Rants & Raves Archives
Today was like a trip to Disneyland for me. Megan invited me to come see the show live in the studio, and I couldn't have been more thrilled. Everyone on the show is as nice as they seem to be. Nearly everyone came over to meet me. I got to sit on the couch, and I managed to get just the right spot. You can see me sitting next to Patrick as he teases the next segment after the Atom Films interview.
A bit of backstage insight: On air, the show has a nice moderate pace. On the set, the place is a three ring circus. I didn't even see half the show content because of all the stuff going on. One of the interesting things I saw was what happens as the show comes back from commercial, and you see the footage of Leo and Patrick running and motoring around San Francisco. Towards the beginning of the theme music that plays over it, there are two short low quick notes. The floor crew clapped twice quickly in unison with those two notes every time this played. I forgot to ask what that was about (I had about a hundred questions and remembered maybe three of them). However, my sister is a stage manager for live theater (musicals and plays) and she's told me about backstage habits and traditions similar to this that are performed for good luck. With all the things that can go wrong in a live setting, its not surprising see how these things get started. Or, it could just be a way to tell everyone on the set to shut up.
Another surprising revealation was how much smaller the set is in real life compared to how it looks on TV.
To all the TSS crew, thanks! I had a great time. Keep up the good work. Because there is so much stupid and superficial programming on TV, that it has been wonderful to have an intelligent program to watch. I've learned so much in the last year and a half that I can take care of my computer entirely on my own. When I had a computer problem earlier this year, I made the mistake of taking it to a shop to have it fixed. After a week they still hadn't fixed it. I brought it back home and fixed it myself that same evening.
(follow-up on 8-11-2001) I plugged my site on Leo's message boards at
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress:
Break Through the BIOS Password
Posted by Christy at 10:01 PM
Loved the Dell ad parody! TSS did a promo ad for the show which is a parody of the Dell ad with Steve and Jeff. If you've been watching TechTV for any length of time, then like me, you've had that ad permanently burned into your brain. I saw the parody ad while watching Call For Help, and it caught me completely off guard. Got my much needed laugh for the day.
I hope Dell doesn't get ticked. Fortunately, they finally replaced that old annoying ad with a new one.
;) You'd think that Leo would know better than to leave "his" DVD player on the set. Especially after what Martin did to "his" Billy Bass fish last summer.
The Screen Savers now has a professional humor writer. Hmmm...
Posted by Christy at 10:52 PM
(Insert old lady voice effect here) You newer TSS viewers have it too easy! In my day (roughly one and a half years ago), as a TSS fan, in addition to having to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow, you had to break out a hex editor to change the "Start" button in Windows. Now all you young whippersnappers have to do is go download some free software and type in whatever you want! What is this world (wide web) coming to?
Posted by Christy at 10:48 PM
Web Workshop: Get Smart About Web Graphics
My favorite link for info about png: That Crazy PNG Thing
Posted by Christy at 10:45 PM
Jessica's Site of the Nite: WebbyAwards.com
There's more reason than ever to check out the TSS web site. They've been posting articles for tips which haven't been featured in the show. Yesterday there was an article by Morgan about changing the Internet Explorer animation, and today there was an article by Joshua about spanning large files across multiple disks.
Posted by Christy at 10:37 PM
Upgrading the Ultimate Gaming Machine 3.0
Windows Tip: Change Internet Explorer's Spinning Globe
If you would like to get the spinning cube for your browser, go to
Is it just me, or is Yoshi is getting into Leo's shirt collection while he is on vacation?
Posted by Christy at 10:31 PM
Windows Tip: creating an index in MS Word.
Anyway, to create an index in Word Perfect, begin by marking the text that you want the index entry to refer to. Go to Tools, Reference, and then Index. This will bring up the index toolbar. Select the text you want to index, then click the window next to heading to put the correct text there. Then click mark. When you want to generate the index, go the location in the document where you want it to appear. Then, click Define on the index toolbar, select your layout options, and hit OK. Finally, click generate to create the index. You can also use the Generate button to update the index after you have marked more entries, or moved text around.
Posted by Christy at 10:25 PM
Hi Chris! Glad to see you on TSS! I hope they remembered to drill some air holes in that fridge. I don't usually watch Call For Help, but I've been tuning in a lot recently to get my Lockergnome fix. It's probably just as well that you're there when Leo's gone. I don't think that TSS viewers could handle two hyperactive geeks at once. On the other hand, I love the way that you trip Leo up. That
Quote of the night (from the opening segment news items):
Windows Tip: Change Internet Explorer's Spinning Globe
Post Codes. Those little beeps that make your heart sink. TSS has done a great summary of what the various beeps mean for the major BIOS versions: Computer Beep Codes. I wish I had had that info when I reassembled my computer into a new case earlier this year. I got the one long, two short beeps, and no display. Since I hadn't touched the RAM, something was probably wrong with the video card. Reseating the card didn't help, and I was a bit leery of buying a new video card if that wasn't the problem. As it turned out, I had wrestled the old video card a little too hard trying to remove it, and probably damaged the connection with the monitor jack. Just goes to show that men aren't the only ones who can "Conan" computer hardware.
Yet again, Jessica and Patrick are gone at the same time. This is the third time that this has happened. Yes, yes, I know, the last time was when Jessica was gone to visit her injured brother, but this is happening way too often to be mere coincidence. Did any of you guys at Defcon see a cute redhead running around Las Vegas this weekend?
Posted by Christy at 10:20 PM
Patrick interviews James Gosling, inventor of the Java programming language.
Martin, the things you do for the sake of TSS are above and beyond the call. Cage dancing, wearing a Speedo, and now, eating Spam gel. Tonight's segment had me bolting out of the armchair for the bathroom when the gag reflex kicked in.
Posted by Christy at 10:44 PM
Interview with David Crane, creator of Pitfall.
Posted by Christy at 10:41 PM
I enjoyed Roger Chang's top five list of historically significant computers, which included the ENIAC, the computer built to calculate ballistic trajectory tables during WWII. While the notion of women being better than men at surfing the net may be controversial, did you know that women actually were the first computers? Before the term was applied to machines, "computer" referred to the mathematicians who calculated the ballistic trajectory tables before ENIAC. Because most of the men were away fighting the war, this job was mostly performed by women. Women were also the first ENIAC programmers because "the engineers were slow to realize that programming was interesting and challenging."
Posted by Christy at 11:36 PM
Another rare glimpse of Russ Pitts, notorious Screen Savers line producer, this time to demonstrate IDE cable rounding. He last appeared on the show in January to demonstrate, well, what else, IDE cable rounding. In their wisdom, the producers of TSS do not let him in front of the camera often. I'm sure
Russ is also known for cubicle punching. And if that weren't enough, there's the famous incident where he concocted a feud between Leo and Scott Herriot: Daily Dish 5.23.00. However, he did write a <SARCASM>complete, contrite, and sincere</SARCASM> retraction: Daily Dish 5.24.00. Two of them, even: Daily Dish 5.25.00.
Posted by Christy at 10:31 PM
In one of the cut-to-commercial, Quick Tip segments, Megan gave one of the more popular TSS tips: Control-Scroll in Internet Explorer. If you have a scroll-wheel mouse, you can hold down the Ctrl button while using the scroll wheel to change the size of text on a web page. However, this will not work on web pages where the fonts are set to an absolute value. For instance, if the style for a paragraph has the value "font-size:12pt", the text size will not change when using Ctrl-scroll. So, as a call to all web page authors out there, unless you have some compelling reason to do otherwise, have mercy on those with less-than-perfect vision. You can switch to relative font sizes by using the values xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large or xx-large, or by specifying a percent relative to the default size, such as 120%, or 80%.
(I myself have been guilty of this; maybe it's time to make another trip to the Screen Savers Confessional. Oh my, I just looked at that page, and the list of confessions is quite long. It's a tech Babylon out there.)
Posted by Christy at 10:28 PM