10 March 2014

Monday Musings...
And, it's a far cry from what we've seen on every other Monday so far this year.
It's actually NICE outside, with temps ABOVE freezing (wow)!
The forecast for the rest of the day will see a high around FIFTY degrees today with mostly sunny skies and a slight breeze to get you in the mood for SPRING...should it ever decide to get here.
But, this will be short-lived, and by Wednesday morning, well...let's wait and see, hmm?
In ANY event, we can still take time to pour a nice warm cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa, and take a gander at what's been on my mind over the weekend.
*** First out of the gate today is the capture of "Mr deuce-deuce", the thug-ass perp that was shooting at a witness who is scheduled to testify in an upcoming case.
Here's the story link:
Now, the title of the story can be misleading, as it was the U.S. Marshal Service that made the collar down in Indy (the perp and his g/f were getting ready to head out to AZ).
But you have to give an assist to the FWPD gang unit for providing information that may have been instrumental in capturing this asshole.
Marcus Timmons, 23 was one of two men suspected in a drive-by shooting last August in the 1400 block of Colerick who shot at Jaquan Wade (the victim of the shooting).
But we see the "hype" connected to this "new" gang unit...when the FWPD has had one all along...not to mention the Safe Streets Task Force (combined agencies) formed back in 2011.
 If anything, you could say that diligent police work is finally paying off, and it's not to be attributable solely to either Chief Hamilton OR Rusty York, the newly-appointed Public Safety Director.
We'll see what happens when the weather breaks and the mooks go back to doing what they do best - causing trouble.
Moving on...
*** The facts are this - Windows XP will no longer be supported in less than ONE MONTH from now.
We're soon to be screwed
Now, considering a LOT of businesses use this (and have grown to like it very much) MS has decided )in their dollar-sign-laced wisdom) to go with whatever snake oil they're palming off on consumers (I hear Windows 9 is underway already), so that means that tens of millions of people will be vulnerable to viruses and such.
We've got THREE systems that run on XP, and soon we'll be left with few options...and three fully functioning hardware platforms.
This pisses me off to no end, as the planned obsolescence is becoming not only tedious, but expensive.
Think on this - XP has been around for a dozen years, so in some peoples' minds, that renders it "old-hat", but rather than UPGRADE the software to make it the best O/S on the planet, Billy Gates went to Windows Vista (crap) and then Windows 7 and now Windows 8 (both beset with their own plethora of bugs and patches...like butching things together on the fly, as it were.
You JUST got screwed.
And, you can rest assured that sooner or later (probably sooner) that THESE O/S platforms will be superseded by still OTHER operating systems, touted to be "even better".
Naturally, this is all an aside from the HARDWARE issues.
You're GONNA get screwed
The typical computer these days has a lifespan of less than TEN years...they rarely outlive the software, and start to become antiquated within 18 months of purchase.
That's hardly a saving grace when you have to shell out several HUNDRED bucks every so many years, right?
(and pray the onboard software will be supported until it's time to buy the NEXT computer)
It makes me wonder if there was a mass EXODUS away from Microsoft, if that would shake their tree ENOUGH to wise them the hell up?
You certainly would raise a stink if your refrigerator, range or dishwasher only lasted 7-8 years...or your TV wasn't keeping pace with the technology after less than TEN years, hmm? What if you had to get a new CAR every 3-5 years, because of planned obsolescence and "hardware" failures?
This country USED to build things that LAST...why the hell did we EVER get away from that, and is it really worth it to do so?
Every question you ask only seems to create more questions...not answers.
*** I watched with anticipation the new COSMOS show last night, and I have to say I came away from it a bit dismayed.
Don't get me wrong, I think Neil Degrasse Tyson is a fantastic person to host such a show, and I could listen to him explain the universe to me for HOURS without getting bored, but the series has a couple issues.
I suppose I have been jaded by watching the ORIGINAL Cosmos show (recently on Nat Geo channel) with the late Carl Sagan, who was a master at his craft, and an extremely erudite individual.
His voice alone was enough to get me interested in the series when it first premiered on PBS back in 1980.
Now, it's 34 years later, and I guess I've changed somewhat...certainly learned a lot more than I knew back then.
Now THAT makes sense to me.
But the new series doesn't "captivate" me in the same manner.
One major change (to me, anyway) was the LACK of live actors portraying the people involved with the discoveries of man and his place in the universe.
The new series uses animation (cartoons), and to me, that doesn't have the "maturity" the original series had.
The animated sequences were fairly well done, but missed the mark for me.
Another thing was the lack of "big" words...and I know that sounds kinda "weird"...LOL.
Sagan had a knack for using language that would get me looking into the dictionary to find out what it means, or he would simple explain it.

Tyson uses   "less expensive" dialogue, and while, on my level, that's fine...I like things simple, the curiosity in my mind was lacking.
I suppose in some respect, this series although very well produced and executed, clearly demonstrates that our society has been, to some degree... "dumbed down", and I don't mean that in a derogatory manner towards Dr. Tyson...he's just reading script, and he's a sterling and passionate example of what a follower of true science is.
I think the series opener COULD have been a lot more and built upon the original series because of the advancements in science and our understanding of the universe since 1980...it just fell a tad short.
I won't go as far to give it a thumbs-down, however.
Maybe it will grow on me in future episodes.
*** Lastly today, everyone getting into this "Daylight Saving Time" spirit yet?
It's a complete and utter WASTE (imho). Indiana should have NEVER gone over to it.
And, I'm not just talking about having to dick with all the clocks (and watches) TWICE a damn year, either.
I'm wanting to know what EXACTLY are we  SAVING anyway?
Okay, so I put on the outside lights an hour LATER...big frigging deal...I turn them OFF an hour later as well...no energy costs being saved.
Businesses have the SAME open and close times...no saving THERE either.
It gets lighter later and stays lighter later...I'm not seeing a damn thing change.
Rush hour is the same time (and still in the dark in the morning), bus schedules are the same as are school starting and stop times (even with the extended hours to make up snow days - another waste).
Farmers still get up before dawn and go to bed after dusk...no change there.
Hell, they don't even NEED clocks.
Besides, if we are "saving " daylight...WHAT are we saving it FOR?
We can't store it away for the Winter...can't trade it off on Wall St., and we can't even sell iit to some schmuck for some fast cash.
I would like to have the money SPENT (read wasted) to enact such an inane piece of legislature...
Could buy a LOT of stuff with that kind of scratch, couldn't we?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there,America.


John DuMond said...

My desk top uses XP, so I'm kinda PO'ed about the end of support for the OS. I have Windows 8 on my laptop, and it sux. I've been giving thought to installing Ubuntu (a Linux-based OS) on my desk top, but my daughter uses it for school, and she probably wouldn't like dealing with a new OS. But I've heard that Ubuntu is easy to use and it's much less buggy than MS Windows.

Bob G. said...

I heard the same reports with anything connected w/ LINUX.
Wonder how compatible it is with current MS programs, though?
At this point, even MAC looks good...lol.

The whole constant changeout/update/upgrade crap is giving me the fits, too.

Cripes, I STILL miss Windows 3.1 and Win98...LOL.
(and I still like BETA vcrs, too)

I mean HOW LONG have we had the stinking COMBUSTION ENGINE?
(over a hundred years)
And THAT'S worked damn well without changing it the hell out.

Sure they've been tweaking it for ages (making it better for the most part), but they NEVER just got the hell RID of it.
IT really makes you wonder...

Thanks for stopping by today and commenting.

Stay safe (and computer-savvy) out there.

CWMartin said...

Laurie has XP, and I sincerely doubt that anything that has already or will happen will make it any slower. I've got 8, and it works pretty good IMHO.

On Cosmos, here's a review by one not influenced by Sagan: I thought it was well done, more than fair- which is amazing in a science show these days- to the sensitivities of Christians (and Muslims)- and the end piece explaining Tyson's links to Sagan were outstanding. Kind of like the Star Trek re-boot- you're simply never going to have Shatner, Nimoy, Kelly, and Doohan again. If they can do justice to the past (which I thought the reboot did), accept and move on. And I doubt you could have done the Giancarlo Bruno sections near as well with live actors. I hope that it maintains this much quality as it continues.

Bob G. said...

Our XP only runs slow because of the processor speed...that's the usual limiting factor wth any 'puter. They upgrade these every other week, it seems.

I agree with you as long as I take this "new" COSMOS as just that...a NEW show, not based on Sagan or what we have done in the past.
I do think that with the leaps & bounds from Sagan TO Tyson, there is much new groudn to cover (the Hubble telescope being one aspect of this).
The shuttle was barely in orbit when the original series hit the air, so we've ALL the missions there as well.

The Bruno segment was well done, and it was interesting to hear about his part in all of this.
(sorry, still want live actors)

Another nice touch was to have the music of the new show composed by our good friend, Alan Silvestri (Captain America, The Avengers, and of course, Back To The Future)
I did get used to VANGELIS in the old series...great artist.

Seth McFarland was VERY instrumental in getting this series made, but I will always hold a special place for Sagan and HIS series (yes, Shatner, Nimoy et al)
BTW, I did like (not love) the rebooted Star Trek... but not as a "reboot"...I'm SUCH a traditionalist...LOL.
On it's OWN, this COSMOS series will do well, and yesm, I WILL be watching all the eps.

THanks for stiopping by to comment.
Good to read what you thought...that's what I like to hear.

Stay safe (and freshly-soled) up there

gadfly said...

Actually, Bob G, Windows 7 is a very stable operating system, much better than XP.

It is still supported and can be purchased on Amazon or E-Bay for reasonable prices.

I'd latch on to Windows 7 if I were you since Windows 8 is crap and the next version isn't out of the incubator yet.

Bob G. said...

I just want an O/S that's fairly bullet-proof, meaning that it doesn't need constant patches and is user-friendly.

I'm from the world of BASIC, RPG II and COBOL, so all this other stuff is greek to me.

And by "reasonable" you mean FREE, then I'm there...LOL.
I saw some O/S going for $200 bucks.
Hell, I can get a laptop notebook for close to that price.

But we WILL be checking our options.
Thanks for the heads-up info.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe out there.

gadfly said...

Windows 7, Home Edition on E-Bay for 60 bucks. It used to go for around $400.

Bob G. said...

Geez, it would have been cheaper to just get a new system (maybe even a LINUX O/S or a MAC...lol)

For the time being, we'll just roll the dice...like about 55% of ALL the OTHER computer owners who still have XP (and like it).

Thanks for the infor, though.

Stay safe out there.