Monday, July 25, 2011

The Plane Crash...

A large jet plane crashed on a farm in the middle of rural Kentucky. Panic stricken, the local sheriff mobilized and descended on the farm in force. By the time they got there, the aircraft was totally destroyed with only a burned hull left smoldering in a tree line that bordered the farm. The sheriff and his men entered the smoking mess but could find no remains of anyone.

They spotted the farmer plowing a field not too far away as if nothing had happened. They hurried over to the man's tractor.

"Hank," the sheriff yelled, panting and out of breath. "Did you see this terrible accident happen?"

"Yep. Sure did," the farmer mumbled unconcerned, cutting off the tractor's engine.

"Do you realize that is Air Force One the airplane of the President of the United States ?"


"Were there any survivors?"

"Nope. They's all kilt straight out," the farmer answered. "I done buried them all myself. Took me most of the morning."

"President Obama is dead?" the sheriff asked.

"Well," the farmer grumbled, restarting his tractor. "He kept a-saying he wasn't. But you know how bad that sumbitch lies..."

Famous Last Words...

Each of these is allegedly the last thing someone said before they died.  I couldn't verify them all, but I did pick three out randomly and found references to them (in one case, the reference was to a death in a movie, though)...
** It's fireproof.

** He's probably just hibernating.

** What does this button do?

** It's probably just a rash.

** Are you sure the power is off?

** The odds of that happening have to be a million to one!

** Pull the pin and count to what?

** Which wire was I supposed to cut?

** I wonder where the mother bear is.

** I've seen this done on TV.

** These are the good kind of mushrooms.

** I'll hold it and you light the fuse.

** Let it down slowly.

** It's strong enough for both of us.

** This doesn't taste right.

** I can make this light before it changes.

** Nice doggie.

** I can do that with my eyes closed.

** I've done this before.

** What duck?

** Well, we've made it this far.

** That's odd.

** Don't be so superstitious.

** Now watch this.

Mongols in Jamul Update...

Nothing to say, really.  There were no incidents that I've heard of.  Debbie reports that late yesterday evening the law enforcement presence was no longer in evidence – hopefully that means the Mongols have all gone back to wherever they came from.

If you have any news of Mongol activity in Jamul, please drop me a line...

Mac vs. Windows...

Many McDonald's now have free WiFi, so anyone with a laptop, iPad, etc. can connect to the Internet while they're waiting or eating.  The free WiFi service has directions – click to enlarge them in the photo at right.

The directions for Macs are ridiculously simple: basicly (a) turn on your computer, and (b) pick the McDonald's WiFi network.  For Windows, on the other hand...

Four years ago, at the end of the day I started working for ServiceNow, I brought home the shiny new Mac PowerBook that they issued me.  I hadn't used a Mac before, so I was anticipating a complicated effort to get the Mac connected to my WiFi at home.  I even had a plan: I'd get on the Internet with my Windows desktop first, then start Googling when I ran into issues.  Note the assumption: based on all my experience with Windows, I expected to run into issues.

Instead, here's what happened:  I opened and powered up my PowerBook.  After logging into it, I got a polite message saying that it had detected my network at home, and would I like to connect?  I say “yes”, of course.  Then it came up with another message saying that it had detected that my network was secured, and would I please tell it the key?  I entered the key, and then I was connected.  Just like that!  Even better: now when I come home at night, I just turn on my PowerBook and I'm connected, no muss, no fuss.  Furthermore, this nifty little feature remembers every WiFi network I've ever been connected to, automagically reconnects all by it's lonesome.  It's so freakin' easy compared with Windows!

There are lots of complicated reasons why Macs are easier to use, and there are lots of things that Windows does better than a Mac. 

First and foremost amongst what Macs do better: a controlled hardware platform.  All Macs, because they're all made by Apple, have a known and controllable hardware kit.  This makes it far easier for Apple to do things like the WiFi magic described above. 

First and foremost amongst what Windows machines do better: competition.  Windows laptops, perfectly good ones, can be had for about half the price of a Mac laptop – that's competition at work.

It used to be true that there was a far wider variety of software available for Windows computers.  This gap has been narrowed considerably by the advent of free open source software, and eliminated completely by the fact that modern Mac machines can all run Windows software directly (on Windows itself in a virtual machine running on OS/X).

So it all boils down to a personal decision about what's important to you.  My own decision: I'm never buying another Windows machine for my own personal use, period.  I'll buy Macs, their competition if it ever comes out, and Linux machines.  I've used Windows machines for over 20 years, and Macs for 4 years, and there's no doubt at all that I'm more productive, and happier, with a Mac.  Enough so that I'll gladly pay the price premium...