Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now the Day is Over

Finally downloaded the newest version of the Flock browser. It is based on Firefox and has a very nice looking interface. The group of people involved with this project seem to be having fun. Their emails reflect a sense of humor. The world can use more of this attitude.

It's been a long, busy day surfing the internet about the SSO problem and trying to update some software on my remote clients. Where did July go?

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Geek Lazy

It's raining. Not the torrential downpour we badly need, but small light showers that pop up every time I have touched the pushmower (3 so far). May be that mowing the rest of the yard will happen tomorrow after morning church services. The riding lawnmower must be repaired soon. So now I am inside working on my latest, greatest project of how to do an auto login with XP Home and keep the mapping of the W2K Server - server shared drives upon reboot. Woot! Well, there has been some Guild Wars and a stab at repairing the last laptop I'll ever permit on my bench.

In just a few minutes I can relax and have a refreshing beverage. My retail clients are all closed by 3:00pm on Saturday. Marinara sauce is on the low burn and will be ready in a few hours. Pasta is ready for cooking. The coffee was possibly the best ever this morning (thanks JK n Jay) and hunger pains have subsided. After the laptop from hell it will be time to restructure the network physically and incorporate a print server. Then it will be time to start the remote maintenance for my clients. Great geek weekend.

Nice to be here with my machines. Nice to have the Kudzu Dragons and others for adventure in the lands of Tyria and Cantha.

"The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency."

Friday, July 28, 2006

Run the Spam Away

The spam problem was mentioned in conversation today. My spam problem has been reduced to less than 20 in the past 2 years. That's right 10 a year. I don't have to filter through all the sex organ related ads, buying a condo on a sea front beach in Kansas, or any of that garbage. Someone asked the other day about how to change something in Outlook Express and it took some research to find the answer since Outlook in any form is not necessary. Why? I use GMail. You first have to create a Google Account. Then you can enter the wonderful world of Google.

GMail is easy to install, easy to use, and secure. You create your username and that becomes your GMail identity. My home page is Google with a variety of add-ins. In the center of the page is Gmail and the latest messages received. Around that are various links and previews to news, weather, movies, etc. This is so convenient and let's me decide if I need to check mail now or do it later. You have 2gigs, yes that's right 2 GIGs, of storage so you never have to delete a message. Here's another nice thing about GMail. Of everyone I know that has switched to it, 100% endorse it. They are all amazed at how Google filters spam too.

Hope this helps.

“Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?”
-Monty Python

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Delirium Grassicus

Thanks goes out to everyone who has gotten onboard to help resolve the network problem that has been eating my lunch and drinking my coffee. After much research it seems that the server client relationship is working properly. Now on to creating something to force the auto login. Hey, no one said life would be easy. Bondo, Skillet, Beagle, Mudslingr, Red Dragon n Ashby y'all are the bomb. Nice to have friends in tech places.

The riding lawn mower is ailing. Oh Lordy, this is not a good thing at all. The front yard and part of the back has been mowed with a push mower and my overweight frame was suffering each time I came inside to cool off and catch a breath. This is a repair that MUST be done soon. I'm too young to die! Can you see that epitaph?
'His fat ass was found layin' on the lawn,
poor old scoundrel now he's dead and gone.
The grass is still growing in that yard still,
we buried the lardbucket up on the hill.'

Later y'all.

"Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice."
-Henry Ford

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Strange Pairing

My time and mind are occupied with a network problem. Anyone interested in helping please see yesterday's post at SouthernPhried. After spending hours scouring the web for answers it may be time to accept the fact that wheels may be spinning about something that is impossible. Any help will be appreciated.

Well, well. Here's an interesting partnership: Yahoo and Symantec. The latter is known for their Norton's Internet Security software. Read about it at Arstechnica. Yahoo is in cahoots with Claria and 180Solutions which means if you 'Yahoo' then there is a good chance your machine is being flooded with all their garbage. Norton's Interenet Security? Last week several hours were spent trying to map a dot matrix printer in a new network. After uninstalling Norton's Internet Security everything worked fine. This software came bundled with the new PCs and just would not stop pestering until you finally installed it. That is not a good initial indication. This is certainly not the first time such a problem has arisen. Stay away from this junk. It's horrible. Besides, there are much better tools free to download that are very user friendly and don't grab resources in the background.

Hey if you live and die by Norton's Antivirus, go for it. While you're busy doing live updates and have all that memory usage in the background, my free AVG will happily update in the background and not take the machine to task while doing it. To each his own, but I still think these two companies deserve each other. When your tech charges several hours of bench time every other month after all your yahooing to remove the adware/spyware/thiefware/etcware, don't bitch. That's my story n Ima stickin' to it.

"All of us are experts at practicing virtue at a distance."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

April Fool's Day in July?

Many beliefs pass through the beach house. We have presbyterians, methodists, baptists, catholics, believers in judaism, frisbeeites, selfites, and foamingatthemouthites that occasionally visit. Most of these folks believe in good and evil. Most claim to be good and abhor evil. Seems they all agree on one thing: People that write hoaxes are as evil as people in the spyware business and virus writers. Check out one that has raised its ugly head again at Snopes. Thanks for the heads up LW!

I made it home early today to mow the yard. After a few rounds behind the push mower the task has been abandoned for a few more hours. It's hot.

"People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."
-Dave Barry

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gettin' It All in One Sock

The last few days have been weird. Health issues plus some projects came together and it was time to take a break. Thanks for the emails showing concern, but things are pretty much normal at the beach house. Computer parts are scattered everywhere and a machete is needed to attack the jungle growing around the domicile. The network is being restructured and machines are sitting all about the house. Ahhhhhhh the sound of SCSI drives in the format stage, it's like music. Have a casual Monday.

"No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength."
-Jack Kerouac

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Upon a Midnight Dreary

Tis nearly the very witching hour and my mind is occupied with a problem about networking. My tolerance is being pushed to the limit and it seems max voodoo/witchdoctor chants while no one is looking will not suffice. Even called on my competition to see if they could help and they are, likewise, puzzled. This may take an act of personal and private interaction mucho like Robert Duvall's soliloquy as Harry Hogge in Days of Thunder. You know, the one where he is alone with the frame of the car and explains what he is about to do? Not even a NASCAR fan here, but this was a good movie. What a great actor. Did you know he is a descendant of Robert E. Lee? Read about it at Wikipedia. Sorry, my tired mind is meandering...

Time to sleep on it. It'll all be okay...everything's good.

"Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers, and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking."
-Steve Allen

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Kubuntu? Kasual!

Kubuntu is installed and running on the beach house network. This is the Linux flavor Ubuntu with the KDE desktop, which is pretty dang awesome. Being opensource it is free to download and you are encouraged to copy and distribute it. The machine is a 400 Celeron, 512megs of SDRAM, with a 10gig hard drive. Beyond any doubt this installation was the easiest EVER done at the beach house.

A few simple questions have to be answered (time zone, name, etc.) and then in less than 30 minutes it asks you to remove the disk and reboot. It comes with the Amarok audio player which rocks! OpenOffice is also installed as part of the default package. After opening the web browser it was apparent the network settings were configured properly by the OS during setup since it jumped right on the internet without a bit of tweaking. If this is a sign of things to come from the Kubuntu people all I cay say is - Windows watch out!

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Eyelids are Getting Heavy...

Nice to know that sleep is not far away. Just checked this machine to see if running Teamspeak in the background and downloading the latest version of Linux Kubuntu is a strain. It's not. Dual processors rock! Kubuntu is the Ubuntu flavor of Linux with the KDE interface. Have a machine ready for this program. Thanks goes out to Beagle and her cohorts at RedMagnet for the tip about Ubuntu.

"Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody."
-Moms Mabley

Monday, July 17, 2006

Big Brother is Watching, Cantonese Style

There are sick people in this world. The Chinese government should be held accountable for their recent action concerning the Boy Scouts. Read more at Techdirt. Are they taking lessons from that idiot North Korean despot? This is really pathetic. And so are some of the poor slobs making comments about it.

"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pass the Kleenex

It's been a long day. Headway is being made on the mega problem with my recent server issue. Word to the wise; don't try to run W2K server on a dual Pentium Pro machine. It was not a happy experience. After several days of teeth gnashing, hairpulling, downright crying and tettering on the brink of despair, all is good in the world. It will take most of the night to setup the software, etc., but it's nice to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Back to the bench. Stay casual. (Edit: It's 5:30 in the morning. Just finished the Server build and am dog tired. Have to spend the day installing proprietary software. Am I still whining? Shucks no! But the Monday post will be later today.)

"A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."
-Harry Truman

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Yo ho ho

Talked to Ashby Rhett Culpepper III, Esq. He had attended the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie with his daughter earlier this evening. They liked the movie. Ashby said it's good and worth seeing, but it doesn't have the sizzle of the first one. He agrees with critics that say this is a Johnny Depp vehicle. Kewl, Depp is a good actor. He cracked me up as Hunter Thompson. His selection of scripts is eccentric, but dude knows how to do the camera, action thangy.

It's late, Guild Wars crew is shutting down for the night and I have to face the server from hell problem again tomorrow. Later.

"Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater."
-Roman Polanski

Friday, July 14, 2006

Beach House Belive It or Not?

As mentioned here many times before it is amazing that McAfee is still in business. What do they do? C'mon, no one really believes that their antivirus software works, do they? Okay, if you leave your home via a long tunnel in the rocks and have bat problems then you might think they actually have a purpose. If, in fact, you dwell in a cave or not please read the article that contains this sentence: "We didn't really realize we fixed the problem," Viega said. "We fixed one, but it was by accident.". MercuryNews.com is the source of this little ditty. The belief is they won't lose customers. ROFLMAO!! Hopefully, they'll cease to exist and customers will no longer be prey to them. This is beyond absurd and ridiculous. It's a mad, mad, mad world out there...

"If we weren't all crazy we would go insane."
-Jimmy Buffett

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Good, Bad, and the Smoochy

Keep an eye open for GDrive. Google is not releasing details, but if the report from GEEKNESS - WITH FRESH AND CLEAN AIR is correct, this will be awesome. Can you imagine synced email across different operating systems in one machine? How about an almost fool proof backup system? It'll be interesting to see how much space will be allowed. This is another step towards online computing. Is this good or bad? Let me hear from you.

Microsoft and Yahoo are kissing. Read about it at PCMagazine. Isn't this wonderful? Microsoft was caught just a few weeks ago putting spyware on our computers and now they are giving Yahoo a further opportunity to force Claria and 180Solutions on your machine. Microsoft IM is annoying enough by NOT going away when you install Windows. Yahoo is, well, HORRIBLE! If I ever become Emporer of the Known Universe it is my solemn promise to shut them down right after I ship all the spyware creeps and terrorists to another planet or into the sun.

But hey, better a Windows/Gates world than an Apple/Darth Jobs one.

"The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it."
-Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine.

Syd Barrett has passed away at the age of 60. Please indulge me. Down through the years Pink Floyd has been that soothing, sometimes stormy, music that you have heard at the beach house. Yes, still a Parrothead and love Buffett, but it was good fortune to discover this legendary group back in the late sixties. Can't remember the exact date but I was in Vietnam. Their music was refreshing. It was different.

Syd Barrett was one of the founders. His creativity sparked others to shine as well. Contrary to popular belief, David Gilmour was not one of the original members. When Barrett finally lost control and broke down, David was brought in to take up the slack. The Gilmour library of music speaks for his genius and the good insight of other Floyd members. Syd dropped out, literally. He lived off royalties residing in a hotel until 1981 when the money ran out. Then he moved home with Mum. He was still using that address when he passed away.

If you are thinking about using drugs, don't. If you are an abuser of drugs or any substance please get help. We have become a compulsive, obsessive, addictive society. Those that have passed through life clean I applaud you. Thank you, God, for permitting me the opportunity to survive my purple haze years. That was a long time ago and my immediate thought is that prayer truly works wonders. How nice it is to get through a day knowing there will be no DUIs or fits of extreme paranoia.

Mr. Barrett, thanks for the music. May God grant you peace. You can read more at the IndependentOnline. (very good article)

"Remember when you were young
You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes
Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire
Of childhood and stardom
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr and shine."

-Roger Waters

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Take Out the Trash

On occasion I am asked about what protection software is used at the beach house. There are 5 programs that are the foundation of ongoing maintenance for Windows PCs. This quintet works to keep the network creep free. They are:

AVG Free Edition

SpyBot Search & Destroy

AdAware SE Personal



Another program that is extremely important is the web browser. Internet Explorer is not favored here in the land of flipflops and Hawaiian shirts. Too many popups and their popup killer is as annoying as the actual garbage they "control." Several browsers used in the past, Opera, Flock, Sea Monkey, etc., are good. This said, go download Firefox. After installing it go ahead and let it install the needed plugins when they show up. Usually, there are only 3 or 4 needed and they install quickly and it's pain free. These are utilities that take the place of Microsoft's ActiveX which is the root of a lot of browser security problems. Is this my favorite web browser? No, but it is my favorite browser that works inside Windows. Linux and FreeBSD using the KDE platform are awesome. Anyway, use Firefox. It's quick, user friendly and has a ton of addons that can be fun.

The above listed software is free to download. The links are all to a great download site, MajorGeeks. The individual companies will take donations or have upgrades that are affordable. Don't go fooling around with just any spyware protection. Nowadays most of it IS spyware. But, it's your computer so if you want to junk it up with a "rocket science" mentality, by all means go ahead. This combination of tools and routine maintenance will keep most machines in good running condition. Don't shrew at me about Norton Antivirus. It's a waste of money. If you use McAfee you probably won't be able to find your way back to this page. McAfee sucks. If AVG upsets you for some weird reason then try TRENDMicro.

I will recommend one more tool and have saved it until last because you may want to purchase the full version. They have a free version, but it is like the above software, you have to manually update it. It's EWIDO. There is a 14 day trial period that permits full usage. Please update before scanning anything. Ewido has saved several machines in the past year due to its ability to find deeply embedded nasties. BTW, Grisoft, the parent company of AVG Antivirus, recently purchased Ewido. Please remember you download at your own risk.

If you have a problem and can't seem to make it go away, there are other sites listed in the Cybersouth Links List. It is up there at the top of this site right under the picture. If all else fails or you have questions concerning proper installation of this software, email me.

Hope this helps. IMHO, anyone caught writing spyware or virus garbage should be hung by the neck until dead. Let 'em drop to a quick stop.

"If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done."
-Scott Adams

Monday, July 10, 2006

Patches n Boards

Tomorrow is Patch Tuesday. Microsoft will issue 11 "fixes" for Windows and Office. You can read all about it at the alter of Microsoft updates - Microsoft TechNet. Hmmmmmmm, okay, I'll be quiet.

Question came up over the weekend about my recent purchase of a Zboard, MERC. It's an awesome aid for gaming, but it is taking some time to adjust to the left concentric keypad. Being left handed one would think this would be an easy adjustment. As said before the panic button is worth the money. BestBuy has them locally for 40 bucks or so.

Have a safe and casual Monday.

"God brings men into deep waters, not to drown them, but to cleanse them."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

Hey Microsoft!! Here's a solution to your nonsupport/support problem with opensource documents. Lower your prices to affordable with Windows and Office and watch as we rush to the counter with our multicolored boxes full of your product. You could put aside your fears of this fast growing community that includes FreeBSD and Linux. While you're at it, do away with the WGA spyware that invades our privacy. You won't need it anymore because people will stop pirating a product that can be purchased at a reasonable price. C'mon Ozzie. I know it seems too easy, especially in the wake of Ballmer, but it just might work.

In the meantime, I won't hold my breath. Read more about this at FoxNews.com

"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it's the rule."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Unbridled Anger

First they should round up ALL employees of this company, sequester them on some Dry Tortuga like island without water or means of escape, and then burn to the ground the building in which they were found. Unless you are a blithering idiot this article will probably make you mad - Spyware developers net huge profits, outrage. The horrible people at Direct Revenue are laughing at our inability to stop their evil tampering with our computers. Why are we letting them exist!?!

"Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it."
-Will Rogers

Friday, July 07, 2006

Communicator Positive, Captain

Yesterday I was asked about my Sony Z520A cell phone. It rocks. This device feels good in the hand, is compact and user friendly. It has LONG battery life, is bluetooth, you can do neat ringtones, the buttons are just big enough for my fat fingers, and the reception is pretty darn good. Mudslingr and Beagle were over for the LAN party the other night and showed off their new kewl cases, I still use the blue one that comes with the phone. The only negative so far is the headset, charger, etc. connector. It is funky negative with small pins and a weird attaching thangy. Since I use a wired earbud this is important to me. So far this is my favorite cell phone. No root kit has been discovered either (lol). Forgot to mention it has a built in camera too.

Time to Hiho hiho. Many stops before I sleep and am looking forward to a working weekend. Have a casual Friday.

"Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."
-Billy Wobblynife

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Go Figure

It looks like Sophos, an antivirus company based in England, is trying to commit suicide. They have recommended home users should switch to Macs (ROFLMAO!!!). An article over at ArsTechnica by Jeremy Reimer tries to explain it all and flops around trying to justify such a move. Hey dude, you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. It's no secret that I like this site and am in agreement with most of their findings. Not this time. It's all very simple. The more marketshare that Apple Macs obtain there is little doubt that virus infections and other nasties will grow for that platform. Evil does not care about brands. The answer? Use the more affordable Windows PCs and switch to the Firefox web browser instead of Internet Explorer. Also, install the software that I have recommended down through the ages to protect your PC. Then UPDATE. The software is useless without the updates. And don't forget to scan.

Had an email (name not used per request) asking which version of GuildWars should be purchased first. There are two - Guild Wars and Factions. They are both stand alone. The answer here is, hands down, Guild Wars. While Factions is a wonderful part of the game, Guild Wars was first and outlines the "history" of the game. They are based on two different continents, but when Factions is added characters can sail between both continents. It's my opinion that anyone running just Factions is missing out.

"Walking isn't a lost art - one must, by some means, get to the garage."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Thoughts on the 4th

Today we celebrate the birth of the USA. Our faith, strength, fortitude and belief in the American way makes us the strongest nation and a decent nation with respect for the human race. It saddens me that non-english speaking people are too lazy, yes too lazy, to learn the native language of our people. To know the real blessings of being a citizen of this great country you have to embrace the culture instead of trying to change it. And for God's sake, don't start your American experience with an illegal act like sneaking across the border. March right up and apply for citizenship. You are an embarassment to those immigrants that have come before you and proceeded in a proper manner. They are truly great Americans and some I count as friends.

Mark Twain once said, "Vow to not let tolerance become indifference." We are there folks. In order to survive we must constantly embrace our founding principles and border on cautious when accepting major changes. Terrorists abound and are nothing more than no-good idiots that need killing. If you don't like my country and think it is the great Satan then stay away. Who in his right mind wants to hang out with the devil anyway? Exist in your miserable world of inequality and human suffering. Don't try to bring us down to your sewer existence. If you attack in a terrorist fashion then you will die and go straight to hell. Now, you can flame all you want in the comments, but it will not change what is right. Mark my word, if we don't shore up our nation it will fall. Please remember this is not a forum. If this attitude offends let me just say the world wide web has many choices. God Bless America!

"America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality."

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Few Moments Not Working

Sitting here watching my fellow geeks enjoy game play. Listening to them and people that have remoted in from various locations across the country is a real treat. The ribs are a 100% hit. Some have even said the best ever. Beagle and Mudslingr brought the best cole slaw I've ever eaten and the fudge and cupcakes are awesome. Forest Whistler brought Firehouse potato salad and it's awesome too. We made nuclear meltdown garlic bread and had a variety or refreshing beverages. Shucks, seems the corn on the cob was even a notch above normal. Something learned over the past few years - Southern geeks know how to eat!

Several folks have remoted in and are chatting away on the Teamspeak server. Laxen Firethrow (hoppa to some) has had us laughing all night. Arya (aka Verdana) is busy chatting with sister Beagle about the hot, hot weather in Louisiana and Mississippi. Cronos is seated center ring and playing the game like crazy with a most kewl glowing axe. Mud n Forest are set up on the bar with their uber machines and LCD monitors. Everyone is wondering if Ashby Rhett Culpepper, III, Esq., will phone for a few minutes and keep us laughing. Honorary geeks Lisa and the Laundry Witch are sipping their Beach House Margaritas with smiles on their faces. And the Purple Giraffe is nodding out for the evening. Yes, this is a good night. Blessed I am.

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Now, Which Receipt Do I Send?

When shopping for things computerese my first stops will be OfficeMax and BestBuy. They have stopped those annoying , irritating mail-in rebates. Dude that came up with this mail-in idea is probably in hiding and needs to stay there!! Hats off to these two companies for addressing consumer needs and wants. Read about it at CNETNews.com.

It is summer in the Deep South. This time of year the cotton is high and the humidity higher. Even though it's Sunday afternoon yard work is calling me. A dream of mine is to one day hire this done and quit worrying about it. The whining needs to stop and it's time to get busy. Later.

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."

Saturday, July 01, 2006


This was inevitable - W32.Cuebot-K spreads via through AIM and disguises itself as Windows Genuine Advantage on infected PCs.. PCWorld calls it ironic, but some hacker had this plotted and launched at either an appropriate or inappropriate time depending on how you want to call it. Spyware sucks! So do virus infections.

Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux, is an alternative to Windows. It uses the GNOME graphic user interface and has some neat features. Note to KDE users; you need Kubuntu. Install was simple, it had no problems with older hardware and found the network and internet smoothly. Will keep you updated about it's use at the beach house.

"Vow to not let tolerance become indifference."
-Mark Twain