NetHead's Nook- by Brandon Fesler

I send you greetings once again from my humble home in Oklahoma City, where I have been toiling night and day to create this, my contribution to this venerated electronic magazine.

Well, after a month's vacation from the excruciating task of finding a good thing or another to write in this column, I have taken it upon myself to try another month's vacation. For some strange, unexplainable reason, my editor didn't think this was a very good idea.

"You owe it to the people!" he pleaded.

Again, I tried to refuse. But then he uttered those two words that strike fear into the heart of every man and woman:

"Collection Agency!" he shouted.

Apparently, I owed so much to the people that he was going to send my case to the collection agents. Well, that was it. Do or die. It seemed that for better or for worse, I was bound to once again take up my pen and scribe away for long hours to bring you this labor of love, properly entitled:

Nethead's Nook Well, let's see... what in the world can we start with? If I am to start as usual, I have to find some horribly guilty party who has been caught red faced in some sort of greedy scam, or in the midst of gross incompetence. Hmmm, now who takes the cake...?

America Online, in efforts to alleviate the flood of lawsuits and complaints (not to mention a flood of refugees that makes Bosnia look like a picnic outing) has come up with a new rate plan. Yep, for only $4.95 per month, users get unlimited busy signals. The Microsoft Network was quick to match this offer and even up the ante -- they'll even throw hidden routines in MSN software to crash your computer for only $2.00 extra per month. Experts in the computer industry are objecting to this pricing scheme however, saying that the system crash routines that are being offered are actually embedded in the Windows 95 operating system itself, and don't require an online service to activate. An interview of 100 random consumers seemed to support this theory.

Speaking of which, this month there's a slew of great material from Redmond, AKA Monopolis, which I just can't pass up! Just reading the news is enough to make one laugh!

Bill Gates stated that he was "confused" about Apple's operating system strategy. No kidding! Microsoft has just dumped Windows NT from every platform except Intel (and who knows, maybe it's next). Maybe Bill Gates is confused about his operating system strategy!

And once again, ActiveX, also known as CaptiveX and HACKtiveX, has shown its true potential. A group of German hackers demonstrated to the world how easy it was to use ActiveX to break into a bank and transfer funds, without even needing a PIN code. Oh boy! ActiveX has security along the lines of Microsoft "Bob", which would ask users if they wanted to change their password once they got it wrong three times! It goes to show that "Microsoft Money" was aptly named because with ActiveX, that's exactly what all money will become!

Say, did you hear that Microsoft is attempting to invade the minds of your children? Yep, sure enough, Big Bill is spending a pretty penny to create a computer which looks like Barney, runs toy CD-ROMs, and crashes just like Windows! Yep, it's good to know that your kids will be prepared for when they get older and use the "grown-up" Windows! Err, wait. Somehow I'm thinking that research and development isn't soaking up much of the budget on this idea! Did I spot one of the developers of "Bob" just now?

I'm sorry to report that Egghead software is closing its store here in Oklahoma City, because it's not profitable. Let's see, they cut off the OS/2 users, Linux users, and Macintosh users and now the Windows users don't buy enough for the store to turn a profit. It's fitting that Egghead has become known as Bighead (and their regional manager's nickname can't be printed here). The one thing they aren't is a-head. Perhaps they should learn a lesson from Indelible Blue, eh?

Let's hear it for Egghead!!! Thppppppt!

That, ladies and gentlemen, was NetHead's Raspberry of the Month.

Well, until next month, it's goodbye. But fear not! I shall return next month to further serve and enlighten!


NetHead is a freelance mattress tester, a pupil of Doctor Strangelove and can be reached on the web at www.oklahoma.net/~nethead.

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