Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm not trying to beat a dead horse...

Truly I am not. Especially since the horse really isn't dead here. Although Gitmo will likely be closed conditions at Bahgram Airbase in Afghanistan are said to be business as usual (i.e. brutal).

But it is very important to look at the faces of those we unlawfully detained and tortured. It's important to listen to these guys. It is important to learn from this mistake. I am all for getting terrorists. But somewhere along the line here we monumentally fucked up and picked up these guys. And we KEPT them. For YEARS. We also tortured them. Now, one could argue that our torture wasn't as bad as other countries torture. Perhaps so. But it's still torture. And of course, there are those who died while in our custody. Those who committed suicide when they lost all hope of ever being free.

One could argue that there are always innocent casualties in war. One might argue that the ends justified the means. That through this treatment, we managed to keep America safe. But most reports I have read seem to indicate that this isn't the case. Most seasoned interrogators have stated that torture is not effective. So why did we do it? Did we, as a nation, go mad? I think so. And in this blind rage, in this quest to punish we ignored the core of what makes this country truly great. As always, I appreciate your thoughts.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'm gonna write more than a letter...

Like many people I've been keen to upgrade my computer to the shiny new Windows 7 OS. I ran the beta on my laptop for a while at it really is how Vista SHOULD have been. Lot of fixes. Better usability. Clean. I did the install on the laptop without incident, going from Vista to Windows 7 allows for an 'in place' upgrade that keeps programs and files intact. While a clear slate is always best, my laptop wasn't loaded with crap and the results were good.

My desktop however, runs XP. You cannot upgrade XP to Vista. You have to do a clean install and then re-install ALL your programs. For me, thats a LOT of programs. But I was resigned to it. My system has been running slow, giving me plug and play errors. Nothing game stopping, but annoying. But just as I was getting ready to do the deed I came across a program from Laplink that promissed it could actually backup and move my XP programs to Windows 7. I did some research and it looked like a good deal. The software is about $20 or $9 if you download it from I did the backup. Installed Windows 7 (which went quite fast) and then started the unpacking process. Bam! Sorry mate, you don't have enough room. But I'm just moving files around, why do I need gobs of space?

No answer from their website.

Actually, no website.

It seems that my wireless card wasn't working. No internet. Luckily I have my trusty laptop. I won't bore you with the gory research details. Suffice it to say I wasted about 4 hours downloading drivers, updates, software, more drivers. At one point I got my onboard soundcard working. Great! I didn't know it wasn't woking, but okay. (I use USB wireless headphones that bypass the sound card).

Eventually, out of desperation I went back to the Linksys support site. I did searched for Windows 7 info. I looked up my card again and carefully read the FAQ's. Funny thing, there's no info on Windows 7, but there IS info on Vista drivers. I click a link, download a 500k file, use a thumb drive to move it to the desktop system, clicky clicky and guess what... internets.

Really Linksys?

You've known about this OS for about a year, just like everyone else. It's not like it just sprung forth from the sea like Venus on the Half Shell. It's not like this hardware is old or from an obscure maker. It's f*cking Linksys! And you can't bother to build a driver for your product? Or ever put up a LINK to a blurd that sayd 'Hey, Windows 7 users, use there Vista drivers, they're just peachy" ???

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to buy a place ticket, fly to California to their corporate headquarters, wait patiently in the waiting roon and then, upon meeting the person responsible for not getting this driver in place, punch them squarely in the balls.


Now that I've got my internets back I will call the Laplink people tomorrow to see if indeed I can do this in place upgrade. Computers... indestinguishable from evil pixies.

Happy Halloween all!