The Haus

Friday, April 11, 2003

Laughing at War

If you are like me (and heaven help you if you are), then you've enjoyed the propaganda stylings of Iraq's own Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the (former? late? MIA?) Minister of Information. There's even a fan site dedicated to some of his favorite musings at You can even buy a t-shirt emblazoned with one of several quotes. Here's my personal favorite:

"It has been rumored that we have fired scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don't know why they were fired into Kuwait."

MOO3 Data Patch, Details

There's a whole slew of info up on the Infogames MOO3 web boards discussing the upcoming patch for Master of Orion 3, and also contains a quickie data patch (678kb, zip format) that you can use to fix some of the current list of issues in the game.

Speaking of the game: I did get a chance to play a little bit when I first purchased the game, but overall I just didn't "dig" it like I did MOO2. The interface kept getting in the way, which shocked me considering all the talk of simplifying interfaces. I also got very frustrated with finding anything, since most of the real controls in the game are buried deeply in the interface. If this game is supposed to have an easy interface for gameplay, I think someone is very confused about what "easy" means.

J.t.Qbe comments: The Galactic Civilizations demo is coming out this month. A number of disappointed MOO3 players are really enjoying Galactic Civilizations. You might want to check it out. 1.0.3 Released

The team has released version 1.0.3 of their popular open-source productivity suite. You can check out the release notes here and download it here. Versions of are available for Windows, Linux, Linux PPC, Solaris, and Mac OS X. This finally fixes the very annoying bug where the vertical ruler would always switch back to centimeters. A small thing, but it really bothered me. Thanks Linux Today.

If you are forced to deal with MS Office files (DOCs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint, etc.) give a whirl. I've yet to find a MS file it won't open and open faithfully. Even better, files are saved in XML so you don't have to worry about your data being trapped in a proprietary format. Of course, you can save in MS formats if the boss makes you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Micro$oft and Volume Licensing

Want to see the way to make money in the software market nowadays? Check out a MAJOR gotcha in M$'s volume licensing scheme. Yeah, it's a scheme alright.

A.T. Hun comments: While nothing MS does anymore shocks me, I would hope that they keep this sort of thing up. There comes a time when even the most cash-rich companies will not want to be put over a barrel like this. If MS screws over enough paying customers, they will start walking. If I were a shareholder, I'd want to have some words about this.

J.t.Qbe comments: It's the typical Microsoft cash grab: you pay them no matter what you do. It's good for Microsoft, since it keeps the cash flowing in and pleases the stockholders. But as more and more of these things come to light, and as free software gets more and more useful/usable, the backlash will start to build. In a big company, what's the better deal: a forced subscription to Microsoft upgrades (and the necessary hardware upgrades) at hundreds/thousands per seat, or Linux/OpenOffice/apache for, um, free?

No Old News

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