Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Does anyone have any answers?

Does anyone know of a good backup program that will copy to a CDR or CDRW, run in XP and is free? XP Home does not come with a resident backup program (can we all ask the Microsoft voodoo daddys and mommas - WHY?) in the initial install. Yes, I know it is on the XP Home CD under VALUEADD, but this is a HP computer that came with no OS disk; you know, the ones that have the operating system resident on the computer (can we all ask the HP voodoo kings and queens - WHY?!?!?) Or can the backup function be installed from the onboard software? If so, will it backup to a CDR or CDRW? Sheesh! This should be an easy fix! Hello? Is there anyone out there? In the words of that great late night philosopher Dave Letterman, "Hep me! Hep me!"

"Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass."
-Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Nothing short about Longhorn

A question that seems to be on everyone's mind is when will Microsoft release Longhorn? Longhorn is the codname for the operating system that will supercede XP. Well folks, it looks like late 2006 according to BBC News. For those interested, WinFS is now on the back burner, but Avalon and Indigo are intact. Wow, 5 years later. Personally, XP was not a huge improvement over Windows 2000, but Windows 2000 was absolutely awesome in replacing Windows Millenium (the shortest lived operating system in Microsoft history). CoolTechZone has a related article.

Rainy weather and a nerve jarring backache have a way of slowing things down. Please pass the Flexiril: I'm outta' here in more ways than one.

"He had had much experience of physicians, and said "the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not."
-Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Friday, August 27, 2004

Short nonsense

It's Friday! Always like the fact that weekends are here no matter how much work has to be done. It's raining and the beach house needs a thorough cleaning, as usual. Must go use the vacuum, mop and unclog the sink - it's full of dishes. At least the ants and spiders have had fun on the kitchen counter. Hamboni is still trying to get out and I've a FreeBSD machine that needs attention.

Everyone have a joyous weekend!

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed; easy to get into, but hard to get out of."
-H.D. Murphy

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Great CDR price (and there's profanity in the quote)

If you need blank CDRs Staples has the Maxell 48 speed for $9.94 per 50 pack. Excellent buy. Maxell has a known reputation of manufacturing superior media. BTW, if you can ever find the same product with a Hitachi label buy the least expensive. Hitachi owns Maxell and their media is generated from the same factories.

Time to go see if Hamboni is making all the noise in the living room. Everyone have a casual Wednesday.

"Life's journey
is not to arrive
at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid
in sideways,
totally worn out,

Holy shit, what a ride."

via Greg Davis, Fulton Filosopher at large

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Great Backup Application and the woes of IM

Sarah emailed asking about a good backup program for XP. Mike Lin's Rapid Backup is a freeware program that is tried and true. This program has been recommended by various people on TechTV. It's very small, stable and easy to use. Even though his link is close to the bottom of my links list, his site is one of the first I listed. Mike is a student at MIT and will accept donations if you like his software. Take a look, many goodies here. StartUp Control Panel is a MUST for Windows 2000 machines.

Okay, I admit it, Yahoo Messenger is used on my machines. It's a quick easy way to relay data or info back and forth and the ever growing list stays busy. My 'on again/off again' relationship with the Yahoo people is due to their consistent whoring with spyware types. Whatever you do DON'T use their nasty toolbar that they push on you. If you have it remove it! TechTV blew the lid off their spyware scheme two months ago. And no matter how many times you tell them you don't want their other garbage they still download it to your machine. Don't believe me? If you are using Yahoo Messenger or Mail go look at Add/Remove Programs in the control panel. They'll be on the very bottom. While you're there remove this garbage. I am open to suggestions. Puh-lease don't start wif any of the AOhell dung (AIM, ICQ) and Microsoft's Messenger is just about as bad. Trillian has been used and just not worth the effort. I do have IRC capabilities at hand since the main browser is now Mozilla.

Opinion? Love to hear about it. Use the comments just below each article or click the email link!

"Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart."
- Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Monday, August 23, 2004

My real feelings about spyware

After an allnighter resolving issues created by spyware it should be time for bed, but must put a machine back on its network this morning. The lowlife SOBs that write this stuff should pray to Satan (their god) that I never get control. If you have friends, family or even know someone that is in the business of spyware, adware, malware, or dungware get the hell off my site and don't ever come back! Better yet, come by the beach house and, as Jimmy Buffett would say, "We'll get right down to it!"

With the aid of Computing.net I finally located the hidden files where the malware had parked and deleted it. This took some twisting and turning in DOS. Computing.net is a great site that is used here on a regular basis. Nice to know there are some good people left to counteract the slugs at the spyware houses.

Must finish resolving a login problem. Everyone have a great day except those connected with spyware.

"He who does not punish evil commands it to be done."
-Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Blah, blah, etc.

During my dreams last night there was a recurring theme, "Did I actually post that Friday blog entry under the influence of drugs?" It was not uploaded until around 5:00am. Since the gravel pit that has come to reside in my kidneys decided to move some stones, I went down for the count. Thank God for modern chemistry. As I remember my Dad experiencing this malady it's nice to know drugs are more potent today. Sore as hell this morning though, but feel 100% better!

Working on a computer that has not been formatted in years. It is extremely difficult to return a computer to its prior state. Some things always change. It is necessary to set up the computer with my preferences in order to be expedient if nothing else. After this machine there are two awaiting similar treatment and they have to be back on business networks early Monday.

So, what's everyone else doing this weekend? If you are enjoying the outdoors, travel, lounging, a good movie, a refreshing beverage, please be grateful. I know that I am grateful to have the work!

Peace out my fellow Netizens.

"Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
Am I happy or in misery?"

-Jimi Hendrix

Friday, August 20, 2004

Glad I lived through it

My democratic friends, please read this article -> Michnews.com. Also, try the article at Philly.com. Trying to find a complete unbiased copy of voting records is a major conquest. House and Senate Roll Call Votes takes some major patience and tenacity, but is complete. Will keep looking.

We have this wonderful tool that gives us enormous knowledge. If you read about this National campaign and still vote for Kerry then I am amazed. Met many dudes like him while in Vietnam and they all turned my stomach even back then. Yes, I entered the war a young, liberal child of the 1960s. My exit saw a changed man. Please vote Bush and help our country.

"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors."
-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Healing the uberpatch and Darth Jobs

ROFLMAO!!! Service Pack 2 for XP is only out a few days and Microsoft is busy issuing hotfixes for the uberpatch! You gotta' love it. Read about it at PCWorld.

Darth Jobs, so busy manipulating his orchard stormgeekers has overlooked another battery fault. What gives Stevie boy? Seems like someone that has a hero that is battery powered (Vader, if real, would probably be insulted) could get a handle on the battery thangy. Read about this at PCWorld too. And puh-lease!, Apple Nazis understand I am trying to help you with your poor slow, overrated, overpriced G4 laptops. Hey, if you want to worship at the altar of the Dark Lord of Granny Sith and throw your money away far be it from me to try and stop such ludicrous acts. What was it Clint said? "A man's got to know his limitations."

"O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!"

-William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Ad-Aware's New Version

Ad-aware has a new version of their free software available. Remember to find the free download when visiting this page. Their mirror at MajorGeeks is a great place to grab this great utility. Be sure and check for an update after installing the new version. BTW, they have an uninstall tool built in to remove the older version of Ad-aware.

Time to go hit the dusty trail and make the world mo' betta' for Netizens.

"If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand."
-Righteous Brothers

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

SP2? Let's do it!

Just finished a new build of XP Pro with SP2. After installing AVG Antivirus, which SP2 recognizes, Spybot S & D version 1.3, Ad-aware SE, Spyblaster (all these sites have free editions) and all their respective upgrades I immediately went to Black Viper's site in order to print out the Windows XP services configuration which has been implemented. I highly recommend this site. Viper made several appearances on TechTV shows back in the pre-Comcast days when they were a plethora of computer information.

Spybot S&D version 1.3 has an advanced mode that offers some IE tweaks and system startup utilities. I always lock the host files, homepage and internet tools within the browser under tweaks and then use the system startup tab to remove any unwanted weirdness that tries to run in the background. Using this tool avoids altering msconfig and also gives one the option to delete that mess without having to do a registry edit. Then a massive session of defragmentation. Walk away and let it do its thing after turning off screensavers and power limitations.

Service Pack 2 (SP2) is getting good reviews from sites that are beach house trusted. Decided to use it in this build since the positives outweigh the negatives in overwhelming fashion. There was some issue during the beginning of this build, but that was corrected by simply uninstalling and reinstalling the graphics card drivers. Methinks the IRQs weren't happy. With 512 megs o de RAM it is quite stable and is tolerating Mozilla, Office, Nero Burn and a few other applications. So far so good. Annoyances.org is a super site and has a good write up on Microsmooze's latest greatest patchorama - Service Pack 2. Agree with them that it is best to download SP2 and then install versus doing a direct installation from the Windows Update page. The download can be found here.

Good luck with your install. Be sure and check out the popup killer in Internet Explorer that is included in this "upgrade" and set it to block all popups.

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
-Albert Einstein

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Idiots, bozos and evil

Just spent 35 minutes trying to gather information from the G4TechTV site about an interview on Martin Sargent's Unscrewed with no luck at all. This is an unorthodox, funny show that is not for the kiddies. Not only has Comcast destroyed the best TV channel ever to broadcast, they've butchered the web site too. After trying to find an email address for a few minutes I gave up and decided to whine here.

I really dislike the upper management baboons at Comcast. Can't find an email addy on their site either. Yep, go around destroying good things and then stick your head in the sand. Brian Roberts, head ape at Comcast, is an idiot. May the good Lord help him find some peace in his sick, sick mind. Brian, next time you have a board meeting be sure and don't mention my name to Satan.

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
-Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Beautiful day in the neighborhood, but not a day to install XP SP2

Nothing like getting up in the morning, opening all the windows, having a great cup of coffee and plotting strategy to spend the day productive. With weather like this most anything can be tolerated. Usually the high this time of year is 100F+ and today it just might hit 80F! Humidity is also low. I don't remember August being so mild in this area. No doubt the fine folks experiencing hurricane Charlie don't agree.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 is getting mixed reviews. As mentioned, I've downloaded the networking version so it can be installed at a later date. Just wanted to see if the problems are that great when downloading. They're not. Still on a wait and see schedule here before actually installing. Have heard it can flake and there's some concern about the firewall not being substantial. Anyway, read back a few posts and you'll find the link.

"Gardening? You can bury a bunch of stress diggin' in the dirt."
-Billy Wobblynife

Friday, August 13, 2004

Power when you need it; the 9th simple rule for computing

On August 8, 2004, I posted '8 simple rules for computing'. After reading a nice email from Ann I feel it necessary to mention something I overlooked in that post. Go down to the local office supply or even "wallyworld" and purchase a battery backup. They come in all different flavors and the starting price seems to be $39.95 + local tax. The APC 350 is very popular.

Please remember to use the battery backup strip for only the computer and monitor. Don't plug in other peripherals especially printers. They draw too many amps and will negate the battery back up function. Also use the software along with the enclosed USB cable and set up an automatic shut down. This will save any open data and perform a normal shut down if the computer is unattended.

"The best things in life aren't things."
-Art Buchwald

Thursday, August 12, 2004

PDA lobotomy and Everything

I miss my PDA. Ever since I've changed from the Palm V to the Palm 505 it just hasn't been the same. The newer version just won't sync properly. The weird interface cable is a worry. The Palm V had a cradle that you sat the device in and now I have to fight this strange connector that plugs into the bottom of the new Palm. Doing without this device is cyber lobotomy. Be nice to have the old one back. Maybe a software update is needed.

Someone please check out Everything and post an opinion in comments or email. This site is interesting, but seems hard to navigate at times. Keep visiting for some reason and can't quite put the finger on it.

"Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both."
-Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Service Pack 2 for XP and Autopatcher

The Windows XP SP2 update has been downloaded twice with no problem. Haven't installed it yet, just wanted to see if there is as much problem as predicted. An anonymous emailer has recommended not installing on a cracked version of the software. Well, duh!?!!?! Can't believe it was even tried! Using the wait and see policy here. If there are no flutters of horror over the next week or so I may try on one machine. You can download the network installation version posted on Microsoft's site here.

Autopatcher is busy completing the 2000 and 2003 versions of their great software and haven't posted any news since June 27, 2004. They have been moving. Really like this concept and hope they keep up the good work. Nice to sit down in front of a new installation of XP and be able to to include all the Windows Updates at one time. They are also working on a newer XP version. Good site.

"I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes.
The reasons for updates are to present more new features."

-Bill Gates (roflmao! a somewhat dated quote)

Monday, August 09, 2004

Spyware employees? Crabgrass? Both are about the same to me!

Please go to Wired and read the article by Bruce Sterling. It is about YOUR computer. All people that are on the internet should read this informative, brief post. Go read it now and then come back here.

One area that Bruce does not really cover is Spyware/Adware/Malware or, a more fitting description, Dungware. They are all the same no matter what anyone claims. Hey, that's my opinion and I am sticking to it. Wish for the old days when someone invaded your privacy they could be traced and receive appropriate "compensation" for their intrusion into someone's personal computer. Today we need acts of Congress to STOP ALL SPYWARE FOREVER!!! Talk to your politicals and raise holy hell about these evil creeps! Just finished working on two PCs that had a combined infection of over 500 instances of spyware. Installed, updated and ran both Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. This is ridiculous! Hang them in public and let them rot. All the time spent defending and cleaning up concerning these clowns could be used in a positive manner that would benefit all. Contact your Congressperson and let them know you are vehement when it comes to these jerks.

"Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons."
-Dave Barry

Sunday, August 08, 2004

XP SP2, and Heinz ketchup is not served at the beach house

Windows XP Service Pack 2 will soon be available. Harry McCracken at PCWorld has a very sensible approach. Let others be the guinea pigs and download it when everyone thinks it is stable. There is an enormous comments list here that was fun to read. Found the referral to this article at Google News.

Looks like the Vietnam Veterans will play an important role in the next Presidential Election. Read the Matt Gouras article at Associated Press. I mention this to further my support of President Bush's re-election and my profound disdain of Skerry Kerry. Folks, do your research and explore the web. Read about these two candidates and make a wise decision. Being married to that foul mouthed Heinz ketchup heiress is NOT a positive either, "Mr." Kerry.

Kerry is throwing a fit about people coming out and telling the truth about his so called "heroism" in Vietnam. Too many people that surrounded him at the time are degrading his importance in that ugly conflict. Hell, I received my second Purple Heart and didn't even know it was applied for until the day it showed up! Seems the Hospital Corpsman that treated the slight wound felt it important. Please, please , please read about Kerry's voting record before you cast a vote. This jerk has more waffles than the International House of Pancakes!

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
-Mark Twain

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Email, Mops, my Aunt Judy n' Mom!

The email address for this site is cybersouth@gmail.com. If you are using one of the older addys then I will not receive any of your emails. Please update your contacts list because the mail.com account is going. Those people suck! You can always click on the email link in the list. Thank you for your co-operation.

It's Saturday and I've been busy since 5:00am. Repaired a video card in a beach house XP machine and have been cleaning. It's amazing that you tell people you're busy over the phone and they still insist on talking. My first statement after hello is an interrogative - are you busy? Anyway needed a break from the mop. Weather is beautiful here and I am determined to make this a good day. My Mother and Aunt are visiting this afternoon. That'll be fun. Ribs are on the grill as we speak. N' the wine is chillin'.

"He that respects himself is safe from others; He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, August 06, 2004

Half filled glass

Technology is fascinating. It looks like motherboards will be eliminated. So often science fact seems like science fiction. Read about it at ZDNET.

Ever wondered how to improve the print quality of the newer HP printers in Windows 98? Or how to make a boot disk? Maybe you need to install Linux on a FAT32 partition? Computing.net has a great "how to" section. Check out this awesome site.

Go JibJab dudes! Check out the Wired article for more info on the lawsuit. Go to JibJab and view 'This Land'. If you don't laugh, someone is digging a 6ft hole for you!

It's Friday, the weekend is almost here. There are only two more days to work this week after today! Life's good...

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong."
-Richard P. Feynman

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

8 simple rules for computing

What does it take to keep a machine safe, secure, functional and happy? This question is asked all the time. Each person has different opinions and combinations of certain software, hardware, good old common sense, diligence and persistence seem to get the job done. If I could somehow make everyone see that antivirus scans, spyware scans, defragmentation, checkdisk/scandisk, Windows critical updates and so forth MUST be run then we'd all have less problems. Those tools are in place to protect your computing environment, personal information and cyber sanity. Please remember to let them finish! Chill and get a cup of coffee, refreshing beverage or feed the fish. Don't go on any long jaunt or start a lengthy project because if you do these things on a regular basis the time taken by each task won't be that long.

Here is a list of basic guidelines.

1. Use a good antivirus scan. Favorite? AVG is a free download antivirus program that can be upgraded for a minimal cost. Please don't start about Norton's/Symantec and the others. Some are good some aren't. If you use McAfee then don't consider whining here. It's worthless. When you install AVG remember to check the heuristic box and uncheck the confirm dial up box. Also change the schedule to make it update and run EVERY day.

2. Install and fanatically update a good anti-malware program. Patrick Kolla has blessed us with Spybot Search & Destroy. This is a free download, but I encourage people to send donations to help keep this needed utility alive! If you use Spybot S&D make sure you've installed version 1.31. Then check for updates every few days (I check daily). If not familiar with this program read the excellent tutorial and it will help you install and maintain this great utility. BTW, there is scheduling in the advanced mode.

3. When in doubt, NEVER OPEN EMAIL ATTACHMENTS! 'Nuff said.

4. Purchase a good router that has a strong hardware firewall then install it. DLink, Linksys, Netgear, Belkin and others make good devices that are for sale at the local Staples, Officemax, Circuit City, etc. Some folks even go so far as to not use antivirus software after purchasing these devices. I am not that brave. A DLink DI-704 is in use at the beach house. A good battery backup unit is also needed. This will nullify the horrors of a system being traumatized by a power outage. They are inexpensive and most give you at least 5 minutes to do a proper shutdown. Remember to ONLY plug in the PC and the monitor. Don't plug your printer or any other devices into the backup unit. (edit: yes, Robin, the router will work with even one computer)

5. Do ALL Windows Critical Updates. Do ALL Windows Critical Updates. This may belong at the first of this list. Damn it, they are called Critical for a reason! When I find an infested machine you can almost be assured that it is lacking these vital updates. Don't even bother reading the description. If it is a Critical update you need it.

6. Back up your important data. Wonder how many times people come to me and are frantic because they can't get their machine to boot and they have important data that is absolutely necessary. And they have a CDRW device installed! Use it. If you don't know how to 'burn' CDs then learn. It's easy. Go buy a stack of blanks and put all your critical data on CD. It still amazes me that people do something really stupid and screw up a great PC then come to me angry because I can't retrieve their important data. Hey, there's no quarter, no discount and no sympathy. Back up!

7. Run a checkdisk/scandisk and defragment at least every month. The tools are built into all Windows versions from 95 on. It's done every two weeks here and also after a major install or uninstall.

8. Be very careful what you download. ALWAYS READ THE EULA. I've even downloaded stuff from known reputable sites that had spyware embedded.

This is a basic list. I've left out many things; i.e. - children and computers, but that's for another time. If it seems too overwhelming then I hope you saved the boxes so you can return your PC to the point of purchase. There are many sites out there designed to assist in problems cyber, etc. Use them. There is an email address posted here and I do respond. Comments are here for a reason. Use them. Hope this helps.

"Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all."
-John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Doom 3 and doom on Spy Nuker

Doom 3 went on sale today. Lot of hoopla surrounding this version. Weirdest thing about all this is the extremely poor Doom 3 website that has virtually no content. They don't even list system requirements! C'mon Id, y'all can do better than that! If you made a purchase let me know what you think about this game. Reviews are good so far.

The Spy Nuker people are suing Symantec (Norton's Antivirus, etc.). Seems Symantec called this cybertrash spyware/adware promoters and I hope NO ONE ever uses their products. They have cleaned up Spy Nuker but continue to put malware in other dung they promote. Check Eric Bangeman's article over at Arstechnica.

All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Alternative browsing and extremely bad business policy

Chris, from Memphis, emailed and wants to know about Deepnet Explorer. This is an alternative Web Browser that seems to be based on Windows Internet Explorer (does that mean security issues?). I've used it for several days and am worried about its traffic back and forth while online. Zone Alarm shows constant activity while it is open. This scares me. Also, there are some annoying built in HTML tools that are partially responsible, if not completely, for the loss of two Cybersouth posts developed inside Deepnet Explorer. Mozilla and Firefox seem the best alternative browsers at this time. They can be downloaded for free here.

The downward spiral of G4TechTV continues. Comcast has completeley trashed one of the best TV channels ever aired. I'd hate to know my business policy was to purchase my competition and bring them down instead of making my own business better in order to compete. Just doesn't make since. Hmmmm, Osama and Satan don't make sense. Comcast, are they on your Board of Directors? A very soon to be ex-stockholder wants to know!

"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."
-Henry Ford