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

Plea From Another Skype User

This open letter to Skype CEO Josh SIlverman has been posted to the recently mangled "Skye Community". It shows very clearly the confusion and irritation of Skype users.

July 22, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Linux, Laptops and Dual Displays

I need to update some information related to a post that I made last week about multiple displays with Linux. In a nutshell, I have a laptop and a port replicator with a display connected to it.

July 22, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Why Can't Skype Get "Presence" Right?

I've had Skype running on some of the Linux test installations for the past couple of weeks. One thing that has become clear is that the erratic "presence" indication is not unique to the Windows client, it is also in the Linux client.

July 22, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Can Linux Replace Windows - Maybe!

I loaded Ubuntu Linux on my test laptop a couple of weeks ago more or less on a lark, thinking I would just see for myself what the current state of the Linux world is today. When I saw how easily it loaded (and how quickly!

July 18, 2008 by J.A. Watson


SP3 Under Suspicion Again

I find myself suspecting that there is something very strange wrong with Windows XP SP3, or at least with the installation procedure for it. I had been running this Fujitsu Lifebook S6510 with Windows XP Professional for several months when SP3 came out.

July 18, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Admission and Lesson - Don't Overcomplicate Linux!

This is the kind of thing I don't particularly enjoy writing, but as I have been blogging about learning Linux, and I've tried to approach as an "ordinary PC user" would, I think it's important to pass along lessons learned from mistakes. Of course, my approach to Linux is tainted by my very long history with Unix, and perhaps that's what happened in this case...

July 17, 2008 by J.A. Watson


TokBox Releases Desktop Client

TokBox, which I wrote about recently, has released a desktop client based on Adobe Air. This is an interesting development for several reasons.

July 15, 2008 by J.A. Watson


Skype 4.0 Beta Updated

Skype has released an updated 4.0 Beta. After having said so many times "we are listening", and "keep the comments coming", what did they change in the overwhelmingly despised new user interface?

July 13, 2008 by J.A. Watson

1 Comment

More Success with Mandriva

I spent some time last night getting (or trying to get) the various Linux versions on my main laptop set up for use at my home. I had mixed success, but in the end Mandriva came out clearly on top.

July 11, 2008 by J.A. Watson