Vista The Thud Heard ’round the World

It has been some time now since MS turned Vista loose upon innocents to reek havoc. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with says this is the worst MS OS ever. It is not surprising you see various corporations and government agencies (most notably the DOT as reported in Information Week) ban upgrading to it. We should not be surprised about the sorry state of this OS. This was an off-shored product. Even if various entities hadn’t been telling everyone that 60-80% of the code was written in India, the delivery schedule and quality would. Two years late, and it still doesn’t work. That is pretty much par for off-shore development. The benefactors of this great debacle have been both MAC and…

Cop Stories

With all of the holiday driving coming up, conversations at my current client site naturally turned toward cop stories. This reminded me of two stories from nearly two decades ago, so I thought I would write them down. Cop Story #1 I worked with a really strange consultant who told me this story. His sister was driving on 294 one morning only to find herself selected for driving instruction. I never met this woman, but if she looked anything like him she was as ugly as a three car wreck. She got all flustered and hyper when the cop came up to talk with her. In a high speed conversation which nearly had to be played back in slow motion…

Disposable Management

In the days of old, in order to get into upper management you had to start off at the bottom of the company and work your way up to the top. Companies hired individuals straight out of high school (sometimes before they graduated) and started them off at the bottom. For companies with large office buildings, this was usually in the mail room. When the company was construction or heavy manufacturing it was which ever job was deemed the dirtiest and most disgusting. There was a philosophy and a wisdom to this methodology. Nobody wanted to stay at the bottom. They would try and work their way up. The wisdom was even brighter when it came to the most disgusting…

Java Write Once, Run a Few Places

For decades now, the IT industry has been searching for the ultimate portable language. Each new language thrust upon us promised to be the ultimate in portability. FORTRAN was supposed to let a programmer work anywhere…until you had to pull your data from tapes and files. COBOL had similar problems, but really jumped the shark when CICS user interfaces got added to the mix. BASIC was supposed to be the first language every programmer learned. Some platforms, like OpenVMS gave this language unprecedented power. Then Microsoft got a hold of the language and really ran it into the ground. You can’t even run Visual Basic code across multiple MS operating systems. Nice Job guys. After learning some hard lessons with…

Independence Day Ritual

Those who know me well know that at least every other year, if not every year, around the Independence Day holiday, I set aside time to watch “Gettysburg”. Now that there is a shorter version on DVD instead of the 4 tape VHS 8 hour set, it is not as huge of a time constraint as it used to be. Still, I watch it. Over the last few years it has been more important to me to watch it now than before. Besides being an incredibly well done movie with high quality performances, it’s of amazing historical and cultural significance. The cultural significance for me is not the issues of the war at the time, but the will of the…