January 2005

Had dinner out Saturday to celebrate a big event for me personally, took a long time to get to this point but the perseverance was worth it. Went to the local Damon’s just for a break from the usual chain restaurants around here. Damon’s is ok on food and since there were no big sports games this weekend, so it was not crowded at all.

When Valve released Half-Life 2 but required online authentication (you must have a valid account with the company’s Steam servers to play) every time you wanted to play, I knew that would not fly well. Steam is useful for distributing things like patches, new maps, upgrades, and not to mention the marketing data Valve gets. ButI knew that if it goes wrong the backlash against yet another DRM gone sour will be gigantic. And yes, here it is (from Slashdot). The only versions that worked for some people were “illegal” cracked copies, at least some “legal” users were SoL’d. A pirated copy that actually worked better than the legal one, sounds like there will be some more FUD coming to justify continuing DRM.

Intuit Software, makers of Quicken have sent emails to legitimate users warning them that software will be disabled. Software which a user bought and paid for will be turned off at the whim of the copyright holder, I am not surprised.

The word of the day on Urban Dictionary was election 🙂 LOL Spot on definition….

Kevin Rose of The Screen Savers has gotten a broadcast quality camera for his tech site The Broken. Yeah, now we can get some real tech news instead “interviews”with BMX riders and DVD movie giveaways.

mind numbing mandatory overtime, slog, slog, slog…

I am swamped at work, and the management by numbers gang, that “manages” the workforce, have forced a constant mandatory OT at least for the foreseeable future …

I have been doing a little research into an event of World War 2. So often over looked is the debacle of Hurtgen Forest. With the string of successes mainly from Patton’s headlong dash across France, the Allies had grown confident of their own superiority. In June they invaded Fortress Europa, August saw Paris liberated, September saw allied troops at the so-called Seigfried Line or WestWall. The mad dash had confirmed to the civilian leadership that they would be able to break anything the Germans had and be bringing the boys home for Christmas. But then came the meatgrinder of Hurtgen. 50 square miles of heavy forest that General Hodges and General Bradley decided they must take to protect their flank. German resistance stiffened and US leadership failed to see the slaughter in time. After 24,000 casualties the lessons were given but six days later the Ardennes Offensive started and the ultimate Allied victory in the Battle of the Bulge overshadowed the Hurtgen Forest. Hopefully the lessons in command were learned.

First post of 2005!!

I have been using personal computers for over 25 years, everything from TRS-80 to DEC VAX-780 unix based to IBM mainframes (I worked in the IT section of a major retail credit card outfit for a couple of years). I immediately liked the Apple computer Mac mini from the time I first started hearing about the specs. I waited until I saw the actual boxen revealed at MacWorld and the ever-critical Mac-enthusiast crowd had a chance to look at it up close. The iPod Shuffle is a great thing for mp3 fans and should drive iTunes sales, but mobile music has never been my cup o’ tea. BUT that $499 Mac… ohhhh, drool… OSX with it … oooohhh, visions of open source Darwin based software start floating in my head… The bloggers have started looking at this, Tim West also drools over at the TNL. Hey, there are even scams on Ebay using the Mac mini as bait. This thing is going to be great. I love that you can buy your own monitor, mouse, and keyboard for it. My biggest gripe is that wireless, at least 80.211g, should have been built in. Absolutely outstanding for a second computer.

Bloggers have confessed to taking money from Howard Dean’s campaign in in return for “consulting” services. Is anyone actually surprised by this news? At least Zephyr Teachout (Wonkette) confessed without someone forcing or exposing this. It is partly in responce to the revelation of a conservative getting money from the DoE in return for “promoting” No Child Left Behind. It got pretty obvious that Bloggers were “helping” Dean’s campaign along, because so many disparate organizations were suddenly unamimous in their support of him despite have no common ground in the platform he espoused. Will this have an effect on Dean’s attempt for the DNC chairmanship? Probably not…