Tuesday, September 1 2009, 02:35 am

Slackers 'n Motherboards

Go to an online computer hardware retailer and click over to their motherboard section. What will you find? IDE ports and, what's this? Floppy ports? Yes, you will in fact find a 3.5" floppy controller on a brand new Intel Core i5 motherboard made in the year 2009. The news gets worse when you find this on a micro ATX motherboard. Yes, a motherboard you would be putting into a case that has no room for a floppy. Were the electrical engineers trying to be funny?

This brings us to the almighty point of the blog post. It seems motherboard manufactures are continuously living in the past for no reason. There is no need for a floppy port, coaxial audio out, PS/2 ports, PCI slots or even firewire now. Yet you will still find any and sometimes even all of those outdated technologies on boards put out within the past few weeks. Let's not forget that all of this stuff is powered by BIOS technology dating back to the very first 286 PCs. That's over 15 years that the BIOS has not changed! For frakks sake let's get up to date with some EFI BIOS motherboards! A Google search will reveal MSI's feeble attempt at releasing one EFI motherboard that seemingly never made it into the hands of a real consumer.

ASUS, DFI, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX please listen good. Here's what should be on a motherboard made in the year 2009: Eight USB ports, two powered eSATA ports, optical out, dual Intel or Broadcom LAN (not Realtek), 1-3 16x PCI-E, 1-4 4x/8x PCI-E. EFI BIOS. That means no IDE controllers, no PCI slots, no PS/2 ports, and no floppy controllers. Oh, and lower power consumption while you're at it. I'm sure you'll find lots of nice savings by removing that legacy hardware.

Wednesday, July 8 2009, 03:30 am

Just Say No

... to Government healthcare. I should not have to even take this time to write a post about this subject, but leave it to the powers of Government wanting more power to force my hand. If I dare write another sentence (positive or negative) it will just fortify and aid the power grab of the 2008-2012 American Government. Do yourself a favor and write your congressman, senator, and the President of the United States and tell them you are a voter and you will not re-elect them if they pass a healthcare bill.

P.S. I'm a healthcare software programmer by trade. I have an eye inside of the system.

Wednesday, June 3 2009, 04:00 am

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Stating the obvious is what I do best. You see, on the Internet you cannot tell a lie. If it isn't the slack-jawed yokel who is one out of a million and knows the truth or that die hard fact checker who has sixteen Google extensions for Firefox you will be found out. Please think of the children before you make a comment on a web site. From common knowledge to the tiniest detail in quantum physics, someone is on the Internet that knows exactly what you are talking about. The Internet itself may try to lie and you might come to the conclusion that the Internet is just one big lie, but you would be wrong on both counts. Fact checkers lurk around every corner and are waiting to strike. Will your comment be next?

Monday, March 30 2009, 04:32 am

Surrounded by Annoyances

Four year olds cannot edit photos. How do I know this? I used to be four years old. When you are that age computers are not on your mind let alone using a laptop and moving photos from a camera to the laptop, opening them in an image editor, doing complicated image touch-up, and printing out to a printer. Not going to happen folks.

How about a monthly music plan that's "awesome yo!?" Microsoft is hitting a double whammy with a series (read: one) of commercial that has been playing non-stop for over a week in-between any show on TV about the Zune monthly music "awesomeortunity" that some poor girl gave 30 seconds of her life to act like a normal person. Yeah, the economy is hitting rock bottom (don't let the 2 hour waits at restaurants tell you otherwise) and $15 music plans are just too "awesome" to pass up. Oh, what's that? Your music is DRM'd and in a proprietary Microsoft format? I'm just Joe Consumer though so I'll buy anything if it's "awesome." Awesome. What's that? You wanted to keep that music you just listened to? Be careful, you can only save 10 of them. $15/month for 10 highly compressed and degraded songs or $15 for a CD-ROM of uncompressed audio with more than 10 tracks. I'll pick the awesome buy.

Back to Windows: How about a 7 year old?

Has three years allowed us the ability to print now? No. How about a 9 year old instead? Maybe after 2 more years instead of just editing a picture they can connect a laptop to a HDTV and edit and play movies! Yea^H^H^H No.

I'd like to meet the parents of these poor children. Was the money worth it? String your child up for a cheap buck? Status of parenting on planet Earth: Non-existent. I'll save this thought for another time.

It may seem like I'm picking on Microsoft, but don't worry there are some Blackberry commercials I'm not fond of. The most annoying one's I've seen lately made my blog today. Today, my hatred for the entire marketing world is rising to even higher levels. Come on "Marketing Majors" post in my comments. I dare you.

Saturday, February 28 2009, 07:45 pm

Chug, chug, chug, chug...

How on earth does the world use Vista? Yes, Microsoft Windows Vista. Backstory: I received a new laptop two days ago. An ASUS N80Vn-X5. It came with Vista Home Premium 64-bit. This is my first copy of Vista as I run Linux on all my machines. I did have a copy of XP but I stopped using that a few years ago. Why did I stop using XP? Because I wanted something more out of my computer. XP is fine and all, but I can accomplish more with Linux - not just because it is free.

I unpack it from its box and I plug in the AC adapter and boot the thing. Vista starts to load - and load - and load. 10 minutes later I get to the desktop. Why on earth did it take that long to get to my desktop? Wait a minute... the hard drive is still chugging. Why?

The first thing I do is kill the hideous sidebar that takes an extra 5 minutes to load on startup. Gone. The second thing I do is disable automatic updates. Now, I realize some readers will think better of themselves and call me an idiot, but I rarely use Windows and I know how to update it so I'm quite OK running updates when I should instead of having Windows do it for me.

It came with SP1 so I figured it should be pretty harmless. Where to update this thing? Hm, I don't see anything. Ah, I'll just use IE's "Windows Update" link. Oh what's this? There's an update to Windows Update. Oh! It requires a reboot. *Reboot* Ah, that was a nice 10 minute reboot. Windows update has about 30 updates for me. Fine. Downloading/updating takes about 15 minutes thanks to the attrociously large 100 meg .NET update. I'm on 20 megabit Internet mind you. Rebooting again. Seems that I'm up to date now, or am I?

The only thing loaded on this thing is about 5 ASUS utilities for the fingerprint reader, webcam, and some software that looks like it encrypts files. Grand total of hard disk space in use? 20 gigabytes. That alone is enough for me to be offended permenently because what does that 20 gigabytes net me? A video player, picture viewer, a web browser, and a movie maker. The features don't match the disk space requirements. It's also using 1 gig of RAM with no programs running. Yes, I uninstalled the Office 2007 trial.

Why would I be offended? Example: My default Fedora install cost me 4.5gigs. What did I get besides the stuff already in Vista? Full office suite, photo manipulation, SELinux, bittorent, GPS mapping, SIP phone, Pidgin, GCC, and a few other of my programming utilities, not to mention Wine, which will allow me to run Windows apps.

Time to reboot just to see that reboot time again. *clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." What's this? WHAT'S THIS? I have updates turned *OFF* and Windows is installing updates. Stealth updates - w00t. The little trust I had with Microsoft is completely gone at this point.

I let it reboot and go back into Vista just to find that after I log in the hard drive is chugging - and chugging - and chugging. 10 minutes later it finally quiets down and I decide to reboot to get into Fedora. *Clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." Yeah. I'm done with Microsoft.

- page 3 of 9 -