What the h’ does it cost?

It’s time, well, past time for Xmas lists and such. Our family circulates our wish lists via email and we double check with each other when buying gifts for another family member. This has worked fine for many years but I’m a sucker for trying new stuff.
Thus, when I ran across this post touting a service called Family Gift Organizer I decided to take a few minutes to check it out.
It has a pretty nifty set of capabilities that mimic quite a bit of our wish list and gift buying behavior:

The Family Gift Organizer will allow you and all the members of your family or group to organize your gift giving activities. Each member will be able to:

* Enter his/her own “wish” list including the name of the item, a short description, a web site address to be linked to the gift item and a price range
* View all other family member’s “wish” lists
* Plan purchases, designate gift items as purchased and add gift items to the “wish” lists of other family members
* Personalize his/her “wish” list page with a photo, a short description and contact information

The Family Gift Organizer keeps your planning and purchasing secret from other family members. Gifts that you add to another family member’s list will not be displayed when that family member logs in.

Ok, I’m a bit more interested now but find within the small print a suggestion that the service costs something. Now, I’m quite willing to pay for a useful service. Tell me what it costs and I’ll make a choice.
What was not acceptable was that I could not find the price anywhere on the publicly visible pages. Apparently they expect you to register before they tell you the subscription fee.

No thanks!

A Commercial History of the Personal Computer

If you haven’t already seen this go now to A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Adds put together with commentary by Harry McCracken at PC World’s Techblog!

It’s been said that the average American will see two million TV commercials by the time he or she turns 65. Doing some quick math in my head, I believe that means that I’ve seen…well, a terrifyingly large number of commercials for PCs and related products over the past 26 years or so. You too, maybe.

One of the many perversely fascinating things about YouTube is that its users have uploaded a remarkable percentage of those ads to the site, including both famous and obscure examples. Watch enough of them, in the right order, and what you have is a history of the PC in American life.

Well, perhaps you should wait until you get home from workas you might want to spend just a bit too much time watching this fascinating collection of commercials.

As cool as many of these ads are Americans might get just a slight feeling of having been short changed if they check out the example of why the author did not include commercials from Europe in his selections:

Q: Where are these commercials from?
A: The U.S., as far as I know. Rule one of European computer commercials: They’re too dirty for American TV.

I don’t agree with the ‘dirty’ description at all but, yes, this one is probably not work friendly.

Of Dell and Dopes

I apologize in advance if you saw this absolutely hilarious and ever so been there, done that take down of Dell Tech Support last week in the NYT. I missed it, just read it and must share:

Preparatory Work
So it has happened: you have fired up your Dell PC, and – nothing. Or the dreaded “cannot find boot drive” or something like that. Now you are forced into the unenviable position of having to call Dell Off-shore Hardware Support. Look at it as a journey, one on which you will be tested, much like Job or Arthur Dent. You will descend into the ninth circle, but with the proper preparation, tools and attitude, you will return, a better person for it.

Enjoy the rest!

If you are a Dell owner who ever had a problem you’ve probably talked to a DOPE. Remember, if they had not been absorbed by Dell they would probably be quite nice, intelligent and helpful folks.

What Not To Buy At Wal-Mart

Willie Nelson’s new album:

Assuming you buy anything at all there…. Wal-Mart apparently doesn’t like the cover.
A second thought: Yes, the cover image links to Modulator’s Amazon account but perhaps we shouldn’t buy it all or anything else put out by Universal Music Group until they stop licking the boots of the censors at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart certainly has every right to stock their shelves with items of their choosing but we do not have to support them or those who support the policy.
Via skippy’s place which you should hit many times today. Happy Birthday and many millions of hits to you!