A software package a day. Day 1: Google Chrome

I have decided that the best way to get into the habit of adding content to this dusty site is talking about something that I have a lot to say about: software packages. I am a tool user. I love new tools, learning them and then either putting them to use or pasture. There are tools I use every day. There are tools that I use once a month, but would miss dearly if I didn't have them at my beck and call. Tools are what amplify our effort or hinder our progress. I have things to say about both situations, as even overcoming shortcomings can be a useful.

Microsoft offers steep discount... unless you are a fanboy.

Microsoft Vista Ultimate was the "fanboy" version which included both the business features *and* the media features in one package. There were also promised "Ultimate Extras" which for the most part turned out to be underwhelming, but really shouldn't have been a primary reason for buying Ulimate anyway. Now that Windows 7 is out and promises to bring the experience that Vista should have been to customers, Microsoft it trying to crank up sales with a... sale:


Register.com meltdown

It is always bad when a major registrar has a failure of any type, but the continuing problems at Register.com are affecting at least a million websites (and the Register.com site itself):

Register.com suffers DOS attack

An odd bug: IE 7 (or 8) browser string includes IE 6

I ran into an issue with users who couldn't connect to a government website; the site reported "You must use Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater". This was odd, as the entire group affected was using IE7. (UPDATE: This problem continues with IE8 as well.)

At first I thought it was just a bad browser detection, but when I visited the site, there was no error message. A bit of searching on the Internet turned up the fact that machines that upgraded from IE 6 can retain part of the connection string in a registry key:

Slow machines, and the tools to diagnose them.

Often as a computer gets older it seems to get slower. Some of this is simply perception (we get used to faster machines we work with), some of it is simply software requiring more over time from hardware ("what Grove giveth, Gates taketh away") and some is the reality that machines accumulate "cruft" that bogs the machine down.

Vista and Visio

Visio 2007 has an incompatibility with Vista that I have seen many responses too, but most miss being a complete solution.

Remote Desktop - rdpclip.exe

I use Remote Desktop for a lot of purposes: contacting servers and doing administrative tasks, using machines that I have long running background tasks on, without requiring yet another monitor on my desk (I already have four). However, anyone who uses it frequently has encountered the problem with clipboards being erratic.

This older post (November 2006) explains a lot of the complexity, but the key takeaway:

MOSSO - First impressions matter

While filling out the template for an account with MOSSO, the second page has a check box for "Use the information I provided on the previous step for this form". This is a reasonable option if your billing address is the same as your physical.

Automatic License Enforcement - Best Case

Earlier I mentioned a distaste for hard license enforcement schemes for mission critical software. An unmentioned side of the coin is the sheer usefulness of soft license enforcement schemes for ensuring that a company is in compliance with the licenses they have purchased.

Automatic License Enforcement - Close Call

I have never been fond of "hard" license enforcement rules for enterprise software. By definition, the software is mission critical, yet vendors continue to deploy it as a default way of thinking, despite possible bad results.


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