The Vista WOW is Lost On Me (and my misconfigured system)

After reading my colleage Joe Wilcox’s ebullient ode to the new Windows Vista commercial that appeared during Lost, I had to see it for myself.
Here’s what I got:
A click on the image brought me to Adobe’s site, where I was informed that I’d need to upgrade my Flash Player version to–which is the version I’m already running.
Shockwave [appeared to have been] the culprit — there’s no Shockwave for Linux. My workaround? I joined many wacky Linux users in adding my name to a Shockwave for Linux petition, and then I got back to work.
Update: While I do indeed have Flash 9 installed on my system, my Firefox is, for some reason, using Flash 7. Epiphany, on the other hand, is configured to use Flash 9, and the video does work just fine.
I guess that’s what I get for riding the bleeding edge.
So, here’s that wow:
And what’d I think of the ad? It was pleasant enough, although I really should get back to work!
Final Update (I promise!):
Turns out that I had a pesky Flash 7 plugin living in my home directory, outside the dominion of the package management system of the distro that I sort of blamed in my previous update. So let that be a lesson, of some sort.

Giving Up On Linux?

This morning I came across a Linux-supporting sysadmin’s tale of woe entitled: Ten years of pushing for Linux adoption in the workplace (and why I gave up.)
To sum it up, the writer of the piece, Jim Sampson, has been trying to get Linux working with Microsoft Exchange since the mid-nineties, and he’s had nothing but trouble accessing public folders. Therefore, for him, Linux can’t cut it in the workplace.
As a long time Linux user with a company-issued Exchange mailbox of his own, I feel Jim’s pain–somewhat. I access Exchange from whatever Linux desktop I’m using at the time via IMAP, and our public folders are accessible via IMAP.
I think that Jim’s trouble probably stems from the Exchange Connector for Evolution, a plugin initially developed by Ximian, which uncharacteristically guarded the source for the plugin. I believe that the Connector’s proprietary license retarded the development of code.
That all changed when Novell purchased Ximian and, after some prompting, released the Exchange plugin under the GPL.
That was in 2004–it’s now 2007, and, unfortunately, the Exchange Connector remains an incomplete solution for accessing Exchange mailboxes. I believe that the Connector will continue to be an incomplete solution until Microsoft offers up a specification for the MAPI interface across which Outlook and Exchange talk.
Until then, if IMAP doesn’t do it for you, and you want to run Outlook on Linux, try CrossOver 6.0.
Finally, if your definition of an acceptable workplace platform is an OS that works exactly like Windows, by all means, use Windows. However, if you’re interested in broadening your platform horizons, you needn’t give up so easily.

links for 2007-01-30

links for 2007-01-26

links for 2007-01-13

Beware the Craplets

Thanks to CBC News, in association with an unamed Microsoft representative, for giving me a new favorite term. From the story:

A senior Microsoft Corp. executive says the company is concerned that uncertified third-party software loaded onto new computers by manufacturers could hurt the launch of consumer versions of its Windows Vista operating system later this month.

The concern arises from third-party software that hardware makers commonly install on new computers in exchange for a fee, many of which have not been tested and certified by Microsoft to work with Vista, the executive said. They include things such as links to online services, and demo versions of programs.

“We call them craplets,” the official said. The term is a contraction of the words “crap” and “applet.” An applet is a small computer program or application.

It’s so true — I’ve sat down at many a friend or family member’s computer to help sort out ad/malware issues, only to find myself puzzling over which pieces of garbage were OEM-blessed, and which crept in from some evil offshore botnet…

links for 2007-01-11