Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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5.25-inch Floppy Diskette Article Archive

My Letter to Gateway, Part II

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
In a shocking amount of time, not only did I get a reply from Gateway regarding my BIOS issue, but it was not complete bullshit, either, as Matt suggested and I expected it would be.
Hello David,

Thank you for your e-mail. From what you have described, I see that you need the BIOS upgrade for Windows XP.

Gateway has started shipping systems which are Windows XP ready or have Microsoft Windows XP pre-installed. At this time, Gateway is still in the process of testing and certifying existing Gateway hardware device drivers and BIOS upgrades to make them Windows XP compatible. These drivers and BIOS revisions will be posted to the Gateway Web site as soon as they are available. Please watch for the latest Gateway-related Windows XP announcements.

I have documented this correspondence in Service Request Number ***** in our contact tracking database. Please use this number in the future if you need to contact us again regarding this issue.

Please reply to this message if you require further assistance with this issue.

Thank you,

Maggie (Badge *****)
Gateway Online Customer Support Team
No, not the answer that would help me, but certainly better than what I expected. Maybe this sort of service and support is a result of their having ditched local Lake Mary outfit Convergys as their outsourced global support provider.

Take it off for modern society

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
After just becoming aware of his existence through a friend of Mount Sutro, I thought it would be nice to share the artwork of New York native, Spencer Tunick.

If you check out his site, which maintains a collection of all his photography, you will soon see a template to his work: public nudity. However, it is the manner in which each photograph is taken, with careful consideration given to all of the surroundings in question, that make these photographs really amazing to me.

Further, the lengths Tunick has gone through in order to make his art, which he proclaims is "not good art, not bad art; just art," are extraordinary. His "about" page fully details his trials and tribulations which included several arrests, his suing the City of New York and his eventual win on the basis of his First Amendment Constitutional rights in the Supreme Court of the United States.

A particular news article discusses how the residents of the City of Montreal, who did not file a protest against the outdoor photo session, flocked in great number to participate in what many called an energizing and freeing experience.

I am not suggesting I am going to be the first in line to participate in this art should the opportunity present itself, but I am glad to see nudity becoming less and less of a faux pas in modern society, especially for the sake of irrefutably non-indecent acts.

My Letter to Gateway

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Sent via the Gateway online "E-Mail a Tech" form:
I have experienced several instances of system crashes as a result of a known incompatibility between BIOS, ACPI and Windows XP. This is a documented issue and according to Microsoft, is to be fixed at the BIOS manufacturer level.

The following linked article explains the issue, the reasoning behind it and the solutions recommended by Microsoft.

My question is whether Gateway has any plans to offer BIOS upgrades that support the modifications discussed in order to increase system stability for older computers running Windows XP, or if backward compatibility was not to be extended to systems as old as mine (purchased in mid-1999).

Thank you,
David July
Why is it that I already think I know the response from Gateway regarding the above?

Police Love Me

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
So you are saying to yourself, "I thought he said the other day he was going to replace that malfunctioning headlamp. In fact, I know he did. It was on his list of Things To Do. So, uh, WTF?"

Yes, it is true: I was pulled over by the police — again, but this time by the Casselberry Police Department. Same as before, the officer was very polite, simply pointed out my defunct equipment, checked my driver's license status and sent me on my way. "Probably just needs a new bulb; no big deal," he says. Actually, no.

See, the reason I was still driving with the bunk lamp was that just hours before it had been working perfectly. I decided my very dirty car needed a good washing, so I drove up in the grass and washed it front to back. Afterwards, I opened the hood to investigate the light and discovered it was still working after I hit the bracket that holds the lamp cover. Problem solved, or so I thought. Apparently, the wires and/or plug that provide power to the lamp are in need of some attention, because as soon as I head out to meet some people for a chat and a beverage, out goes the lamp.

As much as I love having these little friendly chats with the men and women of law enforcement, my new list of things to do today includes doing whatever it takes to make that lamp come on, stay on and let the police get back to the real work to be done.

You know, like catching murderers and rapists and all that small stuff.

Last Night: Review and Story

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
I went last evening to see the new Spielberg/DreamWorks release, Catch Me If You Can. I must say, it has been a long time since a movie impressed me as much as this one did. I was also very surprised to learn, and even more so as the movie progressed, that the events were based upon the true-life story of Frank Abagnale Jr., the main character as played by a surprisingly good Leonardo DiCaprio. He is being chased by the FBI's lead check fraud agent Carl Hanratty (an interestingly accented Tom Hanks) throughout the 1960's. Favourite Christopher Walken plays Frank Abagnale, Sr., and actually has a fair share of dialogue as a non-psychologically disturbed person, a welcomed change from the seemingly semi-regular fare of the seasoned actor.

I was impressed from the word go. The opening title sequence, a series of well-done animations depicting and foreshadowing the chase of the movie, is done in true late 1950 to 1960's styling, even down to the fonts used. Of particular amusement was the use of the font from era LP albums indicating the recording was in "stereo." That font is one of my personal favourites and found a good life-after-death in the title sequence.

The rest of the style of the movie, the shots and transitions used, the focused and very thought-out, but not distracting lighting all really combined considerably with a humorously written screenplay to play out a very entertaining two hours, twenty minutes of film. It was also very nice to hear a good John Williams score that fit the panache of the movie and did not sound like every other score he has produced.

I stopped on my way home at Steak 'n Shake to meet a friend (Rick) and have my meal for the day (at 0320, mind you). After eating and chatting for a bit, Rick and I retired to our vehicles and began the short ride home. As we approach the Interstate 4 interchange, a local city cop pulled in front of us and began driving rather slowly. Knowing I currently had a burnt-out driver's side headlamp, Rick pulled in front of me to block the view of my car from the officer. Well, because the cop kept slowing down more and more, I decided to pull around Rick to his right, effectively placing Rick's vehicle between the cop and myself. It did not work; the cop slowed and pulled in right behind me.


I answer Rick's call with, "Yup, anytime now! He's running my tag as we speak!" Just about the time I finished saying that, on come the lights. Rick and I arrange a meeting place for after this fun and I pull over into a shopping centre.

The typical exchange happens and the officer very politely points out my headlamp issue to which I reply I knew it was broken and speculated it happened that day (I was actually aware and simply lazy about changing it since Thursday, but he did not need to know that). He asked for my driver's license, insurance card and registration. The first two were an easy find, tucked in my wallet. But I had a little more trouble with the registration.

Recently changed from a long, yellow form to a little white card that blends very nicely with all the other junk I have managed to collect in my glove box and centre console, the registration form is damn hard to locate. He retreats to his squad car to run my driver's license and tells me to stick the registration out the window when I find it. Well, he comes back to my car and I still have not found it. I joke with him about how the new ones are hard to find and he says, "Well, you know, I am just going to take your word on the fact you have it. Take care of the headlight and have a safe morning."

Today's To Do List:
  • Mow Lawn
  • Clean Bathroom
  • Replace Headlamps
  • Locate God Damn Registration Card