September 2002 Archives

I have delved deep into BlogTV industrial video archives and discovered this 1990 ComputerLand sales video. It declares the PC business has reached maturity, and declares the intent to shift from moving PCs to moving networking and consulting. This video was considered ComputerLand's top intelligence at the time, and was targeted at franchisees who had to make huge investments in the CL corporate system to reap the huge profits of networking sales. There are many startling predictions in this video, I'll let the speaker's words stand on their own. A lot of this salesman-speak came from some extremely eccentric influences on ComputerLand, they used consultants like Werner Erhard and integrated techniques from his EST and Hermeneutics courses into their sales videos.
I used the Network Consultant program at our store, we were one of the rollout stores. Nobody was more surprised than me when it was a huge success. We sold tons of huge networks to large corporations, international banks were my particular specialty. Man oh man did I make a lot of money. No actually, I hardly made any money at all, I worked myself to death pushing out tons of hardware and nets and barely made a decent wage. But the ComputerLand owners made fortunes.
Get QuickTime5
Can't see BlogTV?
Click Here.

Speed Demon

| No Comments
I am a speed demon. I have a lead foot, and if I spend time behind the wheel, I want to spend it pedal to the metal. When I took Driver's Ed, the speed limit was still 70, but it changed to 55 before I got my first car, a 1965 Mustang GT convertible. I think my record speed in the old GT was 140 mph. I've only been in one serious accident in my life, a spinout doing 95 in the GT, I did a double spin across some farm field, then drove away without a scratch on me or the car. But I was troubled when the car came to a rest only 2 feet from a telephone pole.
It is a rare person who will consent to ride in my car. Mostly that's because of my cars, which are usually rustbuckets. But they're fast, I prefer older muscle cars, like my 65 Barracuda, or my old 65 Dart GT. If you ride with me, you are taking your life in your hands. To ride with me, you must disclaim all liability from death and dismemberment, NO backseat driving, and most of all, keep your hands at your sides and do not distract the driver when he's doing something insane. The #1 safety rule in my car is that passengers are never ever permitted to yell "Look OUT!"
Tonight on Turner Classic Movies I caught a short film, a highway safety film from Los Angeles, it must have been made in the 1920s. It had old B&W film of the early days of the freeways in LA, I was especially nostalgic to see the Sepulveda Pass back when it was only 2 lanes. I used to commute through the Sepulveda Pass and now it's got at least 8 lanes of freeway and about 4 lanes off the freeway. But suddenly the tone of the film changed, it showed extremely graphic footage of dead children being carted away from horrible auto accidents. Burning cars with people still inside, dismembered and bleeding bodies tossed onto stretchers and taken away in ambulances. The narrator's authoritative tone speaks, "they were all good drivers, they had a perfect driving record, right up until they DIED and now it doesn't make any difference."
So lately I've been thinking about mending my evil ways. Especially since I got that ticket doing 90 on the Interstate, in Illinois. The drive to Chicago from here is long and boring, and I'd do it at 120mph if I could get away with it. But now that I've been busted once, if it happens again I'll be in serious trouble. So I have to get used to driving like a snail.
I recently read an article on the web, some car advice guy gave some suggestions on how to drive more civilly on the road. He suggested that you allow extra time in your trips, that you plan ahead to drive more slowly. Instead of trying to get from Point A to Point B in the least time possible, you must change your attitude and try to obey the speed limits as accurately as possible. I've found it actually works. If I make time to go slowly, I'm not burning up the road. It is tough for me to stick to the speed limits, but I have to pretend it's a road rally or something, I try to stick as precisely to the limits as possible. But I still let er rip sometimes, I just can't stay stuck in traffic with a bunch of people driving below the speed limit.
But I might already have lost my driving edge. I was back in LA a year ago, and I discovered I constantly had to push myself to keep up with traffic. I can't believe that people honked at me, the speed demon, because I was driving too slow.

I am King of the Geeks

| No Comments
I am King of the Geeks, but my reign will end soon. I recently bought a new dual 1Ghz Powermac, and oh boy is it nice. But I could not afford the top end dual 1.25Ghz machine, so I settled for second best. And suddenly it occurred to me, I have bragging rights to the fastest Mac in town, since none of the 1.25 machines have shipped yet. The new CPUs will ship any day now, but until they are delivered to customers and and I am dethroned, I'm still King of the Geeks.
I love the new machine, with one glaring exception, the video card drivers. On my old G3/400 machine, I used to set my CRT to 1600x1200, but the MacOS X 10.2 won't switch to that rez. This is not a bug in the hardware, it's a bug in the OS, since the same thing happened with the monitor on my G3 when I updated to 10.2. I'd revert to 10.1.5 but it won't run on the new machine. I can set the higher rez under MacOS 9, but that doesn't do me any good. I'd be really upset about this but I expect the fix is in the 10.2.1 update. I remember when my G3 was new, it crashed continually until they shipped a new video driver a week later, and then all was fine.

BlogTV: George Bush's 9/11 Speech, Edited

BlogTV presents a special edited rebroadcast of George Bush's 9/11 commemorative speech. I have taken the liberty of removing all those pesky words that vex him so much.
Get QuickTime5
Can't see BlogTV?
Click Here.

I've a Fairy Ring

I have a Fairy Ring in my front yard. A Fairy Ring is a large ring of mushrooms, and the ones in my yard are unusually large, each one growing to almost a foot in diameter. I noticed mushrooms in my yard in previous years, but I never noticed them growing in a ring until this year. The mushrooms are usually one of about 7 species, the most common Fairy Ring mushrooms are edible but there are a couple of species that are intensely poisonous, and look almost the same as the edible ones.
I checked around the web and there aren't any good ways to get rid of the mushrooms. They grow from a huge underground mycelium, the suggested treatment is to dig up and discard the soil from the ring and about 2 feet of dirt around it. But you're probably going to spread around the mycelium to other parts of the lawn if you drop any dirt, you have to treat it like toxic waste. There is only one real solution: to bulldoze the yard, and start over with a fresh layer of fumigated, sterile topsoil.

Woz Speaks

| No Comments
MacWorld UK has an interesting interview with Steve Wozniak. Woz says he wanted to own a computer more than he wanted to own a house. It is worth remembering that the Personal Computer was invented by engineers who wanted their own computer to solve their own computing problems. They didn't quite know what the PC would be good for, but they knew it was the most important thing in their lives. It is also heartening to hear what people like Woz did with their interest in computers, they turned it back towards the purpose for which it served them best: education.