Tag: microsoft

Throwback Thursday: Dial-Up

Old School Modem
Image Courtesy of Leon Brooks under Public Domain.

By Thomas Holbrook II

I went to school at the Leeton R-X school district in Missouri.  The computer lab was quite humble.

There were mostly DOS machines with some Windows 3x machines connected together via Novel Netware.  It wasn’t until about 1996 that Internet access became available.

Before I graduated high school in 2002, we had one major upgrade.  Windows 98 with Office 2000.  It’s amazing how a school could fall behind on technology.

At least the Internet connection was fast.  I remember to this day having to deal with dial-up.  It was mostly through my dad’s AOL connection, and heaven help me if I had any Windows Updates.

This was before I delved into this thing known as Linux, or rather GNU/Linux.  One of the reasons I wanted to have regular access to hi speed Internet was due to the prevalence of soft modems.

Linux-based drivers were difficult to come by back then.

Access via Ethernet was an appropriate way around that problem.  I do have fond memories of dial up, though I’ll admit that I’d be frustrated today, though not nearly as much as with a mobile hotspot that’s going at Edge Network speeds.

Truth be told, I came into the computer culture late in the game.  I never got to experience the dial-in BBS’es that others had the pleasure of using to talk to each other and trade files with.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I actually utilized IRC.  I can only imagine the amount of lag from all the conversations at once.

These days, I feel fortunate.  There’s a straight up monthly fee for access (while a price guarantee is in effect).  Long distance fees for access are a thing of the past.

Yet I still remember the excitement while exploring vast communities and dreaming of things that I wouldn’t have otherwise attempted to accomplish.

Dial-up modems still exist to this day, and there are still plenty of dial-up users out there.  Sometimes, the old reliable is all that’s needed.  Hopefully, I won’t have to use that as an only option.

With that said, I appreciate the legacy.  What are your memories of dial-up access?

Friday Epic Fail: BSA’s Horrible Ad

BSA FB AD Part 1
You’re kidding, right?

By Thomas Holbrook II

I remember the good old days of relying on Microsoft.  I used everything from Windows to Office.  I even used Visual Basic for a while.

The problem is that said software costs several hundred dollars in the U.S. alone.  Even the subscription model can get expensive after a while.

That’s why so called “software piracy” has run rampant throughout the years.  While many would love for companies and individuals to be compensated for the work done, bending them over and violating their hind quarters without so much as a happy reach around was not a good incentive to be “moral and ethical” about installing software.

Then again, this is the same organization that referred to ACTA as a treaty, when in fact it wasn’t.  Since they do tend to act like a mafia, it shouldn’t be too surprising.

Little girl with an eye patch with a caption, "Look Mommy!  The BSA!
They’re afraid we’ll corrupt the youth. Original image thanks to this awesome person under this fantastic license.

So there I was on my lunch quietly scrolling through Facebook when something showed up on my feed that caused me to die a little on the inside.  The big push is for people to turn others in for cash rewards.

This reminded me of another ad that got trolled.  Instead of an actor who was blown up to look like Hercules through the magic of photo editing, we have, “Hey!  Snitch on others you know for money!  Yeah!   Money!”

Needless to say, the ad didn’t go over well.

BSA FB AD Part 2
Maybe one should report themselves to see what happens. Then again, that’s like placing a hot iron on your no no parts for curiosity’s sake.

From being called scum to being asked if they’d pay for a person’s software if they turned themselves in, is a clear demonstration that the people at the BSA are not the brightest stars in the sky.

Why in the world would they pay for an ad on Facebook?

Who knows.  Maybe they just want to throw everything out there and see what sticks.  At the end of the day, BSA is this week’s Friday Epic Fail!

Wednesday Weekly Links: January 8, 2014

Wednesday Weekly LinksThe new year has started off right with more dedication to this site, including having some links ready for everybody to check out each week.

Have a link you want to see here?  Feel free to drop us a line in the comments, on any of our social networking places (linked to the left), via phone (660-474-0345), or by e-mail (thomash2@thenixedreport.com).

Unix

  • Fedora Project: Sponsored by Red Hat, version 20 of this Operating System is the first stop on this year’s Distro Journey.
  • Is Microsoft Grasping at Straws? (FOSS Force): Ken “helios” Starks asks the question of whether Microsoft is on their last legs regarding competition against Free and Open Source Software.  From mentioning the aQuantive buyout to Rockstar, Starks paints a picture of a company that has grown desperate.
  • Razer’s Project Christine (MaximumPC): Those who are seasoned veterans when it comes to upgrading PC’s may have had their fair share of nicks and cuts on their hands and fingers.  Razer is apparently wanting to change all of that by creating a modular gaming system that lends itself to easier upgrades.

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

  • The British Punk Band that Fooled Reagan, Thatcher, and the CIA (The Daily Beast): Crass, a British Punk Band conducted a prank in which a fake phone call between then President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher caused quite a stir.  American intelligence blamed the soviets, while the British blamed Argentine spies.  The lead singer is disturbed to this day that governments were so easily fooled.
  • On News Sources and Bias (Bonnie Kristian):  The argument is made that there is no way to get rid of bias in news or the media in general.  The blog post links to sources that they pursue on a regular basis.
  • Decapitated Sex Toys Prompted Police Probe (The Smoking Gun): A Florida woman’s ex-girlfriend had apparently cut off the heads of a few dildos, prompting her to contact the police.  Due to lack of evidence, the case was eventually closed.  Of course it wouldn’t be Wednesday Weekly Links without something really weird like this.

Wednesday Weekly Links: December 11, 2013

Galaxy S4 Depicted in Flames
The phone’s specs are amazing, but it can also catch houses on fire.

As we head deeper and deeper into Winter, more people are going to stay indoors to avoid the cold weather.  Eventually, people will get bored and will start killing time on the Internet.  To make things a bit more pleasant for those who happen to be bored, never fear!

Our weekly links will have you laughing, crying, and cursing multibiollion dollar corporations all at the same time.  With that said, here’s this week’s links.

Unix

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

  • There are people who are here to help you poop: We aren’t making this up.  There is a product called Squatty Potty that helps the person squat instead of sit on their toilet.  Something about making it all come out easier…….
  • Foolish users brick their XBOX One consoles (Daily Dot): Thanks to a convincing looking image via 4Chan, a number of uses enabled the developer mode on their XBOX One consoles in the hopes that they’ll be able to play their XBOX 360 games.  Unfortunately, the instructions rendered said consoles inoperable.  Remember, kids…. never follow instructions from an image board, and for crying out loud, stay out of /b/!
  • Martial arts demo curating (The Stick Chick): A martial arts expert explains why it’s best to practice certain things in a dojo before demonstrating them to the public.

Wednesday Weekly Links: December 4, 2013

Ed Kramer
The case of Ed Kramer may have finally come to a close.

As the holiday sales season kicks into high gear, we learn about some cool things in the technology sphere as well as an update in regards to an earlier podcast episode.

Hopefully, this week’s links will help blast things off for the most intense part of the year.  For those who are studying for finals in college and/or going through finals week, we at The *Nixed Report wish you all the best of luck.  Happy studies.

Unix

 

Overlooked Pop Culture

Wednesday Weekly Links for November 13, 2013

Welcome back to Wednesday Weekly Links, where we scour the Internet and other sources for news items that are often overlooked.  This week, we focus on innovation in computer software and a change at a major software company as well as pro wrestling, a government agency, and a really strange 911 call.

Unix

  • Microsoft Drops Reward and Curve System (MaximumPC): Microsoft is scrapping the curve system, because it caused a bit of tension between employees.  Emphasis is going to be placed on team work and employee growth and development.
  • Fedora 20 Goes Beta (ZDNet): Nicknamed “Heisenbug,” the beta release of version 20 of Red Hat’s community oriented operating system brings enhancements to virtualization and clouds, updated development software, GNOME 3.10, and an added emphasis on the ARM architecture.  Hat tip to Steven J. Vaughn-Nicols
  • More AMD Patches Released (Phoronix): Those who follow hardware-based encryption solutions and use Linux may be jumping for joy at this.  AMD has released drivers for a Cryptographic Coprocessor.  A variety of encryption standards is supported through said driver including SHA and AES among others.  Hat tip to Michael Larabel.

 

Overlooked Pop Culture