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

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

Skype Update 3.6.0.248 - Well, Maybe...

Skype Update 3.6.0.248 - Well, Maybe...

As mentioned last night, Skype appears to have made some sort of attempt to release an update yesterday. Like so many other things with Skype, it just didn't quite work right - but this time they managed to fail even earlier than usual.

February 5, 2008 by in Linux

Typical - Skype Version Confusion

Typical - Skype Version Confusion

In a typical show of carelessness (or incompetence), Skype has announced that they have a new version available for download, and someone from Skype Staff has suddenly appeared in their User Forums, telling people to download it to solve problems. BUT, when the poor users download what should be 3.

February 5, 2008 by in Linux

ooVoo 1.5 Beta - In Depth

ooVoo 1.5 Beta - In Depth

I've now had a day to examine, test, tinker and generally get to know the new ooVoo beta release. I have to say honestly, the more I look at it, the more impressed I am.

February 5, 2008 by in Linux

New ooVoo Release - GOOD STUFF!

New ooVoo Release - GOOD STUFF!

I started the day today thinking that I would write a "Calm Before the Storm" blog entry, saying that things have been quiet for the past few weeks, but new releases are likely to be coming soon from all four of the major companies in Video IM. Well, it turns out that the "Storm" got to me before I would even write that.

February 4, 2008 by in Linux

SightSpeed Chat, Without Installing SightSpeed!

SightSpeed Chat, Without Installing SightSpeed!

My friend Grant recently pointed me to what I think is a very interesting and very under-promoted feature in SightSpeed - the ability to have someone call you on SightSpeed without having to install the SightSpeed software on their computer! Although I had seen this in the Account Information page, it hadn't really occurred to me what it was, and how useful it could be.

January 30, 2008 by in Linux

Status Update, Vista to XP Retreat (Advance?)

Status Update, Vista to XP Retreat (Advance?)

It has been two weeks since I switched from Windows Vista back to Windows XP Professional on my Fujitsu Lifebook S6510, and two months since I made the same switch on my Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook S2110. So, I suppose it is a good time for a status update.

January 25, 2008 by in Linux

Skype "Support" and User Forums - How Low Can You Sink?

Skype "Support" and User Forums - How Low Can You Sink?

I used to spend a lot of time answering user questions and problems on the Skype User Forums. I made over 1,000 postings in just a few months, until I finally started to realize that what we (the experienced users) were doing there was covering up for Skypes ridiculous lack of Customer Support.

January 23, 2008 by in Linux

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