On Computers

One of Those Weeks

Jack ĎdaWabbití Imsdahl, jack@oncomputers.info

7 December 2003

There are a few hazards that come with this job. Principle among these are time pressures and theyíve gotten to us, this week.

At my suggestion; Gail began checking out a web logging application called Radio, put out by a firm called Userland, http://radio.userland.com . After a few minor installation hassles caused by missing DLLs, I followed suit.

(Iím not sure, but Iím beginning to think I need to wipe out my two week old Windows 2000 installation and redo it. This is a bummer on the order of waking up next to John Ashecroft, as far as Iím concerned.)

This one isnít our usual fare. Neither of us blog, though we figured enough of you might have an interest in doing so that investigating applications to manage it might be worth the effort. And this application isnít the freeware Iím so fond of, much less Free Software/Open Source. Itís a proprietary app. Still, it came highly recommended, is used by a number of blogs I read daily and is priced at an affordable $40 (including a year of reasonably extensive hosting service on Userlandís servers). Plus, there is a full-featured demo available for download with a 30 day trial license. A little further on; we planned on testing some free and FS/OS apps to perform the same function. All that for todayís show.

It didnít happen. Life intervened. Gail and Jim have a business and a real life and, to be perfectly frank; I have had absolute hell, lately, fitting work in between my naps. Only a bit more seriously; the software I chose for us to work with is more fully featured and harder to evaluate then we had planned. (I say ďweĒ but the real blame lies with me, here. It was my week to take the lead, so to speak.)

The big problem is that the application in question is a bit complex, performs a function unfamiliar to us and operates in such a way that we felt we had to do a more thorough evaluation of it from the standpoints of  security and usability than we had at first thought necessary. Not that itís bad, mind you. Just that we couldnít check it out well in a hurry. The publisherís efforts and our obligation to you demand more than we could do in the time allotted.

(I know that sounds terribly high and mighty. Excuse that, please. However, it is true.)

Iíll be working again with Radio all week and talking to the publishers, if need be. Itís going to take quite a bit more effort to fairly check it out. Iím tempted to start a blog for real instead of just a ďquickieĒ as a test. Of course, that would bring to light the fact that I havenít got much to say beyond what you already get from me. That hardly seems to stop a lot of other bloggers, though.

Among the diversions of the week were two links which Gari (Koffeebeanz or Javabeanz in our chats) sent to Joe, who then forwarded them to me.

First is http://www.rockymountain.com/ref_startup.htm . This is a list of what you might find starting automatically on your Windows computer, what it is and giving you information to let you decide whether or not you need to deal with it. I found it a handy list, trimming my startup by several entries, using it. All to the good, I might add. (I must note here that unwise editing in the registry and services can affect how the computer performs Ėeven whether it runs at all- adversely.) Be advised; itís a large list and going through it can take some time, even using cut/paste in concert with search functions.

Thank you to Rocky Mountain Software, Inc. for that list. Their entire site seems informative and worth a look, by the way. Thereís a fair amount of useful information on error codes, etc. there. Iíll be going back to digest it more fully, to be sure.

Second is http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm . I found this site just a bit obtuse, but it does contain some information on Windows services of real value in a reasonably clear format. It just took me a couple extra minutes to make it all out, probably because the author refuses to write to the lowest common denominator.


© 2003 Jack Imsdahl

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