Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Monday, March 31, 2008


Since I had only 2 days left to activate Windows, it was decided to call Microsoft and correct the problem. My Vista Ultimate copy is definitely legal and major hardware changes have been experienced. This took an hour or so, but the fellow that helped was articulate and patient. Hopefully, this will be the last time such a procedure is necessary. There are no plans for changes to this PC before Windows 7 appears. Even though the process was long and a lot of time was spent on hold, it was not that bad.

If you need to activate by phone the number is 1-866-740-1256. Suffer through the automated stuff. It doesn't work. You'll need to get someone on the telephone for results.

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use."
~Emily Post

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nice Headset

Finally a headset that is lightweight, has good sound quality and can be used mono or with both ears. My long hunt came to an end yesterday at Best Buy. I've used the Plantronics 480 one evening over Google Talk and am very much impressed. The frequency response is not 20-20K, but suits my needs. The cord is barely 4 feet long which is short. These are intended for laptops and have a nice compact case for transport. Plugging into my Stealth ZBoard gives me plenty of room to move around. If monitoring the phone while working one ear piece can be removed and nicely bundled with the lapel clamp. There's also a USB adapter included. The test last night resulted in excellent mike quality and no fatigue from a binding headpiece. Usually the switches eventually create problems so time will tell. It's so nice to have tunes while working.

Teamspeak has problems. I have the Alienware down for SCSI insertion. Vaguely I remember dropping a Seagate Cheetah drive several months ago and think I've found it. Another drive will be used today and hopefully it will be back on line. Changed the power supply in the Web server last night and my haste has probably ruined a motherboard and God knows what else. Sparks flew and the air had a tinge of carbon burn. Time to shop for new server board, etc. The problems with Teamspeak are about to get on my last nerve so best tread lightly about the subject. Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass if it ever works again. That said, I will bring it back to life for those of you that are patient and nice.

UPDATE: TeamSpeak is back on line. The name now has Dragons plural (the extra s) Your passwords and user names have not changed. Please give time for a defragmentation which is in process. Sign on time will be 1:30PM CDT, Sunday, 3/30/2008.

Time to stop whining and enjoy the music. Rain here so the day will be slow and easy. I need it.

"I have no pleasure in any man who despises music. It is no invention of ours: it is a gift of God. I place it next to theology. Satan hates music: he knows how it drives the evil spirit out of us."
~Martin Luther

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Title at Cybersouth Beach House? Head Bongo Master and Resident Witchdoctor.

There's a minor bitch slap fight going on in the comments. Here are some articles about SCSI technology versus SATA technology.




By no means am I against SATA. There are two SATA drives striped in my gaming machine. But when it comes to small business file servers my money is still on SCSI. The cost difference makes more sense when building a workstation because SATA can be 1/4 the cost of a SCSI. Still, STABILITY and longevity are my desired goals when building servers. In a few years fiber will rule all according to my tech friends. That makes this argument sorta' pointless, ya think?

This fight is stopping. Positives have been made for both technologies. Besides if you look at the label for yesterday's post it didn't say tech help, it said tech help? - please note the question mark. The post was not meant to be taken seriously. It was meant to joke about my embracing SCSI stuff for many years and being old school. Yes, I remember seeing the pterodactyls fly by when installing my first 20mb Western Pacific hard drive. Gates had not even fired a synapse concerning Windows at that time. He would come many years later. Back then you learned about many things technical. Some survived and some didn't. I wish dot matrix printers would go away forever. Still hate them.

Once again this is MY site. It is not a forum. If you do not like what is discussed here go somewhere else. The Possums Haters of America don't visit here. Nor do many bleeding heart liberals. I am not always right and my political correctness is minimal at best. Gosh, start your own blog. Have at it. Now that said, get out and enjoy the day. There's a great world out there filled with many many folks that like to argue. Arguing with me? Hey, don't bring a stick or knife to a gunfight (I am sure this will be taken out of context and not seen as a joke by narrow minded people).


"It just wouldn't be a picnic without the ants."
~David Neal Jennings

Friday, March 28, 2008

Har there Me Matey! You Scurvy or Scuzzy?

There's a list of the top ten obsolete ports at CNet.uk. There's a bruhaha stirring in the comments about them predicting the demise of firewire. Don't think that will happen as long as Apple stays in business. They also predict the death of SCSI. Ridiculous! You might as well predict that Unix will go away. Can we say dumbasses? SCSI (pronounced scuzzy) still offers uber stability, staying power, speed, and wunnerful noises. They sound like jet planes when they wind up from a dead stop. Yes, you do need a witchdoctor when dealing with termination or device IDs, but I happen to know several. As a matter of fact, eye r 1(sic)! It'll take a while to phase out SCSI from the ranks of serving machines and Cnet's link to Infiniband is interesting. Hey, you have to take this article with a grain of salt. It's obvious humor has been attempted...here and at CNet-England. Later.

"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in."
~L. Easley

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Save Third Rock and Dragon Down Temporarily

Are you interested in the Green? No, not Irish green of St. Paddy's day. The environment green, saving energy and the planet, etc. Money green too. Saving energy saves money and all that. Check out the 7 power saving tips at PCMag.com. Anyone using the fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent? They consume much less power and last for a long time. Highly recommend them. These strange, swirly bulbs do not work in staged lighting where you can up the brightness by touching the lamp or turning the switch. They will illuminate, but only on the high setting. Help save the planet. You'll save money too.

One of the Kudzu Dragons, Dragor Rogue, is hospitalized and undergoing tests. Talked to him yesterday and he was having trouble with wifi connections from his room. Going by today to see if I can help. Prayers and well wishes to him and family!

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."
~Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Fast?

Test your Internet connection speed at Speedtest.netHere's a great site if you want to check your net speed. If you are local don't use Owensboro, Ky. Use Atlanta. It's a frequently found path and major launching point for ISPs from this area. Just click on the icon and have fun. Be sure to bookmark it. They even ID your ISP and give you a chance to rate them. Casual surfing my peeps!

“Scientists tell us that the fastest animal on earth, with a top speed of 120 feet per second, is a cow that has been dropped out of a helicopter.”
~Dave Barry

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dog Star Partner

Sirius and XM radio will merge. Read about it at Engadget. I don't subscribe to either, but friends tell me both services are worth the money. If my stereo were a bit more tweaked (have cassette not CD) it might be tempting to try it. Shucks, I want a Harley Sportster which has no radio. Open road and nature sounds seem more soothing. Anyway, this merger looks beneficial to the public. Opinions?

"In college, Yuppies major in business administration. If to meet certain requirements they have to take a liberal arts course, they take Business Poetry."
~Dave Barry

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Celebrate! Be Happy!

Hope you are enjoying Easter. To find out more about this holiday go to ReligionFacts. This is a good day to enjoy family and friends. It's a good day to say prayers of gratitude for the Grace that was given us on this day. Get outside, go on an Easter egg hunt, pray for someone, eat some chocolate or Peeps, and be positive. I thank God for this day of atonement and salvation.

"And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here."
~St Augustine

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Server Stress

Working on a server that has several problems. It has to be back online early Monday. Fragmentation is the worst I've ever seen. Really, it''s a surprise that it even runs. Video is doing strange things and the machine has only PCI slots. The present video adapter is on the mobo and it may have a problem. Out of 9gigs of boot drive space less than a gig is open. Folks, that NOT enough room to build a swap file. The swap file has been doubled and moved to the data drive. It hasn't had the ability to stay running long enough to really find any problems other than those mentioned above. Luckily I have a PCI video card in stock. Remember those jewels? This one is a 3DFX Voodoo 3.

(Later) The video card has been changed. There is some improvement, but it still locks up. Software issue? Yes and over half the RAM is being used at initial start up. Services.msc will be checked. Nobody really cares about all this so I'll stop rambling and go back to work. Cya on Easter!!!

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."
~Clarence W. Hall

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hippity Hop

The beach house possum that visits, on occasion, to terrorize the neighborhood cats and dogs is quiet. After the last round with the fuzzy brown dog Arnold, Opossumus Austriabodicus Germanicus, has not been seen nor heard doing his normal prowl. His extended absence is nothing new. Not to worry though, he'll not go long without creating a ruckus of some sort. German possums are that way you know. Let us hope he does not mess with the Easter Bunny.

It's Good Friday. I hope you have the day off. Today is the day of the Paschal Moon which means Easter will be this Sunday. If you are one of those people that regard Easter as a pagan holiday then may the Good Lord help you. This is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Down through the ages some local customs were incorporated into the celebration. They don't deter the main purpose of the holiday. Somehow I can't picture God looking down from heaven and being upset with children hunting eggs or eating chocolates. Children have a hard enough path in today's life.

"Don't go in there! There's an attack rabbit in there!"
~Monty Python (in that King Arthur like movie)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Answer to an Email

Yesterday a remark was made concerning Arthur C. Clarke's correspondence with C.S. Lewis. He had high praise for Lewis's Ransom Trilogy. He considered it true literature. Well, this needs clarification. During the early 1950s many Science Fiction writers were busy assembling their works into larger volumes by combining their short stories from the pulp fiction magazines that became popular a decade before during World War II. Most of the pulp fiction rags ran stories in a serialized manner.

At this time not a lot of people were writing SciFi in a finalized form. C.S. Lewis, a writer of Protestant Theology, wrote three books of beautiful allegory that centered around extraterrestrial themes and Christianity. It's a different concept, but it works. Mr. Lewis was one of the few of that era that wrote in depth, thought provoking novels in the genre. Since that era many great writers have published awesome pieces of literature. Read Frank Herbert's Dune, Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Asimov's Foundation books, or Larry Niven, Piers Anthony, and many more.

They all gained credentials as great writers very soon AFTER Sir Arthur made the "true literature" remark. So, he was not saying great writers didn't exist in SciFi. He was pushing for publishers to create novels instead of pulp fiction stories. This meant more money in each author's pocket. During that period Clarke published many "Science" books while still writing SciFi in the background. Check his bibliograpphy and you'll see the point. He also started publishing more Science Fiction in novel form. Again, I'll refer to Isaac Asimov's autobiography. His take on this shift in the SciFi scene is far more astute than mine.

Anyway, many people don't care about Science Fiction. But us geeks? We're likin' some SciFi now! Hope this clarifies his timely comment and helps people understand he was certainly not putting anyone down. Enough I say! Maybe tomorrow the possum will be the central theme here at the beach house. Peace out!

"Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sir Arthur, We Will Miss You

Laws of Prediction

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke died today at the age of 90. His close companions thought he was going into the hospital with minor problems that one that age experiences. Complications arose and he left the mortal realm. His 3rd law listed above is one of my all time favorite quotes. He was a wise and strange man. Strange in a good way of course. In October of 1945 he published an article in Wireless World predicting the use of geostationary satellites as telecommunication devices. He wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey which may be his most famous work. The movie is one of my all time top 5 favorites. He was a prolific writer of Science and Science Fiction.

He corresponded with C.S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s. When Lewis passed away Clarke said that his Ransom Trilogy trilogy was one of the few works of Science Fiction that could be considered true literature. I agree. He was long time friends with Isaac Asimov constantly teasing him about visiting at the Clarke estate in Sri Lanka. Asimov suffered from acrophobia (fear of heights) and did not fly. This amusing banter is well documented in Asimov's autobiography. Clarke was knighted in 2000. This past December he sent a video message to his friends telling them good-bye. A futurist and man of predictions until the very end.

His works are vast and recommended. His wide variety of contributions to the world of science have stood the test of time and can be seen in many aspects of everyday life. Just this weekend a conversation was held with Brother Dave about this man's many achievements. If you owned a larger satellite dish in the latter part of the 20th century then you know it was called C-band. The C comes from Clarke. God bless the family and friends.

"For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar."

Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vista Service Pack 1

Several people have asked about Service Pack 1, aka SP1, for Vista. Should they install it or wait? My answer is I don't know. Still trying to overcome an issue about "re-activating" my copy of Vista Ultimate after it ran for over a year is presently the beach house priority concerning Vista. When this is overcome or if I go back to XP then we shall will move along research about Vista SP1. Since a working copy of Vista is needed for service purposes it probably won't be removed. At the same time I absolutely will not bow down and buy another copy. Anyway, Service Pack 1 for Vista has not been downloaded much less installed. So the verdict on SP1 is delayed. There are articles pro and con all over the net. Google and take your pick. Anyone using it? Please let us know.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 17, 2008

You Just Gotta' Love the Green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Ahhhh, a day of festivity that greets us just before Spring. What's not to love? Gosh, get out those Celtic Woman CDs or listen to Van Morrison and love the day. Dye your local river green (they do exactly that in Chicago), cook up a traditional Gaelic dish like Colcannon, visit the local pub and quaff a few beverages, call someone named Murphy to wish them well, and if you are fortunate enough to have an Irish Lass by your side, kiss her like there's no tomorrow! By the way, if you do happen to visit that pub...don't drive drunk!!!!

"Saint Patrick was a gentleman, who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland, here's a drink to his health!
But not too many drinks, lest we lose ourselves and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick, and see them snakes again!"

~Hilton Donald Murphy

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Free Office Suite

Don't have $500.00 to spend for Microsoft Office 2007? How about a free office suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office and many other office suites? For instance, you open and write documents in Microsoft Word format! Sound good? Well you can download it at OpenOffice.org. Please don't expect loads of pretty colors or an automatic dog-walker to be included. This is NOT a Microsoft product. You can expect fully functional applications that rival Word, Excel, etc. It is sponsored by Sun Microsystems and has been available to download for free several years now.

It runs on Windows operating systems, Linux, Mac and others. Tell you what, just click on the OpenOffice link (not the logo, the second link inside the above paragraph) and go read the reviews that can be accessed from that page. The eWeek review is a good one. This suite may be Spartan when it comes to flashing lights, bells and whistles, but it is a really nice bundle of applications. The cost ain't too bad either! Again, it's free! Hope this helps.

"The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. He also accepteth from a grouch."
~Catherine Hall

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Players, coaches and 18,000 fans experienced a few moments of horror last night while watching Mississippi State and Alabama shoot it out in the SEC basketball tournament. A tornado struck the building. Many people thought it was a terrorist attack. So far no fatalities from the Georgia Dome strike, but 2 people have died in the area due to storm related incidents. It certainly won't hurt if you say prayers for these unfortunate families. You can read more about it at AccuWeather. Thanks Sue Ellen for the tip about this weather mayhem. Almost forgot, Mississippi State won 69 to 67 in overtime.

The weather here was intense. The actual storms hit early this morning after a night of on and off drizzle. It's been a while since the lightning and thunder have been that active. For around 45 minutes the beach house was drenched. Most of my day has been spent repairing weather induced problems with a client's network. After dialing into the the network and watching the BBU/AVR (battery back up) unit for 25 minutes, a replacement was acquired locally. When arriving a feint odor of carbon burning was detected in the server area. Even though the unit was ruined it had done a great job. Thank goodness THIS particular client's network has battery back up units on every computer and all network devices. Is your network this power secure? It should be...

"No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place."

~Edna St. Vincent Millay

Friday, March 14, 2008

SLI? Bombdiggity DO!

After almost 2 years trying SLI technology at various stages, it's all good. The latest incarnation poured together absolutely rocks! For a while it didn't seem worth the extra few hundred dollars. Now I know why people like this technology. Awesome rendering. Super fluidity. Fantastic variables. If you are a gamer and don't own an uber machine with this technology, start building a machine in your mind. Hey, it took me 2 years, much research and great advice from folks in the know. These machines have to be maxed-out on autocad units. The PNYs are great cards, but XFX, BFG, EVGA etc., are all good. Two things to remember concerning such a build: power and cooling. Later.

"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream."
~David Neal Jennings

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Approaching Midnight

Still exploring Internet Explorer 8 beta. There are several reviews on the net and can be found by Googling. Too early to make any viable comments, but it looks like Firefox is not in any immediate danger. The speed has increased in IE8. They have made toolbars more flexible. It still feels clumsy and overweight to me. That may change as it is used more often. Remember, this is a beta version.

You might say a prayer for iDarth (Steve) Jobs. Dude is fighting pancreatic cancer. It's true that I don't like him, but I certainly don't want the guy to die. Besides, the fun would be gone in calling someone iDarth. Let's hope he finds remission and recovery. It's late and I have to rest. Later.

"No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Vista Ready? How about Windows Vienna?

Due to debut in late 2009 or early 2010, the latest incarnation of Windows is being inspected by the U.S. government for possible anti-trust violations. Appropriately titled, Windows 7 (code name Vienna) has been submitted by Microsoft to the Technical Committee which is part of the Department of Justice. You can read more at InternetNews.com. Given the bad press that Windows Vista has received could it possible that Microsoft is rushing another operating system to the market to hold off competitors grabbing a more substantial slice of the pie? Hope not. Take all this with a grain of salt, please. Everybody likes to 'dis' Mr. Gates and Company.

If your hardware can stand it, Vista is not a bad operating system. Stay away from the Home Basic version. It sucks. Home Premium and Ultimate are nice operating systems. The built in protection is very good for the average user that thinks updates are a waste of time. I've run Ultimate for over a year. One reinstall was performed last year and it has been trouble free until now. Recently, major hardware changes required another hard drive format and installation. Now I am being nagged about "activation" again. Ridiculous. It's worked for over a year and now they want another activation? Bozo Steve Ballmer has gone a bit overboard with this anti-piracy doo doo. Gosh I hope he retires soon.

This recent rush to Windows 7 is an interesting turn concerning the capitalistic approach. Apple is using better hardware and trying to penetrate the market. They need to stop fooling around with laptops so thin they fit in manila envelopes. While making this ultra thin model they have sacrificed major functionality. There's no DVD drive in the unit! Concentration on reducing retail prices is where Apple, Inc., utterly fails. They have to become price competitive if the desire is to advance in the marketplace. Not bad machines and it's planned to install one at the beach house eventually for service research. I'd NOT give up my PC for one though. The need for up to date technology in their computer line is still lacking. Maybe not two years behind now, but still 1.5 years.

Linux is thriving. There's a study underway at the beach house about server conversion to Ubuntu Server. If this becomes a functional file server then it will find its way into the local area - even further. My experience with Linux has been the various desktop flavors. Still like the KDE interface best, therefore Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu for the desktop. And let us not forget FreeBSD. This is a great OS that has improved down through the years and was so attractive Apple stole it, made it proprietary by performing Apple voodoo on it then calling it OSX. My FreeBSD machine has sat dormant for many months and will be back online in the near future.

Please remember this about operating systems: In the words of Buckaroo Banzai, "Wherever you go, there you are." If you like XP stick with it. If you want to be up to date check your hardware specifications and try Vista. Then there are the alternatives. Or you can wait. Microsoft will bring forth Windows 7 in a timely fashion. That's pretty much a sure bet.

"Technology presumes there's just one right way to do things and there never is..."
~Robert M. Pirsig

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Power and Echoes

Teamspeak is running. During a recent power outage the dynamic protocol reassigned a different address and the firewall would not permit DMZ connection. It has been corrected. Very soon the beach house network will become static and such problems will stop. Plans are made to upgrade to a heavy duty battery backup unit. If anyone wants to contribute, donations will not be refused. Shucks, Ashby donated a whole Alienware server! A good battery backup is sorely needed, but my meager budget has no room for such a purchase, yet.

In the meantime, this service has NEVER cost anyone a red cent and if my admin abilities don't suit you, acquire your own server. Spend the money per month it costs to keep it online. And pay for that extra bandwidth. Time will work out all the problems and a switch to Ventrilo is being considered. If you are online and echo exists have patience and work with everyone to eliminate this annoying problem. Don't get your feelings hurt if you are asked to change settings. K? K. Do I seem irritated? Yes. Will it pass? Yes. Now I must find my flipflops and casual hat. Later.

"Adopt the pace of nature: Her secret is patience."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, March 10, 2008

Patience is a Virtue...So I've Heard

Tip for networkers: Spaces can be used in file paths when running Windows Vista Premium and Ultimate. After several weeks of research this little overlooked item cured a problem with print serving. Thanks out to Mark at Northeast and Kalim at Tristate Insurance for finding the cure. This one was tough. One of my tech friends was amazed and flabbergasted after trying this procedure. He sends apologies for his lack of faith in this discovery.

If you are a member of a network please remember to shut down ALL programs before leaving. This means all utilities and programs not vital to the operating system. Leaving your files open will nullify the chance to back them up. This will be extremely important if you need to restore. And damn it all, don't blame the tech because you were negligent. This does not help matters in any way.

It's been mentioned before, any IT/IS tech type is a walking target. I may give shirts out to all my tech friends with bullseye circles on them. It is so frustrating to contend with the attitude that since the computers are not absolutely perfect we'll lay the blame on our resident tech-type nerdling. That geek is the one that keeps you up and running. Machines are imperfect since they were made by imperfect people. I don't think the only Perfect One to walk the earth has much to do with your computers. Well, I do pray to him a lot about the business. And users. And patience.

"And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?"
~Romans 2:3

Sunday, March 09, 2008

He's Back

Arnold (Opossumus Austriabodicus Germanicus) is back. Turned in early and sleeping soundly when a thump hit the side of the house. Grabbing for my trusty defense mechanism I became more aware and thought, it's probably Arnold. It was. He was going round and round with a small dog and they both ran off when I walked up to scene of the scuffle. The little devils tore my sign up again, but it can be repaired. The dog was a small brown furry critter weighing at a guestimate of 10-15 pounds. Of course Arnold is the size of a small pony and has been mistaken for one.

Several years ago friend cell phoned me from her car and said, "Mike, you have to come out here. Either a large German Shepherd or a small pony just climbed up in the oak tree." After some reassurance she finally got out and then ran for the door. I couldn't keep up. Arnold comes and goes at his possum pace. No, this is not made up. Several people have seen him. Brother Dave from Hurricane Creek saw him attacking the grill on the front porch one night. There's rumors he and a gang of stormtrooper possums stole a Ford Escort for a possum joy ride many years ago. Ahhh youth. Whaddya gonna do?

"Life is too short to sleep on low thread-count sheets."
~Leah Stussy

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Uninstall Internet Explorer? Nay, Nix, No No!!!

Browsers. The way we attach to the internet and move around. How do I do it? Firefox. There's a link to download it in yesterday's post. Also, another browser that is 'related' to Firefox named SeaMonkey is used at the beach house. Both are products of Mozilla.org. Firefox has a clean, organized aura about it. It's easy to use. SeaMonkey reminds me of the original Mozilla project browser. Nostalgia can be good, you know. Both are blazing fast.

Even though it's rarely used, Internet Explorer remains my default browser. Why? Well, Microsoft downloads Windows Updates through Internet Explorer and ONLY through Internet Explorer. DO NOT uninstall Internet Explorer. It is interlaced with Windows and has to remain on board for the operating systems to function properly. The new version 8 is a beta download. It's functioning on this machine. My advice is to wait on the final release. IE8 will be used periodically over the next few weeks - will keep you posted.

Use what you want. It's a free world (sorta') and you have the right to choose any browser. And browse safely. There are many garbageheads (Yahoo, Claria, Tribalfusion, Casalmedia, Doubleclick, etc.) out there promoting spyware and other nefarious junk. They certainly don't give a damn about you or your privacy. So make an effort to stay safe and not let the agents of the Dark One enter into your cyberlife. Later.

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."

~Wayne Dyer