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Scott's Column
Surgery & Windows 98

November 1, 1997
By Scott Lewis

Well I have been away from this site for a few weeks. I was recovering from sinus surgery then work got backed up. Read along for the details.

Return From Surgery

Well surgery went well. For those that read last months column, you know I was undergoing the first of what may be multiple sinus surgeries. This surgery that was to remove an infected sinus cavity to the left of my nose (my left, your right). The infection was worse than the doctor predicted. It eroded the bone and had dug a hole into my nasal passage. The doctor remove it, and it is healing well. I will avoid the really gross details. In a nutshell... since the infection had made its way into my nasal passage, it is possible that it is responsible for the rest of my infected sinuses. The doctor has me on anti-biodics and I will get another CAT scan to see what the final results will be.

I will still need to have my major sinuses (the traditional ones that you feel when you blow your nose) "scooped out" to remove numerous polyps. I have a deviated septum, but the doctor thinks that might be able to straighten out now that the worst infection is gone. Also, I may have to have the "natural" hole opened to the cavity operated on. The doctor thinks that it may reopen on its own.

Time will tell. I will probably go back under the knife in January. I don't want to be recovering from surgery during the holidays, and my wife is due with our second child in late February. So January would be best for my schedule. If more surgeries are needed, I assume they will take place after March.

Windows 98

I was really looking forward to loading a test machine with Windows 98 Beta. I get the beta as part of my subscription to the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN). Alas, I made a major mistake. I left the disc by the test machine before I went off to surgery. When I came back it was gone. Yes, stolen. Unfortunately there is no way of determining who the culprit is. I contacted Microsoft and they are sending me a replacement disc. So the Win 98 (99, 00) experience is going to have to be saved for next month.

Books

I finished reading Steven Hawking's book, "A Brief History In Time - From The Big Bang To Black Holes." I found the book very interesting. I was a little confused trying to grasp the concepts of General Relativity. Since the book is for laymen, uh-huh, it didn't go into enough detail for me to understand it. I don't think the book could teach you Einstein's Theories due to its target audience, and that it is not supposed to teach you the theories but just tell you about them. The book does give excellent examples of how the information described is used in our lives, and does a great job of informing readings about all the theories that relate to Hawking's work. Highly Recommended.

The local PBS channel here, KRLN, is airing a six part series called Steven Hawking's Universe. Each part is one hour. If you are even remotely interested in our universe, and what makes it tick, you must see this show. It airs Mondays at 9:00 (Central Time) for me. The show is newer than the book. The book I read was dated 1988. One of the major discoveries mentioned in the second episode was accomplished starting in 1989 and took about a year. That discovery was the temperature of the universe. This discovery was the final evidence needed to "prove" the Big Bang theory. Since the Big Bang strikes hard with divine intervention, basically this discovery can also be used to "prove" there is a God. I make no assumptions, watch the show and decide for yourself. Highly Recommended

I have not decided on the next book I want to read, but I am leaning toward George Carlin's latest book. I don't remember the title, but I should have no trouble finding it in a bookstore. Any Suggestions?

Internet Explorer 4.0

I installed Internet Explorer for a brief time on my test machine. It was stable enough that I installed it at home. I have not tried any of the push technology in it yet, but I can tell you of a couple of simple observations I have found so far.

One, when you click the down arrow to see previously typed URLs, you will be surprised to see a hierarchical view of your computer. I personally liked have recently typed URLs available. I will get used to it. Two, JavaScript is better under IE 4.0. I can prove this to you right now. To the left is my navigation. I use a JavaScript to swap the images of the words in the list. When you move your mouse over them they should turn yellow. In IE 3.x the color change did not work. It worked under Netscape 3.x, and it now works with IE 4.0. See for yourself.

I will spend more time with IE 4.0 when I get my test machine up and running with Win 98 Beta. Stay tuned.

New Job

I have been made the Project Lead for a Technical Integration Group. This is my first time as a project lead, so I am glad. Add to this the Intranet development I have been doing, and I am having my manager put me in for a raise. I am hoping. Anyway, The new job is in addition to my usual responsibilities. So I have been quite busy this month. The job is for me, and three team members, to facilitate all hardware and software for our unit and all its projects.

We are having a number of projects going on to include web development, client server applications, and data warehousing efforts. So now I can have my hand in all of it. Cool. I have only been on the job for just over a week, and it is keeping me very busy.

Site Of The Month

This month's Scott's Site Award goes to Gamecenter's Underground. The Underground is premised on giving you information on games from the underground. This is a neat premise for a site, and Gamecenter does it well. Basically you get some good information about games, some of it lesser know than the usual stuff. The Underground includes a Community. This Community is a list of games, each game with a list of web sites for it. And get this... 4 out of 5 of my gaming pages were in the Community. No, I did not send them in. I found them there already.

The only page of mine not listed was my Warcraft II page. In fact, there are no Warcraft II pages, so I don't feel too bad. This seams like a good choice. By now there is little information not easily available for Warcraft II, so it does not warrant the attention of an underground anymore.

By the way, the Underground uses an all new look than CNET's usual pages, a very welcome change. Enjoy. Recommended.

Next Month

Well that about does it for this month. I will be trying out Windows 98 as soon as my replacement disc arrives. It has been three weeks and nothing (so I will be making some phone calls). That was with two day air. My companies mail room is probably having a hard time finding me. We move around a bit, and are getting ready to make our 3rd move this year. Not fun.

I will spend a little more time with IE 4.0, and may look at the push technology. Remember, the only true push technology is e-mail. This push-browser thing is an elaborate way of getting your computer to pull the information for you.

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