You want me to enter what?

I just tried to run the Zune software and it went down in flames.  I’m running a theme on my machine that makes the error message look a bit different, but I think you might see the problem here:

In order to troubleshoot, I need to enter that huge URL into a browser and make sure I don’t mistype any characters.  That’s damn near impossible.  How about making it so I could copy & paste it into a browser guys?!

What can you add on top of Vista Ultimate to make it better?

I was just perusing the Dell web site to get a sense of how much a high end box from them would cost (as opposed to building one myself).  While pricing things out, I noticed that the XPS series of systems come with "Windows Vista Ultimate Bonus".  Hmmm, out of the roughly 73 versions of Vista out there, I don’t recall a Bonus edition, so I decided to spend another second to find out what that meant…

Yup, Bonus means that Windows XP Pro is installed, not Vista.

I think that says quite a bit about the view that people are taking about Vista. Much of it isn’t warranted, but our own experience says that there are still issues out there.  Microsoft has decided to plow ahead and discontinue XP (and I would too in their position), but obviously a few companies are finding ways around that (until MS closes that door too).

Handgun bans and violence

While waiting for a client’s server to finish installing something, I jumped over to the Fox news site to see what was going on.  In there, there was an article about the recent ruling that Washington D.C.’s handgun ban was unconstitutional, and the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Chicago to try to overturn their handgun ban.

A large part of the article was about the trauma and losses that people have had to deal with due to handgun violence in Chicago.  Some examples:

"Nine people were killed in 36 shootings during one weekend this spring. The next week, five people were found shot to death inside a South Side home."

"Pamela Bosley lost her 18-year-old son two years ago, when a bullet struck him as he helped a fellow student unload instruments outside a South Side Church."

"Annette Nance-Holt, whose 16-year-old son was killed on a city bus last spring when someone sprayed bullets inside it, was livid with the court’s decision."

"If you didn’t have the guns, we’d still have our children," she said."

"I’m still trying to figure out who we are more in love with, our children or our guns," she said. "It’s crazy. I’m safer being a deer knowing people are hunting you."

Each of these instances are horrible and very, very sad.  However, the thing that I find interesting is that these deaths, and all the many others in Chicago, are happening in a city that already bans handguns! The fact that a city bans handguns does nothing to decrease the number of guns in the hands of people willing to break the law.  If someone is going to rob a store and wants a gun to do it, they’re not going to change their mind because having a gun is against the law.

This snippet grabbed from Wikipedia touches nicely on this point:

Don Kates summarizes the consensus reached by criminological research into gun control thus:

"Unfortunately, an almost perfect inverse correlation exists between those who are affected by gun laws, particularly bans, and those whom enforcement should affect. Those easiest to disarm are the responsible and law abiding citizens whose guns represent no meaningful social problem. Irresponsible and criminal owners, whose gun possession creates or exacerbates so many social ills, are the ones most difficult to disarm.


Research comparing various countries’ violent crime rates, murder rates, and crimes committed with weapons, have found that legal ownership of guns, including concealed carry guns, generally reduces crime rates

Of course, because of the emotional aspect of gun control and violence, people whose lives have been touched by gun violence will never accept that allowing more people to carry a gun decreases the chance of gun related violence (at least to innocent by standers – it’s more likely a criminal will come to an end at the hands of a gun carrying citizen).

And remember kids, gun control means hitting your target (in this case, at 100 yards putting three bullets through pretty much the same hole – the indent to the left is from a pushpin, not a bullet hole):

I am not a crotchety old guy!

Joe Healy last night apparently decided that my new nickname is crotchety bastard. Well, all I have to say to that is: "am not!" (even though my IM greeting is now "crotchety bastard".)

Besides, how cute is this – our puppy cuddling with her bunny, and stuck amongst the wheels of a chair so that I can’t go anywhere:

If I was crotchety, I wouldn’t think this was cute.

Now get off my lawn!

I just keep going back for more abuse

I have a problem with keyboards.  I love trying new ones.  Over the past year I have actually been using a Logitech one pretty consistently, but I keep trying new ones to see if I can do better.

My most recent adventure is with a Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000.  Unfortunately, I love the feel of the short throw keys and the curved layout.  I say unfortunately because it uses the same old fashioned wireless adapter / technology that has caused me to get rid of other MS keyboards in the past.

As I’m trucking along working, the follow message pops up:

You’d think that I’d be appreciative of the fact that the computer is trying to help me work better – but, I think that the following picture tells the real story:

See that lozenge just past the keyboard to the left of the white speaker?  That’s the keyboard and mouse receiver.  Just how much closer does it need to be to get a good signal?  I’ve got an idea, why don’t we build in the wireless receiver into the keyboard.  Then you’d only have the wire to the receiver going into the keyboard!  It’s pretty funny – if you look at the MS web site for the product (linked above), you’ll see they have the receiver in pretty much the same place.

Not a set up.  No joke. 

Meanwhile I’ve put over 2.5 million keystrokes on my Logitech MX3200 keyboard with no wireless signal problems, a smaller adapter and I’m still on the first set of batteries.  The main reason I’ve decided to try this MS keyboard is for the "natural" comfort curve, which should help with my wrists creaking.  We’ll see if I can find a good position for the receiver. <sigh>