August 27, 2006


I’ve been in this weird, pensive, slightly apprehensive mood today. And here I am rhyming about it on my blog. I can’t put my finger on the cause of this little bit of a funk I’ve got going on today. It’s nothing really bad mind you, I’m not going to go out and go crazy or anything like that. Perhaps I sniffed too many bleach fumes while I did laundry earlier today. Maybe the last vestiges of the skunk smell on the cat has gotten to me. Perhaps my head got jostled around yesterday on the ride at the State Fair.

Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to pass so I’m not going to worry about it. Let’s hear it for the new work week!

Crossing To The Dark Side.

I am writing this blog entry on a Windows computer this afternoon. That’s right, I said Windows computer. And said computer is in my house. It’s running one of the latest builds of Windows Vista Ultimate, pre-Release Candidate 1.

As a computer support tech, one of my responsibilities is to know what’s going on in the world of computers. That makes sense, right? Well, since Microsoft Windows is the operating system on most of the computers across this great land, then I need to be familiar with the ins and outs of the operating system. So I figured I’d jump ahead and start seeing what this Windows Vista thing is all about.

I’ve been messing with it for the past two hours and I do have a few comments.

  1. It sure is pretty. I really like the aesthetics of using it. It looks good.
  2. I’m still trying to figure out why things have been moved where they’ve been moved to. For example, to change your background picture, in Windows XP, you right click on the desktop and click “Desktop Properties” and go from there. In Windows Vista, you right click on the desktop and click “Personalize” then jump around in some dialog windows before getting to the familiar Windows XP screens. It’s a few extra clicks and may seem intuitive to a newbie, but I’m hoping Microsoft builds an “Express” option into the final product that lets power users click around like they’re used to doing in Windows XP.
  3. For a pre-release candidate version of software, it’s pretty stable and responsive. I wasn’t expecting that.
  4. It’s still Windows.

I’ve also installed the Office 12 Beta, as I’ve heard wonderful things about the latest incarnation of Office. For those that have grown up with Office in the corporate environment, when you first fire this baby up you’re going to have a few moments of panic as EVERYTHING looks different. But once you start jumping around a little bit and start figuring out where everything is, it isn’t as bad as it first appears. Just for fun I’m typing this blog entry in Microsoft Word and then I’m going to cut and paste it into my blog entry screen. Let’s see if I can successfully do that before switching back to Ubuntu Linux.

This all being said, I must say that Microsoft is making great strides in the world of Windows. Windows Vista is going to take some hefty horsepower to run with all the bells and whistles (my test computer barely makes the grade with a 2.0mhz Processor, 768MB RAM and a Radeon GeForce 7600 GS video card), but there are quite a few improvements in the system that should make surfing a more pleasant experience for Joe User.

However, I’m still very much in love with our Mac hardware and offer you a toast of Apple Kool-Aid.

The Great New York State Fair.

Can You Find Me?

Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Earl and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Great New York State Fair. The word “Great” is actually in the name of the country’s oldest and I believe largest state fair. It’s an Empire State thing.

Surprisingly, the crowds seemed a little light this year. We didn’t have any issues navigating around the fairgrounds, despite the numerous baby buggies that have bucket seats, power windows, rack and pinion steering and oddly, no children to be found in the seats. But nevertheless, we walked through all the barns where we named all the chickens for their hairdos, chatted with some goats and smiled back at some llamas.

We also trekked through the various displays in the Center of Progress building. One booth there is the “handwriting analysis computer”. It’s been at the fair longer than I have and they haven’t really updated the display much. It’s groovy to see the 1970s style computers doing their work to tell you about yourself after taking a look at your signature.

I did go for my obligatory spin on the Tip Top amusement. Earl stayed on land and took some pictures of the event.

It was a good day at the fair. It’s sort of sad to see it’s arrival, because usually it indicates that the end of summer is here.