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Rose calls it quits, heads for Big Apple

Rose calls it quits, heads for Big Apple

Well, that ends my career as a new man. I've tried to be sympathetic to Rose's needs, and look where it's gotten me: a phone call from Rose saying `I've decided to make a fresh start in New York', and `I would not have had the courage to do it without your support'.

This turn of events has occupied much of my attention this week, but I've had a bulging e-mail inbox to help take my mind off things. Most of the messages concerned the runaway-mouse phenomenon I've been writing about - where users' cursors inexplicably start moving around the screen and accessing menus.

Many people said they had experienced the same thing on just about all variants of Windows, and on a variety of hardware and applications.

Many others offered theories on the cause. Those included wrong mouse drivers, a badly written Microsoft mouse driver, incorrect screen drivers, viruses, and, my favourite, a remote-control feature hidden in the OS that lets Microsoft employees root around on users' hard disks for their own nefarious purposes. Big Brother Bill is watching you.

In a similar vein, another reader reports strange behaviour with Windows 2000 Professional Build 2128. He says that for three days his keyboard randomly remapped itself, and that on one occasion, when Lotus Notes was running, pressing a key caused the screen to change to an 80-column DOS screen. Hitting another key switched it back to Windows 2000.

Educating Apple employees

While I'm preoccupied with my disaster of a love life, the folks in Apple's education group have more pressing issues on their hands.

I've heard that there is a shake-up going on in the educational support group - this is the group that helps educational institutions decide what their needs are, and it's also the group that helps troubleshoot problems. Apparently, between 40 and 50 folks from this group were laid off last week with no explanation.

This started a flurry of e-mail to Steve Jobs to try and establish the reason for the layoffs. No answer was forthcoming, I was told, so if anyone can shed any light on the situation, a whole heap of folks at Apple would be very grateful.

Finally, I was staggered by the arrogance of Fox.com this week - and my thanks go to the reader who pointed it out for me. If you try to log on to the TV channel's Web site on anything other than a PC or Macintosh, you get a message saying: `You are running on a platform other than a PC or a Macintosh. Unless you run on one of these platforms, you will be unable to access FOX.com.'

To me, this shows that Fox just doesn't get the Web. It's like flipping through TV channels to watch Ally McBeal, and getting a message saying: `You are watching a Sony television. Please go and buy a Panasonic.'

I'm off for the obligatory five days of wallowing in self-pity. You know the kind of thing - a few sessions of crying into my beer, trashing my apartment etc.

So long, Rose, and thanks for all the liver damage.

Robert X. Cringely is a regular contributor to ARN's sister publication Infoworld.


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