Microsoft Take Over Firefox!

Did the title scare you?

Take a look at this page:

But look closely…

MS Firefox

Very funny, they have even ripped off the favicon for genuine Microsoft sites. There are a bunch of links and funny stuff. But basically they are ripping off Microsoft. Striking fear into geeks the world over.

Seriously though if this did ever happen (as remote as that is) it would destroy the faith that the users have in Firefox. I was talking to a friend of mine last night about this very issue. About the strong bonds that people forge with the products that they use. Brand associations and loyalty are what make or brake a product. That is why Firefox would be destroyed if it was ever touched by the “enemy”.

We also had an interesting chat about how these bonds to software influence how we interact with it. That we make assumptions about the usability of software based on who owns it, wrote it or influenced it’s development. Regardless of these feelings being based on fact or not. Indeed as a marketer you would capitalise on these brand associations. Or as a manager you would use products that your employees had a strong loyalty to upon which to base the applications that you either developed or used. Because that is what would give you the greatest productivity. Increase productivity you increase through put. That is; you make more money, ultimately you don’t care what they use as long as it gets the job done.

What we talked about was the feeling that you had when you thought for just one second “What if Microsoft really did do that”.


Comment Spam is Getting Philosophical

This made me laugh. I was going through the spam today checking for legit comments that were accidently caught and it would seem our comment spammers are try something different.

If you are in the mood for a few words of wisdom, look no further than the caught spam in your Akismet window on WordPress:

“He that serves everybody is paid by nobody…”

“Every man has a fool in his sleeve…”

“That which one least anticipates soonest comes to pass…”

“To come away none the wiser…”

Akismet does a top job and this rubbish that is trying to pass for educated comment is in the spam can. Thanks Akismet. Inventive tactic though, I have to admit.

Don’t know if anyone else goes through their spam, I know I have found a few genuine comments in there a few times. I always check, I feel sorry for the person that wrote the comment and ended up marked as spam. Anyone else check the spam can?

Dirty Hack

I don’t normally cross post on Rooster’s Rail and The Global Geek Podcast Blog, but I think this story is worthy for both audiences. But I will change it a bit here to suit. There is one part that you will find amusing.

So there we were Knightwise and myself recording episode #025 of The Global Geek Podcast. We record the show over Skype as he is in Belgium and I am in Australia. Everything was going very well and we were into the seventh Tech News Story and… nothing. The whole house was plunged into darkness, we lost power here at home.

I am thinking that I don’t know how long I have lost the power for, I had better find a way to contact Knightwise and let him know what was going on. Think Rooster think! Ah got it, ring his mobile… Damn it, his mobile number is on the computer which at this point in time is unserviceable due to lack of juice.

So I ring my brother on my mobile phone, the home phone runs on power so that was out as well. James dude, do me a favour and ring Knightwise on Skype and let him know that I have lost power. Lucky I remembered Knightwise’s Skype id as James had to add him to his contact list. Enter the dirty hack:

Dirty Phone Hack

That does not look pretty and believe me the sound was worse. So the hand you see is my brother’s (AKA: Air Bridge). The phone you see is his cordless home phone, it is on “speaker”. The Skype call that you might be able to see on the screen is a call from James’ computer to Knightwise. Contact with Knightwise established by one very dirty hack. Communicating was not too bad we could talk to each other but occasionally the Air Bridge had to decode what was said. Plus, I did not have to pay for a mobile phone call to Belgium (Woot!).

To top it all off we lost the recording.

A Real Computer for the Price of a Toy

There is a bit of a story to this picture.

This is a sticker on the inside of a writing desk that my mother owns. I think it was in my brother’s room for a while, or it might have been mine. But one of us saw fit to cover this; no doubt, antique with stickers! About two weeks ago I was talking to Dad and he had reason to open the cabinet. You can imagine my surprise when I found this sticker plastered to the inside!

I am not sure about the age of this sticker, but I am sure that us boys would have been somewhere between eight and 12. Back then the old Commodore VIC20 was the go. With it’s brute raw power and 20K of memory! Don’t worry we didn’t get the VIC we got the Commodore 64, double the memory man! Now that’s power!

We had great fun with the games and the useless tape system that never worked! But then disks came out and that was rad, so we didn’t have to keep count on the tape counter anymore. You know how it goes. But this is where we came from and has lead us in some ways to where we are today. I never dreamed that what we could do now would be possibile then.

Maybe my kids will be laughing as hard as I am about what we are using now. As a matter of fact I am sure they will. Enjoy the trip and whatever memories that it causes to surface in you, I did.


Is this a PC or a Vacuum Cleaner?

Today a mate of mine who will be known hence forth as Webby was “donated” a computer that “would work if the power supply was replaced”. Webby thought this little number might be good for something so he set about dismantling it and making it work.

Power Supply RearHe knew something was up when he spotted the rear end of the Compaq… mmm a bit of dust is okay but I am not sure about all this rust. Upon inspection of the power supply it is little wonder that it was not working. All the vents were practically rusted over! I would hate to see what the guts of it looked like. But hey that is what was stuffed so it did not matter right?

CPU Fan on Heat SinkSo onward to the internals of the computer which was like trying to break into Fort Knox, these babies are just not meant to be modified or taken apart. How you are supposed to clean inside it is a mystery. The reason that I mention cleaning is once inside there were enough “dust bunnies” to make a coat! Or a small village of dust mites to take up residence! This might have been a contributing factor to the fact that it was stuffed, you think?

Heat Sink OffJust check out that main-board it is little wonder that the CPU fan was even going, let alone circulating the air. The whole interior of the case was filled with dust and rubbish from a life of neglect.

Even the peripherals were shot.

Check out this floppy drive picture. Not sure if this thing would even read a disk. Check out the light, yep it is getting power!

Let this be an advertisement for occasionally lifting the hood and cleaning the fans, boards and vents of your PC. Still very funny result that has given me some material to blog about.

Floppy Drive FrontTaking it apart was as far as Webby got. Not surprisingly the PC would not boot, it tried a few times and croaked a bit of a last gasp. The PC will now be put-down for reasons of kindness and humanity and the war dust bunnies. It is undecided if there will be a cremation of said dead computer.

Webby would like to receive actual computers rather than flowers. Or just send cash so he no longer has to try to resurrect dead computers or ones that are on their last legs.

Watching him deconstruct this thing on Skype was a laugh a minute (or more).

Update: The images for this post have been “lost” by the WordPress server. I am in the process of trying to find them again.