This Space for Rent

Ahh, the joy of DOS. And Symantic can bite me, too.

The Best and I both use Windows machines as terminals at home, and, by and large, they work pretty well. Microsoft got most of the terrible mind-destroying bugs out of Windows by the time NT 5.0 (ie: Windows 2000) came around, so as long as the machines were larded up with some antivirus and we never ran the huge bundle of security violations that is Microsoft Outlook (which is, um, impressive in the number of viruses it can pick up when it reads your mailbox. When I was setting up the factory case, I fired up outlook to verify that I'd turned off the stupid autoexec any virus feature it has, I discovered that I'd not actually turned it off when approximately 750 fucking viruses, trojans, keystroke loggers, and spam zombies leapt in and started fighting over the machine. After gaping at the melee for a couple of minutes, I simply turned the machine off and reinstalled Windows from scratch, figuring that it was easier to do that than try to do a virus cleanup) I was hopeful that the silly thing would stay more or less virus free. And, amazingly, it did for several years, and several versions of (cheap, because they were older) of Symantic antivirus. Every now and then symantic would spot a virus, bung it into quarantine, and I'd delete it, so I was happy.

A few days ago, the best's machine mysteriously rebooted. When it came up, it burbled something about executing a file called lssas.exe. Stupidly, I didn't do anything about it, because we were in the middle of a round of catherding, and I simply let the machine reboot and go on its way. This evening, out of the clear blue sky, the machine announced that it was a 30 second bomb, and that in 30 seconds the sky would be falling. 30 seconds later, the sky fell, and when the machine rebooted the same lssas.exe program tried to execute. A quick websearch told me the happy news that it was a g-ddamn keystroke logger. Which Norton Antivirus cheerfully didn't detect. Possibly because it hadn't updated its virus definition files (my stupid av subscription runs out in July) since November.


A teeny tiny powermac would cost ~US$600 with a wireless card and a little more memory. But it won't drive the 1600sw that I've got attached to it. I could do a monitor swap -- bring in the Acer FP855 I took to work and use it here, while moving the 1600SW (and the mighty Number Nine Revolution IV display card) over to work, but the BOFH desk at work gets fairly irrational about people stuffing their own hardware into the work desktops. I could buy a Mac G5, but the #9 Revolution IV is a AGP card, so I'd have to buy a new (and expensive, even on the auction sites) video card to drive the thing (and for the $1000 premium for an Apple G5 box, I could, if the ttpm supports the odd resolution of the 1600sw, buy a signal converter box for much less than that premium.

But then framemaker won't work, so I'd have to buy a MacOS 10 version of framemaker, which would cost, um, $1500 (unless a MacOS 9 version of an older framemaker would work, and then it would "only" cost $250.)

Sigh. Should I whine that Civilization and Photoshop also won't work? Goddamn viruses. Ditto for Microsoft. Ditto for Symantec. So for the short term, I'll just blow away IE and leave nothing but Seawombat on the machine, but for the long term it will probably be powermac time in the OK corral, even though MacOS is right up with with VMS for user inflexibility.


SGI 1600SW flat panel can be driven by any DVI-I, DVI-D or VGA from any computer using an "SGI- Multilink Adapter" which is what I've been using for nearly 5 years with an Apple G4/OS-9 through OS-X 10.3.8. There are other solutions. including modifying the flatpanel to connect to DVI. There are even laptop adapters. This link should help if you decide to pursue any of these options. I plan on using my SGI as long as service components are available. SGI's EOS (End Of Support) date is 9/6/2006. I may even install a mod for direct DVI connection if I can find at right price. I've Seen the SGI Multilinks for as little as $200.00 on eBay and the monitor with a Multilink just today for $315.00 HINT: If you decide on using a mac to drive the 1600SW - boot the computer 1st time in safe mode(keep shift key pressed after boot tone sounds) and make sure that the Display mode is set to 60HZ [Applications/System Preferences/Displays] Then reboot. 60 hertz is required for the SGI Multilink Adapter to sync. Safe mode seems to default there

Here are a few more links that may help

All good wishes no matter what and you take very good pictures.


Mike Sat Mar 5 17:19:57 2005

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