Monthly Archives: February 2006

Why Windows Vista Won’t Suck?

Computer news sites have a long and beautiful history, ranging from utter filth to merely readable tripe. One of my least favorite rags has a new article entitled, modestly, Why Windows Vista Won’t Suck. It is a veritable treasure trove of kissy faces made at Bill Gates, lauding every single minor change as wonderful, and even harping mightily about a couple of “features” that I would just as soon had been left in the obviously hungover morning haze of the project manager who jokingly mentioned them in the first place.

Notably, Superfetch.

From the article : “SuperFetch also takes advantage of external memory devices—plug in that spare 256MB USB key (any size will work, really) and Windows can cache a lot of the working set to it. It’s not as fast as your system RAM, but it’s much faster than randomly grabbing small bits of data from all over your hard drive.”

Whoa there, wang gobbler. What the hell is this? I’m going to go out on a limb here and wager that there are better ways to do this. While I’m amused at the concept that sustained read speed from a piece of flash media is competitive with regular reads and writes to the hard drive, I am not convinced that this is the answer. I can just see the tagline now. “Windows Vista – You loved memory management under XP — Now we’ll mismanage all KINDS of storage!”

And I find this to be fun : “The built-in firewall in Vista is much more robust than the one included in XP Service Pack 2.”

Yeah, well so was the backout plan for Iraq. My favorite moments are when XP firewall pops up to warn me about a program communicating on the interweb, giving the option to keep blocking, and I can watch the program as it successfully performs both inbound and outbound operations to the internet at the same time. There is a kind of resigned sensation knowing that this is the level of security that they felt the ability to brag about and release as a solution. Not exactly a tall order to have something better than that in place.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Windows Vista has a lot of features that I’m sure will be great, but I am very concerned about the level of OPERATING SYSTEM hardware requirements. This whole 3D surface desktop thing is wondermous I’m sure, but it seems like they’re taking the “Hardware vendors will create devices capable of handling this eventually” path on it, instead of creating a scalable environment, capable of being run on Joe Sixpack computers without super-whizbang video cards in them. I am just not convinced that even two years from now the 90% of computer users out there who still refer to the monitor as the computer and “mash on that left click” will have DX9x256M video cards, which will only have _passable_ performance in the operating system. Lame.

Aggregato

I am an RSS junkie. As far as I’m concerned, if your site don’t got RSS, it’s on the back burner for me. I use an RSS aggregator called Aggregato, and it has made me a more informed individual. I never used to keep up on the news or blogs and it would eventually just bog me the hell down and destroy my will to live as I tried to slam through them on a “whenever I remember the URL” basis. Not so anymore, I can keep up with more sites this way. Just wanted to plug the site, really. It’s awesome.

A little trim…

Riding on the Max, one sees a lot of stereotypes acted out in hyperbolic detail. Skinny, crackhead black women who talk too loud. Drunken hispanic men who lewdly ogle women. Developmentally disabled folks playing strange, childish games. And always, when going past Lloyd Center, the hoochies. Lloyd Center, at one point, must have been the height of Portlandiac accomplishment, because it’s huge. And now, in it’s eightieth year of economic-implosion-based decline, it is the hangout for the urban youth of Portland. And by urban, I mean black.

Riding the max anywhere near it guarantees you will be packed into a car with gyrating, constantly yelling, undecipherable language spewing, R-Kelly-peeing-on-aged girls, and a bunch of guys who look like they’re trying out for “hard ass mofugger number 4” in the new “Murda Masta BlaXX” video. But not this day, this day, the car was pretty empty. It had only me, three other downtowny-types coming back from the office, a cyclist, and… The Whore. Not just any whore, no, this was the die from which all of hookerdom was struck. Just sitting there, talking on her phone, half-shade purple tint glasses, bare midriff shirt, lowrider jeans.

Let me take that back a step. These weren’t low jeans, they weren’t sag jeans, these were custom units, had to have been, so low, in fact, that three quarters of an inch of perfectly-trimmed pubic hair peeked over the belt. She had to have known they were this low. This was “why is my clit cold, it’s kind of drafty in my pants” low. She had her hand in her pocket, thumb resting on her hip just above the beltline, so she had to know, had to. There was no way not to know that these jeans were that low. So, I did what everyone else on the car did, tried to find a way to stare at her chonch discretely.

I chose the off-the-window method, which offers less detail than a behind-a-book gambit (as the cyclist and one of the other downtownies was opting for), but more continuous viewing. Left without a book, one of the others had decided on trying to hide his gaze behind a route map, which may or may not have been just held upside down in the hand, and a less adventurous gentlemen next to me was using the “look and then look away at random intervals” to fair success. Everyone was fairly happy, because muff shots is muff shots, no matter where they comes from. For three stops we pushed on like this, everyone getting their fill of downy, red-blonde locks, until That Guy got on.

Everyone shifts when That Guy gets on, because their views have been blocked. Cyclist guy shifts first right, and then left, I start looking for maybe a double-reflection shot that’ll work in the short term, the look-and-avoid guy moves to the other side of the car trying for a new angle. Nothing is working, this shit just isn’t right, That Guy isn’t following the rules, he’s moving for _optimum_viewing_, not for shared viewing. I look over to Book guy, see if he’s got a lock on it, and he’s just staring up. So is Look-and-avoid. Cyclist guy and I both look up at the same time. Time seems to slow, and the light coming in from the windows is somehow changed. Golden. We’re all looking at That Guy, agape. I didn’t believe it at first, it took a full 30 seconds to take it in.

He was staring at her crotch. Just straight at it, no obfuscation. No distance-vectoring, no reflections, no book. He didn’t even have headphones in so he could fake zoning out to the music. Nope, he just walked in, homed in on the pubes like a guided missle, parked himself two feet in front of her, and _started_staring_.

Ladies and gentlemen, the game has changed. Like the introduction of the slam-dunk for basketball and the end of the dead-ball era for baseball, the demolition of a paradigm. This was amazing. The guy just stood there, staring at her vag! I cannot impress this upon you enough, he just walked in like Aaaahnold in The Terminator, like he had some kind of headsup display that said “Coochie 2.0000135 M NNW” and had grid overlays and stuff, he just stomped over, no words, and bam, started staring at it. As I looked around to take in the awe of my fellow riders, I again was struck by the sweetness of the air, the purity of the light in the car. It wasn’t the same as the air was before. It wasn’t the same light. It was somehow better, cleaner.

And I realized that I was feeling the same thing that people must have felt on that fateful December day in 1955, upon watching a colored woman refuse a request from the driver to vacate her seat and let some white folks sit down. This was my Rosa Parks.

IQ Normal and Falling

I responded to a personals ad the other day, something I haven’t done for a while. When I was working at Mindspring, I had kind of a personals-ad problem, I would respond to about 20 a day, so I have avoided it as part of my great understanding that ONLINE DATING IS HORRIBLE. Anyways, I didn’t get a response.

The ad is gone now, but my response is below.

—– 

I saw the little pouty lip thing there in your picture, and thought of something my mother used to say.

“If you keep that lip out, a bird is going to come land on it and poop in your mouth.”

For whatever reason, I always assumed it would be a hummingbird. That was the only one I could see being small enough to perch on my lip and defecate in my mouth from there, all the other birds I was aware of (aside from maybe like the cactus wren, or the common sparrow) would be shitting on my cheek or forehead. And the wren and sparrow aren’t as fast as the hummingbird, they wouldn’t be able to get up there, get on the lip and shit in the mouth without me flinching or something.
And I thought that was ballsy. I mean, a hummingbird is small, really small, and even just a passing swipe of the hand could do some serious harm to its inner machinery. Or if, god forbid, I was fast enough to open my mouth and eat it, it wouldn’t stand a chance. Just no two ways about it, they were troopers, going out there, shitting in children’s mouths, risking life and limb and for what? The paltry pay of some red sugar water in a jug on the porch seemed out of proportion to the risk…

And that’s when it hit me. They were fighting for an _ideal_. They understood the risks, they understood the sugar water pay, they saw all their brothers killed, swiped by faster children with better hand-eye coordination, but they fought just the same. A song in their fast-beating hearts; a song about a day when mothers wouldn’t have to deal with whiny children.