A closer look at your Windows XP investment

windows_xp

Nothing lasts forever. We expect that we’ll get years of use out of our cars, refrigerators, and mattresses but that eventually they’ll need to be replaced, usually with newer, better models. We’ve now reached that point with Windows XP PCs.

But as the clock winds down on Windows XP support, there is a growing clamor from many Windows XP users. They’re pretty sure Microsoft is just trying to squeeze money out of them by “forcing” them to upgrade their operating system or buy a whole new PC.

Dell XPS 15

With a little proactive preparation, the expense of a new PC won’t be such a burden.

To be fair, Microsoft isn’t forcing anyone to do anything. It’s making a business decision to stop investing resources to support an OS that is over a decade old. Windows XP users can continue to use the OS, but it will require additional security tools to protect it, and it will very much be at their own risk. However, the fact that some people are still using an OS that was superseded years ago and haven’t made any effort to upgrade or prepare for this moment is not Microsoft’s fault.

Consider a refrigerator. I think most people would agree it’s an expensive but necessary appliance. If your refrigerator dies today and it’s not still under warranty, you’ll have to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to replace it.

Assuming your refrigerator is more than a few years old, you probably won’t blame the manufacturer or claim that the need to replace it is just a blatant money grab on their part. Hopefully, you were aware that this day would come, and you had been setting aside money in preparation.

The same thing is true for a PC. It might be a monitor that stops working or a hard drive that crashes. Or it may be that the operating system you’re using is no longer supported by the developer, as will soon be the case with Windows XP. Whatever the reason, you should understand that it’s inevitable and plan to invest more money in your PC when that day comes.

In December of 2001—a couple months after the launch of Windows XP—there was a variety of middle-of-the-road desktop PCs available with the new operating system. You could buy a Compaq Presario with a 1.5GHz Celeron processor, 256Mb of RAM, and a 20GB hard drive for $ 570 from Best Buy. For $ 1000, you could choose the Compaq Presario with a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512Mb of RAM, and a 40GB hard drive.

Those machines are so old it’s unlikely many of them are still in use, and if they are, it’s likely thanks to substantial upgrades. But if someone is still using an original Windows XP PC from 2001, that would mean they’ve gotten more than 12 years of use out of it, so an initial investment of $ 570 equates to less than $ 50 per year.

Let’s consider, instead, the math for a Windows XP PC purchased in 2006 just before Windows Vista launched. In April 2006, you could buy a Gateway 3700+ from Best Buy with an AMD Athlon processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 200GB hard drive for $ 600. That system is much more likely to still be in use today. Breaking down $ 600 over the eight years between then and now makes the investment for such a system $ 75 per year. 

In each case, you have to admit that isn’t much. Most people spend 15 to 20 times that annually on coffee.  

Seventy-five dollars per year breaks down to only $ 6.25 per month, but let’s round up. If you just set aside $ 10 per month, after a few months you’d have enough money set aside to replace your PCs power supply if it dies. In about half a year you’d be able to buy a 1TB or larger hard drive in the event that yours crashes. In less than a year you’d have enough to buy a new 21-inch monitor if you need to.

Had you set aside $ 10 a month since April of 2006, you’d have about $ 960 amassed so you could go buy a new PC, or three. You can get an HP Pro 3500 desktop with Windows 7 from Best Buy right now for only $ 400, or a brand new Lenovo desktop with Windows 8 for around $ 300.

Windows XP PCs and the Windows XP operating system itself have not been available for purchase for quite a while now. Whenever you bought your PC or upgraded to Windows XP, I think it’s fair to say you’ve gotten your money’s worth out of that investment. Now, it’s time to invest again in something new.


Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on facebook Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Google Distinguished Hardware Engineer Norman P. Jouppi Named Recipient of 2014 IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode …

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Norman P. Jouppi, a Google Distinguished Hardware Engineer known for his innovations in computer memory systems, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Harry H. Goode Award. Jouppi was recognized “for sustained contributions that have shaped and cumulatively altered the field of computer architecture, with emphasis on high-performance microprocessors.”

The Goode Award was established to recognize achievement in the information-processing field–either a single contribution of theory, design, or technique of outstanding significance; or the accumulation of important contributions on theory or practice over an extended period.

Jouppi’s computer-memory innovations include stream prefetch buffers, victim caching, multi-level exclusive caching, and development of the CACTI tool for modeling memory timing, area, and power. He has been the principal architect and lead designer of several microprocessors, contributed to the architecture and design of graphics accelerators, and extensively researched video, audio, and physical telepresence. His innovations in microprocessor design have been adopted in many high-performance microprocessors. His recent research has investigated the impact of emerging technologies such as non-volatile memory and nanophotonics on computer systems.

Jouppi received his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1984, and a master of science in electrical engineering from Northwestern University in 1980. While at Stanford he was one of the principal architects and designers of the MIPS microprocessor, and developed techniques for MOS VLSI timing verification.

He joined HP in 2002 through its merger with Compaq, where he was a Staff Fellow at Compaq’s Western Research Laboratory. In 2010, he was named an HP Senior Fellow.  From 1984 through 1996 he was a consulting assistant/associate professor in the electrical engineering department at Stanford University, where he taught courses in computer architecture, VLSI, and circuit design.

A member of the Communications of the ACM editorial board, Jouppi holds more than 75 US patents, and has published over 125 technical papers, with several best paper awards and two International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) Influential Paper Awards. In 2013, he received the ACM SIGARCH Distinguished Service Award.  He is a Fellow of ACM and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Goode Award consists of a bronze medal and a $ 2,000 honorarium. To view the list of recipients, visit http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards/harrygoode.

About IEEE Computer Society

IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading computing membership organization and the trusted information and career-development source for a global workforce of technology leaders including: professors, researchers, software engineers, IT professionals, employers, and students. The unmatched source for technology information, inspiration, and collaboration, the IEEE Computer Society is the source that computing professionals trust to provide high-quality, state-of-the-art information on an on-demand basis. The Computer Society provides a wide range of forums for top minds to come together, including technical conferences,publications, and a comprehensive digital library, unique training webinars, professional training, and the TechLeader Training Partner Program to help organizations increase their staff’s technical knowledge and expertise, as well as the personalized information tool myComputer. To find out more about the community for technology leaders, visit http://www.computer.org.

Media Contact: Margo McCall, IEEE Computer Society, (714) 816-2182, mmccall@computer.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

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What is the future of New Orleans? Walter Isaacson, Jim Coulter and Ben Rosen offer forecasts

In discussing his visions for the future of New Orleans, Jim Coulter, the billionaire financier and co-founder of TPG Capital, told a story about Uber. The smartphone-based car service operates in more than 80 cities around the world, including Beijing and Singapore. But when the company approached New Orleans last year, the director of the local Taxi Bureau issued them a cease and desist letter.

In Coulter’s mind, the response was typical of New Orleans, which is known and in some cases beloved for its resistance to change. But the fact that Uber does not yet exist in New Orleans, Coulter said, suggests to visitors — or at least Uber devotees — that it has yet to join the 21st century. If New Orleans is going to thrive, he said, it will need to rethink its opinion of disruptive technologies.

Uber was one of many topics addressed during a packed panel discussion on the economic prospects of New Orleans at Entrepreneur Week on Thursday (March 27). In addition to Coulter, the panelists included Walter Isaacson, the bestselling author and Aspen Institute president, and Ben Rosen, former Compaq computers chairman and Sevin Rosen Funds co-founder.

Many of the questions posed by moderator Tim Williamson, the ubiquitous CEO of the Idea Village, had to do with where the panelists see New Orleans in the next five to ten years. In 2018, the city will celebrate its tricentennial. What sort of visions did the men on stage have for that year?

Isaacson, who was born in New Orleans and attended the Isidore Newman School, suggested that everyone who has lived in or been touched by the city should return for a kind of mass reunion to discuss where the city can go. He said that New Orleans could also use a top-notch engineering school — an opinion that Rosen seconded.

“If you look at the most vibrant areas of the country – Boston, Silicon Valley, Austin, Atlanta – a lot of the growth is from the tech economy,” Rosen said. “And all of them have something else in common: great technical universities.”

The way to stimulate the tech economy, Rosen went on, is to create a source of students, grad students, faculty and alumni who stick around and start or work for tech companies in their communities. He criticized Tulane’s decision to dissolve its engineering school after Hurricane Katrina, while retaining its Division I football team, which “loses a ton of money.”

In describing his vision for New Orleans’ future, Coulter shared what he called the “parable of the Google bus.” Around five years ago, he remembers watching WiFi-equipped buses full of young Google and Facebook employees motoring out of San Francisco each morning for Silicon Valley, an hour and a half away.

The point of the parable, Coulter said, is that young people will flock to where the entertainment, food and culture are, regardless of the commute. In the old days, industry sprang up in cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh because of their proximity to rivers and other natural resources. Today, Coulter suggested, culture is the new natural resource, and the fact that New Orleans is steeped in it bodes well for its tech industry prospects.  

The panelists agreed that New Orleans has a lot going for it. In his regular visits over the last 40 years, Isaacson said he has “never seen such a resurgence in energy and creativity.” Coulter noted that New Orleans has 34 distinct cultural institutions, three times the national average. Rosen touted the city’s often overlooked visual and performing arts scenes.

But they had plenty of advice to give. Coulter said that elementary school children in New Orleans should begin learning coding language in addition to Spanish or French. (Coding tutors for kindergarteners are not unheard of in Silicon Valley, he said.) Isaacson stressed the importance of creating competition to spur innovation.

Rosen said it only takes one good company for the venture capitalists to start flooding into a city. But for the moment, he added, New Orleans lacks the kind of companies to support a venture capital community.

Nevertheless, Rosen was optimistic about the future. He encouraged the people New Orleans to set specific goals for the year 2018, like giving a free gigabit network to everyone in the city; introducing more non-stop flights to domestic and international cities; and improving the city’s “third world” transport system.

“New Orleans has been dependent on the kindness of strangers for too long,” Rosen said. Change “has got to come from within.” 

Apple and Hewlett-Packard Earn Top Customer Experience Ratings for Computer Makers, According to Temkin Group

WABAN, Mass., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Apple and Hewlett-Packard deliver the best customer experience in the computer making industry, according to the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Apple took the top spot with a rating of 67%, placing it 119th overall out of 268 companies across 19 industries, while Hewlett-Packard came in a close second with a rating of 64% and an overall ranking of 144th. This is Apple’s fourth straight year as the highest-rated computer maker, and Hewlett-Packard maintained its second-place position from last year. At the other end of the spectrum, Sony and Compaq tied for the lowest-rated computer maker, each with a rating of 55% and overall ranking of 232nd. While Sony was also on the bottom in 2013, this is the lowest ranking that Compaq has ever received.

Apple continues to be the customer experience pace-setter in the computer market, but HP has become a very strong contender,” states Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.

Here are some additional findings from the computer making industry:

  • The ratings of all computer makers in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows: Apple (67%), Hewlett-Packard (64%), Toshiba (61%), Acer (61%), Lenovo (61%), Gateway (59%), Dell (59%), eMachines (59%), Sony (55%), and Compaq (55%).
  • Lenovo (+7 points), Apple (+3 points), and eMachines (+3 points) improved their ratings the most between 2013 and 2014.
  • Compaq (-4 points) and Dell (-1 point) were the only computer makers whose ratings declined between 2013 and 2014.
  • Overall, the computer making industry averaged a 62% rating in the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for 11th place out of 19 industries. It was also one of the 15 industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 1.5 percentage points.

Now in its fourth year of publication, the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings examines the quality of the customer experience delivered by 268 organizations across 19 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, software firms, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

To generate these ratings, Temkin Group asked consumers to evaluate their experiences with a company across three dimensions: functional (can you do what you want to do?), accessible (how easy is it to work with the company?), and emotional (how do you feel about the interactions?). Temkin Group then averaged these three scores to produce a company’s Temkin Experience Rating.

In these ratings, a score of 70% or above is considered “good,” and a score of 80% or above is considered “excellent.”

The 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings, along with other ratings, can be accessed at the Temkin Ratings website, www.TemkinRatings.com.

The free report “2014 Temkin Experience Ratings” is available for download at the Customer Experience Matters® blog (ExperienceMatters.wordpress.com) and at the Temkin Group website, www.TemkinGroup.com.

About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world’s largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys, and Temkin Group accelerates their results by combining customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of organizational dynamics. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The firm’s ongoing research identifies leading and emerging best practices for engaging the hearts and minds of customers, employees, and partners. For more information, contact Bruce Temkin at 617-916-2075 or send an email.

*Customer experience matters is a registered trademark of Temkin Group.

Read more news from Temkin Group.

In pictures: Compaq Alpha XP1000 workstation specs and pictures

  • HP Z600 workstation photos and specs
  • DEC Microvax 3100-40 workstation specs and pictures
  • Fujitsu’s first palm-reading mobile workstation is a work of artery

When I researched this workstation, I kept referring to it as the “DEC Alpha XP1000″, reason being that product line started with Digital Equipment Corporation (AKA DEC) and survived the acquisition by Compaq and subsequently by HP.

That model was part of the AlphaStation portfolio and more specifically part of the Tsunami family according to Wikipedia, which also points out that it carried the codename Brisbane.

The XP1000 is a tower machine that comes with an Alpha 21264A (EV67) processor clocked at 667MHz with 64KB data cache, 64KB instruction cache and 4MB L2 cache. Alpha was a 64-bit RISC ISA designed to replace the 32-bit VAX ISA and was the foundation of the 21×64 processor family.

The enclosure housed a 400W PSU, a CDROM drive while the massive motherboard had connectors for UW SCSI HDDs up to 36GB in capacity.

Expansion capabilities

Expansion capabilities included eight DIMM slots, five slots (2 64-bit PCI, 2 32-bit PCI and one ISA/PCI), six storage bays and a diskette drive.

Compatible OSes back in those days included Tru64 UNIX or OpenVMS. It could also run Windows NT 4.0 back in the days when Microsoft supported some non-x86 architectures.

Compaq bought DEC in 1998 and the Alpha Architecture as part of the bounty. The company terminated it in favour of Intel’s Itanium and interestingly enough sold Alpha IP to Intel in 2001, just months before it was acquired by HP. Some might say that this move effectively cleared the way for Itanium to survive.

A lot of technologies pioneered by the engineers at DEC survived in Intel’s products. QPI for example, a point-to-point interconnect, was originally developed by members of the Alpha Development Group.

  • Click here to open the Compaq Alpha XP1000 workstation slideshow in a new window
  • Photo set courtesy of ICC4IT

Flextronics Appoints Michael Capellas To Its Board Of Directors

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Flextronics (FLEX) announced today that Michael D. Capellas, prominent industry executive, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Capellas currently serves as Principal of Capellas Partners, a strategic advisory firm focusing on technology-driven companies.  He was previously Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of VCE Company, LLC, a joint venture between EMC and Cisco with investments from VMware and Intel. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Data Corporation and was also Chief Executive Officer of MCI, Inc. through its 2004 restructuring and acquisition by Verizon in 2006. In addition, Mr. Capellas served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Compaq from 2000 until its merger with HP in 2002.  Post merger, he served as President of HP. Prior to Compaq and HP, he held a variety of executive positions in multiple industries.

“Michael has tremendous operational, financial and technology industry experience spanning hardware, software, network and communications companies and is one of the most talented  executives in business today,” said Mike McNamara, chief executive officer of Flextronics. “We are honored to welcome Michael to our Board and look forward to leveraging his extensive experience and deep insights in the Flextronics Boardroom.”

About Flextronics

Flextronics (Reg. No. 199002645H) is a leading end-to-end supply chain solutions company that delivers design, engineering, manufacturing and logistics services to a range of industries and end-markets, including data networking, telecom, enterprise computing and storage, industrial, capital equipment, appliances, automation, medical, automotive, aerospace and defense, energy, mobile, computing and other electronic product categories. Flextronics is an industry leader with more than $ 24 billion in annualized sales, generated from helping its customers design, build, ship, and service their products through an unparalleled network of facilities in more than 30 countries and across four continents. Flextronics’ service offerings and vertically integrated component technologies optimize customer supply chains by lowering costs, increasing flexibility, and reducing time-to-market. For more information, visit www.flextronics.com or follow us on Twitter @flextronics.

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Corporate Communications

Investor Relations

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Lakewood Church theft surprises, saddens parishioners

Parishioners attending services at Houston’s Lakewood Church on Sunday lamented the theft of $ 600,000 in cash and checks from a church safe just a week earlier.

“It’s a disappointment,” Larry Zavala, a five-year member, said. “Even in the House of the Lord, it’s not safe.”

The Houston Police Department is investigating the theft of $ 200,000 in cash, $ 400,000 in checks and some handwritten credit card numbers from an office safe sometime March 9 or early March 10 when an employee discovered the money was missing.

“The funds were fully insured, and we are working with our insurance company to restore the stolen funds to the church,” Lakewood officials said in a statement last week.

With more than 40,000 members, the nondenominational megachurch led by pastor Joel Osteen boasts the largest congregation in the country.

One parishioner who declined to give her name said her surprise lessened the more she thought about it.

“When good people come to church, the devil comes, too,” she said. “You can’t say everybody who comes to church is a good person.”

The Garcia family from Victoria, who left home at 6 a.m. for the drive to Houston, said they, too, had heard the news.

“They think of it as a rich church. They ain’t gonna miss it,” Jess Garcia said. “Obviously it’s wrong.”

His wife, Kim Garcia, added: “All you can do is pray about that person because you don’t know what people go through or why they’d do something like that.”

As their son, 3-year-old Jesse James Garcia, hugged Kim’s leg, she said she was grateful the money was insured so ministries and outreach would not be affected.

“Everybody’s gonna want to throw the book at ‘em, but if they knew Christ, they wouldn’t do that,” she said.

In an email to members and statements to the press, church leaders emphasized no electronic information was stolen and that the theft did not affect people who donated online or in drop boxes at the church. They asked that anyone concerned about their donation to monitor their bank accounts for fraudulent activity and to call Lakewood’s customer service line at 713-491-1506.

Seattle's University Bridge undergoing a reboot

Electrician Mike Dubenko rewires a control box.

Electrician Mike Dubenko rewires a control box. (Photo by Mike Lindblom / The Seattle Times)

The concrete foundations of Seattle’s University Bridge are 95 years old and doing fine.  The drawbridge’s computer circuitry has worn out.

The city is replacing hundreds of wires and circuit cards — as well as an early-80s vintage Compaq computer console that’s sometimes used to type commands. The $ 300,000 job is being done by Taurus Power & Controls of Tualatin, Ore., this week.  During the project, traffic will be slowed by drawspan openings that take 10 minutes instead of five, and extra drawspan openings as the new controls are tested.

“The idea is to do this before we have problems,” said Larry Finnick, bridge electrical-maintenance supervisor for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “Then we’re good for 20 to 30 years.”

The old-school electric resistors and other parts are wearing out, so that replacements must be scavenged from city shops or eBay, he says. Finnick recalls a 12-hour stoppage, when the city used a backup diesel motor to lift the bridge for boats. Other times, the city dispatched a second bridge tender to help open the bridge manually. Flaggers have stopped traffic when gates didn’t drop on time, he said. But generally, the SDOT has managed the glitches under the radar of the public.

“This is on MS-DOS, run by a Compaq 8080, using 5-1/2-inch floppy disks. You can’t buy them anymore,” he said. “About the time Pong was being distributed by Atari, back in the ’80s, that’s when this system was being made.”

Old-school software: Deep in the north control tower, Larry Finnick brandishes a floppy disc. (Photo by Mike Lindblom / The Seattle Times)

Old-school software: Deep in the north control tower, Larry Finnick brandishes a floppy disc. (Photo by Mike Lindblom / The Seattle Times)

Computer-based controls ensure that electric-powered bridge parts move in a safe sequence. The warning lights flash, the striped barrier gates descend, pins that secure the decks are retracted, brakes in the span lifting motors are released, the bridge rises.

Software enables a lone bridge tender in the north tower to move both leaves of the drawspan. Similar systems are aging at the Ballard bascule bridge and the Spokane Street swing bridge.

Before the computer age, Finnick said, the University Bridge drew its electricity from leftover streetcar wires, kept on the bridge when Seattle scrapped its streetcar network circa 1940.  Some city leaders dream of bringing streetcars back here — which would require a far more sophisticated matrix of software and circuits.

Kodak names tech industry vet Clarke CEO, aims to be B2B player

Summary: Jeff Clarke, who has been a C-level exec at CA, HP, and Compaq, will aim to make Kodak a global B2B technology player.

Eastman Kodak named business technology veteran Jeff Clarke CEO and gave him a mandate to transform the company into a “global B2B technology leader.”

Kodak, recently emerged from bankruptcy, has revamped, shed debt and is hoping to take its intellectual property to commercial printing, packaging, and services. Competitors for the new enterprise-focused Kodak would be players such as Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Xerox.

Clarke is well known in the B2B technology space. Before Kodak, Clarke was managing partner at Augusta Columbia Capital, a private equity firm he started to invest in tech companies. He was also chairman of Travelport, a company he led as CEO from 2006 to 2011 before selling it to Cendant. Clarke was also chief operating officer at CA from 2004 to 2006 as well as executive vice president at Hewlett-Packard from 2002 to 2003. Clarke was also a key player in HP’s acquisition of Compaq, where he was chief financial officer.

kodak clarke

For Kodak, Clarke gives the company some enterprise chops, contacts, and a higher profile for a bit. Clarke said he will first go on a listening tour and then figure out the company’s next steps.

Before Kodak’s bankruptcy, the company’s annual revenue fell from $ 9.42 billion in 2008 to $ 4.11 billion in 2012. For the first nine months of 2013, Kodak reported net income of $ 2 billion on revenue of $ 1.74 billion. Those gains reflected the company’s bankruptcy reorg. Kodak emerged from bankruptcy in September 2013 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October.

In a statement Clarke added:

This enterprise has some extraordinary opportunities, especially those presented by the company’s proprietary technology in commercial printing, packaging and functional printing. Kodak has made excellent progress, building on one of the most successful reorganizations in recent years, and I look forward to continuing the work underway in transforming Kodak into a global B2B technology leader.

Kodak’s biggest challenge will be emerging from a reorganization for 20 months and convincing enterprise customers to make long-term bets on the company. Clarke’s expertise will help the cause, but Kodak will have to prove itself in the field.

Clarke will get an annual base salary of $ 1 million a year, a grant of $ 3 million in restricted stock units, and an incentive plan.

Video: The Hero of Grandparent Wifi

A time capsule from the era of Compaq Presarios and the Geek Squad.

Anyone can make a funny video, but it’s the mark of the master to create an artifact of the times with that funny video.

And that’s what we have here in the Ballad of the Wifi Hero, based on the McSweeney’s story “IN WHICH I FIX MY GIRLFRIEND’S GRANDPARENTS’ WIFI AND AM HAILED AS A CONQUERING HERO” by Mike Lacher. 

The list of technological details that Lacher, and the video, incorporate is long. Allow me to list a few:

  • Hotmail
  • Usatoday dot com
  • Compaq Presario
  • Internet Explorer 6
  • The Google
  • The Yahoo
  • the Router (so capitalized)
  • Linksys
  • The Geek Squad
  • “telephone cords plugged into Ethernet jacks, AC adapters plugged into phone jacks, a lone VGA cable wrapped in a firm knot around an Ethernet cord.”
  • Windows XP
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • “the Yahoo toolbar, the MSN toolbar, the Ask.com toolbar, and the AOL toolbar”
  • “the TiVo was doing something weird with the VCR”

Nothing I’ve seen quite captures this mode of Internet usage quite as well as the story and video. While San Francisco’s cafes may hiss with sleek, quiet MacBook Airs, and many older folks glory in their iPads, there are still millions of people plugging away on their Compaq Presarios, and this variety of experience is easily forgotten.

But make no mistake: This is a dying way of (digital) life, which will pass as surely as AOL and Compuserve. When it has been completely eradicated, when Grandma Glass is a thing, our descendants can return to this humorous time capsule and attempt to decode these lives and these times.