Notes from the field: Rose gets her taxes done while Bobby takes a spin

Notes from the field: Rose gets her taxes done while Bobby takes a spin

Rose's mood improved when she finally completed her income taxes and landed a decent refund. So now she's thinking more of a "getaway" instead of a vacation. For the uninformed, a getaway means I stay home and she goes alone, whereas a vacation indicates we are both going, but I'm paying. So, it looks like I might get another week without Rose in the near future so I can stay at home and watch television.

Apple Computer also had its sights set on TV, but apparently changed its mind without ever delivering a set-top box. A prototype of what appeared to be an Apple set-top box was recently up for bid on eBay. The seller said it came from a Silicon Valley estate auction and that it did bring up a menu when plugged into a TV. The lucky bidder won't get any technical support or upgrades, but that's never a guarantee even when you buy shipping products.

Users who bought Hewlett-Packard's lower-cost business computer locked themselves into a great price, but also into Windows 95. The Vectra 500 Series PC cannot be upgraded to any other versions, so it crashes when Windows 98 is installed. One user said HP told them no additional BIOS updates are planned for this system.

Six inches

On the support side, another user said the hard drive in a new Dell computer wasn't working, and was instructed by Dell Support to lift the front of the PC about six inches and then drop it to see if that got the hard drive working again.

Driving home earlier in the week, I passed the campus that Larry Ellison built and found it surrounded by movie trucks and gear for shooting a movie. Naturally, when I thought about Larry's tax bill, I felt better about my own. I just hope the film company thought the ominous mirrored buildings made for a good backdrop and wasn't actually including Oracle in a movie. Meg Ryan on America Online was one thing, but I don't know if I want to use my tax refund to pay $8 to see Larry.

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