TCF 2009 / InfraRed, part 2

Last weekend was the Trenton Computer Fair (with its 4th annual IT Conference on the Friday before). In short, the weekend summarized to ‘feh.’

Quick summary by points:

– IT conference was cool, just like last year. Wish I could have stayed longer, but despite leaving ‘work’ early (to drive down in time) I just could not stay the entire time like last year. This may have been in part due to being careful with caffeine and other stimulants over the weekend. [Note to self – bring a bag lunch for Friday from now on.]

– The storied ‘flea market’ of past years has now officially fizzled; It was easily 1/10th its former glory, probably smaller. I almost left right then, in utter disgust, but still wanted to listen to some of the seminars.

– First seminar was regarding the use of virtual worlds by those with disabilities. It was very cool, and I got a laugh out of the opening statement by the presenter: “When I held this in Cali, there were 200 people in attendance.” At the time I was the only one there, and my response: “You’re too far away from the NYC Metro area, which would have generated more interest.” Others did walk in eventually, and as I had more experience in SL than the presenter did, I ended up (again) fielding questions from the other attendees. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to create something that can be printed and handed out when I go to things like this…

– The other presentation was ‘Should You Upgrade to Windows 7?’ And the answer was a firm ‘maybe.’ The number one reasons were ‘more secure’ and ‘the Vista/7 core is more refined for stability and speed now.’ One great note was: “The number one reason Vista did not do well initially was the total lack of driver support – both 32 and 64 bit.” I had to agree with that, as I remember quite well the big uproar when XP was coming out – the drivers were going from 16 to 32 bit, so everything needed a re-write. The same has to occur here (in the name of security), but it was not communicated well (and I think M$ has started to learn about doing this correctly now, as people really *are* voting with their wallets this time).

Anyway, I did not need convincing, but it was good to hear the arguments and be reminded of Windows’ history; We (the PC world) have grown complacent overall, and things like Conficker are the current results of that. I really think Jobs/Apple has the opportunity of a lifetime to gain market share, by releasing OS X for ‘normal’ PCs this year. Too bad it won’t happen (and yes, I’ve heard of ways to get around the problem – that’s for another post).


And that, in short, was TCF. The most annoying thing about the weekend was a complete lack of IrDA adapters anywhere (and, again, a number of people had no clue what I was talking about). So I gave up a few hours ago, fired up Amazon, and got an adapter that was reported as working great with my F55 (not Polar’s, since it cost 3x more than this one). If it works, I’ll get another as a spare. And I still need to get Windows re-installed on the Sager, but I’ve discovered the pains of using a 4800 RPM notebook disk…


Much Fun /w Upgrades…

Lots of things in the last couple days:

-> Upgrade both my sites to WP 1.6.1; Unfortunately that also required I switch off of Fantastico and onto something called ‘Simple Scripts,’ but the interface does not look *too* bad and I guess I’ll just have to watch and see…

-> The two notebooks had their HDDs swapped. Now the HP has the Sager’s 7200 RPM disk, which makes it much snappier but also quite a bit hotter (I still have a 40 gig lying around from the Slug that, if faster than 4800 rpm, may become the ‘final’ disk here). The other downside was that I cannot find the HP notebook’s XP media disk. So…

-> The HP now is running Debian. Also, very good response, snappy boot time, and looking good – other than wireless (WTF is Etch doing on 2.6.18 still?). *sigh* I downloaded the ‘lenny’ netinstall ISO and will try that next.

-> The Sager is pretty much a write-off at this point, due to a combo of its weight and the lack of a even-close-to-modern video card. Again, I’m willing to part it out, for anyone interested, or sell the unit as a whole. It *will* play Uru TPOTS/CC just fine. It just barely (today) will do SL, but it should be OK with as well.