Archive for February, 2006


Zen of Microsoft Design

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

I’ve been hanging out a lot at places like Presentation Zen and Flow | State, trying to grok more effective ways of communicating with words, images and sound.

And like all computer geeks, I enjoy a good discusion of the age old contest between Apple/Jobs and Microsoft/Gates.

I just ran across a video that itself is a wonderful example of the best in modern presentation techiques. It communicates better than a million words the silliness of the old risk-adverse groupthink school of marketing/MBA/VC/Lawyer driven cliche approach to presentation.

It’s also funny as heck.

Without further ado, please point your browser at

Microsoft Redesigns iPod Packaging



Texas Thanks Chopper Chick

Monday, February 27th, 2006

Desiree, a.ka. Chopper Chick, is returning to her home in California after spending two months fighting fires around Abilene in her helicopter.

Thank you ma’am.

aviation, helicopter, pilot, Texas


Rioting in Ireland?

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Did you know that currently there is rioting in Ireland?

I didn’t either.

via Instapundit
Ireland, riots


I had a very strange feeling today

Friday, February 24th, 2006

My Office

I was sitting in my office, pondering how to parse a buffer output from packet.dll when I had the strangest feeling. All of a sudden I felt like my parents were standing right behind me. I even turned around to see if someone was there.

The thing is, my Dad died in 1978, and my Mom died in 1996. I’m almost as old now as my Dad was when he passed away.

Still, I had this very strong feeling that they were there, watching me write code. I didn’t feel like they were trying to communicate with me, just that they were stopping by to see how the kid was doing.

It was the strangest feeling.

I’ve always believed that there is a higher power. I can’t accept that we are just walking chemical reactions.Still, I can’t get excited about any particular religion. I tend to think all orgainized religons are more or less equally wrong, albeit wrong about different things.

I’d like to think we go to a better place when we leave this life. I certainly hope so.

Mom and Dad

My parents were of the greatest generation. My Dad was a cadet in the Texas A&M class of 1944. Do the math.

Mom worked hard her entire life to help support our little family, she passed on a strong sense of justice and fair play to her three kids. She sacrificed a lot so that we kids could have things that we wanted. My parents never had much money, but they made up for that in all other ways.

Mom and Dad, if that was you, I do miss you, and I think of you often.


Democrats disapprove of Congressional Democrats

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

This Zogby poll is very interesting. It shows that Congressional Democrats have made a terrible error in pandering to the Moonbat left, rather than to mainstream Americans, both left and right, who don’t suffer from BDS.

While high-profile Democrats in Washington, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, spar with GOP adversaries, 58% of self-described Democrats said they think their leaders should “accept their lower position in Congress and work together with Republicans to craft the best legislation possible.”

Only 6% said the top goal for Democrats should be to defeat Republican legislation.

In another sign that Democrats, after spending 11 years in the minority in the U.S. House and most of those years holding minority status in the Senate, are now accepting their lower position, nearly one-quarter of Democrats – 23% – said they think Republicans do a better job running Congress.

I found this poll very comforting. We need a two party system in this country. There is real danger that if the national Democrats and their spineless congresspeople continue to kowtow to deranged moonbat American-haters, lawyers, and hollywood then the Democrats will cease to be a national party at all.

Right now the national Democrats are the Party of Hate. But American isn’t Iran, we are not a hateful country.

Perhaps it isn’t too late for the Democrats to wake up and present a positive agenda of their own instead of all Bush-hating all the time. Democrats – take your party back!

Hat-tip: Powerline

moonbats, polls, Democrats, Republicans, congress, hate


Somebody is Off by an Order of Magnitude

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

University of Texas government professor Sean Theriault has developed a statistical model that predicts a 48.16 seat gain for the Democrats in the 2006 U.S. House of Representative elections.

Polipundit, who monitors political polling, is predicting a more modest gain of 4 seats for the Democrats.

I wonder who is correct. I really have no idea myself. If I could make one suggestion to Professor Theriault I would suggest that he hurts his creditability by including too many significant digits in his results. A gain of 48.16 implies he thinks his model is accurate to plus or minus .01 seats. I doubt if the good Professor would really claim that high a degree of accuracy. I learned this years ago at the UT engineering school.

Somebody is going to be wrong by an order of magnitude. I guess the political season is about to go into high gear. That will fun for us bloggers.

If I were worth a darn I’d extend my Electoral College Calculator to work with House and Senate seats as well as the Presidential election.

Hat tip: Burnt Orange Report via Austin Bloggers Metablog.

politics, elections, house of representatives, predictions


Pity the Poor Moonbats

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Dick Cheney hit Harry Whittington with some bird shot. It was an accident. These things can happen when you go hunting. People living in the actual real world knew it. They hoped Mr. Whittington would recover and wondered what the fuss was all about.

Moonbat liberals all over the country turned their fantasy engines on full blast. The moonbat left has never had a solid grasp on reality, and any incident like this was certain to cut their moorings and release them to float up out of sight, into the high stratosphere of their fevered imaginations. The first Fitzmas was a dud, but this time they had the Evil Cheney in a trap from which there was no escape!

In their fantasy world Cheney was drunk and shot Whittington in order to send a message to Scooter Libby, or maybe Ross Perot.

When Mr. Whittington had his cardiac event it was all the moonbats could do to keep from dancing in the streets. “If Whittington dies it’s manslaughter!!!!! There will be Grand Jury!!!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. “Fitzmas has come at last!” They were so cute, the propellers gleefully spinning over their tinfoil bennies.

One of the finest minds in the moonbat flock pronounced that justice would finely be served : “Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America’s prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.”.

Their tinfoil did quiver a little when Cheney appear on TV’s most watched news channel and took full responsibly. Nothing angers a liberal like seeing someone take personal responsibility for anything. They think of themselves as oppressed victims, no matter how rich, spoiled and free they actually are. Their heroes compete to claim greater victim status. They hate it when anyone takes responsibility for anything, especially the hated Cheney.

But the moonbats took comfort in the happy thought that Whittington might die.

But then, this morning, Mr. Whittington appeared on the steps of the hospital. He stood tall, and didn’t look or sound anything like a victim:

We all assume certain risks in whatever we do, whatever activities we pursue. And regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen – and that’s what happened last Friday.

I am very grateful and want to thank all the people that remembered me in their prayers and the kindness you have extend to my family that’s been here this week.

My family and I are deeply sorry for all that vice president Cheney has had to go through this past week. We send our love and respect to them as they deal with situations that are much more serious than what we’ve had this week.

Instead of acting like a moonbat caught with his pants down, talking lawsuit and spewing hate, Mr. Whittington spoke of love. He described the accident as an accident.

Those of us in the reality based community knew what he was saying by this gracious statement: “This was an accident, we both screwed up. Don’t blame hunters, don’t blame hunting, don’t blame me, don’t blame Dick. We accepted the risk of accident. There’s nothing to see here”.

All over the country you could hear the tinfoil hats swelling and exploding. Once again the Bush/Cheney roadrunners had sped away, leaving the Willey liberal coyotes by the side of the road, dazed and confused yet again.

Let’s all stop for a moment of slience for our moonbat friends. Everyone in the reality based community should pray that they can somehow pull themselves together and somehow carry on in the face of yet another crushing disappointment.

moonbats, liberals, democrats, conservatives,republicans,cheney


Good Blog Entry on Web Apps

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Todays post by Jeremy Zawodny makes so much sense that I figured it deserved a blog entry just so I could find it again.

Zawodny,web applications


John C. Dvorak Jumps the Shark

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

John C. Dvorak has been a writer and commentator on personal computing for many years now. In fact, he’s been involved with personal computing as long as I have, which is longer than anyone else I know, in or out of the media. John possesses well deserved fame and fortune for his many years of insightful writing on all things related to personal computing.

As a fellow old geezer, it broke my heart to see Slashdot linking to an article by John speculating that Apple will drop OS-X in favor of Windows. I heard John refer to this on a TWIT podcast a couple of weeks ago, but i thought it was a joke.

I have never in my life seen such idiot speculation from someone who should know better. Poor John has really jumped the shark. I don’t know exactly how old John is, but I suspect he’s around my age. If his mind has gone, can mine be far behind? I find this article to be genuinally upsetting. Maybe I should have been sent to home when I turned fifty.

Today OS-X is clearly superior in all respects to Windows XP Pro. I say that even though my only Mac is a MacSE I bought for $2700 back around 1986. I say that even though I’ve made a living as a windows application developer for the last 10 years.

But facts are facts. OS-X already has all the important features that are coming real soon now in Windows Vista. Thanks to its closed hardware platform and BSD Unix heritage, OS-X is far more secure than WinXP can ever be.

More and more experienced PC users wonder if it is worth putting up with the crap that comes with the Windows platform just to save a few hundred dollars.

With Mac hardware moving to the Intel platform the PC’s performance advantage may will disappear.

If Apple changes to Vista then they go from a company that sells hardware at a premium to a fourth rate clone maker. They might as well change their name to Gateway II. It would be as if Mercedes announced that they were closing all their European plants, discontinuing all their present models, and in the future would just sell rebadged Kias.

John, John, John….please…take a vacation. You’ve given a black eye to everyone over fifty in the personal computer business. All four of us.

Dvorak, OS-X, Windows, Vista, Apple, Microsoft


Ford planning 60mpg F-150 Truck

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Here is a good rumor.  Ford may produce a hybrid F-150 truck that gets 60mph.  This truck reclaims braking energy with a hydrallic, rather than electric, system. 

Because the reclaimed energy stays in mechancial form the system has the potential to be more efficent than electric hybrid systems.

This technolgy has been tested by the EPA.

Wouldn’t it be great if an American company was the first to the market with a break-through like this?

Hat tip: Digg

trucks, hybrid, hydraulic,mpg