Netgear congested, Office 2003 infested

SAN FRANCISCO (09/19/2003) - Today's cliche is "Be careful what you ask for." My request for cool drink recipes brought a flood of formulas for Lynchburg Lemonade, Forest Fire, Bora Bora Brew, Purple Haze, and something involving NyQuil, rubbing alcohol, and Mr. PiBB . Naturally, as a journalist I felt it my duty to investigate each one. I don't remember much about the next 48 hours, but when I finally woke up, I felt nastier than a lawyer for the RIAA.

Later on we'll conspire: Maybe it was the booze-induced stupor, but conspiracy theories were flying fast and furious this week. Sobig? It was spread by the Department of Homeland Security as a form of inoculation -- a mild infection to strengthen our defenses for the real cyber attack. Microsoft's .Net initiative? A clever ruse to occupy rival programmers while Microsoft plans a secret end-run around its competition. And I dimly recall something about SCO teaming with Larry Ellison to sue 12-year-old Linux programmers, but that may have been the rubbing alcohol talking.

Waiting for Netgear: One Cringester reports that Netgear users have a better chance of reaching Jimmy Hoffa than getting through to phone support. All calls to the tech line are met with a canned message asking you to call back later (and later, and still later). Company spokesguy Doug Hagan admits "our telecom infrastructure has been stressed" by high demand for Netgear's Wi-Fi products, but says they will add more lines in the next two weeks.

Bug off: Before you install the new Office 2003, spray each CD thoroughly with Black Flag. According to my secret source, betas of Office 2003 were infested with bugs -- or "known issues," as Microsoft calls them. The geeks in Billville may have exterminated most of the pests before the code shipped, but for now I'm revising my Software Rule No. 1 ("Never buy a version 1.0 of anything from Microsoft") to "Take two service packs and call tech support in the morning."

Pammy says that after my binge, I looked like death on cheese toast. But at least she's looking.

Send your top tips and hangover cures to cringe@infoworld.com. I'll pay $50 for the best.

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