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I had to help a neighbor today because he'd hosed his XP Home machine.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't bother. He's nearly 80 years old, doesn't have a lot of money. The laptop is pretty old, but it keeps working and he's usually pretty savvy. I think he got done in by a "Registry Repair" thing he downloaded. It looks to me like it really did a job on the poor machine - nothing was working at all. I could get some stuff working in Safe Mode but it was slow progress. When he told me that he has absolutely everything of importance saved on a USB stick, I suggested giving up and using his "Restore System" CD. It's quick enough and fixes all sins. He won't download any more registry cleaners.

Get this: he has two USB sticks because he realizes one might fail. I wish some of my real customers were that smart!

Helped someone with an old Mas90 system recently. I could not remember how you tell their Device Configurator to use a spooled printer. Googled around, found too much stuff about Mas90 - can't find the tree in the forest kind of thing. Finally thought to try "bbx.config" and though that still had a fair pile, I was able to quickly find something that reminded me of the syntax: instead of typing in a /dev, you do:

>/usr/bin/lp -dprinter -s

(It's the ">" that tells it to pipe the output to what follows)

Amazing how much you forget, isn't it? Earlier this week I was out elsewhere doing this and that, but mostly it's been ssh and LogMeIn. I did want to mention a system a customer bought from ABMX preconfigured with Linux. I was impressed that although they installed common services (including telnet), they disabled everything. That's the right way to ship a box. I'll turn on what I want, thanks.

Another interesting thing this week is that several ordinary, non-geekish people have told me that they are either thinking about or will definitely purchase Macs when they buy again. People are really getting sick of Windows. The idea is spreading.. and I'm still buying Apple stock..

Christmas not too far away. Quiet family dinner for us, no gifts. That takes a lot of stress off everyone.. I highly recommend it.

So here we are, going into the weekend. I've been doing lick and promise cleaning around here for a few weeks or more, so I better dig into it with gusto this weekend.

Y'all take care now.

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We are questioning more than the philosophy behind our dependence upon limited and limiting systems. We question the power structures that have grown up around such systems. (Frank Herbert)

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