Been a few days. Hmm, what's been going on?
Grabbed JBuilder Personal (a freeware Visual Studio 6-esque programming environment for Java) to fool around with at home, and have begun writing myself a few utilities to use in the GURPS campaign I'm working on.
At work, I've been given Visual Studio .NET to play around with, and after a few days I can confidently say that the Java world is right to be concerned. All the versatility of a Java-esque core library structure without OS-agnostic pain like having to learn how to implement an Interface just to filter the filenames in a "File-Open" dialog box (class JFileChooser). Assuming Microsoft hasn't made any enormous blunders, I'll be surprised if Java's still anything to sneeze at in five years.
My new machine at work is running Windows XP Professional, and I have to admit I'm really liking it. With every version post-Windows 95, Microsoft's been adding extraneous crap onto the interface, and it's bugged me to no end. My first few hours with a late-model virgin install of Windows are almost always devoted to making it work as much like Windows 95 as possible. With XP, though, MS has put on a new, fruity face, and for giggles I thought I'd try to use it "as is" for a while. Turns out that I like it - I like it a lot! Who knew?
Yes, I've rediscovered the written word, and it's largely thanks to a) the utterly crappy TV options out there on everything but TechTV, and b) Mary Delli Santi's bookblog. Head over to bookblog, by the way. There's some great discussion going on.