Saturday, July 13, 2002

Proof that Microsoft really is evil!

Short version: Long version: I was mucking around with Windows Messenger options, trying to figure out how in God's name to make it stop logging me in automatically. (As it turns out, this can only be done via Control Panel/User Accounts. Just a wee bit counterintuitive, but then again Microsoft has never written the most user friendly interfaces. I Use their products, and they usually do a good job, but sometimes they just tick me off with things like that.) Where was I? Oh, yeah... Windows Messenger Options. One of the things that I tried was the "Edit Profile" button in options. It took me to a MSN page with some pre-generated nicknames, all using the "Take one word from column A and one from Column B and Concatenate them!" method. I mean, I know the MS guys aren't the coolest people on earth, but even they could come up with a better nickname generator than that. Some of the names sound outright Dorky. "HowlingEwe"? Is there anyone who really wants to be known as a female sheep that Howls? Unless you are trying to cyber with some Scottish guys, I'm not sure why you would use that nickname. But "Gestapo Funseeker"? That sounds downright evil. Unintentional, I'm sure, but I don't know if it is adviseable for Microsoft to be suggesting "Gestapo" as part of a MSN Nickname anyway. A bit distasteful, In my opinion.
It appears that this blog wants to see America put in its place. Alphabetically speaking, that is.
After looking at my Blog, a friend of mine mentioned that I did not have any good examples of Southern Culture, as promised in the description to the left. As a partial attempt to rectify this error, I give you: Although it has recently spread across the country, and even into Canada, Krispy Kreme's roots are firmly planted in my hometown, Winston-Salem, NC.

Friday, July 12, 2002

In my searching for a title for this Blog, I was looking through the Jargon File for inspiration. For those unfamiliar with it, the Jargon File is is like the Rosetta Stone for translating old-school Geek Culture. Old School Geekdom means going back to the mid-80s. Ever wondered what your local Alpha Geek means when they say your technical problem is a pebkac error or tells you to RTFM? The Jargon file is the place to look. One of the entries that I ran across was g-file.
g-file n. [Commodore BBS culture] Any file that is written with the intention of being read by a human rather than a machine, such as the Jargon File, documentation, humor files, hacker lore, and technical materials. This term survives from the nearly forgotten Commodore 64 underground and BBS community. In the early 80s, C-Net had emerged as the most popular C64 BBS software for systems which encouraged messaging (as opposed to file transfer). There were three main options for files: Program files (p-files), which served the same function as `doors' in today's systems, UD files (the user upload/download section), and g-files. Anything that was meant to be read was included in g-files.
Basically, it amounts to old hacker slang for an instruction manual. I wonder if Jonah Goldberg from NRO knew this when he started calling his column the "G-file".
This is quite possibly one of the coolest flash games ever. Scott Pehnke has written a flash version of the old Atari Game, Adventure. Many remember this as their first introduction to any sort of Fantasy, RPGish game. I have always been a huge fan of the game. Anyone know where I can get an old school Atari Joystick that plugs into a USB port?
About 2 1/2 years ago, the wife and I decided we needed to get a Family Car. After all, we were planning to have kids relatively soon, so we would make our next car purchase a safe, reliable 4 door sedan. So, we ended up with a Taurus. Not a bad choice by any means, we have been very happy with it. Anyway, about 2 1/4 years after our car purchase, my son was born. (3 months old now) The "Family Car" warranty managed to expire the week he was born. Ironic, huh? As he got a little older, we decided to take a trip up and see the inlaws, about 2 1/2 hours away. It used to be that when we were going up there, my wife and I would simply pack one duffel bag with clothes, oe hanging garment bag if we were going to church with her family, and a small bag with her makeup, toiletries, etc. practically nothing. Fast forward to life with a Baby. (Insert ominous music here...) I still don't know how we got everything into the car, for a simple 1 night stay. In addition to the items mentioned in the above paragraph for the two adults int he car, we ahve the following: The Play Pen, this foldable monstrosity that probably has more floor space than some third world houses. The Stroller. It alone takes up at least half the trunk. Feeding supplies. (Pump, enough tubing And bottles to make my own science lab, cooler to carry chilled milk, bottle warmer, etc.) Diaper bag, packed to the brim with Diapers, wipes, bibs, extra socks, pacifier, rattles, etc. An extra bag with clothes for him, assuming he will spit up, have a diaper blowout or otherwise soil himself at least 3 times a day. Clothes for warm weather, cool weather, in between weather, floods, droughts, and plagues of Locusts... Bibs, bibs, and more bibs, and blankets of various textures, thicknesses and colors. So we have all this packed, and we are ready to go. Oh, wait. We forgot something, didn't we? Hmmm.... D'oh! The Baby and his carseat have to fit in there too! (Tying him to the top of the car is not an option these days.) In a few months, the 3 of us are going on Vacation, and I'm really not sure how we are going to do this. We will have not 1 night's worth of stuff, but a week's worth. Plus, add in the Toys he will want when he gets older, plus a High Chair, and the fact all of his clothes, etc. will be bigger and bulkier. So, It appears the "Family Car" is no such thing, at least for a Family that includes an Infant. Sometime in the next few weeks, The three of us will have to go looking for a new vehicle. Station Wagon, but that seems unlikely. It isn't much bigger, and the Wife really wouldn't like driving it. SUV? Thats a possibility, but the maintenance and upkeep on many of them are much higher, along with the much higher insurance rates. Plus, the only offroading we typically do is driving down the dirt road/driveway to my Father-in-law's house. I think we are going to end up with a Minivan. In fact, I don't think there is any way to avoid it unless we just get a bed cover for my truck, and take two vehicles whenever we go on an extended trip somewhere. I love my son a lot, but I still don't recall the chapter entitled "Ford Windstar" in allthe parenting/pre-natal classes we took while we were waiting on him to get here. Oh well, as logn as we don't end up with one of those Magnetic Soccer Decals on the back of the Van, I guess I'll survive.