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

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

More on Skype Pornography - Genius?

More on Skype Pornography - Genius?

The Skype Cheerleading Squad (also known as the Skype Journal) has a lead article today on the "Evil Genius" behind the "Sexy SPIM for Skype" (SPIM = Spam over Instant Messaging), replete with numerous pictures of exactly the type that you wouldn't want popping up on the screen in front of your children, your boss, you colleagues at a business presentation - in fact, I find them personally offensive, and don't even want them popping up in front of me alone!

March 5, 2008 by in Linux

Skype Pornography

Skype Pornography

Skype users are becoming increasingly irritated with the steadily rising flood of pop-up pornographic messages and pictures. As usual with user support requests, complaints and suggestions, Skype is totally ignoring their users.

March 3, 2008 by in Linux

Acronis True Image 11 Home

Acronis True Image 11 Home

Acronis has been in the backup business for a long time - pretty much as long as I can remember being interested in backing up PCs. I've been using their products for quite a few years - at least since True Image version 5 or so.

February 27, 2008 by in Linux

Vista to XP - A Forced Retreat

Vista to XP - A Forced Retreat

I'm almost embarrassed to write this, and I'm sure there are people who are tired of reading it. But I said that I would keep this blog up to date with my Vista/XP adventures, and I want others who may run into this situation to know they are not alone, and they are probably not at fault.

February 26, 2008 by in Linux

eBay Names New Skype CEO

eBay Names New Skype CEO

So, eBay has finally meandered their way around to naming a new CEO for Skype, many months after the original founders of Skype showed that they were smart enough to know when to take the money and run. This one comes on board with lots and lots of flowery statements about how honored he is to be joining a team that makes the best product in the world, and how important it is to understand that Skype's "beloved users" are the most important thing in the universe to them.

February 25, 2008 by in Linux

VoIP to PSTN Calling - Costs

VoIP to PSTN Calling - Costs

Last week I wrote about the technical aspects of dial-out to PSTN phones, now I would like to take a look at the costs of such calls. Of course, these vary widely based on where you are calling to, and in some cases where you are calling from, so I will just use a few simple cases to get an idea of how the programs compare.

February 21, 2008 by in Linux

Gizmo5 Cross-System Chat

Gizmo5 Cross-System Chat

I've been experimenting this week with Gizmo5's ability to set up chat contacts not only with other Gizmo users, but also across different systems and networks. After figuring out that I was being quite naive about how to set it up and what it could do, I now have it working, and I am quite pleased and impressed with it.

February 13, 2008 by in Linux

The Week In Review

The Week In Review

Wow, what a week we had last week! It started first thing on Monday with an excellent new release from ooVoo, followed on Tuesday by Skype blundering through an attempt at a new release, and finally on Thursday Gizmo5 also made a very nice new release.

February 10, 2008 by in Linux

Gizmo5 - The New Beta from The Gizmo Project

Gizmo5 - The New Beta from The Gizmo Project

Well, as I suspected at the beginning of the week, this has been an eventful one. First an excellent new release from ooVoo, followed by a sputtering mess from Skype full of the same old bugs, and now there is a new release from The Gizmo Project.

February 7, 2008 by in Linux

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