Jul 27, 2011 (02:07 PM EDT)
Computing at Chaos Manor: Pournelle's Mailbag
Read the Original Article at InformationWeek
Thanks to all those readers who sent good wishes to me on the relaunch of BYTE. I'm glad to be back. Nice to see all your email, too. From time to time, I'll try to select and answer some of these messages.
First off, a lot of you asked if I still name all my computers. Indeed I do. This is Emily, an Intel Extreme with an Antec case and power supply. Next to Emily is LisaBetta, an old HP Compaq Tablet PC that I still use. I loved that machine. I still do, but she's hopelessly slow. I’m not about to get rid of her, though.
Here are some of the notes I've received -- and my answers below. Keep those comments coming. I love to hear from you.
I upgraded my late 2006 MacBook [to Lion] right away. The upgrade installation was uneventful. The installer deletes itself once it runs, so back it up first. The guts are in the file "InstallESD.dmg," which can be burned to DVD or restored to a USB flash drive to make a bootable installation drive. A clean install from a flash drive to a freshly formatted external USB hard drive also worked fine.
Bill, Good to hear from you. I had no problem with Lion on my MacBook Pro, but I have avoided installing it on any Mac on which I use VMWare. I’ll get to it. Obviously Lion is the wave of the future, but there’s still no urgency. I’m waiting for the killer app that you can’t live without that runs only on Lion. None yet, I think. BYTE has some how to galleries on creating an installation DVD or a USB flashdrive for backup.
Jerry, I don't know if you'll remember me but once upon a time I wrote the WORD Plus spell check program. I later started a small game company called FTL Games -- it developed a space adventure game named SUNDOG and later a game called Dungeon Master. I'm glad to hear BYTE is back and that you're writing for it again. I do wish it would put back issues online in some form, as there is so much history I'd love to be able to read again.
Wayne, of course I remember Word Plus. I used that program for years until Microsoft finally got Microsoft Word running properly. I used it with WRITE, Xywrite, Q&A -- all kinds of editors. And Sundog was a great game. Pity it can’t be updated for modern computers: it had a decent plot and it was quite advanced for its time.
So far as old issues go: at least one issue, the first one, is already up here at BYTE in its entirety. Find it at the end of the BYTE 1975 article. Gina says more issues are coming.
Larry: the moral of the story is this. Do not give up your Verizon Unlimited. Ever. You will not see its like again. And of course 2GB doesn't last very long. Even with the best spam filters, I sometimes get a gigabyte of spam in just a few hours. And of course, if you keep a lot of tabs open in Firefox or Explorer, that leaks gigabytes daily as the servers send advertisements.
Jerry Pournelle is BYTE's senior technologist. An award-winning novelist and columnist, he's back at BYTE with Computing at Chaos Manor. Find more of Jerry's stuff at www.jerrypournelle.com. Email him at Jerry@BYTE.com.