Aging ungracefully

I’m now officially old. I can’t think of anything computer-related to talk about, so… I was in KC over the weekend, looking forward to checking out what 105.9, The Laser, one of the premiere alternative stations in the country, was playing. I tuned in, and was introduced to Brittney Spears and Jessica Simpson. What the? Sorry Dave, alternative music is dead–get with the program.

Then today I find the likes of The Bangles and Joe Jackson are now considered classic rock. So does that make The Beatles and Badfinger oldies? I could tune into a classic rock station to hear my stuff, but the last time I did that I got a mega-dose of Ratt, Extreme, Firehouse (not to be confused with Mike Watt’s punk band Firehose), and Poison. Those were four good reasons I got into alternative music in the first place.

So here I am now, listening to bootleg recordings of Jules Shear, coming to the conclusion that his reputation as a songwriter is well-earned, but finding that like Bob Dylan, I like his songs a lot better when someone else is singing them. And with that, I guess I’ll go back in to work, now that everyone’s probably long gone, so I can see if I can figure out why Retrospect (a Mac tape backup package) is causing the stupid Mac server at work to crash every time you run it. The obvious answer is yes, it’s a Mac, but unfortunately throwing it out the window isn’t an option. Nor is turning it into a Linux box, though I’d very much like that.

Mac OS X. Oh yes, there IS something computer-related to talk about! Early criticisms of OS X: Too much like NeXTStep. What’s wrong with that? The biggest problem with NeXTStep was it ran on hardware that cost as much as my college edumacation. Mac fans are aghast; I’m of course turning cartwheels in the halls (figuratively speaking). I’m just thrilled that there’ll finally be a protected-memory environment in which to run Mac software. Of course the backward compatibility is awful, but backward compatibility is always a huge problem with the Mac anyway.

I’m supposed to be getting my hands on OS X Server soon, but I’ll be surprised if I see the desktop version within a year. I’m looking forward to playing with the server though, and maybe that’d be a solution to the Mac server problem at work. Who needs Retrospect when you have the time-tested tools cron and tar?
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Does McAfee still sell Nuts&Bolts ?
Do you know if McAfee still markets the Nuts&Bolts program, since they bought out that company ? Do they sell it under a different name? The last version that I see is Nuts&Bolts 98, a while back.
Also, which program do you prefer (Norton Utilities or Nuts&Bolts), or some other utilities package?
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Not very actively, but I’ve seen Nuts & Bolts 98 discounted pretty heavily. It seems like McAfee is willing to sell it, but they’ve pretty much conceded the market to Norton Utilities and the Ontack/Mijenix Fix-It suite. There are literally about two things I liked better about Nuts & Bolts than about any of the others (an option to sort directory entries by the file’s physical placement on the hard drive, which will give you better speed, and its registry tools seemed a little cleaner) but a lot of other things I didn’t like. Overall, Norton Utilities or Fix-It is much better. I gave Norton Utilities the nod, reluctantly, because it was pretty consistently the second best at everything. If Fix-It had any kind of configurability whatsoever, it’d be the best. Since Norton Utilities can be configured to give better results, I prefer it.

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