Tag Archives: Computing

Windows Live Writer

I installed Windows Live Writer today and am using it to make this post, as I did the previous one.  It seems quite nice so far, certainly better than writing in the browser.  I’m not a prolific blogger and don’t really have an understanding of trackbacks so I hope that I’m using that feature correctly.

One problem I have with it is is its overall blueness.  I really don’t like this trend that Microsoft has for releasing software that is all shades of blue, and clearly designed to fit in perfectly with the default Windows XP theme.  I don’t use that default theme so these applications just look strange on my system.  Thank goodness that blue does not clash with my black theme.  I can only sympathise with anyone using the olive green theme.

Quite An Analogy

Last night my son, who is doing Computer Studies at school, asked if I knew anything about SQL as they were starting to learn it. My reply was something along the lines of “Only enough to work with it every day.”

Apparently they will be using Microsoft Access to do this and when I mentioned this to a colleague, he commented that using Access to learn SQL was like using Frontpage to learn HTML, which made me chuckle.

A Sad Day

I have long resisted the trend of sending HTML formatted e-mail addresses, ensuring that although I must use Microsoft Outlook at work I have it set to send plain text messages, switching to HTML format only when there is a need to do so. Sadly I must now set my default format to HTML as my company has mandated a new standard for e-mail signatures, requiring that a signature be in a specific font and have certain sections bold, italic or in a particular colour. I realise that this is probably done more to tone down and standardise the signatures of others that may have used bright colours and strange fonts, rather than to pretty up plain text signatures like the one I used to use. Still it saddens me that presentation seems to be as important as the message an e-mail conveys.

Windows and USB handling

Whoever was responsible for writing the Windows code that handles ejection of USB devices seemingly did not put enough thought into it.

I use an external 40GB USB drive to carry work and other files between office and home and I am ready to leave work for the day, but I can’t safely do so without shutting down my computer. Why is this? Because, when I select Safely remove USB mass storage device – Drive X: from the tray applet, I merely get told “The device ‘Generic volume’ cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later.” Try again later? But I want to go home now.

I realise that some application is holding a file on the drive open so just disconnecting it is risky. Therefore my only other option is to shut the machine down. How hard would it have been to provide a hint as to what it is that is holding the drive, so I could have some chance of closing it and allowing the drive to disconnect safely? I have closed all applications that I think might be holding the drive but Windows still won’t let it go. When did we change from us being the masters and the machines being the servants? Oh well, time to shut down and go home to my nice, sane Linux box.