Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology


In the “What are They Smoking” Dept: Staying centered – The Official Microsoft Blog


It appears that some analysts have compared Windy 8 to New Coke (or Pepsi Blue, according to this article in The Motley Fool). Frank X. Shaw seems to think that touting the "selling [of] 100 million copies" of the ill-conceived (IMO) OS is some great achievement; however, what he doesn't break out is the percentage of those sales which are forced on consumers simply by nature of the fact that the OS comes pre-installed on a new device, and that Windy 8 runs on both tablets and PCs (so we can't even tell how many PCs ended up with 8 on them, or how many people opted to then "downgrade" to 7 upon delivery). Typical nonsense from Redmond, and as an OS/2 user who recalls when the "NT" in "Windows NT" stood for "Not There," it seems to me I've heard this song before. wink

Read the full response from the link below:

Staying centered - The Official Microsoft Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs.


Migrating a bare-metal Windows 2000 install to a VirtualBox guest

A client's sole remaining W2K box started having boot issues the other day. It had been on the slate for about a year (or two or three) for an upgrade, but somehow, it just kept chugging along, so we left it be. Well, after confirming that the drive hardware (80GB Western Digital SATA) was in good shape (I did this from a Parted Magic USB stick boot, running just some rudimentary SMART diagnostics), and yet still unable to get W2K to move beyond the first graphical screen during startup, we decided that the time had come for a change.


A Little Windows 8 Humor

Sorry, I just couldn't resist. The following was linked from Windows 8 ads hit US screens: Death Metal, exploding laptops and I just had to share it. Those of you who think as I should truly enjoy it, and for everyone else, please take it as good natured fun:


With the coming of Windows 8, there has never been a better time to switch platforms

Have you read the reviews of the "new" UI from Redmond? Have you had a chance to give it a test spin of your own?

I don't know that I will ever quite understand the need for developers to change things in such large steps. Of course, for me, the most comfortable and familiar desktop interface is eComStation's enhanced Workplace Shell, taken from IBM's OS/2 Warp 4. Elegantly object oriented and functional, while it's not without its own set of issues, it has remained relatively stable and unchanged for well over ten years. Objects behave as I expect them to behave, and I don't have to waste time trying to figure out where things have gone from version to version of the underlying OS, or how to accomplish simple tasks (it's a desktop, after all; at a physical desk, would I want to have to read a manual every time I needed to open a drawer or answer the telephone?).


Broken Windows updates for .NET

Ah, into the land of (broken) Windows we go...

I despise Windows. Have I said that before? Here, in case I haven't, I'll say it again. I despise Windows. That feels better. It's good to get such things off one's chest. What a hopelessly broken operating paradigm. Oh, well. It's gotten better, I guess. that is to say, it used to be even worse.

I've been spending much time of late working between zypper and yum on various flavors of Linux and now, eComStation, which has its own port of yum. Of the two, I prefer zypper, though either is head and shoulders beyond the inane Windows patching system. However, when in Rome...


Ramdom thoughts on the 2011 (and beyond?) Firefox release schedule

As I sit here at Panera Bread, catching up on some tech news, an article caught my eye concerning Mozilla's new approach to updates and, tangentially, the (revised) 2011 Firefox release schedule. This started my own wheels turning, as this has been a bit of an annoyance for me, so I thought I'd just jot down a few ideas...

Concerning Firefox's 2011 release schedule:


We (I say "we" because I do/have contribute(d) from time to time) have some bugs in Bugzilla which date back several years (some to the Netscape Communicator days, inherited by the Mozilla project - no kidding!). These have yet to be quashed, and all the while new "releases" just keep coming down the pike, bringing with them their own share of new insectoids. Wouldn't it make more sense to stay at a reasonable "release" level, and just fix it before adding new features (and after all, isn't the purpose of a new "release" to introduce new features)? We already have a mechanism in place for extending the functionality of the browser through plugins and extensions, anyway, so what's the point? (If Mozilla wants to emulate Redmond, then they should consider that under the hood, Windows 7 is NT 6.1, anyway, and Microsoft got a head start with NT growing out of OS/2 - NT started at version 3.)


Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 on the HP Proliant DL380 G4

Just some quick notes. Hopefully, these will help someone else at some point in time.

(N.B.: I' ve had this sitting in drafts for a few months, now, waiting for me to follow up. I don't want this to wait, so I'm renaming this "Part 1," and will follow up with subsequent notes as time permits. The server is up and running - painful, but I finally got it - so I'll provide as many of the gory details in time as I can.)

Most of you who regularly read my blog know that I'm no fan of the Windows operating paradigm. It seems that with every release, the OS gets more bloated and performs more slowly. Server 2008 is no exception.

A former tech of mine extolled the virtues of 2008, particularly 64-bit. I am unimpressed.


On the over-use of HIGH PRIORITY in email today

For those of you who may not recall, the Priority: header was originally designed for mail servers to properly prioritize the routing of messages in the days when broadband meant 256K (wow!), and it was customary to move batches of mail from one place to another at different times, such that a notice about a meeting taking place next month would be assigned a lower priority than, say, a message concerning the temperature in the boiler room (reference to nuclear reactors specifically avoided, as the situation in Japan is non-trivial and surely not humorous - as several comedians have recently discovered). The Priority: header is/was analogous to the X.400 priority field. (For references, see RFC 2076, 2156, et. seq.)

Along came our good friends in Redmond, who decided that an X-MSMail-Priority: header was important, too, so that (idiot) users could jump up and down and yell "FIRE!" in the movie theaters...er...so that Outlook (Outbreak) users could prioritize their own messages (and of course, an emergency on the part of a client does not necessarily constitute an emergency for me).


Why there’s nothing wrong with NetWare

I'm so tired of hearing "NetWare is dead."

How many years have I heard, "OS/2 is dead..."? More than I care to count. Still, I use OS/2 every day. In fact, I use OS/2 as my normal system on my ThinkPad. I rarely boot to Windows. For Windows applications, I either connect to a Citrix session (which runs a remote Windows desktop) or I use VirtualBox, which allows me to run Windows in a controlled environment...er...in a virtual machine.

The fact is that any operating system which is performing its tasks and running without issue on a given set of hardware is not dead at all. More accurately, it is fulfilling its design requirements, and providing good value for the investment.

So why this big push to abandon NetWare? Because Novell wants to sell more licenses for SLES, I suppose. However, NetWare is still bundled with OES 2. Lack of support from Novell? Who cares? When was the last time any of us really needed engineering support for NetWare 6.5? Surely, we have applied support packs as they became available, but mainly as preventative measures, not because the server was crashing and "this latest service pack was supposed to finally fix it." NetWare simply never shipped in an unstable state, unlike every version of Windows since 3.1.

My point is that if you have a small shop and are using NetWare - and eDirectory - to manage users, files, and print services, what's the point of ripping everything out and replacing it with something - anything - else? Isn't NetWare still getting the job done? Quietly...without intrusion on the important things in life...transparently... Isn't that what an operating system is supposed to do in the first place?

There are tons of scam artists...er...consulting firms out there who are just drooling at the thought of ripping and replacing another NetWare installation, usually with Windows. (I'll have another post on the idiocy of replacing eDirectory with ActiveDirectory in the near future.) All that this type of lateral (or downward) move does is line the pockets of the people selling the bill of goods.

Oh, and FWIW, I happened to look at a client's NetWare 6.5 (OES 1) server the other day. It's uptime was 283 days. No muss; no fuss; just service.