NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Code leaks and crooked creeks

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Code leaks and crooked creeks

Bored one night last week, I sneaked a peak at Pammy’s hard drive on our Wi-Fi network, where I discovered a folder of emails from her old college roommate at Smith — something about planning a wedding at San Francisco’s City Hall. Heck, I didn’t even know she was a bridesmaid. But when I mentioned the wedding, Pammy went thermo-­nuclear. I haven’t seen anybody this mad since I replaced my editor’s Preparation H with Krazy Glue. Is it my fault she didn’t password-protect her files? (Hey, if staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee think people will buy this defence, I figure it’s worth a try.) Now she’s not talking to me.

I Sought the Flaws (and the Flaws Won): Last week’s leak of Windows 2000 and NT source code must have pleased the RIAA. Code-heads were so busy downloading the 200MB-plus files they momentarily stopped swapping copies of Britney Spears’ Toxic video. There’s no truth to the rumor that Microsoft and Coca-Cola are planning a TV commercial featuring the downloaders and will be giving away free lines of code to the first 100 million hackers.

Out damned spot: A Cringe crewmember recently ordered a laptop from Gateway that had a greenish-white spot on the screen. He returned the machine for a new one, which also had complexion problems. Gateway told my spy that about 20 per cent of laptops have at least one bad pixel; the company offered to knock $US100 off the price if he kept the thing but would charge him a $US150 restocking fee if he returned it. Gateway spokesperson, David Hallisey, said, “There is no way we can guarantee with total certainty that the monitor will be defect-free.” My spy said he would rather pay the $US150. I sense the start of a new environmental movement: Buy a Gateway, save the spotted screen.

Crooked dealings: My item about IBM’s Cayuga code name meaning “crooked” (and/or “mucky”) drew several responses from Cringesters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, who note that Cuyahoga is a Native American word meaning Crooked River. Some also begged me to not make fun of Cleveland. Me, joke about the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Hegehtso! (That’s Cayugan for fuhgeddaboutit.)

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