Lots of tech sites are celebrating the twenty-year anniversary of personal computing. Here’s a bit of nostalgia from my distant past.

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When you’re downloading software, watch for an innocuous item named ‘Gator” that will appear checkmarked in the list of items to download. It’s an evil piece of software that monitors your surfing and pops advertisements in your face that it believes are related to the site you’re visiting. It’s not polite about it – advertisements can appear any time you’re online. […] continued

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In the old days – a year ago or so – DSL was available from many Internet service providers. DSL wholesalers – Covad, Rhythms, and Northpoint – installed and maintained the lines, and the ISPs handled the customer services – billing, support, e-mail, web hosting, and the like. The wholesalers had to rely on Pacific Bell to do some of the exterior wiring, but Pacific Bell was also a competitor with a vested interest in cutting off the wholesalers at the knees. […] continued

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I’ve had an odd feeling of unreality reading the news reports about various politicians, competitors, and special interest groups calling for delays or changes in Windows XP. The Press Democrat reprinted a poisonous, vitriolic tirade from the Wall Street Journal on the front page of the Business section a couple of days ago, with very little to indicate that it was anything other than a straight news story. […] continued

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The DirecPC/Pegasus two-way satellite connection has been virtually unusable for a month now. Hughes was stonewalling for most of that time, refusing to acknowledge that there was any problem with the system. In the last few days, they’ve finally admitted the obvious, that something is terribly wrong, although clear explanations are hard to come by. […] continued

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