Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Feedback I posted about Windows 7 Beta

It now occurs to me that I should have posted every single bit of feedback I've given to Windows 7. There have probably been upwards of 20. Oh well. Here's the latest, sent to Microsoft today.

I posted the following feedback on the Windows 7 beta on 21 April 2009

I'm not sure if this is the right category--my feedback is actually for the backup system. Also, I'm not sure if you track feedback by computer, but I hope so because this is a followup to a problem I reported a couple of days ago.

Following a major problem (my own fault, too) with the main partition on my laptop (this computer), I ended up having to start practically from scratch. The only one of my 6 partitions that I kept more or less as is was the one for Windows 7, because that is the only one that was able to recover itself gracefully. There were issues with the libraries pointing to devices that no longer existed, and I did end up having to fix the startup more than once, but in the end it kept on truckin'. The preinstalled Vista was not recoverable, nor were Ubuntu or OpenSuse. But Windows 7 came back as is.

Even with this remarkable recovery, I would not be so happy today if I had not also been able to restore the data I had backed up from both Vista and Windows 7 into a newly created NTFS partition in the area where Vista used to reside. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I'll try to get Vista running again so that I won't be in too much of a mess when the beta test for 7 runs out, but in the meantime I'll just use 7 to get my work done. I had previously written to complain that the backup was not working at all once I had restored the system; I think that problem went away on the subsequent reboot, although that might have been one of the times I had to repair the startup files. That problem is the reason this rating is 6 instead of 7. However, once backup did work, I was very impressed to be able to pick files not only from my backups of Windows 7, but also from two installlations of Vista, the one that used to exist on this machine and the one on my desktop (Dell Dimension 8521 which btw was not able to run the Windows 7 beta--that's where I was going to put it first because I do most of my work on this laptop).

I still don't feel like Windows 7 is a new operating system; it still feels like a version of Vista that finally works right. Actually, there is a lot about Vista that works right already; I've been one of its champions rather than one who jumped on the bandwagon that was trying to send it to oblivion. But that is another issue entirely. The reason for this feedback, which I'm also posting on my blog, is that I am very impressed with the restore capabilities of the backup program and the overall resiliency of Windows 7.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Feminist Review: No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial

Feminist Review: No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial: "I love it when a writer unapologetically calls out the things that you aren’t supposed to, the kid pointing out the emperor’s (lack of) new clothes. Mickey calls out the “hypocritical white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” of the United States and writes with a natural sarcastic humor that leads me to nod my head in recognition at the absurdity of the systems that prevail in “the land of the free.”

Mickey Z. questions the assumptions and causes blindly supported by the average American, quietly eating what the Government is feeding. He muses on dissent, advocacy for animals, the planet and our selves and challenges the symbols we assign to speak for us. He asks if we can be anti-war but pro-troops and parallels war to “the morally indefensible and scientifically fraudulent enterprise of animal experimentation.”

from a Review by Matsya Siosal

Note that it is my business venture CWG Press that published "No Innocent Bystanders" and I am proud to see the continuing great reviews. Check it out today!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Maybe I am finally 'getting it'

No, this post is not about sex.

What I'm getting is some sort of understanding of blogging. I had thought that keeping a blog going meant that I had to write something on a daily or at least weekly basis. But lately, just for fun, I've been using the Google toolbar to push content to my blog. When I come across something interesting on the Internet, instead of just emailing it to a selected group of friends or keeping it to myself, I add it to this blog. It certainly seems to fit into the theme of this blog, after all.

So, dear readers, if there are actually any of you out there, I think I'll be able to make it worth your while to visit this blog once in a while. Thanks again to Sydney J. Harris for the idea; I think he would have loved the capability to post things he found, right away and without too much work. Not that he would have been lazy about it, like me.

Now I'm going to play with the technology a bit more, and put a link here on twitter. I wonder if anyone will visit. [Inquiring minds want to know...]

Signals 19

Signals 19

There's a lot of fear in the country right now. Much of it makes sense. The future is uncertain. But some of the fear comes from the careless hyperbole of our news media. For example, on the night that I write this column (in late February), Brian Williams, the anchor of the NBC Nightly News, called the current economic crisis "the worst ever."

Now I'm not sure if he skipped a phrase from the TelePrompTer—"the worst ever in our lifetimes" or "the worst ever in the past twenty years"—but whatever he meant, what he said is completely incorrect.

There have been a lot of "economic downturns" in American history. Until regulations were put into place during the New Deal of the 1930s, Americans lived on a continual boom-and-bust cycle.

The busts were catastrophic: bank closures—not dozens as we've been experiencing—but in the thousands. Entire fortunes disappearing overnight, currency becoming worthless, property losing all of its value.

Such things happened regularly. In the 19th century, the decade to own the title of the Great Depression was the 1870s. And let's not even discuss what happened economically to the American South as a result of losing the Civil War.

The problem with our media's coverage of this current crisis is not just caused by the occasional mistaken phrase. Part of the problem is a lack of education among journalists. If some day trader tells them it's the worst crisis ever, the modern journalist doesn't know how to check that fact (and, with the 24-hour news cycle, might not have time to do so).

The other part of the problem is that many of the people covering this crisis are under forty. Most of them don't remember the recession of the early 1980s, let alone the horrible economic conditions of the early 1970s. For a lot of the journalists and talking heads, this is the worst crisis ever.

Ooops. Missing a phrase there. The worst crisis ever in their lifetime.

It colors how they report the news. The way they report the news colors how we react to it.

[cwg: this is a well written and insighful article. I recommend it.] Signals 19

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Argument With a Mirror

Argument With a Mirror: "Argument With a Mirror
by Jeffrey Barnes

In this 'poem,' every exchange of dialogue is palindromic at the word level—they read the same backwards as forwards. The man arguing with his reverse image sometimes intrudes into the other's domain, risking nasty cuts and seven years bad luck.

'Reality is what is.'

'What is reality?'

'It is obvious.'

'Is it?'

'There are observable laws.'

'Observable? Are there?'

Chuck says, "This is fun."
"Is this?" says Chuck.

'Don't you see? I do.'

'I see you don't.'"