Spam Brownback

I just got spam from Sam Brownback.  Not only is this guy sending unsolicited email, but he sends me some drivel about wanting to overturn Roe vs Wade.  Dude- we’re in a war, with millions of people that are alive being killed, losing their homes, or losing family members every day.  And you want to write about Roe vs Wade?  Get some priorities!

Most Popular Browser from Slashdot?

I was surprised to see that 53.73% of the visitors to this month were using Firefox.  So, I decided to do a comparison between May traffic and June traffic.  The only significant difference is that in June I got slashdotted, and in May I did not.  Here are the % of visitors to during these months using each browser (as measured by Google analytics).

Wow – IE has completely lost the techie crowd.




Internet Explorer



/. slashdotted

 Earlier this month, was referenced in an obscure portion of slashdot for the first time. traffic went up by a factor of 10 on that day (June 4).  Fortunately for me and the other staff here at, we’d prepared in advance for the massive spike in traffic, and no downtime occurred.

Seriously, though, it was nice to see someone found my graphs useful.  It took a fair bit of time to make them!

Vista Is a Noble Step for Microsoft

I bought a new Dell laptop with Vista installed recently.  At first, I really liked Vista.  The graphics look wonderful, and the basic install runs pretty well.  I’ve been looking forward to running it for some time.  But, after having used it for a little while now, I’m not sure what to do.  The problem is that I’m basically faced with the choice to either shell out $200 for another GB of RAM, or to uninstall Vista and go back to XP.

With only 1GB of RAM, the laptop is not usable for much other than web-based applications.  Installing Microsoft Visual Studio (which runs fine on XP with 1GB of RAM) was a pretty bad experience.  First, VS2005 as shipped isn’t compatible with Vista, so you have to download Service Pack 1.  That’s understandable, as not all software can simultaneously be ready for Vista.  Unfortunately, the ‘patch’ is a 420MB download!  It’s so big that IE can’t even download it.  I tried twice with Internet Explorer 7, and both times, it just stopped downloading at about 75% done.  That caused me to install Firefox, which downloaded it successfully on the first try.  Finally able to install, I waited for 2 hours for the installation to finish.  Yes – 2 hours.  Available RAM dropped to zero, and it just swapped its way through the whole install.  Why installing a product requires 1GB of RAM is a mystery.

Further, the security enhancements in Microsoft are a real warning to users to not install software.  Installing any software has challenges of guessing whether you need to “Run As Administrator”, and you can certainly expect at least a few “Cancel or Allow?” dialogs.  Overall, the operating system clearly tells the user “do not install desktop applications on this machine”.

In the end, a 1GB Vista laptop is best for using the web.  You won’t want to run Word on it, much less Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Quicken, etc, because they are quite slow due Vista’s memory management.  Since those don’t run well, you might want to try the apps that do run well…  Oddly enough, those are the web-based apps which Google does reasonably well with.  Thus, Vista is a gift from Microsoft to Google.

It’s good to know that Microsoft is looking out for it’s end users.  Having realized that desktop applications are difficult to install, require significantly more hardware resources, are difficult to administer, and are a frequent cause of malware and viruses, Microsoft has concluded that Google applications are better suited for its users than Microsoft Office is.  This is a indeed a very noble step for Microsoft.  I don’t know of any other company that would voluntarily sacrifice 1/3 of its revenues for its users than Microsoft.