“Apple lost,” Steve Jobs says

Apple obsession continues. See if you can guess who said the following:

The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost.

ArsTechnica readers may already know the answer. The answer (drum roll) is, none other than Steve Jobs, in an interview that appeared in the Feb. 1996 issue of Wired. Jobs was, at the time, CEO of NeXT, maker of overstyled and overpriced Unix boxes (though by then they were out of the hardware business and just selling NeXTStep, their Unix variant). Apple, of course, bought NeXT a few months after Jobs said this, and in a strange turn of events, Jobs ended up becoming Apple’s CEO.

It was an interesting interview. In it, Jobs said he didn’t think there was any way Microsoft could seize control of the Web (they’ve tried, and they’ve succeeded far more than Jobs probably anticipated–exhibit the large number of sites that only look right in Internet Explorer), but I found I agreed with a surprisingly large percentage of the things he said–particularly when he talked about things other than computers.

Here’s the link if you’re interested.

——-

From: Scott Vogt

Subject: Win2k On A Maxtor..

Dave,

I am running Windows 2000 with SP1 on a Maxtor 40gig 7200rpm drive with no troubles at all.

Great site, Glad to see you back!

Scott

———-

Thanks, both for the answer and the compliment.

Sound card and hard drive troubleshooting

Sound card woes. Gatermann recently ran into some problems with sound cards forcing his Internet connection to drop. It had literally been six years since I’ve seen a problem like that before, but he kept running into it. Finally, it dawned on me: Try changing slots to force it to use a different interrupt. Therein was the silver bullet. The problem didn’t go away completely, but the culprit arose: the Sound Blaster 16 emulation. So I had him go into Device Manager and put the SB16 emulation on a different interrupt, and the problem went away.
It’s been forever since I’ve seen an honest-to-goodness interrupt conflict. This particular PC has every expansion slot filled with something or other, which is why he ran up against it. Keep that in mind: Just because we have PCI and plug and play these days, doesn’t mean you won’t ever see an interrupt conflict. On a well-expanded system, this ancient problem can occasionally rear its ugly head (while Microchannel required their cards to be capable of interrupt sharing; PCI only *recommends* it–so not every PCI device can share an interrupt, particularly if an ISA device has grabbed it. Alas, Microchannel fell victim to IBM’s greedy overly restrictive licensing terms and raw-dead-fish marketing, so as a result we have cheap PCs today but more headaches than we necessarily need. Speaking of raw-dead-fish marketing, I could mention that the Amiga’s Zorro bus had true plug and play and hundreds of interrupts from Day One in 1985, but nobody wants to hear that. Oops, I said it anyway.)

This problem used to happen all the time when people would put their modems on COM4 and a serial mouse on COM2 (or COM1 and 3). Since those ports by default shared interrupts with one another, you got goofy symptoms like your Internet connection dropping whenever you moved the mouse. People don’t configure their COM ports that way anymore, which is what’s made that problem so rare.

I think I finally got that G4 deployed. Wednesday it decided it didn’t want to shut down, and I had to reinstall the OS to fix it. Then on Thursday, it decided it didn’t want to recognize the mouse button anymore. I still don’t know what exactly I did to fix that–I booted off a spare MacOS 9 partition, ran a battery of disk repair tools and a defragmenter, and the problem went away. So while Mac users can snicker about interrupt problems, their machines aren’t exactly immune to weird problems either.

——-

From: “Gialluca, Tony”

question: RE Optimizing Windows and Temp files

Hi Mr. Farquhar,

In you book on page 112 you discuss placing temp files on a ramdisk. On this page you show an example where:

Set temp=ram disk letter:\temp Set tmp=ram disk letter:\temp

Shouldn’t you also include changing

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Volum eCaches\Temporary files\folder] to “ram disk letter:\temp” also ??

Per the description

([HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Volu meCaches\Temporary files\description]) says: “Programs sometimes store temporary information in a TEMP folder. Before a program closes, it usually deletes this information.\r\n\r\nYou can safely delete temporary files that have not been modified in over a week.” The only potential pitfall that I can think of is if windows or programs (say during installations) need this area to remain persistant through reboots, even though the files may be of
a temporary nature…

Your thoughts would be appreciated …

Respectfully,

Tony

———-

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know that registry key existed (nor did the book’s technical reviewers, evidently). That registry key, too, should be changed, yes. Thanks!

You are correct that if a program does a hard reboot (rather than just exiting to real mode and reloading Windows), you’ll lose the contents of the ramdisk and thus the temp folder. Fortunately, most programs seem to use the temp directory the way they’re supposed to–for temporary, fleeting things. Now if they’d just learn to clean up after themselves…

Of course, this also applies to my advice on creating a temp partition, on page 62.

Thanks much; this is very good information.

———-

From: “Gary M. Berg”

Subject: Maxtor hard drives

Since you’ve been talking about WD and Maxtor hard drives…

I heard rumors just after Win2K SP1 came out that the service pack had problems with machines with Maxtor hard drives. I’ve not been able to find much of anything else on this. What have you heard?

———-

That’s a new one to me. Maybe another reader has heard something, but it sure seems odd. I can’t imagine Microsoft didn’t test SP1 on the major drive manufactuers’ drives (Fujitsu, IBM, Maxtor, Quantum, Samsung, Seagate, and Western Digital), and with Maxtor being one of the Big Two in retail….

Once I get my current big project off my back this weekend, I’m half-tempted to try it just to see. Unless someone already has…

Sounds cards, hard drives, and initial dual G4 impressions

The underwhelming dual G4. I had a conversation Tuesday with someone who was thinking about ditching his PII to get a dual G4 because he thought it would be faster. I guess he thought if he got VirtualPC or SoftWindows, a dual G4/500 would run like a dual PIII/500 or something, plus give him access to all the Mac software. Nice try.
I’m sure one of these dual G4s would make an outstanding Linux box, but the loss of binary compatibility with all the x86 software is something. Sure you can recompile, but there are those instances where that isn’t an option. And under Mac OS 9, that second CPU sits idle most of the time. Photoshop and a couple of other apps use it, but the OS doesn’t–certainly not to the extent that Windows NT or a Unix variant will use a second CPU.

I’m also very disappointed with the hardware. The dual G4 I’m setting up right now has a 124-watt power supply in it. Yes, 124 watts! Now, the PPC chips use less power than an Intel or AMD CPU, and the G4 uses a microATX-like architecture, but they know full well that graphics professionals are going to buy these things and stick four internal hard drives, a Zip, a DVD-RAM, and a gigabyte of RAM inside. Do that, and you don’t have much punch left to power such “non-essentials” as the video card, extra disk controller, and CPUs… This will cause problems down the line. It would seem they’re paying for the extra CPU without increasing the price dramatically by cutting corners elsewhere.

The G4 remains an excellent example of marketing. IBM could invent sushi, but they’d market it as raw, dead fish (which is why they’ve become a non-contender in the PC arena that they created, with the possible exception of the ThinkPad line) while Apple continues to sell sand in the desert. Remarkable.

AMD pricing. The Duron-600 is a great buy right now; according to Sharky Extreme’s CPU pricing, it’s as low as $51. My motherboard vendor of choice, mwave.com, has the Duron-600 with a Gigabyte 7ZX-1 and fan for $191. Outstanding deal. I’d get a PC Power and Cooling fan for it to replace whatever cheapie they’re bundling.

I prefer Asus motherboards to everything else, but the performance difference between the Gigabyte and Asus offerings is really close (Asus wins some benchmarks by a hair, Gigabyte wins others, with Asus being a bit better overall but we’re talking differences of under 1-4 percent, barely noticeable). The Gigabyte boards cost about $30 less than the Asus. I’m thinking if I were getting a Duron for a value system, I’d go Gigabyte; if I were looking for a Thunderbird-based performance system, I’d go Asus.

I plan to see how Naturally Speaking fares on my Celeron; if it’s not quick enough for me I’ll probably retire my trusty K6-2/350 and replace the board with a Duron or Thunderbird.

Voice recognition. I got my Andrea ANC-600 mic on Monday. Since Naturally Speaking and the SB Live! card hadn’t even shipped yet, I went ahead and put the ANC-600 on my Celeron-400 (still equipped with an ESS sound card) and fired up ViaVoice. The ANC-600 eliminated the background noise and increased accuracy noticeably. ViaVoice still tended to mess up a word per sentence, but at least it was in the neighborhood (it had real problems with past/present tense) and its speed was a little better, though it still tended to drag behind me. The SB Live! should help that; as should the newer software’s reliance on newer processor architecture (ViaVoice 97 was designed with the Pentium-MMX in mind, rather than the PII/Celeron or something newer). I await Naturally Speaking’s arrival with much, much greater confidence now.

———-
From: Dan Bowman

Maxtor HDDs

And the CompUSA down the street always has a good deal on them…

This week, Office Depot is selling Maxtor 15gig drives for $99. That’s a “Warlock’s Mirror” for a little over $200 with tax.

dan

———-

Thanks.

Western Digital hard drives

Apparently it’s possible right now to get WD hard drives dirt cheap at certain warehouse clubs in St. Louis. How cheap? One person wrote in and told me $30 after rebates for a 10-gig drive. He asked me what I thought of the deal. It’s a great price, sure. My problem is, if I bought one, I’d be tempted to actually use it.
I’m very down on Western Digital. At my previous employer, we had about 600 PCs, with a variety of drives: a small number of Seagates, and roughly equal representation of IBM, Maxtor, Western Digital, and Quantum. We had maybe a drive a month go bad on us (ours was an aging fleet). I saw about as many Western Digitals go bad as all the rest–combined. I’ll buy an IBM, Maxtor, or Quantum drive without flinching, but I stay away from WD.

At my current employer, we have fewer problems (newer equipment), but I still see about as many WDs go down as anything else. Here we have mostly WD, Samsung, IBM, and Seagate drives, since that’s what Micron tends to use. Again, I see about as many WDs go as all the others. The last WD to go out happened when I took a half-dozen PCs to a convention in New Orleans. It was the middle of registration, with tired travelers all around, and the machine kept locking up. Finally, one time the drive just didn’t come back. I located a computer store, paid an outrageous price for a drive (unfortunately, another WD because it was all they had), and managed to get the drive in with only a couple hours’ downtime. But after failing me when I most needed dependability, I vowed to never buy another WD. Whenever I spec a drive for work, I get a Maxtor. I find them more reliable, faster, and they’re just as easy to find as WDs. And the CompUSA down the street always has a good deal on them.

Phone shopping

Telephones. I’ve been using the same Uniden cordless phone for the past six years, and it’s been a decent phone until the batteries go. So I went out in search of a battery, knowing that this phone is two generations behind the current state-of-the-art. The best price I could find on a new battery was $8, which seems a bit steep considering that a new 900 MHz cordless phone, including battery, costs as little as $20. You won’t get the highest quality at that price, but even today’s junk has a decent chance of outperforming a mid-range 1994 model. So I looked long and hard at new units.
Gatermann had just bought a new 2.4 GHz phone (these rates refer to the frequency at which the phone operates–higher is better, giving shorter, more nimble waves for greater range and clarity) at Radio Shack last week, and I was fairly impressed with it. But I’m a tightwad, so I searched for a bargain. A basic 900 MHz phone should be fine for my apartment, but as long as I was getting a new phone, I figured I might as well get one that could operate a headset, and I couldn’t find a 900 MHz model that could. I did find a Southwestern Bell 2.4 GHz unit that did, for $60. As far as I can tell, both Southwestern Bell and AT&T are still buying phones from Lucent and relabeling them, so your local Baby Bell probably does something similar. I was also glad to see this phone uses an NiMH battery, rather than a NiCad. While NiMH is more expensive, it’s a much better battery technology. Longer lasting, less prone to developing memory (though not immune to it)–it’s just worth looking for.

I also got a $10 headset. I’ve had spasms in my hands while holding a phone a couple of times, so the headset will eliminate that problem.

Babble, NaturallySpeaking, and Windows Utility Suites

Thanks to those of you who wrote in. I’m glad someone agrees that there is more to life than these computers and the Internet. A computer (or a room full of them) is no substitute for a good five-friend rotation, a car, or someplace to go. Had I waited a few more hours I probably would have said things differently, but I think Sunday’s vent served its purpose.
Just to quell any speculation: No, I’m not depressed, distraught, or anything of the sort. Slightly frustrated, yes, because I can’t do all the things I once did, and that can’t help but affect you, even in other areas of life that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Will this pass? You bet.

Dragon Naturally Speaking 5.0. The new version is now out, and the usual suspects (Staples.com, Onvia.com, and Buy.com, at least) are shipping it. I bought Preferred, just in case I needed it. Now I’m told that Standard (about $60 less) is probably fine for dictation and that Preferred adds computer-control functions. I wanted that, so I probably bought the right thing.

I mentioned www.speechcontrol.com last week. They shipped my order that day, so I should have it by Tuesday. So far I’m very impressed with this vendor–prompt answers to questions, a strong presence in Dragon’s forums, testing mics for suitability before deciding to carry them… And a price of $65 with free shipping for an Andrea ANC-600 mic is hard to beat.

I expect all my gear (mic, sound card, software) to arrive by midweek. I’ll keep you posted on the developments.

———-

From: al wynn

Subject: Best WIN98 settings for NU’s SpeedDisk and FixIt’s DefragPlus (to optimize the hard drive)

What are the best WINDOWS 98 settings for NU’s SpeedDisk and FixIt’s DefragPlus, to optimize the hard drive ?

———-
The settings haven’t changed since I wrote Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics and Multimedia. It’s pretty long to duplicate here. Advice on using Norton Utilities is on page 97; advice for Fix-It is on page 101, and Nuts & Bolts is on page 103. I covered both hard drive and registry optimization.

———-

From: John Doucette

Subject: typing avoidance

Hi Dave

Nice to have you back in action. Other than voice recognition did you look at using something like a tablet and hand writing software like Jot so you would not have to type.

John

———-

Not with my handwriting. My dad was a doctor, as were both of his parents. I didn’t inherit their love of biology but I sure got their handwriting. Writing by hand can also aggravate CTS, though not as quickly as typing.

That’s a good suggestion for people who have decent penmanship, but not me.

Thanks for the welcome back.

Some things are more important than posting every day

It’s time for me to post this. It has come to my attention that certain individuals are angry that “certain people” can’t seem to keep a post up every day. I don’t know if I was one of the intended targets or not, but I certainly am guilty. As a d/C personality type, I favor interpretation of rules rather than strict adherence to policy. Having your wrists flare up is not exactly pleasant, and I remember one day very well where I could not only not use a computer, I couldn’t even unload my dishwasher. After that happened, my thoughts were hardly, “How will I manage to post to my ego site?” (and face it, a Daynotes page IS an ego page primarily, and in some cases, it serves a secondary purpose as a marketing tool, but we’re all working from the assumption that someone, for some reason, gives a rat’s posterior about what we have to say) but something far more sinister. Writing was suddenly a luxury, not a necessity. There I was, 25 years old, healthy by all appearances but unable to take care of myself. I couldn’t unload the dishwasher and I couldn’t carry a full laundry basket. Most males shove those duties off on their wives, but I’d like to think there’s too much Promise Keeper in me now to do that, but as one who was (and is) single and unattached, that wouldn’t have been an option. And, to add insult to injury, my very masculinity was attacked. Not only could I not do the household stuff, but I also found it very difficult to drive. In the States, where your car and your masculinity go hand-in-hand, that’s a big deal. Could I make matters worse? You bet. As I get more and more defensive, my “overly dominant overanalysis” tendency gets stronger and stronger. As some of you are aware, and as I alluded in some of my messages, I met the girl of my dreams this spring, as the CTS was setting in. What’s the best way to drive females away? I don’t know for sure, but overly dominant overanalysis coupled with total lack of confidence due to an inability to excel at anything worked wonders for me. (At least we’re still friends. Sort of.)

And never mind that I had a book on deadline, then past deadline, along with limited abilities to write and research.

Yes, I paid a high price for trying to be prolific. And, with all due respect to my colleagues and readers, it was really hard to care. As my friend Jeanne said Thursday night, “If Dave can’t do something well, he doesn’t do it.” Would I trade my “status” as a Daynoter to get back what I lost? In a heartbeat. For that matter, I’d trade one and a half O’Reilly books, an essay on O’Reilly’s Web site, and I’d throw in my Daynoters status just to clinch the deal.

Here’s a letter that I got from O’Reilly’s Bob Eckstein, author of XML Pocket Reference, coauthor of Java Swing and Webmaster in a Nutshell, and editor of Using Samba. In telling his story, he does a nice job of telling the rest of mine. In addition, his words might actually help someone. I’ve said more than enough.

———-
Hi Dave,

I read your column on the O’Reilly home page, and it looks hauntingly familiar– including the speech recognition part. Yes, they do kind of suck, don’t they.

But that’s not why I’m writing you.

I got carpal tunnel syndrome three years ago, while I was writing a book for O’Reilly and Associates on “Java Swing.” My symptoms were atypical, which left doctors perplexed as to what it was. There was no adhesion of the median nerve, so they would not perform surgery. Most thought it was some sort of RSI, but they couldn’t determine an exact cause (beyond the obvious). It was frustrating: nobody could tell me why my hands suddenly could not perform the same tasks as some other 28 year old programmer. What made me different? Certainly not my posture; that was ridiculous. My diet? No, I eat better than most programmers.

I concluded two problems here: injured hands, and a body that allowed my hands to be so easily injured. I had the find the answers myself to the second part, and here’s what I discovered that over the course of three years cured me.

1) Heat helped my hands; cold hurt it more. This was odd. Since it was a swelling, shouldn’t it be the opposite? (I found putting Capsazin, which you can get at any grovery store, on my arms and wrapping them with wrist braces let me type normally throughout the day without getting the pain in the night.)

2) The more I worried about it, the worse it got. The more I forgot about it (or more precisely, trained myself that there were certain things I could do without having pain, such as writing a quick email), the better it got.

3) One year at JavaOne, I wrote a “quick” program for the PalmPilot that turned out to be 4 hours! But there was no pain, until I said, “Oh geez! I typed for 4 hrs! I’m going to have a pain attack!” Then it came on full force; five hours after I had finished.

At that point, I knew it was something physcosomatic.

The other half of the puzzle came in the form of a 20/20 interview with one doctor John Sarno, author of “The Mindbody Prescription”, a cheap $10 self-help book. His explanation fit the facts completely. It goes like this: the brain under extreme subconscious stress (e.g., “I’m a failure”, not conscious stress such as “I have a test tomorrow”) creates pain in the body by robbing certain worked areas of oxygen. This creates a numbing, tingling pain that increases over time– sort of like wrapping a tournquet around your hand and typing for a couple of hours. It’s a very common syndrome that can affect more than the hands; it’s most frequently attributed to back pain in type-A personalities.

Sarno’s book didn’t help at first, until I learned to relax. At that point, his techniques banished the pain from me in a series of weeks. All that after three and a half years of horrible pain, and it was almost instantly gone. It was incredible.

I don’t know if this is what you’re experiencing, but whenever I hear of someone at O’Reilly as suffering from CTS, I pass on this experience in the event that it could possibly help them avoid what I went through. Sarno’s book was the best $10 I ever spent; it gave me my career back. I know what it’s like to sit on the couch in a drunken depression and just say, “My career and my dreams are over.” I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Anyway… good luck.

– Bob

Robert Eckstein Editor, O’Reilly and Associates

Computer ethics

Damsels in distress. Every time I turn around, there’s a girl who needs her computer fixed. Not that I’m complaining. I was having a beer the other night with the music director from my church and told him about it, to which he said, “That’s not a bad situation at all to be in.” He’s right.
So that’s what I was doing Thursday. I don’t exactly get it, because I always have great luck with the PCs I build myself, but when I build a PC for a friend, we always manage to get a bad power supply, or a bad video card, or something else–even though I use the same type of components in their systems as in mine. That’s why I’m not in the computer building business, and I may get out of the business of building them for my friends. I’ll find ’em a good deal if they want, and I’ll play hardball to get a good price and the best components for them, and I’ll gladly set it up for them, but when it comes to procurring all the parts and assembling them, it may be time to give it up.

But I got dinner out of it last night and got to meet some interesting people. That was good.

Computer Ethics. I found out last night that this friend once dated an IT professional I know. I don’t know him well–I didn’t put the name and the face together until she showed me a picture (he knows me better than I know him, apparently). She knew him about eight years ago.

Eight years ago, a typical date for them was him taking her to a weekly 2600 meeting. He evidently learned everything he knew by hacking. We’re not talking writing code here. We’re talking infiltration of systems illegally. At one point he had a notebook full of private phone numbers: people like the Pope and the Prime Minister of Canada. For kicks, he’d call the numbers and record the conversations. He also had her address and phone number in the notebook. One day he left the notebook on top of his car in a parking lot, then drove off. Someone found the notebook, couldn’t believe what was in it, and turned it over to the authorities. Since hers was the only non-VIP address in it, the Secret Service showed up on her doorstep. Her parents were less than amused.

I don’t really understand this. This guy isn’t the only “reformed” hacker I know who has a high-paying, high-security, high-integrity job. And that’s a real problem. If you didn’t have integrity at 18, you probably don’t have it at 25 or 26 either. You can’t count on eight years giving you any measurable amount of maturity, let alone integrity. If you have no respect for other people’s property at 18, you won’t have much a few years later. I don’t understand why anyone hires these kinds of people. You can sum up my run-ins with the law really quickly. I’ve been pulled over three times since the age of 16. I recieved two verbal warnings and a written warning. That’s the extent of it. But I’m not sure I’d trust myself in these peoples’ jobs.

———-

From: Paul S R Chisholm

There have been a series of excellent articles, written by Martin J. Furey and published at Byte.com, describing how the sound cards and microphones can effect the success of using Dragon Naturally speaking. Rough summary: 128 MB RAM or better, PIII or Athlon (speech recognition is one of the few applications that can use that much power, and the latest versions have installation options with executables tuned to those processors), very good mike or headset, very good sound card or USB headset, perhaps Win98SE. More detail:

http://www.byte.com/feature/BYT19990720S0003
http://www.byte.com/feature/BYT19991020S0004
http://www.byte.com/feature/BYT19991103S0001

In particular, a PIII or Athlon is supposed to greatly reduce the training time. It’s not clear how much its power is needed once the software is fully trained.

I ordered my Dell system based on these recommendations. (I got a 700 MHz PIII.) Since I didn’t want to spend the time putting a computer together, and since Dell didn’t have much of a sound card choice, I got the USB version of NaturallySpeaking Preferred, which comes with a USB mike in a headset form factor.

I haven’t tried writing a book this way. I did write up technical review comments for a book. In my experience, I could get a rough draft out much faster than if I’d typed it; even after making a review pass, something I probably would have done anyway, and which found some truly odd typos, I think I saved time.

It’s not STAR TREK. One Byte.com reviewer “had to speak like Queen Amidala of the Naboo to make it work right”. I wouldn’t go that far, but I’d lean in that direction.

I had less luck using NaturallySpeaking for total control of my PC. Mouse-clicking was surprisingly good. Saying “Press” and the name of a key was surprisingly bad. (My office mate tried this for a few weeks and had even less luck.)

I’ll leave the final word to John Ousterhout, creator of Tcl/Tk, who dictates even code but still “mouses by hand”:

http://www.scriptics.com/people/john.ousterhout/wrist.html
Good luck! –PSRC

———-

Yes, I read those articles myself after David Pogue suggested I try Naturally Speaking. So I’ve ordered an Andrea ANC-600 mic, which got good marks in the series, from www.speechcontrol.com (good price and quick delivery; the makers of the highest-rated mics say 6-8 weeks for delivery, while speechcontrol.com can get the ANC-600 to me in 4 days and the owner answers questions very quickly). Now that DNS 5.0 is out, I’m going to order it and an SB LIve! Platinum, the successor to the Sound Blaster card that came in second-best (I’m leery of buying the best-rated card, since it’s ISA and there’ll come a time when my fastest PC won’t have ISA slots), and we’ll see how that works. As for a P3 or Athlon system, that is something I’d probably get anyway, but I’ll see if the C400 has enough punch first.

As for ViaVoice, I guess I can hang it on the wall along with all those AOL and MSN CDs.

Personality profiling

Personality profiles. I was fixing a good friend’s computer over the weekend, and she was just marveling at how I steadily and confidently took apart (completely) a computer I’d never seen before, ripped out and replaced a power supply, then put it back together, and it worked. The first time. “You’re a ‘C’, aren’t you?” she asked. Huh? “The DiSC profile, remember that?” Vaguely. We both took it about two years ago; the only specific I remembered from it was being difficult–difficult to work with and difficult to understand. Curious, I dug out my profile last night and looked at it. It was a three-stage process, and each stage could associate a word with your personality. The three words that described me: Creative, creative, and creative. How unoriginal and boring! Can’t they think of anything else to say? (Of course such a description would bother someone who’s creative).
Specifically, I was a D/C blend, with C getting a slight edge. Cs are analytical, deep thinkers, and like rules. They’re also the most complex personality type. (So of course that’d be the one I’d pick–it matches everything about me.)

The word that best describes Ds is dominating. They also like rules, but they want the rules to be open to interpretation. That means I want the rulebook to be there, but I want to think for myself. By-the-book people strike me as weak-minded. (I know when I put the exceptions to each rule in Optimizing Windows, I drove my editor bonkers. And I think my superiors dislike how I know the exception to every rule in computerdom.) Thinking over the events of the past few months, it all makes total sense. I’ve heard the words similar to “dominant analysis” or “overly dominant overanalysis” uttered in close proximity to my name many a time… And of course, being the ever-analyzing Dave, I tried to figure out where she was (I didn’t ask, which was just as well because at the time I wouldn’t have gotten it). I think she’s the opposite, an i/S blend–which is a good thing to be. Much less complicated–so long as you can avoid being stepped on.

Tongue-tied

Anything to say? My sister (yes, she has a name–it’s Di) mailed me and asked me if I had anything to say today. Not really. I finally won a major victory at work that will result in the departure of two Macintoshes that have become the bane of my existence. The battle came at a high personal price–I’m exhausted and have little to say. Other than an observation that AppleShare IP 6.3 appears to be about as rude as its predecessors. It seems to like MacOS 9, but it also seems very willing to crash MacOS 8.6 and earlier clients. Seeing as these are 100, 120, and 132 MHz machines, upgrading to 9 isn’t exactly practical or worthwhile or cost-effective. So they’re getting brand spanking new Micron PCs with Pentium III 600 chips or whatever it is we’re buying these days. I will be very joyfully installing them in the morning.

———- From: al wynn
Does McAfee still sell Nuts&Bolts?

Exactly how do you use Nuts&Bolts to “sort directory entries by the file’s physical placement on the hard drive” (ie. under which menu item can I find it ?)

Also, what are some good web links (or other resources) that will show me how to optimize Norton Utilities configuration ?

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It’s in Disk Tune. Click Advanced–>Directory Sort–>Sort Criteria. There you can select Cluster number as your directory sort criteria. Under Win95, this makes N&B’s Disk Tune the best defragmenter/optimizer, but under Win98, NU’s Speed Disk and Fix-It’s Defrag Plus have features that will make them outperform Disk Tune in spite of this feature (they actually do some strategic fragmentation to increase speed). I suppose you could optimize the disk with one of the others, then try to get Disk Tune to skip the defragmentation part and just optimize the directories, but I think I tried to figure out how to do that and gave up. Alternatively you could optimize with Disk Tune first, then defragment with one of the others and not do anything with the directory entries–assuming you want to save absolutely every microsecond possible. (Be aware that Disk Tune is a very slow program, so we’re talking diminishing returns here to run it, then run one of the others.)

I haven’t seen a better resource for the utilities suites than chapters 3 and 5 of Optimizing Windows; those chapters were the result of about seven years’ experience messing around with disk utilities (starting under DOS, of course). I’ve never seen a Web site on the subject (good or bad); nor much other information outside of the manuals that came with some of the older versions. That was part of the reason why I wrote my own. I tried to explain what to do with whatever suite you happened to have, as well as the reasoning behind it.