Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Sunday, October 31, 2004

It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. -Marlene Dietrich

Somehow there is great irony in the fact that the day I put an antique tag on my leadsled the engine blows up. We're not talking about a hose or belt going, this is rings disintegrating and major compression loss. The engine will have to be rebuilt. Came as a complete suprise. Thought the motor was good for another 75,000 miles.

It blew, I crippled about the day, picked up the license plate at the Neal n CC Ranch, then slowly chugged home. It's in sad sad shape. Thank God that Neal was there to help. Thank God it happened under somewhat controlled circumstances and not while on the way to Starkville and Columbus early tomorrow morning.

A great friend is loaning me a vehicle until it is repaired. Seems my doing things for others pays off. What's that old saying, "When you get lemons - make lemonade?" Well, when you get lemons at the beach house you throw the damned things in front of a train or, at the very least, make margaritas. The leadsled WILL run again. My antique truck tag WILL not go to waste. Ahhhhhh, man's gotta' know his priorities and limitations.

If your a client please understand my situation if I run a day or two late. I'll be in touch with everyone no later than tomorrow morning. Now I must go get greasy and spend the day starting the upgrade of the operating system in a Chevrolet.

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."-Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Sunday morning happens tonight

Saturday morning and I've miles to go before I sleep. I'll see some great friends today and travel in excess of 200 miles. Always nice to be in Tishomingo County though. One nice part of the trip is that the last tag for the El Camino is waiting at the Neal n' CC ranch. Yep, the leadsled is officially an antique.

End of the month things are coming together and November is looking great. My "older" brother, Dan, celebrates a birthday mid November and Maddiecakes has one towards the end. My daughter and son-in-law living in the great state of Louisiana won't be here for Thanksgiving, but will arrive the week after Christmas and have planned to spend time at the Beach House. We have an agenda.

Daylight savings stops this weekend. Remember to wind those clocks back one hour early Sunday morning.

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost."

-J.R.R. Tolkien

Friday, October 29, 2004

Watch it Knute! They're headin' fer the henhouse!

Sometimes it amazes me as to what constitutes a joint business venture. Now we have Microsoft, AOL, Earthlink and Yahoo joining combining forces to "fight" spam. One story is at Vnunet. Let's see, the main purpose of spyware is to glean info so the bad guys can send spam, popups, popunders, etc. to unknowing innocent victims that really don't want this junk. Okay, there are those few that are masochists and want the stuff. It's a known fact that Yahoo not only endorses shady spyware practices, but implements it as well. I'd expect this type of behavior from AOL, NOT from Earthlink and especially Microsoft. Ahhhhh the old fox in the henhouse trick and they've made the sly devil Sargent of the Guard...

"Commerce, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E."
-Ambrose Bierce

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Large reptilian collusion, difference of opinion and an eclipse

Recent mention of the fact that some Yahoo components contain spyware has been questioned in several emails. Please go to JimWorld and read this WHOLE string. Very enlightening. Basically, Yahoo sucks. Of all the creeps in the world they chose to tie in with it couldn't be any less than one of the worst -> Claria aka Gator aka Precision Time aka Weatherscope (remnant of the now defunct Weatherbug) aka CMESII aka GAIN and that calendar thangy whatever it's called today. As far as I can tell Yahoo Messenger is not part of the infection. The toolbar is the problem. No matter, Yahoo Messenger needs to go and I will stop recommending Yahooligans as a good child-friendly site. All Yahoo has been removed from my favorites.

BondoElvis has a different opinion of Norton Internet Security. A while ago we both experienced horrors very similar on two different networks that were not connected and well over 100 miles apart. It was downright phreaky. After his client and my client installed NIS against our wishes (even after being told to use ONLY Norton's Antivirus) we both spent days rebuilding network/internet capability and going through hell to remove Norton's Internet Security. Bondo says that the newer issue of this software is much more user friendly and can be easily removed. He also advises AGAINST use on an older PC, especially one with a small amount of memory. I am posting this since my experience with this program was a one time adventure and Mr. Elvis took the time to write. When 40 or so computers stop talking to each other and their internet capability is squashed, guarded is my approach. AVG is still #1 in my book and if you need a good software firewall the free version of Zonealarm is hard to beat. Spybot also has a program that can be utilized called Tea Timer that gives great protection.

Last night's light show in the sky was really neat. Weather at the Beach House was perfect and I reclined in the swing on the veranda from ingress to egress. Our blessings come in many forms.

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise."
-Ben Franklin

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"We read to know we are not alone." - C.S. Lewis

Two of my favorite sites on the internet have to do with reading. They are Project Gutenberg and Litrix. These sites are online libraries that offer certain works of literature for free. Project Gutenberg has been around a while and has over 10,000 volumes. While Litrix is relatively new they offer some interesting works and I am presently reading A Voyage to Arcturus from that sight. It's under the SciFi section. This is my third reread to see if age will help gain further clarity of interpretation.

Slashdot has a related story about Project Gutenberg. Looks like Margaret Mitchell's heirs are upset because the Australian version of this great project has posted Gone with the Wind. The outcome of this will be interesting. International copyright laws conflicting will definitely become more prevelant as time marches on.

There's also a link for out great local libraries in the list to the right. If you haven't visited lately you'll be amazed at the changes. Nice folks. Excellent web site!

Remember, there is a lunar eclipse tonight starting a few minutes after 8:00PM CDT.

"My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn't believe this access to knowledge we have here in America. They couldn't believe that it was free."
-Kirk Douglas

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Never moon a werewolf

Wednesday night, 8:14PM CDT, there will be a lunar eclipse. Weather permitting, this should be a fun thing to watch. Natural phenomena of this scale blew me away during my formative years. Still does. Here's a nifty link that is somewhat dated, but full of great information for the amateur astronomer -> MrEclipse.com. Remember to check Moonrise in your area. NASA will provide online viewing.

If needed, wear moontan lotion. Or stay in the moonshade.

"The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to..."
Carl Sandburg

Monday, October 25, 2004

May I have your attention please?

Next time you sit there smugly in front of your PC and tell the virus definitions that are trying to update that they should "go away", please come back here and read this article -> Plague carriers. Or read this article at Reuters. How about the Boston Globe? It's very short and to the point. Shoot! Just go to Google and pick one out.

Over to the right there is a list of links. Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-aware and AVG are listed here. Just click on the words and you'll be on their respective pages. There are also buttons for Spybot and Ad-aware in the ads listed below the links. You can click on them and go to these sites. USE THESE PROGRAMS! And puh-lease! Don't install them and think that's it. YOU HAVE TO UPDATE!

If you are using McAfee's for a virus protection program, the you are a very sad, sad creature living in a fantasy world. Please remember this:
Norton's Antivirus = OKAY!
Norton's Internet Security or System Works = VERY VERY BAD JUJU!

Norton's Antivirus is a resource hog and is wayyyyyy busy running in the background. Not as good as AVG, but it does work.

After purchasing my Toshiba laptop the first thing done was removal of the year's subscription to Norton's System Works. BTW, getting said garbage off that machine was about like removing spyware. Then the network and internet capabilities were configured and AVG was downloaded.

None of my PCs have ever had a virus!! Not one! Almost daily infected PCs are attached to this network in order to scan them with one of my computers. No, there's no need to worry about the virus infection jumping across my network because it is protected!!! Is yours? According to the links listed in the first paragraph, probably not.

Spyware? Hanging is too merciful for the sorry bastards involved in this horrible, evil business. Now I must go find my medication...maybe next time I'll tell you how I really feel.

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
-Albert Einstein

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Restraining order ? How about restraining with a cybernoose?

Finally the FTC has made a move against spyware. In order to stop Stanford Wallace and companies from spamming the innocent public a temporary restraining order has been issued. Read more about this sleazy jerk at ABC7news. Here is another idea. Let's make it permanent and let Richard Branson use Wallace and his buffoons as crash test dummies for Virgin Galactica.

Remember the days when you surfed the net and found all this wonderful information right at your finger tips just by clicking a few buttons, hearing some weird noises, and signing on to the world wide web? Recall that first time you heard about internet virus infection and wondered what fiend would do such a thing? Ever chat for hours on IRC or ICQ (when it didn't belong to AOL)? Been there and done all of 'em.

For the past day or so most Cybersouth email has been about protection tools; what to use, how to install properly, frequency of update and that sort of thing. After thinking about this I have something possibly we should ponder - HACKERS, UNITE! Spamford Wallace owns two companies named in the restraining order - SmartBot.net Inc. of Richboro, Pa., and Seismic Entertainment Productions Inc. of Rochester. What was it Nathan Bedford Forrest used to say? "Attack! No quarter!"

It's now time for my high blood pressure medication.

"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
-Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Philo Taylor Farnsworth, what have ye done?

Sitting this evening enjoying the fact that the great multicolored eye dominating my living area has lulled me into a dream filled sleep during a gentle downpour, I was suddenly scared sh--less by a loud screaming siren. My first thought was that a fire truck had hydroplaned and run into the house. Nope, just the TV weather alert telling me that it was raining OVER 40 miles away. Anymore, if it clouds up they interrupt every few minutes.

It insults me for them to presume I am so stupid that I can't look out the window and see the condition of the weather. Besides, there's a Saltillo weather link on this page. It may be time to take control of my life and do away with this annoying bother. Sheesh! Thought TV was for entertainment and information not annoyances. After all the breaks in TV programming I'll spend the week wondering if Andy is still mad at Barney and did Spock manage to save Captain Kirk and the crew.

There's a storm shelter on this property and I've never been in it during a storm. Don't get me wrong, I'll use it if needed, but that'll consist of a mad dash from the computer room after seeing danger is likely on Intellicast. The rain stopped 20 minutes ago and I still hear the weather alert dude talking about storms in Louisiana or Texas or Mexico or Peru. He seems to think these places exist in my backyard. Don't they teach geography in schools? Think a good book and the "calm" after the storm are in order. And maybe a prayer for patience and tolerance...

"Check out Farnovision to learn more about the history of the boob tube."
-The ghost of Milton Berle

Friday, October 22, 2004

Remember the Minutemen?

Talk about 'rocket scientists' showing off their single digit IQs. Hannibal, over at arstechnica, did this awesome post -> The Guardian's anti-Bush lettering writing campaign hacked. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Can we all say DUMBASS together? With weasels like this supporting Kerry the "W" can go home and not spend more money on campaigning. It's a cinch he will be re-elected. What IS it about Kerry that inspires such goofiness?!? Think about it. Is having that creep Michael Moore supporting your election efforts really a good thing? C'mon people!

Thank you Hannibal for a great slant on marked mental deficiency at home and abroad.

"The temper and character which prevail in our colonies are, I am afraid, unalterable by any human art . . . An Englishman is the unfittest person on earth to argue another Englishman into slavery."
-Edmund Burk, March 22, 1775

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Google tips, browser wars and SP2 lore

Using the Google Toolbar? There's a nice feature listed under 'Search Web' that is handy. If you click on the drop down arrow (black arrow to the right of the words Search Web)) at the bottom of the list is Dictionary. Click on this link and it opens up giving you the definition of "nothing" since there is nothing in the box to define - downright cute. Another way to find a quick definition is to go to Google type in 'define' and the word needing clarity; i.e. 'define snizzle'. Aside from whatever the Urban Dictionary says, snizzle is some type of berry and also snow changing to drizzle. At the time researched there were 169 listings for 'define snizzle'. It's always nice to learn the meaning of words found in our great language.

Has anyone else noticed that there are commercials running on TV promoting NETSCAPE internet service for $9.95 a month? They even have one where they challenge NetZero. Remember, Netscape is owned by AOL and we certainly don't need another AOL - one is bad enough. Also, Microsoft has mentioned on several occasions that they may discontinue the Internet Explorer Browser. Just remember that AOL/Netscape is a major force behind the "Mozilla.org" project. In the near future do you think we might possibly be buying browsers? If memory serves me the huge anti-Microsoft lawsuit a few years ago had to do with the Netscape people being pissed because Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with Windows at no extra charge. Weirdness in court let them prevail even though the Netscape product was inferior at the time and they wanted $20.00 for it. Yes, whining works on occasion. Netscape proved it. Should you download Firefox or Mozilla? Hmmmmm...a conditional yes. Please be wary of that which seems free. Things change.

Your help is needed. Please comment about experiences with Service Pack 2, aka SP2. Also, if you favor another flavor over XP let us know which OS, etc. Reports are still coming in about horrors with Service Pack 2. The one PC here that has it installed is fine so far, but I recently helped a client install it and now there are major problems. Any input will be welcome. In the words of that great late night philosopher David Letterman, "Hep me! Hep me!"

"Greed is a fat smelly pig with a nasty mouth that never has enough to eat."
-Lawrence Easley

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Choices and condiments

Folks, this is an online journal that revolves around things concerning computer usage. Since we own these devices and you are here then information gathering is part of your personal agenda. The following information is given in the spirit of promoting the collection of data and putting it to good use. My political affiliation is by no means clouded.

With a MAJOR election coming up on November 2nd there is a site that everyone should visit. This is non partisan and full of wonderful information that may help you make the right choice. It's Opensecrets.org. If you type your zipcode in the appropriate box all the information about your Senators and Representatives will be listed.

Before you start flaming, let me say that this site has more info on the President than Kerry. It is no secret that I support our President for re-election. Again, I am not asking my friends that are Democrats to embrace the GOP and turn Republican. If you desire to vote for a man that has more waffles than an IHOP then go ahead. It's your right as an American. Please, please research the information available and elect the right man for the job. Kerry is NOT that man. Why won't he sign Standard Form 180 and release the mysterious 100 pages of his Naval discharge? WHY is his discharge over 100 pages?

If you would like to visit an entertaining site that lists many relevant links to things political try Boortz.com. Yes, Mr, Boortz is for our President's re-election. No, he is NOT a Republican. He is more anti-Kerry than pro-Bush. It's a very clean, easily navigated site that consistently delivers up to date information.

No matter what party you embrace go to this site and put a smile on your face -> Wketchup. It's kosher, made in America, uh...uh, just read the FAQs!

"I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Wketchup and french fried potato!"
-Billy Wobblynife (with the "help" of Mr. Jimmy Buffett - a known Democrat, lol)

Edit: Have you seen this site? - Communists for Kerry

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Overclocking and storm warning

All righty now! The Oral B ($6.00 at the local pharmacy) electric toothbrush is overclocked. Followed the instructions from Kevin Rose on G4TechTV and used a two battery external case. There's one twist. I also inserted the third battery in the battery holder proper that's in the handle. Tim Allen of Home Improvement should be proud. Man, talk about more power. Can't wait to actually use it for its intended function and will, right after it lands.

Everyone local stay safe in this nasty weather. A tornado just passed 4 miles south of the Beach House and we've had 2 inches of rain in the last hour. Sirens kept me awake all night and I couldn't enjoy the storm. What's up with the TV going off every other minute? Like we can't look outside and determine it's storming? Yankee dude doing the announcing can't even pronounce Saltillo, LOL. He'd break down if this weather was in Iuka or Tishomingo! Peace out my fellow geeksters.

"Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, but chaos in the midst of order is."
-Steve Martin

Monday, October 18, 2004

Linux, email and another Google goody!

Are you a Gates supporting Microsoft Nazi? Or do you despise Bill and the Redmond gang? Possibly a Linux Nazi? Slightly interested in Linux? Want 'in' on the latest trends in servers or handhelds? There is interesting reading over at ZDNet. Let me know what you think.

Every so often there has to be a post about email. Love it! Please send your opinions, well wishes, flames, etc. and help me keep in focus. Don't stop! But, understand that I just don't do the chain letter thing and forward. I try to reply to all inquiries about things cyber or computerese. Keep those cards and letters coming!

There is a lot of interest in Google's possible entry into the Instant Messaging realm. We need something that is reliable, private and easy to use. Sounds like a Google thing to me! More on this at Silicon.com.

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."
-William Blake

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Chicken Little in China? NOT!

Talk about a dude with a positive attitude check out the BBC post concerning the satellite crash in China. The crash destroyed the residence, but no one was hurt. The owner takes this as a sign of possible prosperity during the coming year.

"Watch out for that gravity storm."
-Jimmy Buffett

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Johnny Boy, you're singing the wrong tune!

John Ashcroft, our somewhat confused songbird Attorney General, has a bad case of myth-direction. He's banging the drum and creating hoopla about "piracy" on the internet and one of Satan's main whores, Mitch Bainol of the RIAA, is about to burst with glee. Crooner Ashcroft needs to worry about how spyware and spam are ruining Netizens internet experiences instead of fretting over the fat media companies not making as MUCH profit! Read about it at Wired News.

Do you find it interesting that a company that promotes spyware in their browser toolbar has a technews headline about an anti-spyware campaign? Yahoo has been on again off again down through the years with their spyware problems. TechTV, when it was TechTV, broke a story back in the spring that the boobs at Yahoo had spyware in the Yahoo Toolbar. Since then nothing has been heard about it being removed. Okay, I do use their instant messenger. What is one to do? AOL? NOT!! And ICQ is owned by AOL. Suggestions are welcome as to an alternative. Anyway, since I do check their news (it's really AP) on occasion I will link to this article - Group, Dell Launch Anti-Spyware Campaign.

When installing Yahoo Messenger be sure and uncheck EVERYTHING but Yahoo Messenger. Pay close attention because they try to sneak in that other garbage several times during the installation process. Sorry, we don't need the annoying Yahoo Companion and that horrible spyware infected Yahoo Toolbar. Also, even if you do uncheck everything, go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and look down at the very bottom under the list of all the Windows updates which SHOULD be listed and you find that Yahoo has no respect for your request to not install this barnyard material. They've dropped it on your computer anyway!!!! Remove this miserable junk leaving only Yahoo Messenger. Again, if anyone has a suggestion about a better IM, please let me know. In the meantime, if you need a good toolbar for your Internet Explorer go over to Google, click on 'more' and check out a decent straightforward approach.

Drinking a tasty cup of coffee and planning the day. Sure beats battling the flu. Ahhhh, the joys of the vacuum are calling me. Have a casual Saturday.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
-Mark Twain

Friday, October 15, 2004

Place where evil children live gets a gold star

Did you know that 1 out of every 5 CDs sold comes from Wal-mart? That's a solid 20% of the market. Now let us progress to the current whine fest going on in the music business. Wal-mart wants the price of all CDs lowered to BELOW $10.00!!! The major label moguls are running scared and I am LMAO big time. Serves them right. Is this possibly a prelude to the demise of the music mafia known as the RIAA? Hope so!!!! Read all about it in the Rolling Stone .

Now that I've been thoroughly charged with positive news, I must go finish the laundry.

"The obvious and fair solution to the housework problem is to let men do the housework for, say, the next six thousand years, to even things up. The trouble is that men, over the years, have developed an inflated notion of the importance of everything they do, so that before long they would turn housework into just as much of a charade as business is now. They would hire secretaries and buy computers and fly off to housework conferences in Bermuda, but they'd never clean anything."
-Dave Barry

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Has it been 10 years?

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Netscape. Slashdot noted that they were the first good browser and the first to evolve from commercial to opensource status. This is well and good; just remember AOL owns Netscape. This is NOT a good thing. Many Netscape alumni are involved in the Mozilla project which also claims to be opensource. After downloading XP SP2 and turning on the popup killer in Internet Explorer I still prefer the Mozilla browser at this time. A day does not go by without both browsers being used at the Beach House. Time will tell.

"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


How does the RIAA even exist in our country? Why are musicians letting these Gestapo wannabes plague mankind? Can they not understand that these leeches are taking money from their pockets? Exaggeration? Read this article at arstechnica. It is a crying shame that such an entity thrives in a land that boasts being a free nation.

While on the subject of 'plague' elimination - spyware is becoming more rampant every day. Congress needs to address this issue. No doubt we need anti-spam legislation, but closely tied to this problem is the gleaning of information from unknowing Netizens that fuels the violation of privacy. Has our world become so liberal that we have atrophied into drones of evil? Are you afraid to stand up for your rights because it might offend someone? Contact your lawmakers with a mighty voice.

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Monday, October 11, 2004

Contemplating late night virus infections

Up late working on a PC that has virus infections, mucho spyware, and various other problems. Updated and ran Norton's antivirus (part of Norton's System Works, which is really bad juju and Norton's Internet Security is downright evil) twice and found several infections. Even downloaded two of their removal tools and ended up having to manually remove the malware. Then it ran clear. Guess what? I decided to scan with AVG over the network with one of my machines and 'lo and behold' another virus infection was found that Norton's missed - even after being updated today! So go ahead with your bad self and keep paying that annual fee for Norton's. I'll use AVG Free Edition, thank you. The AVG software is found here.

"You never know what is enough, until you know what is more than enough."
-William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Reduce the Induce Act to its true nature - a pile of rubbish

After threatening to lock fellow lawmakers in a room until they succumbed to his madness Senator 'Oral' Hatch and his goober minion Leahy have tabled the Induce Act. Even though we are safe for a few days this load of barnyard material will return. People, people, people. Get with it and stop this horrible freedom killing piece of garbage legislation. What can we do? Number one, if you live in Utah or Vermont vote Hatch and Leahy out of office!!!! Number two, contact your Congresspersons and express ultimate contempt for this bill. Number three, read up on the Induce Act and spread the word amongst your fellow Netizens. This idiotic junk bill has to be stopped. How do these people get elected?

Save the iPod, NetCoalition, Aallnet, and Tech Law Advisor have related posts. For a great example of a letter to your legislator take a look at Outside Asylum. These are examples of different people uniting for a common cause. Be an American and prevent this biased act from becoming law!

"We're all in this together."
-Reb Green

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Saturday morning casual

Are virus infections the worst hazard one can have on their PC? Or is it Trojans? NO! NO! NO! Spyware is the most horrible malady out there today. The creeps that write this stuff should be sent straight into the sun. Well, ha ha ha! Sanford Wallace and his minions are being sued by the FTC to cease and desist this horrible stuff. Read about it over at ZDNetNews. Finally something is being done to stop this hideous form of malware. I say hang 'em!

AVG has a new free edition beta out that is even easier to install and run than version 6. Really nice look and smooth operating. Just remember, this is a beta version so download at your own risk. AVG rocks!

It's raining. On days like this the Beach House is an awesome place to be...must go surrender to the couch monster. Complete wussy boy when it comes to being sick. Be glad when this 'flu' is gone!

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost."
-Billy Graham

Friday, October 08, 2004

Wimpy, wambly, wombly

Due to illness my missing in action status may continue. The cure for the human cold still eludes us. Being sick is a luxury that cannot be afforded around the Beach House. Seems a shot in the rump is in order. About to happen if this fever doesn't break.

No need to go on with a whine fest. Time to return to bed and the weird dreams. Everyone stay well.

"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."
-Doug Larson

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Recommendation and reflection

Just checked out a facelift given to a great site, ars technica. They've taken the time and trouble to make their site more attractive, easier to read, and the navigation is superb. This is one of the few sites that strives to promote the straight skinny on things techno. Cruise on over there and take a looksee.

A reader was concerned about my post Saturday before last. I spoke of my Dad who passed away and was reflecting and praying. Sorry folks, this is normal. Not depressed, just in thought. Blogs are web logs. Journals of what's happening. Certainly don't intend to bring anybody down and the remembrances of Dad are positive, but I miss him.

It's time to take some God awful stuff for this cold and hit the door running. It's gonna' be a long and, hopefully, industrious day. Fellow travelers, keep that chrome and rubber between you and the asphalt.

"And miles to go before I sleep"

Monday, October 04, 2004

Dream state

Hate colds, especially when trying to accomplish 7 tasks at the same time. Maybe this will run its course and I won't have anymore this winter. Reminds me, time for a flu shot. Just woke up to take more meds and thought I'd mention that overclocking the toothbrush has taken back burner to work. It will be done when the opportunity arises. Funny what you dream when taking cold remedies...

"Huge and mighty forms that do not live like living men, moved slowly through the mind by day and were trouble to my dreams."
-Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Opinions? Please use comments

I've been sidetracked from pressure washing the house. Here is a draft of an email I am thinking about sending:

To: info@g4media.com

RE: Concerning ZDTV, TechTV, now G4TechTV

I have watched all the incarnations of this channel since its enception May, 1998. Watched the first day on air over a c-band satellite system and was immediately crazy about Leo and Kate. As the channel went through several changes (hosts, programs, ownership, etc.) I remained a loyal fan and have cable in order to view this channel. Writing has been delayed because the results of the latest buyout by COMCAST needed to be experienced firsthand.

Since the take over and incorporating TechTV into the G4 schedule the channel is not viewed as often as in the past. Technews Live was great as was Call for Help. Now viewers are bombarded with info about games, games, games. All I want is the ability to watch The Screensavers. Will you please quit changing the showtimes and schedule this show on a regular basis? It used to air at 10:00am Central on Sunday and now that time slot is about GAMES. Working in the industry I am not home during early evenings on some days. The rebroadcast of The Screensavers during the latter part of the evening was a welcome relief after a hard day spent pinging, disinfecting, replacing fubar graphics cards, mapping drives, etc..

The co-hosting of Patrick Norton and Kevin Rose during the latter days of The Screensavers existence in San Francisco was enjoyable. Let me mention I am such a fan that several years ago a trip was made to Birmingham, AL., to meet Leo and Megan. After entering an online contest a 'The Screensavers' T-shirt was won which I wear on special occasions. In the past the thought has crossed my mind about firing up the webcam and calling, but absolutely will NOT do that today. Since Alex became cohost it seems all callers, audience members, fellow staffers are constantly assaulted with snide remarks. I just don't remember Kevin and Patrick having this hateful attitude towards viewers.

Please don't make a rude comeback and tell me not to watch if the programs are not to taste. This is only to warn COMCAST that a hateful attitude towards subs will decrease said subs and profits will tumble. I remember when COMCAST was an infant SMATV starting out in Tupelo, MS. Nice bunch of folks and the community was proud to have this wonderful industry. Now folks in Tupelo have to call hateful Renee and various CSRs in other states to try and schedule service. So, here is a public relations possibility.

Would Brian Roberts be interested in a being a contestant in a charity boxing match in Tupelo, MS? We have a nice auditorium that seats several thousand people in Tupelo. Brian could visit Elvis's birthplace and experience a ride down historic Natchez Trace while here. Ticket sales and donations could go to a worthy cause. I'll gladly enter the ring even though I am an older, out of shape dude. Our tech community here has brought forth several volunteers that will gladly take on the challenger if I am too large, too ugly or too old. Let me know what the Bala Cynwyd group thinks ( Is COMCAST still headquartered there?).

One more whine - is it too much to ask that you put "Contact Us at info@g4media.com" on the front page of your site? Why bury it?

Knowing I'll be totally ignored,

Mike West

Should I send it? Please use comments and let me know.

"Quietly making noise"
-J. Buffett

Haunted browsers and bushes

Periodically, Firefox is used as an alternative to Internet Explorer 6 and Mozilla. Granted, it's a prettier interface, but seems a tad wacky at times. This post will be uploaded while using Firefox. The last time that was tried efforts were lost in cyberspace. Of course, that could be the result of several items that come into play - browser, internet speed, load (time of day) and user error. Anyway, Charles Cooper has an interesting article over at CNETNews. His opinion basically reflects my feelings about this dilemna.

Before you Microsoft Nazis launch an all out attack let me reiterate; I DON'T like the idea of using ANY product that is owned by AOL (you can smooze it all you want , but the truth is AOHELL is lurking behind the Mozilla project) and I do think that Microsoft will eventually either correct the situation or improve it a great degree. Still irritates me that Gates and company choose to act like it's nothing for security to be in jeopardy while browsing the net. I'm sure some will flame anyway because I've spoken harshly about Bill and the gang. They did write the code for Windows ME (Millenium) and it was very, very bad. Their next attempt at an operating system was Windows 2000 and it was very, very good. Okay, enough.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, humidity is low and the high will be in the 70s. Good day to pressure wash the house and cut down the nasty looking Hawthorne bush that looks like it belongs on a Munsters set. Hmmmmmmm, Halloween is coming up...

"Windows is just DOS in drag."
-FreeBSD user talking to a Linux SuSe user

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I sing thee Saturday morn rambling

Ahhhhhh, the relief of not having to be somewhere as the sun rises is an interim blessing. We wrapped up the major portion of a home theater installation yesterday. Still a few loose ends to tidy up, but the system is functioning. Hey, an all Polk Audio/Onkyo THX media room with a 50" Hitachi LCD built into the wall is most casual. Still lack installing a coupla' speakers, bundling cables, installing a set of wireless speakers and programming of remotes. Always good to let the client use the remotes and find out which is best suited for their needs, then narrow down to a minimum number.

Currently working on three PCs for clients then redoing my XP Pro machine. It has been squirrely since day one. Asus mobo, Pentium III 700, 512megs o' RAM, 256 NVidia graphics card, 20gig HDD (IDE), and Vortex sound - not a screamer, but a decent machine for the network. Anyone have a slot 1 full gig processor for sale? They are rare and still pricy because of the usage in servers. At least it looks that way on eBay. After that a web page for a client has to be worked on and sometime this weekend it's pressure washing time for the house. Always love communing with the wasps.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the great outdoors!

"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older."
-Larry McMurtry, Some Can Whistle