Thursday, June 8, 2006

Zarqawi killed!

Great news - one of the terrorist leaders in Iraq was killed yesterday. This is the best news to come out of Iraq killed him in 2005. And who can forget when we killed him in 2004?

Real Networks: Annoying

In my continuing quest to get music I want without having it expire every three days (thanks, Napster!), I downloaded Rhapsody the other day. Unfortunately, it doesn't yet run on Vista. So I decided to cancel the account I had just set up. Their customer service page says:

"You agree that RN-DMC, in its sole discretion, with or without prior notice, may freeze or terminate..."

The only point I want to make here is that Real toyed with their acronym so that they could call themselves "Run-DMC."

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Vista and PDANet and Treo

I just can't help myself. Every time a beta cruises down the block, I have to install it. This almost led to disaster recently, Vista nearly hosed me.

I got a Treo 700w phone. It's pretty cool, and despite reports of buggy behavior, it works at least as well as any other phone I've had. I purchased a program called PDANet that let me use it as a USB modem too! Since I have unlimited data, I can dial up without a per-minute or per-byte charge.

Then I installed Windows Vista beta 2. Vista replaces ActiveSync with new Windows Mobile software. PDANet seemed to work - it connected to my phone, but always tossed an error 680 when I tried to connect. I figured there was a driver problem, so I tried to reinstall PDANet over Vista. Big mistake.

The PDANet installation uninstalls the program before reinstalling it. So it uninstalled, and then refused to reinstall because there was no ActiveSync on my machine! Disaster! I would have to resort to reading on the train.

"Hmmm," I wondered, "if ActiveSync isn't there, what if I put it back on?" I downloaded ActiveSync 4.1 from Microsoft and installed it. The trick is that it will install but not run - Vista blocks it. But it just needs to be installed. I now reran the PDANet installation, and it worked.

The next time I plugged my phone in, it loaded a driver for it (with a suitably beta device name). After it connected, the PDANet tray icon smiled at me and said I could connect. I clicked "connect with USB," held my breath, and it worked! I am posting this now from a train going through Bellmore.