J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

Latest Posts

Video IM - Pulling It All Together

Video IM - Pulling It All Together

I got a very nice example this evening of how all of the things I have been writing about here can come together and work really nicely. I was on the train, on the way home, and was text chatting with a friend via ooVoo.

April 14, 2008 by in Linux

Opera Browser "Speed Dial"

Opera Browser "Speed Dial"

I have recently started using "Speed Dial" in the Opera web browser a lot more. If you aren't familiar with it, what they do is give you nine mini-browser windows within the main Opera window, each of which can be preset to a specific web page.

April 8, 2008 by in Linux

Gizmo5 - Powerful, Portable Messaging

Gizmo5 - Powerful, Portable Messaging

I mentioned recently that I use Gizmo5 for most of my text messaging. This is in part because I like the interface, which is clean and easy to read, and in part because it lets me pull most of my different text message services together in a single interface.

April 2, 2008 by in Linux

Vista SP1 - One Week Update

Vista SP1 - One Week Update

It has been a week since I installed Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) on this Fujitsu Lifebook S6510 laptop computer. I have said before that I like Vista, and I want it to be at least as good as XP on my laptop.

March 31, 2008 by in Linux

Vista SP1 - Now Installed and Running

Vista SP1 - Now Installed and Running

Ok, in large part due to some good advice from David Long, I now have Vista SP1 installed on my Fujitsu Lifebook S6510, and after two days it is still running with no problems. I have learned several things along the way:- Based on what Ed Bott said in his ZDNet blog, I expected Windows Update to show SP1 as an optional update, although not offer it to me automatically quite yet.

March 24, 2008 by in Linux

A Few Minor Windows XP Glitches

A Few Minor Windows XP Glitches

As I expect Vista SP1 to be available soon, and XP SP3 not long after that, I suppose I will be playing "disc jokey" with my laptop again before long. I've been meaning to mention a couple of odd things I have come across on my Lifebook S6510, so I'd best get it out of the way now.

March 14, 2008 by in Linux

Philips SPC1300NC Webcam

Philips SPC1300NC Webcam

I recently purchased a Philips SPC1300NC webcam, and I don't think that I could be any more pleased with it. It is the current top of the line in Philips webcams, and has some impressive specifications: a 1.

March 12, 2008 by in Linux

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