Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Reformers

Have you noticed the reform movement yet?  Tea Party, fiscal conservatism, anti-bullying, the crackdown on illegal hits in professional sports?  Wall Street execs with so many eyes on their business practices and compensation packages.  Health care reform and a reconsideration of how to evaluate teachers.  If this trend continues, 2010 will be known as the start of the modern Reformist Era in the history books...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta - Get it Now

"Hey, did you see you can download Office 2010 for free?" Yeah, I did. It's right here:  It looks great.  A bunch of expensive, free software without the need to jump through hoops or sign your e-mail address away for life.  You can even say you're an "IT Professional" and access the download page that has additional applications and a bunch of "tech-heavy" terms on it.  Looks great.


Can I use that?  The 1990's "NOT!"?  Well, I did; so there.  

Here's the string.  First, it's recommended you uninstall all existing versions of MS Office currently on your computer.  Ok, that's fine.  However, remember that many installations of MS Office allow only a limited quantity of "activations" after install, so if you've recently purchased a new computer and then shortly thereafter upgraded (or tried, but failed to upgrade) to Windows 7, you may be desperately short of additional activations.  Uninstalling might just mean a hassle to re-install later. Keep that in mind.

Second, the Beta software is BETA SOFTWARE.  It's not final.  It has bugs that are known that will not be fixed or supported unless you upgrade to the final software.  It's like buying a BETA car that has lots of engine trouble, but looks great.  Do you want to get it for free now and get stranded on the highway in the snow at 2am, or wait until they work out the engine kinks and then buy it, knowing it will get you home on a cold Buffalo winter night?  

Third, the Beta license runs out in October of 2010.  That's 6 months from now.  Just about the right length to get you hooked, make you forget you have one more activation of Office 2007 left, and want to just pay for the upgrade.

What would I do?  (Like you really care.  You've made up your mind to love or hate my argument above by now.  You're only still reading because you want to make yourself feel like you're open-minded and considering others' opinions.)  Well, I'll tell you what I will do.  I will wait until I can purchase supported, less buggy software.  Then I will evaluate the advantages of the new features of the software and make a purchase decision.  Is the new stuff going to improve my life (or balance sheet) enough to justify the cost?

"Hey, did you see you can download "Turkish Hits Vol. 1" from Amazon for free?"  Yup, I sure did.  It's right here: 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Harry Reid is Not a Racist

"It's a good thing the neighbors who are trying to sell their house painted it a more neutral color. Better chance it will sell now."

Imagine the quote above was uttered by somebody. Think about it. The person making the statement is a simple observer of the real estate market, knowing that a house painted bright, vibrant colors in most neighborhoods would just not sell. Would you imply the speaker above is biased against bright colors in general, or even houses that are painted bright orange?

Now, shift to Senator Harry Reid's recent statements about the color of Barak Obama's skin. There are plenty of sources we could quote to provide you with a little background, but let's just go over the Fox News, shall we?

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued an apology today over private remarks reported in a new book in which he described Barack Obama during the presidential election as a black candidate who would benefit from his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Ok, so what did Harry actually do? I propose he simply commented on the American culture and how Barak would have a chance at winning an election because Americans, on average, are racist toward darker skinned Blacks and people with ethnic dialects. Reid didn't say or do anything that would suggest he himself is a racist.

We have become so sensitized to racism that even neutral observations are construed as racist - especially if one political party or another deems it in its interest to drag someone's name though the mud.

I don't know if Harry Reid is a decent person. I don't care. My point is that his statements recently quoted in the media do NOT prove, or even directly suggest to any intelligent person, he is a racist.

"Hey, look at that bird! Good thing it lost its brown summer feathers and grew in white winter ones."

"You bird racist! Are you saying only white birds should survive the winter?" get my point...I hope.