Monday, June 28, 2010


Recently I've had several discussions, mainly at work, about tech companies and how they measure success. The former CEO of HP is running for public office, touting her successes at HP as part of her credentials, and while the company did turn a profit with her at the helm they also managed to become one of the least reliable manufacturers of technology out there today. While some might argue that for the CEO's job is to run a profitable company, shouldn't they also have some expectation that they would include objective quality in measuring true success? I feel like too often we are willing to overlook incompetency and laziness so long as there is money coming. But shouldn't we hold ourselves, our country, and certainly those we rely upon to deliver the tools we use in our daily lives to a higher standard? Simply being profitable is not a true measure of success, only a measure of wealth. But I guess that's why they call it the almighty dollar.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rolling Stone?

MPR's News Cut blog has a very cool interview with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, along with a small blurb explaining the current place of Rolling Stone in our society.

Soccer, "summer", and the need to constantly talk

So I happen to remember that the USA is playing in their 3rd and final game of the first round this morning and go pull up the live broadcast on ESPN3. Not at all surprisingly the game is tied 0-0. I've been ranting for the past couple weeks about how tying in sports is a giant waste of time and how it completely takes the excitement out of a game. All set to write a snarky FB status update about how this sport will never catch on in the US, I suddenly start to feel my heart rate increase as time approaches the 90 minute marker. Algeria has just missed a shot and it looks like there are 4 Americans racing down the field with very little resistance. A pass, a blocked shot, and then some guy named Donovan runs right up the middle and taps it back in and I can't believe that I'm excited about all this. Maybe it's the bandwagon, or maybe it's that part of all of us that gets excited when a band says the name of your hometown, but I'm pretty sure I'll be chanting USA and actually caring about the game this coming Saturday.

Is it just me or is this summer a constant battle between rain and ridiculous humidity? Didn't we used to have pleasant days in June?

As anyone reading this may have noticed, it's been a very long time since I posted anything here. For a while I was trying to use the tiny little FB status updates and link sharing to fulfill my need to always have someone listening to me, but it just isn't enough. So I'm back, ready to rant and rave and most likely say at least one stupid thing that I regret per post.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I finally caved and signed myself up for Facebook. We'll see how it goes, but for now I would expect that this blog will be used quite a bit less than before.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hi, I'm Mark, and I'm an idiot.

I finally got so frustrated with my DVD drive not working (I just wanted to watch a movie!) so I booted back into XP, and lo and behold, it doesn't work there either. The drive shows up, but won't recognize a disk. Already sensing that I've made a grade A fool of myself, I shut down the computer and what do you know, the IDE cable has somehow come loose. I pop it back in, boot into 7 Beta and voila! there's my DVD drive. Funny thing is, it still thinks I have a floppy drive as well, so I'm really not sure where that came from. Just goes to show you that the first question should always be: "is it plugged in?"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Update

I've discovered my first major issues with the beta. One of them is a minor inconvenience, the other is bizarre and annoying.

First of all, every time I boot I get a blank screen, the taskbar is a strange textured blue color (but is devoid of any icons and the system tray) and the start menu button is surrounded by black. I can fix this issue by closing and reopening explorer. Not a big deal, easy to work around.

Secondly, after 2-3 boots of working totally fine, my DVD drive disappeared. It was replaced by a floppy drive in the device manager. I've tried uninstalling the floppy drive, floppy controller, IDE controllers, ATA controllers, but each time the end result is that Windows reinstalls them all again with my DVD drive showing up as an unusable floppy drive. It asks me to format the drive and then fails if I try and click format (for obvious reason.) I haven't been able to find any solutions online yet, just a bunch of people who think they're super cool cause they've heard of the UpperFilters optical drive bug. That is not my problem. Anyway, I'll keep researching it and see what happens.

Other than these issues, I love this OS. It runs smooth, fast, and it makes sense. Games run great; I've tested Fallout 3, WoW, and HL2:2 all with no problems and very good framerates. All in all, it still gets a thumbs up from me.

P.S. I used that semi-colon in honor of the late Kurt Vonnegut. I've been reading Apocalypse in Retrospect, a series of writings published after his death by his son Mark.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moving Forward

I've loaded up the Windows 7 beta on my main machine as of this morning. I did load it on a second harddrive as I'm not entirely willing to wipe out everything I have setup previously, but so far it is treating me well. The UI changes are somewhat minor, although the new taskbar is pretty slick. The ability to easily disable both the UAC and notifications regarding the UAC was very nice, as well as the ability to tweak the notifications you get from the UAC. With my job I have plenty of clients who find the UAC as obnoxious as I do, but also quite a few clients who will benefit from having something in place to make sure they aren't unwittingly destroying their computers on a weekly basis. Aside from the initial setup taking a bit longer than I expected (not really that long, but there was about a 10 minute period where I was just looking at a pretty wallpaper with no windows or text anywhere on the screen) everything has been very smooth. All of my drivers were installed right off the bat, including the up-to-date graphics drivers from Nvidia. So far so good, I'll write more once I've given it more of a test drive.