Friday, February 23, 2007

New Machine

No Obama

I didn't see Obama today. I'm a bit down about it. Apparently Texans for Obama underestimated the appeal of their own candidate as I circled for twenty or thirty minutes looking for a place to park north and south of the river, and as I was on my lonesome and it began raining, I threw in the towel and went home.

News8 was estimating 20,000 folks were there to see Obama, and Texans for Obama thought they'd max out at 16,000. Originally the meet had been scheduled for Gregory Gym. That would have been a fiasco as Gregory Gym sits at the center of campus and has zero parking and accessibility for non-UT staff and students.

I take it Mr. Obama's campaign is going well.

At lunch the other day we were discussing Obama, and I think his appeal over Clinton is that Hilary might be the smartest person in the room... or she might not. She's sort of the valedictorian who got there by sacrificing every moment of social time and spending lunches in the library. She knows she's worked for it, and thus believes she deserves the position and the accolades. But when she goes up to give her big valedictorian address, she comes off bitter and weird and demanding of respect. When she talks about her high school years, and what she sees for the future, everyone sort of realizes "Wow, you spent every Saturday night watching SNL alone, didn't you?"

Let the Conversation Begin? ...yikes...

Oh, Hilary, you over-achiever, you.

Obama might be more of the same, but he's so new to the national political scene and he's been fairly consistent since he came on the scene that one doesn't look at him with 16 years of baggage tied on. And, as my friend Juan said, he's got that "Mr. Obama Goes to Washington" vibe going on.

I guess since I missed him, now I have to read his website.

A Vista with a View

Leaguers may recall that I recently purchased a new desk. Leaguers may also recall that the motherboard on my laptop recently took the dirt nap.

So, unable to deal with the realities of the modern world sans computer, I went and ordered a Dell Desktop. As you can imagine, all new Dell's come with Microsoft Vista.

I was pleased with the haul I got with my fairly standard desktop. 20" monitor, printer, some fairly nice speakers, optical mouse and a really, really clacky keyboard. Clack. Clack. Clack.

I'm sort of non-plussed with Vista, as I suspected I would be. They've sort of changed everything just enough that you have to spend an extra twenty seconds poking around for once familiar icons, etc... As the Mac commercials promise, Vista does have the Agent Smith security asking you questions as you plug along, but I don't think it's really any different from what MS has tradionally done with Windows. That's not to say I love the pop-ups, but I sort of feel like that's par for the course when dealing with Microsoft's security problems.

The look is certainly inspired by the gummy, glassy look Mac's UI has sported for the past few years, although it's tinged with a bit of the ol' MS sterility.

One thing MS should do when you get your new computer is ask you: Are you an idiot? Click here for "yes", click here for "no". In a week or so, the questions and "getting to know you" screens will quit appearing. For now I just minimize them and occasionally poke around, but for the most part... Windows is windows, and I don't really need a tutorial. And my guess is, most folks buying Vista aren't going to welcome those screens, either.

There's a feature called "Gadgets" that's sort of dumb, but I confess to liking the big, shiny clock and calendar living in the background.

I sort of miss 3.1 every once in a while. Oh, sweet Packard Bell 486, you were my first love. We got through the Clinton years together. Sure, it was weird in those final months when I had to tap the hard drive on the desk to get it to start spinning... but those were good times. Good times.

New Route

The problem now is that I think I figured out that my Linksys wireless router's WIRED portion isn't working. In short, I can either run the WAN into the wireless router and Jamie has access, or I run it into my machine and I have internet access.

Is four years too late to return a wireless router to Best Buy?


Anonymous said...

I just had the same issue with my Netgear router. I called them and they had me go through 1,000 steps and it was fixed. You might try that.

The League said...

I think the half of my router that was the actual wired part was simply dead. I'd had a way to deal with it on our previous computer. I ended up with a new router. All is now working.

Anonymous said...

Trips to ikea for a new desk, new computer and replacing your own router? I seem to miss all the action when I skip your blog for more than a couple of days.

You'll have to tell me more about Vista after you get more used to it. Although I am sure we would approach a new operating system from a different point of view ;o)