Scripting News for 8/8/2008

What if Country Joe was right? 

What if Edwards had been the nominee? 

Shudder to think what would have happened if Edwards had come out on top after the primaries. No doubt he would have had to withdraw in disgrace, the way Eagleton withdrew in 1972. Could he have made it all the way to the nomination without it coming out? Hard to imagine, but if it had he might have destroyed the Democratic Party.

Stunningly self-destructive, for a guy who seemed so utterly in control, unshakable, willing to do anything to be President. He had it in for himself. Amazing that his wife knew and supported his run for President.

Did he coordinate the timing of this with Obama or is it a coincidence that he went on vacation the day the story broke, with a request that the press not pay any attention to him in the coming week? Or did Edwards spring this on him as well?

This should put to rest any thought of HRC being the nominee for vice-president. The skeletons in her closet are much worse, and some of them aren’t even hidden. The press gave her a pass in the primary. It wouldn’t happen in the fall, she’d be held to account for them, there was outright bribery in the last days of the Clinton Administration, and she was part of it. Not a bystander.

BTW, one more little bomb waiting to go off is the verdict in the Hamdan trial which came out yesterday. The question is — will he be released when his term is up in 4.5 months. Let’s see, that’s just about the time the Bushes are leaving town and Obama or McCain is taking office. Could the jury possibly have been thinking of this? Is McCain getting an ad ready saying “Hamdan will not get out as long as I’m President” and throw the hot potato over at Obama. This will be a campaign issue, for sure. The Dems better get ready for it.

Could Vista fail? 

I was thinking about Vista yesterday when I was working on my Asus Eee PC, getting it ready to be my media workstation during the Democratic Convention later this month.

I was having a bunch of problems with XP, one of which was related to the fact that it came of age before wifi did. The helptext and troubleshooting guide that’s built into the system make no mention of wireless configuration, beyond a confusing wizard that creates a wireless network that emanates from my computer (I think that’s what it does, I’ve gotten lost in it many times over the years, and the terminology it uses is incredible weird and IT-ish). XP has no help to offer when you’re trying to figure out why there’s no icon in the Network Properties window for wireless. (The manual for the Eee PC has less of an excuse, it was written way after wifi existed.)

This got me thinking about Vista, and why this computer came with XP, and why I wouldn’t have bought it if it came with Vista. Why? Why won’t I try Vista?

There are a lot of specific reasons which I’ll touch on, but first, the main reason is this: Vista has the smell of death. I don’t believe Vista will be around much longer. I don’t want to be one of those people who has a computer that runs Vista, anymore than I wanted to use OS/2 when Windows 3.x was in its heyday. I remembered too well what it was like to use an Apple III when it failed to take over, as expected, from the Apple II. Operating systems can fail, and Vista shows every indication that it is one of those operating systems.

Now, what led to this feeling? Well let’s work backwards.

1. They are running a campaign to try to prove, despite what people believe, that Vista really is a great operating system. They can try to appeal to our intellect, but it only validates the gut feeling that something is very wrong. The only way I’m convinced something is hot is if I hear from people using it how hot it is, all the time, repeatedly. I know one or two people who use Vista, and mostly they say it’s okay, no one says it’s great.

2. I think Microsoft is in bed with Hollywood, and when they improve an OS they’re adding more locks and security cameras for the entertainment industry to control us and spy on us. I like computers that mind their own business and work for me, not The Man. If Microsoft came out with a marketing program for Vista that said “This is your operating system, not ours or Hollywood’s” — that would catch my attention. (They aren’t saying that, and I don’t think they can.)

Update: Netflix’s DRM Turned Me Into a Pirate.

3. Microsoft lost me, bigtime, over their lack of defenses against malware. It was when I switched to Macintosh that I realized how painful Windows had become.

4. Vista was troubled in development (it was called Longhorn), kept being delayed, people that worked on it weren’t enthusiastic, their marketers kept saying it had killer features, but never could say what they were and they never materialized.

5. Everything is happening in the web browser now, and Microsoft completely dropped the ball there. I use Firefox now, and I have very little interest in an OS designed to run IE better.

6. And finally, there is no demand for new operating systems. Little improvements, tweaks, defenses against new malware, support for new gadgets, that’s what we need from OS vendors. The days of excitement happening in OSes is long past. I don’t believe Apple can deliver there either, btw. Just keep it working, that’s your main job, no one is going to be blown away by new stuff in the OS.

Update: As always an interesting discussion has started on FriendFeed. Another thing — in the 90s, before blogging was big, Microsoft had a big outreach program to build buzz around its products. It was really impressive. Now that blogging is established — nothing — silence. Esp when there’s so much buzz around Apple, this may be the biggest mistake they’re making with Vista.

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