Credit to St. Kate’s Computing Services

A while back, I about an annoyance in update scheduling on the computers at St. Catherine University. While my experience was disrupted for that one night, I don’t think I made it clear enough that overall, the St. Kate’s IT department runs things very well. Because of when that incident occurred—during —I wasn’t in the best of moods, and I think my writing the following day reflected that. Compared to other institutions at which I’ve had the privilege of computing, St. Kate’s actually leads the pack in most areas. Augsburg College provides an especially good contrast to St. Kate’s: Operating…

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A Thought About Efficient IT Administration

I’m kind of calling out St. Kate’s Enterprise Computing Services department in a way, because I want to know why they would schedule a restart-required software deployment an hour before the computer lab is to close. Can anyone with experience in Information Technology and management of company/school computer networks tell me why the times chosen to deploy new software are chosen? My experience last night of a new software deploy completely disrupting my very limited time on the computer happened at Saint Catherine University, which has a generally great library (unlike Concordia University in Saint Paul, though Concordia used to…

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Windows Vista: Problems and Advice for Microsoft

I’ve been sitting on this post idea for a while, since about the beginning of last month, if not a few days before that. In that time I’ve tried to come up with some good answers to the question Chris Pirillo posed at the end of his “Windows Vista’s Rants” video (it starts around 16:30 into the clip). Here are my thoughts on Vista (rather than ) and, if I’m lucky, a few good ideas that Microsoft would do well to take to heart. The Complaints Don’t take this post the wrong way; I haven’t forgiven Vista in the least…

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Funny Randomization: Microsoft Downgrades Vista

Found a little site called isyournewbicycle.com, which allows you to plug in any word before the domain (such as I did for this with microsoft.isyournewbicycle.com) and get back a randomized phrase. On the third or fourth try, I got this little gem: Great fit for the company that made the worst operating system I’ve ever heard of, eh? Just thought it was funny. Any takers? Beg-to-disagree-ers? Hit the comments; I’m waiting to hear from you!

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UK Schools Advised Not to “Upgrade” to Vista, Office 2007

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) has issued a report advising UK schools not to upgrade to either Windows Vista or Office 2007. Neither new release offers any must-have features over the previous release, and the $350 million deployment cost (only about 30% of that would go to Microsoft) just wouldn’t be justified by any significant gains. We already know that , being the worst operating system to come out of Redmond since Windows ME, but I haven’t written much about Office 2007 yet (I plan to rectify that in the next couple days). Needless to say, my…

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Q4 2007 Site Stats Review

As , I’m reviewing the browser and operating system statistics for this site again. All data is from the period 2007-10-04/2007-12-31. So, on to business. First up is the overall browser chart. Firefox leads with 57%, followed by Internet Explorer at 29% and Safari at 10%. I also got some negligible visits (less than 2%) from Mozilla, Opera, Camino, Netscape, and Konqueror, plus a very few hits from what appear to have been mobile browsers, such as HTC_TyTN_II Mozilla and Palm680. Drilling into per-browser version information, Firefox had a pretty good spread of versions, even getting about 80 hits from…

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IE7’s Blocking of prompt()

I haven’t experienced the supposed goodness that is IE7 first-hand as of yet, but I have heard plenty about its shortcomings and annoyances. Another I just read about today is the default settings that blocks websites from using the built-in prompt() method in JavaScript. It wouldn’t be super annoying if Microsoft handled user permission intelligently, though. As it is, IE7 displays the by-now familiar Information Bar (introduced in IE6 with Windows XP’s Service Pack 2) and the user can allow “scripted windows” on the page. Unfortunately, the scripting engine simply ignores the prompt and moves on through the rest of…

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Cool Stuff: XsX Alpha-Blended Cursors for Windows XP and Vista

A little idea got to me through Google Reader today. About an hour ago, I installed the XsX alpha-blended cursors on my computer and already I’m loving them. It’s neat because almost all the cursors are the same shape, just with different colors. They’re bigger than the default Windows set, and they look almost Mac-like, which is generally a plus. I suggest you try them, if you’re on a PC. There’s an “untested” pre-XP instruction set for those willing to experiment. I highly recommend them. You can find instructions and the self-extracting download at Tiensivu.com.

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XP Faster Than Vista?

Ah, more evidence that Vista’s a flop. The same testers that benchmarked Vista SP1 beta performed the same set of tests on XP SP3 beta and came up with some astonishing results. First, SP3 is about 10% faster than SP2, a nice bonus for a bugfix rollup. But XP SP3 is also about twice as fast as Vista SP1. Twice as fast. Wow! More reason for me to stick with XP, I think. Microsoft’s losing their touch.

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Microsoft’s Security Focus on Vista May Have Lowered Consumer Adoption

In an article from PC World’s Business Center, it is suggested that Microsoft’s focus on security for the almost a year old Windows Vista may have undermined consumer opinion. Enterprises and consumers alike should not be expected to purchase an upgrade to a company’s product to fix an error on the part of the manufacturer. Microsoft has been promoting the security improvements in Vista from day one, when the OS was unveiled, and that could be a factor in the slow adoption. In fact, many people who are getting Vista do so because they have no other choice. For the…

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