Steve's Computer List

You might say I have an interest in personal computers. Since 1980 or so, I have owned, somewhat in this order: You might notice I have a knack for selecting orphan machines. The Ohio Scientific company didn't get too far. I've mentioned how the Sanyo was incompatible with most anything. The AT&T was an orphan when I got it; Atari seems to have been an also ran. Commodore, and the Amiga, well, let's not talk about them. It's too depressing. My purchase of the Mac hasn't done that company any good :-). The Concerto was completely discontinued about 3 months after I bought it; I guess the price discount was an indication of this. Zeos has been swallowed up. Thought I could kill the PC industry with my bad karma, but unfortunately it seems I can only kill manufacturers or specific products.

If I can get on my soap box for a moment, I think the state of the PC industry, especially the Wintel community, is really sad. Of all the computers I've owned, the Ohio Scientifc, the Zeos, the Compaq, and the Cybermax are the only ones I've had to call the manufacturer for support on; and the Ohio Scientific one was because I was a newless cluebie at the time. Expansion of a PC is a nightmare, with the i/o, interrupt, and dma conflicts possible. You might try to tell me that Plug and Play fixes all this, but it doesn't. Partly because plug and play doesn't solve the problem of running out of interrupts or DMA channels. When I installed Windows 95 on my Zeos system, it couldn't believe that I could use Interrupt 15 for the SCSI controller, because that had to be used by the on-board IDE controller. When I followed the instructions on Microsoft's Web site on how to mark the IDE as unused, my system froze. And you've already read about my Win 95 problems on the Concerto.

In my opinion, good programmers think of Microsoft products the same way good chefs think of McDonalds products.

I also noticed recently that of all the things that were "appliances" in my home, only the computers came with 800 numbers to the manufacturers. And, for PC compatibles, I've had to use them. If, as a supposed professional, I've had to use the tech support lines, how on earth is the average consumer supposed to cope? This is just not the way things should be.

I sure hope Apple finds a way out of their slump. You can see I don't have too much experience with them, but they seem to have done things right for the most part.

For those of you who don't know any better: It is not a fact of life that computers must be rebooted once in a while when they hang. I use Linux and other Unix systems in most of my work. They go without rebooting for *DAYS*. Do not put up with buggy software, especially if you have to pay for it. Until users demand better, we won't get better software.