a copy (front and back) of the Return Receipt Requested showing that I had not received the notification. Incidentally, the job that I found was with a Rebate House as a Rebate Inspector.

      • #3207351

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by laketahoeent ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        My girl friend purchased two phones with $100.00 rebates
        each from verizon. I am very familiar with the difficulty with rebates, so I
        took it upon myself to make the copies and send them out myself. After not
        receiving any rebates I decided to contact Young America to see where my rebate
        was. The gentleman was very courteous to me and told me to send out the
        original receipt for the phones and I would receive my rebates shortly after
        their receipt. I did not want to do this as in order to get my insurance if my
        phones were lost or damaged, I would need original receipts. I did send out the
        original and waited. After one month I received my letter un-opened with the
        words time has expired for this rebate. I called young America only to be told
        that it was too late and I was out of luck. So I asked to contact a supervisor
        and was told the same thing. This was after talking with a very courteous young
        man who had said there would be no problem and just send in the original
        receipt. Now I feel I was lied to and wasted all the time I invested to receive
        this money promised to us. Very Disappointed and upset with the customer
        service that I received. I will copy this letter to the President of Verizon
        and to various consumer blogs (http://www.uspirg.org/consumer) (http://www.maryschmidt.com/2006/03/24/we-value-your-business/)

        (http://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/01/free_the_ad_scr_1.html#comments)

         and websites
        until this problem is resolved.

      • #3280154

        Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        by uhopfer ·

        In reply to Rebates: Do they provide real savings or are they nothing but scams?

        I just got ripped off by Symantec who did not honor their rebate for Ghost10. Their justification: Invalid postmark. That does not make any sense because their posted purchase period is 9/23/05 and 12/31/06, according to the coupon. Today is 10/6/06 and I bought Ghost 10 in June 2006, which clearly falls in the posted period.

    • #3126291

      OS/2 Lives!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      With all all the talk around here lately of MacOS vs. Linux vs.
      Windows, it got me thinking lately about my old Microsoft Alternative
      OS Of Choice – OS/2. Long ago having lost the desktop war with Windows,
      OS/2 quickly faded to obscurity. Even IBM announced earlier this year
      that it had decided to stop selling it.

      But,
      that didn’t keep me from firing up the old OS and seeing if it would
      still work as an alternative. To that end, I loaded up FireFox 1.5 for OS/2. With a little bit of help from Innotek’s Font Engine and Java,
      I got the machine mostly updated to a level where it’s actually running
      fairly well and reasonably up to date for daily use. This particular
      post is being written on Firefox 1.5 and OS/2.

      I’ve been able
      to do most of my work today on OS/2. It’s been at least as stable and
      efficient as my SuSe Linux 10 test machine, and in some cases even more
      so. For example, I’ve discovered when I open a multiple set of
      bookmarks as tabs under Firefox on Linux, Firefox becomes good for
      nothing else until the tabs have mostly all finished loading. On OS/2
      (as under Windows), you can continue to do other things.

      Can I do everything
      under OS/2? No. There are still a few holes that make it a little less
      than a 100% desktop replacement mostly for software reasons. Until
      OpenOffice 2.0 appears for OS/2 early next year, I’m stuck using
      StarOffice 5.2 or an old version of Microsoft Office for basic
      wordprocessing or spreadsheets, creating a bit of a compatibility
      problem more so than a functional problem. For most things however,
      there’s usually an OS/2 workaround if you’re REALLY a diehard user.

      IBM may be halting the sale of OS/2 but you can still buy a new version of it called eComStation.
      This is a licensed version of OS/2 that is sold by Serenity Systems. It
      includes updates and new commercial programs that may make OS/2 an even
      more viable Microsoft alternative. I’m thinking about giving that a
      look at this point.

      Is OS/2 as fast as Linux or Windows? Hard to tell really. My OS/2
      machine is an old 450Mhz Pentium III with 320Mb of RAM. My Linux test
      machine is over 1Ghz and my production XP box is 2.8Ghz. By raw
      horsepower, naturally this box is going to be left in the dust no matter what OS you put on it.
      However, OS/2 was designed to run in 8Mb of RAM on a 486, so it should
      be a LOT more efficient overall. I’ll have to put it through some
      actual tests and let you know.

      The
      moral to the story however is that sometimes when you’re trying to
      decide between two things, sometimes the actual answer comes from a
      third – and sometimes unexpected – alternative.

      • #3126278

        OS/2 Lives!

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        Interesting.  I had been wondering about OS/2 recently and whether
        it could still be used productively.  I never used it myself,
        although I did come across some OS/2 install floppies a few years back.

        Out of curiosity, I am now downloading eComStation.  It should be a fun adventure.

      • #3197784

        OS/2 Lives!

        by wcerniglia9 ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        Many years ago I installed OS/2 Warp on a PS/2. It was needed to connect to an IBM AS/400 threw a Token Ring for an application called “CallPAth” This machine ran for about 7 years without any downtime or problems. In fact I left the company and for 2 years no one even new what the PC was for.

         It seemed to be a very stable OS. Maybe I will get a copy of this eComStation and reminisce.  Thanks

      • #3197728

        OS/2 Lives!

        by pweegar1 ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        A number of years ago I worked for the State of Arizona. We had an OS/2 V1 machine used as a print server!  That pc was rock solid. Never had a problem with it. OS/2 was a required OS from one of our vendor’s we used to scan, view, store and print documents electronically.

         

        Would love to see OS/2 run on a fast computer. With lots of  RAM. That could be exciting!!!!

      • #3127442

        OS/2 Lives!

        by rsteiner9 ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        Nice to see someone else discover that OS/2 isn’t quite as “dead” as some would make it out to be, at least in terms of what it can actually accomplish. I still use Warp 4 as my primary platform at home myself, although I suspect I’ll be moving to eCS 1.2 relatively soon. My box is only a PPro/200 with 192MB of RAM, but that’s really all it needs. 🙂

        As far as word processing goes, don’t forget that Lotus WordPro (formerly known as Ami Pro) is still out there as part of Lotus SmartSuite (available from places like Mensys for around US$150), and DeScribe was pretty good also if you can find a copy (look on eBay). Also, there are some fairly nice free graphics programs around: Embellish was released as freeware (binary only) for OS/2 by Dadaware and PhotoGraphics was released as freeware by TrueSpectra, and both can be found on Hobbes. The former is a little like an object-oriented PaintShop Pro, while the latter is … different. 🙂

        If you go the eCS route in the long term, Pixel has also been ported to eCS, and it might work on OS/2 as well if you use SciTech’s SNAP graphics drivers.

        To learn more about some of the things happening in the OS/2 world, check out the <a href=”http://www.os2bbs.com/os2news/”>OS/2 News and Rumors Site</a>…

      • #3127172

        OS/2 Lives!

        by ac4fs ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        I loved OS/2.  I used 2.11 and 3.0, back during the “Windows 3.1x”
        days, and really loved it.  It could multi-task effortlessly on my
        486-66 with 16 MB of RAM.  I have thought about trying eComStation
        many times, but just can’t get over the price they are asking.  I
        suppose I should bite the bullet and get it though.

        It’s a darn shame IBM couldn’t keep OS/2 as a viable platform. 
        There are a lot of folks using Windows now that probably wouldn’t be,
        if only they had a modern up-to-date alternative for the PC
        platform.  I remember feeling quite crushed by the way IBM handled
        OS/2.  In the words of some long lost writer: “IBM managed to
        snatch defeat in the OS wars, right from the jaws of victory!”.

        I have been running Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X as my main operating
        systems for quite some time now.  I do still have one Windows 2000
        Pro computer, but that’s just for my work.   I realize Linux
        is a far cry from OS/2, but it does what I need it to do, is very
        stable and virus-free, and hey, the price is right too!

      • #3125201

        OS/2 Lives!

        by debuggist ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        AFAIK, OS/2 is still used for automated teller machines. I once saw one
        boot up (using Warp) in a hotel lobby after a power outage.

      • #3120817

        OS/2 Lives!

        by hschoenman ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        At one time OS/2 used to run every (or at least nearly every) ATM machine. While OS/2 still may be in use on some, the vast majority have converted to Windows (2000 or XP).

      • #3196758

        OS/2 Lives!

        by petedude ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        I’ve tried eComstation’s Live CD.  For a revamp of an old platform, it’s a surprisingly nice “blast to the past”.

        Has anyone noticed that eComstation supports USB removable media?  That means you could conceivably use it to move data off a failing OS/2 box. . .

      • #3197970

        OS/2 Lives!

        by martiniturbide ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        The new evolution of OS/2 Warp operating system, eComStation 2.0 beta 1 is available for eCS Software Subscribers.

        The most significant updates on this beta version are:
        – SNAP/ENT the special licensed version of SNAP by Serenity is in there, we boot Snap directly from CD-Rom
        – Bootable JFS, this version is able to install on bootable JFS
        volumes. Installing onto a bootable JFS volume will show a dramatic
        performance increase!
        – ACPI Driver if ACPI is detected for improved hardware support
        – Updated Snooper drivers for improved hardware support during installation
        – Updated eWorkplace to support ACPI

        For more information visit:
        http://www.ecomstation.com/ecomstation20.phtml

        Regards

      • #3197959

        OS/2 Lives!

        by martiniturbide ·

        In reply to OS/2 Lives!

        USB removable media runs fine on OS/2 Warp 4 and eComStation. Almost
        every USB Flahs memory works under OS/2.

        You can visit this page for more information on the drivers you need.
        http://www.os2warp.be/index2.php?name=usbremovables

    • #3197726

      Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      A little more than a year after releasing the first version of Firefox,
      Mozilla.org has finally released Firefox 1.5. This new version is supposed to
      add all sorts of new features including Live Bookmarks which merge RSS and
      bookmarks, improved error pages, improved patch mechanisms, as well as more
      security and faster load times. Naturally, with all these new features, you’d expect it to be less efficient.

      I started by loading Firefox 1.5 on my Linux
      workstation. I had a few conflicts with packages loaded by prior versions, but
      it was nothing that was Firefox’s fault. Once it was finally up and installed I
      checked to see how big of a footprint Firefox 1.5 had over Firefox 1.07. Here’s
      what I found:

      • Firefox 1.07 showed RAM usage was 38.7MB, with 78.6MB of Swap.
      • Firefox 1.5 showed RAM usage was 40.7MB, with 78.4MB of Swap.

      As you can see, Firefox 1.5 is a little bigger on my
      test machine than Firefox 1.07. But this was on a Linux machine and your mileage
      may vary anyway. The added bulk hasn’t seemed to have negatively impacted
      performance though. Firefox 1.5 seems to load a little quicker and load pages
      quicker than 1.07 as well.

      On my Windows XP workstation, Firefox 1.5 consumes 20.5 MB of RAM
      before visiting the first page. The real proof in the pudding however
      is how it performs as you use it. Visiting the TechProGuild homepage
      immediatlely causes Firefox’s usage to climb to 24.8 MB on Windows and
      42.3 MB on Linux. Load a couple of articles and read them, and the
      memory usage continues to spiral. Firefox 1.5 occasionally releases the
      memory but not as fast as it should. There have been occasions on my
      Linux box where Firefox has grabbed over 150MB of RAM and wont let go
      even though there’s only one window and page active. Normally
      however that’s after I’ve had several windows and dozens of tabs
      running.

      It’s interesting that Firefox uses less resources under Windows than
      it does under Linux. I checked Erik Eckel’s Mac and Firefox consumes
      more memory there as well. I’m sure this has a lot to say about
      the robustness of the development tools.

      • #3197642

        Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        Please perform the same test on IE 7 Beta and include this in your results.

      • #3121450

        Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        by netnerdo9 ·

        In reply to Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        IEbeta7 doesn’t run on Linux. And comparing Windows “stats” to Linux
        “stats” is a little unfair considering that the Windows internals
        (i.e., how memory usage is offered up to tools) is only knowable and
        properly exploitable by MS insiders. In other words, Windows can
        produce skewed results however it has been programmed to do and there
        is no independent 3rd party to verify that what the stat tools say is
        actually truthful or based on similar definitions of memory usage
        (shared or otherwise) as defined on Linux.

        The bottom line test is how does it feel to the user? IEbeta7 on Windows vs Firefox on Linux.

        ps. Consider perhaps testing an FF build that has been optimized and
        has various speedups turned on (not that this is how it comes out of
        the box but it would still provide useful metrics for what is
        achievable to any user that wants to go the extra mile tweaking). As
        for IEbeta7, I don’t work for Microsoft so I don’t know what to
        recommend except that I think it only runs on Windows XP so that (and
        all the memory that the machine would require to support Windows/IE
        shared internal libraries) would be a requirement.

      • #3125761

        Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        by silviostar ·

        In reply to Christmas is coming – Firefox is getting fat

        Installing firefox and Thunderbird is the best thing that happened in my life in the last 5 years.
        I though before that I was not influenced by marketing ,but I was wrong,
        The Bill Gates boys have a lot to learn from the guys of Mozilla ,the first ,how to develope
        a flexible and friendly utility,with OPTIONS.
        I am a simple consumer,my opinion is not worthy in Tech matters,the only think I know is that from now on,I will consider all options in software,that will make as consequence ,to save hundreds of MGb and have a faster computer.
        ss

    • #3121435

      5 IT Headlines You Won?t See In 2006

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Ah yes, it?s that time of year. A chill in the air. Wishes of holiday cheer. Increasing traffic around shopping malls. And the mandatory predictions of what?s to come in the New Year.

      Rex Baldazo has already given you his views on what we won?t see in the news in 2006. So has Erik Eckel. Now it?s my turn. Fortunately, a tear in the space-time continuum that appeared as a result of loading OS/2 onto a 3.0Ghz Pentium 4 PC allowed me to connect to a News.com page dated 12/31/2006. Here?s what I didn?t see:

      1) Technology X displaces Microsoft X in the marketplace

      I don?t care if we?re talking Web applications, Linux, OpenDoc, MacOS, Firefox, or Google. Every year we hear of the Next Big Thing that?s going to crush Microsoft. It hasn?t happened yet, and chances are it?s not going to happen any time soon. The only caveat to this prediction may be the PlayStation 3 going over the xBox 360, but until it ships, even that?s debatable. Microsoft?s biggest enemy in the marketplace is Microsoft itself, and until it makes a fatal mistake, nothing else is going budge it.

      2) Vista ships on time ? with a full feature set

      Microsoft has a history of creating illusory ship dates. Maybe Slip Dates would be a better term for them. As the shipping date gets closer, one of two things invariably happens. Either the ship date changes or features get tossed over the side. Beta 2 has already been delayed while promised features like WinFS suddenly have become possible options in the future. Vista may indeed appear in 2006, but it will be very late in the year, and without a full set of features that were announced years ago.

      3) Novell returns to profitability

      This one pains me because I?ve long been a Novell and NetWare fan. The problem is NetWare market share is dropping like a rock at the same time Novell is trying to sell a free operating system that has a version dominated by RedHat. Novell has a solid record of selling operating systems to business and understanding networking in general, but so far it hasn?t been able to turn this reputation into profits. Being squeezed by Microsoft, RedHat, and The March Of Progress, Novell is in a whole world of hurt. I hope this one turns out to be wrong.

      4) IT Budgets Soar

      The economy may be slowly improving, but with the sudden changes that still appear all the time such as oil shocks, terrorism, and natural disasters, the economy is far from being strong. IT is usually the first thing that gets cut when times go bad, and it?s usually the last thing to be restored when things appear to get better. Business wants to make sure that it can get widgets built and sold consistently and profitably before it starts budgeting for the latest computer gadget. Get used to doing more with less.

      5) Apple crashes and burns

      The Mac may never replace Windows on the desktop or in the server room, but at the same time, Apple?s nowhere near in danger of disappearing or becoming irrelevant. The iPod continues to bring in cash and the Mac itself has a hard-core enough following that Apple doesn?t have much to worry about. And let?s not forget that if things do start looking scary for Apple, that?s usually when Steve Jobs shines and pulls a rabbit out of his hat. GM will crash and burn before Apple does.

      • #3135280

        5 IT Headlines You Won?t See In 2006

        by ideaguy ·

        In reply to 5 IT Headlines You Won?t See In 2006

        function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>Excellent Top 5 HLYWS in 06!function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>#5 – “GM will crash and burn before Apple does.”? Absolutely correct.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>My .02 ?function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>GM isn’t any different than many PC manufacturers, building junk en masse from most of the line up with the occasional gem, most (95%) running with ‘an outdated engine’ using all the same underpinnings it had decades ago. Shiny knobs and whizzy names are added year after year and despite being touted as the largest automaker in the world, GM faces collapse because consumers are quietly walking away.?function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>I chuckle whenever I see or hear of someone beaming about how excellent their Sunbird, or Sunfire…. wait for it…… El Camino was. What’s funnier is glowing reviews based mostly on limited or no exposure to another brand or type. “I drives what I drives cuz my daddy drove it too.” I suspect that many of the same people who have influence over desktops and server rooms probably drive GM products daily. Does anyone remember (or even know) that keys for a one GM product often fit similar cars… and worked. Yup, the industry leader couldn’t be expected to have all the bases covered. Poor stupid masses. Seems to me I could be describing Microsoft instead of General Motors.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>iPods, not unlike Minis or Vespas or Prius’ are hallmarks of function and oftentimes design too. They usually do what they do better than any other.? Apple will continue to be a much more relevant company than Microsoft, just like Honda and Toyota are compared to GM. IMO, since day one, any Mac has always been a better vehicle to drive, so to speak.? It will take a long time to get all the detroit, ooops… redmond pig iron that has been made (Win 95, 98 and so on) onto the scrap heap but that is because there is a whole infrastructure that supports this behemoth can’t see past the next block.? function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        } class=”khtml-block-placeholder”>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>MS for so many years, like GM, was asleep at the wheel, is currently overcorrecting and the writing is on the brick wall it is about to become a part of.?Market share matters most to the who has most to lose. GM is toast.? IMO, Microsoft should pay close attention to what is happening to GM.function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>function (match)
        {
        return match.toLowerCase();
        }>

      • #3196872

        5 IT Headlines You Won?t See In 2006

        by pkr9 ·

        In reply to 5 IT Headlines You Won?t See In 2006

        Number 6 is:
        Companies turn to buying IT based on business needs and business descisions -like when buying new production machinery – and not as of now, based on what Microsoft tell them they need.

    • #3079678

      eComStation 1.2 Arrives!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Last year ? ok last month ? I mentioned that I started
      kicking around OS/2 on one of my workstations at home and found it still
      relatively useful. I also mentioned how Serenity Systems had been working on a
      licensed version of OS/2 called eComStation. I had read a lot about ECS on the
      web, but hadn?t gotten a chance to use it. I figured there was no better time
      than the present.

      After checking out ECS at the eComStation Web site, the folks at
      Serenity Systems and Mensys
      provided me with a review copy. Longtime users of OS/2 would be impressed.
      Serenity Systems has done a lot to improve the OS/2 experience. They?ve taken
      the basic code from IBM and added many new and third party features such as the
      SciTech SNAP Graphics and Danis506 IDE drivers.

      Unlike most other OS/2 installations I?ve ever done, ECS
      installed like a dream. It wasn?t completely as simple as a Windows
      installation, but was easily in the same neighborhood as YAST installations
      I?ve done with SuSe Linux. The only glitchy point with the ECS installation I
      found was driver support. I had some network and sound card driver installation
      problems. ECS has a wide variety of pre-installed drivers with it, but if you
      consider it, you should make sure that your particular hardware is supported by
      ECS or OS/2 before you install it. IBM still maintains a list
      of drivers and so do some third
      party sites
      .

      I?ve installed ECS 1.2 on an old HP Kayak with 512MB of RAM
      and an 800Mhz Pentium III. No, that?s not state of the art hardware by any
      means, but seeing as how ECS and OS/2 have lower hardware requirement to begin
      with and OS/2 was designed originally for a 486 processor, I thought it was a
      fair baseline machine. For testing purposes, I?ve also configured up a copy of
      SuSe 10.0 on an identical box. When I do comparisons to Windows XP, I?m going to
      give XP the benefit of the doubt by using my 2.8Ghz production
      Dell.

      In the short couple of weeks I?ve been using ECS, I?ve become
      attached to it. I?ll be updating you later about how it works as an Windows and
      Linux alternative. So far, the only drawback in comparison to either of them is
      the price. Linux of course is free. By virtue of being ?included? with almost
      every PC, Windows XP is also ?free?. 
      eComStation 1.2 costs $224. That?s in line with Windows XP Professional,
      but it?s still a big barrier.

    • #3097189

      Viruses don?t seem to know when to quit

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Virus infections seem to be like natural disasters. They hit
      and make a big splash in the news, and then you never hear anything else about
      them. As if after the virus has been released, anti-virus vendors come up with
      a fix and you never hear about the virus again. Naturally things like that
      never happen.

      This became crystal clear for a company that I do some IT
      support for.  The company hadn?t had me
      over for a while and some things need to be done. The office manager had been
      having some problems visiting certain Web sites and she hadn?t been able to
      view some images on sites whether she used Firefox or IE.

      First thing I did was have her show me. She fires up a
      browser and goes to enter the URL for the site in question. While she?s typing,
      I look down to her task bar and notice that her anti-virus isn?t running.

      You can see where the story?s going without me finishing it.
      I quickly determined that she was infected with the Bagle-W worm and several
      other variations thereof. After a while of trying to eradicate it, I finally
      just wound up reinstalling Windows XP.

      Bagle-W is old news. It debuted around mid-2004. When I last
      checked her machine in the late fall, it was fine, so that means that somebody
      forgot to remind the worm that it wasn?t supposed to still be infecting
      machines. It just goes to show that you can never feel safe about catching a
      virus just because you hadn?t heard about it for a while.     

      • #3257732

        Viruses don?t seem to know when to quit

        by van morris ·

        In reply to Viruses don?t seem to know when to quit

        That’s why I always recommend using security tools like SafeSystem from the company GemiScorp Software Solutions (http://www.gemiscorp.com/english/safesystem/info.html). This security tool perfectly complements my other security programs (antivirus, antispyware and firewall). This program doesn’t need to know in advance which virus, worm, spyware or malicious code is trying to infect my computer, it simply doesn’t allow any program to be installed or copied to my system while I’m surfing the Web or working with my computer. Later, if I need or want to install anything I just temporarily disable the program protection, perform the operation and then enable the protection again. It’s that simple and I’m protected at all times no matter if my antivirus isn’t updated or even disabled.

        Here you can see a couple of screenshots from the program:
        SafeSystem screenshot

        SafeSystem security alert

         

      • #3257467

        Viruses don’t seem to know when to quit

        by crond ·

        In reply to Viruses don?t seem to know when to quit

        I’m not sure that I can agree with your confident conclusion posted in your final paragraph. Presumably when you last checked her machine in late fall (2004 or 2005?), the anti-virus software then installed should have been protecting against Bagle-W, and that protection should have continued provided that the anti-virus software was receiving regular updates and that users of the machine hadn’t been disabling it (for their own spurious reasons). The more ready conclusion that I would have been likely to draw was that necessary anti-virus software operations hadn’t been in place at some point, thus allowing the infection to occur.

        You could more charitably assume that this machine had been infected with a new variant of Bagle-W in the period between when it was released onto the net and when anti-virus profiles containing its definition became available. Such a situation wouldn’t, however, come under the heading of new infections caused by an old problem. The problem has effectively been re-invented, even if it does remind one of similar historical sightings.

    • #3259890

      File trading can result in virus trading

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Last week I mentioned my
      recent encounter
      with a virus that had recently resurfaced. We still
      haven?t been able to trace down exactly how she got that virus, although it was
      probably through an infected email.

      The other day I was presented with another computer that
      refused to boot. All it would do when you turned it on was beep pitifully. It
      was an HP Pavillion. Not having the beep codes handy, I surmised it was simply
      some bad memory and when I reseated the RAM, everything worked fine ?
      almost.  The beeps stopped, but the
      computer refused to load Windows XP. It would merely sit on the Welcome screen.

      After running Windows XP?s Repair on the unit, I got it to
      boot and noticed that just like last week?s machine this one had Norton?s
      Antivirus running, but it was turned off. When I got anti-virus running, I
      discovered that there were 72 viruses on it. Most of them were labeled as being
      Trojan downloaders. A quick spyware scan afterwards revealed over 200 different
      entries in registry, running programs, and other spyware problems.

      From where had all of THESE problems come from? That didn?t
      take long to discover at all. In addition to tons of viruses and spyware
      programs, the computer was ALSO running several file sharing programs including
      Limewire, Kazaa, and WinMX.

      File sharing programs do more than just leave your
      organization open to viruses and spyware. They can also leave it open to
      litigation as well depending on the types of files being shared. Educate your
      users about the pitfalls of these programs. You should put a policy in place
      about their usage, and if necessary deploy the hardware and software necessary
      to keep them from being used on your network.

    • #3109209

      Next up: MacOS X

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I?ve been running
      SuSe Professional 10.0
      now for several months to test out as a Windows XP
      alternative. So far, that?s been working ok, but Linux hasn?t been without its
      problems.

      I?ve also recently installed a copy of eCommStation
      1.2
      ? the latest incarnation of OS/2. That?s been a fun trip down memory
      lane and the improvements that Serenity Systems have added to eCommStation over
      OS/2 have been astounding. In some ways, it?s a lot better than SuSe
      Professional 10.0. In others, it?s still been a bit bumpy.

      Even though the jury is still out on both of these systems,
      now I have a new one to deal with. Everyone knows how fervent TechRepublic Editor Erik
      Eckel
      has been lately about MacOS X. He recently passed me his Mac mini, so
      that?s now on my list of things to work with.

      The little white brick is currently sitting on top of my eCS
      workstation. The first challenge was getting it to work through my KVM switch
      which I thought was going to be a problem because the KVM is all PS/2 while the
      mini has USB ports. A USB/PS2 converter made short work of that and the mini
      hooked up with no problems. It didn?t even react badly to the Microsoft Natural
      Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse I have connected to the KVM – a good first
      impression.

      I?ve sipped the Kool-Aid, but haven?t taken a
      complete drink yet. Since hooking it up, I?ve still spent more time in Linux
      and eCS than on the Mac, so it?s not fair to judge yet. We?ll see how it goes.

    • #3135132

      TechRepublic?s New Test Lab Takes Shape

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      TechRepublic has long employed various
      test machines deployed in a miniature network. The network has allowed us to
      create original content as well as test the tools and solutions that
      contributors send us before we ultimately publish them on the site. Although we?ve had network servers and
      workstations running the latest software such as Windows Server 2003, the
      hardware itself has been getting a little long in the tooth.

      Our original test lab consisted of primarily Dell Dimension
      XPS client machines, HP Kayaks, several clones, and one very ancient and creaky
      200Mhz Pentium Pro HP Vectra VA. We have one NDS tree, one NT Domain, one
      Windows 2000-based Active Directory tree, and one Windows Server 2003-based
      Active Directory tree. You?d also find several Linux boxes, a couple of Macs,
      and one eCS workstation. The poor overworked machines supported network
      applications like ISA Server 2000 and 2004, Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000,
      Exchange 2003, Lotus Domino 5, and GroupWise 6.5. All in all, the machines did
      a lot, but they weren?t terribly representative of an actual production
      network.

      As Erik
      Eckel recently mentioned
      , we recently purchased three new machines for the
      network. We received two Dell PowerEdge 1850s and a Dell Precision 380
      workstation. Added to that, we got 5 older Compaq Proliant DL360s and a few
      other older Proliants as well from TechRepublic?s IT department that were no
      longer being used in production. All together, the new TechRepublic Labs test
      network will have over a dozen servers running everything from Windows NT and
      NetWare to Windows Longhorn Server. On the client side, we?ll have Macs, Linux,
      and just about every version of Windows. (I?m even considering bringing in an
      old Tandy 1000 that?s running Windows 2.03 and putting it on the network just
      for the heck of it.)

      Once the network?s up and running completely,
      we?ll have a network that completely mirrors what?s running in the typical
      small to medium business. It won?t be all cutting edge, but it also won?t be
      completely obsolete either. We?re forseeing problems with heating, electricity,
      security, access, and all of that other fun stuff that you deal with on a daily
      basis. Through it all, we?ll use it to ensure that the content we provide
      becomes even better in the future.

    • #3106888

      OK ? I admit it. I use an Office Assistant.

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      They say confession is good for the soul, so here?s mine. I know it?s sure to cost me several hundred Esteem Points in the IT world, but nonetheless. I have an Office Assistant running on my copy of Office 2003. Specifically Links The Cat.

      The sad truth was revealed the same way truths always are ? by an unintended revelation. I was demoing Windows Vista to a friend of mine and when I switched back over to my Windows XP machine, I had Outlook up with Links sitting there happily in the corner.

      Yes... it's true. this is on my pc.

      ?What?s THAT?? he said.

      ?What? The cat? Oh, that?s one of the Office Assistants from Office 2003. Y?know ? like Clippy.?

      ?Yeah, I know ? but what?s it doing there??

      The fact of the matter is I happen to like Links. He (She?) reminds of a cat I used to have who?s name was Casey. Plus it?s amusing to see some of the things it does. Like the little stamping paw prints when you send something to the printer. Or whipping out a laptop and typing up an email when you use Outlook.  Casey didn?t used to do all of that, but she did like to curl up in my lap when I worked on the computer, so Links is close.

      I know everyone hates Clippy. Personally, the first thing I do whenever I install Office is either turn Clippy off or swap him out for Links. The assistants can be annoying at times, and they do add unnecessary overhead, but they can be amusing, so I don?t mind. I don?t think I ever USE it for anything, but it?s nice just to have it on the screen.

      I started loading the assistants back in Office 97. At the time, I loaded The Genius, who is an Albert Einstein knock-off. I always felt sorry for him, because the Office 97 Assistants were stuck in these little windows. They looked trapped in a way. The Genius is missing from later versions of Office, but Links has been a good addition.

      Ok ? so there you have it? it?s out in the open. Whew. I feel a lot better now.

       

      • #3093480

        OK ? I admit it. I have an Office Assistant loaded.

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to OK ? I admit it. I use an Office Assistant.

        “Hello, my name is Palmetto, and this is my first visit to OAA (Office Assistants Anonymous).”

        I like Links. I have a ginger cat at home who acts just Links. At least, like Links does when you empty the Deleted Items folder and the darn critter shreds everything.

        I also run F1, the small two-legged robot. I’ve been know to click Animate dozens of times trying to get him to do either the backflip or the Happy Dance.

        There were two other cats before Links.  Scribble was included with O97 and was an origami cat made from a piece of lined notebook paper.  The other was a mangy blue flea bag of an alley cat who had to be downloaded from the MS web site.  I can’t recall his name, nor can I find the download any more.  If anyone has seen him, please send his URL home to me…

      • #3253194

        OK ? I admit it. I use an Office Assistant.

        by joanre ·

        In reply to OK ? I admit it. I use an Office Assistant.

        Thank you. I knew there was something missing from my office Office. Just installed F1. Cute litle bugger. Yes, me too, don’t actually use him but he’s nice to have around.

    • #3092929

      Mac to the rescue!

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I was relating a story to TR’s Mac-o-phile Erik Eckel
      about having to use the Mac mini to burn some Windows Server 2003 R2
      MSDN ISO images because I couldn’t get the new Dell Vista workstation
      to do it, and he insisted I blog about it. So here we go.

      I decided that we needed to be running Windows Server 2003 R2 in the
      test lab and not plain old Windows Server 2003. As such, I downloaded a
      fresh pair of images of R2 from MSDN. They come in an ISO format, which
      like ISOs in the TechProGuild Download Center, require you to create
      working CDs from the image. My production machine doesn’t have a
      CD-burner on it. Nor does any other computer in near proximity. We had
      a workstation on the test network that did have a burner on it, but
      it’s now in pieces so I couldn’t use that. What to do?

      Aha! Our brand new Dell Precision 380 comes with a DVD burner! We can
      just use that. Wait… no we can’t. It’s running Vista 64-bit and the
      CD burning software refuses to recognize the burner. Not a good sign.

      Fortunately, I still had the Mac mini sitting in the cube and IT has a
      CD burner in it. I disconnected it to play with Vista, so all I had to
      do was swap some cables and fire it back up. Once I connected to the
      test server that had the ISO images stored on them I got the CDs burned
      in no time.

      So now, while Windows Server 2003 R2 is installing on our new Dell
      PowerEdge 1850, my coworker has a big grin on his face because his beloved Mac
      was able to create the CDs to make it happen when the fancy new Dell
      couldn’t. Talk about Job Satisfaction.

      • #3133104

        Mac to the rescue!

        by conundrum ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        Good ol’ Mac. How I miss them!!

      • #3091184

        Mac to the rescue!

        by skooboy ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        Although my eyes welled-up with tears as I read your Wintel song of lamentation…I’m still trying to understand the point of your story.  This doesn’t sound like a technical edge of one platform or computer over the other, rather, this is a simple story of human error I’d be rather embarrased to tell.  Now let’s see, you can’t afford CD burners in your workstations, but you can afford the 64-bit software.  Plus, you’re running this advanced software on a PC not meeting the HCL requirements.  Well congratulations on creating such a problem for yourself.  It sounds as though the Mac came to the rescue after the tech guys created an emergency. 

        I won’t delve here too deeply into the Mac-PC platform war, but I’ll add 2 points regarding Macs that everyone should know.  Apple releases a new OS every year.  “Great!”, you say.  But hold on.  If you check the system requirements for virtually any piece of Mac-compatible peripheral equipment in any given year, you’ll see that the OS from sometimes just 1 year prior is not supported.  For example, if today you purchase a scanner for your late-2004 or early-2005 Mac, you will probably need to upgrade your OS as well.  And if you lack the memory requirements of the new OS, you’ll be required to purchase additional memory, too.  In another example, the latest version of Firefox will only run on OSX 10.4.  But you bought your Mac in 2004?  Go buy 10.4 today (even considering that 10.5 will soon be released!).  I call that insanity for an enterprise.  If you purchase the same peripheral equipment for the PC, most likely Win ’98, 2000 Pro, and XP will be supported operating systems.  Second point: take it from the admin of a 50/50 Mac-PC enterprise (I know, it’s not my fault), Mac hardware costs are astronomical.  You cannot simply purchase any internal parts for the Mac.  The Mac-compatible parts market is very tight and confined to a few vendors’ products.  Power supplies typically cost me $150 each, PRAM batteries–$150/year (for 100 Macs), PAV boards–from $200 to $600.  And those are trade-in prices lowered for higher education.  I never condemn anyone’s preference of platforms, but Macs present several increased costs for the enterprise.

      • #3091114

        Mac to the rescue!

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        *chuckle*

        Well, it doesn’t have much to do with affording the CD’s in the
        workstations. Our standard configuration when these stations were
        bought were non-RWs. All of the production machines were bought that
        way. The 64Bit machine is for the test network only. And it does have a
        burner in it itself. It’s just that the beta version of 64Bit Vista is
        allergic to just about every CD-burning software I’ve put on it.

        So yeah, the wounds are semi-self-inflicted, but it doesn’t nearly rise
        to the incompentence level that you’re suggesting in your post. The
        moral to the story was how ironic it was to be generating Windows
        Server 2003 disks from a Mac when Vista couldn’t do it.

        As for the Mac-Windows Holy Wars, I won’t get into that. I leave that up to other people…

      • #3091065

        Mac to the rescue!

        by gustavomora ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        Interesting tale… I like all the systems and machines, but I like them when they are on a production environment, in a lab that is not .. by definition… the place where everything works perfectly. I’m not sure burning cd’s defines a benchmark…

      • #3101278

        Mac to the rescue!

        by automationguy ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        MAC: It just works!

      • #3101207

        Mac to the rescue!

        by mnedrow ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        John,

        Thank you for telling the world about the power of the Mac. I have often wondered why anyone would want to use any Apple product. Finally I have my answer. Mac’s are good as a back-up CD burner! And to think that I was just using them as paper weights.

      • #3101129

        Mac to the rescue!

        by bostechie ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        So what? Vista is still in Beta.

      • #3102700

        Mac to the rescue!

        by jduino ·

        In reply to Mac to the rescue!

        Correction: it wasn’t “the fancy new Dell” that couldn’t burn the
        image, it was the crappy new Windows that couldn’t.Stick in a Knoppix
        CD, or if you have the time, a Window XP CD, and see how it works.

    • #3092100

      Drivers Wanted

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      After going through the hassle of getting the Windows Server 2003 R2 CDs burned, I figured installing R2 on the new test server was going to be a breeze.  Naturally I thought wrong.

      Microsoft hasn’t changed the installation routine on R2 much from the
      original version of Windows Server 2003. Everything went pretty
      smoothly right up until the point where I tried to connect the server
      to the network. Even though Windows Server 2003 R2 is a brand new
      operating system it couldn’t detect the Ethernet controller in my
      PowerEdge 1850.

      Fortunately, a quick trip to Dell’s Web site fixed that. I downloaded
      the drivers, put them on a USB key, and now have them installed on the
      PowerEdge. Now it’s just a matter of continuing the install until the
      NEXT problem shows up.     

    • #3091881

      KDE or GNOME?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      One thing I’ve been particularly concerned about when running SuSe 10.0
      was the fact that it seemed to be a lot slower than I expected. I
      have it running on a couple of machines and the graphics just aren’t as
      responsive as I’d like. As a matter of fact, I’d say that Linux feels
      more sluggish on one of my 800Mhz test machines than XP does on my test
      450. And that’s with the 800 running 512MB of RAM vs. 384MB on the 450.

      To get an actual comparitive feel, I recently popped a copy of SuSe
      10.0 Professional on my HP OmniBook. I already have XP running on it,
      so I got another hard drive for the same machine and configured it for
      SuSe 10 Professional. Everything’s the same, except for the hard drive,
      which is of the same model. Sure enough – SuSe 10.0 felt slower. I
      didn’t bother to pull out a stopwatch to get an actual reading, but the general feel of the system was just much slower.

      When I installed SuSe, I chose to use KDE. SuSe comes with 9 other
      window managers including GNOME, WindowMaker, and IceWM. On a whim, I
      changed window managers from KDE to GNOME. The difference was night and
      day. GNOME seemed to be much more responsive than KDE. It loaded programs
      faster, displayed windows faster and was an all-around better
      performing experience.

      The one drawback to GNOME is that it doesnt seem to be quite as
      flexible as KDE. You can’t modify it as easily and the menus are layed
      out completely differently.

      So for now, I think I’m going to stick to GNOME for a while. Even
      though KDE was SuSe’s default manager, GNOME seems to be the better
      choice to squeeze more performance out of the machine. As a side note,
      I recently read that Novell itself may switch SuSe’s default manager to GNOME, so I may be on to something.

      Let me know what your experiences have been with GNOME, KDE, or any of the other Linux window managers.

      • #3091747

        KDE or GNOME?

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        I just had a similar experience regarding the speed of KDE vs. Gnome. I am using SuSE 9.2. I generally use KDE 3.3 as my default window manager. When I read this post I realised that I hadn’t run Gnome in a long time so I set Gnome as my default window manager and restarted the X server. I completely agree with you about the speed of screen updates and starting applications. KDE is sluggish. The Gnome 2.6 software on my machine runs faster than the KDE 3.3 software using SuSE 9.2. Now I’ll probably stay with Gnome for a few months before trying another window manager. I round robin between them when I’m in the mood for something new.

      • #3091694

        KDE or GNOME?

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        Try a more lightweight window manager like Fluxbox, FVWM, or Afterstep.

         

        Good luck!

      • #3091676

        KDE or GNOME?

        by swlchris ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        I would suggest ,if you haven’t already tried this ,to recompile your kernel for the exact specs of your machine.
        I have Slackware, which as default install was configured  for 486
        cpu amongst other things. After a recompile to set cpu to P3 700 mhz
        and ditching some things such as as laptop support , etc,etc, it flies
        twice as fast now. Slackware was never known as a slow  distro to
        begin with , but it’s amazing what a close to perfect optimization can
        do for you.It’s fast in either Gnome or KDE.

      • #3100737

        KDE or GNOME?

        by dave howard ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        You guys are WAY to pickie——Put SuSE 10.0 on an AMD 3200+, 1.5 Gb of RAM and see what happens—–KDE is a resource hog like WIndows XP, so give it some more to use—-

      • #3100469

        KDE or GNOME?

        by joedcook ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        John,
        Yes I believe that the “responsiveness” of the KDE desktop is not a
        quick as Windows XP but I still use it as my personal desktop
        everyday.  I haven’t used GNOME to any extent lately so I will
        give it a try again. I just introduced a customer to SUSE Linux and
        sold him a copy of SUSE Linux 10.0. He came in yesterday and said that
        he loaded it with no problem and that he tried both KDE and GNOME and
        that he liked GNOME best.  Great.. I don’t care which desktop my
        customers use and neither should anybody else.  That’s one of the
        benefits of Linux.. we can be different together.

        Now in a corporate environment some standardization is needed so on
        Novell’s Linux Desktop they use GNOME as the desktop. Not so much a
        surprise because both Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza are both
        developers who prefer the GNOME environment. They have made a couple of
        feelers to see if they could just do one desktop and there are so many
        people on each camp that leaving one out would alienate too many people.

        So we continue to have a choice of graphical interfaces and that is a
        good thing, especially because many of us don’t know why we like one or
        the other.. we just do.  But responsiveness isn’t the reason that
        I chose Linux as my desktop regardless of whether I use KDE or
        GNOME.  I chose it because of reliability, flexibility, security,
        and cost in that order.  I have used other distributions.. Red
        Hat, Simply Mepis, and Mandrake but SUSE seems to meet my needs beter
        than any other so far.  Your mileage may vary.

        Joe Cook

      • #3101102

        KDE or GNOME?

        by mat.enders ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        I disagree with your anecdotal evidence.  Unless you had just
        about everything turned off in GNome it is a much heavier drain on
        resources than KDE.   “I personally just encourage people to switch to KDE.
        This ‘users are idiots, and are confused by functionality’ mentality of
        Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots
        will use it.” -Linus Torvalds

      • #3100952

        KDE or GNOME?

        by nico baggus ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        I gave up on GNOME long ago, yes it’s sleightly faster but if I want speed then both gnome & kde deserve to be scrapped. there are faster WM’s around.
        Then functionality.. If I want to print double sided no option on the printer menu (gnome) appearantly it is too difficult to use it as an end-user ==> the user won’t need it, en thus no need to build it.
        Have you seen kdeprinter? if my printer has some special option chances are i can use that option too (think double sided printing, multitray, and such).
        Btw. KDE stands for Kiosk Desktop and is customizable from top to bottom, there are tools for disabling modifying alsmost every aspect of KDE. You can use it as a real KIOSK desktop.

        Integration between components…, kde integrates a whole bunch.. Have you tried konqueror with some exotic protocols typing gg: in stead of http://google.com/ etc. will send your query to google..
        use smb://server/share as a URL and you’re looking at your samba/windows server etc. etc.

        Not just from your konqueror:, f.e. run kate (tekst editor), open a new file (looking for existing ones) and type smb://server/ at your location: field… same view

        All kio_slaves at your service. for newsgroups/manpages/bluetooth/perl doc/python doc’s/windows helpfiles/newsgroups/plain files/ftp/http/subversion digital camera etc.etc.

        gnome looks to me like the dark ages.

      • #3100801

        KDE or GNOME?

        by haas ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        I agree that GNOME is better than KDE. I have used both and found that GNOME works faster but again I am using it just for web hosting, ftp, and mail server. I didn’t install all the apps that came with it because I was not planning to use them. So that might have contributed to the speed difference. I also agree with the other comments that there are other WM that do a good job as well. Before I installed SUSE 10 I did a lot of reading of other users experiences instead of installing them and spending a lot of time to figure out which one would work for my specific needs. So I did my homework so to speak and I installed what I needed and I am a happy SUSE user with GNOME as my favorite WM.

        Peace
        Haas

      • #3273491

        KDE or GNOME?

        by ajmateusg ·

        In reply to KDE or GNOME?

        GNOME is much easy and menus are organized in categories logic

    • #3252275

      Ah – The Joys Of Betas

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Among the test machines we got for the new TechRepublic Test Network is
      a Dell Precision 380. This machine has 64-bit Pentium 3.0Ghz processor,
      2Gb of RAM, and an nVidia Quadro FX 3450 video card.  We speced
      this machine out to be a killer Windows Vista test machine to get the
      full effects of Aero Glass and the works. Theoretically, there’s
      nothing this machine can’t run.

      Except for Windows Vista.

      Ok- it can run Windows Vista. I’ve installed Beta 1 and Beta 2
      on it and everything went just fine. The problem is in the nature of
      beta software. Beta 1 fully supported the Quadro video card. Worked
      like a charm. Beta 2 does not. The December 2005 build shows the video
      card as being a “Standard VGA Graphics Adapter”.

      Oddly enough, a ‘standard’ VGA adapter would only run 640×480 at 256
      colors, but Vista thinks THIS ‘standard’ adapter can do up to 2048×1530
      at 32bit color. The problem is that as a ‘standard’ adapter, Vista
      configures the screen at 1024×768 at 32 bit and does so VERY slowly.
      Dragging a window around the screen pegs the CPU at 100% and looks like
      you’re moving XP screens around on a 486. Painful.

      nVidia’s Web site claims to support the card under Vista, but as of
      yet, even they have not written the drivers for this specfic
      card.  So for now it’s just a matter of waiting for the Vista beta
      to bake a little while longer until the card is supported.

         

      • #3132666

        Ah – The Joys Of Betas

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to Ah – The Joys Of Betas

        For about 124.00-184.00, you can by a supported AGP or PCI card with 128-256 mb or RAM. Vista is still in early infancy beta stages but the os has plenty of supported video cards.

    • #3102457

      What’d we do BEFORE computers?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I just finished reading a book called The Discoverers
      by Daniel Boorstin. It chronicles history around human discovery,
      including such things as the development of the clock, calendars, and
      the ways we went about making some major discoveries that changed the
      course of humanity. It’s one of those books that get you to thinking
      “Just how did we get to where we are?”

      That got me to thinking about computers in general. Just how did work
      get done before computers? I’m old enough to remember the days of DOS
      before Windows took over the planet. But at the same time, I’m too
      young to know how general business got done without word processors,
      spreadsheets, databases, and everything else that we take for granted
      today.

      It makes looking at old TV shows and movies interesting. As much fun as
      it is to see old cars go by in such things, you look at the office
      setting and notice what’s missing as well. No PCs. Certainly no cell
      phones or PDAs.

      So what were the ‘Good Old Days’ like? I’m sure it wasn’t quite like
      The Flintstones, but a reminder would be pretty interesting.  

      • #3102440

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by leee ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Went to the library. Bought encyclopedias from door-to-door salespeople. Used travel agents. Counted on our fingers. Wrote letters. Changed typewriter ribbons. Got paper cuts. Slept at night.

      • #3102435

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Well as old as I am, computers are older. I do remember a time before PCs were everywhere, and where only special people had computers.

        People in accounting had big ledgers and/or big filing cabinets. Things were typed on IBM Selectrics. Thats how my resume was first done.

        Things took a long time. There were lots more steps in most processes with human intervention.

        Life seems like it worked at a slower pace. You accepted a 15 minute wait at the bank.

         

        James

      • #3102432

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by steve.davis ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Read REAL paper books, listened to the radio, sat outside and enjoyed the weather.  I actually went more than a decade without TV, I can’t imagine what I would do now without it or computers.

      • #3102976

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I was in high school in 1976 boy I am old 😉 we went to parties and meet people face to face. I could not even use the phone until I was 12 or 13, I read sci-fi and watched tv shows like lost in space and man from uncle. I started using computers in the 80’s and you had to go through a local BBS to get to the internet. That was a great learning experence, at that time you had to build your own TCP/IP stack to get to the internet. And most of what you could get was others just starting out or government sites. And I got into more trouble in those days because I just wanted to look around and the DOD did not see it that way 🙂

      • #3100721

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by ehemdal ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        We had a real secretary who would type our test reports and take
        messages, since there was no voice mail.  It was amazing to see
        her take notes in shorthand — she could capture notes as quickly as
        one could speak.

        Calculators were big, electromechanical things that would take half a
        desk and perform basic arithmetic.  For more advanced mathematical
        work, a slide rule provided a convenience in a much smaller
        package.  For things like trig functions, well, that’s what the
        CRC math tables were for. 

        The requirement to take data, sketch curves, and plot data by hand
        actually improved understanding.  Nothing was hidden inside a big
        software package.

      • #3100505

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by mtn.brk9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        You fellows are all youngsters.  The first computer I programmed was a Univac 1, next was a Univac II and then spent many years with a DEC PDP-1 and so on.  Yup, I’m still programming, but the big difference now is that I have no management responsibilities and just pick and choose the projects I am really interested in.

        One big difference I notice between BEFORE and now is back then we had much less paper stuff.  Just go into a medical facility and look at the piles of paper, most of it dealing with insurance forms, I’m sure.  I was the project director for the design and implementation of the first installed hospital wide medical ordering and patient record system . It was installed in the San Francisco Hospital in 1969.  It had 60 stations throughout the hospital with terminals, badge readers, light pens and printers.  By the way the computer had 16KB of memory with a 5 microsecond cycle time and a second 4KB computer for refreshing the displays.  Our goal was to improve patient care and to allow the medical staff to forcus more on the patient.  The next time you go into a hospital, hopefully just to visit, notice what the staff is primairly doing.  That’s right, paper work,

        Another big thing I notice is when I go shopping.  It used to be that you went up to the checkout counter, the clerk quickly wrote out a receipt, handed it to you and you were on your way.  Today, even when things are moderately busy, you stand in line with the few articles in hand that you want and wait while the clerk types the information and then waits for that to be digested and then wait somemore for the printer to fire up and print your receipt.  It’s all very impersonnal, I think, because the clerk is a computer operator and does not have to pay attention to the customer.

        I loved the work I did and am still doing, but in my opinion computers have not, in any way, lived up to their promise and that promise was to improve the quality of life.  Instead they have become the beast that demands service.  We are becomming the servant and they are becomming the master.  For that I blame the fact that we, the implementors of computer tools. focused on the wrong problem.  Instead of focusing on developing tools that made application implementation easier and more intuitive we focused on the technology of computers.  What was wrong with assembly language, Algol, Pascal.  OOPs is nothing more than a complication of reusing existing modules.  DLL’s, COM’s and their like are just an obscuration to accomplishment.  It all is layers upon layers of detail which have nothing to do with the main goal of implementation, but everyone in the field stumbles all over themselves just keeping up with it.

        By the way, to the author of this original blog, if you enjoyed the book you referred to you might try finding a series of books called, “The Testement of Man”.  I’m sorry I do not remember the author’s name.  I believe they were published in the late 50’s or early 60’s.  I found them fasinating reading.

        Mini-bit

      • #3100470

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by johnboehlke ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Well,  there is one tool that has not been mentioned. Am I the only one who had to use a Slide Rule? Yup, that wooden (not plastic) ruler that could compute mathematical results. Business relied on mechanical adding machines, and accountants worked with columnar paper pads. It is enjoyable to look backward, and also encouraging to see that there still are some people working who had to program in assemble language and actually know what Algol was.

      • #3271828

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by mdbradsh ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I grew up during the 60’s. We did have a TV when I was young, but it was black and white. We only had 4 channels to watch, of which one was always snowy. City kids walked to school. School buses were for rural kids only. We played outside, running and bike riding from dawn to late evening most days, during spring and summer vacations. I took “Data Processing” in high school in the late 60’s early 70’s. Computers took up whole rooms and were less than fraction of the power and capability a mediocre laptop today. Data was fed and retreived via ” Keypunch cards”. Typewriters, shorthand, adding machines ruled the office. Frankly, I don’t think things having to do with typewriters or adding machines are much faster today with computers than they were then. Typing is typing, whether you do it on a good electric typewriter or adding machine or computer. Moreover, I’d say today, with clogged networks and computer glitches, it sometimes takes longer than it did back then.  

      • #3273283

        What

        by jevans4949 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I started in full time work in IT in 1970.  There was a lot less paperwork. When you had to write stuff by hand, or dictate it, and then get a full-time typist to type it up, you kept to the essentials. A correction or alteration normally meant re-typing the whole page. When I re-joined my first employer (a large bank) in the late 1990’s, they had adopted PRINCE management methodology, and IT developers were spending most of their time cutting and pasting stuff between word-processor documents; the amount of time spent on actual design and programming was less than half.

        Before word-processors, many people (mostly women) were employed as full-time typists, trained to touch-type at high speed. Non-academic kids destined for white-collar jobs were even taught the basics in high school. This occupation has now pretty much disapppered, and most people now are learning to type the hard way at half the speed.

        People were content with far simpler presentation methods, i.e. character-based systems, and relevant staff were trained in their operation.

        Bear in mind that office automation goes back a long way, to the invention of the Hollerith card in the 1890’s. I recall a quote from a college textbook in the 1960’s that at that time, without [electromechanical] automation, 50% of the women in the USA would have been employed in book-keeping in American banks.

        I actually used a fax machine in my first job in 1970; it was electro-mechanical and slow, and very big.

        The other main difference is that in the old days customer service was dealt with by local sales people, depending on personal knowledge of the customer or paper records. Today, especially with call centre systems, customer service depends on whatever computer records one anonymous operator has recorded for the next anonymous operator. Without the computer, the whole system collapses. (Although even ancient empires managed to set up large bureaucracies when required.)

      • #3273885

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by pshaw0423 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Actually, yes, it was pretty much like “The Flintstones” — certainly more than what we have now is like “The Jetsons.” 🙂

        I graduated from high school in 1963 (and taking  a touch typing class was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life); I graduated from college in 1967; and I’ve been working in a government office since 1968.  (That was two years before the first four-function no-memory pocket calculator, and twelve years before the first PC, for you young’uns.)  All of my high school term papers were banged out by hand on a massive Underwood mechanical typewriter that had to date from World War II…when I went to college and got a portable electric typewriter, I felt like Buck Rogers.  (Yeah, right: “Buck who?”)

        So how did we do it?  Carbon paper.  “White-Out.”  Slide rules and huge electromechanical desktop adding machines. Spreadsheets were created with stubby pencils and great big sheets of ledger paper, endlessly checked and re-checked by hand.  Cutting and pasting, even for business presentations and publishing, was done with scissors and rubber cement.

        I’m not nostalgic for the old days — they sucked.  There never were any “good old days”: if anyone is nostalgic for anything, it’s only for feeling like the kid they actually were, back in the day. 🙂  There’s nothing wrong with that, exactly, but it colors your memories of what things were like while you were actually living through them.  We didn’t have AIDS or global terrorism, but we did have measles, chicken pox, and polio (earlier on), and the very real terror threat of global thermonuclear war.  I’d rather have have my flat-screen multi-gig computer, with which I’m on the Internet as I write this; and cutting-edge medicine to manage my diabetes; and cars with air conditioning and satellite radio, which are built to keep you alive in a crash instead of turning you into human hamburger.

        But working with stone knives and bearskins (old-Trekkie alert) did force us to use our brains.  If a single typo meant retyping a whole page, or worse, sending an entire document back to an irritated typist to be re-done, you made damned sure you organized your thoughts and chose your words well before you committed them to the page.  If you had to haul your sleepy butt to a library and spend long hours finding references and making coherent notes, by the time you were done you actually knew what you were talking about.  If you had to wait two weeks for a letter, or two months for a package, you learned how to be patient and get on with your life in the meantime.  If you could only get porn by going into a bookstore so creepy that you felt like a human cockroach, you rose above the impulse.  (Um, well….)  And so on.

        Was any of that fun?  Like hell.  But it helped to make us competent human beings.  “Good experiences come from wisdom, which mostly comes from bad experiences.”  And we didn’t have the million unceasing distractions (like this one) from e-mails, voice-mails, text messages, cell phone calls, however many channels of must-see TV, web site downloads, et endless cetera.  It may have been occasionally tedious, but we could focus on doing one thing long enough to see it get done, which is a simple but priceless pleasure.

        Now, back to chasing e-mail and surfing the web….  🙂

      • #3273879

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jjpengr ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        As an engineer approaching retirement in about 5 years, I do remember life before computers.  In college in the late 1960’s we still used slide rules and did Fortran programs on punch cards and waited for batch processing on main frames.  Scientific calculators appeared in the mid-1970’s and replaced the slide rule.  Typewriters and forms were used for documents in most of the 1960’s and 70’s.  Dedicated word processing machines began to appear in the late 1970’s for use by admin assistants. Engineering drawings were done on paper and vellum on big drawing boards before CAD programs became available in the late 1980’s.

        I remember seeing the first Apple II’s and Commodore PET PCs in the late 1970’s.  My first PC was an Apple IIc in the early 1980’s.

        DOS PCs began to appear in offices in the early and mid-1980’s. I remember using Zenith Z-100s and Z-248s which were 8086 and 286 based PCs running DOS and then Windows 3.1.  Although I had a 386 PC for awhile, I remain a Mac enthusiast and have had a series of Macs since.  OSX Tiger is great and I deal with Windows XP at work.

        A lot of changes in the past 40 years. PCs and networks have done much to improve productivity and reduce new product development time, especially using modeling and simulation to reduce prototype iterations.

         

      • #3273874

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jor55 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I was born in 1945 so I remember not only the first time I saw a computer, but also the first time I saw a TV in 1952.  Before that we sat around the radio in the living room. The radio was in a big ornate cabinet about 4 feet tall and at least three big speakers.  Ours had a horizontal frequency display and three big dials, one for coarse tuning, one for fine tuning,and one for volume. It had air vents along both sides with thin silk-lik screens and you could look inside and see big vacuum tubes of several sizes and shapes.  They gave off a lot of light and heat and they ‘blew out’ once in a while so my father had a set of spares in a cabinet close by.   You could buy the replacement in town as easily as buying light bulbs.  The radio was amazing enough to me so that I bought (or my dad did) a crystal and coil radio that didn’t need batteries.  The power was the signal, and the tuning was a ‘whisker’ on a crystal. You can imagine how I felt about the first TV I saw.  It was as big as the radio cabinet, and the screen was as small as the tuning dial on the radio.  The screen looked exactly like an old CRT of an oscilloscope (remember those?), about 5″ across so we had a big magnifying lens in front of it to make it a whopping 8 or 9 inches.  The first computer I used was a TRS80 with a little tape drive and it was hooked up to a TV.   Icopied games and programs out of magazines onto the tape with the keyboard, and then loaded them into the computer to play or use.   When they didn’t work, it was go back and find the typo, which was too often. The challenge was to type a program from the magazine and get it working the first time.   Then I upgraded to the state of the art Commodore 64.    At work in the 70s I used the IBM 8030 (I think it was called) and I sat for hours on the key punch making those cards with all the little rectangular holes that were read by a card reader onto a magnetic tape and stored.  Then I would have it ‘run’ onto pages and pages of wide 3 or 4-ply fanfold which I would decolate and distribute to the offices.  You could program the computer to do different ‘sorts’ of the cards so you could get ‘runs’ of different data according to the needs of the requesting office.   The ‘computer room’ was a huge expanse of 6 foot high tape drives and card readers, and key punchers, and printers, and the computer itself was in a n array of 8 foot high ‘racks’.  Then one day they did away with the actual key punch and we could type it directly onto the green CRTs and store it, and even have the machine punch the cards right off the CRT.  Then one day, we didn’t need the cards anymore.  Then the tape drives got replaced by disk drives-huge round things that you could take off the cover and take out the hard disk, which was an array of circular disks about 10 inches in diameter connected in line along a central shaft.  You put the plastic cover on the thing, tightened a knob on top and it was ready to spin. If you wanted to change programs, you unscrewed the knob, lifted the whole assembly out, placed in into a storage rack, and took another out of the storage rack and put it into the disk reader.  It was a lot faster and easier than the big 12 inch tape drives.  I don’t remember how much data they held but I vaguely remember awsome figures of 10s or maybe even 100s of Mhz.  
        Later I worked in a financial institution in the 80s and we didn’t have anything more high tech than adding machines and desk calculators.  Our balancing was by hand-add up all the disbursements-add up all the receipts-add up all the transfers-add in the opening cash-add in the cash received into the vault-add up all the cash taken from the vault-do this for all the tellers, do the arithmetic-say a ‘Hail Mary’ and compare the bottom lines of the balancing sheet.  If all went well, it was an hour process.  If it didn’t go well, we could be working until 8pm…now this is all done in 15 minutes and you don’t even have to know how to add and subtract.    What would happen if all the computers stopped?  All of us old timers who remember the days when we did it ourselves could train the youngsters how to do it, and the work would get done some how, albeit, very slowly.  But what happens when all us old timers are gone?  I think computers are too ingrained into everything we do from communications of all kinds, manufacturing, medicine, and even the social sciences, that if they went, civilization as we know it would end too.  

      • #3273154

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jor55 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Yeah! slide rules…I hated those things!  But when you know how to use them, they were amazingly accurate.

      • #3273148

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by michael_orton9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        In 1960 I had access to STRETCH super computer. It was all of 92 K (not Meg) RAM of which 86k were available to the user.
        Input: write out each Fortran statement onto a form, then girls punched cards (80 column) then it failed because you have three brackets one side and four the other.
        But by 1964 I had access to an IBM with 8k RAM. This took cards printed directly from some equipment we had. It took a whole day to process 4,000 records.
        Then came the IBM 360. Cards, cards-to-tape and a whole day to process 12,000 records using a COBOL program.
        As for Word Processors, we had typing pools!
        It was only in 1991 that everybody got their own PC, a microchannel IBM PS/2 386.
        I still have one that works, with DOS, First Choice Office Suit, Paradox for Dos etc.

      • #3273085

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by sschafir ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Anyone remember the Timex Sinclair?

      • #3273084

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by chug ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Not directly a comment on this article, but definitely related to it.  I often wonder what I and my fellow IT collegues would be doing for our livlihood if we had lived before computers, or if there were still no computers today.  I was always a techie (one of those kids that took everything electronic or mechancial apart, and usually, but not always, could get them back together again). I got involved with computers at about age 6.  My Dad worked for HP in Colorado and employees could “check out” computers to take home so he’d bring one home quite a few weekends.  He got into programming and started teaching me BASIC programming when I was 8.  My first computer of my own was a Commodore 64 when I was a Freshman in high-school.  So almost from day 1 (at least when you start truly thinking about your future) I knew I wanted to do something with computers.  I can’t even imagine my life without computers, so I question quite often what my full time job would be if there were no computers.  I can only guess some type of engineer, possibly electrical (but even then what if I’d lived before electricity), maybe mechanical.

      • #3273080

        What

        by hampalmer ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        To give you an example of what life was like before computers, I’ll
        relate a story from my days with the Colorado highway department as a
        civil engineer before becoming a software engineer.

        In Colorado, as you can imagine, highway projects were done during the
        Summer months which left winter for surveying and paperwork. After one
        large Summer project, there was an overrun between ‘cuts’ and ‘fills’
        where we cut more dirt out than we had places to put it. This causes
        extra expense to find a place to put the extra dirt, so we needed to
        figure out why this happened. That meant we spent the entire Winter
        months going through the paper plans of the project and calculating,
        for each 100 foot section, exactly how much dirt was supposed to be
        either taken out or added to it and then adding and subtracting the
        results until we figured out where the overrun came from.

        That waste of time could have been avoided by using a computer to do
        the design which would have automatically adjusted the cuts and fills
        until they matched, and we would not have spent that time sitting at a
        desk calculating with one of the afore-mentioned large
        electro-mechanical calulators. There was, however, one big advantage to us of
        spending that time at the desk. We didn’t spend the time, in the snow,
        surveying, which I spent way too much time doing!

      • #3273058

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by mrspock57 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Mi first meeting with a digital device was a Texas Instruments handheld calculator that performed the four basic operations and % (circa 1974). Then I used an IBM 370 with punched cards at the University. And I remember on my father?s desk a heavy mechanical calcultaror he used for his accounting work.

      • #3272974

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by foothillscg.com ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        My dad started with assembly code as an engineer who got tired of waiting for the DP department to get to his changes.  I still remember imagining the computer falling over whenever it “crashed” and lost all his work.  I took Intro to DP in my first semester in college, just so I could talk his language.  Turns out I was better than most of the guys in class, so I went from an Ornamental Horticulture (say that 3 times fast, I dare you) major to Math with an emphasis in DP.  The accounting classes I took had the students doing the whole process of financial reporting by hand; no computers involved.  Now QuickBooks does it all, so General Ledger transactions can be really scary to people who’ve never done a “T-account”.

        I agree that learning a process without computing power provides a deeper understanding, so you really know what you’re doing when you do use the computer.

        My grandfather-in-law was an accountant for the railroads.  We still have some of his accounting journals, full of beautiful, neat, and precise numbers. You had to have readable handwriting back then!

        When all is said and done, I’d rather live at this time then back when women were “the girls” in the typing pool and doing the grunt work for accounting. My mom had only the work choices of Teacher, Nurse and Secretary, but my daughter will be anything she sets her mind to, even a techie like her mom.

        Mindy

      • #3272937

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by wendygoerl ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I didn’t get to play with any pre-“trash-180” computers, but I’ve got a few punch cards my sister had left over from her college computing class. (Ironically, in the early 90’s, she worked at a sewing factory that tracked their piece baskets with punchcards–the system worked well enough they never bothered to upgrade!) And some of my middle-school teachers liked to talk about when THEY were in school and the “in” job everyone was supposed to be going to school for was Punch Card Operator.

        And y’know, there were (maybe even ARE) people who could get an answer from an abacus as fast as from an electronic calculator.

      • #3272895

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by billja ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Insert comment text here .Finished School late teens1965 (good schooling average pupil).Took up Accountancy (politley placed by concerned parents.Pay ?1.50p p.w. othrs had to pay ?500 to ?800 to get into an Articled Office With no pay for 2 to 3 years).Immediately delegated Manual recording to different Depts and received a bonus for my efforts of ?50.00p.Recording was a manual system called Kalamazoo. witin a short time the brain was able to cross balance (down and side ways) useing all fingers.The required proof for management was a print out from an Oliveti Calculator (a manual machine consisting of a numerick key pad and a hand leaver for entry.The printout was on a paper rool as you would  receive today from your local store as a receipt.Life was good except for the week of monthly returns. The speed of the brain to perform calculations was amazing and I would have been a requirer of paper, I saw others able to keep track useing memory only and would give a computer a run for its money.Stuck it out for a few years then changed to a more suitable career.

      • #3272764

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jackbaumel ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Would you believe keeping Social Security records on flat slivers of bamboo held in large metal frames?  That is the way it was done in the pre accounting-machine days.  Accounting-machines were pre-PC combination calculator/typewriters that were used to do large ledger sheets.  Back in the 1960’s, I sold these for Olivette Underwood.  One was a triple calculator for complex problems.

      • #3272649

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by johnfarnham9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I ran a Burroughs 4/5 row posting machine in the 60’s, seemed almost as
        big as a piano. Checking was done by having two posters and comparing
        tallies.
        Those huge countertop adding machines could be used for “slide”
        multiplication. You simply added your second figure the number of times
        of the digit and shifted left one place for every column ( 10 times as
        much). ; easier to show than describe.So, if your right hand figure was
        6 you added 6 times, etc. Since the keyboard locked in place, you only
        “reprogrammed” for each column by moving everything left one place.
        I never did use a slipstick. Log and antilog  tables for trig were around but not common for everyday use.
        I remember one oldtimer  complaining that new 
        construction  tables – building trades stuff – missed viable
        materials combinations because it was too cumbersome to precalculate
        all possibilities.

      • #3088036

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by ocima ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I’ve read the numerous comments already posted and enjoyed some good laughs – they all seem to be written by mere “chickens” compared with me – I graduated from high school in 1937, aged 15 in the UK. You were TAUGHT to use your head – remember in those days the UK did not use the metric system – its currency was pounds, shillings and pence – twelve pennies made one shilling, twenty shillings made one pound. A ton weight was 2240 pounds (of 16 ounces each) and there were twenty “hundredweights” to the UK ton – but a hundredweight was 112 pounds weight! Book-keeping was done (exclusively by men) in “ledgers” where all entries and calculations wre entered by pen and  ink (the ball point pen did not arrive until just after WWII) – and the calculations were done “in your head” (although I do remember a few men using an abacus) and yes there were those of us who could correctly add the three columns of pounds, shilings and pence simultaneously. Early in 1939 (I was then in the British Civil Service) we got our first “book-keeping calculating machine” a Mercedes” (yes that same Mercedes from Germany) which I regard as the forerunner of computers. It looked like an old style typewtiter but with a top bar almost two feet wide on which you clipped “boxes” – which performed calculations automatically – depending on what type of calculation you were doing – I was involved in job costing, so Box 1 showed the numbers of hours put iunto the job by an electrician, sheet metal worker, carpenter etc., – the second box took his hourly rate of pay and thus the thrid box calculated the total value of his work, Other boxes took the cost of material used and finally you got a complete costing of the job – automatically – the first machine “spreadsheets”.Television first appeared in the UK in 1938 – yes before the USA had it – but was temporarily “killed off” by WWII – om tiny 8 inch black and white screens. I was in the British Royal Air Force 1940 thru 1946 and then returned to the same Mercedes machines. But now the “Biro” the first ball point pen appeared (and it was very expensive) and also simple (and mechanical not electrical) desktop “calculators” were the newest thing. I emigrated to Canada (where I still live) in 1957, a qualified “accountant” by then and since (until I retired in 1984) in various office jobs until reaching the Vice Presidency of a biggish company. WWII – out of sheer need – really introduced women to work previously only done by men and the work place in general.I got my first computer as a retiurement present in 1984 when I retired (an Apple) – very simple basic and DOS only but cost almost $5000 in those days

        In Canada we started with IBM punched card computing in 1958 and then climbed up the scale to what exists today. Handicapped physically for better then a dozen years I turned back to computing as a hobby and have cointnued since, up through Windows 3 thro XP (and a beta Vista) today. I run four websites of my own, design websites for commercial (and private) use and have three desktops plus a laptop.

        Is it a better world – than back in those days? No way San Jose! We usually did not hear of disasters half a world away until weeks after they happened and religions (all of them) one kept to one’s self and one’s own country. We were much more neighborly, our pleasures were simpler but more lasting, family was the centre of the world and businesses were ethical not greedy – especially their directors. Sure we did not have the level of health care, cellphones and what have you – nor the stress that they bring. We had time to smell the roses. We did have good basic education – today you do not.

      • #3087961

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by bill.the.rocket.scientist ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        My first encouner with computers was in college.  It was the early
        70’s and the public concept of a computer was a huge machine occupying
        several floors of a building “somewhere.”  Most of us had never
        seen a computer of any sort, and only knew of these arcane devices
        through rumor or the occasional media story.
        I was one of the privileged few who would be taking a radical
        experimental class.  We would be taught how to input problems to a
        computer and use the resulting output as an engineering tool.  Of
        course, we would have to observe the proper customs.
        First, we had to formulate our problems in the proper manner.  For
        this we needed to master the arcane language FORTRAN.  We had
        heard of another computer language known as COBOL, but this was
        reserved for the business majors.
        Once formulated, our inputs needed to be rendered in the proper manner,
        punched cards known coloquially as “IBM Cards.”  We learned of the
        EBCIDIC code that would render our FORTRAN statements in a manner
        acceptable to the machine.  Patiently we typed each card,
        faithfully rendering our program onto the little cards.  Of
        course, each card was numbered, and we had to keep the cards in
        numerical order lest the machine would frown upon our feeble attempts
        and reject our program.
        With our deck of cards properly collated we were permitted to approach
        the acolytes serving the great machine, a class of priests known as
        “operators.”  Like many minor functionaries, operators held an
        incredibly inflated opinion of themselves and delighted in exercising
        every miniscule tidbit of power they posessed.  “Sure, kid, I’ll
        try and run it today.  Check back in an hour or two.”  The
        prescribed response was to obsequiously thank the operator, lest your
        run be shifted to a lower priority queue and you had little hope of
        seeing any output for at least a week.
        The goal of this exercise was to get a clean run.  This rarely occured on the first pass.
        After waiting the requisite hour or two, one went to the output shelf
        and looked for one’s output, a stack of wide printout sheets with a
        deck of cards attached.  If successful, your printout showed the
        results of your program.  If unsuccessful (most likely) the
        printout represented a dump of your cards with a few very obscure
        comments as to the reason your job crashed.  At this point you had
        to analyze each and every line to determine if you had a typo (very
        likely,) if your cards had somehow gotten out of order (I still believe
        a few sadistic operators would deliberately cut the deck) or if there
        was some flaw in your logic.  Debugging was a very painful
        experience in those dark days.
        Today, computers have become ubiquitous.  It is the age of a PC in
        every home and a microprocessor in everything else.  We no longer
        program, we use software programs.  In one generation, computers
        have emerged from the temple and are part of our everyday lives. 
        And I like to think that a few sadistic computer operators have been
        humbled.

      • #3087859

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by j sheesley ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Bill:

        Your comment about computer operators rang true.  I used to work
        in the computer lab at the University of South Florida. Punch Cards had
        long since passed away, but we still had to manage the mainframe
        terminals, networked PCs and the mainframe printer and printouts. There
        I came across the funniest set of stories about operators which could
        only be describe on this site by its acronym: BOFH.  It’s even appropriate for modern network administrators and support professionals.

      • #3085935

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by the_m0nk ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Strangely enough, I was teaching a class of new hires last week and in progress mentioned how things have progressed. “When I was in school” we even used log books and slide rules. This was before they even allowed handheld calculators! This was in South Africa in 1980, and that was not even that far back!

        Brad

      • #3085933

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by richard.fowler ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        The “good old days” used typing pools instead of work processors, accountants with two-column ledgers instead of spreadsheets, and filing cabinets instead of databases.  Lots and lots of filing cabinets.  We wrote letters instead of email, and could leave a message with an assistant instead of voice mail.  The biggest difference, though, was that we had to know a lot more off the top of their heads than we do today.  We didn’t have to take a week or two to compile the data, because we had to work with the information all the time.  On a constant, day-to-day basis we read and summarized articles, wrote briefs and memos, and when it came time to answer a question from management, we had to rely on what we knew right then.  That’s part of the good old days that I really miss.

      • #3085928

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by calinga ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        My experiences will certainly date me, but my memory goes back to the days of the Burroughs 220 (Vacuum tubes, no less!), IBM 1401, and “Unit Record” equipment while I was working my first real job at Allstate Insurance Company’s Cleveland, OH Regional office. Punch cards, mag tape, and paper tape were the only storage media, and cards were also used as data input and initial program input, as well.  The source paper data was sent into the Keypunch unit where probably 50 keypunch operators would transcribe the handwritten or typed data into cards, which were then verified by another unit of 50 operators who rekeyed the cards from the same source data. A large deck of input cards might take a full day of preprocessing on that unit record equipment before it could be loaded by hand into the card reader of one of the main frames. Data was stored on that mag tape and all jobs were batch jobs. In this period – not even dumb terminals existed, and the computer operator had only toggle switches and banks of lights to show what was going on inside the monster of a machine. One high speed line printer did all of the printing for the entire office, and tha noise that came from that machine was deafening – it was kept in a separate soundproof room to lessen the racket. There was no online accessible database at all. Data was maintained and stored in file folders; punch cards were kept in the folders for each customer/account. Mailings were done by stamping addresses with the old mechanical Addressograph-Multigraph machines, which made metal plates similar to dog tags that contained the customer’s name, address, and account number. There was a full-time staff of probably 30 young people who pulled and refiled the file folders which were kept in long rows – I have no idea how many cabinets, but they stretched for probably 100 yards in 6 double rows. Business correspondence was typed, with carbon paper used for multiple copies. Spreadsheets? Try ledger books maintained by hand. Payroll? Manually computed and punched onto cards for tax calculations and check printing. No email, since no internet of even networks between offices. Memos were used to send quick info to coworkers, and offices employed people whose sole jobs were to carry those bits of paper around the office. Data transfer was by shipping mag tape or card decks by mail or UPS. People kept their schedules and notes in notebooks or Day-Timers. You wrote and mailed checks to pay bills. Instant contact? Telegrams or phone on a rotary dial phone, and long-distance charges were outrageous! If you needed to make a call while traveling, you used a pay phone!

        Not quite Fred Flintstone, but a far cry from where we are today! We still do not have a paperless office, but gone are the rows of filing cabinets containing all of that precious data!

      • #3085925

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by paul.hayes ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Insert comment text here

        Forms, folders, tabulated paper, graph paper, card indexes, slide rules – can remember using all these.

        Paul Hayes

      • #3085907

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by sue’s comment ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I did a statistics course without being able to use computers or calculators! We had to write down how we would use a calculator to do a complex calculation – if we had one. I think a simple calculator cost ?100 in those days – at least two weeks salary!

        We had lots of squared paper and we had techniques for handling calculations by breaking the problem down. For example if you had to compute a mean of four values in the region of 120 eg. 118, 121,125, 115 etc then you would take the mean of -2, 1, 5 and -5 which gives -0.25 and adjust the estimated mean accordingly to give 119.75. this is a lot easier that adding up the original figures and dividing by four.

        We had several thousand values to classify into a two way table once (urgently) and the computer failed. A team of four spent the afternoon on the problem and we were later taken out to dinner for our efforts! The task here was to check that no values were missed. Each record was recorded on the correct cell of the table as a short vertical line but every fifth vertical line was drawn at an angle to cross the previous 4 (normal tallying). A small dot was placed at the end of each cell at the end of each page of data. Two teams of two tallied the results independently. At the end of a page the row and column totals from the two teams were compared. If the results didn’t match then the last page of data (and only the last page of data) had to be checked and the dots marked the starting point.

        Documents were produced on a typewriter. To type a table you had to do your maths first! You had to count the number of characters in each column and work out precisely where the information was to by typed before you typed a single character. Underscores were used for the horizontal lines and an “l” for the vertical lines. Errors had to be corrected using a piece of chalked paper and overtyping so the chalk obliterated the ink. Copies were made using carbon paper inserted between the sheets and typing hard!

        Stencils were typed onto metal plates to enable addressing machines to produce multiple envelopes for people with whom you corresponded regularly. Mistakes not allowed. In the early 1970s a system was introduced where an ink was placed on the reverse of a typed label which was held in a card former. Alcohol was rolled onto an envelope and then the label was put into place and the label was rolled with a dry roller. This deposited a small amount of ink on the envelope and this lasted for about 60 copies.

        The other item in use was a punched card. Pieces of card were designed with punched holes around the perimeter. Attributes were allocated to the holes eg. one hole could refer to male, another to female, one to under 21, one to over 21 and then different holes to political preferences. For large number so frecords these would be preprinted.The holes were cut out (using scissors) to indicate selection. By using a set of knitting needles you could choose attributes and select all males voting for a particular party for example.

        Randomisation was achieved using tables of randomisation numbers.

        Computers were around then but they were not in general use. I ran statistical software programs in the early 1970’s. The program and the data were punched out on punchcards. These were fed through a reader which passed light through the holes and translated the information into bytes. The program itself took up to 24 hours to run before producing a printout! This was very annoying when ther was an error in a punchcard and it had to be run again!

        Ahhhh! Life before Microsoft…..

      • #3085904

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by bkadrie ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Back in the late 60’s, I remember working in an office for a construction company that had union laborers on their payroll.  We thought the one-write check pegboard system was the best thing to come along.  With it, you hand-wrote the payroll checks, pay breakdown, and itemized deductions, all of which copied over to an master ledger sheet in one step.  Of course, the math had to be done with the old electronic calculator.

        The next best invention was the typewriter correction tape that was used to erase typing errors.  Of course, later on, IBM Selectrics came out, followed by word processors.   

        I think office workers had to have more mathematical skills and be super typists back then. 

      • #3085897

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by edgbarrow ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I remember learning to write assembler programs on IBM VS1 on an Amdahl
        540 with 1 meg of real RAM running IBM-type 3330 disk drives.  Our
        network with VTAM (of course) and over 1000 people were supported on
        the system.  ASCII was a dream; EBCDIC ruled.

        In college, we were still running card-decks on a Burroughs.  When
        the sys manager finally let us see the job submission queue on a video
        monitor, we called it “cool”.

        I crashed a PDP11-70 filling the process table with my first shell script…too many forks at the table?
        Thanks for the memories,
        Ed

      • #3085894

        What

        by dilbert9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        We used pens, paper, adding machines, mechanical calculators and punch card tabulators.

        I ran an electrical contractor shop in the very early 1970’s until
        1999. When I started the business was a totally manual pen and
        paper operation. I took the business to a automated, bar code
        driven operation during my tenure. So what did I decide for a
        career after retiring from that business? I’m the Technical
        Director for a small medical software developer.

        I also had a laugh the other day.  My younger children aged 7 and
        8, were tasked at  school to find out how life differed in their
        parent’s childhood due to technology.  They almost freaked when I
        pulled out a vinyl album and a sliderule.

      • #3085891

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by bad2thebone ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I can remember back when there were no calculators, only slide rules and adding machines to do the math. Word processing was done on a typewriter, and if you were lucky you had an electric one with a correction ribbon, other wise you had the old manual typewriter and had to re-type the entire page if you made errors that could not be erased easily. Pencil, paper and filing cabinets were the way things were done and we didn’t have to worry much about identity theft or telemarketers bugging you while you ate dinner. Mom actually cooked meals and we all ate at the dinner table, not in front of the TV. “Crack” was a crack in the sidewalk, and “crystal” was the fancy glass that we drank from when we had special company for dinner, served on fine china (not “china white”). Americans had “jobs” at factories, farms and businesses. Most of the things that we bought were made in the good ole’ USA, and only the cheap junk was made in Asia or overseas. Today you find it virtually impossible to find a product made entirely in the USA, other than food grown here.

        We also had time to write real letters and send them “snail mail”, and we didn’t get a lot of junk mail either. Families had time to visit each other, even though we didn’t have all of the time saving, modern convienences of today like microwave ovens, automatic dishwashers, automatic washers and dryers and permanent press clothes. Not to mention PCs, Macs, PDAs, Blackberries and cell phones. Land lines were the only phones and most residenses were on “party lines” where more than one family would share a phone line. You each had separate phone numbers but you had to pick up the phone and make sure that no one else was on there before dialing, and dialing was the old rotor dial phone.

        Well now you all know that I am older than dirt, but I am also a highly qualified computer/peripheial/network technican/administrator. I began working with PCs with the days of DOS and PCs didn’t even have a hard drive, you booted from a 5 1/4″ floppy disk and then loaded the program (again from floppy disk) that you wanted to run and WordStar and Lotus 123 were the greatest inventions since sliced bread. A Window was something that you looked out, or opened to let fresh air in. Now we recognize that it is virtually impossible to keep abreast of all of the changes in technology in all areas, but as all technical I.T. persons, we must try. 

        Strange how the changes in technology in the last 20 – 30 years have vastly shaped our society. We have gone from a country producing the world’s goods to a country purchasing the rest of the world’s goods and becoming a country offering services instead of real carrers with real benefits. We have gone from a country with the best and brightest engineers and highest technology to falling behind the rest of the world, and outsourcing jobs to offshore sites to boost the bottom line profits.  When and where will it stop and turn around again? God only knows….

      • #3085413

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by michael.vorel ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I grew up on ten-key calculators for number crunching with many books for posting data for review.

        Documents were typed on IBM Selectric typewriters, printed on a small press, bound and distributed

        Forms were created by LetraSet characters and laid out on blue line graph paper for reproduction

        Computers have made life somewhat simpler, though the greatest benefit is due to process improvements and reduced time invested to accomplish similar tasks

         

        mike vorel

      • #3085402

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by techproguild9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I graduated college in 1990 with a business degree, and a fair amount of computer experience (i.e. My Apple IIc, Lotus 123, dBase IV, and WordPerfect). I got a job with a small company that had a 286 collecting dust in the corner. It was the only computer for an office of 35 people.

        They did everything with green column pads, calculators, and pencils. Periods were closed several weeks after the period ended.

        Now I’ll brag…
        With a few simple (and I mean simple) spreadsheets I was completed my “stuff” in hours or minutes. They were used to getting them in days or weeks. Five years later I was the unofficial IT director during the week, and I still had Marketing duties (Ugh). They had to wait until the evenings, and weekends. (Stupid me.) Turned that experience into my own IT services company.

      • #3085397

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by cjsm ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Okay, I admit it.  When I was in high school I took a typing class
        – on manual typewriters.  Only the secretaries and advanced
        placement students were allowed to touch the IBM Selectrix.  My
        family owned a small business, too.  I used to help with year end
        “getting ready for the auditors”.  And that involved large ledger
        books, pages of hand-written entries and hours on a then state of the
        art adding machine.  I wasn’t allowed to touch the big machine
        that did multiplication and division.  Photo-copiers were a big
        deal.  I remember mimeograph machines in school and how the
        handouts smelled when you got them in class.  And a student
        standing by the machine and cranking the handle for hours to get copies
        created for all the classes.  Carbon paper.  Whiteout. 
        Erasable carbon paper was cool when it came out, correcting mistakes
        was so much easier.  Typing pools.  Some of the old movies
        show women (almost always) sitting in a large room and pounding out
        reams of paper.  Did you know there are still some people who
        prefer writing out letters long hand and then having a typing person
        enter them into the computer?  How wasteful.  First you write
        it out, then they type it, then you correct it (since they couldn’t
        read your handwriting), then they retype it, you correct it, and so on
        until you either get it right or give up.  Shorthand.  My mom
        learned shorthand in high school.  I never attempted to learn
        because I was sure I was never going to do that kind of work – and I
        was right.  The good old days – how I DON’T miss them.

      • #3085384

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jackaaa3 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I really don’t remember there not being an IT. Sounds strange doesn’t it. My first exposure to the then “Data Processing” field was in 1966 when I was a senior in high school and I haven’t looked back since. I wouldn’t trade my career for anything. To me, getting paid to do something I loved was absurd. Back then this kind of love was only found in professional sports. It has been an honor to have watched IT mature to what it is today. I’ve done everything there is in this field at one time or another and what a ride! Even now, at 57, I still learn something new everyday. To do otherwise is a waste of time. My generation is thinning out now but I have great confidence that the techno-geeks coming up will do okay as long as they get educated.

        Jack Foley

        Jack of all, king of a few

      • #3085372

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by ammerlin ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Um, there were secretaries. That’s how the work got done. I had to laugh at your question and then at myself. I guess I really am getting old. As a former secretary and for the past nearly 20 years a programmer, I don’t miss the ‘Good Old Days.’  We used 11×17 inch grid paper to do manual spreadsheets. Calculations were done on a 10-key manual calculator which used those cash register type rolls of paper. Non-electric ones had a pull handle on the side that would total your entry (kinda like the old slot machines). Typewriters were either manual or electric. If you wanted a copy of something, you used carbon paper when you typed the original. No copies after it was typed! No voice mail; phone messages were jotted down on little pink slips of paper which accummulated on your desk. Spell check meant using a dictionary – an actual well-worn hard cover book. Instant messages might be likened to memos – short notes usually typed on a half sheet of paper. Email replaced interoffice mail and the delivery people that moved it around. I’m sure there is much more that my subconscious refuses to let me remember.

      • #3085358

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by harvey1z ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        It was all there before PCs and servers, the computers just automated it and speeded it up. Spread sheets were done by pencil and held in massive binders. Databases usually consisted of at least two seperate binders, one for the tables of values and one for the actual data – all hand entered and updated with pencils. Word Processor – before the typewriter it was pencil and eraser. The biggest leap forward given by the Word Processor was cut and paste and in line editing.

      • #3085351

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jim gillespie ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Back when I was a boy, we didn’t have computers.  We had rocks.. and when we wanted to count things, we’d use our fingers.  We’d smash a finger for each one, and when we ran out, we’d use our toes..  then we’d smash them all again..  and they turned blue, and swelled up and they hurt, and we liked it!

      • #3085327

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by jim ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        IBM Selectric typewriters… the Selectric II could actually backspace and whiteout an error. Carbon paper… lots and lots of carbon paper. Most companies would allow 3 typos in a letter before you had to retype it. If you had 3 typos, you sweated bullets ’til the end. Fountain pens that finally came with little cartridges, so you didn’t have to syphon up the ink from a bottle. Mimeographed tests in school. There was always one kid in the class that knew where the janitor kept the extra bulbs for the 16mm projector… the first Geek! If the movie projector was taken, you could always count on the football coach who also taught social studies to come up with a film strip. My brand new 1968 VW beetle was $2004. *sigh* Ah, the good old days!

      • #3085229

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by gallagher2 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Insert comment text here Well, there was carbon paper, comtomotors, ledger paper, pencils, and pencil sharpeners also erasers.  You had to press hard on the keys of the Remington typewriter (no motor) and the great advancement from the “hello operator” to the dial.

      • #3085207

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by marc.correll ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Copier Technician for years and years and years until 1994.

      • #3085200

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by are3 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Can you say IBM keypunch? Not only were these cards the original data entry forms, when you were done with them, they made great Christmas wreaths in the 70s. 

      • #3085185

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by dchandler@islandtechnical ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Can you say “80 column card”? Can you say “punched paper tape”? Can you say “Teletype ASR/KSR 33”?

        I’d love to do a retrospective on what it was like “before there were computers”!  (Oh, by the way, not to sound either old or arrogant:  computer is “not equal” to PC. Find a copy of Bell and Newell, “Readings in Computer Structures”, published in 1971! A great HISTORY of computers, 10+ years before the PC!)

        Anybody remember non-saturating logic, like ECL and TRL? Remember shmoo curves and margining memory (CORE memory!)

        I, personally, am glad I got to experience those days. But I’m probably sounding like my Grandfather, who was personally grateful to experience the horse and buggy before automobiles.

        Don Chandler
        President
        Island Technical Solutions
        BSEE ’68, Purdue

      • #3087129

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by wswinglenospam9 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        My father was an insurance salesman. In addition to finding new client he would carry a thick stack of cards with him that were punched with one hole and each card was put on a ring for easy access. He would call on each client monthly, with the client card and their payment information, to collect their payment.  Paper boys also did this on their paper route. 

      • #3087113

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by lilawagner ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Insert comment text here
        In 1967, I got my first business job as a temp in the transfer department of a trust company.  I spent the entire day typing up stock certificates on an IBM selectric.  I counted my blessings that I didn’t have to use the old manual typewriter with carbon paper and stick erasers.  The accounting department had a large “posting machine” run by an old pro – she must have been all of thirty and wouldn’t teach anybody anything about her machine that took up about a quarter of the office.

        It was about this time that my Dad, who was into telephones and switching circuits, got all het up about a computer program called “Visicalc,” the grand-daddy of all the electronic spreadsheets.  He was enthralled with this device that could rapidly update the whole spreadsheet, and eliminate the need for what we bookkeepers called “Cross-footing.”  C-F was to add every column, and every row and make sure that all the vertical and horizontal grand totals matched.  It was almost a decade later that I was able to use Lotus 1-2-3 on a “mini-computer.” And that in DOS.

      • #3086987

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by regulus ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I guess that I thought that I was a Management Consultant.   Eventually I found that I was doing more to resolve IT issues and nature took its’ course…..

        MCSEDave

      • #3086981

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by hulyalkar1 ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        I am old enough to grow up with hand held adding machines which was trill for me after passing out from my engineering college where we used log tables and slide rule.  There were computers but meant for special people who were expert in punching cards.

        I think the first computer for a novice was Calculator.  Processing numbers was far more easy and there was no need to learn anything but to punch figures on machine.  So those who can read could process numbers.  When Bell invented telephone there was no criteria for users that there must a minimum education qualification required to operate it.  Same was with cars, and use of electricity but NOT so with computers.

        With computers everything has changed.  You must learn special languages first and then and only then you could use computers in early days.  This is slowly changing with PC

        Work went on smoothly without computers and it will go on smoothly even in future.  It?s for few (in IT community) who feel there will havoc without computers.  According Management Guru Peter F Druker this is the fourth information revolution (Ref: Management Challenges for 21 st Century).  I am old enough to realise the full implications.  My young friends in IT area who specialise in focused skill set of C, C+ or Java don?t agree on this.

        And like any old man says I repeat: Life was much smoother than what it is with Laptops and phone cum calculator cum camera cum computer cum and list could be endless…

        Computer is wonderful machine but it?s tool available to enrich human life and not to make you a slave of him.

        Satish Hulyalkar

        Consultant Telecom & Knowledge Management practicing “Lean” Office

        Pune / India

         

      • #3267081

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by gsg ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        My grandmother, who passed away in 1993, was born in 1899.  I have a picture of her moving, by covered wagon, to a new town.  It took her 3 weeks.  I drove the distance in 3 hours.  She remembered the first time she saw a car, the first airplane she ever saw in the sky.  Think about it.  She was born in a horse and buggy world, and lived through 6 wars (if I missed one, I apologize…I also count police actions as wars here), raised 11 kids through the depression, and watched the space shuttle take off on television.  She didn’t even have plumbing until the 50s, and didn’t get an indoor bathroom until the 60s.  She loved her microwave.  She would boil water in it just so she could watch it because it was such an amazing thing.

      • #3103562

        What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        by mike.plante ·

        In reply to What’d we do BEFORE computers?

        Used a pencil with an eraser

    • #3100537

      KDE gets up to speed

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      The other week, I made the observation that KDE seemed very slow in comparison to GNOME on my SuSe 10.0 workstation and, after dealing with the pain long enough,  thought that maybe that meant that GNOME was the way to go to get the best performance out of the system. I was initially willing to chalk up the difference in speed to the added complexity of KDE and leave it with that.

      Nope.

      SuSe 10.0 Professional comes with KDE 3.4.2. While researching the slowness problem, I had come across references on KDE.org about the recent release of KDE 3.5.1.  The site didn’t go into any specific mention of performance increases with the new version, so I dismissed it. Years of ‘training’ with Windows taught me the lesson that new releases invariably add features and slow down systems. Microsoft hides the bloat of new features behind faster hardware, so you don’t always see it. I applied Windows-logic to a Linux problem and moved on.

      Then an article appeared on News.com about the forthcoming upgrade to GNOME. The new version GNOME 2.14 due out next month is supposed to be faster than GNOME 2.12 that ships currently. It made me wonder whether the slow problems with KDE 3.4.2 were just endemic to that specific version, so I went and did some further research.

      Sure enough – KDE 3.4.2 seems to have a reputation for being a cow when it comes to performance. Big, slow, and not very bright. I found several mentions that that specific version was buggy and slow on various distributions, including SuSe Professional 10.0.

      That lead to the adventure of upgrading KDE on a couple of my SuSe 10.0 boxes.  After much gnashing of teeth, I got the upgrade applied and working. The difference was night and day. It wasn’t just one system either. Whenever I applied 3.5.1, performance improved.

      There are still times when the system seems slow – like loading multiple tabs in Firefox 1.5, but it’s nowhere near as bad it used to be under KDE 3.4.2. Applications load and things work just as smoothly under KDE 3.5.1 as they do under GNOME 2.12.

      Of course, now it will be interesting to see what happens when GNOME 2.14 ships….

    • #3087874

      Living La Vida Lenovo

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I got an email the other day asking about the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet PC
      I’ve been using. The emailer thought maybe there was something wrong
      with the machine and that I hadn’t been using it because I hadn’t
      blogged about it for so long.

      Well, part of the problem is in the nature of blogs – or at least the
      way I approach them personally. Generally, I blog about what’s new in
      TechProGuild, some interesting story I’ve seen in the Tech News, some
      IT issue that’s been particularly bugging me, or just random thoughts
      that happen to cross my mind.  The Lenovo ThinkPad just hasn’t
      been hitting any of those categories for me lately because the darn
      thing just works too well.

      It’s become my standard PC for work at home and office meetings because
      the pen features are extremely handy. Plus, with the attached keyboard,
      it’s easy to rotate out the keyboard and use it rather than the stylus.

      I’m surprised with the Tablet’s ability to recognize my ‘handwriting’.
      I can barely read it myself sometimes, but somehow the Tablet can seem
      to decypher it pretty well.

      Of course, that doesn’t have anything specifically to do with the
      Lenovo itself. That’s more a feature of XP’s Tablet Edition. Where the
      Lenovo really rocks is the form factor of the machine to begin with. TechRepublic Editor Bill Detwiler currently is experimenting with two Tablet PCs – one from HP and one from Gateway.

      The Gateway is just huge. It’s about 4 inches wider than the Lenovo.
      It’s also a couple of pounds heavier. It makes for a nice
      laptop-replacement, but to rotate the screen and hold in your arms for
      a tablet – it just weighs too much.

      The HP is smaller than the Lenovo by about 2 inches, but it weighs
      about the same. Plus, the keyboard is detachable, so it’s not nearly as
      convenient.

      We’ve also had a Viewsonic Tablet PC here as well, but it also couldn’t
      compare. It didn’t have keyboard at all and weighed about 3 lbs more
      than the Lenovo. It was also a lot slower.

      In any case, the Lenovo is the best Tablet PC we’ve got in the shop
      right now. And I’m not letting Bill near it. Mine. 
      MineMineMineMine. But I digress…

      The Lenovo seems to have the hardware combination down perfect. It’s
      not too big, not too heavy. The battery easily holds most of the day,
      as long as you back off the brightness of the screen. I’ve never had
      any problems getting and keeping a connection.

      If there are any areas I could complain about there would be two: One
      is around the vaunted ThinkPad keyboard and the other is around the
      infamous TrackPoint. ThinkPad keyboards are still in a league by
      themselves, but my poor Lenovo has a mushy spot around the arrow keys.
      Maybe it’s broken underneath, but it just doesn’t feel the same as the
      rest of the keys.

      As for the TrackPoint, it seems to have fits whenever the hard drive is
      running a lot. If you try to load several programs at the same time,
      the TrackPoint jumps randomly and sometimes starts additional programs.
      I’ve seen on Usenet where this appears to be a common occurance, but
      noone seems to have suggestion that works to fix it.

      So that’s about it with the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet PC update for
      now.  If you don’t hear about it again for a little while, it’s
      only because I’m using it and enjoying it too much. 

      • #3074857

        Living La Vida Lenovo

        by wilbrian ·

        In reply to Living La Vida Lenovo

        Not about the Lenovo specifically, but could the TrackPoint problem be that “Language Bar” problem that some notebooks have?  This is where the Language Bar is on by default with the microphone activated.  At certain times the microphone starts to pick up ambient noise and attempts “voice activation” of the OS and application programs. Just shutting off the Language Bar seems to solve it for my clients.

      • #3074643

        Living La Vida Lenovo

        by bushta ·

        In reply to Living La Vida Lenovo

        I haven’t notice that problem where the pointer jumps around randomly on the Lenovo ThinkPad R52.  On other models I have had to lower the number of colors on the screen to 16bit so the pointer doesn’t freak-out.  The display isn’t as pretty, but the pointer is stable.  It seems to be a software driver issue.
          I just checked the Google Groups and saw a post about unchecking the “Enhance Pointer Precision” box.  He says that the solution works but not 100%.  I’ll take this one for a test drive.
        http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.mshardware.product/browse_thread/thread/a1d8beb02b685bba/6683ba443feec08c?lnk=st&q=mouse+pointer+erratic&rnum=2#6683ba443feec08c
         – Greg

    • #3085257

      Hack the Mac

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Earlier today, I stumbled across this article
      on News.com that mentioned a hacking contest that someone held to see
      how long it would take for a hacker to gain root access to Mac OS
      X.  The verdict: 20 – 30 mins.

      One of the most common arguments from the Pro-Mac camp is that fact
      that it’s more secure than Windows and is virtually hacker-proof.
      Another common argument is that Macs are invulnerable to viruses and
      spyware. Recent Mac viruses and vulnerabilites have laid that myth to rest as well.

      Naturally having their favorite ox gored caused Mac-mavens to quickly denounce the article and results it purported.

      Macophiles have long crowed about the safety of the Mac – either
      because of it’s ‘superiority’ or through the theory of “Safety Through
      Obscurity”. The first theory claims that the Mac is just sooo much
      better that it’s unhackable. It may be better in some respects at some
      things, but it’s far from perfect.

      The second theory claims that because Windows is just so much of a
      larger target that Mac users are safe because virus authors will go for
      the big game first. By that theory, we should all be running OS/2.
      Nobody writes software for it anymore – not even the hackers.

      No one platform is going to make you any safer than another. The key is
      to pick the platform that works best for you – Mac, Windows, Solaris,
      FreeBSD, Linux, even OS/2 – and then learn as much as you can about it,
      and secure the heck out of it. Nothing made by Man is ever going to be
      perfect.  Even if that Man is Steve Jobs.

      • #3268194

        Hack the Mac

        by joeldm1 ·

        In reply to Hack the Mac

        >No one platform is going to make you any safer than another.
        This is just patently stupid. It begs us to believe that all of the viruses that Windows is riddled with don’t really exist and that Unix is no more secure than Windows, which anyone with a brain-pan larger than a walnut knows is not true. There are _many_ real and easily understandable reasons why Mac OS X is more secure than Windows of any flavor.?
        I hope the guy who wrote the above gibberish can follow this:
        Unlike Windows, in OS X, the default configuration is to have communication ports closed and file sharing, FTP, remote login and web sharing all turned off right out of the box. And unlike Windows, the OS X admin account doesn’t have access to core functions of the OS.
        While hordes of amateur script kiddies successfully crack Windows security and cause millions of dollars of damage every year, there are no live virus or exploits that have caused any damage on Mac OS X. Why? Well the Unix code that forms the heart of OS X has been under attack for nearly 30 years by all manner of crackers. The open source nature of the BSD Unix kernel has been available to those intent on cracking it and those intent on preserving its security alike. That means that there is no more inherently secure desktop environment than OS X and the other ‘nixes exposed to such Darwinian pruning.
        As one expert notes, “Many orders of magnitude more people look over the source code for OS X and the related BSDs than have access to Windows source code,” said John Klos, a developer of NetBSD, a flavor of Unix closely related to OS X (quoted from an article in the Baltimore Sun entitled BACKLASH by DAvid Zeiler).
        Knowledgeable commentators believe that the notion of security-through-obscurity that seems to be all the rage by the ZDNetters these days, are desperately hoping for that sweet moment of schadenfreude when and if OS X is ever violated successfully (as opposed to tests where “hackers” are given local access to run their “test”), is a myth perpetrated to spread FUD among potential Mac converts (as if 90% + isn’t enough market share for them to feel secure!
        No, there is no completely secure computing environment, but the notion that there is no difference between them is just dumb. But note that most people who say such things are usually trying to defend an inferior product. And their only hope is to convince readers that excellence simply does not exist. Good luck with that . . . oh, and don’t forget to update your virus definitions!
        JoeL
    • #3084143

      Checking Vista?s performance

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      Previously, I?ve mentioned
      how we?ve got a new workstation for the TechRepublic Test Lab that was initially
      designed to be a Windows Vista monster, but in reality has turned out to be less
      than impressive. Most of the problem can be attributed to the fact that Vista
      is still in early beta and anytime you go outside of the mainstream of
      computing, you?re bound to be left behind while a product is still in beta.

      I was reading Greg Shultz?s article on the Windows System
      Performance Rating in Windows Vista. This tool will give you an idea about how
      your system performs. Just for kicks, I decided to run this on our test
      system.  Here?s how it turned out:

      Windows system performance rating of tr lab's test workstation.

       

      As you can see the workstation only managed to score a 2 on
      overall system performance. The key is to get as high a number as you can. The
      main limiting factor here was the video card ? an nVidia Quadro 3450.

       This card is no slouch. It?s a PCI-Express based card with
      256Mb of on-board video. It?s designed for high-end graphics including CAD/CAM,
      video editing, and other intense graphic chores. The problem is probably that
      there are no Vista LDDM drivers available for it yet. I was able to get some
      Beta 1 drivers that were higher performance than what I dealt with before, but
      they still wouldn?t support Aero Glass or other Vista features.

      Shockingly, the CPU, a 3.00Ghz Pentium D 64-bit processor only
      managed to score a 3.6 for system performance. What it would take to get a 5 or
      better is kind of scary to consider. Probably with the advent of dual-core
      CPUs, it?s going to be necessary to use one to get any decent performance from
      Vista.

      Finally, the Gaming Graphics category is interesting. It?s
      supposed to measure video memory and even though my card has 256Mb on board, it
      shows up as being 0. This too is probably a beta driver issue. I find the name ?Gaming
      Graphics? to be telling however.

      Greg set up a discussion
      thread
      to talk about Windows Vista System Performance. If you?re running Vista,
      check your performance and chime in. If you?re interested in what?s in Vista,
      check it out.

    • #3076995

      Ch..Ch..Changes?

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      By now you?ve probably noticed the subtle changes that are
      taking place around TechRepublic. In areas like the My Workspace and the Blogs, you can see the
      shape of what the new TechRepublic is starting to look like. TechProGuild is
      going to be undergoing some similar changes as well.

      In the upcoming months, we?re going to be adding new types of
      tools to TechProGuild. These will be aimed at helping you get your job done.
      There will still be the technical how-to, tips, tricks, and solutions that you?ve
      come to expect, but there will also be new things that will help you be more
      productive. 

      We?ll also reflect the look and feel of TechRepublic itself,
      so the old TPG green will probably fade away as well. But all in all, we?re
      working hard to make TPG subscriptions more valuable and a more useful resource
      for the IT solutions you need.

      There are still a couple of more months to go before the
      changes are all fully implemented. We?re in the process of formalizing everything
      currently. If you have any ideas, questions, comments or complaints, now?s the
      time to voice your opinion!

      • #3265643

        Ch..Ch..Changes?

        by merc49 ·

        In reply to Ch..Ch..Changes?

        Personally, I’d like a move AWAY from the TechRepublic site. I haven’t used the TPG site as much as I would like, but that is going to change. It’s sometimes confusing trying to determine what site your on.

      • #3265570

        Ch..Ch..Changes?

        by regulus ·

        In reply to Ch..Ch..Changes?

        Articles should always be printable.  Lately you’ve had several very excellent articles that were primarily a series of photo’s. There was no option to singularly print the whole set or save it to a document.  —except one – by – one….

      • #3265395

        Ch..Ch..Changes?

        by darinhamer ·

        In reply to Ch..Ch..Changes?

        Making TPG more user-friendly is a great idea. Having more productivity tools to help me do my job is also great. I guess the only constructively critical comment I would make is that I would hate to see the TPG web site integrate too smoothly with TR. I pay $10/month for TPG and already have some difficulty telling which services I’m accessing are premium and exclusive to TPG or which are freely available on TR. If I am going to continue my premium subscription, I want to easily be able to distiguish which things are premium and which are not, so I can accurately judge the value of my subscription.

         

        Thanks for listening.

      • #3265908

        Ch..Ch..Changes?

        by brooks2 ·

        In reply to Ch..Ch..Changes?

        I would like to see an improved search function. A lot of arch and I get a huge number of hits that are just not related. I don’t see how they coudl have been scored as a viable candidate for the search. I spend a lot of time wading through the hits and weeding out what is not a legitimate hit to my search.

         

        With that said, I do love your service and use it a lot. I find the download newsletter and the items included the mosty useful.

    • #3076702

      Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      At the end of last year, several TechRepublic members made their picks for Headlines You Won’t See In 2006. My #2 is as follows:

      2) Vista ships on time ? with a full feature set

      Microsoft
      has a history of creating illusory ship dates. Maybe Slip Dates would
      be a better term for them. As the shipping date gets closer, one of two
      things invariably happens. Either the ship date changes or features get
      tossed over the side. Beta 2 has already been delayed while promised
      features like WinFS suddenly have become possible options in the
      future. Vista may indeed appear in 2006, but it will be very late in
      the year, and without a full set of features that were announced years
      ago.

      Not only won’t Vista ship this year now, it STILL won’t ship with all of the features that were originally promised for it. Yet again, Microsoft misses another slip date.

      Oh wait – No, Windows Vista will be available this year after all! It’s going to be available precisely for the people who care least about it – business customers. People who’ve ponied up money for Microsoft corporate licenses (and expect ‘regular’ updates as part of it) will be able to get copies of Vista this year. For the rest of the planet, you’ve got to wait until January 2007.

      This makes little sense. Businesses are usually the last to adopt a new OS, not the first ones. When new OSes ship, most businesses sit back and wait for the bugs to be squashed. When I was a network administrator I remember that when Windows 2000 Professional shipped, the corporate mandate was to format a new machine when it came in the door and put 98 on it. They didn’t install 2000 Professional until after the first Service Pack was released.

      Windows XP took years to gain real market share on corporate desktops. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 Professional hung around solid until late 2003 / early 2004. Why should Windows Vista be any different? Microsoft has promised lots of benefits to business in this new release, but if they can’t be trusted to hit a simple ship date, how can they be trusted that this 1.0 release is going to be worth installing 3 months before its general release?

      You can always tell the pioneers because they’re the ones with arrows in their backs. Businesses don’t want to be the pioneers with a new untested OS. Shipping promises in the Corporate License agreements aside, if the product is ready for business today, it should be ready for the consumer market as well. If I was a CIO and a vendor told me it was ‘good enough’ for work, but not quite ready for home use, I’d think twice about doing business with that company.

      Meanwhile – how many new versions of Linux and Mac OS X have shipped since 2001? And how many more will be ready before January 2007?

      • #3263039

        Hate to say

        by sterling “chip” camden ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        I think the real problem is “enterprise bloat”: http://www.chipstips.com/microblog/index.php/post/296/

      • #3285436

        Hate to say

        by bbell ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        The Vista delay means NOTHING to us here in our small school in central Pennsylvania.  We have to wait until the summer to work on all the computers anyway, because they’re in constant use by the teachers and students during the school year.  About the only thing that will matter to us, is if MS slips again, and Vista doesn’t get to us until late Spring.  There will be a point where it will be too late, we won’t be able to run it through our tests, and it won’t make the new images we create for deployment over the summer rebuild process.  If that happens, then maybe I’ll get a vacation next year!

      • #3285417

        Hate to say

        by jnhannah ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        Why is it that we all get so hung up on release dates? Why should software comanies always be held to such strict dates?

        Personally I would rather that Microsoft took the time to iron out as many of the bugs as possible before releasing vista commercially to the public. Let them get all the issues fixed before releasing the software.

        My XP Home works just fine, and I am in no rush to get my hands on Vista. I don’t want to see another Windows ME fiasco.

        I’ll probably use Vista once it has everything in it. What are peoples thoughts on the security software (anti virus and anti-spyware) that MS is putting into Vista? Are we going to see more lawsuits against Microsoft? I think it would be great to have a fully integrated system. I can still use other software as well. What are peoples thoughts on this subject?

      • #3285413

        Hate to say

        by arthurp ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        John,

        By your standards this posting is nothing more than a cheap shot at Microsoft.

        Maybe I’ve missed something, but it appears that the e-journalist has set in stone what they believe to be the delivery date of Vista, and then seem to be surprised that it will not be delivered to their stated times and dates.

        Concerning the “expected elements” that will not be delivered; are you sure that the e-journalism community have not become confused, in that those so-called missing elements were not originally intended for Longhorn Server ?

        So far the only Greg Schultz, who publishes a weekly posting upon Vista has really had anything to say … it appears that almost everyone else is taking pot shots at Microsoft, which is neither helpful; not does it help your credibility.

        Maybe you would be better focusing your efforts upon how the application will be developed, what we can expect upon launch, and discussions concerning the eventual business deployment, (deciding whether the business should upgrade its current hardware, or replacing it, designing the build around the hardware, will the infrastructure be able to support the OS, software compliancy testing).

        The last roll-out that was conducted of this potential scale was XP, and that started in 2001 with hardware testing, and build design.

        I for one will be happy to receive a system that is relatively secure, and does what I want it to do, straight out of the box – Users without rights .. at last

        Arthur

      • #3285391

        Hate to say

        by bookkeeper ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        I think there are to many cooks to spoil the brew. Microsoft true has
        alot more to contend with such as: they are the top dog and everybody
        knows if someone going to pick on somebody it will be the top dog, but
        in any case you would think that they would be organized enough to
        either not make promises it can’t keep or if they make those promises
        or delivery dates make sure that they can produce. One side can’t
        communicate with the other, or to many cooks spoil the brew.
        Signed just an opinion

      • #3286661

        Hate to say

        by nobby57 ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        Personally I don’t think most people care that much. I already know people who think the onset of Vista will make their existing machines obsolete. What is the benefit the public will realize from a new Windows OS? After you upgrade your hardware to run it decently you will have about what you have now, but it will be wearing a tux (didn’t mean that, exactly!) I know my company ran 98 until 2003. They won’t be breaking down the doors for Vista, as you said.

        Conservative businesses won’t adopt Vista until they know that it won’t break their apps or open new security holes. But they will stick with Windows anyway, running XP until Microsoft won’t support it any more, because they are confused by Linux and think of Mac as a graphics-only OS.

        Reid

      • #3286462

        Hate to say

        by regulus ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        Vista, might be nice.  Might also be M.E. or even worse, DOS 4.0 – who knows.  But really, What real pressing need is there for this product?  And why all of this hype over MS missing their initial ship date?  I mean, Bill doesn’t really have an ’empty pockets’ syndrome does he?  If it is meant to be, let Vista get here when it gets here.  

      • #3075490

        Hate to say

        by jp5472 ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        This is tyical Microsoft – a whole lot of hype, promises, bells and whistles, but never any performance or substance.  They are the GM of the OS industry.  If the company hadn’t become such a monopoly, we’d all have steered clear of their products ages ago, but we are forced to use them with all of the apps, all of the tools, the internet browser, everything based off a windows platform.  Yes, you can have Linux running your servers (and should as it it light years more stable than Win2K3 server products), yes, you can use FireFox (and I do, but still have to revert back to IE for some aspects) but now that we all have been led down the path of MS Office, Outlook, and a myriad of other products that integrate with Windows, who wants to have to go through the pain of whole companies changing over to platforms and applications that their users are unfamiliar with?  How long of a learning curve, and at what expense?

        It’s always the hype, the “spin” that Microsoft ever delivers on time.  Guaranteed when Vista finally is released, much of the hyped features will be missing or they will be released as “options” later, or there will be the pathetic levels of “Home”, “Professional”, “Advanced”, “Enterprise”, etc.  Then there will be the constant parade of patches, fixes, service packs, excuses…and all our frustration trying to find the solution to the latest quirk of something not working as it should.  Not only that, but I am sure that this new OS will probably be over the 10GB range as that is what, with all the SP’s and patches applied, a root drive is approachiing now just with OS related files.

        Maybe someday MS won’t continue to BS, but I know I am just an idealist who waits for the right path to be chosen, thinks and dreams it may happen when the crossroad is presented to a company, but we are talking about Microsoft here….just out for the money grab and dominating everything.

      • #3287288

        Hate to say

        by mail.dave ·

        In reply to Hate to say “I told you so…” (No I don’t.)

        Apple’s Boot Camp, once imaging of a drive with both HFS+ and Win (Fat32 & NTFS) partitions is settled, will start to look more and more inviting to anyone tiring of persistent Windows issues.


        For those who want to maintain their current PC hardware, Vista will be a long wait and a serious gamble, which will lead some decision-makers to give a long hard look at Linux whereas they might never have considered it before.
        Truth is, cost of implementation, maintenance/upkeep and support, and *training* will probably be the driving factors of any decisions made.
        I would certainly not overlook the MacIntel machines, but that option won’t be what’s best for all people.
        As well, few desktop users , still, could really handle Linux.

    • #3263715

      Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      A recent article I stumbled across on National Geographic’s Web site
      discusses how a long forgotten about, fully stocked bomb shelter from
      the Cold War era was discovered beneath the Brooklyn Bridge
      Meant to help New Yorkers survive a nuclear attack, the shelter still
      contained food and water, some of which was dated 1957 and 1962. 
      Over time, people forgot the shelter existed, but there it awaited set
      and ready to go for a nuclear holocaust that never occurred.

      When I was going to school at the University Of South Florida in Tampa,
      Florida, some friends and I discovered a similarly stocked bomb shelter
      under one of the dormitory buildings. It contained metal tins full of
      crackers, chemical toilets, cans of water, and antibiotics that had
      expired in the late 60’s.  The stuff was stacked to the roof of a
      10 foot ceiling and looked like it hadn’t been visited by anyone other
      than thousands of cockroaches for years.

      Millions of dollars were probably spent for similar civil defense
      shelters around the country in the hopes of protecting civilians in
      case of a nuclear war. They were planned for, paid for, and created –
      ultimately to be forgotten. Shelters which could have been kept
      updated, modernized, and modified for other uses turn into treasure
      troves of archaeology. Today we look at these shelters and wonder how
      people back then ever thought they’d survive a nuclear war in them.

      Long forgotten bomb shelters like these can remind IT professionals
      about the importance of keeping disaster recovery plans up to date. You
      can’t just create a disaster planning and recovery process and set it
      aside. You have to keep revisiting it on a regular basis, updating it
      to meet current needs.  If you don’t your plan becomes a wasted
      investment and won’t help you when disaster does strike. Instead years
      down the road will stumble across your plan in a dusty file cabinet
      drawer or somewhere on an old hard drive and marvel that you thought it
      would actually work.

      • #3265632

        Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        Indeed, this is the toughest aspect of disaster planning. The day you roll out your disaster plan, everything’s good. But then you add a new server, tack on a new domain, and open a branch office and guess what? Your disaster plan didn’t address backing up data for any of those elements.

        What’s the best way to maintain a disaster plan? Should such plans be revisited monthly? Or, would disaster planning meetings be the first eliminated when a difficult project creates a scheduling conflict?

      • #3106743

        Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        by sfowler44 ·

        In reply to Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        You couldn’t be more Right.

        When I took over this job I found a plan that was 15 years old, and thought the same thing “How could this ever work”.

        Keep the plans uptodate.

        I review mine every 3 months and activate the plan to ensure it works.

        Steve Fowler

      • #3106740

        Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        by slapt0p ·

        In reply to Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        IMHO, DR plans, scripts, procedures, physical resource/targets, external supplier contract schedules must be solidly linked to the organisation’s change management system and maintained by its managed content.  All changes to live service components, INCLUDING HR type organisational change, need to be validated for impact upon the Business Continuity Plan, which includes the IT Disaster RESPONSE arrangements, which may include Service or Component recovery plans, scripts and resources.

        Mostly, I come across organisations of varying size in varying sectors that have no idea that this should be the case, are too small to have formal process, relying on good practise or the IT team to know what they’re doing or run disparately large complex structures made up of varying standards/practises, Gaps and overlaps.  Basically this is too hard to accomplish for 90%.  Occassionally I find it working in a bank,  or it works sometimes, or its planed to but doesn’t, or used to when so and so was in charge. 

        Not hard in concept, just difficult in practise.  It takes only one change to invalidate the continuity arrangements, so proove them often.

      • #3156515

        Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        by chenderson ·

        In reply to Investing in Disaster Recovery shouldn?t be like buying the Brooklyn Bridge

        I like your analogy to the neglected bomb shelter.  I referenced your post on my blog:  http://lawfirmmanagement.clarislaw.com/law-firm-disaster-recovery/update-your-disaster-recovery-plan.php#more

    • #3075434

      Pity poor Novell

      by j sheesley ·

      In reply to Direct From TechProGuild

      I’ve been using
      Novell products for almost 20 years now since I got the chance to play with
      NetWare in college. There, in the Business Computing Lab at the University of
      South Florida, we had a small network of 30 IBM PC XTs networked to one XT
      running NetWare 2.15. From there I’ve both worked with and written about
      NetWare and Novell through all of it’s various stages and changes.

      During the late 80’s
      and into the 90’s, Novell ruled the networking landscape through the power of
      NetWare. But then Novell stumbled in a misguided effort to take on Microsoft in
      it’s own backyard ? the desktop ? with the purchase of DR-DOS and WordPerfect.
      The combined steamroller of Windows 9x, Office, and Windows NT on the network
      (along with some questionable business tactics on Microsoft’s part) quickly
      wrote the history we’ve come to learn.

      Even though Novell
      included innovations in NetWare years ago that Microsoft is only now starting
      to put into Windows such as federated directory services, Novell struggles to
      maintain viability. The NetWare kernel is stalled with version 6.5 and doesn’t
      seem to have a future. Novell is quickly moving NetWare services to Linux with
      Open Enterprise Server, and is again trying to challenge Microsoft on the
      desktop with SuSe 10.

      The problem is Novell
      can’t seem to get a break. RedHat has an estimated 70% of the Linux market and
      the bet on Linux as a savior for Novell is looking dubious. Pundits ridicule
      Novell’s vision
      of Linux challenging Microsoft on the desktop. And now
      News.com points out that most of Novell’s own employees haven?t
      made the switch
      from Microsoft products to open source ones.

      Yeesh. Novell has a great history. And for
      companies considering making the migration to Linux, it would seem to be the
      best bet because it understands how business works through years of selling
      NetWare. For
      several months now
      , I’ve been pointing out how SuSe Professional 10 makes a
      great desktop environment. But does
      that matter anymore? Is Novell still
      relevant?

      • #3103668

        Pity poor Novell

        by jcritch ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        “And now News.com points out that most of Novell’s own employees haven?t made the switch from Microsoft products to open source ones. “

        I guess that sums it up

      • #3103657

        Pity poor Novell

        by tom.howarth ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        and this says what????  the article does not make any points. or attempt to answer.  but unfortunatly no, Novell is no longer relevant, more and more companies are migrating to Microsoft from Novell.  and in my opinion Linux is not yet ready to be trusted in the enterprise.

      • #3103653

        Pity poor Novell

        by rswanson ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I have been with Novell since back in version 3.10 and loved the product.  I never have felt the partner relationship has ever been right with Novell.  I am now still supporting limited Novell sites but most of our efforts have been on the Microsoft camp.  The Microsoft (MS) Partner Channel is well organized, MS does a lot more events and their product support is realistic.

        I named my company after Novell and the fact that I started out as a CNE so the name Computer Network Enterprises, Inc. just made sense to us.  Novell has bullied us in their partner program and tried to force us to sell their product and force us to change our business model….sorry big red the writing is on the wall.  I will miss the Novell days but uncle Bill just keeps sending us work and Drew Major had a great product but never found anyone to market the Novell properly nor get all the buggy problems with GroupWise working – hey just “FIX IT”

        Sorry to see Novell dwindle…

      • #3103652

        Pity poor Novell

        by sbeighle ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I was an advocate of Novell for years, but then Novell
        wouldn’t help me when my GroupWise 5.5 EP client started automatically adding obscenities
        to outbound messages, including to my organization’s Board of Directors. 
        In fact, Novell’s response was that I needed to upgrade to GroupWise 6…that’s
        not support, that’s extortion in my most humble opinion.  Don’t believe me?  They even have a TID that I was referenced to when I called them for support, TID10066760.

        So, I say the heck with them…they’re getting what they deserve (yeah, I’m a
        little bitter).  By the way, we never did upgrade to GW6…we switched to
        Exchange.

      • #3103644

        Pity poor Novell

        by petedude ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I think it’s more the perception that Novell has lost its relevance than anything else.

        Novell will likely continue to bring new ideas and energy into the industry.  It’s just a matter whether the industry bites or not.  Most of that is due to poor marketing on Novell’s part.

        I think the marketing problem has partly been that traditionally Novell’s been a bunch of geeks who have been too honest for their own good and too reliant on word-of-mouth about the quality of their products.  Those atitudes prevent them from doing the insane marketing that their competitors do (especially MS), and therefore they have no advertising presence/no public awareness.

      • #3103626

        Pity poor Novell

        by myersnet ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Good point. Novell is NOT relevant and hasn’t been for over 10 years. One of the many mistakes Novell made was to never transitition from selling products and services to the network geeks – to selling products and services to the suits who are making the decisions by looking at “the big picture”. And, if you speak with the few remaining “I bleed red” Novell pundits today, they suffer from the same narrow-viewed approach to solving today’s connectivity issues. Even before Novell missed this boat I’m describing, they made another series of grave mistakes by alienating a lot of the developers writing .NLM code with policy changes and support policy changes. Many developers I knew abandonded the platforms they wrote in and jumped on the Win32 bandwagon – and hasn’t missed a beat yet, (unless you count the .NET paradigm shift.)

        Novell as a company has – in my opinion – two near-genious products under their belt: NDS and Zen. Not enough though. They can’t manage their way out of a paper bag.

      • #3103612

        Pity poor Novell

        by carlos55 ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I have been using Suse 9.3 and now 10 desktop since August at home, but use XP for work and also at home.  I don’t see where the Linux desktop is going to make any inroads currently into Windows, and certainly not to Novell’s bottom line.  There just isn’t enough reasons for anyone to make a change.  For Linux, the server side is where the profit is, and that is with Redhat….

      • #3103599

        Pity poor Novell

        by amolina ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Don’t pity Novell.  Microsoft took nothing away from them that Novell didn’t outright hand to them.  I remember a time when Microsoft was considered a joke in the NOS world, and Netware was king.  Because of their refusal to focus on strength and have a clear vision of the future, they threw whatever momentum they had away.  If Apple couldn’t challenge Microsoft for the desktop with decades of momentum and (at least earlier on) superior technology, then it’s misguided hubris to think that Novell could challenge today.  I guess I’m embarrased that I once was proud to be called a CNE.

      • #3103596

        Pity poor Novell

        by crake ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I am a systems engineer who works for a technology consulting company. In this role, I meet dozens of new clients every month. Most of the clients are small- to mid-size organizations, although we do have several large scale customers. Out of all the customers I have worked with, only a handful were still running a Novell server; maybe 10 out of 100. None are running – nor were they planning on deploying the Novell or Suse Linux desktop solution.

        I have been a Microsoft engineer for 15 years. I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with Linux because we do see quite a few UNIX/Linux servers out there – most of them hosting Web and/or Intranet sites. So, I started “tinkering” with Linux about 8 years ago – particularly Red Hat, then Suse and Debian, then a number of others.

        I think Linux is a great system – you can build a rock-solid server that provides a firewall, proxy/web/content filtering, MTA with SPAM filtering, Web hosting with content management systems… all on nothing more than an old PIII with 512RAM (I know this first hand 🙂

        However, I don’t see any compelling reason for companies to switch from Windows to Novell/Suse or Linux on their desktops. The argument I hear most often from proponents of Open Source Software (including my coworkers) is that Novell/Suse is far less susceptible to malware. That is not enough of a reason when management would have to consider a number of issues, including the following:

        • Re-training staff
        • Porting their business applications from Windows to Novell/Suse – if that is even possible.
        • Cutting their losses regarding their investment in Windows software.
        • Details, details, details – for example, many (most) enterprise level document management systems (HP digital senders, Fujitsu, Ricoh, Minolta… et al.) do not provide drivers for Novell or Linux.
        • Most newer PDAs, including HP iPAQ, Sony Clie, and of course RIM’s Blackberry are not supported by Novell/Suse or Linux. No need to mention Microsoft’s handhelds, eh?

        There are a number of open source PDA synchronization software applicaitons, but they do not work with these proprietary appliances. [There are several petitions being put together demanding that RIM provide an open source driver for the Blackberry – so we’ll see what happens.]

        Those are just a few considerations. I am sure that if corporate management at a given company sat down and thought it through, they would come up with many more.

        So, to the question “Is Novell still relevant?” I would have to say no.

        On the other hand, Linux is a fine system and should continue to thrive in the server market.
        I don’t see it displacing Windows on the desktop any time soon. As I said, it’s not so much that open source isn’t capable of being a corporate desktop solution – it’s all the other considerations, including the lack of a stong, compelling reason to switch.

      • #3103582

        Pity poor Novell

        by crake ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        test

      • #3103554

        Pity poor Novell

        by mstoumba ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Novell is still the best NOS out there. Do you need to improve on NW 6.5 ? I don’t think so. It is very stable and doesn’t cost much to run. Microsoft has to keep moving foward to fix the stuff that they didn’t fix when they release a product.

      • #3105654

        Pity poor Novell

        by summerj ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I too started out my Network career with Netware 3.x and stayed on the bandwagon until Netware 6. I was as proud as a peacock when I got my CNE. Expertise in Netware openend the door to other opportunities.

        I think Novell lost its way with the half hearted support for TCP/IP in Netware 4. Instead of native TCP/IP, Netware 4.1 came with Netware IP. I like many others was disillusioned, and predicted the begining of the end for Netware. Everyone wanted TCP/IP and most of them turned to Windows NT instead.

        Novell weaved magic with IPX and turned it into a cutting edge protocol, but the market wanted TCP/IP with the advent of the Internet. It was the relunctance of Novel to switch to TCP/IP that spelled the death knell for Netware. DR DOS and Wordperfect were mistakes, but only minor ones.

        Jonathan S,  Australia

      • #3105023

        Pity poor Novell

        by gem ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        It may interest you to know that Novell gets a multi-million dollar pay-out from Microsoft every years because as a result of Novell pointing out to the courts that Active Directory has more than just a passing resemblence to NDS.

      • #3105009

        Pity poor Novell

        by khunter ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        It’s difficult to pity a company who’s management decided to go mucking into fields where they had no clear vision.  I also began my Novell experience with 2.15 and Arcnet topology (though not in school).  Today, I’d be hard pressed to find a Novell shop to find work in.

        NDS is a great NOS, but Novell was out-flanked with better marketing on a poor product (as with most of the MS apps).  It’s difficult to compete against a company who had their software installed on almost every system that went out the door.  Name recognition is a powerful marketing tool that works well on the technically challenged masses.

        So what do I use now?  It’s a Microsoft world at my day job, but in the comfort of home… Novell 5.5, Linux (I’ve just started tinkering with SUSE 10), XP for the desktops (until I find a better one for the specialty apps we use), WordPerfect (still a superior product), Word (only when necessary) and web-based email (access from anywhere, with any machine).

        I wish Novell lots of luck with their future endeavors, but what they need is a miracle.

      • #3104974

        Pity poor Novell

        by robbi_ia ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        We’ve almost completely moved over from Windows to Novell, and have no intention of upgrading from the WinXP desktop to Vista.  Once M$ stops supporting XP Pro, our systems will all be converted to SLED. Agency management is in agreement, and user training will be a breeze.

         Zenworks is heavenly to work with – we added that about a year and a half ago.  Our Groupwise runs smoothly, and Gwava’s Guinevere has kept our email virus free for 3 1/2 years.  The previous IT department here had 5 people on staff and they still outsourced much of the work.  We’re now a staff of 2 for 200 workstations in 6 offices and 22 preschools – and all work is done in-house.  My monthly mileage is less than 200 miles, even though we are spread across 4 counties.

        I’d say we’re very happy with Novell.

      • #3104921

        Pity poor Novell

        by michael.durkin ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        In my opinion, Novell is not relavant in the OS market anymore. It is a sad thing, they did have a pretty good product, but I think they lacked vision. Even today Novell doesn’t seem to understand the enterprise marketplace and continues to product products that are not as enterprise aware as they should be. I think that Novell saw the file and printe server as a stand alone product, while other products were installed to meet specific needs- all of them stand alone. Microsoft either by accident or design, hooked every application and solution otgether, and right now there is no competitor that can offer the breadth of integration and enterprise capability. I don’t think that changes with Novell (Suse) or Redhat (RHEL). They are very far behind. They could catch up, but I think that will take at least 10 years, and I am not sure either company has the financial backing to support that development without sales. Recently, Red Hat (president I think, but am not sure) said that the problem with Open Source development is that they are not funded. Because they are not funded, they have a difficult time meeting timelines and objectives. The Open Source programmer, no matter how good they are, need to be able to support themselves and their families. Because of that, they must have a full time job to provide the income. Open Source development naturally falls to the programmers available time. This model is not sustainable when pitted against the coprporation that pays people to product code 40 hours a week.

        My two cents.

         

        Michael

      • #3104916

        Pity poor Novell

        by laduerksen ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I too was once proud to call myself a “CNE”.  I can’t even remember what version it was (pre 2.00).  In the central US, Novell has been dead for several years now.  I used to have several Unix based servers but  replaced all but one with Microsoft products or appliances cause I wanted to take a vacation from time to time.  Since I had no one else working for me that new any but Microsoft, I made the switch. 

      • #3104908

        Pity poor Novell

        by plumley9 ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Relevant – yes. Winning – no.  Worthy of support (and capable of providing it) – absolutely. I have SLES for the webserver and Workstation on a half dozen machines.

        I used 3.12 until 4 came out and when the political forces on Campus(UF) started talking ONE forrest and outside admins on our servers we dropped Novell and went NT. It wasn’t Novell’s failure as much as misunderstanding the resistance to ‘federation’. NOBODY wants to hear ‘we will take your job and your budget’.

      • #3104874

        Pity poor Novell

        by still lynn ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Yo! Jcritch!  If you are going to actually sum
        things up then how about a summary with a better referent than the blog
        author’s comment that there is an article about this somewhere else and
        maybe providing a little substance to support your summary (if you will
        also forgive me offering my opinion below as something of “substance”
        rather than just lump of text)?

        Here is the first sentence of the News.com article that Mr. Sheesley provided a link to:

        —–
        “Ron Hovsepian, Novell’s president, speaking at a press event in Sydney,
        said that “about 2,000 employees right now out of 5,000 are single-boot
        only, which is Linux only, the rest are dual-boot.” He said that a
        project to migrate the 3,000 dual-boot workers to open source is likely
        to be completed over the next year or so.”
        —–

        Now here is my summary (low fiber to be sure, but not just empty calorie sugar):

        In an organization that actively develops for the Windows platform they
        have 3k out of 5k that still dual boot and expect to be all open source
        within a year.  Sounds [to me] like they are only fixing what is
        broken on a timetable that will allow them to make a complete
        switchover without trashing development schedules and policies in a
        planned and non-turmoil inducing project schedule.  Migrating five
        thousand employees from one platform to another is far from a trivial
        process.

        You may be inclined dismiss their progress like Mr. Howarth does by
        pointing out that some shops are still running Novell software and that
        some of those shops are just now switching over to a Microsoft software
        stack.  I wouldn’t call that a resounding indictment of the
        shortcomings of the Novell stack, but YMMV.  You may even share
        his opinion that Linux is not ready as an Enterprise platform even
        though Novell, Oracle, Merrill Lynch and many others don’t share that
        assessment.  But I feel that just saying that Novell hasn’t
        completed the switchover “sums it up” seems like an inadequate
        summary.  That doesn’t mean you are wrong or that I am right but I
        thought I would at least provide a little of the thought process that
        went into forming my opinion.  Again, YMMV.  There is more
        than one conclusion that can be made based on available information.

        Blogging can be just preaching to the choir.  But
        It can also be a way to stimulate useful discussion on a topic that
        might otherwise be ignored, overlooked or relegated to free
        marketing/PR.

      • #3103819

        Pity poor Novell

        by tolancollins ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        Novell is dead!!  Over the past 10 years how many times have we heard and read this (yet it is still being discussed)?

        So you’ve had a bad experience with a security feature of Novell which prevented you from logging in…. I guess we should assume you’ve never had a odd problem with a Microsoft product which didn’t cause some minor (or major) frustration?  🙂

        I’m not anti Microsoft, however, there is still a definite place for Novell’s many products which integrate on all platforms (there is no point discussing which server is best, it serves no business purpose).  At my office we run Windows Server 2003, 2000, NT, Citrix, NetWare 6 and 6.5 all in harmony. 

        The Novell applications such as ZenWorks, GroupWise,  (not to mention their identity products) will happily sit on a Windows as well as a NetWare/Linux server.  The underlying point is that Novell is not just about NetWare/Linux servers (which no one can deny is in decline) but many different products which integrate and enhance ease of management of any network.  It’s about best of breed products (apologies for the clich?!).

        We don’t run Linux, but is certainly being considered.   XP and Office are definitely a business requirement for a number of users within any office, but not necessarily all.  Do you really need to spend approximately ?250 on a XP and Office when you can get Linux for free (or ?65 supported (per user))?  Is the Linux interface really so different that users won’t just login and get on with the basic day to day operations? 

        The next offering from Microsoft is Vista and is supposedly going to need 1 gig of RAM and a 256 Meg video card, and for what, a few fancy screens? (Just think how GOOD all the new effects will make your word processor look while you are typing a letter!)

        Before being led further up the Microsoft path why not consider an alternative and evaluate whether it has a place on your network/desktop, it may not, but why write it off ?

        http://www.novell.com/linux/xglrelease/
        Worth watching the 4 very quick videos (especially the cube) very cool!!  (if you?re after fancy screens!)!

        Tolan

      • #3103787

        Pity poor Novell

        by tomk3212 ·

        In reply to Pity poor Novell

        I also started my networking career with NetWare (3.12, to be exact) but got disillusioned with 5.0 and even more so with 5.5.  I was running a combo of NT/Win2k and NetWare servers, all “speaking” TCP/IP but I still needed the NetWare client and IPX/SPX for my NT/Win2k clients to talk to the NetWare servers!  By the time I left we had standardized on Windows 2000 with some Linux.

        Kinda reminds me of the old “Betamax vs. VHS” debate.  NetWare relevent?  ‘Fraid not!

        Tom K.

      • #3286940

        Pity poor Novell

        by