Kvetch session


I've spent several hours this morning trying unsuccessfully to open a flash presentation sent to us by one of our vendors. We were supposed to have given this presentation to our client, a [redacted corporate name you've heard of], weeks ago, but our vendor-who-shall-remain-nameless insisted upon making the presentation in flash. Never mind the fact that the client is traveling and won't have a laptop, and never mind that in order to get the green-light for this program to go ahead, our client has to take this flash presentation and show it to several other people. Brilliant choice on the part of vendor-who-shall-remain-nameless-and-apparently-remain-clueless.

After much back and forth, we received the presentation again today, but none of our Macs could open the file. I thought to perhaps open the file on our one Windows-XP machine, so booted it up. Criminey - how do you people use those bloody things?

Last time the XP machine (some HP Media center something or other) was on, it ran fine, connected to our LAN, yadda yadda, but today, no dice. A myriad of strange errors popped up, in typical, cryptic window-eze that don't really help troubleshoot. I ignored the messages, as they made no sense, and started Outlook to download the email containing the presentation. Oops, I had deleted the email off our server as it was rather large. So, it downloaded a couple hundred emails from the last few days, but not the one I needed. Wheeled my chair over to my main Mac (that I'm sitting at now), and forwarded the email to myself. Simple right?

However, now the XP machine refused to connect at all to the internet (or local subnet). Why? Who knows. Just worked five minutes ago, and all I did in the meantime was the small crime of walking away from the beast. Now, it won't connect to the web in any browser, won't connect to our POP server, won't connect to internal network, just pops up odd DOS based errors.

I am no Windows expert, but I've been using computers since the mid 1980s, and I am no idiot. I am able to run our network of 6 macs and 3 printers, plus numerous other external equipment (telephones, scanners, faxes, external drives, yadda yadda), with minimal frustration, but the Windows machine just doesn't play nice with others. Not that the Macs don't have problems sometimes, just that the solution is easily enough figured out, usually within minutes, occasionally by doing a little research on the internets.

I burrow down, clicking and clicking until I get into the properties for the ethernet device, click past the error message
(rundll32.exe - the application failed to initialize properly, presented twice in sequence), and read, “packets sent 12,116 / received 597”. So apparently, something is happening, just not anything useful.

There is a choice, “repair this connection”, sure, sounds good. After cleaning my DNS cache, and some other things, I get the useful message, “If the problem persists, contact the person who manages your network.” Err, um, ok, hey look, I'm right here! What are the odds? Hey, do you know what to do, Seth? Uhh, no not really. Do you, Seth? Nope. Stumped.

Fracking thing. If only we didn't need to run MapInfo on it (parenthical gripe: why isn't there a good GIS program for Mac OSX?). How did Paul Allen and Bill Gates get so rich selling this crap anyway? Windows sucks.

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Windows eh? If only I could get CAD for my linux machine and run the few games I just can't live without life would be fine!

There is a great GIS program for Mac - it's called TNT Mips from Microimages - it's a bit pricey, but then again - it works. http://www.microimages.com it does a whole lot more as well (GIS, image processing, CAD, TIN, desktop cartography, and geospatial database management). If only I could afford it.

Thanks for the tip, Allan. Will have to check it out. At first glance, it might not do what I want, but will look deeper.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on March 16, 2006 3:31 PM.

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