Archive 6

Even being the richest man in the world doesn't stop you from getting a pie in the face.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV).

AMD on the Bandwaggon

Posted 14 November 1999.

The oval-shaped "EasyNow" PC, which will be offered in several hues, is AMD's entry into the world of stylized computers, a hot market that was inspired by Apple Computer's iMac and Sony's portable Vaio. The EasyNow box will sport a colorful translucent case and shed traditional features such as a built-in floppy drive.


"Some of the stuff I have seen in back rooms is great, and some of it is stupid looking," said Roger Kay, an analyst at International Data Corporation. "There will be winners and losers in the style game."

AMD will not make these computers, leaving that instead to PC manufacturers. Nonetheless, the chipmaker had a big hand in the effort, said Dana Krelle, vice president of marketing. AMD commissioned the design and licenses it to PC makers on the condition that they use K6-2 chips inside it.


Monopoly Grunt in Action

Posted 16 November 1999.

From the great guys and gals at CNet (Joe Wilcox in this case), in an article dated 15 November 1999:

A software update for Microsoft's corporate-use operating system introduced a bug that could potentially cripple Lotus Notes unless companies compromise network security.

The bug in Windows NT Service Pack 6 prevents users from accessing Lotus Notes without administrator rights--the highest and broadest level of network access, typically reserved for network managers. Companies generally restrict user access to prevent security breaches or catastrophic accidental changes to PCs or servers.

The bug puts companies that have installed the service pack in a bind, possibly forcing them to grant users temporary administrator privileges in order to use Lotus Notes. The Redmond, Washington-based software maker is advising customers using Lotus Notes not to apply Service Pack 6 until a fix is released later this week.


Microsoft's Latest Keyboard

Posted 7 December 1999.

They've finally resigned themselves. This new model has all the keys you'll ever need.


Posted 7 December 1999.

This is the latest IBM Thinkpad out, as advertised in the Canadian edition of TIME magazine. But wait! What's that on the screen? Macintosh Netscape Communicator 4. HA!

Check Out That Cheque

Posted 25 January 2000.

The story first comes to light:

CNET News, 27 December 1999.

A Linux user is taking credit for restoring service to Microsoft's Hotmail free email service, saying he paid a delinquent domain name registration fee that blocked access to some users over much of the Christmas weekend.

Michael Chaney, a Linux consultant from Nashville, Tenn., said he paid the bill by credit card through the online payment service of domain name registrar Network Solutions after he was denied access to his Hotmail account on Christmas Eve.

"I wasn't trying to embarrass Microsoft," he said in an interview with CNET "I figured it would make life a lot easier to a lot of Hotmail users."

Neither Microsoft nor Network Solutions could be reached immediately to confirm Chaney's account of how the problem was solved. It was unclear how many users were affected.

The lapse, which was first reported on the Internet news service, was apparently caused when Microsoft's registration for the domain name expired sometime Dec. 24, Chaney said. The site verifies user identification and passwords for access to Hotmail and about 25 other services, according to Chaney.

Chaney said he paid the bill Dec. 25 at about 2 p.m. EST and was given invoice #11395965 documenting the transaction. An electronic copy of the receipt can be viewed at his Web site at ""

Hotmail service was likely restored by 5 a.m. the following day during a normally scheduled server update, he said.

Chaney said Microsoft has yet to contact him to thank him for his actions or to offer to reimburse the $35 registration fee.

Checked Check

Posted 25 January 2000

And a follow-up to the check (sic) story:

CNET News 18 January 2000.

eBay bidders were stepping forward today to snatch up a $500 reward check Microsoft gave a computer consultant over the weekend as a thank you for paying a $35 bill for the company's Hotmail domain name.

Consultant Michael Chaney put the check up for auction Sunday to raise money for a charity of the bidder's choice, pledging to match up to $2,000.

Chaney said he had no idea his check would fetch much more than its face value.

But as word got out today, the check quickly became a hot item. By 3 p.m. PST, a registration site put in a bid for $2,500 for the check.

"This is a great way for us to purchase a physical reminder that without attention to detail, big things can go wrong," Richard Lau, president of the registration site, said in an email. "Besides, when else will we get the opportunity to have a check from Microsoft?"

The episode began Christmas Eve when Chaney, a Linux consultant from Nashville, Tenn., was denied access to his Hotmail account.

He learned through Slashdot, an online discussion group, that Microsoft failed to pay the $35 fee to Networks Solutions for the Web address, which had expired Dec. 24. The site verifies user identification and passwords for access to Hotmail and about 25 other services.

When the domain name lapsed, some users seeking to access their accounts received error messages indicating the domain was unavailable.

Chaney then went to the Network Solutions site and paid the fee with his credit card.

"I didn't do it to help Microsoft," he said in an interview this morning. "I did it to help the Hotmail users."

Microsoft representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

Chaney said he was surprised to see the amount on the check when he received it via Airborne Express Saturday morning.

"I knew they were sending me a check, but I didn't know what the amount would be," he said. "They always just referred to it as 'the check.' I didn't know if it was going to be $35 or $15 or what."

Chaney said he never intended to cash the check. He put the item up for auction on Sunday, and it will remain open to bidders for another nine days.

So to summarize, at least US$4500 to charity, arising from a US$35 unpaid bill. Well done, Michael Chaney. (Certainly resulted in lots of incredibly cheap advertising for him, and bids close in just two more days, for those interested.)

Insecure Shopping

Posted 25 January 2000.

If your browser of choice is Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.5, you will have a problem with online shopping and other services that require security certificates. These certificates are set to expire at the stroke of midnight on 31 December 1999 and unless you update your copy of IE 4.5, you will be unable to shop and bank securely in the new year.

But hey, if you're using any version of MSIE, maybe you don't care about security. ;-)

Windoze CE

Posted 25 January 2000.

From a reasonably loyal user of much Wincrud software came this exclusive report:

As part of my search for an updated IPass phone list in a form useable to us Psion users, I came across this on the IPass site:

"iPass does not currently support Windows CE because Windows CE dialers can not implement dial-in scripts and the majority of iPass POPs require the running of scripts after modem negotiation."

That sounds like yet another reason to keep away from Windows CE!!

No Copper In The Mine

Posted 7 February 2000.

From one of those sources I just love...

The industry is abuzz with stories of Intel experiencing severe shortages of its "Coppermine" Pentium III chip. Apparently, many Wintel computer makers are seriously considering moving to AMD's Athlon processor to meet demand; with Coppermine struggling to deliver significant numbers of chips in the 700MHz range and the Athlon already at 850MHz, an upset may be in store if these problems continue.

It's Not Over Yet

Posted 10 February 2000.

From CNET: "The European Union is investigating whether Windows 2000 will give Microsoft an unfair advantage over competitors, raising new regulatory snags for the giant software maker in Europe."