Friday, April 27, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 4)

I'm still having troubles. I wonder sometimes if it's worth it to go thru such pain to upgrade my operating system but I know it is.

I was having a hard-time downloading FileZilla from SourceForge. I waited a few hours and the progress bar moved quite slowly then stopped after a couple hours. I made two attempts. The second attempt still took about 2 hours but it finished but the setup was corrupted. Then switched to a closer mirror in Japan. It downloaded in 10 minutes and installed perfectly.

I installed TortoiseCVS for source-control but when I did a checkout, it's downloading super slow! I'm getting about 1 file every 15 minutes and I have hundreds of files to download. Something is very wrong.

I'm having trouble getting SQL to work. I don't actually need a SQL server locally. I just need the program that allows to connect to the remote SQL server on our web server. SQL Express got installed with Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro but it does not have the UI I need. I have these two disk someone made for me that say SQL Dev. They don't require a PIN. I tried installing SQL from both disks 1 and 2 but not much happened and I still don't have the UI I need. I tried going to but they mail you disks and I need the software now.

I'm attempting to un-install SQL and re-install it and see if that works. I rebooted and my PC blue-screened! The error was on the screen for half a second so I have no idea what the problem was. I told it to use the last known good configuration and it booted fine except that my video card driver was gone so now I suspect the cheap video card I bought for $20 is the problem. I'll have to do some research on which cards are certified with Vista and buy one of those. I asked the guy at the store if this card will work with Vista and of course he said yes. He wants to sell the card.

Thumbs Plus is still superior to the built in thumbs program of Vista. With Thumbs Plus you have far more control over how you want it to work for example the size of the thumbnails and the delay between slide show pictures as well as doing a slide show into sub-directories and viewing the pics randomly as well as including music to your slide show and displaying things like filename and stats in the slideshow as well as defining what happens if the pic is too big or small.

Thumbs plus also color codes the directories so if you have images that are 3 directories deep, you can follow the color-coded folders to find them. I can go on and on. I'm actually happy that I still need Thumbs Plus. I've been using since it since 1995 and I've seen it get better with every version. It's amazing.

The scaling algorithm on Vista is not that great. Diagonal lines have jagged edges when an image is scaled down.

The recycle bin actually fills up with paper as itself fills up with files.

Here is what it looks like when it's empty.

I thought for sure I would be able to do work today but I'm still struggling with SQL and CVS. I've removed my sound-card and will buy a new one.

I'm now using my old 80 GB as my backup drive but I could not fit all of my files on it! I had about 150 GB of files to backup. I was going to buy a 500 GB drive to full backup my files then I realized that I had a lot of files I no longer needed so I spent a few hours deleting files. I shrunk my massive archive from 150 GB to 40 GB so I was able to back it all up to my 80 GB. I copied it overnight while I slept but I was worried when I woke up because my PC was off. I thought maybe my PC overheated and died. When I turned it on, I discovered it was only sleeping. It was set to sleep after 1 hours of inactivity. Apparently it waited until the file copy was done to sleep because I compared the size, files and folders and they were identical. I still need to do a more thorough check through my long term archive and delete a lot more stuff.

I should have written down the old programs setup files I had. I didn't see much value in keeping Netscape 4, AOL 3, AIM 2, Photoshop 4, Dreamweaver 2, FrontPage 1, Opera 4 and so on. I had forgotten what half the programs were anyway. If I couldn't remember what it was, I deleted it. I had a dozen programs related to Black Jack that I downloaded during my gambling days. Deleted. I did keep the version of Tetris I used to play in college! It's a DOS app but Vista still played it although it complained a little but it ran fine. The old high scores were still there which was spooky because my friend had all of the high scores and he's dead now. It's like his ghost is still around beating me.

I kept some of them though like this Age of Empires EXE that my boss at Microsoft hacked to give us unlimited population growth. Our test team used to play AOE while we ate lunch everyday. I remember back in the day when I had accounts on CompuServe, AOL and Prodigy (the big 3) before the Internet got popular, I wanted a digital TV guide that I could search. I finally found one called ETV. It was a DOS program and each week I would download a new database to search. I still have that plus all of the databases I download just for nostalgia reasons. I never finished Descent 3 so I saved that in the hopes of finishing it later. LView was the first graphics program I ever used and I used it for a long time. I'm keeping that also for nostalgia reasons. Alchemy was the best command line app for doing image conversions back in 1993 and 1994. I still have that, again for nostalgia. The first DOS version of NASCAR was really cool and I still have it. I don't know if it will run. I hope so. I bought the sequels but somehow they were never as good as the original.

I turned off the screen saver and energy saver features. I always turn off my screen when I'm not using it plus I'm always downloading things overnight so I want my PC on 24 hours per day. I like having it on in the morning so I can just turn on my monitor and check my email without waiting for it to boot. It takes Vista about 3 minutes to boot on my PC but then I have to wait another minute while programs are still loading.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 3)

I just spent a few hours installing Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro. Downloading service patch 1 took an hour and installing it took another hour! I then downloaded and installed service patch 1 for Vista but that only took 10 minutes to download and 10 minutes to install.

This is the point where Windows Vista died on me last time so kept rebooting to see if it was still working

  • After installing VS.NET 2005 Pro
  • After installing SP1
  • After installing SP1 for Vista

I'm so relieved that's not what killed it. Obviously my hard-drive went bad and corrupted the registry.

I deleted the partition on my 80 GB drive (the one that went bad) and created a new NTFS partition with compression and smallest sectors and did a thorough format. Then I backed up my files to it. Then I let out a big sigh of relief. It always makes me nervous to have one copy of my files. If that copy goes bad, the files are lost. Actually that's not entirely true. I do have backups of various files on other backup devices like flash drives, DVD burns and USB drives but their old backups and incomplete. I would definitely lose something.

I still have not installed my sound card. I went to Windows update and there was an update to the sound card that's integrated into my motherboard so I installed it but it did not fix my sound.

I had trouble finding these in the start menu

  • Command Prompt
  • Windows Explorer
  • Run

And help didn't help either but when I changed the start menu to classic view, I found them easily. I created a link to command prompt and windows explorer and put it in my quick launch then switched back to the new vista start menu. I can use the command prompt in place of Run.

Windows Vista comes with some new games like chess, inkball, mahjong and purple place. Kelly also tried some of the other hearts and solitaire and said they were much nicer than Windows XP. I played the computer in chess 3 times and lost 3 times on beginner. I've gotten rusty but to be fair, I wasn't thinking hard about my moves. I was just playing for fun making lots of mistakes but there is infinite undo so that's nice. You can also save your game at any point. It would be fun to play it on the hardest level and use undo to try to beat it. If you're losing, just undo and try something else. If I had to reboot, I could save my game for later.

I use these programs for web development

  • Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro (development)
  • SQL (database)
  • Tortoise CVS (source control)
  • ExamDiff (file and directory compare)
  • FileZilla (FTP (file transfer))
Next I'm going install Tortoise CVS but I'm nervous because it integrates into Windows Explorer. It has no UI of its own. Lucky for me I have a lot of choices for CVS clients but I happen to like TortoiseCVS. It's very easy to use. I'm definitely going to create a Restore Point before I install it though.

I've installed GTalk but I still need to install Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Skype and ooVoo. ooVoo is great if you want to use your webcam. You can have a webcam conference with many people. I'm not sure what the limit is but I've seen Kelly chat with 3 people and it shows 3 windows plus hers and they're all doing sign language.

Windows Messenger comes with Vista. There might be a later version out there but I'll just use the one I have for now. It's good enough since I'm not a big Windows Messenger user at this point. AIM was the first IM that I really used a lot and that was replaced by MSN Messenger (which is not named Windows Messenger). Then Yahoo Messenger came out and it had a lot of cool new features and a lot of people I knew were using it so that became my IM of choice. Then I switched from using Outlook to Gmail 2 years ago when I moved to Malaysia so now GTalk is my favorite because I can search Gmail for my text messages. The other IMs can archive and search chats too but it's nice having email and chat searchable all in one.

Technology has really opened up the world to the deaf with mobile phone text messages (SMS) and webcam. Before these they had to purchase special phones where they would type messages to each other and get print-outs.

I've installed Pando for file sharing and subscription to podcasts and that seems to be working. It was blocked by the Windows Vista firewall so Vista prompted me to allow it.

In the past when I installed a new operating system I would first make a list of all the programs I use then I would install them all at one time but what I'll do this time is just install programs as I need them. This way I only install programs I use, plus I'll have a better chance of installing a more recent version.

I'm not sure if I need Thumbs Plus. Windows Vista does a really good job at generating thumbnails and doing slide-shows. It has a nice feature where it displays a picture of an open folder for each folder and a couple pictures from each folder so you get some idea what is inside them. I'll continue to use Vista's built in thumbnail feature. It's sad because I've been using Thumbs Plus since version 4 back in 1995. They're almost family to me.

Vista definitely has higher security. Windows needs your permission to continue every time I run an executable. It's not as annoying as it sounds and there's probably a way for it to remember to allow it next time.

I just noticed something cool. You will see a windows animation in its thumbnail whether you are viewing the thumbnail from the taskbar, alt-tab or 3D Aero window scroller or where ever.

Windows Vista spontaneously rebooted on me. I was backing up some files using xcopy in a command prompt and I was finishing up installing ExamDiff. I clicked the Launch button and my screen went black and it rebooted. After I booted, I was able to run ExamDiff with no problem but I was a bit annoyed that running a small app would crash Vista. The app is fairly new.

I tried the file Backup program that comes with Vista but you don't get much control over which files and folders it will backup. It also combines the files into dozens of zip files. I much prefer to simply copy the files so I have easy access to them. I used to use a program called SecondCopy but they don't have a version for Vista yet. They are working on it though so I'll check back with them once it's certified.

The desktop gadgets remind of Windows 95 Active desktop. That never caught on so I'm skeptical whether these Vista desktop gadgets will catch on.

Both Kelly and I are very impressed with Vista. It's probably a high that will wear off in a week once I get used to all the new shiny features but right now I feel like Windows is easier and more fun to use. My wife still uses Windows XP on her laptop and I look over and it already looks old and out of date.

More adventures with Windows Vista to come in Part 4!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Windows Vista (Part 2)

My hard drive crashed!

I had just got done installing two Service Packs for Visual Studio.NET 2005 Pro and I rebooted. Half way through the boot I saw a blue-screen for about half of a second. I could not read it all but it said something about "registry corruption". It rebooted and I never saw that message again but it took me to the screen where you can choose to repair windows or boot using safe mode.

  1. First I tried the repair but it said it was unable to repair Windows.
  2. Then I tried booting into safe mode and that didn't work either.
  3. I tried to restore to the last known good configuration but that didn't work.
  4. I tried to restore the last good restore point but there was none.
  5. One message said to remove any recently installed hardware. I had installed a Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 adapter before I installed Vista and it was working fine but I removed it just in case. That changed nothing.
  6. So then I ran a memory check and it found no errors with memory.
  7. I ran a disk check and it said "A patch is preventing the system from restarting. Repair action: system files integrity check and repair. Result: FAiled. Error code = 0x4005"
  8. I tried to re-install Windows Vista on my c: drive but it needed about 6.5 GB of free space but I only had 6 GB free
  9. I tried install Windows Vista to my second hard-drive and that worked!

I have an 80 GB drive and a 500 GB drive. The 80 GB drive was for my operating system, programs and most commonly used files. The 500 GB was for backup and archived files. I'm planning to get a third drive which will be 500 GB so I can have archive my backup drive. I want to make sure I have at least two copies of my important files in case one hard-drive fails.

Right now I have about 100 GB of files on my 500 GB drive and there is no other copy so if that drive fails, I lose those files so what I'm going to do next is make my 80 GB a backup drive.


  • 80 GB - C: with Windows
  • 500 GB - F: backup


  • 500 GB - C: with Windows
  • 80 GB - D: backup

I've created a restore point this time. I will definitely use that feature now each time I make a major change to my system. It's like playing a game where you save right before you try something you might regret. Undo!

So it looks as though I've lost another day of productivity. That's about 4 days lost but I don't blame Windows Vista. Hard drives go bad. I've been quite rough with my 80 GB and it's time to retire it.

I'm not sure how well Windows Vista will perform on my 500 GB drive because I have it setup using NTFS as a compressed drive using the smallest partition size. It was meant only for storage and the smaller your partition size, the slower your disk access, but the more compressed your files will be so it's a trade-off. Unfortunately it might be a little slow but only time will tell. So far I haven't noticed it being too slow.

More later in Part 3.

Windows Vista (Part 1)

Windows Vista first impressions ... I've been using it for an hour so far.

Windows Vista Ultimate arrived in the mail about a week ago. I downloaded the Vista install advisor and discovered my PC had a lot of issues like software I had to un-install and drivers and hardware that were not supported. So after a few days I finally got my PC into a state where I had a lot of warnings, but I could go ahead with the Upgrade.

Unfortunately the upgrade stopped half-way so I tried everything I could think of but every time I tried to upgrade, it would stop at the same point. The problem is, it didn't tell me what the problem was. It just said "The upgrade was cancelled".

I finally gave up and decided to go for the full install which meant that I would need to re-install all of my programs. I thought it was going to reformat my hard-drive but it didn't. It moved my Windows, Program Files and Documents and Settings directories into the directory Windows.old.

It created a new Documents and Settings directory but it's not actually a directory. When I get a listing from the command-line it says that it's a Junction, what ever that is.

I had fully backed up all of my files before I did the install and I was happy that I didn't need to restore any of them.

The install would not let me continue until I deleted or renamed my c:\users directory. Windows Vista creates its own c:\users directory so now mine is named c:\users2. I just tried to rename it to c:\usr but it said "access denied".

The install went pretty quick and lasted about one hour. I baby-sat the PC watching the whole install while reading the latest Wired magazine.

I'm super happy with it so far but I have a lot to learn. I'm having trouble finding things for examples Windows Explorer and the command shell. I also have not found the Run menu yet.

I love the 3D Aero interface where I can see a 3D view of my windows and scroll them and pick one. Totally cool.

I love the fade in and out of windows and how the expand and shrink and how the edges of the window are transparent.

The UI is very sleek. I was using the latest version of Windows Media player on Windows XP Pro and it had the Windows Vista look with the black shiny metal appearance.

I have a stack of programs to install so I can get back to work. I lost about 3 work days trying to install Windows Vista.

As I said before, I have the Ultimate (Best!) version so I have a lot to explore. I'm writing this blog entry in IE7 which comes with Vista but I will be installing Firefox 2.x shortly since that is my browser of choice.

I got the 180 days trial of Visual Studio 2005 Pro and it was 4 days away from expiring and now I can re-install it and get 180 more days ... maybe. In any case, I bought the Pro version and it should arrive any day now but I could have saved my money.

It's no big deal ... the version I got retails for $450 but I got it for $45 at the Microsoft company store. It's one perk of being a Microsoft alumni. Windows Vista Ultimate cost me $65 and I think it retails for about $650. Don't quote me. My point is that I save a lot of money on Microsoft software.

I just realized that my Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse work! I didn't have to install the software or drivers. Sweet! I kept my old keyboard and mouse as a backup in case the wireless version ever fails for example the batteries could die and I don't have new batteries.

In a few days I'll post another entry.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Future

In the year 1960 the famous futurist and sometimes scifi novelist, Ned Toffler, predicted what the world would be like in 50 years in the year 2010. As we approach the year 2010 lets look back and see how accurate he was.

Flying Cars and Giant Computers

In the year 2010 we will have flying cars all controlled by a massive computer the size of the Empire State building. The number of vacuum tubes in that computer will be in the billions and this computer will cost trillions of dollars and will run the United States. The magnetic core memory of this giant computer will have the capacity to store trillions of bits.

Today’s computer languages will evolve to meet the needs of the future. All computers will be programmed in advanced forms of Lisp, Algol, Fortran or COBOL.

Every country will build similar massive computers. Every home and business will have a small computer that communicates with the Mother Computer via radio signals and a large network of radio towers. A network of radio towers floating at sea will help computers communicate across oceans.

The Global Computer Network will be referred to as the G.C.N.

The World’s Knowledge

All of mans knowledge will be on computers stored on video tape. Anyone anywhere in the world can access any information at any time. Because of this, libraries will no longer have books but instead be a place where you search for information on the computer. Paper will be a thing of the past. Books will only exist in museums since people will have access to anything at any time via computer panel interfaces which will be everywhere and available to access for free. Small personal computers will be free. If your computer breaks, throw it away and get a new one.

Computer programs will increase in sophistication and will eventually start writing themselves. We will no longer understand how computers work since they will build themselves and are computer maintained by fleets of robots.

The workings of the brain will be 80% understood. Computers will be designed to emulate the working of the brain which will cause a great advance in artificial intelligence but that last 20% will prevent robots from actually being as intelligent as humans. A big controversy in the year 2010 is the rights of robots as they gain human intelligence. They are still far off from being human but the worry is that someday they will achieve sentience and self-awareness and demand their rights. Laws will be passed to place limits on how intelligent a robot can be until the moral issues are worked out.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where computers are almost as smart as man but they still cannot understand human emotions and feelings but they are able to create some amazing art for example music, paintings, sculpture and even author books or scripts for movies and Television shows. Computers will be able to beat the best master level chess players in the world with ease. People will enjoy watching two robots playing chess. Some robots will become as famous as celebrities for various reasons.

Tall Buildings

The Empire State building will no longer be the tallest building in the world. It won’t even be close. New stronger materials will be invented allow buildings to reach up beyond the clouds. Having the tallest building in the world will become a source of pride as well as a good source of tourist income causing many countries to compete resulting in the tallest building in the world being replaced by another every 5 years. The tallest building in the world in 2010 will exceed 1 mile high! The observation decks on these high buildings will require depressurization, air-tanks and very warm clothing. Super fast elevators will be needed traveling 100 mph getting you to the top in less than 10 minutes.

Some buildings will be pushed beyond the limits and collapse. With great height comes many great dangerous for example high winds, fires, collision from planes and accidental depressurization.


The population of Earth will triple from 3 billion to 9 billion by the year 2010 but we will not need 3 times as much land to live on because most people will live and work in these massive buildings in the cities. The space we need to live will expand vertically instead of horizontally.


By the year 2010 we will have a space station housing thousands of people. The moon will also be a permanent home to thousands and a colony of hundreds will live on Mars. Thanks to advances in rocket propulsion, the journey to and from Mars will only take a week. Other smaller colonies in space will exist on the moons of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. There will also be smaller colonies within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. People will also hitch rides on many of the comets that visit our solar system on a regular basis for example Halley's comet which visits us every 76 years which we will see again in 1986.

Missions to deep space will be in the works with plans to visit the outer planets and beyond but much better propulsion will be needed. Nuclear power will be used to power rockets and just about everything.

The rich will visit space for vacation. Casual space travel will not be cheap enough for the average person. The health benefits of zero gravity will be many but it can be a problem for babies born in zero gravity and grow up in zero gravity. These zero-G babies can never visit a planet with gravity unless they wear a special suit because they have never learned to walk so they still need to get around in a self propelled wheel chair.


There will be enough cheap power for everyone. Nuclear powered cars can go for 20 years before the fuel rods need replacing. Nuclear power will power the most of world except for those areas powered by the forces of nature (discussed later).

Scientists will find a way to neutralize the radiation created by the waste products of a nuclear plant. Nuclear waste will be rendered harmless and the materials can be reused.


Robots will walk among us doing all of the hard-labor jobs. This will make for a lazy society causing most people to get fat (see Health for more info).

Robot auto-pilots will drive cars and fly airplanes. They will be far more reliable than humans. Accidents will still happen but they will be extremely rare and usually caused by human error. Forget about directions and maps. Simply sit back and tell the robot where to go then enjoy the ride. Cars on robot highways will travel 150 mph so you can travel coast to coast in 24 hours. Read a book, watch a movie or sleep. The car is nuclear powered so it’s quiet and it’s clean and there’s no stopping for gas.

If you get a flat-tire, the robot will safely pull over and change the tire and you will be on your way within 5 minutes.

Most surgeries will be done by robots. Their speed and accuracy will far exceed a human’s abilities. Only the most complicated and experimental surgeries will be done by humans.

Humans will have robot limbs. If you lose a hand, foot, arm or leg due to an accident you can get a robot replacement which will work as good if not better. We will also have the ability to grow new body parts.

Pneumatic tubes

A huge system if interconnected pneumatic (air) tubes will circle the globe. Mailmen are a thing of the past. To send a letter, you place it into a capsule and drop it into the tube. Every house has one! Every address in the world will get a unique number so you simply write the number on the outside of the tube. All capsules will be sent to large hubs where robots will intercept the capsules, read the number, and transfer it to the correct tube. Traveling at more than 500 mph, the capsules can travel from New York to California and about 5 hours. Sending a message to your neighbor next door still takes 30 minutes because it must first travel to the nearest central hub then back again so you might as well just walk over and talk to them in person or call them on your video phone or send them a digital message using the GCN.


All phones will have a video screen so you can see and talk to the person on the other line. You won’t need to dial the number. Simply tell the computer who to call. Computers understand spoken language. Just say “Call Robin” and since you’ve already taught the phone that “Robin” stands for the phone number 10172489042104324325, it will automatically dial the number for you. Phone numbers will be about 20 digits in length in the future because it will allow you to call any phone anywhere on Earth without the need of an operator. Unfortunately you cannot call someone on the moon because the time-delay would make it impossible to have a normal conversation.


Humans are getting taller over time and by the year 2010 our average height will be 7. The hoop in regulation basketball will need to be raised to 12 feet.


One problem caused by the robots doing the all of the hard-labor is that most people will get fat but this will be cured by a pill. People will be able to eat what ever they want and still maintain a strong healthy body through a variety of pills. No more lifting weights at the gym. Take a certain pill and you'll have strong big muscles.

Most disease will be cured including most cancers. At first the improved health will cause an over population problem causing doctors to sterilize all children at birth in such a way that is easily reversed once they are adults and decide to have children. Government permission is required to have a children and the government limits two children per family to limit population growth. The goal will be to prevent the Earth from exceeding 10 billion people since resources are limited.

Improved health will result in people living longer with the average age being 100 years old by 2010.


Poverty will be eliminated. Third and forth world countries will be a thing of the past. Some countries will still be richer than others. Free education and a single world economy will improve the lives of everyone.


Animals will no longer be killed for food. Artificial food created in labs will contain all of the nutrients we need and taste just like animal meat like beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc.


The world will use one money standard. No more dollar, franc, pound, yen, etc.

Paper money and coins will no longer exist. Your body is now your money. There will be many ways to use your body as money for example computers will be able to recognize your face, your voice, your finger prints, etc. There will be no need to carry around an identification card because you are your own proof of identity. Use of password and computer identified signature will also be used.

Payments from one person to another will happen using the global computer network (GCN). Login to the computer and transfer money from your account to their account. Money will simply be bits in a computer.


Education is free including colleges and universities although advanced degrees for Masters, Phd and Post Doctorate degrees still cost money. Since all manual labor jobs are now done by robots, everyone must have college degree in order to compete in the job market. The average intelligence of the world is raised not only by schooling but also by smart pills that assist in learning and memory.


Sleep is optional and can be controlled by pills. Everything our body gets from sleep will be provided by a pill although some people will still enjoy sleeping naturally to experience normal dreaming. You will be able to record your dreams to video tape and play them back for analysis as well as entertainment. Lucid dreaming will be possible using a system of electrodes that keeps you awake enough to have full control over your dream. You will be a God in your own universe.

With pills and special head gear you will be able to learn in your sleep but the learning will be limited. You will still need to attend school and use what you learn otherwise it is forgotten unless you are also taking a memory pill which assists your brain in retaining what it already knows.

War and Peace

World Peace will finally be obtained when the world unites under one government known as the UEF which stands for the United Earth Federation. It will be governed by representatives from each country. Each country will still maintain its own style of government (Democracy, Communism, etc) but instead of waging wars, issues would be settled via peaceful negotiations.


You can vote from home using the GCN. The information about all of the candidates will be on the computer for you to research.


Dangerous illegal drugs will be a thing of the past since safe alternative drugs will be invented that are not addicting and yet give the same high. They will be made available at the local drug store. With a pill you will be able to safely experience drugs like marijuana or LSD with no side effects or addiction and no possibility of over dose.


Safe cigarettes will be invented.


By 2010, only 50% of the world will be religious. Science and rational thought begin to replace religious thought. The term “in god we trust” will be removed from the US money. The US pledge of allegiance will have the term “under god” removed.


The world will still have the major sports that exist today like rugby, cricket, tennis, soccer, football, basketball, hockey but spectators of televised matches will be able to choose the camera angle while watching Television. Each person will have their camera mounted on their body so you can see the view from their point of view.

With car racing, each car has 4 cameras looking forward, backward, left and right so you can choose which car and which direction to view. There will be a dozen other camera angles to choose for example the view from the blimp, fixed camera views setup around the course or human controlled cameras panning with the action. Or let the broadcaster choose which camera you view as they pick the best view at any point in time.

Most sports will have a robot version. There will be robot soccer, robot football, robot basketball, robot baseball, robot boxing, etc. New sports will be invented just for robots for example robot death matches where robots fight to the death. Viewing such an event is dangerous to your health so you can only view such events on Television from a distance. These robots will stand 30 feet high and have many weapons. Some matches are controlled remotely miles away by teams of people. In other matches the robots use their own artificial intelligence to fight.

New sports will be created based on new technologies that are invented including new kinds of car racing with the invention of new types of cars, new types of bike racing with the invention of new types of bikes, new types of boat racing with new types of boats and so on.

Due to improvements in health, fitness and shoe technology, running 20 mile marathons will no longer be challenging. Marathons will be increased to 100 miles in length and be held in very harsh environments like Sahara desert or the Arctic North Pole.

Sports in Space

New sports will be invented in space in zero gravity for example swim matches will be held in a giant sphere of water. A new sport that is a cross between soccer, basketball, hockey and football will exist within a closed room. Each team will have a goal and the ball can be rebound off any wall. Players can push off walls and various obstacles. It will be very physical with players colliding from all possible directions.

Bicycling and running in zero-G will also be popular on circular tracks. Centrifugal force will keep the people on the track or the courses will be spin to give them artificial gravity.

Olympics in Space

We have the summer and winter games but by 2010 they will also have the space Olympics. There will be events in zero gravity as well as events on the moon like the high jump and weight lifting. Although nobody has been to the moon scientist theorize that the gravity is 1/5 of that of Earth. Lifting 200 pounds on Earth is the same as lifting 200 pounds on the moon. 200 pounds is 200 pounds but that same weight would be 1000 pounds on Earth so it would look more impressive on the moon.

Moon golf will be very popular although players will be able to hit the ball for many miles. But these will be special balls that are easy to find because they transmit a special radio signal. Fast jet transportation can take players quickly to their ball. Courses will cover hundreds of miles.

There will be more countries to compete that we have now since new countries will be established on the moon, Mars, other moons and even large asteroids.

The Moon

Buildings on the moon will be built far underground to protect them from meteors which can punch a hole through a wall. It will be illegal for any building to exist on the surface of the moon.

There will be plenty of tunnels for housing because of the underground strip mining that will be done. Valuable elements not found on Earth will be mined and rocketed to Earth. Its value will far exceed that of gold or diamonds.

Gold and Diamonds

Gold and Diamonds will have far less value in 2010 because new technology allows us to make them. Gold can be made in any purity including 18 carat. Diamonds more perfect than the real thing will be created using high pressure and high temperatures. There will be no more need for gold or diamond mining.

Because the value of gold will drop, money will no longer be based on the gold standard. Jewelry like wedding rings will no longer have diamonds but instead be created with the more valuable and rare jewels found only on the moon.


Another form of transportation is underground tubes which cross the ocean connecting New York to London. With speeds exceeding 500 mph the trip can be made in 7 hours.

All commercial flights will fly faster than speed of sound traveling from New York to California in 3 hours.

Crowded cities will contain robot taxis. No human drivers will be allowed in large cities. Traffic will be computer controlled eliminating traffic jams and reducing travel time.

Political Boundaries

With fast and cheap transportation will revolutionize the world but the biggest change will come when the one centralized government (UEF) drops all boundaries and allows anyone to travel and live anywhere at any time.


The languages of the world will slowly merge into a single language as we become one world. As we speak we will mix words from English, Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, African, etc. Due to cheap and fast transportation as well as the lowering of country boundaries, allowing anyone to travel and live anywhere, the people of the world will migrate and blend and become one giant melting pot and so to will our language.


Only 20% of the world will be of a pure race. Some countries like Japan will resist racial intermixing due to their culture but most will embrace it. As the world mixes, it will be rare for people to marry their own race causing the races of the world to slowly blend into one. A person might be part Japanese, African, European and Australian or maybe part Mexican, Hawaiian, Alaskan, Indonesian. The question of race will lose its importance. We will all be mutts.


Cheap homes will be built by robots in a day. You can design your house the way you want it then feed your design into the computer. The computer will then command the robots on how to build it. Hours later you have the house of your dreams.


Television screens will be the size of the wall. There will be hundreds of channels from all over the world including broadcasts from space, the moon, Mars, other moons and beyond. People will spend 8 hours per day watching TV on average but it won’t be a problem since nobody sleeps. They still have enough time to work and play.


Massive corrections will occur in the population over the next 50 years due to sickness, war, natural disasters and yet the human race will still reach 9 billion by 2010.

There will be no room for cemeteries in the future so everyone will be cremated. Some rich people will prefer to have their bodies rocketed into deep space or into the Sun. The rich can afford to have themselves frozen when they die in the hopes that some future society can revive them and give them a new life. By the year 2010 there will be over 100,000 people frozen awaiting a cure from death.

Suicide services are provided for anyone over 75 or for the very sick who would like to die a pleasant and pain free death.

The definition of death will be redefined as science finds new ways to revive someone whose body has stopped. A person is not considered dead until all attempts to revive them have failed. Their heart may have stopped an hour ago and they are brain dead. In today’s world we would declare them dead but in 2010 they will be able to revive someone from this state.

Some patients will be “killed” in order to save their lives. They will be placed in a state of cold suspended animation until the doctors are ready to perform the necessary procedures to bring them back to life. They may remain in this preserved state for days at a time and be revived with little ill effects.


George Orwell’s novel 1984 let us know that in the future “Big Brother is watching you”. This will be true to a point. Cameras will be almost everywhere. It will be nearly impossible to commit a crime without having it caught on tape.


Breakthroughs in rehabilitation make prison sentences very short. Due to a greater understanding of the brain and the relationship between nature and nurture, we learn why people commit crimes and how they can be reprogrammed to lead a normal life that conforms to the rules of society.

Capital Punishment

Punishment by death unnecessary due to advances in rehabilitation (see Prisons).

Weapons and War

Remote control rockets can be launched into space and return anywhere on Earth so every country could attack every other country with ease except for the anti-attack rocket system that would detect and destroy any foreign incoming rockets.

Every country would have the ability to attack any other country with remote rockets but the attack would futile.

Armies of robots could do battle instead of armies of people.

Even though countries would have the ability to attack there is no need. The problems of the world are worked out through negotiations in the United Earth Federation.

World Records

10 years ago Joseph Kittinger broke three world records:

  • Highest Parachute Jump
  • Longest Freefall
  • Highest Freefall Velocity

His accomplishments are simply a precursor to freefalling from space. This will not only be a sport people do for fun but it is also a practical and fast way to return from space. Space suits will be invented that can take the heat on re-entry. They will also have wings and a parachute. What Joseph Kittinger did is amazing to us now but in the year 2010 it will be common place to free fall from orbit.

Thirteen years ago Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier flying in the X-1. Today breaking the sound barrier is common place. Speeds records will continue to be broken so by the year 2010 the fastest jets can travel 10 times the speed of sound.

In 1954 Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four minute mile and today that accomplishment is still nearly impossible by our top athletes but by 2010 this will be common place by all top running athletes due to improvements not only in health but also in shoe technology.

The tallest person will reach 12 feet tall.

Largest Population: China 4 billion people


Pollution levels drop by 2010 due to nuclear power. The cleaner environment will leading to longer lives. Most things will be powered by electricity generated by nuclear power including homes, cars, businesses, ships, planes etc. Other forms of power derived from nature will also provide power like hydroelectric (power from dams), solar power, wind power, tide power, geyser power, volcanic power, earth quake power, tornado power, hurricane power … anything in nature that provides power will be tapped for energy. The need for fossil fuels will disappear. This will bankrupt some countries that depend on oil export for their economic stability but as we merge into one world economy and fast cheap transportation becomes available along with the dropping of political boundaries, people can easily migrate to where the job opportunities are.


Since people will no longer be limited to looking for a job in their limited area, they will find it easy to find a job anywhere in the world, in space, on the moon, Mars, etc. Since education is free, people can easily learn new skills for new and growing technologies.

There will be a large demand for explorers who are willing to risk their life to spread humanity to the stars.


The main industries will be space travel, computers, robots and tourism. Without the need for sleep, people will have more leisure time. They will also be expected to work longer days averaging 10 hours per day 6 days per week. But stress can be kept at a minimum with stress pills and motivation can be kept high with energy pills. If you feel like sleeping you can take a sleep pill.


There will be pills for sleeping, pills for staying awake, pills for losing weight, pills for improving muscles, pills for staying motivated, pills for improving learning and memory, pills to improve your sex life, pills to reduce stress and relax and so on. But to avoid taking so many pills everyday you can custom order a pill designed specifically for your needs so you only need to take one pill per day that does everything you want.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Death of TV (Part 2)

I am continuing my exploration of the online video world discovering many new great shows which are sucking up my time but also putting more nails into the television funeral casket. I just got an email from Microsoft which lists places to watch video online.

The quote someone as saying "Watching news on TV just takes too long," explains Marks. "With the Internet, I have the freedom to pick and choose what I want to watch—information that's relevant to me."

I also discovered this portal for Network2.

Check out the hilarious show called Galacticast which does scifi sketch comedy and parodies. Watch the video for Internet TV. I transcribed one of the skits below. It's a parody of the Apple PC/Mac commercials and explores the advantages of Internet TV over TV. That is TV on the left and the cool guy is Internet TV.

IT: Hello, I'm InternetTV
TV: And I'm just TV
IT: So what's on tonight TV?
TV: All kinds of things! We've got dramas and comedies, reality shows, entertainment news
IT: Real news?
TV: No, I'm afraid it's all entertainment news these days. all tried and true formulas. but it's a 500 channel universe. I'm sure you can find something to watch ... as long as you know the exact time and place to it's playing and it's popular enough to stick around ... or it's Law and Order.
IT: Well ... that's great TV
TV: So how many channels do you have?
IT: Infinite
TV: Infinite!???
IT: Well yeah. It's really easy these days. Almost anyone with a computer and camera can start their own show.
TV: Oh you mean those blogs, with those cats, the lonely girls, and the people wandering west Michigan?
IT: Well yeah, those are great too but there's all kinds of other content on the Internet. Like Rocketboom, Tiki bar TV, Ask a Ninja and Galacticast
TV: Galacta who?
IT: Glactacast. Scifi sketch comedy. They're great at parodies
TV: I see! But how can anyone find anything with so many choices? huh???
ITV: Well ...
TV: Yes, I have networks too
ITV: No, It's a great site that categorizes and reviews
all kinds of Internet TV shows
TV: OK, well, so you have your shows and I have mine
ITV: And I have yours too
TV: What???
ITV: All kinds of popular TV show are available for downloads on
iTunes right after they are aired on regular TV
TV: Yes ... AFTER they broadcast
ITV: Yeah ... for now ...
Ninja: You are like so totally dead!
TV: I know ...

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Death of TV

The only TV that I watch on the Television Set is the Amazing Race so can sit with my wife and talk about the places we might want to travel. I just saw the Amazing Race Asia which I don't think was shown in the US. Now I'm watching the Amazing Race All-Stars.

All other TV shows, movies and videos are viewed on my PC. I also watch and listen to podcasts on my PC. This happened out of necessity because I live in a house where there are too many people competing for the Television. I used to stay up late to watch my shows at 2 am, 3 am and 4 am. I tried to get this family to buy a DVR but they said they didn't want or need one. If any family needs a DVR, it's this one. Family members frequently have to miss parts of their show so others can watch. They live their schedules around the the TV schedule and even stay up late to watch their shows. They resist technological change. It's too different from them. They are like technophobes.

But beyond recording your TV from the standard TV signal there is the Internet and downloading your shows. It does not matter if you watch them on your TV or have a way to watch them on your Television set. The point is that you can watch what you want, when you want it. We are nearing that day when all shows are available all the time.

I do not subscribe to any service. I get all of this for free except for DVDs and VCDs I buy for movies and TV shows but they're super-cheap since they are pirated.

I installed Pando to transfer files to friends but in later versions they allowed me to subscribe to padcasts which is like Tivo in that I check it each day to see what I can watch or listen to.

Digg also created a Podcast section. A common misconception is that you need an iPod to watch or listen to podcasts but you don't. They are just video and audio files that you can watch or listen to on your PC any other device that supports those formats.

Revision3 has some great Podcasts I enjoy.

Here are some Podcasts that I've been enjoying lately. You can find these on Revision3.
  • Diggnation
  • TWIT - This week in Tech
  • Geekdrome
  • iFanboy
  • InDigital
  • thebroken
  • Web Drifter
  • Rocketboom
  • TWIT - This week in Tech
  • Systm
  • DL.TV
  • CrankyGeek
  • commandN
  • net@nite
  • InDigital
  • Buzz Out Loud from CNET
  • GeekBrief.TV
  • Leo Laporte - The Tech Guy
  • Hak5
My new cyber stars that I watch are
  • Joanne Colan
  • Kevin Rose
  • Alex Albrecht
  • Leo Laporte
  • John C. Dvorak
  • Patrick Norton
  • Wil Wheaton
Yes that is Wil Wheaton who starred in the movie Stand By Me and was played Ensign Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. On a side-note, Wil Wheaton is become a cyber celeb with his blog on Suicide Girls like this post about William Shatner. He is quite the gaming geek and scifi geek blogging about episodes of Next Gen that he was in.

It's amazing to see someone continually reinvent themselves and I'm a big fan of Wil Wheaton and I don't think he ruined Next Gen although he probably did save the Enterprise one time too many.

Getting back to the death of TV ... our world is going digital and it's transforming our entertainment. Film is becoming history and the days when we will drive to rent a video will come to an end some day when we can easily access any move or TV show.

Products like Apple TV and Microsoft's Media center try to fuse the Internet and PC with the Television. With the average person producing their own shows we are a phase of many-to-many when the number of channels is in the thousands and eventually the millions.

The shows most in demand will be part of the long tail. Everyone will gravitate toward their micro interests instead of hanging with the crowd and watching stuff that's aimed a wide audience. We will want the stuff that is aimed at a narrow audience to suit our peculiar tastes. Broadcasting is becoming Narrowcasting.

If I could, I would use iTunes for watching TV and movies but I am blocked in Malaysia but I'm told there is a work-around. I could have someone in the US open an account for me then I could use the service. I was thinking of doing that but there is just so much free content that has grabbed my attention that I haven't felt the need.

The same thing happened with MovieLink. They know my IP address is not in the US so they've blocked me from using their service.

I can trace this back to when I discovered I got to see Season 1 of Heroes ... finally! I saw the first 4 seasons of Mythbusters. I watched the first 4 seasons of Penn & Teller:Bullshit! I saw the first 2 seasons of The Office. I discovered this absolutely funny cartoon about the ultimate heavy metal band called Metalocalypse. I sampled a lot of shows I had never seen before including many that are not shown in the US like the IT Crowd. I watched all 4 seasons of the Aqua Team Hunger Force.

This has changed the way I watch TV. You can see by my TV page that I used to watch about 50 different TV shows each week with the help of Tivo. But what I prefer now is to watch an entire season of show from start to finish before moving onto another show. I bought Lost and House Season 1 on DVD and watched them from start to finish. I like that much better than watching one episode per week of a show. I noticed this is how shows are shown in Malaysia. It's like the soap-opera's are shown in the US. They show one episode per day. I'm not sure how many episodes per season there are typically for a show but I remember when I first came to Malaysia, we started watching this show about a guy who invented a potion to turn himself invisible. It was entertaining even though I didn't understand the Chinese. The show lasted for about a month and a half then it was gone and I haven't seen it since. They might have shown several seasons or it could be that a single season is 30 episodes.

As I got into YouTube and it just boggled my brain about how much great stuff there was to watch. I watched the Richard Dawkins series The God Delusion, as well as 30 Days where a Christian lives with Muslims or another episode where an Atheist lives with Christians. Good Stuff! I also caught the BBC series about The Most Hated Family in America, about this family of Christians that take the bible's message way too literally and to the extreme. Or this gem where a mother screams at her son for saying he's an atheist now. Speaking of Bullshit! there an episode about the Bible. Oh yeah, also Gary Hasselhoff singing Hooked on a Feeling. If it's deleted on YouTube there are sites that offer these deleted videos like It's actually amusing to see the random videos that YouTube deleted and try to figure out why it got deleted.

I love the TV show The Office and I always knew that it was the US version of the original UK series and I finally got to watch the UK version of The Office, both seasons plus the two specials. After that I learned there is also a French and German version of The Office. I might try to watch a few episodes of those too out of curiousity but I don't speak French or German. I heard that The Office (US) had some Webisodes that you can only see the web. I will track those down eventually but that is very cool that they are producing content just for the Internet.

I also found a site that lists 13 places to watch TV for free online.

I also make it a point to check out the videos on Digg.

I have not explored every possible option I have for watching TV, Movies, Videos, Podcasts, etc. but here are some more links and ideas.
There is also Bit Torrent which I used to pull down some high quality episodes of CSI but unfortunately my Internet provider blocks me from sharing my downloads with the world so Bit Torrent kept my bandwidth throttled so low it took forever to download shows so I gave up on that.

It's clear there is a paradigm shift happening. Many to Many. Narrowcasting. This is what it must have felt like when audiences shifted away from radio to television. We're becoming a Have it your way society where you can watch or listen to what you want, when you want and where you want.

I can't help wonder beyond this this. What's the next step in the evolutionary change of the way we devour media? What ever it is, I want to be a part of it and maybe even help invent it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Future of Money

I had an experience during my recent visit to Thailand that got me thinking about how difficult it is to access or money. I feel we live in primitive times when it comes to money. We should have easy access to get our cash or spend our money.

I experienced a triple failure in Thailand. I had 3 credit cards while in Thailand and all 3 cards failed me.

Card #1: Lost - we need a system where you can't lose your access to your money
Card #2: Expired - our access should never expire
Card #3: Broken - our access should always work

I did not need 3 cards. One card would have been enough to cover my expenses. It all started when I lost card 1. I went to the ATM and tried to withdraw cash and the card was not there.

I blame the user interface of the ATM. Two days before I had visited the ATM in Thailand and I believe I left my card in the ATM machine. The Thai ATMs work backwards to the ATMs in Malaysia which have a much better user interface.

In Malaysia the ATM first returns your card. You cannot get your cash until you physically take your card. If you have not taken your card after 2 seconds, it beeps at you to remind you plus there is a flashing light.

In Thailand the ATM first returns your cash. You can take your cash and walk away which is how I've been conditioned after living in Malaysia for about two years. The card appears after you have taken your cash and there is no flashing light or beeping noise.

I much prefer the ATMs in the US where you swipe your card. Then you never part with it to begin with. I don't understand why an ATM would want to hold your card unless there are cases where it wants to keep the card.

So now I do not have access to the money on card 1. This is Failure #1.

I tried to use card #2 but it had expired a couple of days ago! This is Failure #2. I can understand why a card needs to have an expiration date. Perhaps they wear out or the software on them gets upgraded so they need to phase out the older programs.

But this is the problem with cards. You have to keep track of them and they expire. They also have to work properly which brings to me Failure #3.

Card 3 has never let me down. I have a line of credit in case of emergencies and this was one. We tried to use card 3 but everywhere we went it got rejected. The card was essentially useless in Thailand for some reason. I logged onto the Internet at a local cyber cafe and checked my account and everything was fine.

Unfortunately I could not use card 3 as an ATM card because I had not set the PIN yet. I checked the web site to see if I could change the PIN but the only way to do it was either to call the bank and they would mail my house the PIN or visit the bank and change it in person or visit the bank's ATM and change it there.

None of these options could help me. I didn't have 10 days to wait for my PIN to arrive via the postal mail (I would have to call home to get the PIN) ... and the bank did not exist in Thailand and neither did their ATMs. So card 3 was useless for paying for things or getting cash.

Card 2 was useless because it expired.

Card 1 wasn't useless yet. I had with me all of the info for each card including the card 16 digit numbers, expiration dates, names on cards, card codes, whether they were Visa or MasterCard, the customer phone numbers, the web sites, etc.

Even though I did not physically have my card I could still give the info to people and they could punch in the numbers or I could still purchase things online. But my hotel did not have a way to pay for rooms online and when they tried to punch in the numbers, it didn't work.

So then I had the idea of logging into Western Union online and sending money to myself. I tried this but when I got to the point of sending the money the web page reported some internal error. You could only send money from a few countries and Thailand was not one of them but I said that I'm sending from the US but perhaps it checked my IP address and knew I was not in the US.

So then I tried to visit Western Union in person and send myself money but they were confused at my request.

WU: Do you want to send or receive?
Me: Both
WU: What?
Me: I want to send money to myself.
WU: Who do you want to send money to?
Me: Me
WU: So you want to receive?
Me: Yes

The conversation went in circles for about 5 minutes. They thought I wanted to send money to someone and receive money from someone. They could not grasp the concept of me sending money to myself so then I pulled out my credit card and that's when they said that I could only send cash.

I didn't understand why. I could send money online with my credit card using the Western Union web site so why couldn't I do it in person?

My bus was leaving for Malaysia at 3 pm and time was running out. I had to get the 700 Baht in time or we would be forced to stay in Thailand another day with a small amount of money for food and not enough money for hotel.

I bought a calling card at 7-11 and called my mother who sent me $50 via the Western Union web site. I had the cash an hour later. I logged into PayPal and sent her the money to reimburse her.

Our crisis had finally ended but my triple failure made me wonder why money access is so hard. I had the money in 3 different accounts but could not access any of them. I was suddenly broke in a foreign country. I felt so helpless. It was very frustrating but I tried to stay calm and not stress about it.

I would love the ability to access my money via my finger prints and a password.


1. Never lose it. Of course the system would need to work with some of the fingers in case you did actually lose some fingers or you got a scar or lost some of your finger prints for some reason.

2. Never expires. Of course we expire eventually but our access would not expire while we're alive. Of course people could still use our dead body for access but they would still need the password.

3. Always works. Why didn't card 3 work in Thailand? I have no idea but a universal money system would solve this problem.

Unfortunately technology like this cannot instantly spread to the entire world overnight. We still have third and forth world countries where the spread of technology is behind the first world.

Actually these third and forth world countries have the opportunity to leap-frog the first-world countries and adopt the latest technologies since they have no infrastructure to support older technologies. An example of this is the Malaysian ID card which has a chip and contains all the info necessary to use for just about anything. One card fits all.

Of course I'm against having all these different cards and would prefer to have an RFID chip implanted in my hand that would replace all of my cards. There are still issues of identity theft to be worked out with the RFID system and it may never go into common use because the idea of inserting a foreign object into our body does not appeal to a lot of people and is probably against some religions. This is why I like bio-metrics. Use our bodies as ID. I don't care if it's a retinal scan, finger prints, voice-print, DNA or whatever. You would still need to remember your password and if the bio-metric scanner failed, you'd still have problems so no system is perfect.

I feel as though I was born 1000 years too early. These are primitive times we live in.