My Hits & the Pits

Woodworking favorites can be found through  

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Computer Hits

WServer News has a great newsletter. They hit the high points of the Windows world & provide some fun links at the bottom of every one. If you have a Windows issue, here's a good place to start looking.

Gary Beene has a great page for VB help, Science Fiction & more.

Tech Republic is a good repository of discussions, newsletters & other stuff. A full membership is $85 a year &
I've found it has been worth it - if you're in the business. I doubt a home user would get much out of it.

The Road to No Where, by Blake Handler, is for Windows, but is another good spot to start looking for answers & utilities. Microsoft has a lot of good free ones out there, but they're hard to find unless you know what you're looking for. His blog, especially Aug06, which has a top list of free Windows utilities is a good way to keep up.

Windows Annoyances is the most complete collection of Windows Annoyances & how to get around them for versions from 9x on up that I know of.

Mike's List is great. I've been reading his column for years & love it. He searches the web for some of the best, off-the-wall stuff.


Other Hits

Tired of automated phone responses? Try Paul English's 'Get Human' site & find a way past the automated menus.

The REAL Darwin awards are here. Don't believe half the email crap that goes around. These people jury every story closely. Their winners must meet stringent guidelines by successfully removing themselves from the gene pool before they pass their defective ones along.

The Gravely Tractor is one of the best old workhorses out there. I have an old model L (1963) from my father-in-law & a 5210 from the early 70's. I use the latter to mow my lawn, till my garden, plow & blow snow off my driveway. That's only a few of the chores it will do. There are attachments for most any small farm chore you can imagine.

Alcoholics Anonymous is the father of all 12 step groups. Whether you have an addiction or not, everyone is probably affected to some extent by someone with an addiction. If you even think so, it's a good place to start dealing with it.


Books are one of the best sources of information & entertainment that I know of. If the text has passed into public domain, there is a good chance that Project Gutenburg has it in electronic format. Reviews & searches of Science Fiction books, movies & games can be found at but probably the best place to find out about science fiction / fantasy authors, their various books & series orders is at Fantastic Fiction.


The Pits

Verizon DSL made my 'pits' list when they disconnected my DSL by accident & wouldn't give it back. I lost my email account & all emails in it - which they didn't seem to think was a big deal. My job & network is an hour a way which made life pretty tough on me & the users I support. After about 16 hours on the phone over a period of several weeks, they proved they don't give a damn about customer service. Eventually, I did find a number to call where they actually can fix problems & it has helped some friends. If you have a DSL problem with them that you can't get solved through regular customer service try: Verizon Broadband Executive Office and Operations Support at 866-848-7700.

Symantec is another non-favorite. They used to be OK for desktop anti-virus, but they pretty much suck now. Their all inclusive security suites cause more problems than they solve. At work, we bought into their 5000 series firewall & VPN, only to have them discontinue it before it worked properly & then renege on paying back $8700 they owed us. Not enough to take them to court for, but a blow to our budget. Veritas Backup Exec licensing used to be a pain, under Symantec's ownership it's a nightmare. (they've finally fixed this problem - only took 2 years!) They don't send you the license key now until you jump through hoops. Tech support will only handle one specific issue per call - maybe - if you get a decent tech. Very reminiscent of what happened to Cheyenne's ArcServe when CA bought them about 7 years ago. We dumped them for Veritas. Looks like it is time to change again.

Religion has certainly hit the Pits list. GOD, Good Orderly Direction, is OK. Your god(s) are OK, but getting fanatical over a bunch of old myths & illogical beliefs is not OK. Too many folks lately want to kill each other over interpretations of a random mix of dubiously translated scrolls that were written millennia ago. They ignore the overall message which all seem to espouse - living in harmony. Heinlein was half right: "Most gods have the manners & morals of spoiled children." and "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh." Unfortunately, no one is laughing lately. Check out Religious Tolerance for detailed descriptions & facts about various religions. Remember the blind men & the elephant. The 'TRUTH' is a slippery proposition.

That's the highpoints for now. Updates as they occur & I find the time...

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