Archive for category Computers

This Tech Bubble Is Different

I realize I found this a little bit late, but I think this article is still worth mentioning.

I found this quite interesting:

“If instead of pointing their incredible infrastructure at making people click on ads,” he likes to ask, “they pointed it at great unsolved problems in science, how would the world be different today?”

While the algorithms involved may be applied in other areas, I think the endeavor itself contributes nothing to society. Personally, I would find it disturbing to reflect on life and to realize that I made my living on figuring out how to make people click on ads.


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Printing with Gnumeric

Is an utter pain in the ass.

“What’s that, you want to print your chart? Why don’t I just split it into 2 pages without utilizing the OBVIOUS blank space here.”

“What’s that, you want me to fit your chart horizontally and vertically to one page? Here, how about I use 45% of the paper and make you a miniature chart — suck on that!”

“What’s that, you don’t want me to fit the chart horizontally but you want me to keep scaling the vertical aspect? Back to two pages, buddy boy!”

Already, enough with wasting paper, let’s get the print preview up.

“No preview available.”

Maybe I have to select what I want to preview (which is stupid because it attempts to print it regardless)?

“No preview available.”

“But good sir,” you may say, “there is a suite available called OpenOffice that has no such problems with printing!” Indeed, it prints very well. Let us see what happens when we transfer a chart from Gnumeric over to OpenOffice Calc.

“What’s that, you want me to import a chart that has MULTIPLE TRENDLINES?! I believe in no such thing! Here’s your incomplete chart — enjoy! Oh, and why don’t I make your font look like crap while I’m at it!”

Fine, let’s open up Excel 2003 and see what that thing can do, I’ve made multiple trendlines with it before.

“What’s that, you want me to look at a chart? Enjoy your idle (dual core) CPU usage at 50%!”

I give up.

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Computer Illiterates

This is what the Internet Explorer (their browser of choice) of a computer illiterate person resembles. While I personally haven’t seen such chaos myself, I did see half of a 21″ screen covered up with completely and utterly useless toolbars. I offered to remove some of the toolbars to increase the owner’s quality of experience online, but he was rather apprehensive and was convinced that the toolbars served a vital function and should not be tampered with. I insisted that he at least try other browsers, such as Firefox, which would have various plugins that would benefit the owner, such as Adblock Plus, but he remained adamant that Internet Explorer, along with his plethora of toolbars, was the height of browsing.

The sad aspect of this is that users such as these contribute to the virus and malware problem more than they realize. They are the perfect targets for botnets as they are probably willing to put up with a lot of unusual lag and probably have plenty of computer power to spare (i.e., they don’t play games or use things which require too much processing power). The spare processing power of the computer and the ignorance of the user combine to allow exploiters to combine thousands or more of such ‘zombie computers’ into networks called botnets, centrally directed for minimization of redundancy. Botnets are just one example of computer illiterates unknowingly contributing to the virus and malware problem.

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