Ramblings, meanderings, rants and discoveries.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Vista is succumbing to my wiles! Yep I broke down and bought a 3.6 USB drive. Plugged her in, pulled the drivers onto a floppy and installed on the 98. Off she goes. So I start pulling data over.

Now for next thing I hate. The account I am using on Vista is a Admin equivelent account. I start by copying my files over. I run some tests, all looks good. Well, some minor annoyances, but hopefully I will figure them out. I suspect it is ME not Vista on those. POSSIBLY the application, but since app. was not meant for Vista or even for XP really, it's my problem to make it work.

I copy my daughter's school stuff over and go to drop it into her directory. I get the must confirm admin screen. That is annoying. Then i decide to break her stuff down by years, freshman, sophmore, etc. So I go to create the directories under her documents, it defaults to mine. I mutter a lot and force it to comply with my wishes. I move the files, I check one. Guess what? I can look at it but I cannot alter it. Now guess who shows as author? Yep, me - mainly because I type faster than she does and like most students she tends to wait until the night before an assignment is due to write it. So I go to change rights on the file and think hmm I wonder, Sure enough I do not have any but view rights to anything, so I check the directory, same. Odd I made the stupid thing, but no matter.

I reassign rights (just add myself as an all instead of as a view only) and tell it to apply to all child objects. It laughs and tells me it cannot because directory is in use. Well yeah kinda, is up in another window, but the OBJECTS are not in use. FINE. I pick a lower dir and reassign my rights. I click apply and yes and click through all the required if you started this message. EVERY SINGLE subdirectory and object within them returns a failure to reassign message. So I go in and look. They show they reassigned. I try to edit one. It laughs at me. So I sit there and reassign each object manually, clicking through. That works.

Uh Microsoft, let's talk about 2 things both apply to security. First I am signed in as and Admin equivelent. You know, that little click through of if you initiated this action is KINDA useless in many instances. Let's face it if I was dumb enough to leave the machine logged into a supervisor account, and some dishonest person came along and started doing stuff under my login you THINK they are going to be deterred by that? It is annoying.

Second. It's nice tht you are keeping me safe from documents that show to be authored by myself. Now I appreciate that perhaps WORD and the OS do not really communicate. I mean why not bring your business model into your software packages? (One day maybe I will bore y'all with old stories about beta testing MS stuff) BUT, i made the freaking directory, assigned rights and copied the files over. I STILL have to manually alter that with multiple click throughs for each document copied? There are times I miss Novell.

Friday, June 29, 2007

God Deliver us from Microsoft

The old friend the 98 machine is very very sick. It started with a pulse through the phone lines that zapped the ports for my modem. LUCKILY it did not hit the CPU (I ran a soft modem on that machine for many reasons)

For those of you how do not know what that means here is a very basic explanation There are two ports for phone lines wired into the motherboard one in and one out. The modem is actually software, so they access the CPU. Now when you are online and doing other things it is SLOW, but if you are online and your machine is running minimal, the thread (part of CPU process) assigned to the modem can be pretty quick for dial up. It all depends on your CPU. BTW it sucks for gaming on MMPORGS, but there are nights when I have a clean connection I can outpace the DSL users with a clogged pipeline. (Cable always has me beat hands down though.)

So I was VERY happy that the CPU, motherboard and drives were undamaged - well until the repair dude from HELL got a hold of my machine, but that is for another Blog. So the upshot is no modem on the old machine. I have data files I need to get from the old machine to the new Vista machine. Now BITD (back in the day) all machines came with a floppy drive. No more. Both have CDRW, Actually the new one has a DVDWR but is supposed to read CDs. Repair guy from hell hosed my periphs on the 98 so I spend a night fixing them. Now have the 3.5 and both CDs work, the read only and the RW. Guess what? The Vista machine doesn't like CDs written from the 98, so no data xfer that way.

What about a null modem cord? Used to be you could null modem using a serial conn or if desperate do writes to the printer port to send via parallel. No problem since machines are right next to each other atm so no 30 foot (maybe it was 15 feet) limitation. Seems Vista only allows wireless networking between machines. Of course the 98 never heard of Vista, so off I go to read support forums both at Microsoft and from people who have a clue. Seems like only way to connect the two machines are through a wireless router or MAYBE USB to USB data xfer cables. Now the data xfer cables have a databridge on them , so a cable for just any old usb to usb type A (aka male plugs) will not do. Don't try this with your camera upload cord in other words.

I go pricing, they run from 10.00 to 50.00 most are USB 2.0 (98 is 1.0) some are 98 compat. Cool EXCEPT it is like the old PC anywhere or other old style master/slave machine setup (for those of you old enough to remember). Yep you have to install the software and drivers on both machines. ALL of the packages I found work with 98 OR with Vista, none work with both. Ok so back to sneakernet methods.

Flash drives! There we go flash or jump drives are slow, but SHOULD work. Guess what I need to down load a driver for 98. I do, I grab a CD I make sure it runs in the 98 machine, I go to burn the file onto the CD. DRIVE not ready. Hmm SO I grab a CD the VISTA machine likes. Burn and pop it in the first CD drive on the 98, nope. I pop it in the second, nope again.

So I have come to this conclusion. Microsoft does not want anyone to preserve their old data. Never mind it may be crucial to running their business, TOO bad. Unless you are willing to jump through hoops and perhaps pay through the nose. you are SOL. so thanks MS it really helps us small business owners.

Oh and my plans for the old friend? Unix, what else. At least I'll be able to copy data files.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Test Almost Over

As some of you may or may not know I have been 'playing' with the site building tool for the ZEN site for RPGs. My evaluation is that it is OK. Now what does that mean? That means NOTHING made me say "wow that is neat!" but on the other hand nothing made me curse for hours at it either - well maybe one thing but I am getting used to that issue.

The Tool
Trellix SiteBuilder-

First I ran a generated page through the w3 compliance checker. It failed on 23 counts. All failures are Trellix generated code, not webgems as they call them for my html.

Line 1 column 0: no document type declaration; implying "!DOCTYPE HTML SYSTEM".
Warning Line 7 column 211: cannot generate system identifier for general entity "sUrl".
Note that in most documents, errors related to entity references will trigger up to 5 separate messages from the Validator. Usually these will all disappear when the original problem is fixed.

Error Line 7 column 211: general entity "sUrl" not defined and no default entity.
Info Line 7 column 210: entity was defined here.
Warning Line 7 column 254: cannot generate system identifier for general entity "Command".
Error Line 7 column 254: general entity "Command" not defined and no default entity.
Error Line 7 column 261: reference to entity "Command" for which no system identifier could be generated.
Info Line 7 column 253: entity was defined here.
Warning Line 7 column 271: cannot generate system identifier for general entity "FileName".
Error Line 7 column 271: general entity "FileName" not defined and no default entity.
Error Line 7 column 279: reference to entity "FileName" for which no system identifier could be generated.
Info Line 7 column 270: entity was defined here.
Error Line 10 column 47: required attribute "TYPE" not specified.
Error Line 14 column 20: there is no attribute "LEFTMARGIN".
Error Line 14 column 34: there is no attribute "TOPMARGIN".
Error Line 14 column 50: there is no attribute "RIGHTMARGIN".
Error Line 14 column 66: there is no attribute "MARGINWIDTH".
Error Line 14 column 83: there is no attribute "MARGINHEIGHT".
Error Line 21 column 39: there is no attribute "BACKGROUND".
Error Line 71 column 62: there is no attribute "BACKGROUND".
Error Line 71 column 139: required attribute "TYPE" not specified.
Error Line 71 column 139: document type does not allow element "STYLE" here.
Error Line 118 column 112: document type does not allow element "DIV" here; missing one of "APPLET", "OBJECT", "MAP", "IFRAME", "BUTTON" start-tag.
Error Line 125 column 110: document type does not allow element "P" here; missing one of "APPLET", "OBJECT", "MAP", "IFRAME", "BUTTON" start-tag.
Error Line 139 column 112: document type does not allow element "DIV" here; missing one of "APPLET", "OBJECT", "MAP", "IFRAME", "BUTTON" start-tag.
Error Line 178 column 45: end tag for element "P" which is not open.
Error Line 205 column 154: required attribute "TYPE" not specified.
The W3C Validator Team

The document Failed W3 compliance.

Now that having been said, I IMMed a friend who uses JAWS 8 speech client and had them check the page. JAWs handled it fine, so the product does create code that is accessible.

The builder is very simplistic, it is designed to work ONLY with Netscape and I.E products. This of course cause a bit of cursing on my part, since I use Opera as my main browser. It would not allow me to start my site creations using Opera. However, I easily performed site maintenance and added additional pages using Opera.

The page file naming conventions leave much to be desired. They do not draw from the title nor do they prompt the user for a name upon creation. As a result they are named cryptically with such titles as ID1, ID2, etc.

The backgrounds supplied with the product are fairly boring in my opinion, but that is better than bad. A fair amount of editing is possible on the editable templates, from color to columns. It is easy to pick up and figure out.

I saw no archive or generation storage to allow for a rollback.

The manual and tool assume the user is not at all sophisticated and as such lacks information on advanced topics such as RSS feeds, frames, and tables. Although if you use the tool as is and are not trying to do anything too fancy, it functions well.

Overall I would recommend this tool for a small business who wishes to have a web presence or as a personal website builder. It could be used as a pure site maintenance tool or as a quickstart on a site. They did make changes over the period of the two weeks or so I used the tool, so the tool is trying to be improved. I will give it one or two more days of playing, then will rebuild as I wish. For the record, my styles tend to be a bit darker.