Girder sucks, but it’s all I know. I can’t believe that Girder under XP can’t capture the Windows keyboard, but Girder under 2K can. Laziness has prevented me from downgrading XP to 2K, but more and more, I just find more things I hate about XP. Now that my XP machine has become my primary machine… I am half-tempted to re-install windows. But, in the interest of the short-term, I will try to live with this crap. I have for 2.5 years already; just not as my primary computer.

Not having two serial ports REALLY REALLY sucks. I’ve chosen my favorite hardware, and both my favorite infrared receiver and favorite trackball only come in the serial flavor. And I’m not going to get a USB converter. Been there, done that, they have worked exactly 0% of the time in several situations.

Fortunately, Winamp has caught up to my needs since I got girder. The new winamp now comes with a “global hotkeys” plugin which is enabled by default. Since the keys ZXCVB can be used to control winamp while it is focused, I have always chosen the keys Win-Z WinX Win-C Win-V Win-B for when winamp isn’t focused. Since Girder is no longer accepting these key combinations (I settled for ctrl-alt instead of win, but ctrl-alt-c isn’t capturable either! WTF!), it works out rather well that winamp now accepts these keys internally.

(By the way, I wrote most of this during “day 5”, so perhaps I should have called my postings “Part” instead of “Day”)

So, I read up on some forums on how to make serial mice work under XP.

The best suggestion I saw was to go into BIOS and set serial port 1 to be the address 3F8.  Wow, this was like the old days with BBSing!

Of course, Gateway bios doesn’t allow you to do that. YOU CAN’T DO SHIT with Gateway’s bios.   There are perhaps a total of 20 things you can change.  I’m used to having about 100 with most Award brand bios.  Oh well, so much for that.

I gave up on the trackball.

For the first time in 13 years, a mouse choice other than my own is being permanently forced upon me.

Fuck. I am VERY particular about my hardware. This REALLY REALLY REALLY sucks.  They don’t make trackballs like the Crystal Trackball, to my knowledge. Not for USB/PS2.

Well, on the positive side, I have a spare serial port to hook up my IRMan infrared receiver.  Without rebooting, girder recognized this device.

Recognizing serial devices without a reboot?!  I haven’t experienced that since Win95.  Win95 was great in a few ways:  Once I upgraded video cards, but somehow forgot to turn the computer off.  Windows was STILL RUNNING WITHOUT CRASHING.  Yes, I hot-swapped a video card with no driver update under windows without it crashing.  It’s a true story.

So anyway, it’s nice that my remote control can control the music again.  I also got the latest Logitech iTouch software, so that the actual “pause button” built onto my keyboard will work.

Of course, Logitech did not label it’s own keyboard correctly.  I had to choose by image.  The keyboard that is clearly mine has a different name than the name printed, by Logitech, onto the actual keyboard.

Does nobody have true quality anymore?