Saturday, October 28, 2006

How to Fix being dropped by your wireless connection.

This was an FAQ I ran across this week while working.
What causes my wireless connection to be dropped every few minutes when using Windows XP?

Note: This issue was fixed with Service Pack 2. (It's doesn't always work!)

This behavior usually happens when your connection is configured to use 802.1x Authentication, but your current hardware does not support the feature. To disable the option, follow these steps: "

Friday, October 27, 2006


I'm sorry about the title, but that's what it is and I could not think of a decent way to change it.

Oracle has announced they will distribute Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and sell support for it at bargain basement prices. Red Hat's stock went in the tank after the announcement. (As the article linked to above points out, that may well have been Oracle's intent; lowering Red Hat's market cap enough to make them an affordable takeover target.)

Anyway, this article is short and completely tears apart Oracle's announcement. They can't support their own product, so how can they support someone else's? It is a good read, short and devastating.


XP Service Pack 3 delayed

From ZD net UK:

This week, Microsoft updated its lifecycle Web site to note that the introduction of Service Pack 3 — the next XP update — has been pushed back until the first half of 2008.

How To Speed Up Your Snail-Slow Notebook Computer

Tom's Hardware UK has a really nice article about how to tune up your notebook. It is written really simply and everything is explained well. I recommend this to anyone, but especially those who usually do not trust themselves to delve into the inner workings of a PC.

Outilined here are the things I routinely do to any machine to improve it's performance. They are all proven methods to extract the best from a machine.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Microsoft Delays Windows Vista to PC Makers - Yahoo! News

The Internet is abuzz with reports that Microsoft Vista will miss an important deadline, possibly making the operating system slip its launch schedule.

Taiwan PC makers, and Microsoft watcher and journalist Paul Thurrott, have noted that the October 25 date for Vista's release to manufacturing -- or RTM -- has been reset by Microsoft to November 8.

Thurrott, who has written more than a dozen books on Windows and related topics, pointed out that in a recent interview, Jim Allchin, copresident of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division, admitted that the company wouldn't make its planned RTM date, but did not say whether the final release date would be affected.

Allchin has noted in the past that Microsoft could afford to postpone the RTM date to the second week of November and still meet its January launch schedule for consumer editions of Windows Vista.

Microsoft Delays Windows Vista to PC Makers - Yahoo! News

A Call to Distros: Give Users What They Want

With the coming of Vista widely seen as an opportunity for both Mac and Linux to pick up market share among desktop users, there has been a lot of discussion about how to make Linux more attractive to potential adopters. These new users are assumed to be less than hard-core geeks and, in fact, there is much talk about targeting very average users and what can be done to make their lives easier in regard to installing and configuring Linux.

(Obviously this is not the Slackware crowd talking. :) )

This short article on OS News illustrates the character of these discussions, though there is a significant percentage of folks who are against this sort of thing. They would rather Linux stay the purview of geeks alone. Common themes are that Linux does not need unskilled desktop users or that installing non-free software (that not licensed under the GPL) is contrary to the principles of Linux developers.

I thought you might like to see this, in case you are thinking about desktop Linux.


The world's most sophisticated Trojan uncovered

While I have serious doubts this is the most sophisticated trojan/back door/spam bot program extant, there is no doubt of it's advanced features and capabilities. I just think the most sophisticated program of this sort is yet to be discovered, simply because it is so advanced. It's running quietly on some thousands of machines, doing it's worst, without being detected.

Despite that qualification, this Tech World article outlines a truly advanced piece of malware. It attempts to eliminate competitor's malware on the machine as some earlier malware has, but does it in a significantly more capable and reliable way; by using a corrupted copy of Kaspersky Anti-Virus. It also uses encrypted instruction sets so competitors cannot co-opt the program for themselves and can be updated to take instructions from another server,should the author's server be down or taken away. All told, it is pretty stout stuff. Check out the article, which is easy to read and understand, plus having the desired attribute of being brief.


Building the global metaverse

Virtual worlds are a huge part of other nation's Internet usage. Not so here in the US.

This blog entry illustrates that and discusses the phenomenon. I don't know how many of you have interest in virtual worlds. I personally find them of interest, but do not partake, mostly because of the time it takes to do it well. I simply don't have it. Anyway; this is an interesting set of observations and comments and worth the short time it will take to read it.


Monday, October 23, 2006

When Standards Are Political -- ODF (the Open Document Format)

Remember the flap when the State of Massachusetts decided that all State documents had to be in Open Document Format or PDF so that anyone could read them without obtaining any special software? Well, it is not over at all. France, Denmark, Belgium and some US States have gone that way. The EU looks set to dictate that, as well, though it might take a while.

James Love's blog entry on the subject is the single shortest and most lucid on the subject I have seen and I thought you might wish to read it.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 10-22-06

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 10-22-06. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same file here via ftp.