Sunday, January 29, 2006

Computer Tune-Up Guide

Being a computer geek, I've often got people asking me to fix their home computers.

Now, I could be surly about it and start wearing a "No, I will not fix your computer." t-shirt, but I'm too nice.

Unfortunately, as any geek knows, working on someone's home computer is a dreadful time sink, and there's no way anyone can possibly pay you enough for your time (especially since professional rates quickly outstrip what any home user is willing to pay).

So, I've finally gotten around to writing a one-page computer tune-up guide. It's intentionally simple, but provides enough information to help people set up some basic things to keep their computers running smoothly.

Now I can claim my legitimate excuses of not enough time and energy, and still politely provide some assistance. I've also written a one-page intro to open source software.

Here they are:

Computer Tune-Up Guide

Introduction to Open Source Software

Monday, January 16, 2006

Canada poised to elect Conservative government

Uh oh. Here comes Mike Harris again.

The polls are indicating that Canada is poised to elect a Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.

For the rest of you who didn't experience the Harris years in Ontario, here's what you can expect:

  • Harper will keep his promises to cut taxes and do other things.
  • Harper will drastically downsize and privatize public services (since he will no longer have the tax revenues to pay for them, and because he believes the government should offer only a very narrow range of core services).
  • Harper will offload current federal services onto the provinces and municipalities, which will allow him to lower taxes federally. However, you'll pay even more at the provincial and municipal level.
  • Expect to pay user fees for just about everything.
  • Once the Conservatives are done their hack and slash, don't expect subsequent governments to be able to put the pieces back together too easily. It's much easier to tear something down than to build it.

That's how Conservative government worked out in Ontario, and Harper is cut from the same cloth as Harris.

If you're a disenfranchised Liberal, vote NDP.
If the NDP were a close second in your riding last time, vote NDP.
If you're considering voting Green, vote NDP.

The best hope we have is to get enough NDP MPs elected to force another minority government, but this time with the NDP holding a real balance of power.

Read the NDP platform. I think you'll find they're worth supporting.