Monday, May 22, 2006

Tech support from Microsoft

My friend and I had a task of adding two computers to an existing network.
Some boring tech data:
Simplifying the network we had to build looks like this:

The problem was to connect the wireless station to the rest of the network so every computer could communicate with each other.
After struggling about 5 hours with this network we decided to call for help. Since all of the computers in that network have "genuine" Microsoft products, we decided to call Microsoft's official support.
Now the fun begins.
At first I've called identifying myself as home/private user. The Microsoft representative heard me out, then said that unfortunately they do not give support for networks. Instead she suggested that go to bother someone else Microsoft support forums.
Then we tried our luck representing ourselves as business/corporate user. We found out that for such user Microsoft technical support cost a mere 75$ per hour. We thought it over, called them again and told that we would pay, if we speak with their technician and he would say that he can solve the problem. They called back in 20 minutes. The first reaction of the technician after he heard the problem was "we do not support Windows 98". "OK", my friend told them,"what if would be Windows XP?"
The tech guy thought for couple of seconds and the responded: "I can't solve your problem."

How nice of them. I wonder what one pays for, when he buys Microsoft's products.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Eurovision 2006

Eurovision 2006 is over. Monsters Inc. from Finland won the contest. Edie Butler sucked, despite that he can sing, too bad. If not for the French Jewry, Israel would get nice, round zero.
The whole contest sucked. Only a handful descent songs, and not a single hit. I'm sorry that I watched it. What a waste of time.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

150$ for cool color?

As you might know, Apple introduced a new laptop computer series called MacBook, which replaces the old iBooks series just as MacBook Pro replaces the PowerBook.
The new series consists from 3 preconfigured system which can be tailor fit by the buyer. The first model goes for 1099$, the second for 1299$, featuring higher clock speed and DVD writing ability. The third goes for 1499$ featuring 80Gb hard disk drive (60Gb in other models) and a cool black color instead of the classic Apple white.
Now, the upgrade from 60Gb to 80Gb in Apple online store costs only 50$, leaving 150$ for what? A cool black color?
Funny enough, some people think that it is worth the price. Perhaps it was Apple's gamble.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A non serious observation

Did you hear about the Microsoft's new service Now what if you read the name backwards?
Just a coincidence? ;-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The wild web

After a while, I decided to install GUI for the Linux firewall called Firestarter.
What is interesting, that constantly, your computer is being canned for vulnerabilities. Every 10 to 20 seconds there is a connection attempt by a remote computer. For example, even now, when the Blaster worm epidemic is long over, there are still infected machines that try to infect others.
Update: I've just found out that blog was hacked.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Making the same mistake again

During the vote on approving the new government we have witnessed a first rebellion in the Kadima party. MK Marina Solodkin boycotted the vote in protest of total lack representation of Russian speaking community in the government.

M. Solodkin (Solodkina in Russian pronunciation) is in the 6-th place in the Kadima list, but was left out of the government or any of the important committees, despite the fact that the post of Minister of Absorption was promised to her by Ariel Sharon before his stroke. Instead MK Zeev Boyim got the"job", who is a the 10-th place in the Kadima party. By her words it is
an insult to an entire community.

Leaving the possibility that M. Solodkin has personal considerations in this matter, it is obvious that there is something wrong in this picture. The "coincidence" that the only Russian speaking MK, that is in a real position to get a ministerial post, is stepped over in favor of someone in the lover position, is to the very least strange. It isn't just her, quoting MK Nathan Sheranski
it isn't the first case when "Russians" were promised a lot and got nothing.

Generally I'm not of the kind of people who cries out "we are discriminated" all the time, but in this case I feel that I must speak up. I feel danger to Israeli society. The fact the largest community in Israel feels discriminated, could have grave results in the future. Continuing ignoring their, our interests will backfire at our government.

Our country still pays for the mistakes Israeli government made when treating the immigrants from the Arab countries. History is rarely wrong, it would be unwise to ignore it's lessons. Sadly our government is making the same mistake again.

Nathan, the author the "Faith in Nathan" blog, has wondered, how "very highly intelligent people know that Lieberman is hopelessly corrupt" could vote for him.
Leaving Mr. Lieberman's virtues and sins apart, PM Olmert just handed him a winning ace. Next time, even if it would be proven that he is corrupt, people will still vote for him, because he will be THEIR corrupt representative. Actually, the corruption charges against MK Lieberman are interesting too, since in 8 years the police has done nothing neither to convict him nor close the investigation, but somehow it all surfaces in the media in proximity to every passing elections.

If you will pass this message to 20 of your friends, then RIAA will email you your favorite song for free

Every once in a while, I get an email or and instant message (IM) saying something like:

"Company "X" has launched a new campaign to "Y" or for "Z", and would do "W", only if you send this email or IM to specified number of friends. "
Technically it is almost impossible, or very difficult and surely illegal for someone to know how many emails or IMs you sent, and who did you send them to. Every time I get an email of this kind, I'm reminded of an old, a bit rude joke, that is right on the spot. I t goes like this:
Note! If you might be offended, skip this section!
A mountain climber struggles on a steep slope of the mountain and after a few excruciating hours he finally gets to the top. To his amazement at the very top of the mountain he finds an old man with white beard and hair, wearing a cloak. The climber rubs his eyes in disbelief and when asks the man:

- Who are you? What are you doing here?

- I'm a wizard - answers the old man - and if you blow "wizardly pipe" you would get three wishes granted.

The climber thinks it over and then agrees. Wile he sucks the old man's dick, the "wizard" pets him on the head and quietly says:

- Such a grown fellow and still believes in stories!
While such emails or IMs are 100% hoaxes, they amaze me, as it proves to be a good example of social engineering, since so many people have fallen for them.
Please, don't fall for it too. Since the next time it could be more dangerous than an innocent joke.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Something free CAN be good

Something free can't be good.
This phrase I hear too often when I get to talk about Linux and other free software. It is some kind of a blind belief that dwells in too many minds. Common' people, can't you see?
GNU/Linux, Gecko engine and KHTML engine browsers (Mozilla and Konqueror families), MySQL, Apache web server, Open Office, *Mule, Bittorent, Theora + ogg and many more aren't good enough a proof for you? Or you need to be charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars to feel confident?