Triumph Of The Nerds Gift Box Set

There should be an image here!It happened more or less by accident; the people who made it happen were amateurs, and for the most part they still are.

From his own Silicon Valley garage, author Bob Cringley puts PC bigshots and nerds on the spot and tells their incredible true stories. Like the industry itself, the series is informative, funny, and brash.

Some of the episode participants include: Bill Gates (Chairman of Microsoft, the richest man in the world), Steve Jobs (Hippie co-founder of Apple Computer, CEO of NeXT Computer, and the man who wanted to change the world), and Steve Wozniak (Co-founder of Apple Computer, engineering genius, practical joker).

Get the Triumph Of The Nerds Gift Box Set from Amazon for $49.95 with free shipping!

Microsoft Wins Deal To Install Crapware On HP Computers

Just when you thought we would be getting away from more ‘crapware’ on new computers, Microsoft and HP strike up a deal to install more gunk. Microsoft has announced that HP computers will come with Microsoft Live Search Toolbar which will take advantage of Microsoft’s wonderful new Silverlight technology.

According to this press release which states:

 Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has won a key distribution deal with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search-enabled toolbar on all HP consumer PCs planned to ship in the United States and Canada, beginning in January 2009. As part of this deal, the default search engine setting in the browser on all HP consumer PCs will also be set to Microsoft Live Search.

“This agreement with HP is a strategic indicator of our increased focus on securing broad-scale distribution for Live Search,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “This is the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that Microsoft has ever done, and we are very pleased to be partnering with HP to help bring Live Search to millions of consumers across North America.”

Microsoft is building a custom, Live Search-enabled toolbar for HP customers that takes advantage of the exceptional user experience capabilities of Microsoft Silverlight. The toolbar will provide HP with customization capabilities within the buttons on the toolbar, providing quick and easy access to a variety of online services and tools, such as Snapfish by HP, the company’s online photo service, and HP customer support.

The PR goes on to use words like ‘user friendly’, customizable’,  ‘favorite online services’ and the best one of  ‘Microsoft shares HP’s passion’ .

Which translates into something that the average consumer may not want nor need.

I’m sure Google will be taking a close look at this. It smells of the old Microsoft prior to the DOJ fiasco.

And you thought Bill Gates was really going to be gone! :-)

Comments welcome.


Bill Gates: Google Doesn't Understand Business Needs

Bill Gates seems to feel that Google doesn’t get it when it comes to the needs of business. Slamming Google Apps, the once head of the Microsoft empire stated that:

“In terms of Google, not to overstate it, but they really don’t understand the special needs of business. Today, their economic model is based on consumer search. They have done an incredible job there and obviously we’re investing in challenging them in that space …

“If you’ve seen … the Google tools that have tried to do productivity type things, they really don’t have the richness the responsiveness. You can see that relative [to] the success they have had there. Most of these Google products, to be frank, the day they announce them is their best day and then after that ….”

He also stated that whether Microsoft gets Yahoo! or not, it is ready to challenge the search field on the Internet. Interesting points. But will Microsoft really be able to challenge Google? Time will tell.

Comments welcome.

Complete article is located here.

Microsoft Vista Sales – Up or Down – You Decide

This morning I read that Bill Gates made at statement at CES [Consumer Electronics Show] in Las Vegas that Windows Vista has already sold 100 million copies. The reference was that this was 10% more than Windows XP had sold during it’s original first year launch. At first glance one would conclude that Windows Vista is a huge success and is garnering a huge market share. But is it really? Or are these numbers misleading?

Well according to one article that I read here this number can be interrupted another way.

According to Gartner however, worldwide shipments of PCs have almost doubled from 132.4 million units back in 2002 – where Windows XP was launched, to 255.7 million units last year.

So in theory that would mean that Windows XP had actually garnered about 67% of the new PC market when it was released whereas Windows Vista has only come up with about 39% of the new PC market.

So what do you think? Should we be amazed at this or should we even care?

Commenst welcome.

[tags]ces, bill gates, microsoft, windows, vista, xp, sales, figures,  [/tags]

Are You an Electronics Junkie?

While we are all aware that substances like drugs, alcohol and gambling have a terrible grip on many people did you realize that many more of us are addicted to television and the Internet? Of course, you may then ask yourself how you can possibly hope to keep up with the current trends and the latest gossip if you are not connected to these devices. After all it is fun to keep up with the misery of Hollywood celebrities, as well as, the rich and famous.

To determine if you are an electronics junkie, aka addict, ask yourself how many times you check your email a day. Be truthful.  If you said more than twice then you qualify as a legitimate Internet junkie. However, if you said only once a day or not at all then you classify as a redneck or illiterate so you can see it is a very fine line.

If you have decided that you would be classified as an addict then ask yourself why you would need to get information more often than once a day.

Now let’s look at television. There should be a law against 24-hour television as it not only keeps people from going to sleep at a reasonable time at night but also uses electricity that especially in California is a precious commodity. After all, when I was a kid they only had three network channels and PBC which mostly came in looking like they were being filmed in the middle of a snowstorm. Since that was the case watching television was a rarity not an hour by hour occurrence. Of course, during those years the FCC only allowed programming to be broadcast between the hours of 6am and midnight and if you think about it that more than enough television for anyone.

That brings up another question. Who lobbied to get the FCC to change their criteria? Or should I say who paid them off so that we would be infiltrated by 24/7 programs that include nightly non-stop infomercials and televangelist broadcasts?  Between the two, Americans are being hit up for and taken for more cash than they could lose in a gambling casino. Maybe the infernal begging and selling would end if America’s insomniacs joined together to file a class action suit against the networks doing the broadcasting. Another, possible positive side effect of this suit would be that many insomniacs might find that they are cured when they have no noise invading their eardrums or lights flickering to distract them from sleep. 

Then while we are at it maybe we could think about suing Bill Gates for carpal tunnel syndrome which can be caused by the constant emails, texting, and mouse clicks that his windows program requires.

So, give the stars in Hollywood a break, turn off your televisions, and shut off your computer and maybe, just maybe, you will be able to overcome your electronics addiction.

[tags]electronics, junkie, addict, television, Internet, computer, Bill Gates, windows, carpal tunnel, insomnia,televangelists, infomercials, tv broadcasts[/tags]

Bill Gates – Love Him Or Hate Him

I just got finished reading the June 25, 2007 issue of InformationWeek which included two articles about Bill Gates, “The Legacy Of Bill Gates”. One article written by John Foley is titled “Titan” and the other written by John Soat is titled “Tryant”. What was interesting about both the articles was that are indepth studies of the man and his company, and the role Microsoft has played shaping technology for the past twenty-five years.

There was one quote in the “Tryant’ article that seemed to me to fit Mr. Gates and others like him. The article states:

There are parallels in American culture. In her popular and still well-regarded 1904 book, The History Of The Standard Oil Company, muckraking journalist Ida Tarbell wrote: “I never had an animus against their size and wealth, never objected to their corporate form. I was willing that they should combine and grow as big and wealthy as they could, but only by legitimate means. They had never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me.”

That one word, ‘legitimate’ says it all. It is sad to say that the legacy of Bill Gates and his company may only conger up memories of the bad and not of the good. No matter how much money the Gates Foundation distributes, or how worthy the cause, there will always be the stigma of how some of the money was obtained.

If you haven’t read the article, I would highly recommend that you take the time to do so.

Full article here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]bill gates, informationweek, microsoft, legacy, [/tags]

New Linux Version – Open Letter To Bill Gates And Microsoft

” Dear Bill and the boys & girls at Microsoft,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be introducing a new version of Linux that I will be calling RonLinuxOS1.0 and that I will be distributing it for free to the entire world. My target release date is June 29, 2007. I know that is when Apple just happens to be releasing their new iPhone. But let me assure you that this is just a coincidence. No harm, no foul.

I have already signed up one pizza joint and one laundromat, that will be using my distribution, which should just go to show you how fast my release is taking off. I already have stamped out 5 billion CDs of my distribution and currently have them stuffed into mailers ready to be distributed for free.

My Linux distribution will only include free open source products and will be totally void of any and all Microsoft products. My distribution will also violate all 235 of your patents. But I have checked with my cousin Ralph who has almost passed his bar exam for becoming a lawyer and he has informed me “why worry?” That I have “nothing to fear but fear itself”, which sounds vaguely familiar to me.

So here is the bottom line Bill. For a few million bucks I will be happy to drop my distro. completely. Heck, I’ll even send you a free CD for you and the misses to play with. I accept cash, credit cards, bottle caps, baseball cards, anything of value in exchange for keeping my version out of the hands of the millions of folks who are waiting its release.

To keep this transaction above board please contact my cousin Ralph so a deal can be negotiated. He can be reached at:

Mr. Ralph , #1162763, C/O of San Quentin Prison, Cell Block C, San Quentin, CA., 94964


PS This is for humor only and should not be taken seriously. :-)
[tags]microsoft, bill gates, linux, distribution, [/tags]

"Is There An OSes For Dummies Book?"

Gnomie Jim Varnado of Tripower Software writes:

Chris, What in the hell is going on?

Way back in 1988 I had a career decision to make whether to become a QuickBASIC 4.5 programmer or a C programmer… an article in Byte magazine by Jerry Pournelle helped in my decision to become a QuickBASIC programmer…

Okay… then came Visual Basic 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and then came .NET… also there was Windows 95, 95 SE, Win Me, Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP, and now Vista. With Vista being a gigantic leap backwards… (Bill Gates has a picture of Henry Ford hanging in his office as an example of failure. Perhaps Vista will be the triggering mechanism for someone to hang a picture of Bill Gates as an example of failure.)

And now we also have the modern mix of “cross-platform” languages… HTML, Java, Pearl, PHP, VB script, dog bones, skunk oil, and tree sap.

And with all of this wasted motion, avalanches, and tidal waves of money, and these decades of learning curves, open wallets, and wheel spin, there seems to be a pseudo-conspiracy to cloud and confuse every programming issue, every venue, and every decision as much as possible rather than as ‘little’ as possible.

So with Windows, OS X, Linux, Red Hat, Slax(?), and various ‘OSes on a stick’… which way to go?

What would be really fantastic is an article that answers very basic questions…

  1. What is the basic fundamental differences between the various available OSes?
  2. Will my Windows applications, such as Word, Excel, and other executable applications run on xx?
  3. Will my programming languages, such as VB 6, Help Studio, and InstallShield run on xx?
  4. Can I write and compile .exe files that run on Windows and xx?
  5. If xx won’t run Windows executables, are there justifiable reasons to switch anyway?
  6. In what other languages could I write my Tripower program?
  7. How much does it cost to replace applications, such as Word or Excel, in other OSes?
  8. Is there an “OSes for Dummies” book?
  9. How can the research and decision making process be as simplified as reasonably possible?
  10. Was there a reason Bill Gates bailed out of Microsoft?
  11. Will Web 2 applications take over current desktop applications?
  12. Is Web 2 the new standard or will it be just a supplement?
  13. What in the hell is going on?

At my age, I figure that I’ve got time for one more good solid programming language learning curve. Had I bought Microsoft Assembly 5.0 back in 1988, at least 90% of everything I would have learned and done would still be functional and valid today… is there a modern equivalent of the old Assembly language?

[tags]Microsoft Assembly 5.0, cross platform, Bill Gates, Microsoft, program, OS[/tags]

Did Anyone See "Pirates Of Silicon Valley" Besides Me?

This morning I read an article about Steve Ballmer of Microsoft fame who, while addressing a group of Standford business students, stated that, in his opinion, Google’s growth is too fast and that “that’s insane in [his] opinion.”

His statement reminded me of the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. Has anyone besides me seen this TNT made-for-TV movie released back in the summer of 1999 or thereabouts? Most people I ask give me the deer in the headlights look.

The movie starred Noah Wyle, of ER fame, who played Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple computers, and Michael Hall, who starred as Bill Gates of Microsoft. So as not to make this a review of the movie itself, and by adding some facts and speculation from other sources from the Internet, these are just some of the basics of what happened during the early years of the development of the PC and why the term ‘pirates’ was used as part of the title of the movie.

Steve and company had the Apple, Macintosh, and Lisa computers during this early time frame and the people at IBM wanted to introduce their own brand of computer that they dubbed the Personal Computer (PC) . But there was one minor problem. Big Blue didn’t have an operating system so the folks from IBM approached Bill and his tribe at Microsoft seeking OS guidance, and Bill in turn sent IBM off to talk to a nerd that had an OS, but because IBM insisted on an NDR, the nerd balked at the deal and IBM was forced to return to Microsoft.

Bill knew of another company in the Seattle area that had an OS that he believed he could buy, so he told IBM not to worry because Microsoft had one for him. While this wasn’t actually true, the brilliant Gates went out and bought the OS from this company that didn’t have a clue to its potential value for a mere $50,000 and used the “buy now, pay later” scheme. However, his strategy didn’t end there as, instead of selling it to IBM, he licensed it to the company, retaining the rights and calling it Microsoft DOS. Gates is brilliant.

Meanwhile, in the movie, the fellow who plays Ballmer must have been a cast off of an old Ronald McDonald commercial, because, after his meeting with IBM, Ballmer asks Bill, “Can we do that, heh? Bill, can we, can we?” which most closely reminds one of George (Gates) and Lenny (Ballmer), the characters from Mice and Men.

Oh, but the plot thickens. Bill then pretends to befriend Steve all the while trying to steal the ‘secret sauce’ held in the Apple tower called Lisa. But Steve isn’t buying it. Steve even tells Bill about the Lisa computer he has which is going to make Bill’s DOS look like child’s play. Bill starts to salivate, but he is hampered by Ballmer and groupies pulling on his shirt tails, resulting in his banishing them from the Apple building so he can discuss the matter with Steve in private. Though we never get to be privy to the conversation, Bill emerges from Apple telling his boys that Steve is giving him five Lisa prototypes to play with. Bad move, Steve.

The next thing we know we are zoomed back over to Steve, at an Apple gathering, with Bill as the invited guest speaker. Bill, wearing an Apple sweater, is making a speech to the crowd, while behind the stage one of Steve’s employees is showing him a clone that looks a lot like Lisa using a program they call Windows. Could it be that Bill has borrowed some of the ideas that Apple has invented? Or is this just a coincidence? :-) As Bill exits stage right, he is shown the clone, takes off his Apple sweater, and utters some forgettable lines as he exits the scene.

So what is my point? It was Bill Gates who did the best negotiating, developed the concept of licensing, and basically was the brains of the operation. So when I hear Ballmer making sounds against Linux or talking to students about Google, I would like to point out to him that just because you hang out with a brilliant man doesn’t mean you are brilliant!

End of rant.

What do you think? Comments welcome.

[tags]microsoft, apple, computers, bill gates, steve ballmer, steve jobs[/tags]

My 2007 Technology Predictions – Sure Things… Maybe!

As I surf around the Internet, I notice that everyone has some kind of predictions to make for the year 2007. So I figured, heh, why not? I can make some predictions. I just got my crystal ball out of the repair shop and sat down to see what was up.

The Dell Dude (you know the guy who said ‘Dude, you’re a getting Dell’) won’t be coming back anytime soon. I think he is still in rehab.

Microsoft will really release Vista on January 30, 2007.

Apple vs. PC commercials will end. The PC guy tells the Apple guy that for the price of a Mac – he could have bought two Dells. Apple guy commits suicide, though this episode never gets aired on TV.

Intel introduces a Dual x Quad processor with eight processors on a single chip. A Maytag freezer is a standard accessory to keep the chip cool. The public is in shock and awe because it hasn’t a clue what this means and is still struggling with 1080i.

Dell will promise to have at least 10% of its techs speaking English by year’s end.

Google will buy a bunch of companies and come out with a bunch of new products. Gee, that’s a no brainer.

Microsoft will announce that it is working on the next generation of Windows which will be better, faster, leaner, and meaner than any Windows that has gone before. And it will have some cool code name for it. Like Titan.

Google will continue to embrace Linux and threaten to come out with a Google OS. Google stock will rise even higher than the highest anyone thought it could. Now that’s high!

Cell phones will continue to drop calls no matter how many times we say ‘can you hear me now?’

My wife’s second cousin will discover that the Gates who is trying to get the situation in Iraq straightened out is ROBERT Gates, not Bill Gates. When he said that Bill Gates was working out the problems in Iraq, I heard dueling banjos in the background. :-)

Have a nice holiday.

PS: Don’t take my predictions too seriously. I have been known to be wrong once or twice.

[tags]2007, predictions, dell, google, microsoft, intel, linux, robert gates, bill gates[/tags]

Meeting Bill Gates

Like I mentioned yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Bill Gates today. It was at a private function on Microsoft’s campus. Only a select range of influencers were invited to come:

  • Evan Williams (Obvious)
  • Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo)
  • Kelly Goto (Goto Media)
  • Liz Gannes (GigaOm)
  • Mike Arrington (TechCrunch)
  • Molly Holzschlag (
  • Niall Kennedy (
  • Rael Dornfest (Values of N)
  • Ryan Freitas (Adaptive Path)
  • Ryan Stewart (Digital Back Country)
  • Shaun Inman (
  • Steve Rubel (Micropersuasion)
  • Tantek Celik (Technorati)

My good friend, and Gnomedex 5.0 alumnus, Frank Barnako weighed in on his CBS Marketwatch blog (as an event outsider, looking in):

The fact that these savvy folks, like Pirillo and Zawodny and Blogger-founder Evan Williams, are there suggests that Microsoft wants to know what they know about what’s coming next in content. These folks talk with a lot of other bloggers and podcasters and could be a great help to Microsoft in anticipating the kinds of things content producers might want to be doing, like easily including video in blogs or Web links in podcast files.

Indeed, we were there to hear more about the direction Microsoft is taking with their Mix 06 conference. Steve liveblogged it. I’m the one who asked Mr. Gates what he wanted to be when he grew up, and as transcribed by Mr. Rubel, Bill responded:

A lawyer. I admired the work that (my father) did. When I got enthralled with math, I thought I would go into mathematics. Then computers came along. I became confused but eventually, it all became crystal clear in my freshman year. I also thought about being an economist.

It was surreal to see Bill sitting directly across the table from me – less than five feet. Moreover, I’m pretty sure he knew who I was – which is precisely what I promised myself would “be” after the first time we were in close proximity to one another (that the next time, he’d know who I was). His answer could have been anything, as my question was relatively inconsequential. It’s that I was able to ask it, and then (not long after) have a group photo taken with him. He sat directly next to me and I told him that we used UMPCs at my wedding this weekend. He seemed impressed.

I’m sure our paths will cross again one day. I doubt Bill Gates is going to call me up, personally – but you never really know. Until then, I’ll remain a regular ol’ geek who no longer lives in Iowa (and I vehemently disapprove of my former state’s class-action lawsuit against Microsoft).

[tags]bill gates, microsoft, geek[/tags]

The Future Of Open Source

I haven’t forgotten about Freeware Friday, honest! I’ve just been busy with “everything” lately, including my upcoming nuptuals – as well as a move across town. That doesn’t make me any less of a Windows fanatic. Long-time Lockergnomie Stu Kopelman wrote in regarding the recent Microsoft assimilation of Winternals. If you’re not familiar with Winternals, you might try grabbing the free Sysinternals Suite before reading Stu’s response:

Although I have never been one to quibble about someone else’s earnings, it would seem sad that what was once free, might not be in the future – even though Microsoft is the richest business in the world and Bill Gates doesn’t even know what to do with his money except give it away. Not that he is not doing it for the best possible cause – the cause of humanity, but it seems that once more the very financially-limited, loyal Microsoft customers are the ones who will be most hard-pressed to enjoy the small luxury they possess presently… a few free utilities created by a few generous people. I do hope Microsoft will show the human element that is greater than for-profit, and do for their paying customers what they have given away to their non-paying customers.

It almost seems visible to the world that Microsoft relishes in the power they enjoy by tightening the clamp around those who love their products but who barely are able to put milk and bread on their dinner tables.

It is out of hard work and great kindness that Open Source has been thriving, and it is out of compassion for the hardships I mentioned that these geniuses have given so much of their expertise and time. I for one acknowledge their talent and dreams, and want to publically thank them. That said, I hope that the already rich and famous will concentrate their efforts on need and not surplus, not giving out of their abundance, but out of true sacrifice.

And speaking of “Open Source,” Lockergnome is going to be starting its own Open Source project very soon – and we’re looking for PHP developers, Web designers, and MySQL gurus. More on that very soon, my friends.

I’m here to stay.

[tags]enterprise software, enterprise, open source, bill gates[/tags]


If you know anything about blogging and technology, then you’ve probably heard of Robert Scoble. Scoble was one of the core figures behind Channel 9 and blogging at Microsoft, and his efforts had a dramatic effect on improving how people viewed the company. Every company needs a human face to represent it and add some personality to the mix, and in Microsoft’s case, it wasn’t Bill Gates – it was Robert Scoble. Ever since he left Microsoft and moved on to PodTech, many of us have been waiting to see the results of his efforts there, and thankfully, we now have ScobleShow.
Continue reading “ScobleShow”

Compassion For Shallow Wallets

In response to Winternals Is Assimilated, Gnomie Stu Kopelman writes:

Although I have never been one to quibble about someone else’s earnings, it would seem sad that what was once free might not be in the future – even though Microsoft is the richest business in the world and Bill Gates doesn’t even know what to do with his money except give it away. Not that he is not doing it for the best possible cause – the cause of humanity, but it seems that once more the very financially-limited, loyal Microsoft customers are the ones who will be most hard-pressed to enjoy the small luxury they possess presently… a few free utilities created by a few generous people. I do hope Microsoft will show the human element that is greater than for-profit, and do for its paying customers what it has given away to its non-paying customers.
Continue reading “Compassion For Shallow Wallets”

Bill Gates Outlines Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates recently staked the claim that the Xbox 360 system will have a 10 million-unit head start by the time the competition enters the market and more than 160 games by the end of the year. Gates went on to outline the company’s bold new vision to connect millions of Xbox 360 gamers with hundreds of millions of Microsoft Windows-based PC and mobile gamers from around the world through the Xbox Live online entertainment network. Gates made the announcements at a press conference to open the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the largest annual confab for the interactive entertainment industry.

Dubbed “Live Anywhere,” the initiative puts gamers at the center of a ubiquitous always-on world where their digital identities, games, friends and digital entertainment are always accessible through the familiar Xbox Live interface, regardless of location or device. The plan also clears the way for groundbreaking cross-platform gameplay scenarios, with participants using Windows-based PCs, mobile phones and Xbox 360 consoles to play together simultaneously.
Continue reading “Bill Gates Outlines Future Of Interactive Entertainment”