Saturday, November 17, 2007

A couple of things I have learned

A couple of things I have learned over the past 45 years.

One is to never, ever give a restaurant more than one chance. Ever. There are too many restaurants around to bother with one that gives crappy food and/or service. Take this evening, for instance. I went with my oldest son and niece to an East Indian restaurant called the Taj. We sat down and waited about 5 minutes before we were even given menus. We weren't asked if we wanted any drinks. Then another couple sat down, and the waiter took their orders BEFORE us. Nice, eh. We walked out, but not before I told the waiter (owner?) that we would never be back. The same thing happened at a Boston Pizza once. We stood at the front for about 10 minutes and not one employee came up to get us a table.

Another thing I learned is that no matter how terrible a government employee is, you can be damned sure he or she will never be fired. Short of killing someone, or perhaps raping a co-worker, a government employee has a job for life. Incompetence that would otherwise make a person unemployable in the private sector is grounds for a promotion in the government. Think I jest...guess again. The only way to get a useless waste of flesh out of a mission critical position is to get him an acting assignment or lateral transfer out of the area. Many employees who shift positions a lot in the government do so, not because they are so dynamic that they are in demand, but because they wear out their welcome and get moved along to be someone else's problem. There is one in my area right now. I have been there since 2005 and I have absolutely no clue what this guy does. At all. I couldn't even guess. I have heard that he has been given several different projects throughout the past few years, and has completed none. Of course, his lack of success is not his fault, according to him. It is the fault of everyone else. As is his butchering of the english language. Do you think he got to his position (CS-2 - would be a junior to intermediate programmer in the real world) because of his skill set or because he speaks a particular language that is under-represented in the IT sector? I'll give you 10 guesses.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Windows Vista...and the point is?

Really...I have been waiting for THE reason(s) to move to Windows Vista. There haven't been any. Vista is a huge resource hog, requiring a huge amount of hard drive space, and RAM, to run (based on their minimum requirements!)

Microsoft itself has a list comparing Windows XP to Vista:

Find, fix, and share photos: Organize, edit, and share your favorite photos with family and friends using Windows Photo Gallery.

Er...okay. How is that any different than any number of 3rd party programs out there that do the same thing?

Find almost anything: Find documents, e-mail, photos, and more in a snap through Instant Search.

Do you really need to constantly search for files? Really? I might do this about once a month...even then, the Search function in XP is fine. Regular users probably store everything in their My Documents folder hard is that to search?

Turn any room into a media room: Manage and enjoy digital photos, music, TV shows, and movies in your living room with Windows Media Center.

Well...XP has this already, but how many people out there actually do this? I know of maybe two, and I believe they both use the XBox to do that, not their PCs.

Play the way you want: Easily install, organize, and play games using Windows Game Explorer.

Interesting, I must admit. Overkill though.

Make movie magic: Retain high-definition quality as you capture, edit, and publish movies from a video camcorder with Windows Movie Maker. NOTE: the HD part only works with the Premium editions.

Now, really...this is a main selling feature? The ability to make a fucking movie. Come on. Buy a Mac if you want to do that. Jesus.

There are other comparisons, mostly in the security area and things like Parental Controls. But is the cost worth all of this?

Upgrade Costs are as follows:
Home Basic is $129, Home Premium is $179, the Ultimate is $299

To purchase the full version:
Home Basic is $259, Home Premium is $299, and the Ultimate is $499!

Many of the features they tout aren't even available on the Home Basic edition. In fact, most of their security and backup features are only available on the over-priced Ultimate version.

This is insane, given the fact that you will have to shell out more bucks for Vista-compatible hardware (many older devices are NOT compatible), the cost of "upgrading" to Vista makes the whole process worthless. Why bother? You would end up with a slower PC with more "hidden" controls (i.e. difficult to figure out how to change settings...MS wants you to run things THEIR way, not YOUR way).

Too many idiots have already gone to Vista. They should have their heads examined.