Archive for February, 2005

First Blog entry


I think all ‘blogs’ appear to start like this, a ‘hello world’ type entry.
Personally I think the whole thing is quite interesting – a public diary is quite a fun idea. I suspect in about a year or two, most blogs will have gone the same way as most people’s diaries, with about 15 entries, increasingly spaced apart.

Thoughts on Windows


Whilst waiting for Solaris 10 to install on my nice Sun supplied Toshiba Tecra I began thinking about how running Windows these days is so much better than in the past. I probably shouldn’t say it as a Sun ‘desktop’ person, but since I’ve been forced to use Windows XP at home for the last few months due to the DSL modem I have, as well as not getting around to installing anything else on the Sun laptop I was given on joining, I’ve actually had a chance to use Windows in a way I haven’t for years. Once all the security stuff is installed, which takes ages, it’s pretty stable. Running a typical home desktop with WinAmp, StarOffice, browsing, burning CDs, using my digital camera, etc has been fine, with no unexpected crashes or reboots apart from occasional problems apparently caused by the DSL modem.
I’ve pretty much exclusively used Linux or Solaris at home and work for about the last five years. Windows was only needed for a specific application and then only for a few minutes or so. I remember about 4 years ago working from home on my Ultra 5 with Solaris 8. I was ripping a CD to disk, encoding some wav files to MP3, accessing SWAN via, using the Java applet thing to get to my email from Netscape and editing a presentation on Solaris. It was stable and usable. At the time, doing all those things on Windows 98, which was what you got on your home PC or corporate laptop, was just not possible. It would crash, sieze or just grind to a halt.
That said, I had an interesting experience the other week, helping a friend who’d just put a freshly installed, but unpatched Windows 2000 PC on the internet via his new cable modem. After less than five minutes, before any update could even start, the system just ground to a halt, apparently infected by all sorts of spyware-type rubbish. He asked me around to see if I could sort things out, but in the end I didn’t have time. The PC was perfectly adequate in terms of hardware and was only two years old, but just 5 minutes on the net had rendered it useless.
In the end he just bought a new PC – which shipped with XP, but only SP1. If he’d stuck that on the net, the same thing would have happened. I spent a couple of hours patching the thing. Considering he was one of hundreds of people buying these PCs at Dubai’s shopping festival, I dread to think what’s happened to the rest of them, as noone’s likely to have patched them before installing them at home and hooking up that nice new DSL connection…