Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Honey, They're Outside the Door Wanting Me for Human Sacrifice

Here's another potential headache for IT/Network Admin people; Microsoft OneCare. This is not a Microsoft bash. Anything that is advertised as a one stop protection service makes me want to hide. Norton Internet Security is a good example of how to slow your PC down to a snail's crawl with software that just doesn't work. The voodoo required to uninstall this junk may even require human sacrifice. And then there's McAfee...how does this company stay in business?!?!?!? If someone out there has ANYTHING by McAfee that works please, please comment or email me. Folks, don't spend money on such stuff. Just a few days ago (see The Awesome Five post, May 18, 2006) I listed five FREE software applications that will keep your PC relatively safe. Nothing in the computer realm is sacred or bulletproof. Spending 50 bucks for bundled protection software just doesn't make sense. After surveying use for a few months, my words may be eaten. I doubt it.

Here's an interesting article from Arstechnica by Ken Fisher: The question of banning laptops in class: it's academic, silly. Okay, okay it's apparent that wifi access should be turned off during tests. I can abide this, but to ban laptops? Ridiculous. What's next? Banning books? Google on, students of America!

"Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire."
-William Butler Yeats

Monday, May 29, 2006

Admission and Local Area Network

After spending a few days being wishy-washy concerning the apparent flaw in their "protection" software, Symantec (ska Norton) has issued a "fix." What do you expect from a company that still pushes that horrible Norton Internet Security thangy? It sucks! If you are intelligent and try to uninstall it I wish you good luck. TechSpot has a very good article about it. Folks, if you have to spend money on an anti-virus program get the full blown version of AVG Antivirus. If you have a network, their client bundles are wayyyy affordable. This software works and does not bog down a machine. Check it out.

Yes Robin (she emailed me) there is a computer in the bathroom. It is an older Toshiba Portege laptop that runs Windows 98SE because it only has 32mB of RAM. The 64megs that can be added cost more than the PC so it will surf the web in 800x600 resolution. It's not a speed demon, but gets the job done. It does use a wireless network card. There's a PC in every room of the beach house. The main computer room has three and a dumb terminal. All three of these PCs have dual processors. Thinking about adding a fourth, lol. Yes, I use every one of them. They stay updated to protect the network.

Got industrious yesterday and pulled the back out again. Have many things to do before the day is over. Locally the day is beautiful. Get outside! Enjoy it!

"And there's that one particular harbour
Sheltered from the wind
Where the children play on the shore each day
And all are safe within"

-Jimmy Buffett

Sunday, May 28, 2006

LAN Party Report: My Tongue Slapped My Brains Out!

Wow! Did we have a blast, or what!?!? Gosh the game play was exciting, the camaraderie super and the food, well, it was downright awesome!!! Being a gamer was a plus but this was as much a foodie event. To have burgers and dogs as the main fare on the menu does not do it justice. Michelle made this wonderful thing with a huge loaf of bread that had a cheese filling. I am SO glad she left it! David and Michelle also brought some tremendous whole wheat and seeded buns. Then the Laundry Witch n Lisa dropped by with deserts, one was a vanilla wafer cake and this was pure ambrosia. Hoppa n Tinahoppa brought refreshing beverages and a wayyy kewl sign that now adorns its rightful place beside the front door. Ashby Rhett Culpepper III, Esq., supplied some righteous coffee. And you know what? I could go on and on. Another amazing thing happened: We didn't even open the tequila!!

A fun event and am already looking forward to the next one. I laughed more yesterday than the rest of the month put together. There were uber computers in attendance too. A huge Alienware monster dominated the center of the room, a screaming 3.5gig P4 machine commanded part of the bar and a laptop that was MADE for gaming controlled the rest of the bar. The beach house had multiple computers churning like crazy in every room but the bathroom. There is only one there. And wifi was everywhere! The FreedBSD machine was also awesome. We had great game play with VistaIIIMedia providing flawless connectivity. Hey, next time we might even get adventurous n do ribs! Now I must return to Michelle's cheese filled bread and baked beans for breakfast. Some of that Laundry Witch/Lisa cake may be on the plate too!

Thanks everyone for a great, great day!

"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, May 27, 2006

It's Dark Thirty and LAN Party is Here!

Procrastination. That's why I am up at 3:30AM rushing around like a chicken sans head. Coffee is brewing and my eyelids are propped open. There's a million things to be done and I must get jiggy with it. Thank goodness I've been busy though, with both clients and the LAN Party. This should be a nice day. It will be hot though. So if attending be sure and dress in the casual mode.

This weekend please take a few minutes to remember those patriots that have fallen in battle for our freedom. The quotes this week have pertained to this holiday that memorializes those great Americans that sacrificed their lives so that we all can continue to live in the home of the brave and land of the free. It won't hurt to say a prayer for our troops overseas too.

Have a great extended weekend and please drive carefully. The life you save might be my own.

"I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did."
-Benjamin Harrison

Friday, May 26, 2006

Urge to Merge

Just over at Slashdot reading about recent mergers of large companies that are part of the computerese community. The article is titled Battle of the Tech Titans. Google and Dell are doing something together and eBay, sadly, is joining forces with Yahoo. If someone wants to start a good online business consider an auction site like eBay. Yahoo will have every eBayer filled with Claria and 180eSolutions adware and they'll never be able to snipe again. But, by all means, keep using this service. Then when your machine bogs down to a snail's pace you can finally...well, anyway. It is interesting to read the numerous comments about this article. Many opinions. Check it out.

Okay time to get extremely bizzy. LAN Party is just a day away and I am way behind. Please drive safely this weekend and wear your seatbelts. It's the law now and they will give you a ticket for not complying.

"I couldn't help but say to Mr. Gorbachev, just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. We'd find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together."
-Ronald Reagan

Thursday, May 25, 2006

LAN Party and HTML

Well, a post was just lost due to a damned popup from caselmedia. It would be nice to locate these evil jerks and go medieval on their goofy asses. By trying to end the process so it wouldn't drop any nasties on this PC it closed all my windows. Anyway, it was several links about Windows Vista being delayed until next year and frustration is getting in the way of redoing the HTML. More later.

LAN party is just two days away and I still need a large switch. An eight port or larger will do nicely. Anyone wanting to help please get in touch. Time is short and there's much to be done. Having an extra pair of hands will help a lot! Potato salad and baked beans will be made tomorrow evening. Ingredients will be here, but help with assembly will be appreciated. If you are bringing refreshing beverages or food stuffs please contact me so we don't have duplication.

Some of the suggested GuildWars quests, missions, etc., are:

Run to Temple of Ages
Run from Temple of Ages to Sanctum Cay
Sanctum Cay Mission (we all know it's tough!)
Vizunah Square Mission
Naphui Quarter Mission (this is an Ascension Mission and we need
a full team)
Villiany of Galraith (hate it! hate it! and never finished it!)
Any desert missions

Must go coffee now and calm down about the attempted spyware infection. Everyone have a casual Thursday.

"On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!"
-Thomas William Parsons

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Malware and Boogie

Yahoo IM (instant messenger) users beware. CNET News.com has the story. Please be very careful. I am NOT a fan of anything Yahoo, but most folks just will not stop using their junk. It's like crack on the web. People know better, but they just keep going back for another dose of 180eSolutions and Claria adware/dungware. Until now you could download their IM service without all the other yahooey thangys and be relatively safe. Maybe just delete all links to Yahoo and NEVER go back? Or do you like them dropping ads or your machine and slowing it down? Go figure.

Need a good laugh? Do you have audio? Go to Evolution of Dance. Even if you are on dial-up download and save it. It's a big clip, but well worth the effort. Haven't laughed this much in a while. Thanks Mudslingr for a great link.

Must get busy. Long day ahead. Stay casual folks.

"There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream." -Archibald MacLeish

Monday, May 22, 2006

Windows Vista

Microsoft has finally announced the hardware requirements for their new operating system, Vista. They can be found at the Get Ready portion of the Windows Vista page. It's not as bad as what I was told several months ago. Trust me, you'll need a minimum 1 gig processor and 1 gig of RAM no matter what they say. If you haven't bought that big video card it's time to do it. Hardware buys are everywhere. There is the option to wait and buy a new machine that comes preloaded with Vista.

Posting late today due to an early start. Survive Monday. Tuesday is just hours away.

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
-Elmer Davis

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Longer Weekends!

LAN Party is less than a week away and there's still work to be done. It's a nice, gentle Sunday afternoon and there's a slight breeze. Yard work first n then remote in and work on several PCs. Then a major try at cleaning the kitchen and dining room. Dishes for days. After trying to get on and play Guidl Wars several times yesterday with no luck, I may reserve an hour or two for this evening.

My shrimp/chicken stew is calling from the microwave. Enjoy the day!

"The miracle is this - the more we share, the more we have."
-Leonard Nimoy

Friday, May 19, 2006

Geekfest & End of an Era

LAN party is one week away. Launch is 5:00PM Saturday the 27th. Several things are needed. Volunteers to help move stuff, food and drink, and volunteeres to help move stuff. If anyone has access to a large switch that will be cool. If not we can get by with several small ones. Be sure and pack your PC, monitor and headset. If you feel the need for battery backup please bring your own. There are a few monitors available for those that have monitors too large to tote. Dragor Rogue and his 36" monitor comes to mind! What a neat display.

We hope to have people from several different guilds and will be doing co-operative missions. Possibly some alliances can be formed during the festivities. We are still planning on a test machine that will have presearing so people new to the game will get a chance to play. Anyone that has a nice PC to donate just a few hours for this purpose can take home a free 14 trial of the original Guild Wars. Monitor, keyboard, mouse and headset will be available. We should have plenty of cables, chairs, coffee, burgers, dogs, etc., but may need one more large table. Wifi is in place and available. Anyone volunteering to help move stuff this weekend will be welcome.

After staying up and burning the 4:00AM oil a decision has been made. No more laptops. Period. Fine'. Endo Mundo. No mas. Nyet. Nix. If you purchase a new laptop and an extended warranty is offered please purchase it immediately. If you can't afford the warranty I'd suggest delaying the purchase until that is possible. Laptops are great and serve their purpose, but they are pure hell to repair. When mine quits it'll be chunked into file 13 and a new one will take its place. I'll buy the warranty too.

"We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing."
-Billy Wobblynife

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Awesome Five

The following list is protection software that can be found at various locations on the web. All of these links point towards MajorGeeks.com. If the following five applications are installed on a clean computer and the updates and scans are done on a regular basis, your PC will stay free of most infections and malware. Nothing in the world of computers is a rock solid truism so this is not a bulletproof defense. It's sure a great start though.

AVG Antivirus Free Edition

SpyBot Search & Destroy

AdAware SE Personal



Now let's take a look at each individual application and briefly explore its purpose and some details about updating and the way it scans.

AVG Antivirus Free Edition: AVG is usually seen in the free version although many folks will upgrade and pay their inexpensive fee in order to gain more flexibility and protection. They have very good tutorials on their site concerning the initial install and maintenance of the program. AVG is not only great protection for your PC, it's easy to use. If you boot your computer and the AVG four colored symbol that resides in the system tray (bottom right corner of the screen) is grayed out, open the program and do an update. This usually occurs when your PC has been off for an extended period of time (like several days). This seems to be more apparent on dial-up connections because the updates are usually through by the time a machine on broadband completes its boot process. Remember, your PC HAS to be online in order to update. Again, it HAS to be online to update. ALWAYS, ALWAYS let AVG finish updates. You can continue to work while this is being done, but the machine may slow down a bit. On rare occasion the updates can be lengthy; just let it work. Most of the time they finish within a minute or so, depending on the speed of your connection.

SpyBot Search & Destroy: This is a super program that is very powerful. Patrick Kolla has given us this nice utility that performs many functions. I encourage people to donate so the program can stay alive. Spybot has many uses and the initial setup is important. Read the tutorial about installing . It's located on their site. If you need help with the initial setup please email me. Due to the vast depth of this program an explanation will take several pages and the way it is installed varies according to individual needs. Most people can read the tutorial and decide how to initialize the program. Updating is simple. Hit the update button and then go to the top and click the 'download updates' bar. One thing to remember is to always immunize after receiving an update. Click on the immunize button. If you have an update go to the top and click on the green immunize bar. It has a green + sign to the left.

AdAware SE Personal: From Sweden comes a nice program that removes a majority of malware from your PC. There has been some rumors that Ad-Aware is in bed with Claria and lets their garbage pass through the scans. Claria, the "wonderful" folks that bring you Weatherbug, Precision Time, Gator, Gain, CME and other such invasion junk. Anyway, Spybot finds these horrible things so 'not to worry.' Ad-aware also finds MRUs that are being called on to report into their respective parent company. If you look at the details you'll find Microsoft is usually the major culprit in this arena. MRUs? Stands for Most Recently Used. It is usually Word, Excel, Access type documents. Now why does Bill Gates need this information? He really wants to know what I've written? Let me state that this is actually legal. Read the EULA that you agreed to when you installed Windows or Office. Updating Ad-Aware is simple. Just click on the 'check for updates' line on the intital page and follow directions.

SpywareBlaster: Great program. Easy to use. Once or twice a week click on the desktop icon and do a check for updates. If it updates then click on 'enable all protection.' That's it. This program runs in the background and silently stops many types of malware from invading your privacy.

CCleaner: Great utility that cleans out cache, temp, and invalid registry files. If you install a program that requires a cookie to retain settings, be sure to go to 'options' then 'cookies' and move the cookie for that site from the left column to the right column. I always scan and delete files it finds and then perform the 'fix issues' function after backing up. I am disappointed in CCleaner though. They have started including the Yahoo Toolbar as default install and this sucks. Still a good program, but I am exploring other software that performs the same functions without dropping unwanted junk on your PC. Anyway, when installing be sure and uncheck the Yahoo Toolbar box. CCleaner will let you know when there is an update available.

Hope this helps. Be very careful about what software you use. Some of the "protection" software is actually malware disguised as good guys. Again, nothing is bulletproof. Tutorials with screenshots are in the process of being made available about these great utilities. You'll know when they are online. Recent requests prompted me to respond with the above information. Tomorrow we will go back to possum watching and beach house casualness. Got an opinion? Know of other software? Use the comments or email.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
-Albert Einstein

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pomes, Tunes, and Organization

Well, well. You can now dual boot Windows XP and Apple OSX on the new Apple laptops. PCWorld has a good write up about the change to Intel chipsets and the Apple units now available. At $1500.00 for the entry level unit don't expect these machines to storm the market. Heck it only has 512 megs of RAM and a 13" display. Sorta' wimpy. The picture in this article shows a butt ugly laptop too. If Apple wants to make money and change the PC market they need to make their OSX family of operating systems available for PCs. That will get Mr. Gates attention.

Windows Media Player 11 is available for download. After trying to research the site to find if only XP users should download it, I came away dazed and confused which is often the case when visiting a Microsoft site. My guess is that it will not be made available to other operating systems like the robust Windows 2000. It looks nice and is the version that will ship with Windows Vista. Media playing at the beach house is done with Linux so this is not a big deal. After the initial traffic subsides it'll be downloaded.

Screenshots of Google Notebook are now available. No, this is not a laptop with a Google operating system. It is another online service of Google that is projected to make your life easier through organization. Looks like it might be a good tool. You need a GMail account to access it. Not Gmailing? Need an invite? I have 'em and this is freebee. Click on the email me thangy up at the top of this page. GMail rocks! It is beyond my feeble power of comprehension why anyone would use any other email service. Try it, you'll like it.

Received an email from Robin wanting to know about the progress on the pages being developed here for online tutorials concerning protection software. You know, how to install, update, use, etc. Here's the deal. Screenshots are almost mandatory. Getting permissions from various companies, especially those located overseas is a lotta' work. The page is in place and content needs to be added. I hope this will be made available soon. Will keep you posted.

Okay, the laundry is about dry. Time to hit the trail. Hang in there. Memorial Day is less than two weeks away!

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
-Winston Churchill

Monday, May 15, 2006

Return of the Possumnator

It's early. Arnold, opossumus germanicus austriabodicus , is back. The alarm showed 5:15AM and really wasn't needed. When I turned in early last night knowing I'd arise before dawn it did not enter my mind there would be a full fledge war going on outside the window. The fan was on low and dreams were about things binary when the sound of walls being assaulted brought me straight up in bed. There's small solar light outside one of the bedroom windows. It was very dim. I jumped up to see what was making the racket. Seems Arnold might have been trying out the hammock and two of the neighborhood cats tried to jump him.

On the way out the front door I grabbed a broom and proceeded to stop this melee. As I rounded the corner a huge gray tabby hissed and growled at me so it was immediately apparent whose side would be taken. Broom! Broom! Broom, broom, broom! Literally swept him out of the yard. When I finally turned the lights on and looked around there was Arnold, muscles flexing, his 'Mom surrounded by a heart' arm tattoo shining in the light and the other cat cowering in the corner. Every time the cat would utter a sound Arnold hissed. Apparently the fight had ensued by the solar light because it was laying over at a 45 degreee angle. Into the battle I went, domestic household weapon in hand and it wasn't a pretty sight. Folks, don't ever broom a mad possum. Don't even sledge hammer one.

As I ran up the front steps the other cat shot past me headed for the woods north of the house. A defensive stance was taken and it occured to me that I was now awake and this whole picture was something that belonged in the morning funny papers or that funniest videos thangy on TV. A grown man in pajamas with a broom in hand warding off an irate possum at 4:30AM in the morning, good Lord where are those people that always annoy you with video cameras!?!? Anyway, after collecting what few wits were left back to the front I went. This time I was armed with a water hose. Arnold is not crazy about bathing. In no time he scooted around the corner and headed for his oak tree. When he was going up the tree my ears may have fooled me but the words, "ah'll bee backkk," seemed to ring out in the dim light.

So how was your morning? Coffee good? Mine is, at least I think it is. Maybe tomorrow we can return to things techno. Hopefully the shaking will stop. Anyway, have a possum free Monday.

"Look alive!!! Here comes a buzzard!"
-Pogo (one of my fav quotes)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Still Glad It's Weekend

After the yard is finished there's a a service call that includes inserting a badly needed battery backup unit on a client PC then on to mirroring hard drives, upgrading a laptop and installing FreeBSD. If they made weekends longer I could get caught up on work. There's several days work involved with shaping up the yard to an acceptable level. What's a boy to do? Work like hell and go without sleep.

To top this busy weekend off I have to find time to exercise. It was raining just a few minutes ago, but now the sun is shining and the forecast includes a 20% chance of rain. Trees have to be trimmed and the ditch has to be mowed. Yardwork used to be fun and relaxing; due to time constraints it is now a chore. That sucks. Exercising to lose weight has never been fun and that sucks even moreso.

Since I am rambling and nothing 'pops' as far as tech news let me whine outta here. The laundry is calling to me as well. Have a good weekend.

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cells Destroying Cells?

Many years ago when just a lad my stint in the military introduced me to the world of TEDs and REDs. Even though my geekness was in place due to interest in amplifiers and electronic keyboards while in high school and college, being around large banks of transmitters and receivers solidified my quick run to ultra-nerdism. We used to do really whacky things especially with transmitters. We lit fluorescent tubes in our hands, even fried some stuff. We had a comm tech named Bob Renfree that could perform all sorts of magical things with Uncle Sam's equipment. He once said, "You know this sh--'s got to be dangerous; one day they'll use it as weapons." That thought has stuck with me. Why bring this up?

I've had two friends that died with brain tumors in the recent past. They both stayed on the cellphone constantly. After reading an article at the Age.com it seems the Australians are doing something about finding the truth concerning cell phone transmissions. The post is titled Phone tower cancer fears. Even though medical experts contacted by the journal claim there are no connections, five brain tumors in five people in one month seems more than a mere coincidence. C'mon folks, you are holding a transmitter/receiver to your head. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the connection. There's been talk for years this could be a problem. I am convinced it's real.

You can buy an earbud, headset, etc., and keep the phone on your belt, waist, or pocket while you talk. This is a very inexpensive item. So far the wired ones seem to make conversations even more clear than holding the phone to your head. Bluetooth is another matter. Haven't heard but one that was really clear and besides, it is a transceiver. Better than holding the phone to the ole noggin though. When driving or working these simple headsets free both hands. This has to be safer and possibly more productive. Get those transmission waves away from the brain which is busy firing electrical synapses. You can Google search about this topic and find many pros and cons. Now get to a Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, or phone store and start using one of these devices.

Weekend is almost here! Don't forget Mothers Day is Sunday. Have a casual Friday.

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Make It So

The second Tuesday of the month has become known as Patch Tuesday. This is when Microsoft issues its repairs for Windows. Have you done your updates? The latest patches can be found at Microsoft Security Bulletin.

Think the holodeck is just a neat place to create scenarios when on a long space voyage in the starship Enterpirse? Think again. A New Hampshire company has created a simplistic version of this virtual reality. It's called Holodek. You can read further at Wired.

It's Thursday. Only 3 more days to work this week. Sun is shining, birds are singing, and the coffee is brewing. Friday is just hours away.

"I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman where the Self Help section was. She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose."
-Dennis Miller

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another 365 Day Trip Around the Sun

It's raining. The Good Lord is taking care of me. He knew that I didn't want to mow the yard today. Once again you can hear wild animals prowling in the grass, but I am trying to take a day off. It's been a while. Besides, it's my birthday. No big deal, but I need to hang around and finish building a server anyway. So it's just a day not in the road instead of a true day off. With gas prices high it's like making money!

Back when the dinosaurs roamed freely outside this window a day off meant doing the couch potato dance and eating whatever was pleasing. Now it seems the most important thing in the fridge is unwilted lettuce and low fat dressing. My brother called in the middle of breakfast and relayed birthday greetings. Then Mother called with the same. Beagle messaged a happy birthday and sent a cute Ecard with a Star Trek theme. The Laundry Witch emailed with a invite to a margarita. And it's early.

All in all this may turn out to be an excellent day. The server is a multiple drive SCSI PC so that will be fun. Hey, it's just nice not to spend the day removing spyware. Besides I may sneak some Blue Plate Mayo on that unwilted lettuce. The rain is a mesmerizing drizzle now. Have a nice nap, uh uh day.

"Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed."
-Charles Schulz

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trash and Rumors

For all those still using Yahoo please pay attention. There is a class action suit filed by advertisers against them. Advertisers NOT users! Get this nasty junk off your PC and quit going there. You stand a good chance of infecting your machine with spyware! You can read about it at PCWorld. It's sad to see a company this large and influental utilizing such trash. BTW, Yahoo occasionally monitors this site. No kidding. (EDIT: They checked in at 11.52am CST today)

Seems that the Keith Richards 'palm tree climbing/falling out of' incident had some serious consequences. The Rolling Stones lead guitarist was operated on Monday. He is said to be recovering nicely after they relieved pressure from a blood clot on his brain. Rumors are flying around the net about the cause of the fall and it will be interesting to hear his statement about the incident. People online has a good article.

"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Jazz n Stuff

New Orleans JazzFest has been deemed a success this year. Sad that Fats Domino couldn't play. He had taken ill and at Fats age one has to be careful. He insisted that there was a need for him to at least show up and apologize. Doctors said okay. Fats, no apology needed man. You are an inspiration to us all. So is Pete Fountain. He had a quad bypass in March and played this weekend. Dude can wail a mean clarinet. Both lost homes to hurricane Katrina. You can read more about it at Forbes.

In the process of re-installing the Mandriva flavor of Linux this article popped up and is very informative, especially to a Windows user. Translated from Dutch it gives the pros and cons about switching to Linux. There are very nice screen shots of both the desktop and the KDE utilities. Thanks goes out to Slashdot for a great link. You can read the article at coulier.org. After the "new" FreeBSD machine is brought online updating the Mandriva PC is next. Both will be functional and online for the LAN party and at least one of them will be wifi (wireless).

Have a casual Monday.

"Don't worry, be happy"
-motto of coulier.org

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Morning Images and Ramblings

It's amazing what crosses my path during dreams. Last night I was back at college in a Lit class studying John Keats. The dream was so vivid I actually cruised the net to find out if Ode to a Grecian Urn was the truth beauty, beauty is truth thangy. It is. Fun to read about some of the things that interested me long, long ago in a galaxy far away. Always liked literature. Some kewl stuff. Shakespeare rocks! Don't believe me? Read about that Hamlet dude. Man, what a trip!

Yes, I do realize a lot of what I write is fragmented, tense poor and grammatically challenged. Most of this is streamed. Reading is different. It's easier than writing. Reading is great exercise. You have to use your imagination to create the scenario given to you in books. After reading The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway it was a real treat to watch the movie and see Spencer Tracy's portrayal of Santiago. Manolin became a better human through knowing this wonderful, sensitive yet tough old man. This is one of those books that you come away from a better person.

Peter Jackson did a great job translating the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the big screen. For time's sake there were some things distorted, but he is forgiven. What a beautiful movie. It had to be, LOTR is such a fantastic read. The first reading was great because of all the wonderful plot twists and descriptive writing. Further readings helped me gather other aspects of this phenomenal work. Read them five times now. Plan to do it again too.

Got children? Get Narnia. These awesome books by C.S. Lewis impart high morals and good lessons that young ones need nowadays. As a matter of fact I know some adults that should be MADE to read them. They are short, easy to understand and magical. The recent movie centered on the first book, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is one of my favorite movies, maybe even number one on the list. Seems the person that cast the movie was inside my mind. What a treat!

Anyway, the point here is read. Read and learn. And dream.

"A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you."
-Boorstein (apparently doesn't own a laptop)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pork Fat Rules

It's a dreary, overcast Saturday afternoon. The day has been centered around a trip to the doctor and they pronounced me alive. Meds were changed and have to return a month from now. Looks like rain and this may be a good day to yuppie camp in the bedroom. Medication adjustment is calling for sleep and it's a perfect time for that. Will get up and work later. My house looks like a pig lives here. Well, oink oink.

Have a casual Saturday.

"Friendship is Love without his wings."
-Lord Byron

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Slight Modification

Want to see an extreme modification on a Volkswagen? Check out When bugs fly. Bet mpg rating on this little hot rod is extreme too. Can we say mechgeek? Thanks Slashdot, for a great link.

Running late this morning and need to take off. Everyone enjoy the weekend!

"When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy."
-Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Weather n Tunes

Yes, internet service has been inconsistent. No, the beach house is content and knows that VistaIIIMedia is working on the problem. We have had some heavy rains and high winds of late. These two things can create nightmares for cable technicians. They are struggling to provide good service and I appreciate the good effort. Their solid delivery and quality of signal over the past years makes them worthy of some patience. Bear with your provider. I still recommend Dixie-Net and VistaIIIMedia for folks in our area. Even though Comcast has extreme speed, no recommendation here due to their murder of TechTV.

Received an email wanting an opinion about Apple's efforts to hold their download prices at $0.99 a tune. That's too high and I think this is a ploy to attract attention. Get the cost down to $0.50 and I'll be impressed. My advice is to find the website of your favorite artist and download the songs from that site. Don't grease the the pockets of the RIAA, AKA Music Mafia. This group of evil, smarmy apes is a LOT of the reason music cost is high. Beagle uses Rhapsody and likes it. Looking into it. Will keep you posted.

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy."
-Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Vista Delay

It looks like Windows Vista will not ship until 2007. You can read further about it over at ArsTechnica. This probably won't disappoint Santa Claus and his reindeer. I imagine Bill Gates is not too happy. It would be nice to know the individual costs of the now 5 versions that will be made available. It would be nice to see a specs required list too.

"A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Coconut Telegraph

After a brief look at the news it seems one of the most exciting things in the press today is Keith Richards falling out of a palm tree. For the non-rockers, Mr. Richards is the lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones. He has co-written many of their hits with Mick Jagger. He also has a notorious reputation for boozing n' drugging. It's being told that he was not using and abusing when this happened. Okay, scenario here: A 62 year old man climbing a palm tree. Have you ever seen a palm tree? Think about it. Yep, that's my conclusion too. It will be interesting to see what Keith has to say about the matter. He hasn't been one to bandy words in the past.

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, May 01, 2006

Your Eyelids Are Heavy n That's Not All...

It's part of the morning routine to check my personalized homepage, compliments of Google. Several different categories exist and one of my favorites is eHow. They sometimes use wikiHow which can be edited by readers. Pretty cool, huh? This morning one of their recommended pages is How to Perform Self-Hypnosis. Yes, tonight on the way home the chant will be "Pass on by the Krispy Kreme, pass on by the Krispy Kreme."

"Have a better than expected day."