December 16th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Microsoft Follies

It never fails. Since I installed that clump of critical Windows updates the other night, I have been unable to open a link in a new window. Every time I try, I get a blue screen telling me that there has been a fatal exception 0E in blah blah blah.... Since I use that particular feature a great deal, I decided to go search the Microsoft knowledge base to see if I could find out what the problem was (hah!) and if I could fix it (HAH!)

This is where it gets amusing. I go to the Windows 98 support page, and there, on Microsoft's own web site, I get one of those Internet Explorer Script Error dialog boxes. You know, the kind that always show up on crappy, amateurish sites at Geocities and such. "Object expected" and all that. I clicked "yes" to continue running scripts on that page, the box closed, and popped up again. I clicked a couple more times, it kept closing and popping back up. I tried clicking "no," instead. Same result. I tried clicking the little "X" in the upper right corner of the box. No difference.

Now, Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has made it so that you can't get off of a page as long as it contains one of those open dialog boxes. I was trapped and helpless on the Windows help page! Because of Windows! Perhaps having used this operating system for more than two years has caused me to develop a certain amount of masochism, because I was finding the irony entertaining.

Realizing that I would be unable to find the information I was seeking at Microsoft, since I would be unable to get past the roadblock of the un-closable dialog box, my goal became simply to escape the page and go to some non-Microsoft Windows help site. But I couldn't get off the page.

I tried moving the dialog box to a point on the page where the button that would close it was directly over a link to another page. I thought that if I clicked fast enough, I could open that link before the dialog box re-opened. Nope. A click of the mouse, or, indeed, even the slightest movement of the cursor, once the dialog box had closed, would bring it popping back, And, of course, nothing on my tool bar would work. Finally, I put the button on the dialog box directly over the "disconnect" button at the lower right corner of my screen. Since I was using Juno's skin of Internet Explorer, I knew from experience that this disconnect button is very sensitive. It worked. I got a disconnect, and was able to confirm it before the dialog box popped open again.

But pop open it did. Now I was at least off-line, but I couldn't close Juno without first closing the dialog box, and I still couldn't close the dialog box. After several attempts to use control-alt-delete, it finally gave me that always-on-top close-program dialog box which allowed me to shut down Juno. Whew!

It has occurred to me that, if I could bill Microsoft for all the time I have wasted diddling about with their lame-assed programs and web site over the last couple of years, I'd be able to buy a Macintosh. I'm sure there are those who would argue that the money would be better spent hiring a hit man to off Mister Bill. I must disagree. I disagree, not because I belive that it is wrong to assassinate a human (and I do believe that it is wrong), but because I belive that Mister Bill is not human at all! To hire a hit on Mister Bill would be a waste of money. He is, in fact, some sort of virtual construct, and, were he to be killed, he would merely pop up again, like one of his damned dialog boxes!

The bright side of this truth about Mister Bill is that, being a Microsoft product, he must constantly be re-installed in the cyborg body which he inhabits. His repeated crashes must ultimately take their toll. No matter how many faulty patches are applied to him, eventually he will break down completely. Already, it is obvious that he has become ever more unwieldy and inefficient, and with each passing day he is less capable of achieving his goal of owning everything. The time cannot be far off when, as do all Microsoft products, he will self-destruct, and go to that big blue-screen in Hell.

In the meantime, it would be nice if Microsoft would do their customers a favor and at least-- at least-- rebuild their web site with an open source system, so people could actually use it!
caillebotte_man at his window

A Brief Real Post, Since the Last One Was Just a Rant

The stormy weather has returned, and the wind in the treetops has often sounded like a jet taking off. Several times tonight, there has been the odd combination of strong wind and fog. The fog swirls about in shreds and tatters, revealing and concealing brief glimpses of trees silhouetted against the dark grey sky. The porches are soaked to the doors. The cats, unable to run off their pent up energy outdoors for three days now have taken to racing up and down the hallway and leaping about on the furniture. I may soon join them. As much as I'm enjoying the rain, I miss my walks. Some clearing is expected by Tuesday night. With enough popcorn, I think I can hold out. I don't think the cats can, though. Every time they see each other, I expect a fight to break out. Poor kitties. They need a drier climate, or a bigger house.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

No Time

The wind blew so hard last night that it took out a 30' stretch of cedar fence along the back of our lot. Just snapped it off and laid it down in the alley. Tall fence, too. A nephew was by to help tack it back up until we can get it replaced. I'm cold and damp and grubby and didn't get enough sleep. The wind has died down, for the time being, but it might be back. I have to shower and nap.