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

Strange Skype Network Activity - Even on Linux

I have a few contacts with whom I still chat on Skype, so I still start it from time to time. Yesterday I started it in the morning, and then got distracted and forgot to stop it when the person I was looking for was not around (at least according to Skype's totally unreliable presence reporting).

August 17, 2008 by J.A. Watson

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Open Office vs. MS Office - the Other Key to Windows/Linux Transition

As I have been going around alternately prodding my friends and family to try Linux, or asking them if they thought it would be possible, one thing I have heard repeatedly is that a lot of people use Microsoft Office and are concerned about their Office documents on Linux. I should also mention that a lot of them are very angry that Microsoft has changed the default document format in Office 2007 (again), such that it is incompatible with previous Office versions.

August 15, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Why Skype Insists on Spouting Inflated User Numbers

On reading a recent post in The Borderless Communicator it finally became clear to me why Skype insists on spewing the ridiculous "309 million users" claim everywhere. Anyone who has taken even a superficial look at it can immediately see that this claim is patently false, so why would they keep repeating it, and make themselves look stupid?

August 13, 2008 by J.A. Watson


meebo - Browser based multi-system IM chat

I have been looking at meebo, an IM chat program that is entirely browser-based (thus nothing to download and install), and in addition to its own account allows you to register your AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk and MSN accounts, so you can chat with your contacts on those services as well.

August 13, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Vista SP1 Installed, Working OK So Far

The installation of Vista SP1 completed normally on my Lifebook S6510, and it seems to be running normally for the time being. I'm not getting my hopes up too high yet, because this was basically the way it looked the last time I tried it, until it suddenly started BSOD crashing, failing to boot and such.

August 6, 2008 by J.A. Watson