I spent much of the last month on business in Australia and New Zealand, with a schedule
of meetings and facility tours that left little time for web browsing (or much else,
either). I did need to deal with email daily, however, and wasn't particularly pleased with
the communication speeds I was able to get. My PC has a built in 56K modem, and although
all three hotels in which I stayed offered phones with built-in modem and data ports, I
had to disconnect the phone lines from the terminal and plug them into my modem port to
get a proper connection, and only got connection speeds ranging from 14.4 to 26.4.
Adequate for email, but certainly not impressive. The IR keyboard equipped web-browse-by-
TV systems were all ugly to watch and unintuitive to use...and expensive.
One positive thing is that somehow the problem with Netscape Communicator's email reader,
that I mentioned last month, mysteriously vanished as soon as the trip started. No
problems at all now, and it's certainly not due to anything that I was able to do. Maybe it
was the Coriolis Force, or something.
Also mysterious was the reason for last month's newsletter coming out almost entirely in
italics. It didn't look like that when I printed the proofs from the files i gave the
printing company representative. Some incompatibility in the selected printers and their
respective drivers, I assume. Although I apologized for the unexpected look at last
month's meeting, I was more than a little bemused to receive a compliment on the look from
a couple of members, who evidently thought it had been done in a cursive font. Go figure.
Come to think of it, this has been quite a month for mysteries. An unusually large number
of 419 scam messages have reached me lately (you know, the ones from people claiming to be
relatives or the lawyers of -- usually deceased -- African politicians with fortunes
salted away in accounts needing my help to access, and offering huge cuts in the loot).
There's nothing new there, but what I find mysterious is the greatly increased number and
the greatly decreased overall quality of the messages. How anyone could possibly fall for
one of these is a real mystery.
As is a message I received as I was typing this. Did anyone else in the TPC get this
message with the subject "Aliens or Time Travelers PLEASE HELP!", and beginning with "If
you are a time traveler or alien disguised as human and or have the technology to travel
physically through time I need your help!"? The message ends with "Please do not reply if
your [sic] an evil alien! Thanks" Hmmm...you're welcome, but I'm sorry I can't help. The
message addressee isn't me, though...it's another name and email address entirely, but
with the same ISP. I had to think for a few seconds -- I've had a bad cold and I've been
taking some powerful medication -- but, nope, I'm not an alien, evil or otherwise, or a
time traveler, nor am I the person to whom the message was sent.
The final mystery for this month is the abrupt and unprovoked refusal of a recently
purchased RPG game to work. It was working last week, and nothing has changed on the
system, but even after being reinstalled it just refuses to run. I don't have time to
experiment with the system and see what the cause is for the next couple of weeks, so this
will have to remain unsolved for a while. Maybe by next month I'll figure it out.
Meanwhile, once again I'd like to encourage you to visit the newsgroups often to keep in
touch between meetings, and be sure to contact me with newsletter article ideas and Andrew
Shuttleworth with proposals for topics and/or people to do presentations at the monthly
meetings. Stay tuned.
© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material
rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user
groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other
reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written
permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication
of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these
products are not so protected by law.
April , 2002
The Newsletter of the
Tokyo PC Users Group
Tokyo PC Users Group,
Post Office Box 103,
Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN