Monday, October 31, 2011

Windows 7 fail

I've had an interesting run with the old laptop over the past month or so. First the hard drive became corrupted. Rather than buy a new laptop and incur that expense, I decided to install a new solid-state hard drive.

The new drive is awesome. REALLY awesome. Breathtakingly fast.

However, because my OEM install for Windows Vista was so old, there were literally hundreds of updates that had to be applied post-install. Okay, not an issue, right? Wrong! One of the updates kept breaking Vista and throwing a blue screen of death on boot up.

Again, undaunted I was. I purchased an OEM copy of Windows 7 64-bit to install on the old laptop. Everything was ducky. The software installed, outstanding updates applied quickly, and I was ready to rock and roll.

Or so I thought.

I began to notice that my wireless connection would drop at random intervals. Oh sure, it's easy enough to fix using the troubleshooter's drop-and-reset functionality. But not having a reliable wireless connection makes large downloads an adventure, and makes maintaining a consistent system backup (you know, like the one that saved my bacon when the hard drive became corrupted) impossible.

I made the rounds all over the Interwebs and discovered that I wasn't alone. No, far from it. It turns out that literally hundreds of Windows 7 users have had this issue, and Microsoft refuses to acknowledge that it's their problem. They blame the ISPs, the routers, the router firmware, the wireless cards, the wireless drivers...everything except the position of the moon and the stars. But they will not acknowledge that their operating system might have anything to do with it.

Listen up, Redmond! It IS your operating system that is causing the issue. There are too many people from too many walks of life with too much prior OS experience having the exact same problem regardless of laptop manufacturer, router manufacturer, wireless card make and model, or ISP. In my home alone the following operating systems are actively running without any wireless connectivity issues:

Windows XP
Windows Vista
Ubuntu (Linux)
Mac OS X
iOS 4 (iPhone and iPad)
Android (3 different phones running Gingerbread, Honeycomb, AND Ice Cream Sandwich)

The driver software on my laptop is current. The router firmware is current. The ISP is a national carrier.

My sons and I have over 50 years of experience with computers between us, including 10+ years building custom PCs. I think we know what we're doing here. I think we know how to diagnose and troubleshoot.

The problem is Windows 7, Redmond! Fix the problem. Now. Because you're making Linux look like a more attractive solution with every dropped connection.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Fox News wants us to be upset because the number of deaths of law enforcement officers increased by 17% this year, from 48 to 56. Meh.

Understand, I garner no joy from the death of a police officer. Many have families. Many are good people trying to do the right thing. Not all cops are flaming assholes, though I would submit that the majority -- particularly campus and traffic cops -- are.

But I can't get too worked up over 56 police deaths when you compare it side-by-side with the statistics of those killed by police officers.

Between 2003 and 2009 (the most recent statistics on the interwebs), 2,844 people were killed by police officers. Of that number, 2,684 were shot dead by the police. That's 406 deaths per year, 383 of those shot dead by the police.
You don't have to be a math whiz to figure out that 406 > 56.

"Come on, Vulture! You can't equate criminals being shot in the commission of a crime with law enforcement officers!" You're quite right. I wouldn't for a moment claim that there weren't some -- hell, maybe 90% or more -- of that number who desperately needed killing and whose shootings were 100% legit.

But what if 10% of those killed by police were innocents, people in the wrong place at the wrong time. People mistaken for someone else. People like the guy shot because a cop mistook his lighter for a handgun. People killed during the execution of a no-knock warrant who weren't involved in any crime.

Hey, Fox News. If you want me to care more about police deaths, how about you hold the police accountable when they bash in grandma's door and gun down grandma and her sleeping grandkids during a no-knock raid where some puke informant gave them the wrong address. In fact, how about you simply get behind the cause of abolishing blatantly unconstitutional no-knock warrants.

When the police start to behave like peace officers instead of law enforcers (trust me, there's a big difference), then I'll be more sympathetic when one of their number is killed. In the meantime.....meh.


Friday, October 21, 2011

New Tizona Post

While the sheeple pretend to live in the freest nation on the face of the Earth, the police state expands. TSSA - coming to a highway near you.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who saw this coming? Not me!

Nobody knows anything. Certainly not me. Who could have predicted that the 49ers would be 5-1 going into their bye week? Who could have predicted that they would knock off one of the last unbeaten teams on the road with a 4th quarter comeback on a 4th down play?

I said before the season started that the 49ers would go 5-11. I couldn't have been more wrong. The 49ers are the second-best team in the NFC and getting better as the season progresses.

The so-called experts at ESPN picked the Niners to finish 3rd in the West. So did I. Nobody knows anything.

So what's a fan to do? I'll tell you what - ENJOY IT!!!!! The 49ers have been bad for 8 years. Now they're pretty good, maybe borderline great. Enjoy it. Bask in it. Love every minute of it. This is the stuff we took for granted for 17 years of nearly unbroken excellence. I'll never take it for granted again.

For once I'm glad I was wrong about something. Go Niners!


Monday, October 17, 2011

New Tizona Post

New Tizona post - Will TSSA parody become illegal?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Top ten reasons why the Vulture hasn't posted

Some of you are probably wondering what happened to the Vulture and his blog? Well, it seems that life sometimes gets in the way of things.

Here are the top ten reasons why I haven't posted in the past month.

10. I've had a song stuck in my head and can't make it go away. Worse, it's a song by Celine Dion (shoot me, please!).
9. I discovered Twitter.
8. My current work assignment has me this close to burnout.
7. Late-onset puberty.
6. Early-onset senility.
5. Two wrongs don't make a right.
4. Someone has incriminating pictures of me with Paris Hilton (or is that Paris, Idaho?).
3. The 49ers keep winning, leaving me at a loss for words.
2. I've been in rehab for Angry Birds addiction.
1. I'm a lazy f***.

Okay, there are some REAL reasons why I've been noticeably slothful in posting. I was in Arizona visiting with my parents and sick brother for the past week. And, truthfully, news and current events just haven't been terribly interesting lately. I'm either too burned out to care, too jaded to be stirred to righteous indignation, or I just stopped giving a damn. Or.......wait for and current events just haven't been terribly interesting lately.

I'm really going to try to get untracked and back in the saddle again, I swear. No, really!