Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I can't believe the time has gone so fast... even faster than my grass growing.

Today is Game three between the world champion and his challenger. The Game has started and I could find a LIVE service somewhere, but I am working on this May mini-catalog--this time, replete with photos.

I just noticed last night I hadn't made a "big deal" out of New in Chess Yearbook #93, which may have been one of the best Yearbooks in many years. I'll check off the headlines: Short's 1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 wins quickly (lots of White wins, 3-4 draws, and a loss by all those who have tried this); Nakamura goes crazy in the Classical King's Indian (perhaps this headline is a little overstated); Jonny Hector sacs a pawn to turn around a Slav variation; and someone thinks, after many years of study, he may have a "bust" to the bust of the King's Gambit (a la Fischer). I wonder if there has been a new editor (though I don't see a new name listed) because everything seems to have more verve and excitement in the writing (as well as the topics).

In case you don't know, I have begun the automated shipping of New in Chess Yearbooks once again (autoships) in case you are interested. You get a favorable price and I ship within a couple days of receiving them. #94 will be next, probably already available in Europe.

Several new DVD titles from ChessBase:
ChessBase Magazine #135 (I am starting to keep these in stock). This one is a great issue.
Andrew Martin on the O'Kelly Sicilian.
Shirov on the Sicilian Najdorf 6.Bg5;
Nigel Short's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (I don't have this one yet)
The Squeeze as part of Danny King's powerplay series (I don't have this one yet either);
and a newly announced one on the Slav and Semi-Slav Revisited by Shirov (not here yet).
On the ones I don't have I can take pre-orders and ship when they get here, but just want you to know that ChessBase usually lags 10-14 days behind their online announcement.

Correspondent James Breeden has commented to me about Chess Assistant CDs as having a variety of problems in recent years and wanted to know if I would be carrying them. Iffy. I have both a Windows 7 and an XP machine here to test, but not a Vista System (thank God). I'm sure they would send me review copies but that's a time consumer when it comes to pinpointing problems and deciding which ones can take public use and which ones are a nightmare, but I might try it anyway. He seems to think some of these CDs are released without proper QA testing, and in the past I would have to agree on certain products. Others are repackaged, he says, of something you might already own--which is outright flim-flam unless clearly noted. What this paragraph is about is to ask "others" if they have noticed problems such as the ones mentioned, and if so, how did they handle it (tons of "patches?").

Back to the catalog.


1 comment:

  1. I have used CA products for quite a while (through many Microsoft OS versions). Most of the problems (annoyances) have to do with Vista and Windows7 "User Account Control", UAC which allows the program to do what Vista/Windows7 has decided that a program should not need to do; however what is on the "should not do" list was made up by Microsoft rather late in the game and many programs, not just CA, try to "do" it. For example write into folders in Program Files to save configuration settings, etc.

    Windows does offer an annoying pop-up window every time the program wants to "do it", why can't they remember my choice, next time I start it up. Its most annoying, I turned of UAC about 10 minutes after working with Vista.

    Vista and Windows7 are pretty much one and the same, don't let the marketing hype fool you. They did make a few changes to make it more user friendly (or at least what Microsoft considers user friendly, and we know how good they are on that subject).

    Getting back to CA products, with UAC off, the program work like a charm. CA10 did have problems when I first got, but it was not a Vista issue, they just forgot to include some files on the distribution that rendered the background analyzer useless. They did provide a patch of it, when I sent a note to them.

    Also on differences between Vista and Windows 7, they seem to have changed the priorities of tasks which was a welcome addition. On Vista, if I started Rybka and let it run for too long, the Aero window manager would starve for CPU and would actually not be able to return to life, and all you would see is an unresponsive black screen. On Windows 7, it seems to be different, a few times, I had forgotten to shutdown Rybka and would come back to the computer 12 hours later, the screen would be fully responsive and show what Rybka was thinking about 26 plies deep.
    But you are correct, they could have found that and other issues if they had bothered to do some QA testing. They did not even try the things that they had in their instructional videos for features or they would have caught the background processor problem.

    The priority changes a few other tweaks (and I think that is all they are) make Vista7 a much better experience. In Microsoft's case they used heavily depended on QA techniques to improve Vista into Windows7, however their QA staff consisted of all the suckers out there that bought Vista.