August 12, 2003
Reinstalling Windows XP

Mark Pilgrim loses five hours of his useful life: How to install Windows XP in 5 hours or less [dive into mark]: My Windows XP installation has reached its half-life. (You do know that Windows has a half-life, don't you? Every installation of Windows naturally degrades along a logarithmic curve until it becomes annoying, then unbearable, then unusable. Each successive revision of Windows has featured a slightly longer half-life. Back in the day, Windows 95 would last me about 3 months, while my copy of Windows XP has lasted me almost 9. I'm not bitter; when you realize that you're measuring on a logarithmic scale, a factor of 3 improvement is really quite impressive.) Still, the fact remains that my Windows XP laptop can no longer (a) print, (b) sleep, or (c) change network settings without crashing. This is not multiple choice; it can't do any of those things. It's time for a clean re-install. 1. Back up entire d: drive to iMac upstairs. rsync rocks. 2. Find Windows XP install disc. 3. Reboot with Windows XP install disc.4. Asked for product activation. Curse Microsoft. 5. Search my house in vain for my original, 100% legitimate, retail Windows XP box.6....

Posted by DeLong at 01:28 PM

May 01, 2002
Three Cheers for the Private Sector!

From an economist's point of view, this is an excellent example of just why it is that private-sector businesses are so much more efficient on average than public-sector or non-profit-sector bureaucracies...

Posted by DeLong at 03:25 PM