Archive for February, 2009

Windows Server 2008?

February 23, 2009

A few minutes ago, a crazy thought popped into my head: should I try to take Windows Server 2008 for a spin? Everyone that knows me knows that I dislike Vista. And I do dislike it, for several reasons:

  • Digital rights management. “I’m sorry Dave, but I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Microsoft “says” that some of the DRM isn’t “enabled” yet, but will be at a later date. I really don’t see how that’s a good thing. Microsoft can remotely install hot fixes without my knowledge? Or, even better, they can masquerade hot fixes via Windows update as a “critical update”?
  • Bloat. No OS should require 15GB of hard disk space. No OS. Hell, Linux distros fit a hell of a lot of software in under that. That’s a bigger issue to me than the CPU and RAM requirements. I’ve seen someone install Vista on a P3 (I believe the Coppermine version). It had a decent amount of RAM and a fairly recent GPU (GeForce 6). It ran adequately. Well, after it was heavily tweaked. Not something I’d personally use, but Vista will run (more like walk) with a crappy system.
  • Compatibility Issues. Apps released just last year won’t work with Vista. Vista changed a lot of things, and for no reason. Why use “C:\Users” instead of “C:\Documents and Settings\”? I feel the latter really described what was in it well.

There’s a 240 day trial avaliable (that is if you rearm it a couple of times) from Microsoft themselves, so when I finally do get a (working) DVD burner I’ll test both Server 2K8 and 7, and see which one is faster. I like the Server based Microsoft OS’s because they usually have trials avaliable, and don’t have the “workstation” services enabled by default. Tweaking it to make it sutiable for workstation usage is kinda like using the Debian Netinstall: you install only what you want.

What if… Windows went open source?

February 19, 2009

I always comptemplate this one. Let’s say that Microsoft decided to open source Windows (while Hell freezes over). It’d help projects such as ReactOS and WINE, sure. Heck, WINE’s compatibility would probably jump over night. But, then what about the script kiddies and the dark crackers living (presumably) in SE Asia. They’d probably find exploits, and by the next morning.. a lot of Windows installations would be down. I know of Linus’s law and all that, but something like the Windows codebase. An extremely large and mature (I don’t know about that one) codebase with code in there that probably hasn’t been touched since the late 80’s/early 90’s. I seem to recall that Bill Gates himself said that Windows could never be open sourced due to security reasons, and I’d have to agree with him on that. Sadly, I doubt Windows’ll ever be open sourced. Maybe parts of the API to help projects such as ReactOS or WINE, but never the entire codebase.

Linux for the 1983rd time!

February 17, 2009

I’ve had more disasters with Linux than I can count, but this time I’m going to do things a bit differently. Unlike the last few times when I used Debian, this time I’ll use Ubuntu. I’ll download and burn the minimal Ubuntu iso. I’ll install it and then install the software I want. Hopefully I’ll finally be able to ditch Windows. Please make it be this time!

(Thinking of) Going back to Windows 2000

February 14, 2009

I said back in January that I “upgraded” to XP to “upgrade” to Windows 7. I then found out that Windows 7 could only be upgraded from Windows Vista, so that whole plan backfired. I’ve stuck with XP since. Do I have any problems with XP? Nope. The activation problem, lets just say isn’t really that important. Overall the OS is a great one. I can see why most people have yet to “upgrade” to Vista. It’s capable. It does what people want. It’s relatively secure, as much as a Microsoft OS can be. But 2000? It takes (somewhat) less resources, and having to make non-compatible software work on 2K is FUN. Well in my eyes anyway. But of course, there are downsides. Installing Steam games via CD/DVD is slower in 2000, taking a lot longer, while in XP it takes a siginigantly less amount of time.

Stop Error Rendered on Old Browsers

February 11, 2009

After I said that IE5 was from a rendering point, superior to Netscape 4, I felt I had to back up my claim. So here I am! Stop Error rendered on FF3, IE6,IE5,IE4, IE3, Netscape 4, and Netscape 3.

Firefox 3. The “refrence” renderer.

Internet Explorer 6. Nothing to comment on here. Looks decent.

Internet Explorer 5. Ahh… looks almost as good as IE6. Since I’m using Multiple IE on XP, it doesn’t have that “native” look.

Internet Explorer 4. Here, we’re starting to see some major rendering flaws.

Internet Explorer 3.  This is the Win16 (Windows 3.1) version. Text only! Woo!

Netscape 4.  I really want to say that this is better than IE 5 or IE 4, or even IE 3, but it just isn’t. Plus, this is NS 4.8, from 2002.

Netscape 3. Didn’t even render it. JavaScript errors. How so very 1990’s.

So, after this, I can say that IE 5 was rendering wise, superior. Sorry, but that’s just how it was. Plus, performance wise, IE 5 was faster.

The E.U.’s vendetta against IE

February 10, 2009

If you’ve been following the geek news lately you know that the E.U. is going after Microsoft for illegally bundling IE. I know of two IE hates (both of whom’s sites are in my “Sites I Freqent” section. I don’t want to start a flame war, but IE 3 was as good as Netscape 3, IE 4 was shit and Netscape 4 was crap, but IE 5 vs. NS 4? Umm.. yeah. IE 5 will render standards compliant pages better today than will NS 4, or even 1998 era pages. NS 4 was crap. And to think that they updated it until 2002. Yuck. And since NS 5 wasn’t released; they decided to re-write the Netscape code into Gecko. The Gecko rewrite wasn’t complete until they released Netscape 6 in 2000, and that wasn’t quite complete either. So in other words, while Microsoft did help kill Netscape, Netscape helped do themselves in too.

I feel that yes, IE is a monopoly. I do feel that consumers should have more choice. I do feel that the assholes that make sites IE only should learn the real meaning of “hell on Earth”. But do I feel that IE should be removed? No. Maybe the shell (iexplore.exe), but the integrated IE API’s? No. I feel that there should be a “Install web browser” icon on the desktop, with a very basic web browser (using the integrated IE API’s) that allows the user to select a browser.

Ubuntu 9.04: A mixed bag.

February 6, 2009

I could go on for hours about my Linux exploits through just the last few months alone. One minute I love it. The next, I despise it and want nothing to do with it again. Overall I rather like Linux. It gives back what you give it. Proficient at the command line? You’ll be able to acess your system at its fullest potential. But the distros… Oh, the distros. Thats one of Linux’s biggest problems. Choice is good. But too much choice? That’s bad. And then theres the lack of standardization between distros. Do I use RPM? Do I use apt-get? Or, do I use tarballs? Do I use QT? Do I use GTK? That’s a criticism of Linux at a whole, not Ubuntu.

Ubuntu was originally released in 2004. Between 2004 and now, there have been 9 releases. From 4.10 (Warty Warthog) to 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), and now 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), which is planned to be released in April. 9.04 includes several updates. GNOME has been upgraded to 2.26, Firefox to 3.1, along with several other apps. However the biggest thing is the inclusion of ext4 support. ext4 is the latest file system for Linux (akin to NTFS and FAT12/16/32). In other words, this ain’t a big release. I must say that it was fairly stable, during my short, but moderatly thorough LiveCD run.

I am worried about the development cycle. 6 Alphas, but only 1 Beta and RC? I feel that they should have equally distributed the test releases. Say 3 Alphas, 2 Betas and an RC. Thats probably why the last few releases weren’t quite as stable as some of the older ones.  But, Vista had countless pre-release builds so, I can’t say that those helped it. I liked some of Ubuntu 9.04, but disliked other parts of it. Hopefully it’ll be fixed before it ships in April.

NOTE: Sorry, but I didn’t have time to post screenshots.

Is Todays Hardware Overkill?

February 5, 2009

Pentium 166MHz, 32MB of RAM and a 33.6k modem. Thats what I ran in December 2007, to test out a theory of mine. Did we pass the epoch of “fast enough” years ago? That P166 flew when I installed Windows 95 (from the floppy set I had lying around), installed Opera 9.2, and mIRC 6.3, which besides from games and what used to be my favorite image editing app (PhotoImpact 5), is my default installation. Did it run? Yeah. Did it fly? Yep. The only problem, of course, was that 33.6k modem. So did we pass the epoch of “fast enough” years ago? Yeah, I’d have to say so.

So, when I hear people whine about todays Net[book/top] platform, and that it’s not fast enought, or that “The Atom platform is creating an installed base that doesn’t run modern applications. It doesn’t run anything well from Electronic Arts, it doesn’t run anything well from Adobe, it doesn’t run anything well from Microsoft. I just mentioned the top software companies in the world. So in a way, the Atom platform is creating an installed base of PCs that’s going to eventually hurt the PC software industry.” First, I have to ask, who is going to run the latest games on a netbook? It doesn’t even have room. Plus, performance wise, even todays full sized laptops can’t, because of their integrated graphics. Plus, Adobe is known for their bloated crappy Adobe Reader. And Microsoft? Need I say more than “Vista”?

Another reason why .NET sucks.

February 1, 2009

I despise .NET. I’m very public about it. Other people hate IE. I hate IE too, but I hate .NET more. .NET is bloat. It’s basically programmer laziness. Why should I have to make my own routine when Microsoft has their own? Let’s see… it won’t be linked to a staggering 150+MB runtime. It won’t make your apps feel like they’re running on a 286. And then THIS (seemingly unrelated) thing happens. Microsoft and their .NOT crap tainting MY FIREFOX. If only I kept Linux installed for over 72 hours, and I LIKED it. There’s always problems whenever I use Linux. Looks like I’ll have to put up with their crap.

Interstate ’76 And the Nitro Pack

February 1, 2009

Anyone remember Interstate ’76 and the Nitro Pack they released? Well, I found the CDs today, along with the Interstate ’82 CD (which I never opened, because I heard it sucked). Last time I played it was in 2005 on Windows XP, and it installed perfectly, but when I tried to install it this time, I had to resort to some hacking, plus at that time I used 1024×768, but today I use 1440×900. And… it can only go up to 1024×768 in software mode and 640×480 in D3D mode (which ain’t special, to say the least). Anyone have it, and want to play against me? And, did anyone ever play I ’82? Did it suck? Should I give the game away? Should I just play it?