Canal boat

The Essence of Summertime, part 3. This one’s from New Hope, Pennsylvania. I don’t remember whether my brother-in-law Scott or I took this one. Not that it matters much, though – I would like to have taken it in any case. Besides, he has a better camera than I do and a very good eye.

I think I’m starting to understand my own summertime theme here: warm, easy, lazy days. Of course, the guy driving the mules is far from lazing around, but neither is he Struggling Against the Elements. And at least he’s not running or pulling the boat himself. And we watchers were definitely taking it easy. Anyway, it’s a picturesque scene and I like it.

As promised yesterday: Adventures with Microsoft!

I needed to do some work on a project to which I am not normally assigned. I’m trying to help a couple of guys out a little. So we, being a security-conscious company, have locked down all our internal servers on a by-folder level, so that you need to be granted access to each individual folder you need on the server (they can, and do, let you into a given folder and all its subfolders, but it’s still locked pretty tight). I went through all the proper channels to get into this project’s folder, and I can now navigate through the folder structure and see all the files, but I can only open a few random files. The rest of them say I don’t have permission. I went through a few hours of having an Admin change a setting followed by me rebooting my computer. Over and over again. Nothing worked. I got on the phone with a server monkey, who basically tried the same thing again. Surprisingly, it didn’t work either. So he opened a trouble ticket with an advanced server monkey. I haven’t heard from that guy yet. So I’ve spent about 4 or 5 hours working on this project and have produced nothing because Microsoft’s highly-advanced server software won’t let me in.

In all fairness to Microsoft, we’re probably overstressing the system with our level of access control coupled with the number of people using the system. Still, it ought to work. Maybe we should consider biting the bullet and changing everybody over to Linux.

Which is what I’m pretty close to doing at home for all of our PCs. Yes, I know we have a lot of software that will only run on a PC – mostly games. However, Microsoft is in the middle of phasing out support for Windows 2000, and I’m not going to buy an upgrade, so they’re pretty much forcing my hand. I can’t run Windows without regular Microsoft security updates, and I won’t give them more money.

Linux will be fine. What do we really do on Windows anyway? We use Microsoft Money to maintain our checkbook – and we only use that because it came with something else and we finally gave up on Quicken in disgust because it had become bloatware full of “features” we didn’t want or need and its basic functions no longer worked. Unfortunately, Money is pretty much in the same boat. There’s an excellent checkbook manager in Linux that will do the job just fine.

We also use Microsoft Word. works pretty well, once you get over its short learning curve – although I have to admit I recently bought Microsoft Office for the Mac because the OpenOffice implementations for that machine are inadequate and because my company has a deal where I could get Office for twenty bucks.

We also use Windows for web browsing. Linux’s browsers are excellent; the only worry is when websites require Internet Explorer. My general answer to that one is that I just don’t look at those websites. However, a site comes along once in a while that I need to access – such as a banking site, for example. In that case, I’ve heard that there are IE emulators or plugins that might give me the functionality I need. I’ll have to do some experimentation on that one.

Printer sharing is the other big one. I’ve gotten it working for certain printers in Linux before, but I don’t think Shannon’s HP all-in-one printer has drivers out there for Linux. I don’t really know how to get around that one. However, new drivers come out all the time, so I’ll just have to watch for something that works. Maybe everything will come together to make Linux work before everything falls apart and makes Windows unusable.

Well, that was certainly long-winded. Take a deep breath. Let it go. Ommmm.

Okay, I’m fine now.

It was pretty cold out this morning – down in the lower teens. It’s still only 21, according to my computer. That’s winter weather, but there’s still another two weeks or so before winter starts. Dang global warming. We’re supposed to get a few more inches of snow tonight and tomorrow morning too.

I invite my reader to see if he can recruit somebody to read this drivel. I think we have just enough room for one more reader.

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