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  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:27 am on February 25, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Jetta, , Linux, , Microsoft campus, Napoleon Dynamite, , , , Volkswagen   

    The Microsoft Movie Conspiracy 

    Robert Scoble is the most powerful Microsoft blogger. One word from him and hordes of bloggers start typing gibberish, hoping to make it into the A-list. Must there be anything he can’t do? Yep. Apparently there is a building at the Microsoft campus where his badge does not work.

    That top secret facility produces the best Microsofts products I’ve ever seen. They make (amongst other things) short movies shown to attendees at shows like PDC and CES. Sadly, once shown, those movies do not make it onto Microsoft’s website or into the bundles of MSDN subscription cds (I’ve checked). They get suppressed for some reason.

    I believe there’s a conspiracy to hide the fact that Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer left the company a long time ago. I mean think about it, would you continue to work if you had that kind of money? My theory is that they were replaced by two top notch actors. The actors must get bored from time to time, so they are given a high quality production crew and a possibility to create short movies from time to time.

    I can’t find the link now, but IMDB listed Steve Ballmer cast as a possible villain in Batman: Year One movie that never got filmed.

    In any case, the convention shown movies sometimes leak out. Matrix spoof, the latest one, for instance is partially available at this website (if you scroll down there are screenshots from the full version). In it Linux agents are interrogating hacker known as Steve-O.

    In previous years there was the Volkswagen commercial spoof, where Gates and Ballmer are cruising around the neighbourhood in a Jetta, pick up a discarded Sun server from the curb, but then, after a few blocks and a few whiffs of something stinky inside the server, they deposit it back on the side of the road. I saw that one at a PDC event, and it was preceded by a never aired IBM commercial in which Mike the Lawyer and friends are cramming a huge server in a small elevator.

    There were also the Napoleon Dynamite spoof and the Austin Powers spoof which I can’t find anywhere for some reason. Are there any others that I’m missing?

    By the way, impersonating Austin Powers seems to be a favorite pastime of gazillionairs.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:37 pm on October 25, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Celeste Baranski, , , , , , , Linux, , , , , , , , , The Guardian,   

    The Guardian Of the Notes 

    For a while now I’ve been trying to organize all of my notes. For years I had great hopes of finding a perfect electronic organizer. My first love and biggest disappointment were devices created by Jeff Hawkins and Celeste Baranski.

    I owned my share of Palms and Handsprings, even the first Handspring phone module, but the damn things just kept crashing, running out of charge, loosing data and breaking exactly when I needed them the most. Also, the phone module was probably the worst cell phone I ever owned. Arrrr, just the memory itself of the scurvy thing be driving me nuts.

    Funnily enough, three or four of my co-workers who did not even want to listen to my raves about Handspring in those days now own latest Treo cell phones which are a little less terrible, but still not as good as what I use these days. What high technology do I use? I use an ugly brick of a cell phone with Verizon service which is easy to use, keeps charge well, never crashes, is comfortable to hold and manages to get reception even in some shallow subway stations. For a phone book and notes I use little black books made by Moleskine.

    Because of its slowness and bad text recognition my Tablet PC is sitting on a shelf waiting for a Linux installation, but I am trying to organize all of my notes and transfer them from random pieces of paper into neat new Moleskine notebooks. Tilde the cat keeps a watchful eye over them.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:09 pm on July 28, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Antivirus software, , , Computer virus, , , Get a Mac, , , Linux, , Open Office, , , protective tools, , software firewalls, Spybot – Search & Destroy, Virus   

    So, It’ve Come To This…. 

    I thought I’ve developed a bit of a strategy in buying computers for non-techie relatives and friends.

    First of all I always tell them to get a laptop. The huge benefit of laptops for me is that it can be brought over for servicing. You can’t imagine how many hours of sitting at an uncomfortable “computer” table in a rickety “computer” chair away from my tools, network jacks, a plain, comfortable table and an Aeron chair this saved me while fixing stuff.

    The Internet today reminds me NYC subway in the 70es: a place full of graffiti, foul smell, filth, physical danger and a general sense of lawlessness. Gone are the days when you could help your non-techie relative pick a computer, hook it up, install an email client and a browser and be done with it. Viruses still propagated mostly on floppy drives. Those were the times.

    Now my process involves installation of an external backup, hardware and software firewalls, an antivirus, Adaware, Spybot Search and Destroy, getting all the windows updates and teaching the non techie how to maintain this bevy of protective tools. Oh, and most importantly, password protected all accounts and remove administrative privileges from the ones to be used on a daily basis. And set up Firefox as the default browser.

    Did you read up to here? Sorry, all of that stuff is crap. It’s pointless. I have a relative’s laptop thoroughly screwed by Outlook viruses sitting on my desk waiting for my non-loving hand to proove that. The firewall stopped them from calling out, but it seems like one of the virii somehow had its privileges elevated and locked out the admin account. Arrrrrgh, this be driving me nuts!

    The purchase of the laptop in question happened before my universal advise to people who just want to browse the web and read email became to get a Mac. I am tired of cleaning out computers infested up to the gills with the wiliest stuff. I am desperate enough to try Linux now.

    I guess all I really need is Mozilla, Open Office, some CD player, wrap all of that in some kiosk-like windowing environment and I’m done. Or am I?

     
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