Rochelle

Two and a half years ago, I wrote a post describing a problem I had been having when Rochelle migrated to Mozilla Thunderbird for email, and Norton Anti-Virus was corrupting her Inbox. The gist of the post was that there didn’t seem to be a good anti-virus solution that worked well with Thunderbird.

A couple weeks ago a comment defending Thunderbird came in on the post. I started to respond in another comment, but because the attitude expressed by the commentor is so prevalent in software, I wanted to respond more publicly.

Here’s the meat of the comment (or read in full):

The problem with virus checking in Thunderbird is actually not Thunderbird. It the strategy you are using to scan for email viruses. […] If your antivirus program doesn’t have a function to scan email as it’s downloaded and prior to hitting your inbox, get a real antivirus solution that does. Let’s not be bad mouthing Thunderbird for something you are not doing appropriately in the situation you have.

Well, at the simplest level, this is correct, it’s really just a matter of configuration. But on other levels this philosophy — that the features are there to solve the problem, the user just needs to find and configure them — is not a very customer-friendly one. You could argue that it’s the opposite. There are very few people out there looking to buy “anti-virus software with an email proxy or plug-in to scan incoming emails.” They just want “safe, virus-free email.” By itself, Thunderbird still does not provide this.

And, in spite of 2½ years passing since I wrote the original post, the software and the web site still do not provide any useful information about how to achieve “safe email.” The only official information about anti-virus protection I found today is the FAQ Is Thunderbird susceptible to e-mail viruses?, which still has the same essentially useless information I noted 2½ years ago. On a very real level, the level at which most people will experience the product, getting “safe email” with Thunderbird is a challenge that most people will not be able to meet.

A person can say “don’t bad mouth Thunderbird,” but what they’re really saying is “people who aren’t smart enough to figure out this Thunderbird + anti-virus stuff for themselves should use something else.” I wonder what the response would be if the Thunderbird project posted those words on their web site, instead of the useless words in the FAQ?

Final note: Rochelle’s solution to the dilemma was to switch to Gmail. Works great, and virus-free.

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Rochelle in the SF Chronicle

by Michael Alderete on 1/27/2007

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Friday wine section has an article, Social Swirl: Surging in popularity, wine clubs let you learn while you drink, with some choice quotations from Rochelle and from our friend David, about the wine tasting group Rochelle started more than four years ago.

This is our third major news article having to do with obsessions with food and drink. Not sure what says about us, except hopefully we’re fun to be around…

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Cool bartender weblog

by Michael Alderete on 8/28/2006

Rochelle found the weblog of Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and I ended up reading it for an hour. Nice writing, and some fun stories and insights from an experienced bartender. Eight Things You Should Never Say to Your Bartender was the one that caught Rochelle’s eye, and I was gratified to see that we’d never done any of those things. (When we are traveling we will ask about fun things to do in town, but only if the bar’s not busy, and the bartender has time and interest in chatting.)

In addition to stories and so on, he’s also got recipes and histories of favorite cocktails. While I’d certainly make a different choice for tequila than he does, the recipes all sound interesting, especially the Richmond Gimlet and the Brisa, both his own creations. Recommended reading.

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Tequila recommendations

by Michael Alderete on 8/20/2006 · 6 comments

When Rochelle and I go out, and especially when we travel, we often run into other tequila enthusiasts. Many of them are just beginning their appreciation of this fine spirit, and the number one question we get is “what is your favorite tequila?” We always disappoint, because we can never limit ourselves to one, or even a couple. We tell them what we can, point to good selections on the current bar’s list (part of our “love the one you’re with” philosophy), and promise to follow up with recommendations. But we have never attempted write down a list of our favorite tequilas. Until now.

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Dude, you’re getting a MacBook Pro

by Michael Alderete on 4/5/2006

I’m sure a million people will be linking today to the Apple announcement of Boot Camp, a new utility which now makes it both possible and easy to install Microsoft Windows XP onto an Intel-based Mac. I’m also sure most of them will put their amateur analyst hats on, and tell people what they think it means. (Most will be wrong.)

My interest in and comments on the announcement are quite a bit less global in scope.

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Tequila trails

by Michael Alderete on 12/20/2005

Two years ago, Rochelle and I were held captive during the imfamous Tequila Hostage Crisis of 2003. This month an article in the San Francisco Cronicle describes a local journalist’s experience on a similar trip.

Tequila trail leads to innovation gives some of the highlights, which we remember well, and alludes to the impact of the more intense moments of the trip (of which we remember little ;-), by describing the author’s regimen of no alcohol and lots of exercise for 10 days before the trip, and no activity at all for 3 days afterwards.

Entertaining and educational to read, there’s some good new tequila drink recipes as well. We will have to visit the local bartenders mentioned, and try them all out!

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Corporate drone

by Michael Alderete on 12/17/2005

I was surprised to discover this evening that Rochelle’s very creative movie (given the constraints of our 1999 digital camera’s 10-second video limit) is not the top result for corporate drone on Google.

I have to admit, I bought Apple’s iMovie, and then Final Cut Express, and then upgraded it, all without producing something as compelling as what Rochelle dreamed up on a (slow) Happy Boss Day at the office. Check it out.

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Palm Springs!

by Michael Alderete on 10/12/2005

Rochelle and I are currently in Palm Springs, on vacation for two weeks. So far we have done very little except eat and drink and sleep and…play Scrabble.

I don’t usually talk about our vacations on this weblog while we’re away, because I’m too paranoid: I don’t like telling people when it would be easy to break into our house. But this trip, we’ve taken the most valuable (to thieves) stuff (our computers) with us. (Plus we have house sitters for most of the two weeks. House sitters keep the cats from revolting while we’re away…)

Rochelle and I both have projects we’re working on during our two week “retreat,” and most of them involve or require the use of a computer. Sounds crazy, but it really is relaxing to be able to go away, and concentrate on things you’ve been meaning to do, but can’t find the time, or have too many daily distractions. And the things we’ve been meaning to do — writing, organizing photos, leaning new skills for work — are all intimately tied to technology. Welcome to the 21st century, I suppose.

At any rate, we’ll be back to San Francisco in a week or so.

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Quotation of the year candidate

September 3, 2005

“That Luigi is a fat, filthy, disgusting animal. What did we ever do to deserve him?”

“I don’t know, but you must have been very bad in a previous life, because you have him, Basta, and me.”

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Quotation of the year candidate

August 31, 2005

Heard around the office…

“You can’t take tomorrow off, I’m already out of the office.”

“How come?”

“Our au pair is at Burning Man.”

If you’re not familiar with the linked terms, be sure to view the definitions…

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The kitchen in August

August 19, 2005

It’s been quite a while since I posted photos of the kitchen progress. We basically came to a standstill two months ago, when we ran completely out of money to do more work. Fortunately, very nearly all of the work is done. Here are the latest photos.

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I dream of Harry Bosch

August 17, 2005

I’ve written how Rochelle and I listen to audio books on our iPods. It’s by far the best way we’ve found to fill commute and other dead time, and I frankly barely use my iPod for music; probably 95% of the time, it’s on for audio books. And one character rises above them all: Harry Bosch.

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