10/23/2000

Quittin’ time. That means a big bowl of chicken soup, reflection and mail. I usually make my own, but yesterday when I was getting sickness supplies I also picked up some of the instant powdered stuff. Faster that way.

A Mac tech at his limits. One of the organizations I support has asked permission to bring in an outside consultant because they’ve, in something close to their words, found a problem Dave can’t seem to solve. Never mind they didn’t ask me to fix it. And never mind they’re probably chasing the Bogeyman. In my estimation, 90% of Mac problems are either related to extensions conflicts or disk/filesystem errors. This machine loads maybe a dozen extensions, so that’s not an issue. But it’s a wannabe server, so of course it has filesystem errors constantly.

Not that that’s the issue. Find me a tech who isn’t almost always at his/her limits. If they aren’t, they’re not growing. This industry’s so constantly changing that it’s nearly impossible to stay away from the fringes of your knowledge.

And good night. My songwriting partner asked me to call him today if my voice was cooperating. It seems to be. I wrote no usable lyrics yesterday. But I can give him a leftover that I wrote back in 1997 or early 1998. It’s a total Seven Red Seven ripoff, but seeing as that band’s hardly a household name, I don’t think anyone will know, and the song I ripped off from was itself a ripoff of Depeche Mode’s Never Let Me Down Again. That’s all assuming we even use the thing, of course.

I’d best make that phone call… Mail’s all answered and sent, so it may make an appearance tonight. Otherwise, look for it tomorrow.

Strange Windows development. While working on one Win98 box, I decided to see if I could figure out once and for all the optimal disk cache settings for Win98 on another. The preliminary answer is very surprising. On this partcular machine at least, 3072 bytes (3 megs) seems optimal. With higher settings, you get slightly (and I mean slightly) higher benchmarks, insignificant enough to appear not worth investing even one more meg. The difference between 4 megs and anything higher is even less significant.

I’ll have to try this out with some other systems and other benchmarks, of course. I figured optimal wouldn’t be any higher than 8 megs, but I’m a bit surprised to see it at 3. Optimal may depend greatly on the drive involved, however. But I thought a good percentage of you would be interested in that.

Whatever the results, it appears the conventional wisdom of using 1/4 to 1/8 your system RAM for disk caching may be incorrect, at least on today’s high-memory PCs.

I see Naviscope mistakes my logo for an ad. I’ll have to rename the file to fix that. Naviscope is an ad/cookie blocking program that doubles as a DNS cache. A Linux box sitting on your network is more versatile and capable at both, but Naviscope is easier.

Want a real computer? Amiga has changed its mind yet again about the hardware aspect of its strategy. Will we be running on commodity hardware? At least not exclusively, if The Register has its story straight. Unfortunately, at this point I’m afraid anything they might do is likely to be too little, too late. It’s hard for any system, no matter how good it is, to survive seven years of stagnation. Sure, Amiga was 8-10 years ahead of its time. In 1985. By 1993, their lead was really dwindling. And of course, by 1995 the masses got preemptive multitasking and everything else they would have had if they’d bought an Amiga in the first place. And they didn’t seem to mind the wait. That last bit troubles me, but hey.

I’d still love to see them come back and mop up the floor using the rest of the industry (Microsoft and Apple need some humiliation), but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Outta here. I seem to have caught cold, so I’m going to cut myself short. Hopefully it’ll be a slow day at work so I don’t run myself into the ground.

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