Thomas Jefferson and the Open Source Movement

Thomas Jefferson, believe it or not, wrote one of the most compelling arguments in support of the principles of the Open Source movement over two hundred years ago.  He wrote:
 
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces ...
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Why You Hate Your Computer

Before I offer my opinion, I am going to offer some confessions first.  I love computers, and spend a lot of my free time messing around and playing with them.  I start my morning in front of my laptop, coffee at the ready, checking e-mail and browsing the Internet groups that I read and contribute to.  (Dangling participle – and I don’t care.)  I work in computer support and web design, so I spend all day ...

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Recovering Data from a Corrupted Hard Drive

I got lucky yesterday. A client of mine was unable to boot her laptop, and it sounded like the drive was starting to die. I pulled the drive from the laptop and mounted it into an external USB drive enclosure, hoping I would be able to save her data. The computer I attached the USB drive to saw the hard drive, but when I clicked on the drive icon in Windows Explorer, I received an error. The ...

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Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007

I attended the Windows Vista Launch event in Minneapolis on Thursday February 1.  I was impressed with both the new look of Windows Vista, and the features of the Microsoft Office 2007 productivity suite.  Here are my recommendations.
 
Windows Vista – take your time.  The machines that they were demonstrating Vista on reportedly had 4 gigabyte of RAM installed.  My grandma would look fast with 4 gig of Ram installed.  This made the operating system appear must quicker and crisper that ...
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Computer Security for 2007

I thought I might write an article about computers for a change.

The first observation is that the nature of computer security has changed. 

I do very little work in the area of computer virus and spyware remediation any more.  I believe the reasons are these:

  • Most people are using a good Internet Security Suite type of product, are keeping up with their updates, and allowing these programs to run periodic scans.  The anti-virus vendors have ...
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The Value Proposition – Part Two

I have some additional thoughts on my last post.  Here is why the "pick any two" mentality is doomed.
 
Firstly, the main reason a company needs to deliver all three components of the Service – Price – Quality triad is this:  You never can know which two the customer is choosing, if they are not really choosing all three.  If you don’t deliver on all three, you automatically reduce your market.
 
Let’s say your company is delivering Service and Quality, ...
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St Paul cop maces, beats deaf man

 
Doug Bahl is my son’s ASL instructor at St Paul Technical College, and a well known deaf activist.  The young police officer had only a year with the department.  There seem to be radically different stories from each side, and Internal Affairs is investigating.
 
I tend to support law enforcement, and my brother in law is a Sherriff’s Deputy.  But this seems like the cop was just a little ...
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Why You Need To Know How To Use A Computer

Ok – apologies in advance, this will be a rant.
 
My pet peave as an IT consultant, computer support professional, and computer instructor is this:
 
I meet people every day who seem to think that it is ok to be computer ignorant or illiterate.  Here’s the deal – you will become skilled at using a computer and understanding some fundamentals about how they work, or you will be replaced in the marketplace by younger and more nimble workers who are.  ...
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