Thursday, March 23, 2006

Drunk in a bar? You could be arrested!

According to this article, now Texas is prosecuting people who get drunk in bars. I guess it doesn't matter anymore whether or not you have a designated driver. Why don't they just go ahead and bring back prohibition?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sufferin' Statutory!

Funny how two stories are in the news this week. No one is placing them side by side but I'm going to.

Let's meet Lance Cobb from Houston. Lance met a 16-year old girl on-line and they had sex. This same girl met at least three other men on-line for sex. Now he's a registered sex offender and doing 5 years probation. (She's not at all at fault in this escapade because she was under 18. OK whatever; I don't think that makes complete sense but there's a reason for the word jailbait).

Now let's meet Debra LeFave from Florida. She had sex with her 14 year old middle school student in the classroom and in a car. She's getting off without charge because the boy's mother doesn't want to put him through the pain that all the attention that a trial would cause him. The prosecutor is dropping the charges because he agrees it's not worth traumatizing the boy. Do you seriously think for one minute that if it was a male teacher and a 14 year old girl that any prosecutor in the country wouldn't push for a conviction, with or without the girl's participation at trial?

Can't you hear Georgia's Lisa Clark, the creepy looking 37-year old wife of a 15 year-old boy, asking for a retrial in Florida? At least she made the boy honest... Right?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Browsing problem fixed!

In case anyone out there is experiencing the same problems:
  • Open up My Computer and all you get is a stupid flashlight
  • Type a URL into IE Address bar and the page loads very slowly. Type it in through Google and it comes up faster
  • Logon is slower lately
I have an HP OfficeJet printer and this morning I loaded an update. BIG MISTAKE as all these problems started after that. Uninstalling the patch didn't seem to fix it, though in all fairness I didn't reboot yet. I ended up uninstalling all the HP software that came with the printer, including PhotoSmart, and rebooting. Presto! the problem went away. Only now how am I going to print?

Update: Reinstalling the HP drivers but disabling the startup services seems to have fixed it.

Virtual World

Today I took up the daunting task of updating my laptop to Windows XP Professional. The main reason I decided to do this was because I wanted to run Virtual PC and it's not supported on Home Edition. Now I know most people say it doesn't matter, it runs fine, but I tried it and every time I started a VM the Function Lock would come on, activating those weird alternate keys like the "embedded" numlock that turns J, K, and L into 1, 2 and 3. I blamed the problem on XP Home and decided to upgrade.

First the machine said that I couldn't upgrade because the running version of Home Edition was newer than the one on the setup disk. I had SP2 to thank for that. So I copied the XP Pro i386 directory to disk and downloaded XP service pack 2, then unpacked it and slipstreamed it onto i386. Setup was happy now and upgraded my machine. After the final boot I started getting weird errors. Oh well, to be expected. Most of them are fixed now. One thing I can't figure out is that if I type a URL in the IE address bar it takes forever to load the page, but if I Google the page and click a hyperlink to the target page, it loads right up. Very, very weird. Also if I pull down the Explorer combo box to select a different drive letter it locks up for about 60 seconds, but if I use the up-arrow toolbar button that doesn't happen. Open up My Computer and I get the flashlight for about the same amount of time. And yes, I've done a virus/spyware scan.

These problems didn't stop me from playing with Virtual PC, though. Last week I was teaching A+ software, and all that talk about DOS and Windows 98, supporting IPX/SPX and NetBEUI made me nostalgic for the old days of command lines and escape codes. (Sick, I know!) So I dug out some old disks I had stashed away and created virtual PCs with Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, 98, and NT 4. I don't have disks for NT 3.51 or the short-lived Windows ME. Almost everything works except the sound in the 3x images and the network card in WFW. I would have liked to set up a NetWare 3.12 server but that's not supported on Virtual PC. That brings up a complaint about VPC. How can MS seriously consider VPC a competing product for VMWare when 1) they only support Microsoft OSes (not Linux/NetWare), and 2) they don't support capturing the host machine's USB drives? That's lame! (OK, so why didn't I use VMWare? Because I am first and foremost a Microsoft trainer and that's what we use in all our MS classes.)

In a fit of extreme masochism, I was looking into emulators for the PDP-10 running TENEX. I found one, but I couldn't get it to do anything other than give me a sim> prompt. OK, I really need to write a paper for law school. Contrast contract formation under the revised UCC with the current UCC and the CISG. ZZZzzz...