Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Spyware people look up to see the curb & gutter

What is spyware? Don't try to find the answer on just any site trying to sell you some "anti-spyware" utility. They will probably put spyware on your PC while you visit. Go only to reliable, tested sites, or a known entity that exists for information purposes like Wikipedia. Here is their description:


Spyware consists of a broad category of malicious software intended to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the user's informed consent. While the term taken literally suggests software that surreptitiously monitors the user, it has come to refer more broadly to software that subverts the computer's operation for the benefit of a third party.

Spyware differs from viruses and worms in that it does not usually self-replicate. As in the case of many recent viruses, the makers of spyware design their product to exploit infected computers for commercial gain. Typical tactics furthering this goal include delivery of unsolicited pop-up advertisements; theft of personal information (including financial information such as credit card numbers); monitoring of web-browsing activity for marketing purposes; or routing of HTTP requests to advertising sites.

As of 2005, spyware affects only computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. No users have (yet) reported observations of spyware running on Mac OS X, Linux, or other platforms.



How do we combat these baboons? Go to MajorGeeks, click on the
Anti-Spyware category and download these utilities:

Spybot Search & Destroy
Ad-aware SE Personal
Spwareblaster (may not run on all PCs)

After you have these wonderful tools in place, be sure and upgrade them! I run Ad-aware on an almost daily basis after checking for upgrades. Spybot S&D is scheduled for 3 times a week and checks for updates every time it runs. Spywareblaster is checked for updates twice a week which is all the maintenance it needs besides enabling protection when new updates are installed. There are some huge benefits from tweaking these programs, especially Spybot S&D. DO NOT go into advanced settings of this program and just start clicking away. You might want to read this before installing ->Spybot S&D Tutorial.

Please, please get a dependable ANTI-VIRUS program and use it. If you insist on using Norton's Insternet Security (NIS) or System Works, by all means, go ahead. Just remember, when it slows down your computer and causes problems, techs do charge to remove this nasty stuff. Norton's Anti-Virus, as a stand alone, suffices. AVG is better and there's a Free Edition available for download!! It can be found under Anti-Virus at MajorGeeks.

Firefox can be found at MajorGeeks under the Browser category. This does alleviate some problems, but it is by no means a stand alone cure. When using Windows, this is my default browser. Since Microsoft is not permitting Windows 98 and 2000 users to download the soon to be released Internet Explorer 7, it may be a good idea to start using Firefox.

Why MajorGeeks? Great site with extremely fast download speeds. They have several alternative download servers and are not usually bogged down like most of the download sites on the homepages of these great utilities. They also sell the kewlest geek T-shirts on the net!

Install properly, update like your cyberlife depends on it (it does), and scan regularly...

"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."
-Socrates

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lightning bugs are casual at the beach house

There is now a Google Toolbar for Firefox. It's been running on this machine for several weeks and I am glad to report that the frustrating popunders have all but disappeared. Be sure and look at the Options settings. You can really customize this super utility to suit your browsing and search needs. Again, can anyone explain Adblock?

Still using Windows 98SE? Try the Unofficial 98SE Service Pack 2.01. Do so at your own risk. I've installed it on several occasions without problems, but IE6 was upgraded, DirectX 9 installed and all critical updates finished. This utility has great depth in manipulating this vintage Microsoft operating system. With the advent of Microsoft's Big Brother approach, more people will probably choose to stay with 98SE instead of upgrading. This download should make computing more enjoyable.

Note to Sci-Fi fans: Firefly, an older series from Joss Whedon that was shelved, is now airing Friday evenings on the Sci-Fi Network. Check local listings for times. This show has received critical acclaim and it's nice to see that the people at the Sci-Fi Network listen to the opinions of viewers. Not being a fan of insects in general my initial attitude was to resist this show. I watched the first two episodes last night and now understand all the hoopla surrounding this neat adventure series. Can't wait for the movie ->Serenity. Serenity is the name of the ship in the Firefly series. The cast members from the series are in the movie. Be SURE and check out the trailer at this sight. Awesome. (edit: BTW, no insects are involved. Firefly is a class of spaceship.)

"Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Friday, July 29, 2005

Microsoft opensource? Linux clinic anyone?

Here's one great stretch of the imagination: What if Microsoft released a Linux like distribution? Bill Thompson over at BBC has written an insightful article about this fantasy of fantasies. If you run Windows it's a good idea to read Opening up challenges to Microsoft. If you run Linux it's a good idea to read this article.

Would anybody be interested in attending a 'how to' seminar about installing Linux? It would be one night and the expense would be minimal. Inquiring minds want to know!

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."
-Einstein

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Glass cleaner working?

It's interesting to see how many people are really upset with Microsoft. This latest campaign to absolutely dominate the operating system market is wayyyyy beyond the fringe. See Beagle's article posted Wednesday over at SouthernPhried. Everyone wants to know, "Should I upgrade to Windows Vista when it comes out or stick with my current flavor of Windows?" Who knows? Haven't seen a working Windows Vista PC so it's not fair for me to make a judgement call. There have been comments and several emails about Tuesday's post and I just can't answer every question. My advice is don't try piracy and don't wait around to see if Vista is as security-flawed as XP. Look at alternatives.

Linux Suse is my favorite version of alternative operating systems. FreeBSD is also a great alternative for the more adventurous. Once FreeBSD is installed it is great. It's the installing that will make most people select Linux Suse which, IMHO, is easier to install than Windows. Just take your time and be prepared. FreeBSD is used in the workplace quite a bit and many entities on the web use it to 'run' their websites, servers, etc. Linux Suse comes with OpenOffice included in their disks and downloads. Please note that this is a Sun Microsystems supported office suite. Their reputation is not held in high esteem by some users. But, it is free and it works. You can import and export documents to most versions Microsoft's Office products.

Why doesn't everyone switch to Linux or FreeBSD? Application integration. Let's face it, most software written today is for Windows. There are people busy working on this problem. Yes, you can find different ways to run Windows applications on alternative software. A popular way to do this is WINE. Please, go read this informative post. It is about the myths surrounding WINE.

Maybe Microsoft should dedicate their money and time to insuring that Vista will be a major improvement in the operating system arena. If it turns out as flawed and buggy as XP, which has had, literally, hundreds of patches, everyone's interest may turn elsewhere. Still, better a Bill Gates Windows world than a Darth Jobs Apple world. Hmmm, at least Apple's OSX and above are based on FreeBSD. Darth's embraced opensource and made it his own! No suprises here.

"If it wasn't for that last minute, nothing would get done."
-Billy Wobblynife

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Just an email away

There are very few sure bets in this world. One is that if you send me a smarmy email that DEMANDS a reply or forwarding to others, you can book the bank that this will NEVER happen. Your personal notes about how something works or that if I don't send this to 5 friends then Jesus won't love me really frustrates me. You have nothing to do with my relationship with God and never will. So stop it. Intimidation is barnyard material. Email is wonderful and a great tool for us all to use - properly. No doubt, I have fallen out of this chair laughing at things sent and always enjoy hearing from friends. Just don't spam me or try intimidation.

Here's an older link from year 2000 that has 10 nice guidelines for email -> Email Courtesy Suggestions. Please pay attention; especially to numbers 4 and 5. If you don't know how to use the Bcc function, please email me! Haven't tried Gmail? I still have several invitations left to this fantastic free email service. Again, email me!

"Courtesies cannot be borrowed like snow shovels; you must have some of your own."
-Wanamaker

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Microsoft Windows Vista

Beagle, over at SouthernPhried, has a really good article about the new Windows operating system code named Longhorn. The offical name of this new OS is Windows Vista. Certainly hope that the video clip linked from this Microsoft page is no precursor of the operating system. The quality is poor and the content is choppy. Since this is an official Microsoft site, their linking to such a lowfi clip worries me. Hey kill the video clip and post the EULA (End Users License Agreement). That way we can determine the amount of spying on us they'll do with Vista, lol. Try the Southernphried link and read Beagle's post for more information.

"Vice knows she's ugly, so puts on her mask."
-Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Beach House Politics

Response about the VA site has been good, especially with it being a weekend. There was no way I could let this go and Cybersouth is not a place to continually air disgruntled feelings about the cold, dispassionate attitude of the VA Hospital, Memphis. So now there's a site for those that are interested in seeing how far this progresses and if any positve action can be taken concerning the problems. All I ever wanted was to CONTINUE to see the people at the Smithville Clinic for health care and not be subjected to the long trips and foul mouthed abuse of people in Memphis. Hopefully, I'll never return to Memphis, TN. They probably don't want me back up there either.

The link list and other parts of this page are presently under reconstruction and will return. Please bear with me during this rebuild. Many projects are at hand and my immediate need to budget for medical expenses pushes me to take care of business first. You should see some changes here over the next few days. Appreciate your tolerance and patience. God willing, beach house happenings will improve. Enjoy Sunday!

"The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose."
-Frederick Douglass

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A VERY important link

Here's a new link that should be bookmarked or placed in favorites on everyone's browser.

Memphis VA Hospital Sucks

Check out this site and let me know what you think...

"Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns."
-Billy Wobblynife

Friday, July 22, 2005

Peabody ducks now roost at the VA Hospital, Memphis

No, the return trip to VA Hospital Memphis was not undertaken. Sorry, they won. Apparently it is their design to run off as many veterans as possible to lighten the workload. Well, it didn't take long for me to despise this horrible place. They really do need to find a cleaning crew. At least fumigate and use some Lysol. It's horrid for people that have served in the military preserving the integrity and freedom of this great nation to be subjected to this abuse.

After calling for almost a year I finally contacted a fellow Vietnam Veteran who helped me obtain a number where someone answered without putting me on hold for 45 minutes. Do they send these people to hell for tutoring about how to be hateful over the phone? They finally found my records verifying my existence in their system. After calling my buddy Trish, who is a practicing RN, the trip was scheduled for Monday, July the 11th. Trish had to drag me to the car and then put up with my anxiety attacks during the trip. So I showed up at 8:00am in front of the appropriate check-in desk.

The woman there told me I was not in the system. I almost walked away from her sneer, but decided to sneer back. After a mandatory wait I was called back to be interviewed by a nice young lady (the only one there) and it was discovered they had my social security number listed incorrectly. After the interview, I was thrown into the mill and verified, with Trish watching, that I was in the system by typing my ID into the computer located in the lab. Yep, name popped up. The nice young lady had corrected the error.

After the vampires tore my hand up taking blood (why the hand?) I endured another long wait only to be shocked into reality as I was abused and growled at by a bald headed horse's ass named "Dr." Steven Beavers. He's a rodent for sure. Huge ugly rat comes to mind...I was called an idiot and dopey by herr doktor and yelled at while in the examination room. Seeing as how my blood pressure was 238 over 140, this didn't seem at all appropriate and for a brief moment it flashed thru my mind to put his shaved head into the refuse deposit.

Storming back into the lobby I told my friend Trish that it was time to go. Loudly. She persisted we stay and after a long dreary day I was finally given enough medication to last for a week. More happened, but for brevity's sake let me not ramble further down this negative road. The main reason I made this trip was to acquire the privilege and right to attend a locally approved clinic. So, now I have given into their subterfuge. This is all a joke to them, but damned serious to me. They are playing with my life and that scenario will change back to the civilian arena even with these shallow pockets.

There. These clowns have had enough publicity. Though I'll try not to whine too much about this again, it seems necessary for someone to know what has transpired just in case my fatass strokes out. Fellow Veterans, please drive the extra miles and go to Jackson, MS. Go to Birmingham or New Orleans, just avoid Memphis VA like the plague. Now I will go pray for forgiveness since God has given me this glimpse of hell. Shoot, I just gotta' make it to heaven; frightens me to think about even the smell.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The mop is hiding

Ever have one of those days that starts with falling out of bed after a night's sleep that can be counted in minutes not hours? You know, where that jarring crack as the old noggin hits the not so gingerly padded carpet awakens you unrefreshed? Next is the stumble to the bathroom only to discover the commode ran all night due to the "new" plumbing inside the tank, after which you are obligated to trip over the rug on the way to the kitchen. Losing balance, the counter jumps out in front of you and that toe stub pain will never cease during this lifetime.

Here you discover that that prized sauce slow cooked for your BBQ'd chicken tonight has been subject to an all nighter on the counter and the ants are doing victory dances even though you sprayed the area with pseudo DDT outside and inside before leaving the house yesterday. Then the water just HAS to splash out on the floor while making coffee and, of course, the mop has run off with the broom. They are hiding mysteriously doing whatever cleaning utensils do at night when one is supposed to be sleeping. Eureka! The source of the strange and spooky night noises at last discovered!

During the coffee ritual someone has to call and tell you about their neighbor's cat having kittens and the joy such an event brings to the world. Folks, is this really 6:30am information and is it vital!?!?!?" During this call the phone reception is crystal clear. Finally, you take a call that registers unknown on the caller ID just to get away from kitten girl and realize that the person calling owes you money. During this conversation you hear only the word 'hello' followed by a variety of hisses, popping, and great googly moogly sounds that end in an abrupt hang up.

Now the phone is making strange beeping noises and the computer starts clanging, "A new trojan infection has been found and Mr. Gates would like to take this opportunity to thank you for upgrading to XP." You sit down to correct it while enjoying your coffee beside the window with the view of the huge oak tree only to look outside and realize that a group of Nazi wasps have built a nest larger than your grill and are patiently watching you through the window. It's like they can smell those of us that are allergic to their evil venom.

Then looking past the porch and new wasp condo you realize something large and spotted is moving in the high grass. Realization hits you that that lawn mower belt has to be changed and the blade sharpened. A phone call to the Tupelo Zoo is considered and you decide that inquiring about large loose felines just doesn't fit in with the overall forced agenda of the day. It makes too much sense.

----------- Had to stop for a minute; the tears made the keyboard stop responding. Now I must crawl back to the kitchen and get that second cup o java. It's gonna' be a long trip to that coffee pot past the toe stubbing counter for a refill of this half-full cup, but I know I can make it. Vision is blurry. Wait, is that the lens that just fell out of my frames on the floor? What was that crunching noise and why is my knee bleeding? Truly, there were no guarantees at birth.

"Have a better than expected day!"
-Ed Coffin

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Doing biz the mannerly way...and Happy Birthday Mom!

Another good experience happened this morning concerning VistaIIIMedia. Due to some work requirements, I switched to bellsouth DSL late last year. After much contact and talk with the bell reps it was determined that they did not hold up their end of the deal struck, and I could terminate service. I did. Immediately. This morning the VistaIIIMedia truck pulled up right on time, Kevin came in and brought the network back online in just a few minutes. He is very knowledgeable about connectivity, etc.

Now for some prayer: Please Dear Lord, don't let COMCAST buy out this good company. Hateful Renee at COMCAST Huntsville, will have a field day upsetting these nice folks! Their speed is great, manners are polite (they actually smile over the phone), more super things are coming down the pike and I am glad that the VistaIIIMedia banner has stayed on this site all this time. Nice to do biz with polite people! And please Lord, help hateful COMCAST Renee find a way to move back up north before she gets bitch slapped with a southern fried catfish fillet. Amen.

"A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him."
-Cicero

Mom celebrates another annual event today. She is independent, usually in a good mood, stands up for herself and absolutely fabulous! Many more, I say!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Haste truly makes waste

A word to the wise: Never, never delete your hardrive backup made during an operating system upgrade until the subject PC has been running for several weeks. I have lost an entire weekend because of such stupidity. After upgrading a Windows 98 machine to Windows 2000, in my haste to get another PC on the bench I deleted the backup before completing all Windows Critical Updates. Well, the attempted Service Pack 4 destroyed all this work and was the last major upgrade on the list! After being up all night I finally restored the remnants of 98 and the PC is back in working order. Next time I WILL mirror the drive. What a nightmare.

If you are using Windows 98 in the workplace as a client PC it is a good idea to upgrade. Be sure and check your system configuration when deciding to upgrade to either Windows 2000 or XP. You will want at least an AMD K6-2 500 or Pentium II processor for Windows 2000. Even though this operating system will run with less memory, a minimum of 192 megs is desired. 256 megs will work even better. XP needs at least double that amount of memory to run efficiently and I wouldn't install it on any machine with less than a PIII type processor. Don't believe Windows "minimum" requirements. It's all smoke and fog. Especially XP.

Yes, it is ok for an adventurous individual to upgrade an operating system. DON'T get in a hurry. The security and functionality gained from the move to Windows 2000 (or XP) is well worth the time and effort. Oh yeh, this is real important - XP Pro is worth the extra 100 bucks. Be sure to get those ducks in a row, back up and ask questions. Many web sites deal with the subject of OS upgrades and have step by step procedures that can be printed for easy reference. If you do not have all your Windows Critical Updates installed, please do not attempt such a transition. Capiche?

"The dumbest people I know are those who know it all."
-Forbes

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Weathering the storm

It's late, raining and I need rest. Still fighting the bear known as Windows and his good friend the jackass, also known as stupidity. Have a project that is coming apart at the seams and must knit it back together. Will explain later. Miles to go before I sleep.

"If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep."
-Dale Carnegie

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Know anything about Vixens or Kits? You should...

Internet Explorer or Firefox? Definitely Firefox at this time. I use both of them. Malware thrives and lives well on IE6. It's also finding a home on Firefox. Will someone please explain to me exactly what Adblock is supposed to be doing? This is an extension in Firefox you can install that mysteriously shows up on pages and I know it has something to do with blocking popups and also popunders (the dungware people's preferred method of invading privacy in this Mozilla based browser). My ratio of browser use is Firefox 75%: Internet Explorer 25%. Firefox is the default beach house Windows browser. Need a link to Firefox? MajorGeeks has a very fast download. It's listed under "browsers" which is in the 'File' column top, left of their home page under the geekhead. You can also click this button:

Get Firefox!

If you choose to download Firefox, please be aware there are several plugins, scripts, etc. that are needed to make it see most pages in a fashion akin to Internet Explorer. For the most part, these apps take the place of ActiveX instructions that are proprietary Microsoft functions. The needed aids are usually Java applets, Macromedia Flash and Shockwave, etc. It's easy enough to download and install these utilities. When they show up on a page (they will, as needed) just click on the download plugin icon thangy and your PC will do the rest. It's not rocket science, just follow directions. It's easy. They are not huge downloads, so the time involved is minimal. FireTune is a utility from Total Idea that tweaks this browser. Home Computer and Lockergnome both recommend it. Their EULA is not very clear on spyware. I like it when the words absolutley NO spyware, adware, malware, thiefware, cheatware are included in the End User License Agreeement.

"Skill is successfully swimming through the alligators. Intelligence is not attempting such a feat."
-Billy Wobblynife

Friday, July 15, 2005

Great Windows Utility

CCleaner has been used for a while at the Saltillo Beach House. This is a super utility that can certainly be misused if one is not careful about following procedures. Be conservative when using this powerful tool. Remember, coming back here to cry and whine because you downloaded and misused CCleaner is a waste of time. You download at your own risk. It works fine for me. Visit this site's forum, FAQs, and screenshots to review before downloading. The reason behind waiting so long to add this to my 'must have tools for Windows' list is that it is such a powerful application. During the past few months the folks at CCleaner have updated the program; it can be run safely if one pays attention. You'll be amazed at what it finds and how well it works. The first scan may be lengthy, but then the program runs in a matter of seconds, literally. Be sure and explore ALL areas of CCleaner. You will want to retain the Cookies for your often visited sites. This capability is found under the Options button. "Where do I find this magical application," you ask? Just click on this link:



One of the areas that will be added to this site in the near future is an onscreen guide (with pictures and screenshots) about how to install and use various tools: CCleaner, Spybot S&D ver 1.4, Ad-aware SE 1.06, Spywareblaster 3.4, AVG 7.0, etc. If you are not using these tools, please comment or email and tell me why...inquiring minds want to know. If you have recommendations they will be gladly considered and reviewed if found worthy. Please do not forget that numerous socalled "Anti-Spyware" programs ARE spyware. Many of these applications won't find certain types of malware, dungware, spyware, adware and so forth. Hence, the necessity of using more than one tool. The above mentioned list and Windows Critical Updates maintain ALL beach house Windows PCs and that makes the machines and users happy. All of these tools are freeware, but you can make a donation or upgrade to an advanced version. Donations are a way of life at the Saltillo Beach House. These folks have put a lot of time and effort into providing us with great weapons to fight the bad guys. Help them out and donate. Also, wouldn't hurt to contact your Congresspeople and advocate the death penalty for all jerks involved in the spyware industry.

Must shower and get busy. Everyone have a casual day. BTW, it's great to be back!

"I may not know much, but I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad."
-Lyndon B Johnson, 36th President of the United States

Thursday, July 14, 2005

GRAHAM -THANKS!! Boys n girls, I'm back!

Can you imagine my joy and delight when I awoke from a restless sleep and found a really nice email from the folks at Blogger? Graham, a wizard-a true star, responded with a very polite email and we're back in business. More changes are coming to Cybersouth and my efforts to be more patient will be enhanced. Wanna' make book the new password is written down? It's actually on the inside of the case door of my Windows workstation, lol.

Wow, so much has happened in the past week. Did make the trip to the VA Hospital in Memphis. Couldn't have made it without my buddy, Trish. She put up with my panic attacks all the way up there, sat patiently while they poked and prodded, then told me she would kick my fatass if I didn't stick around to finish the day. Her RN expertise had a calming presence concerning my anxiety that was all but off the scale.

If you have to attend VA Memphis, please avoid "Dr." Steven Beavers. Stevie boy, I have your 'dopey' comment mentally logged and am still thinking about contacting my local Congressmen. My blood pressure was 238/140 and I considered trying to kick his ass right on the spot while he was making snide remarks. I have that technology. Again, thank you Trish for the severe threats and making me stay. She also drove up and back. Nice to have a friend that cares!

There were a few nice people and I am scheduled for further heart tests next week. I really don't want to go back. God in heaven knows that the ONLY reason I made the trip was to get everything transferred to a local VA satellite clinic that is civilian. This has been going on for a year! Yes, a year. Finally had to call someone and get a different phone number. Many times I was put on hold and forgotten about. All the rude, shrill remarks and slurs just weren't necessary.

Wish to God I could take all these VA Nazis back to that beach in Vietnam where the VC were killing my brothers in arms. Yeh, bet "Dr." Beavers would have wet himself. No doubt he's not from the Deep South. Someone would have punched him a long time ago due to his hateful attitude. Okay, this has to be put behind me in order for the medication to work.

So glad to be back online. Will try to refrain from whining . My anxiety is already out of control since there is a return trip. The Good Lord knows that I truly look forward to the day I NEVER have to return to Memphis for ANY medical reason. That day is coming, soon. Enough! Enough! Now my half full cup of coffee needs refilling. Please pray for wisdom and manners...and mention "Dr." Beavers.

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength."
~Eric Hoffer
If this works I'll be in Graham's debt big time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Possibly the last test and Ima phreakin!!!!!!! Gosh, really hate to lose this page!!! Oh well it's been a nice two years n I should be grateful. Like to thank my Mother, she's wonderful, my two daughters, Verdana and Beagle. Couldn't have done it without you Beagle. My neighbors need thanking since they put up with all the loud cussing late at night...well, okay it was more crying than cussing. Damn, okay! It was more wailing and moaning than crying. Google, Blogger so long and thanks for the free hosting. It was fun...

Monday, July 11, 2005

yet another test that will fail - we need the FTP password changed!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

TESTING

testing this out for dock...trying to figure out what is going on with his blog and all the errors. please be patient as we re-build and we thank you for your continued support and reading! :)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

test

Riders on the Storm

Worried about tropical storm Cindy? FoxNews has the scoop. People living in southernmost Mississippi are using the 'birdmeter' and staying home. Just the other day my friend Joe was telling me about how coasters watch the frigate birds when concerned with weather. Still, high winds are always a threat. It's sure raining at the beach house today and I am several hundred miles inland, lol. Oil platforms have been evacuated, traffic is light along Highway 90 and July 5th, 2005 is the earliest that four storms have been named during the season. May be a long summer weatherwise.

Weather services on your desktop? Try WeatherWatcher. It runs in the background, easy to setup and Mike Singer promises no spyware. If you are using Google's new personalized homepage try activating their weather function. Not as detailed, but still a nice feature. Have a favorite weather app? Let us know. Please, no damnable WeatherBug or WeatherScope. Policy here is NOT to promote malware jerks. If you are running WeatherBug or WeatherScope have you noticed more popups while you scratch your baboon hide and eat that banana? You will.

"We will never be an advanced civilization as long as rain showers can delay the launching of a space rocket."
-George Carlin

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bull by the horns?

Paul Thurott has an excellent preview of Windows Longhorn at his SuperSite. There's another review at PCWorld. Two good articles that will bring you up to date on mumblings across the web concerning the next generation of Microsoft Operating Systems. No one seems really impressed at this time. May be too early for indepth details. Bet the End User License Agreement will be very interesting.

"If Dracula can't see his reflection in a mirror, how come his hair is always so neatly combed?"
-Steven Wright

Monday, July 04, 2005

Wordprocessing Samba

Interest in alternative wordprocessors and spreadsheets stems from my intense dislike of Word Perfect, really anything Corel and mixed feelings about Microsoft's newest versions of Office. You think you own Office? Read that EULA (end users license agreement). You are only renting it and Big Brother is watching everything you do with it. Believe me, they are tracking you at the speed of light. Want a robust and free suite? Take a look at Open Office. It's opensource and will readily save documents in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., formats. It is primarily found packaged with Linux and FreeBSD, but will install and run on a Windows PC with little effort.

This really kewl set of applications purrs smoothly on my Linux SuSE (pronounced Sousa although I like Susie better) PC, but there's a slight problem with the Linux Mandrake machine. It's in Portuguese. I know this because I googled a word that I thought meant help. The word is Ajuda. With 4,390,000 alternatives the first was chosen and then told to translate. Google immediately returned the translation about a Brazilian (native language is Portuguese not Spanish) site concerning aid for mental health in perfect English. Appropriate and uncanny, huh? Anyway, Ajuda does mean help. Now if I can just find a way to change the language inside the office suite. How did this happen? Duh!! Dancing with computers...truly into the mystic.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

"Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching."
-Satchel Paige, baseball pitcher

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Love the smell of grilled hamburgers in the morning

Thanks goes out to all my fellow geeksters for making yesterday's LAN Party such a great event!! My tired, weary soul needed a few hours of fun. What a great time. No doubt, laughter was prevelant throughout the evening. Not only did we have fun the whole event was a trouble free LAN gathering of people enjoying two great games. We played Unreal Tournament GOTY for a while and then Guild Wars. Some expert shooters showed up and several newbies participated. Methinks everyone will want to do a return match!?!?

One of the grandest happenings of the evening was sitting down after a July 4th meal and having a Purple Giraffe fall asleep in my lap. She is awesome. Please enjoy the holiday and do something nice for a loved one. The blessing will be yours!


Queen of the island she welcomed them in
Asked them questions of where they have been
She offered them chocolate she offered them tea
They all took their seats in the top of a tree

-Jimmy Buffett, Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants
(one of my all time Buffett favorites!)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

LAN Parrrtayyy

Time to get up off my dead butt and finish the potato salad. The soiree starts around sixish. One more cup of coffee and it's 'turn to' time. Must make a trip to the Kroger and pick up leaf lettuce, a required feature of cheeseburgers-in-paradise. Just checked Singer's Weather Watcher and the humidity is down. The temperature will be in the mid to low 80s this evening. No precipitation forecast. Should make for a nice evening! Drive safely this holiday weekend. The life you save may be my own.

"All your life you have to deal with ups and downs
So listen to your heartstrings as you move around
Don't forget to listen to the steady beat
Don't forget to balance on your ready feet"

-Jimmy Buffett, Gravity Storm

Friday, July 01, 2005

Et tu Billus Brutus?

Many times it's been mentioned that my leanings towards Microsoft and Mr. Gates are positive: Better a Microsoft/Gates world than an Apple/Darth Jobs world, etc. With that said, why is it that Microsoft seems hell bent on pissing off even those of us that speak favorably? There is certainly no Nazism going on here, but c'mon even you SS guys have got to be disgusted with their attempt to buy the dungheap known as Claria/Gator. BTW, I hope the bunch of jerks at this malware company are still busy trying to read every negative thing said about them (hate to have THAT job, how depressing) so I can finally tell y'all to kiss my fat Mississippi ass! Next thing you know someone will tell me that Microsoft Anti-Spyware and their other applications aren't spying on us! Read the damned EULAs! Better yet, check out the source of the MRUs that Ad-Aware finds and lists under the Negligible tab after it finishes scanning. Not running Ad-Aware? Please ignore anything I've said and go run your McAfee "anti-virus" thangy on your Packard Bell.

Okay this is bad enough, but yesterday Microsoft stopped active support on Windows 2000. DON'T FREAK OUT. They still have extended support for the best Operating System ever to emerge from the hallowed halls of Redmond. Yes, please all XP Nazis flame on. As you do this remember that 48% of all workstations in the business arena STILL run Windows 2000!!!!! Don't believe it? Read Eric Bangeman's article over at ArsTechnica titled Last rites for Windows 2000?. Scan that last paragraph slowly. Then read it again. If you are running 2000...don't upgrade to XP. Wait on Longhorn. Gates will not let you have Internet Explorer 7 or Windows Media Player 10 unless you upgrade to XP. There's a simple solution. Use Mozilla's Firefox as a browser and Jet Audio or WinAmp as a multimedia app. These applications are free to download over at MajorGeeks. Resist this coercion. It seems Bill has so much money his concept of right and wrong has become convoluted. My hero worship has diminished.

Strong arming sucks. I don't care who is doing it. Folks, George Orwell wrote several books about all this during the last century. Try 1984 or Animal Farm. Very soon privacy will no longer be listed in the dictionary. Think about it.

"One leader, one people, signifies one master and millions of slaves."
-Albert Camus