Too Many People Still Use Windows XP

Windows XP, which turned 21 last month and has been unsupported since 2014, still runs on an alarmingly high number of PCs worldwide, including many in government.

via BleepingComputer:

So, why are some systems still using the outdated XP version?

The first category of systems that are still using Windows XP is those belonging to public sectors, known for their crawling upgrade speeds and hesitancy to use new technologies.

For many public entities, the bureaucracy of approving new system license purchases, upgrading hardware, and training the entire public sector is too complicated and costly.

The compatibility of custom-made 32-bit software tools is another crucial reason for still seeing XP in many places like industrial environments, hospitals, etc.

In many cases, there are no newer versions of these critical tools, or companies need to pay a lot of money to have them ported to new systems.

Then there’s the category of people who are using hardware that is too old and weak to run a newer Windows version properly, and they see no good reason to replace something that is still (technically) working.

Many users, including some in government, value ease and tradition over security … often to the detriment of public stakeholders.

Portland, Maine

Portland was rainy and cool when we arrived this afternoon. It seemed appropriate to walk around downtown and take in this great port city under a gray, wet sky. After two hours of window shopping we had dinner at Central Provisions, which is housed in a building that once served the West Indies Trading Company. We had reservations for many weeks and I’m glad that we did. Wet, hungry diners were turned away one after another almost all evening. Dinner was small plates — sturgeon caviar, tinned sardines served with sourdough, toasted pork served over apple brown butter and a small selection of cheese and honey. It was all very impressive. A young couple seated next to us was excited to learn we were from Austin and we had a great time comparing travel notes and recommendations.

After dinner we set off in the rain to the LL Bean flagship store in Freeport (open 24 hours) and then continued on to our hotel in Boothbay Harbor. I visited here many times as a child, and not much has changed. The drive was dark and wet, and I look forward to walking through town tomorrow morning. Even though we were here just last year, I can never spend enough time here.

Nostalgic Instruction

I used to record my flights with a GoPro camera so that I could go back and debrief myself without having to rely on in-flight notes. I always enjoyed watching the videos after each flight, taking in sights and sounds I had missed while aviating and navigating. The videos allowed me to be a passive passenger on my own flights.

The pandemic put a squeeze on my flying. Now that I’m preparing preparing for a Biennial Flight Review, my old flying videos are proving helpful once again as my old self is serving as a teacher to my current self.

Chef

I enjoyed Jon Favreau’s 2014 film about a chef who abandons his job at a prestigious Los Angeles restaurant to rediscover his love of cooking by opening a food truck in Miami. It’s a “get back to basics” story that was well-executed but flew fairly low under the radar. Austinites will appreciate several scenes shot around the city. Brisket makes an appearance courtesy of Aaron Franklin.   

Time Machine vs Migration Assistant

I spent much of last weekend restoring my father-in-law’s MacBook Pro, which had stopped receiving updates and was acting out in strange ways following a small-town repair tech’s ill-fated attempt to service it. 

The situation called for a complete erase and reinstall of macOS, followed by a series of updates to bring the machine current with macOS Big Sur. 

Backing up and restoring a Mac has gotten a lot easier thanks to iCloud, but there may be occasions when you need to restore files, settings and media from a backup drive. 

Migration Assistant 

Migration Assistant is an app that lives in the macOS Utilities folder. 

Migration Assistant is more complicated than other backup methods since it requires you to already be on a Mac that has been set up, and accordingly, already on a new user account. Long story short, it can be complicated to migrate an “old” user account over to a “new” account. Migration can easily unravel, resulting in duplicated or missing files and accounts. Migration Assistant has always been complicated and frustrating tool for me.

Time Machine 

Time Machine is Apple’s go-to backup and snapshot app that provides a smoother experience. Simply use Time Machine for regular backups, including just before you want to restore your Mac. Once backed up, erase and update your Mac to the latest OS, then plug in the external drive associated with your Time Machine backup and select while files, profiles and settings you want.

It couldn’t be any easier. 

Bradley Koda, the Parts Seller Keeping Atari Machines Alive

Via Vice:

Among Atari fans, Best is almost as famous for ignoring and blacklisting badly behaved customers as it is for selling Atari parts. A first attempt to buy from Best Electronics is a sink-or-swim proposition: learn the rules, or accept your fate.

Every purchase from Best Electronics requires personal interaction with Koda. Although he’s fond of using the editorial “we,” he is a one-man operation, and he doesn’t believe in automation. “We prefer to talk, Via E-Mail, Phone or E-FAX to our Atari customers, and make sure you getting the Right Atari Replacement Parts / Items the first time,” he explains on the Best website, in his inimitable prose style.

Koda is a monopolist, of a sort, but he’s no Jeff Bezos. Best Electronics has no virtual shopping cart, or any other Amazon-esque conveniences. The store’s website looks the same as it has since the early 2000s: it’s a lengthy, multicoloured text scroll, as if Jack Kerouac quit the novel-writing business (but not the benzedrine) and started typing about Atari.