29 February 2008

AVG Antivirus problem

Is anyone else having this problem with AVG antivirus software?

"The system just recovered from a serious error"

Microsoft reported:

Problem caused by antivirus software

Although we have not determined the specific cause of this problem, we know the problem was caused by antivirus software.


To try to solve this problem, follow these steps. Each of the steps might solve your problem. If following a step doesn't fix your problem, then go on to the next step.

Update your antivirus software

Missing antivirus software updates could be the cause of your computer's problem.

Check for multiple antivirus programs running on your computer

Running two antivirus software programs on your computer at the same time is not recommended because the two programs can interfere with each other. Even if you don't think your computer could be running two antivirus programs, antivirus software can sometimes come bundled with your computer and it might be running without your knowledge.

Contact the antivirus manufacturer

If you've completed the previous steps, we recommend you contact the antivirus manufacturer directly for additional support.

Problem is:

  • The problem apparently occurred during an update of AGV antivirus.
  • AVG doesn't provide support for the free version, so there's no way to tell them about the problem.

Is it likely that AVG will become aware of the problem and fix it?

Is there any other good antivirus software out there?

27 February 2008

The ugly face of US imperialism just got uglier

The ugly face of US imperialism just got a whole lot uglier.

Notes from a Common-place Book: Time to Move On, We're Told
Condeleeza Rice is losing patience with Serbia.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was time for Serbs to accept that Kosovo is no longer theirs. She also suggested it was time to drop centuries of grievance and sentimentality in the Balkans. 'We believe that the resolution of Kosovo's status will really, finally, let the Balkans begin to put its terrible history behind it,' Dr. Rice said Friday.

Oh, really. Her message to Serbia seems to be something like this: We are America and we know what is best for you. We have divvied-up your country in a manner we think best, and it is high time for you to stop your whining and learn to live with it.

But I have saved the best for last. Rice continues:

'I mean, after all, we're talking about something from 1389 – 1389! It's time to move forward.'

With the President out of the country--last seen getting-down, so to speak, with some Liberian tribal dancers--this statement is easily the most inane commentary coming from the Bush administration in recent memory.

Of course, unlike the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, this one was not created by the Bush administration, but was one they inherited from the previous Clinton administration. But they seem to be handling it just as ineptly.

Any doubts that the USA saw its role as bully to the world have now been laid to rest -- we've just had it from the horse's mouth.

Where are the black bloggers?

Nearly a year ago I asked Where are all the black bloggers in South Africa? -- and suggested that perhaps there was a need for some affirmative action, which provoked incredulity among some white bloggers who commented on that post.

Now Inside Candy has asked the same thing, and Black Looks responds by pointing out that:
  • Black Africans (BA) make up 79% of the population v whites (W) at 9%.
  • BA with higher education - 5% v W 29%
  • BA with landline or mobile phone -31% v W 95%
  • BA with own computer 1.8% v W 97%
  • Unemployment of Black Africans 28% (has risen since 2001) v 4% of whites
  • Medium annual income of Black Africans 12,000 Rands v 65,400 Rands for whites.

So yes, there are issues of access, cost and time - if it takes you up to 4 hours to get to work and back then blogging is not going to be a priority even if you could afford to have your own computer or access an internet cafe.

... which I think strengthens the case for affirmative action.

But it seems that some white bloggers just don't get it. White bloggers, from their position of privileged access, squeal about black racism when black journalists arrange an exclusive interview with Jacob Zuma, and they are right to do so. But white bloggers (not necessarily the same ones) also fail to understand the racism built into their response to the question of access and the possible need for affirmative action.

26 February 2008

Dual therapy for HIV babies OK

The Department of Health has given the go ahead to use dual therapy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

And it's about time too!

For people infected with HIV, treatment cannot cure -- it can only retard the progress of the disease. The treatment of babies, however, is a direct intervention to reduce transmission, and the more new infections we can prevent, the better.

The Department of Health have released a revised policy and guidelines clearing the way for dual therapy in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.

At the same time, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang dismissed claims that her department was reluctant to implement the new regime.

Up to now, most state clinics have offered only the officially sanctioned single drug, nevirapine, to infants.

Dual therapy will mean the addition of a second drug, AZT, which will increase the effectiveness of the intervention.

Commenting on disciplinary action threatened against KwaZulu-Natal doctor Colin Pfaff for administering dual therapy at Manguzi Hospital, Tshabalala-Msimang implied that the provincial health department was correct in its decision to suspend him.

n the 2005/06 financial year 70 percent of all antenatal clinic attendees were tested for HIV, of whom 26 percent tested positive.

About 60 percent of those who tested positive received nevirapine.
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22 February 2008

British double standards on WMD and terrorists

The British government uses double standards over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and also over which "terrorist" governments it recognises and fails to recognise.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret | Politics | The Guardian:
The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel's nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN's authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The removal of a negative reference to Israel from a draft of the discredited Iraq weapons dossier released this week illustrated the double standards which contribute to Palestinian anger and violence, a Labour MP said today.

Richard Burden, chair of the British-Palestine all-party parliamentary group, was responding to the revelation in today's Guardian that a comment on Israel flouting United Nations resolutions was removed from the "Williams draft" after the Foreign Office appealed to the information tribunal, which had ordered the document's publication.

But the Birmingham Northfield MP insisted the international community should "not be afraid" of saying that "Israel has been developing weapons of mass destruction for some years".
Burden compared the government's reluctance to offend Israel to the reaction after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. He said that after the Islamist group called a truce the response was "to ignore that and refer to them as terrorists".

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As Burden points out, the recent revelations about British double standards on the question of WMD in the Middle East also highlight other double standards as well -- denouncing Hamas as "terrorists", but recognising the UDI by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), which is just as much a terrorist organisation as Hamas.

First they came for the Jews?

Red Star Coven: First they came for the Jews? has an interesting post about a historically misleading T-shirt, which misquotes the German pastor Martin Niemoller, speaking about resistance to Nazism, as saying "First they came for the Jews".

Red Star Coven: First they came for the Jews?: gives the first line of the original, followed by the English translation of the whole poem:
Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.

When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

The makers of the T-shirt say that Niemoller's words "are testimony to the horrific consquences of abandoning human solidarity", and so they are, but by omitting all the groups other than the Jews they themselves dilute and weaken the message.

Niemoller's poem was often quoted in South Africa during the apartheid era, and in South Africa, too, they first came for the communists. The Suppression of Communism Act (1950) was one of the first pieces of legislation the Nationalist government passed to suppress political opposition after they came to power in 1948.

Then they came for the African Nationalists. The ANC and PAC were banned in 1960.

Then they came for the Liberals, and the members of the Liberal Party were picked off one by one until the party was forced to disband by the Prohibition of Improper Interference Act of 1968.

And the Jews?

Well, they never actually came for the Jews.

The National Party indulged in a lot of antisemitic rhetoric before 1948. When King George VI and his family visited South Africa in 1947, the Nationalist media suggested that he should rather visit the Jewish state that the British were developing in Palestine.

But the Nationalists came to power in 1948 in the same year that the state of Israel was formed, and as time went on there was increasing cooperation between the National Party regime and Israel in such things as the development of WMD.

Many Jews were active in opposition groups, including the Communist and Liberal Parties, but many of those had abandoned Judaism and were atheists or agnostics. Official Jewish organisations were often very muted in their criticism of apartheid, if they criticised at all. They weren't the only ones, of course. Many other religious bodies were equally muted in their criticism, and some were quite sycophantic in their support of the government. And Jews were as quick to abandon human solidarity as others, in spite of the Holocaust.

It is all very well to say "Never forget", but we do, especially when it is comfortable or convenient to do so.

21 February 2008

Kosovo UDI a headache for Canada

clipped from www.reuters.com
Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia is a headache for Canada, which needs to find a way of recognizing the new state without boosting the fortunes of separatists in its French-speaking province of Quebec.
Polls indicate that around half of Quebecers support the idea of independence for the province of 7.5 million.
The Parti Quebecois, now in opposition in the provincial legislature, said that if Canada recognizes a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo it would have to treat a similar move by Quebec the same way.
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And then, of course, there was the speedy recognition granted to Ian Smith's Rhodesia, and "homelands" like Transkei, Bophuthatswana, etc.

Google hacked, or have they gone mad?

Google searches now result in the following message:
We're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

If you're continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser's online support center.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

To continue searching, please type the characters you see below:

But having typed the characters, then what?

Nothing happens.

Anyone know a good search engine?

Taliban and UCK

What's the difference between the Taliban and the UCK?

Not much.

The Taliban destroyed Buddha statues, and the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army, which unilaterally declared Kosovo "independent" this week), destroys Christian churches.

On Sept. 13, 1999, the Church
of Saints Cosma and Damian, built in 1327, was obliterated by
a bomb blast. The initials of the Kosovo Liberation Army were
painted at the site. By that time some 20 Serbian religious sites
had been blown up, including the Dormition of Mother of God parish
church, built in 1315. Another 40 others had been attacked or
NATO basically
empowered and legitimated forces that proceeded to destroy or
desecrate over 70 churches or monasteries by October 1999 (21
in the U.S. zone of responsibility). Meanwhile more than 200,000
Serbs fled the province. During the summer of 1999, 40,000 Serbs
fled Pristina.
Clinton had sent a special envoy, Robert Gelbard, to the region
in February 1998. At that time he stated that the KLA was, "without
any questions, a terrorist group" in Washington's view.
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20 February 2008

Disingenuous "fact" file on Kosovo

clipped from www.reuters.com
Here is a brief profile of Kosovo, an ethnic crossroads in the heart of the Balkans and the cause of NATO's first "humanitarian war" in 1999.
WAR * Albanians have officially demanded independence since renegade elections in 1992 made pacifist leader Ibrahim Rugova president of a self-declared republic. The demand was ignored as Serbs fought for pieces of Croatia and Bosnia, and support shifted to armed struggle by the Kosovo Liberation Army, a guerrilla force. Serb forces hit back so hard in 1998 that 100,000 Albanians fled to the hills and NATO powers warned Milosevic they would not tolerate another round of "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkans. Peace talks in France failed and in March 1999 NATO started bombing to force Serbia to withdraw. Some 800,000 Albanians fled or were expelled to Macedonia and Albania before Milosevic gave in 78 days later. As his forces pulled out, up to 200,000 Serbs and other ethnic minorities left as well.
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"Peace talks in France failed and in March 1999 NATO started bombing to force Serbia to withdraw."

What's hidden in that bland statement is that the reason that peace talks failed was the intransigence of Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State, who was determined to have a war.

19 February 2008

Russian Church on Kosovo UDI

The West and Nato opted for military rather than diplomatic solutions to the tensions in the former Yugoslavia, which simply exacerbated the tensions. .

South Africa, which abandoned apartheid and had a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, perhaps has a better mo0del to offer than apartheid and UDI.
The Russian Orthodox Church has called on Albanians in Kosovo to understand disastrous consequences of the unilateral recognition of the region's independence.

"We would like the Albanian side, which admitted this, to understand that this path is disastrous and to seek reconciliation with Serbians," priest Georgy Ryabykh, a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.

Any decision concerning several parties cannot be made unilaterally, as it could lead to the escalation of the conflict, he said. "That is why in case of the escalation of the situation in Kosovo, the responsibility will lie with the Albanian side that dared for this unilateral step," the priest said.

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia has many times stated that the Kosovo status issue should not be solved disregarding the opinion f the Serbian people.
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18 February 2008

Kosovo UDI: the Clinton legacy

Notes from a Common-place Book: Kosovo: The Real Clinton Legacy just about says it all.

According to Kosovo Travelogue this is certainly not one of the things that Hillary Clinton is hoping to reverse. Under Bill Clinton the US bombed Belgrade and under Bush the US bombed Baghdad, and there is really little difference. Is that one of the things Barack Obama wants to change? I hope so.

Links to a news report with my own comments on the Kosovo UDI are in my Khanya blog.

Other comments:

  • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle compares the Kosovo UDI to Sudetenland.
  • Jams O Donnell in The Poor Mouth: UDI says "I hope to God it's peaceful"
  • A Lanson Boy worries that it might be an unviable state and a drain on Western taxpayers
  • David Lindsay criticises the BBC for giving a wholly-false version of the history of Yugoslavia
  • Chekov writes of the hypocrisy of the Western cheerleaders for Kosovo's independence
  • The Western Confucian is sickened by the USA's siding with terrorism and pravoslavophobia.

One thing that needs to be borne in mind is that though the majority of the population of Kosovo speak Albanian, they lack the religious tolerance of Albania.

The Albanian government deported Iranian Islamist teachers who incited young people attending a Muslim youth camp at Voskopoje to destroy Christian ikons that had survived the Turks and the Communists. In Kosovo dozens of Christian churches have been destroyed under the noses of Nato troops.

17 February 2008

Time to trim the blogroll again

It's time to trim the blogroll again -- the list of blogs that I like to visit.

Some of them are no more, while others have been restricted to invited readers only (and I wasn't invited). Some haven't been updated for a long time.

The Blogrolling web site does make it quite easy to maintain a blogroll, though.

16 February 2008

Christianity, paganism and witchcraft

I've been asked to read a paper on the Christian understandings of paganism and witchcraft at the conference of the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA) in May.

The following book, announced by John Morehead, will be released too late to consult for my paper, but I'd welcome recommendations of other recent books that might throw more light on the subject. Meanwhile, I might mention the forthcoming book as a p[ossibly useful one on the topic.

Morehead's Musings:
I am pleased to be able to begin promotion for the forthcoming book, Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue, by Philip Johnson and Gus diZerega. This volume was approximately three years in the making from conception to finished product, and it is now in the final stages as Lion Publishing prepares for its marketing and publishing. I was privileged to serve as editor and project coordinator for this book, which represents a major step forward in dialogue and understanding between Paganism and Christianity

15 February 2008

Amatomu spammer gets away with the booty

What's hot in the South African blogging Zeitgeist today?

Booty, that's what.

No, it's not about Trevor Manuel's upcoming budget planning to fleece the taxpayers.

It's some foreign spammer trying to make a quick buck: New online casino no deposit codes… New online casino no deposit codes…...

Come on, Amatomu -- don't let them get away with the booty!

14 February 2008

Blogger is broken -- again!

Just when I thought it was safe to use Blogger again (at least in the mornings -- it won't let you post in the afternoons and evenings), it breaks.

The "Blog this" and "Link to this post" no longer work. Oh yes, you can mark the text all right, but the "Publish" and "Save" buttons are hidden, and if you enlarge the box to reveal them they disappear before you have time to click them.

13 February 2008

Whatever happened to Liberation Theology?

Up to 1994 many Christian groups in South Africa were in the forefront of the struggle against apartheid. Some took an interest in Liberation Theology and used some of the ideas of Liberation Theology as a spur to action in the struggle against apartheid.

But since 1994 these very same Christian bodies seem to have lost their way. There seems to be a lack of cohesive vision, and I've sometimes wondered whether we actually need a common enemy to give it to us. Is it easier to unite around a common enemy than a common Lord?

I was reminded of this when I read a blog post in which Mike's Bursell muses about: Liberation theology -- challenging
I've just been reading Gorringe, who cites Segundo talking about the bottom line commitment for liberation theology is the option for the poor. I think the thing I'm trying to come to terms with is that although I absolutely accept the enormous inequalities - unchristian inequalities - that riddle our society, and the impact that has on the poorest in society, I'm not sure that I'm ready to take on board what seems to be the central tenet of liberation theology: that our first and foremost task must always be the reconstituting of society in such a way as to alleviate - and remove - economic poverty.

And that in turn reminded me of what a friend of mine, Shirley Davies, used to say back in the 1960s -- that when South Africa solved the problem of the black and the white, it would come face to face with the real problem: the problem of the haves and the have-nots.

And that has in fact happened, as can be seen, for example, in the Abahlali baseMjondolo movement, and the harassing of the homeless by the police and government officials. Of 1500 homeless people and refugees arrested recently at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg only 15 were eventually charged with being illegal immigrants. As in the bad old days of pass raids, most of those arrested were not allowed to fetch their documents to show that they were in the country legally.

I've written about liberation theology before, in Christianity - North and South, and Orthodoxy and liberation theology, so I will try not to repeat too much of what I have said before here.

In 1994 we had our first democratic and nonracial elections, and it was a vast improvement on what went before. We have free and democratic political institutions and a start was made on the dismantling of apartheid.

But though there was a lot of political rhetoric about the poor, and jobs, and things like that, very little was actually done. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) which was supposed to deal with some of these problems was abandoned within a year. Instead there was "Black Economic Empowerment" (BEE), which might more accurately be described as Black Elite Enrichment. It was a preferential option for the rich. My wife worked for a BEE company for a while, and met many people, both in the company and those it did business with, whose sole motivation appeared to be greed. They didn't just want to be rich, they wanted to be inordinately and excessively rich. And in part that is because we live in a society that espouses and accepts those values. This is not unique to South Africa. But it is something to think about when we talk of "moral regeneration".

Before 1994 a lot of money flowed in to South Africa to NGOs, both faith-based and secular, that were involved in trying to improve the lot of the poor. After 1994 such funding went to the government. That might have been a good thing, if the government had followed through on the RDP, but it didn't. It abandoned the RDP.

Back in the 1970s some Christian groups in Zululand were anxious to do something about community development. They brought in a community development expert, Milton Rosner, who told them that they were dreaming -- nothing smaller than a government could do community development. But since the government was more interested in destroying communities than developing them, then if the churches wanted to do something they needed to pool their resources. "We must work ecumenically and not denominationally" became the mantra (overlooking a better slogan, that might have sounded a warning, "Small is beautiful").

So the Anglican Church's Zululand Diocesan Health and Welfare Association (known as HelWel or Zisizeni for short) became the Zululand Churches Health and Welfare Association. But because everyone's responsibility is no one's responsibility it became administratively top-heavy, and consumed more and more resources to achieve less and less development.

Better to remember that "small is beautiful", and we should work denominationally rather than ecumenically. Could an ecumenical bureaucracy provide shelter for 1500 homeless people as the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg has done? I very much doubt it.

All this has little to do with the often convoluted expressions of liberation theology, which are often even more abstract and difficult to understand than other forms of theology. But one of the things that most exponents of liberation theology did manage to convey was that practice (or praxis, as they called it) was more important than the obscure theories.

So when the Christian groups in South Africa lost their way and became rudderless and directionless at the end of apartheid, perhaps one of the things they could have done (and could still do) would be to pick up the RDP, which the government dropped, and run with it. Have a look at the ANC's document on Reconstruction and development -- there's a lot of good stuff in it -- and see what can be applied.

But it would be important to learn from the mistakes of the past. We should work denominationally, not ecumenically. Ecumenical bodies, like councils of churches, should play a coordinating role, rather than being involved in micromanagement of projects. That should be done by their member churches. Bureaucratic centralisation should be avoided at all costs.

But perhaps even more important is what one of the earliest advocates of liberation theology, Dom Helder Camara of Brazil, advocated. We must conscientizar the masses. Later that was translated into English as "conscientise", along with a lot of other obscure jargon.

But the conscientising and moral regeneration must begin at home. Before we can achieve anything we must convince our church members that greed is not a Christian value.

Style and substance

Apart from the paragraph quoted below, there is very little in this article that I agree with.

But this paragraph captures my disquiet about Barack Obama.

Attempting to discern true meaning from Obama's speeches gives one the feeling of having been trapped in a sort of verbal quicksand. Hair-pulling levels of frustration await any effort to find any specific meaning. A sensation of lethargic sinking into an abyss of abstract gibberish awaits the mind looking for specifics..

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A couple of months ago a British commentator remarked that if Obama became US president, it would be a presidency of style rather than substance.

A British commentator (I can't remember if it was the same one) said exactly the same about Jacob Zuma.

Zuma attracted support from a conglomeration of disparate interests who were dissatisfied with the status quo, and that made Zuma "electable". And the same thing seems to be happening with Obama.

But if either becomes president, which of their supporters' interests will prevail. Change can be for the better, or for the worse, but which way will it go?

All one sees on TV are soundbites with empty slogans.

Cosatu supported Jacob Zuma, but will Jacob Zuma support Cosatu?

Hat-tip to Small Dead Animals.

12 February 2008

Journeys In Between: Archbishop Jensen on Sharia Law

According to an Australian blogger, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney finds the arguments of Archbishop Rowan Williams about Sharia law "compelling": Journeys In Between: Archbishop Jensen on Sharia Law:
Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, said yesterday that he found Rowan William's argument for introducing Sharia Law in the UK 'quite compelling' and will be seeking the same for Australia.

Dr Peter Jensen confirmed the move after the flurry of negative press Rowan William's comments attracted earlier this week. When questioned whether capital punnishment for homosexuals, as mandated by Sharia Law, was a motivating factor in any way, Jensen replied, 'What's good for Rowan is good for me.'

This report has not been confirmed from other sources, however.

EU states vow not to recognise Kosovo's independence bid

Several EU member states are worried that if a Kosovo UDI is recognised by other states it will destabilise the Balkans again, and also set a precedent for minorities in other countries to do something similar.

As the European Union struggles for a unified response to Kosovo's expected
declaration of independence, several EU states - mainly those near the Serb
province - fear the move could destabilise the historically volatile Balkan

Romania, Cyprus and
Slovakia were the loudest to state their opposition this week, all vowing not to
recognise Kosovo if it declares

Greece and
Bulgaria are also wary of potentially explosive border changes in their area
while Spain and Slovakia cannot ignore the possible effects on their respective
Basque and Hungarian

Spain faces an
additional challenge as its northeastern region of Catalonia has long sought
greater autonomy.

Cyprus - which holds
elections on February 17 - has seen all this

The island has been
divided into ethnic Greek and Turkish parts since 1974, and the breakaway
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence in 1983, though
it is only recognised by

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And then, of course there is the possibility that a UDI will be followed by a resumption of ethnic cleansing.

11 February 2008

Beyond the Boerewors Curtain: Identity and white English South Africans

In his blog Beyond the Boerewors Curtain Roger Saner asks an interesting question about Identity and white English South Africans
What also interests me about Apartheid is the white English role. Most English people in SA seem unaware that the British concentration camps were responsible for the deaths of 26,000 Afrikaner women and children. This is not a legacy to be lightly skipped over, and one that ties directly into one of the most thorny issues for English South Africans: identity. Who are we? We're not British, although many of us hold British passports (or can get ancestral visas, or flee to the UK when we get the chance). We're not Afrikaans, so therefore we're not responsible for Apartheid (so I've heard from many English people). 'Apartheid was something which the Afrikaners were responsible for, not us. We had no say. In all levels of government the only people who were employed were Afrikaans.' So we withdrew from the public sphere and happily existed in the neutral space between oppression and oppressed, mirroring the behaviour of everyone else.

The last sentence rather begs the question. What do you mean "we", white man? Just who is "everyone"?

In his book Ah big yaws? Rawbone Malong described the language, pronunciation and usage of White Urban English-speaking South Africans, WUESAs, or Woozers for short.

In a post on my other blog I queried the usage and assumptions of a certain school of church historians who have written about "the English-speaking churches" in South Africa. Is there such a thing as a Woozer identity?

I suppose that in a sense I'm a Woozer. I'm white, speak English as my first language, was born in South Africa and have lived in cities most of my life. But does that define my identity? In the year I was born a man called G.H. Calpin published a book called There are no South Africans. He was a nasty right-wing racist (I was later called upon to review one of this other books, which made that very clear).

I've been faced with the question at several significant moments of my life. I'll describe some of them, going backwards in time

One was 25 years ago, during the referendum of the tri-cameral parliament, in 1983. I was visited by a National Party canvasser, who tried to convince me that the proposed tri-cameral parliament was a good thing. He stayed most of the afternoon. My objections were different from most of those he encountered, and it took most of the afternoon for him to grasp what I was getting at. Most objections he encountered were from people who did not like the idea of having Coloureds and Asians in parliament, even in separate houses. What he found difficult to grasp was that I rejected two principles that he regarded as so axiomatic that he could not conceive of the possibility of anyone questioning them: group rights and "own affairs". And that related to one of the fundamental contradictions of apartheid.

Afrikaner nationalists liked to point out that nationalism was a good thing, and that it simply meant "love of one's own" -- and that is where "own affairs" came in. The problem for me was, what was my "own"? The "white group"? But what was it? One should have "own affairs" which meant one's own schools, language, religion, culture and so on. But Nat policy was to have separate English and Afrikaans schools. If the theory of apartheid were to be consistent, then there should have been an "English" homeland, which ran its own affairs. But there wasn't, of course. If there were, then the "white" group would be split, and could not outnumber the Coloureds and Indians, and the tri-cameral parliament would no longer serve its purpose of maintaining white Afrikaner Nationalist hegemony. For the same reason there could not be a "black" house fo parliament, because that would outnumber the whites, so the blacks had to be divided into Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana etc homelands. It was the old policy of divide and rule. As long as Afrikaner nationalists outnumbered all other whites (English, Portuguese, Greek etc), they could be coopted to boost the numbers of the white parliament, which Afrikaner nationalists would control. The moment one of the black groups outnumbered the white conglomerate, the racial arithmetic no longer worked. Chris Heunis resigned as Minister of Constitutional Affairs, and apartheid's days were numbered.

But to the Nat canvasser it was inconceivable that I should not see my identity as primarily white. I didn't want a tri-cameral parliament, I wanted one parliament, with one man, one vote. He said "But that has never worked anywhere." I said "Look west". That required more explanations. On our western border was Botswana, which in 1983 was the most democratic country in Africa. Admittedly it was a much more homogeneous population than South Africa. But I didn't see why it shouldn't work in a multicultural country like South Africa, and thought it was a lot better than having people of one culture telling all the others what groups they belonged to and what their culture ought to be. "Own affairs" was a farce, because the attitude of the Nat government was that "you will look after your own affairs, and we will tell you what your own affairs are".

An earlier defining moment was the publication of A message to the people of South Africa by the South African Council of Churches, in 1968.

In the past various Christian groups had criticised apartheid on the ground of its unjust implementation. The Message, however, attacked not merely the implementation and practice of apartheid, but its theory and ideology. It said that apartheid was far worse than a heresy, it was a pseudogospel.

Apartheid was a false gospel because it encouraged people to find their security in racial identity instead of in Christ, and it was therefore, from a Christian point of view, a form of idolatry. It set up racial identity as an idol. Christians therefore opposed apartheid not merely because it was bad in practice, it was bad in principle. It was based on principles and assumptions that could never be acceptable from a Christian point of view.

For me personally, that was not something new. The Message to the people of South Africa simply articulated something I already knew. It helped to clarify and reinforce things by finding terminology to describe them. Many people had believed that apartheid was a heresy. The Message went further, and said it was a pseudogospel, and explained why. It was a moment like the one when Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. It challenged South Africa: if Christ is God, serve him; but don't pretend to serve him when your real god is the idol of racial identity.

For me personally the defining moment came in 1960/61, when there was another referendum, on whether South Africa should become a "republic", and did become a republic outside the Commonwealth.

It made me think about what it meant to be a citizen of the Republic of South Africa. The propaganda of the Republicans was that it would "unite South Africa". They said that the Afrikaners put South Africa first, while the "English" had divided loyalties, with one foot in Britain, which many Woozers still spoke of as "home", even if their ancestors had lived in Slouth Africa for generations. The Afrikaans word for Woozers was "souties", derived from "soutpiel" -- if one had one foot in South Africa and one in Britain, then another part of the body (in the case of males) must be dangling in the salty waters of the ocean in between.

But all this talk of "uniting" South Africa was going on simultaneously with talk of dividing it up into "homelands". And what was a homeland? A putative place of origin that black people (but not whites) were told they belonged to, and could be sent "back" to. So what did it mean to be a citizen of the Republic of South Africa? That you should have no other homeland (if you were white), but that you must have another homeland, if you were black. Clearly, the Republic of South Africa was going to be a Mickey Mouse country, with an elastic definition of citizenship that could mean anything but actually meant nothing.

And at the same time I read the New Testament, where St Paul said "our citizenship, our homeland, is in heaven" (Philippians 3:30). So it appeared to me that it was a toss-up between citizenship of the Kingdom of Heaven and citizenship of the Republic of South Africa, and I opted for the former. Baptism, it appeared to me, was a naturalisation ceremony for entering the Kingdom of Heaven.

So what the National Party was urging me to do was (in the words of Leon Bloy) the renunciation of my heavenly birthright for the pottage of this sinful world.

Because I was baptised, I had more in common with a baptised black person than with an unbaptised white one. The National Party tried to deny the truth of that, and to say that skin colour was more important than what God had done in baptism, that Babel could not be overruled by Pentecost.

And for the same reason, I couldn't get particularly particularly excited about being a Woozer, or see that as the core of my identity.

For a while I lived in Namibia, when apartheid was at its height, and many cities in Namibia had black "locations". In terms of the apartheid ideology blacks had no permanent homes in the cities, and were forced to go and live outside the city, beyond the town limits. Many did not want to move, and in Windhoek the Hereros were told that they could even give the new location a name, if only they could go and live there, and so they called it "Katutura" which means "We don't live here". And every new location outside every Namibian town was called Katutura, even if the government called it something else.

In Herero, "tura" means to live in a place as a homeland, to have a home in a place. Yet this was a metaphor for the Christian life. Hebrews 13:12-14 shows that Jesus was in Katutura, not Windhoek, because it was to precisely such a place that the world pushed him, and as his followers, that is where we are. We are pariki, the Greek word from which the English word "parishioners" is derived, we live beside the house, not in it. In Afrikaans, we are bywoners, squatters, sojourners. This is not our homeland: katutura, we don't live here.

Apartheid may be dead in South Africa, but the struggle against the pseudogospel still continues. I joined the Orthodox Church, and in South Africa, as an English-speaking Orthodox Christian, I'm in the minority. Greek-speakers, or people of Greek heritage, are in the majority, and from some of them one sometimes hears the same racist sentiments that we heard so often in the apartheid years. One woman once said, "The Orthodox Church is not missionary because its purpose is to preserve Greek culture." Non-Greeks are xeni. Hey, ho, I was born in South Africa, but I get called a xenos by a Greek immigrant. That puts me in my place. But actually it causes me to reflect that for both of us we are where we are in the church not because of birth or parentage, language or culture, not because of where we were born, or to whom we were born, but by a second birth of water and the spirit that makes us citizens of the heavenly kingdom.

Yes, racism is alive and well in the Orthodox Church. In 1985, when the first English-speaking priest was ordained in an Orthodox Church in Johannesburg, people came from other parishes, from far and wide, to shout "anaxios" (unworthy) because the Archbishop had dared to ordain a non-Greek, a xenos. Xenophobia rules, but it's not OK.

Some mouth the racist slogan "Hellenism is Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy is Hellenism", which is not merely a heresy, but apostasy. The Orthodox Church pronounced apartheid, or racism, to he a heresy back in 1872 (under the Greek name phyletism), but it still persists. Hellenism was anathema to Orthodox Christians from the time of the early church fathers. Hellenism today is the product of the secular nationalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, and is also a term for a neopagan religion. It has never been identified with Orthodoxy.

As an English-speaking Orthodox Christian, I like to worship in English, but I don't want to see an "English" Orthodox Church, in the sense that there are Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches. I want to see a South African Orthodox Church. I do sometimes get a bit annoyed when Greek-speaking clergy insist that I must use bad English translations of liturgical texts, because, being Greek, they know what is good for the English. But I've known that sort of thing all my life, when Afrikaner nationalists told me what was my "own" and insisted on giving me an "own affair". Most Sundays I worship with congregations that speak North Sotho (which seems to be one of the most difficult languages to learn: you can get courses in Greek, Russian, Zulu and Xhosa in bookshops, but not North Sotho). I enjoy the Liturgy in Afrikaans, often even more than in English, because there are not 25 different translations floating about, as there are with English.

But is there an "English-speaking" South African culture, a Woozer culture?

Not really. Not enough to form the basis of a distinct ethnic identity. Language and culture are linked, but English is a multicultural language. It is shared by many cultures throughout the world, and not only in South Africa. There was never enough of a cohesive Woozer culture in South Africa to demand a homeland. There was never enough of a group identity to which "group rights" could be applied. Rather, English-speaking South Africans belong to a whole range of overlapping cultural groups and circles, based on church, school, family, interest. Woozers who live next door to each other can find that they have nothing in common but language and geographical proximity. They have different friends, different interests, and might never meet and greet each other except casually and in passing. Woozers have never been a "volk".

While some were chauvinist (my Cornish great grandmother insisted on calling her Afrikaans son-in-law Botes "Boats"), and despised Afrikaners and kept aloof from "natives" others were more laid-back about such things and even made up satirical songs about them:

When I'm walking down the street I must be careful not to greet
people of a different pigmentation
Lest the government suspect or the Special Branch detect
a dark affiliation
to a communist organisation.
(sung to the tune of The wayward wind)

Perhaps this Woozer rootlessness made it easier for me to let worldly allegiances sit lightly, as I've described above. It may have made it easier for some others, I don't know. Since I was in my late teens I was aware of being a pilgrim, a stranger, a sojourner in the world, and am still reminded of it every time someone refers to me as a xenos.

And there is still the heresy, the pseudogospel, the apostasy of apartheid, racism, phyletism. A luta continua. Die stryd duur voort. The struggle continues.

10 February 2008

Legends of the Tokoloshe

Arthur Goldstuck, the collector of South African urban legends, recently posted a couple of examples of tokoloshe stories.

Legends from a small country: Legends of the Tokoloshe #1: A monster ate my homework:
A tokoloshe is believed to have an uncanny power called 'moshoshopansi’: to make it go under. It can extend its penis to any length and send it underground into the genitals of a sleeping or unsuspecting woman… many of my informers tell me that divorce… is caused by tokoloshes raping wives of migrant labourers. When a woman loses interest in her husband, it is often interpreted as being the result of rape by the tokoloshe.

In that brief observation lurks a world of meaning. It speaks of scapegoats, refusal to face reality, inability to accept responsibility when it all goes wrong.

The tabloid press abounds in tokoloshe and similar stories, of course, and the placards for Sunday newspapers often make the the most of them. One of my favourites was Zombie ate my soap. Unfortunately I forgot to buy the paper and never saw the full story.

Traditionally the tokoloshe (Zulu utikoloshe) was a fairly harmless trickster character in folklore, who played practical jokes on people. Such characters are found in many cultures around the world. But a tokoloshe can become dangerous if caught by a witch to become a familiar. In this role the tokoloshe legend has grown in the urban areas of South Africa far more than in the rural areas, and it is therefore very properly in Arthur Goldstuck's sphere of interest as the source of numerous urban legends.

09 February 2008

Cable theft -- under the noses of the cops

It is said that Eskom doen't like us to talk about blackouts.

The politically-correct term is "previously illuminated areas".

But when we woke up at about 4:00 am on Friday, with the electricity doing strange things, it wasn't Eskom's fault. The lights dimmed, the fan slowed, and then the lights came on again, and the streetlight outside was shining with unnatural brightness.

A few minutes later our dog Ariel came in through my son's bedroom window, which is usually an indication that there are baddies about. She can be fierce with the postman or the plumbers, but when there are genuine baddies around, she seeks protection.

My son went out with a torch and a big stick to see if anyone had been trying to break in, and while he was out in the garden, two cop cars came roaring down to the end of the road. They asked my son if he had seen anyone, and he said he was still looking, and after a brief conversation among themselves, they roared off again.

Since we were now all well awake, we made coffee, and I began reading my e-mail, and then the lights wen't off again, suddenly, with no preliminary flickers. After waiting a few minutes to see if they would come on again, I phoned the City of Tshwane electricity department. It takes a couple of minutes to get through -- press 1 for this, three for that, 1 for electricity, 1 for power failures, listen to a long spiel from an auntie about Eskom's rolling blackouts and telling you what web page to look at for the schedule (as if you could look up a web page if you are sitting in a previously illuminated area anyway). Then another plastic auntie asking what suburb you are in, and then asking to confirm that, and finally you get through to a human being.

I said the power was off, told her the street, and said I suspected cable theft. The flickering just before the power finally went off suggested that someone or something was trying to short out the wires. There wasn't a high wind or a thunderstorm, so it was unlikely to be tree branches. It was not on the hour, so it wasn't likely to be Eskom's scheduled load shedding.

Now, 27 hours later, the power has come on again, on Saturday morning. At one point they had about eight lorries of municipal workers there, trying to replace the stolen cable.

And the cops were here!

They did it right under the noses of the cops.

And last night, about 9:30, with the neighbourhood in darkness, no lights, no street lights, nothing, our next-door neighbour's burglar alarm went off. I phoned to ask if everything was OK, and said I could hear the alarm going off, and then the signal broke up and I couldn't hear anything they were saying. But it sounded as though they were out, so I called the cops.

Ten minutes later a cop van comes past, goes up the road the other way. I was flashing a torch, and they came back. I told them about the alarm going off in the house next door, and they still dashed off in the opposite direction.

The last couple of days have considerably diminished my confidence in the South African Police Service.

Backtracking on secularisation? Archbishop of Canterbury and Sharia law

Father David MacGregor has linked together a number of reports in his Contact Online blog about the Archbishop of Canterbury's views on introducing Sharia law into Britain, which has set a herd of cats among the pigeons.

Post truncated ... read the rest here.

Moved to Wordpress blog because of Blogger bugs

This post was actually posted at 6:00 pm, and should have appeared above the post above this, instead of below it. But Blogger has a bug that only allows it to post in the mornibng, and an ything posted after noon is moved 12 hours back.

Maybe they will fix this bug next year, or the year after, but until they do, read the rest of this post here.

07 February 2008

Now that Muti has been hijacked by the illiterati...

Now that Muti has been hijacked by the illiterati, is there any hope for SA blogging?

This is what I saw in the Muti widget in the sidebar of my blog this morning
Has anyone else just HAD ENOUGH of all this self-promoting, brown-nosing, arrogant and misleading HOGWASH? It's like an ego war on Muti these days, about which so-called 'social media expert' can write a bigger/better/fancier blog than the next. ENOUGH. G

What is that idiot ranting about?

Not sure, because there is no link, no URL. Muti has been hijacked by people like that who appear to be using it as a corporate Twitter. Oh well, bye bye Muti, it was nice while it lasted.

It is clearly not an auspicious time for Dave Duarte to ask if it's time for South African bloggers to be paid.

It's time for South African bloggers to grow up, and stop posting such a high proportion of illiterate, racist and childish rubbish.

Get paid? By whom and for what?

I've read a few blogs of people who blog for money.

They are boring. There was one who wrote about the beauties of Bulgaria. But don't bother to comment, because the person who wrote that has never been to Bulgaria and knows nothing about it. They were being paid by some travel agency.

The surest way to kill the blogosphere is to fill it up with junk mail and leaflets like the snail mail box. And soon it will not be worth reading new blogs to find fresh opinions because there won't be any -- there will just be press releases, most of them written by people who would never, ever be hired to write a paper press release.

Looks like Muti's gone. What's next?

Three Pigs story ruled ‘offensive to Muslims’ review | Children's Books - Times Online

Three Pigs story ruled ‘offensive to Muslims’ review | Children's Books - Times Online
A children’s story based on the tale of the Three Little Pigs was rejected for an award after judges became concerned that it would offend Muslims.

The animated virtual book for primary school children, The Three Little Cowboy Builders, was also criticised for its potential to offend builders.

The row centred on the Bett awards, which were supported by Becta, the Government’s technology agency for schools. The judges’ remarks, reported on the education technology website Merlin John Online, included: “Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?

When my daughter was in Grade II (she's now just handed in her Masters dissertation, so it was quite a long time ago) her class and the Grade I class put on a nativity play (it was a church school).

One of the girls in the class was a Muslim, and the teacher asked her if her parents would mind if she took part in the play. She replied, "If they complain, I'll just tell them that they can be glad I'm not the pig". Her part was s a cow in the stable, but what a pig was doing there in a good Jewish setting it is perhaps best not to ask.

In the event, her parents came to the play and enjoyed it.

06 February 2008

Crime-fighting organisation using criminal methods?

There is a crime-fighting outfit called eBlockwatch which has a web site and sends out warnings of criminal activity in one's neighbourhood.

It seems, on the surface, to be a good and public-spirited thing to do.

The only problem I have with it is that emails that come from them produce more warnings of fraudulent activity and threats to my computer than anything else. Even messages from obvious scammers and spammers don't produce as many warnings.

So I ask myself why an ostensibly crime-fighting outfit would persist in using methods used by scammers and distributors of viruses and malware?

The latest message I got from them produced the following warning:
MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from
"www.eblockwatch.co.za" claiming to be SAFindit.co.za
And every message from them causes the following message to pop up in my reader:
Message contains potentially dangerous "Lazy HTML" data

This message contains data that includes references to items that are not present on your computer -- typically graphics or frames stored on a remote system on the Internet and accessed using HTTP URLs.

This type of message, called "Lazy HTML" can represent a privacy or security risk, for the following reasons:

* It can be used to gain information about you without your knowledge, including the fact that you read the message, when you read it, how often you read it, whether or not you forwarded it, your computer's IP address and more.

*It can be used to download unauthorised programs to your computer. This is a common vector of attack for viruses and Trojan horses.

Pegasus Mail protects you *completely* from any problems associated with this kind of data, because it never downloads remote-linked items by default. A side-effect of this is that that remote-linked graphics in the message will display as grey boxes in the Pegasus Mail message reader.

I suppose I could always turn that warning off, but the warning is there for a purpose, and I still wonder why a supposed crime-fighting organisation persists in sending messages that trigger such a warning in the first place. It seems counter-productive, and makes one doubt their bona fides.

MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from "www.eblockwatch.co.za" claiming to be SAFindit.co.za

Images of war

The Poor Mouth: An iconic image:
Last Friday (1 February) was the 40th anniversary of one of the iconic images of our times. On 1 February 1968, with the Tet offensive in its early stages Eddie Adams photographed South Vietnamese officer General Nguyan Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner.

Jams O'Donnell goes on to say
For me (and probably most everyone else – apart, probably, from those who were there at the time), this and the one of Phan Thi Kim Phuc running screaming along a road are the two images that spring to mind when I think of the Vietnam War. For me most it is a dreadful image, a powerful statement of the brutality of war. I must admit I knew very little about the background to the photo. I found Adams’s feelings about the photo interesting and not what I had expected.

You can find the rest, including Adams's description of how he came to take the photo here The Poor Mouth: An iconic image, and it's worth reading.

And the amazing thing is that an American government composed of people who were alive at the time of those events, and knew what happened, should start not one, but two unwinnable wars a generation later, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As many people sang back then, when will they ever learn?

Embryos created with DNA from 3 people - Yahoo! News

If this goes much further it could, among other things, require a complete redesign of genealogy software.

Embryos created with DNA from 3 people - Yahoo! News
British scientists say they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be used one day to produce embryos free of inherited diseases.

Though the preliminary research has raised concerns about the possibility of genetically modified babies, the scientists say that the embryos are still only primarily the product of one man and one woman.

04 February 2008

The honourable thing to do?

There have been several comments in the blogosphere, such as Peter Hain sets an example, giving kudos to Peter Hain for resigning over corruption allegations.

Some of the comments have pointed out that he was an anti-apartheid activist from a youthful age. At the age of 15 he gave the graveside oration at the funeral of John Harris, the executed Johannesburg station bomber, because his parents, Waller and Adele Hain, were banned and unable to do so.

A couple of years ago many former members of the Liberal Party of South Africa (which was forced by the SA government to disband in 1968) wrote to Peter Hain deploring his failure to speak out against Tony Blair's plans to introduce 90-day detention in Britain, plans which Gordon Brown has not abandoned.

If Peter Hain had resigned over that, it might have been some credit to him.

Pat McKenzie, the former secretary of the Liberal Party, told the story of Peter Hain being introduced at a political meeting in the UK as a radical activist, or words to that effect. A voice came from the back of the hall, "used to be."

It was his mother.

Twenty-one years old -- the best word processor

It's now 21 years since I began using XyWrite III+, a program whose word processing functionality has never been surpassed.

It seems that rival word processors, unable to compete directly, have got ahead by reducing hardware functionality.

How do they do that?

It now seems to be virtually impossible to get a computer printer that doesn't require Windows to work (what do Linux users do?)

So I find that XyWrite and other MS-DOS programs I use every day cannot have their output printed directly. Hardware limitations reduce the efficiency of the program to that of its bloated competitors. Any time saved by greater ease of use is lost by having to find workarounds for less capable hardware.

One of the hardware limitations was introduced quite early -- the "enhanced" unergonomic keyboard. Whoever decided to move the function keys on keyboards from the left to the top must have hired a whole team of inefficency experts to come up with the most ergonomically clumsy design.

The result is that the two-finger XyWrite functions for delete word, delete sentence, delete line etc now become two-hand ones, which take longer to perform, and probably increase the liklihood that one will get carpal tunnel syndrome and some other weird typing diseases.

After all, how difficult is it to manufacture an ergonomic keyboard with function keys on the left?
After learning to do things the easy way, I still, after 15 years, find it annoying to be forced to do things the hard way by the stupidity of keyboard manufacturers.

One has to jump through all sorts of hoops to print a doccument, like finding a way of importing the output into a Windows document.

One of the programs I use for this is XyWrite 4.0. It can convert documents to RTF, which can then be imported into Windows word processors like Open Office or MS Word to be printed. And Open Office and MS Word are still clunky compared with XyWrite. Oh yes, they have lots of bells and whistles. What they lack is basic motive power.

The analogy of bells and whistles is taken from old-fashioned steam locomotives. You can design a steam locvomotive that can play tunes on its whistles in four-part harmony, which is just the thing if you want to park it at a fairground and use it as a steam-organ once a year. But if it means that you have to break a train in half and haul one half up the hill and then go back for the other half, and you have to do this every day, are the bells and whistles worth it?

The fancy Windows word processors can do all sorts of things you might want to do once a year, or once every five yesrs. What they don't do as well is process words -- the kind of stuff you want to do once every five minutes.

XyWrite remains the best word processor I have ever seen. I still use XyWrite III+ every day, even though it is now 21 years old.

One of the nice things it does is that it can take output from other programs and turn it into fully-formatted word porcessing documents. One can write a report for a database program that does this.

It was very useful for writing journal abstracts. Just enter the abstract into the database, and set up a report that inserts XyWrite formatting commands (which are Ascii, and similar to HTML codes). One can't do that with MS Word, and not even with WordPerfect (though at least with WordPerfect you could see the formatting codes in a document).

Why is it that whenever you have to upgrade your computer, you have to accept a downgrade as well?

Another problem -- I keep getting urged to upgrade to MacroMedia Flash 9.0, and every time I do so, it breaks my batch files, and I have to go to a system restore point and undo the installation. I use my batch files every day. I use Flash 9.0 once a month or less, and when I see something that needed Flash 9.0, it wasn't really worth it.

So there's my rant on computer development -- that minor conveniences come at the cost of major inconveniences. Now we're offered Windows Vista. I've looked at a list of stuff that it's supposed to be able to do, and can't think why I'd ever want to do those things. Not one of them.


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