A blog dedicated to the researchers who dyed a captured chimp's fur pink, then released it. The other chimps promptly tore it to pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miss me?

I'm posting more at the new Mark of the Beast than anywhere else lately. Feel free to drop by - be sure to sign up for an account if you want to be able to post comments.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Probably NSFW unless you work for Greenpeace or ELF

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Windows 7 = Vista Redux

"It's like deja vu all over again!"

---Yogi Berra

As you might have noticed, Microsoft released their new Windows 7 OS last week. The computer industry has been in an uproar, with paid Microsoft flunkies, fanboys, and other sycophants gushing over the joys of the latest version. "It's SOOOOO much better than Vista!" they exclaim. "Microsoft got this one right! Businesses will love it - they'll all be moving to Windows 7 now."

Look, I'm a computer professional. I do what's called Desktop Support - we're the people who solve your problem when the regular Helpdesk can't. I have to keep up on the latest and greatest technology so I can help you when you can't print, connect your VPN client, or save a file to a network drive. Solving computer problems is my job, and I'm pretty damn good at it if I do say so myself.

So I figure I'll install Windows 7 on my laptop - that way I'll be ready for the inevitable questions as people buy new computers with it pre-installed. We're not talking some antique here - I bought it new in August of '08. It has a dual-core CPU, 3 gigs of RAM, and came with Vista, so I figured it shouldn't be a problem getting it to run Windows 7. Wrong.

The first clue that this project might turn into a clusterfuck came right at the start. The Windows 7 installer did a "compatibility check" and gave me a couple of warnings, advising me to cancel the upgrade and remove some "HP QuickLaunch Keys" device and driver. "Probably not a bad idea," I think, and look down at the bottom of the window for a Cancel button. There's no Cancel, just Next, so I click Next figuring I'll have an option to cancel on the next screen. Wrong. The installer launches and starts merrily copying files. Thanks, Microsoft - tell me to cancel and don't give me a fucking Cancel button - that's real cute.

Anyway, it takes just short of two hours for the upgrade to complete. I check Device Manager for the problem device and sure enough - there's an "Unknown Device" showing up. No problem - I'll just remove it. Wrong. I can remove it as many times as I like, but it comes back after every reboot. I've seen this before - the only way to fix for it is to either find a driver or disable the device so Windows will stop re-detecting it.

Trouble is, I look on HP's website for a driver and discover there are only a couple dozen laptop models they're supporting for upgrading to Windows 7 - everybody else is out of luck. (or stuck with XP or Vista) Mine isn't on the list, and the site says HP will not be releasing any Windows 7 drivers for models that aren't on the list. Great. By this time I've discovered my wireless network adapter doesn't work quite right with the Windows 7 drivers either, so I can't connect to my wireless router from the laptop anymore. I hunt up an Ethernet cable and plug into a spare port.

I make one last ditch attempt to get it to work by doing a clean install of Windows 7, thinking maybe if I blow away all the HP crap on the drive, it will properly detect whatever it's complaining about and be able to find a driver. At least the fresh install is a lot faster, completing in less than a half-hour. Still no go, though - once again I have the same "unknown device" showing up in Device Manager. There's nothing in the BIOS I can disable to get rid of it - it's find and install a Windows 7 driver for whatever the hell it is, or live with it not working.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I'm fucked. Without that driver, I'll never be able to get the machine to work properly under Windows 7. I finally give up and reinstall Vista.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't this seem an awful lot like the same sort of thing people bitched about when Vista first came out? Unless you bought a new computer than came with Vista, you couldn't count on it to work right. And we won't even go into all the peripherals (software, printers, scanners, etc.) that wouldn't work with Vista and wound up having to be replaced, other than to note that given my experience with my laptop, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to discover that Windows 7 is much the same story.

Microsoft can kiss my fucking ass and HP right along with them if they think I'm going to buy ANOTHER goddamn computer (I already have eight) just so I can run their new OS. Windows XP will run on almost anything I care to install it on, so what's the problem with Windows 7? It won't even run on a laptop made a year and a half ago? What the fuck is up with that???

Microsoft is smoking crack if they think they're going to con businesses into a repeat of the Vista fiasco. Bullshit like this is a large part of the reason the place I'm currently working still uses Windows XP, and has no plans to upgrade to either Vista or Windows 7. Can't say I blame them after what I've gone through so far.

If anyone's interested, my laptop is a Compaq Presario A945US.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's about goddamn time!

Pay Czar Slashes Pay; Makes Governance Changes

In a striking display of government authority, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg is taking a knife to the pay packages of companies receiving U.S. funds. According to media reports, the government will slash the compensation of the 25 highest-paid employees at the seven firms receiving the most aid. The biggest drop will be to salaries, which will plummet 90% on average, while total compensation will fall by about 50%. The reports also state that no top executive at AIG’s financial products unit, which bore the blame of the insurer’s near-collapse last year, will make more than $200,000. And any perks packages that total more than $25,000 at these firms will have to be approved by Feinberg.

Now that's a step in the right direction. What the hell took so long?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

If you've yet to encounter the lovely Jocelyn Testes-Harder

You have a real treat coming.

I'm still not sure which is funnier - Jocelyn or the outraged commenters who take her seriously rather than appreciating her world-class trollage. Perhaps the best put-on since Jon Swift, Jocelyn never misses a beat and never gives an inch. A worthy addition to anyone's bookmarks.

Scary shit

Atrios has been tracking the FDIC's list of failed banks for while now, and regularly posts when banks get "EATED" and go under. Subjecting the latest list to a bit of statistical analysis is quite interesting:

From October 2000 through the end of 2007, a total of 27 banks failed. In 2008, a total of 26 banks failed. In the first four months of 2009, a total of 29 banks failed.

In July, 2009, a total of 24 banks failed.

Does anyone else find this trend just a tad disturbing?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ever wonder why cops don't seem to "get" the whole racial profiling argument?

Maybe this sort of thing has something to do with it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Blog

Kansas City readers (and anyone else who's interested) are welcome to join me on my new blog, KC Cheap Eats. The new blog is focused on how to eat like a gourmet without breaking the bank, a subject of interest to many folks these days. I'll probably do the bulk of my posting there, although I'll undoubtedly drop the occasional political comment here from time to time.