Archives » July 28th, 2003

July 28, 2003

Offspring update

Another two weeks gone by, another ultrasound. We’re at 32 weeks now, and everybody is doing just fine. Viola was always so worried about getting pregnant, not only for her own health, but the baby’s too. Her family has a long history of miscarriages, and she figured that if she was even able to get pregnant, her first definitely wouldn’t go full term. Well, here we are, at 32 weeks, and everything is going textbook perfect.

She will have to have a Caesarean section, because of her cerebral palsy. She’s never had very much range of movement in her legs. In fact, if it wasn’t for the twelve surgeries she’s had in her life, she’d be in a wheelchair right now. But getting her legs into that position, something that most women don’t even think about, compared to all the other rigors of childbirth, would be an impossibilty for Viola. The physical strain would be something her body wouldn’t be able to handle, either. Her body is not strong. Childbirth might have proved too much for it.

So, a C-section it is. She’s relieved, because she did not want to go through childbirth. A C-section? That’s just a surgery. She can go through a surgery standing on her head! The biggest problem she’s having is getting around with the extra weight. Her ankles used to swell and hurt at her previous (and very slim) weight. Now that she’s put on twenty (hardly noticable) pounds, they are certainly not doing well under the load. And could you blame them? She has more scar tissue on her left ankle than most people get on their whole body, in their whole lifetime. It’s a wonder she’s not wheelchair bound now. But no. Her body may not be strong, but her will certainly makes up for it. And if her dignity demands that she carry this weight on her own two feet, it will be done. I think she’ll have this babymaking thing licked.

She does love floating in the pool, though. And just 8 more weeks to go!

Clean up XP

And since Windows XP is going to be with us for so long, we might as well learn how to make it run at its best. That’s what this article by Fred Langa does. It’s a 20-step checklist for what to do when you buy a new computer with XP pre-installed. He starts with simple things like making sure all the software works, and makes his way up to adjusting the swapfile and System Restore. He also recommends formatting the hard drive and reinstalling XP, I guess just to make sure that you’ll be able to do it if you ever have any problems. That step seems a little out of place in a beginner-to-intermediate article like this. Not only does it seem like overkill, it also seems like if you’re at that level of knowledge, you’ll already have your own process for making sure the computer runs at it best. I mean, I rarely buy a pre-built computer, sticking mostly with buying parts and building systems myself. But when I do buy pre-installed, formatting the hard drive isn’t exactly on my list of things to do.

Long way to Longhorn

You might need to clutch on to your Windows XP for a little bit longer. Bill Gates says in this little interview that the next version of Windows, Longhorn, is going to be a huge leap away from the Windows that we’ve known for the last eight years.

“It should drive a whole range of upgrades, but that could be sort of delayed,” Gates said. Because of differences with the previous versions of Windows, it could be a year or two after its release before computer users really pick up Longhorn, he said.

Asked if Microsoft would consider dropping some of the innovations it has planned so the product can come out sooner, Gates said no.

That means it’ll probably be 2005 before we see a final release of Longhorn on the shelves. Now, consider that people were supposed to move en masse to Windows XP as soon at it was released, but really ended up waiting a year or two. Then figure that MS is expecting people to put off the Longhorn upgrade for a couple of years, so the real wait will probably be even longer. Do a little math, and it’s looking like we won’t see mass adoption of Longhorn until 2008 or 2009. Get used to Windows XP. It’s going to be a long ride.

Of course, Red Hat 18 should be out by then, and who knows what they’ll have come up with since then. Look at the amount of progress in Linux desktops over the last five years. Now double that, or triple it, and you’ve got Linux in 2008. Stagnation in the Windows market might end up hurting MS as Linux keeps moving forward. We already know we’ll be stuck with IE6 for six more years. If another grassroot browser upgrade campaign does take off, Mozilla might have a chance to become more dominant as people stop making sites that work in only IE. Given enough time, and movement forwards in CSS2 and CSS3, people might actually start making sites that don’t work so well in IE. It’s already possible to do that now. Most advanced sites have to be dumbed down a little bit so IE doesn’t trip over them. A few years ago we were doing the same thing for Netscape 4. We finally gave up on that. In the same way that Netscape lost their lead by taking a few years off to rebuild the browser, Microsoft could be hurt by doing the same thing. And then by the time Longhorn does come out, with whatever kind of advanced browsing capabilities it’s supposed to have, it just might need to play a little game of catch-up in the web market.

Unless, of course, one of the “scary” things about Longhorn is that it tries to take web browsing in some new direction that will make Mozilla obsolete. But I can’t see that happening, or at least I can’t see it catching on with enough people to make it stick.