Friday, September 30, 2016

The Square Peg - Micromushed

The Square Peg - Micromushed
© S. Bradley Stoner

I am POed. It didn’t happen all at once. Nope, this is an accumulation of a week’s worth of frustration with my cyberspace. That’s right, my virtual world is giving me fits. My CPU is underperforming, my virtual memory is shrinking, my RAM is impotent. I’ve attacked the problems all week... and they keep attacking back. How do I know this? I have an excellent antivirus and computer optimizing program. It’s one of the best on the market. It tells me what my performance is. It eliminates craplets (whatever the hell they are), it defrags the hard drive, it updates my software... except for my XP. Micromush doesn’t support that anymore. They want me to upgrade. I don’t want to upgrade. I like XP and I refuse to rent a program from the Perpetual Pecker-head Profiteer of Programming... take that Mr. Bill!

Now, understand this... I am a computer multitasker. That means I have a lot of programs on the old hard drive that eat RAM. That has a tendency to make my RAM go on the lam. Generally I have a solution for this. I have multiple external hard drives, so whenever things start to bog down, I mirror those programs on the external and uninstall them on the computer’s hard drive. That used to work well. Now? Not so much. So I went on the Internet to see what tweaks I could do to old reliable to make it work faster. Aha! I found an article about Micromush’s tracking software. Seems it comes with every update and security fix they put out... and boy does it eat memory, not to mention all the little packets of bits it sucks back to Micromush central. @#$% it to !^&&!

Then there’s all those H-key gizmos. One article told me I didn’t need to keep them all, but it didn’t tell me which ones I could get rid of and which to keep. Since that could cause old reliable to crash and burn, I’m going to leave them alone until I do some more research. Even then I’d better tread lightly. I can’t afford to have my baby go bye-bye. Frankly, I’m thinking about dumping Micromush and trying on a new hat... a Fedora or Red Hat to be exact. I really don’t need a Red Hat... it’s an Enterprise system... no not the Star Trek ship... it manages multiple platforms. Fedora, on the other hand, is an operating system for a single work station. It’s free from Linux... and guess what? All the Micromush programs I actually own will run on it. They say even the new Micromush programs are compatible, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Mr. Bill isn’t high on competition (we all remember who took a bite out of the Apple, don’t we?).

Well, I finally went cross-eyed looking at all the articles and the funky Micromush code so I called it a morning and headed outside to take my frustration out on the overgrown bushes in my front yard. I lopped the bejeepers out of the Esperanza so those showy Mexican Firebushes could get a little more sunlight and the hummers would have a little maneuvering room. I gave my Privet a crew cut and showed my Carob the cutting edge of a chain saw. Yep, I was cleaning house... and my jungle was actually starting to look civilized, almost groomed you might say. I was feeling better. Frustration was slowly giving way to a slight feeling of euphoria. Then Bob showed up.

“Whoa! You’re really hacking stuff back. What’s up?”

The ‘hacking’ reference almost sent me into a tail spin, but I regained control. “Just time to do my fall pruning,” I replied evenly, swallowing a smartass geek-speak retort.
“You kinda been holed up this week. Haven’t seen ya out much.”

“Yeah, well I’ve had some computer issues that I needed to address.”

“Got a virus, huh,” Bob intoned like he knew what he was talking about.

“Nothing like that. Just getting rid of some programs and cleaning out the junk so it runs a little better.”

“You gotta stay away from those free sites,” he nodded sagely, “they’ll download all kinds of crap on ya.”

“I don’t go to free sites for programs,” I grumbled. “I do beta test some software from reputable companies.”

About that time, Frank’s daughter wandered by, walking her dog. She flashed a smile and waved at us as she passed by.

“I’d like to beta test her software,” Bob leered.

“Geez, Bob, won’t you ever learn? If your wife doesn’t get you again, Frank will.”

“Hey... it don’t hurt to look. I’m just appreciating the art work.”

“Sure you are, Bob,” my voice dripped with sarcasm.

“Oh, mister holier than thou... I suppose you don’t look.”

“She’s young enough to be my granddaughter, Bob.”

“Well, I ain’t dead yet... at least not...”

“Bob... I’m holding a chain saw, and it’s plugged in. I’d choose my next words carefully if I were you. One quick swipe and you’re a gelding.”

“A what?”

I forgot Bob is ignorant of cowboy and farm terms. “Go look it up Bob.” I figured that would pretty well take care of his afternoon and I could get back to my pruning. It became pretty clear pretty quickly that he wasn’t anxious to leave. So I changed tactics. “Well, if you’re going to hang around, make yourself useful and help me clean up the trimmings.

Bob looked at the piles of brush, most of it with thorns, and reconsidered. “Um, I think I have some honey-dos at home. I better be goin’.”

An hour later, I felt refreshed and was ready to do some serious pruning in my computer and close some gates on Mr. Bill.