Technical News and Notes

My friend Oliver casts aspersions on me whenever this website turns overly geeky (or ginky, as my friend Catherine would say). So I will be quick. I’ve upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows 2000; early results are promising. Windows 98 needed about 5 reboots a day; so far I haven’t had to reboot Windows 2000 once in a week. There was some early weirdness caused by an old Contour Design mouse driver hanging about, but I’ve switch to a PS/2 mouse, and everything’s purring along fine now. Speaking of Contour Design, they make the best CSI-deying computer mouse I’ve found yet; they come in several sizes, and in right- and left-handed models. They’re about $90US, but worth it. If you ever have need to convert from, say, Microsoft SQL server to Sybase ASE (or Oracle, or DB2), you can’t go wrong with DBArtisan from Embarcadero. It’s expensive, but boy does it save a lot of time when you’re doing database migration. We’ve had a Siemens Gigaset 2420 wireless telephone system for almost 9 months now; we had to have a couple of handsets replaced initially because of freaky digital interference, but since then the system’s been a dream. Two lines, 4 cordless handsets, digital answering system, intercom, etc. Only downside is that it’s range is pretty well in-the-house. Recent technical support experiences: Microsoft (excellent and free, which is very unusual), Dell (horrible and free, which is also unusual; tried to get hard disk specs on an existing system; they could figure out whether it was a sales or technical support issue); Purity Dairy (excellent as usual; called from the milk aisle at Sobey’s wondering if 3.25% = homo milk). Okay, that’s it. Cast your aspersions.