Ramblings, meanderings, rants and discoveries.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February Blahs

February is a dreary month. So I like to forget it exists and drown myself in geek like activities. This year - so far it has been nothing but one disappointment after another.

Zone Alarm - I used to love this firewall. It was great. Now I question it. I have had no intrusion attempts since installing it. At least according to it. I used to have pages on my 98 machine. I have not chaged internet providers, I have not changed my browsing habits, much. So suddenly going to Vista and the new version made all those SQL Server worms leave my ISP alone? I MIGHT believe it IFF every time it asks for permission for a file to access the internet it did not come back with no info in the knowledgebase about these files. Many have been in the system since XP. I fear Zone Labs may be losing their edge, I hate to see that.

Firefox - Yes it is one of the most popular browsers. Yes I have it and use it. But since it is becoming more and more popular, it is losing it's edge imho. It now takes longer than Opera (with multiple tabs) to load. Its interface looks a lot like Opera. (althought I may have Opera to blame for that, too) But now sites that look best in Firefox no longer look good in Opera. Opera hasn't changed. Sigh. So Firefox has bought into the heavy overheads to make it more user friendly. Also, it seems it is very forgiving of HTML errors to the coder. The reason I have Firefox is a convention I wish to attend this year could only do online registration if we had Firefox. The forms did not even work in the virus breeder known as I.E. Bad show on the part of the developer, but still one wonders why they would not work in ANY other browser? Trying to become Microsoft, guys?

Opera - Yes, it is still my main browser. The reasons? First it is not very popular, that means the hackers have not found security holes in it or do not bother to exploit them. But the developers seem to have a severe case of Firefox envy. Go back to making a fast loading, efficient browser that is W3 compliant. That is all I ask guys.

Gaming companies - EVERYTHING is online, yet nothing seems to be compatable with anything else. And why can't someone make or include a basic translator built into the gaming interface online. I would love to have more friends in Europe, but my French is borderline, My Italian is awful and forget my German. It would be nice to coordinate. More on that here.

ISPs - All seem to assume that we have access to high speed lines. I do not. Well I may, but it seems AT&T themselves are not certain. At&T decided to charge more for dial up than for DSL. You can read about it here. Good thing I use Earthlink.

Panda Security - Another company I loved. Great scanner, online capability. BUT their site still links to a scanner that does not support Vista. Guys, the OS has been out for over a year. Get with it! Trend has been supporting it since May of last year at least. Oh yeah and NONE of em support Opera, but at least most now support Firefox.

And last but certainly not least:

MICROSOFT - First I want to know what is in each update, so I can decide if I need it. The user friendly update check just lists updates, one has to go difgging to find out, How ard would it be to put a little sentence or two. Like, fixes a home networking issue. Security issues in OS fixed. I mean they'll all be in the cume anyway. But at least let me save a little time? Then there is the latest udate to I.E. Ok sometimes I still need it to check a site. So I admit I keep it updated. Well I did until recently. Update failed. It happens. So I check details. I get the usual helpful Microsoft Information - Error details: Code 800719E4. So I hit the site and go looking. DO you know running a search for that error code returned the result that the code was not found ANYWHERE on the site? The get help, link next to the code listed a few obvious options but nothing with information about that code.

What's new. Did I really expect Microsoft to make it easy for me to find how to fix my own machine? I am certain they would rather have me throw it away and buy all new from them again. It Ain't happening. Not even if I have to get an AS400 or an HP 9000 and load their proprietary O/S At least they give users of their operating systems a manul with a list of the error codes.

Maybe next month will be better. I doubt it, but I can hope.

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