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Give Me A Break

The Microsoft music player has a “Z2K” problem. The Zunes began freezing up by the thousands and nothing seemed to work.

Well, the wizards at Microsoft finally figured it out: some sneaky so-and-so added an extra day to this year, and that confused the internal clock. Think about that. The people who wrote the operating system in use by millions of people sold a device that is obviously dependent on its clock, but they made no provisions for A LEAP YEAR.

Apparently people have to let the battery die, and then, since it is already 2009 UTC time, they can recharge it, and resynchronize it with their computer, to get it to work.

Hey, it’s only one day every four years. What do you want for hard earned dollars? [/snark]


1 fallenmonk { 12.31.08 at 8:36 pm }

It really isn’t that hard to do it right. You would think that if anyone understood implementing time into software…but whatever.

Happy New Year Bryan!

2 Kryten42 { 12.31.08 at 8:41 pm }

*YAWN*… I’m sorry Bryan… You are surprised? 😉 (I know… you aren’t)! LOL

3 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 9:17 pm }

Happy New Year, Fallenmonk. They probably let all of the people who know how to do it go after Y2K.

Is that not, still, one of the basic programming problems that everyone has to solve in the earliest of courses? No, I’m not surprised, Kryten.

4 Kryten42 { 12.31.08 at 9:31 pm }

Heh… 😉

It is the New Year here already, and the celebrations in the city were very good (for a change!) I really do hope 2009 is a much better year for you and my other American friends. All the best! 😀

здоровье! 😉

5 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 9:50 pm }

Спасибо большое, и с новым годом. 😀

6 Kryten42 { 12.31.08 at 10:45 pm }

Hmmm. I think I need to go back to linguistics school. 😉 Though my training wasn’t nearly as extensive as yours (and mostly over a bottle) LOL I basically only had to spot certain keywords and sentences in Cyrillic and Arabic and pass anything I found of interest to more… intense and literate people. 😉

I can puzzle out what you said… mostly. 😉 Спасибо большое -> Thank you very much, but did you mean ‘новом’ (new)? ‘And the new year’?

I think what I said wasn’t what I intended when I read it again! LOL I think:
за ваше здоровье
is closer to the English meaning. ‘Here’s to your health!’ Right?

My Russian friend liked to say ‘ваше здоровье’, but I suspect he was having fun. 😉 I think it means ‘Skoal, to good health!’ but I don’t know if that’s really a proper Russian drinking toast, if they even have one that is. LOL

I’m getting a headache. 😐

7 cookie jill { 12.31.08 at 10:46 pm }

Onnellista uutta vuotta.

They don’t teach things like what a Leap Year is anymore in schools…it’s not on “the Test.”

8 newswriter { 12.31.08 at 11:05 pm }

how much more proof do we need that microsoft makes crap products?

9 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 11:10 pm }

Kryten, holiday greatings are always shortened with the verb implied rather than stated, but the verb requires the preposition, “C”, and the instrumental. Yes, that is “Happy New Year”.

I got both meanings of the word, actual and implied. 😉

Kiitos, Jill.

Ah, yes, “the Test”. Actually I used the exercise to deal with modulus and multiple choice structures [case, if then else, etc.], but we certainly must not disturb “the Test” just to learn something useful.

10 Bryan { 12.31.08 at 11:19 pm }

I’ve known since PC-DOS 1.0 on a 64k IBM-PC back in the lithic era of personal computing, although their Z80-CP/M card for the Apple ][ was actually quite nice.

The fact that it happened after Y2K and all of the problems of people forgetting to deal with the calendar is more than a little annoying.

The arrogance and inefficiency of a monopoly is beyond the reckoning of poor working druids like myself.

11 LadyMin { 01.01.09 at 12:05 am }

Hahahahahahaa … this is too funny. Microsoft gave me my first laugh of the new year and believe me I can use one.

12 Bryan { 01.01.09 at 12:29 am }

They truly are a piece of work. The problem with their solution is that some people may not be anywhere near their computer and will apparently be without the use of the device until they are.

Ah, well, I see another Apple commercial on the horizon.

13 Kryten42 { 01.01.09 at 12:47 am }

At the risk of being labeled monotonous, as I’ve said many times what I think of M$ and the crooked little dweeb that owns it… Everything that the crooked dweeb has ever done has been garbage, with a few exceptions usually when he managed to steal the code from someone who actually knows how to code. One of the reasons I loath the crooked hypocrite is that I have had a personal involvement in being ripped off by the thieving dog. 🙂

Do you remember Bryan when M$ released a graphics library for DOS (GFX it was imaginatively called)? Most of that code was stolen from me. And i have the source to prove it. You know that gates originally drew a circle by calculating and plotting every single pixel every time you wanted an arc or circle (and don’t even get me started on how he did ellipses!) Can you imaging on an old 8086 how damned slow that was? You could literally see each pixel being plotted. So, as I had a solid grounding in geometry, math’s and programming (unlike the dweeb who was a dropout), I figured out a very nice fast way of doing it. The dweeb apparently liked it also. I also had a much better way of doing polygons using basic triangles as every polygon can easily be made with triangles. He had used separate routines for every basic shape! He didn’t even understand that a square or rectangle are simply 4 sided polygons! A square was dead easy. Just calculate a right-triangle, duplicate and flip along the base, and don’t draw the base line. I calculated everything using vectors, x,y start and z length, and a routine to convert the vector to a raster.


14 Steve Bates { 01.01.09 at 3:10 am }

I’ve said many times that I invested energy in learning M$ products because there was a significant livelihood for a contractor adept in those products, more so than Apple or UNIX/Linux products, even if the latter were superior in every other way. As one contract led to another, I ended up specializing in a product line I really didn’t like very much, written by people who seem to have trouble with date/time code on a regular basis. But there it is; we don’t always get to do what we want for a living.

(OT, I see newswriter has posted above. May I recommend her blog to the rest of you. I ran into her years ago when she wrote at “What it Is Today”, and was delighted when she started up “Stop the Press” … very much worth your while to read.)

15 Steve Bates { 01.01.09 at 3:32 am }

Afterthought: Kryten, in fairness to Bill and Co., I suspect lots of people independently reinvented some sort of step-based algorithm for quickly drawing circles and ellipses. I came up with one in about 1972-73 in response to a request from my boss at Baylor College of Medicine, who was tired of waiting for research results to be plotted by an old program that calculated sin and cos for various θ around the circle. The hardest thing about an incremental algorithm, as I recall, was efficiently stopping it at an arc less than a full circle or ellipse… the calculations testing for arrival at the endpoint were costing as much as or more than the calculations of the next points in the ellipse. But I have a feeling that given the strong motivation, a lot of people came up with similar algorithms.

16 Kryten42 { 01.01.09 at 4:20 am }

Hi Steve,

No. He stole my code. I *came across* the source code for DOS 3.3 with the GFX library whilst I was working in the field. And I know my own code when I see it. he didn’t even try to change a line, and several hundred lines of x86 assembler code is significant. I wrote the code as a proof of concept for the first AusGraph expo in ’83. Gates was there as well as some rep’s from Pixar who were interested in my concepts for their new Pixar Render Engine. Nobody else at that time were using vectors on PC’s. I got the idea from seeing a Tektronix vector graphics terminal. 🙂 I had a temporary consulting job for Pyramid Computers for their new graphics/CAD system they were developing and they were originally looking at using the Tek displays.

Gates is a thieving dweeb. You know the saying… ‘he doth protest too much?’ Why would he be constantly screaming about Piracy, given that it hasn’t hurt him a bit? Who’s the richest dweeb in the World? So why is he screaming about loosing money? LOL What a joke. And he’d be a total nobody now if not for the fact that his mother was an exec at IBM. I love the irony of that too. 🙂 IBM helped the dweeb get where he is, and then the dweeb thanked them by screwing them as he has everyone he deals with. 🙂 He makes Bush seem honest.

17 Bryan { 01.01.09 at 1:16 pm }

The 8086 certainly wasn’t a speed demon, but it was faster than the castrated 8088s the cheap SOBs at IBM stuck us with [and then they used the castrated 80286s for the AT].

Microsoft stole anything they wanted for anyone without the staying power to sue them into submission. I know people who got ripped off because I beta tested their software. Yes, the algorithms can be independently derived, but the same typos can’t, and I’ve seen identical typos in certain programs. They have lost court cases to make the point, if they like it they’ll take it, and they aren’t alone among the big players who scream about copyright protection.

The large corporate environment is not conducive to creativity, or they would have started the PC revolution a lot earlier, with much better hardware. They want to sell to other corporations, which means low volume and high profit. They just didn’t understand consumer marketing.

Paul Allen was the geek, Bill was a business major.

18 Steve Bates { 01.01.09 at 2:42 pm }

Well, if I am never forced to use a Microsoft product again in a commercial environment, it won’t be Zune enough to suit me.

As best I recall, rumors were that Gates somehow deliberately screwed up Kildall’s opportunity to meet with IBM about their using CP/M instead of DOS. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

My willingness to cut Microsoft any slack ended the day they screwed me out of a legitimate application for a rebate on their development environment of the time… we’re talking several hundred dollars… and, when I phoned them to try to straighten it out, all but told me I had stolen their product, which I had licensed legitimately, and still refused me the rebate. They’re fucking thieves; there’s no getting around that fact.

19 Bryan { 01.01.09 at 3:38 pm }

Gary’s wife was an attorney and he let her deal with IBM. She refused to go along with the standard serfdom contract of Big Blue. Gary had a plane, and was busy with that when Blue came calling.

Paul and Bill bought the rights to what became MS-DOS from another company, so they had no blood or sweat in the product, and the IBM deal was a way to get the only thing they had invested in it, money, back. In the end, Bill won, and Blue lost.

The Microsoft “warranty” is illegal in a lot of states, and is considered consumer fraud in some, which you find out if you read the really fine print. They don’t intend to back anything. They really define corporate avarice and the only saving grace is that their software is so bad that they generate a lot of business for consultants.

[You waited all Year {2008} to use that pun.]

20 Kryten42 { 01.01.09 at 7:27 pm }

That’s too true Steve (and Bryan), including the pun! LOL

I know a little more about Gates than most. I had a friend here who went to high school with the dweeb in the USA because their mothers were friends and members of some committee or other. He never had a good thing to say about Gates who he said was just obsessed with money. I guess that’s pretty obvious to everyone now. He told me a lot about the early days of the dweebs plan to make money and the start of ‘Micro-Soft’ (as it was called then) in the dweebs garage. My friend knew the guy that Gates stole DOS from originally (who, incidentally, pirated CP/M anyway), it was only later that the crooked dweeb paid the guy to shut up. Have you seen the dweebs original frothy mouthed screed from ’76?

By William Henry Gates III

February 3, 1976

An Open Letter to Hobbyists

To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these “users” never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

Is this fair? One thing you don’t do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn’t make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren’t they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.

Bill Gates

General Partner, Micro-Soft

That tells anyone all they need to know about the dweeb. Most people don;t understand that he’s the son of a lawyer and his entire business concept and *ethic* revolves around ownership and contractual obligations.

The dweeb is now scared crapless about the new GPL v3. eWeek published this article in 2007:
Microsoft’s Open Letter to Open Source

There is only one reason that the crooked dweeb will not allow anyone to see *his* code… too many people would be able to see 1) how horrible the code truly is, 2) how much the crooked dweeb has actually stolen from others. 🙂

There was a great site called ‘f**kmicr*s*ft.com’ (later renamed ‘micr*suck.com’) that has been down since early ’08. Still… We have the Wayback machine! 😀

What’s So Bad About Microsoft?

This was an article that I was involved with back in 2001 (when I sent an eMail to F**kMicr*s*ft, about the contents of hidden files and directories containing personal and private information about each user that was harvested by M$ without user’s knowledge or consent, that I found in W98, W2k and the new (then) XP)

Microsoft’s Really Hidden Files

I have a couple very early M$ photo’s of the stoned dweeb that he has tried to have purged from the Internet! LOL

There is nothing at all good or honest about this crook. Even his so-called charitable foundation is a crock. It was setup by his accountants for only ONE purpose (well, two if you count publicity), and it had nothing at all to do with Gates giving away any of his billions!

This is one of my BIG buttons! 😉 You can tell, right? LOL

21 Kryten42 { 01.01.09 at 7:38 pm }

BTW Bryan, you are essentially correct about the early DOS. PC-DOS 1.0 was developed from an OS called QDOS that M$ purchased from Seattle Computer Products. QDOS was a direct clone of CP/M. Digital Research considered an intellectual property dispute, but the law was not clear enough at the time to sue Microsoft/IBM and could have dragged on for years, and Gary wasn’t interested in contesting anything, he was only interested in flying. Oh well. 🙂

22 Bryan { 01.01.09 at 8:03 pm }

So, how much did he pay to Kemeny, Kurtz, and Dartmouth for using their concepts – I seem to remember zero. Everything they do is derivative and they complain about getting ripped off.

Their latest move is an attempt to go back the IBM mainframe model of leasing software instead of buying it. Not without support, and Microsoft has no idea how to provide support. They don’t sell retail, they sell to corporations. If they try to go to a leasing plan, it will be the end of their empire.

They are having to force feed people to buy Vista by refusing to sell XP. It isn’t going to work. You can’t force people to buy something they don’t want or need. People will just switch to Linux or the Mac. Corporations aren’t going to put up with this crap.

It is incredibly stupid to refuse to sell something people want to buy, but that is the Microsoft way.