Cowboy Cookies

I just noticed that I got linked to from MacOsX.Weblogs.Com the other day. My brief look at Mac OS X DP4 drew some attention, and this comment from Jim: Exactly. I wish people wouldn't write up these reviews (esp. negative ones! LOL!) after only a few hours of use.

Most of his complaints are solvable with settings that already exist in OS X that he just hadn't found yet.

and I responded (on the site):

I wrote the article in question, and I'm sorry if I came across as being negative about OS X. It wasn't meant to be an in-depth review, and I'm certain there are things I hadn't figured out, like how to access Appleshare servers (there was an app for it in the demo folder). But part of taking a look at a new OS (at least in my opinion) is how easy it is to use right out of the box. I've always thought that if it confuses me without reading any instructions, there are a LOT more end users that will be confused even with instructions.

That said, a lot of the features that OS X brings to the table are LOOONG overdue on the Mac. Pre-emptive multitasking, protected and dynamically allocated memory, and true multi-user support are finally here!

I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from trying or using the new OS! But at the same time, I think that first impressions of an OS are extremely important. I tinkered with it for a few hours before writing my bit. How long is my mom (or yours) going to give the OS a chance before deciding between it and Windows? Don't just Think Different, you have to Think Better...

I brought home an Ariston iSee-Pro USB webcam for the weekend. My boss picked these out (via telephone) for Netmeeting use by the Modern Languages department, so I figured I'd test one for that very thing before I installed them.

I saw that the camera had Windows 2000 drivers, and I need a new camera for home use, since my Creative Labs Webcam II does not have Windows 2000 drivers.

First of all, the camera is huge, about twice the size of an average QuickCam. I plugged it in, installed the drivers from Ariston's web site, and was off to the races. Or was I?

I noticed that the camera had a button on the top. What does that button do? I don't know, it didn't come with a manual. I had video working fine, so I pushed the button to see what it'd do. Boom! Blue Screen of Death! My very first BSOD in Windows 2000. Not believeing what I was seeing, I rebooted and tried it again. Boom! I don't know what that button is supposed to do, but don't push it!

I should have been tipped off by the fact that the included CD was made on a CD Burner, not professionally produced en masse. But wait, it gets better! Not only is the CD made by some guy in his basement, the box was actually for the iSee, with all the stats for that discontinued camera, and has a big sticker stuck on it to relabel it the iSee-Pro!

I installed the drivers, launched Netmeeting and called my friend Liz to test the camera. The drivers don't support any type of resolution switching or anything in Netmeeting, nor do they apparently include the standard video for Windows plugins that all other webcams I've used do.

If that's not enough, if you reboot your computer, you will only receive black from the camera! That's right, the hardware registers as being there, but you get a steady stream of blackness. The way to fix this? Re-install the drivers! It gets annoying very quickly to install the drivers every time you reboot!

My conclusion? These things should be sent back ASAP, they're garbage. I'm going to order a Creative Labs Webcam III.

I'm not even sure I want to know the story behind this picture over on John's site.

I've got the day off from work, so I'm baking Cowboy Cookies! This is my grandmother's recipe, and the cookies are delicious! It's the first time I've attempted them, so I'm crossing my fingers.

Cowboy Cookies

Blend these ingredients in mixer

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Then, Sift together the following:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Add them to creamed mixture and blend well.

    Add 2 cups oatmeal
    1 6oz pkg. chocolate chips

    Baken them in a 350 degree oven, for about 12 minutes.

    Update 9:00 p.m. - The cookies turned out excellent! This recipe apparently makes about four and a half dozen cookies, though your mileage may vary, depending on how much dough you and your roomie eat. :)