Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Random Thursday - Darth Blues & Calhoun

In case you are wondering this is one of the climatic scenes just before Return of the Jedi (the last chapter of legendary 6 total films known as Star Wars for those cave dwellers out there) ends. If he'd only quoted Calhoun Tubbs, "Wrote a song about it! Wanna hear it? Here goes!"

Don't know about the legendary Calhoun Tubbs? David Alan Grier portrayed him back a few years ago on the TV SkitCom In Living Color produced by Keenan Ivory Wayans. Be forewarned, there's a bit of vulgar language, but nothing really awful. Check it out at YouTube
"Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully."
~Max Eastman

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tilde, or Not to Tilde

Ever wonder where the symbols we use when typing input originated? Like the symbol pictured here? It is called a tilde. You can check out the various uses of a tilde at Wikipedia. Kim Komando has a short clip about some of the more familiar symbols. BTW, there is a commercial in the middle of this video. Many people need to pay close attention to the commercial and not so much to the history lesson. Review the content at the link below and it will all become clear:

TVKim - High-tech character and symbol origins

"At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer."
~Marshall Lumsden

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Browser Benchmark Results

Using Peackeeper, Futuremarks online free benchmarking software, the results were as expected with two rather startling exceptions. First, when the FLOCK browser was tested it surprised me that thy had left the Firefox Gecko engine and jumped to the Chrome WebKit engine. That is FLOCK listed in the scond slot as Chrome 7.0.517.450. Repeat, the second line is FLOCK not Chrome. Second, Opera stepped up to the plate and slammed it. Needless to say the Opera browser will remain in my arsenal.

All accelerators, extensions, etc., were disabled or uninstalled. Each browser was downloaded clean within the past 5 days so all versions are up to date. I did retain my bookmarks only in Chrome. AVG 2011 FreeEdition and ZBoard's Mod engine ran throughout the test. The PC used to test is not new edge technology as you will see:

Antec 900 Case with all fans running.
Thermaltake Titanium 1000W Modular Power Supply
MSI 939 motherboard
AMD dual core 64 2.1g CPU (don't remember series)
4 gigs of Kingston Hyper-X DDR RAM
PNY NVidia GF 9600 1gig Graphics Card
Logitech 5.1 w/8" subwoofer spkr array
Turtle Beach EarForce X1 headset
2 Seagate 3.0 160gig HDDs in striped RAID
Samsung 32" monitor
Logitech G5 mouse (2nd generation)
ZBoard MERC Stealth keyboard (pre SteelSeries)
Real75 OB sound
Windows VISTA Ultimate 32bit OS

Nice machine that will play Guild Wars wide open and multitask at the same time without so much as a hiccup. Again not the latest in hardware so I think the browser test was even more realistic. Conclusion: Run the browser you favor the most. Chrome is an obvious choice for at least a secondary and you might want to consider putting Opera in your bag of tricks. Hope this helps.

"Privacy is a gray area when it comes to information access on the Internet. And the grayest areas often concern public records issues."
~Ari Schwartz

Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Monday - L'il Band From Texas

It never ceases to amaze me how much rock n' roll can spring from three people. The audio is great, the video...not so much. But it is watchable. They do some classic moves and are having fun.

"The value of music is to be able to play one note at the right time in the right way."
~Herbie Hancock

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Browser Benchmark

In order to make a fair assessment the Peacekeeper benchmark will take a few more days. It's amazing to see some of the hoops you have to jump through that result in turning off accelerators and extensions. This is an interesting project and more than just speed has been & will be discovered. Before you start emailing I am very aware that you can find reviews that will support most any browser out there and they go to great lengths to tell you why their choice is best. So, the results found here will be an opinion, a fair one.

So far I will use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Sea Monkey, Safari and Flock. Am I missing an important one? Let me know.

"There are 5,000 great people for every jerk on Usenet. But that still is a lot of jerks. Proceed with caution and eyes wide open."
~Don Rittner

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Photo Software

A question that comes up often is, "What software is good to manage photos?" I use Picasa which is a Google property. If you have ever used the Adobe Photoshop program, you'll probably love Picasa. It's straightforward and you don't need to be a witchdoctor specializing in voodoo to make it work. Pause for thought: Is Adobe's main headquarters deep in the jungle? (Now they will probably snatch Flash away from my computer, lol). With Picasa I've eliminated ALL camera software which can be clunky and resource intense. One of my least favorite software products on the planet is anything written by Kodak. Hey, they make wonderful cameras, but their software is terrible.

Got a really good software for photos? Share it with us! Use the comments and help a fellow net traveler out!

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
~Ansel Adams

Friday, March 25, 2011

A "Must Have" Purchase

Thanks out to Red Dragon for a super link!

"Middle age: When you're sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you."
~Ogden Nash

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Random Thursday - Browser Benchmark

My fellow tech Ashy did a quick look at the top 3 browsers. Here are his results - you can click on the image for a larger frame and just close it to return here:

I know for a fact that Ashy is a fan of IE9, but uses Chrome for checking GMail and some other things. Needless to say the initial look once again proves Chrome is about double the speed of Firefox or IE9. I might also mention I've NEVER had Chrome crash.

This weekend while I am finishing up Red Dragon's uber PC I'll setup another benchmark which may include Opera, Safari, Sea Monkey, Flock and more. Here's my theory about all this; use what you favor. This is not something that is major. If you like Firefox then use Firefox. Still, factual information does not lie. Chrome is the fastest. Personally I use most all the browsers mentioned. I will have to download Opera.

Thanks out to Ashy for the help!

"Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time."
~Norman Cousins

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ah Yes, Opinions

My last comment about yesterday's post far exceeded the word limit. First, I don't think that Vista is, or ever really was a debacle. Good Lord knows it was a train wreck in the beginning. We all know that. Yet, my #1 workstation is still running Vista Ultimate which is up to date and doing an outstanding job after the good work of Microsoft to right a wrong. This machine will NOT be upgraded to Win7 in the near future. Since all the improvements most people think this workstation is running Win7 since I use the Aero Theme or Interface or Transparency in Vista (backronym meaning Authentic, Energetic, Reflective, Open theme according to Microsoft). Pick your definition, lol! People, if you have Vista update it and and use it. The service packs really help. Need further verification? Go to Microsoft's Knowledge Base and take a look at their opinion. Differences between Vista and Win7? Not so much. Please, if you argue this diatribe, include links.

Browsers. Hmmmmmmmm. There are really 3 families. They are Trident, WebKit and Gecko. After the Peacekeeper analysis of different browser benchmarks there may be much ado about nothing. IE9, Chrome and Firefox are all outstanding. Variations such as Opera, Sea Monkey, Flock, etc., are also good. Preliminary tests by a fellow tech (an uber tech, won't call his name, but the initials JC come to mind) indicate smashing performances by the major three browsers. (BTW speed does rock!) Sidebar: Chrome bees jamming. Anyway, we will try to take a realistic look at the benefits of each. When these browsers are benched I will do my dead level best not to prejudice things. Remember, I am a human making best efforts. Any input will be appreciated.

So, there we have it in a convoluted nutshell. If you have a long explanation please email me at cybersouth@gmail.com. I certainly welcome input. This is fun to see all the different opinions. Keep it up!

"The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away."
~Linus Pauling

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yes, Firefox 4 Runs in XP and is Now Available for Download

For those of you that are miffed and thoroughly disgusted with Microsoft's IE9 recent snub of XP users, rest assured you now have a strong advocate in your corner. Today's release of Firefox 4 will definitely work with XP machines. Read more at ComputerWorld. This article also walks you through the procedure to download Firefox 4. Good to see Mozilla embrace the most popular operating system on planet earth - Microsoft XP. Good marketing ploy for the people at Mozilla, Firefox's parent company. This is an awesome browser that has great flexibility and extension libaries that makes it easily custom tailored to an individual's use. Fast too. Once again white hats off to people caring about their fellow internet users. Good job Mozilla and keep up the great work!

Let the dust settle and I'll bench Chrome, Firefox, Safari (Apple's onboard Browser) and Internet Explorer 9 then post the results for your use. We will find out who has the speed o' light portal to things Internet.

"The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting."
~Dave Barry

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music Monday - Dave Mason

The 1st version is from 1977 and the 2nd from 2007. Which is best?

Beautiful tune. Great sentiments concerning relationships. Rather sad, yet inspiring in a strange way.

"The average is the borderline that keeps mere men in their place. Those who step over the line are heroes by the very act. Go."
~Henry Rollins

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fleeting Demise

Even though this was made before many of you were born, it's Monty Python in great form. If you don't like silly then don't watch. I am sure the grinch is about to pick you up for a dinner date:

It's just stunned!!! ROFLMAO

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place."
~Mark Twain

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Try to use at least 720p on the video. Don't worry about the audio it's awesome period. Take a few minutes and enjoy some eye and ear candy. You'll be better because of it:

Thanks out to Fel for a great link!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost NOT Published

It amazes me that Frank Herbert was rejected by publishers 38 times before the greatest science fiction space opera, Dune, was put together and made available for sale. Margaret Mead only published one book in her life and it was rejected 21 times before meeting the press. The book? A little ditty titled Gone with the Wind. This also happens to be etched in the southern belle's handbook as the absolute 'stay at home, make popcorn and watch a movie' night selection. If she testifies that she doesn't own this movie then beware. She's a Yankee that's doing some dangerous role playing! But, if she swoons while Clark Gable kisses Vivian Leigh give her credit for great effort. Oh yeah, this one and only book published by Margaret Mead won a Pulitizer Prize! Hooker's take on the Korean War misadventures of the M*A*S*H troop was rejected 22 times before it hit the stands and shelves. Want more? Take a peek at the How Stuff Works site. Fascinating.

"The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today."
~Margaret Mead

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random Thursday - Irish Beatles?

I am still laughing!

"Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck."
~Hilton D. Murphy

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Short note to let everyone know that in spite of my inability to post for a while y'all didn't throw in the towel. Traffic is almost back to normal and it does my heart good to know that I've that many friends and readers. Posting is still spotty due to excessive backlog and trying to make my financial situation liveable. Getting there, slowly, but getting there. If anyone has ideas for posts it'd sure be nice to hear about them. My email is cybersouth@gmail.com.

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tech Update and IE9

On 3/8/2011 the post was about Speed Tests. We found a broken link in the post that was supposed to take you to a different speed test instead of the one that has a button in the right hand column of this page. Well, the link has been repaired and will take you to a different speed test. Check it out.

Internet Explorer 9 is now available in the final form. You must run Vista or Windows 7 to use this browser. Sorry XP users. It can be downloaded at Microsoft. I have used it for several weeks and it is a vast improvement over IE8. The speed is awesome. Running Vista or Win7? Take a look, you might want to give it a try.

"Blogs seem to have two magnetic poles, one attracting friends, the other repulsing relatives."
~Robert Brault

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music Monday - Hot Child in the City

When Nick Gilder moved from Canada to Los Angeles he was amazed at the underage girls roaming the streets making money in unspeakable ways. He was also not too impressed with the nonchalant attitude of the times. So he stirred up some controversy with this song. He also stayed #1 on the charts for while too. Pimps that take advantage of the distressed and downtrodden have a special place reserved in the bowels of Hell.

All in all, a catchy tune that has seen a lot of airplay in movies recently.

"You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again."
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another Sign of the Apocalypse: AT&T Being Nice

Surfing around and found this somewhat interesting Engadget tidbit: Free Japan calls thru March 31st, via AT&T. Downright scary, I tell ya! Yet, credit where credit is due, it will help many people in many ways. If I had a relative or friend in Japan I'd sure ring the phone off the hook. So (I can't believe I am going to say this), kudos and props out to AT&T! Maybe MaBell does have a soul after all. Now if they stop telling outright lies about their horrible coverage and even worse customer service, it might freak us smooth out! Still, this gesture is a very positive step.

"The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. He also accepteth from a grouch."
~Catherine Hall

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spyware Sucks

Just over reviewing some info at the HowToGeek site. Do you realize the number of sites that are infected with malware (most of the time intentionally) has doubled during the past year?!?!?!?!? If you have a site that uses this garbage and they won't stop, either email them or, better yet, stop visiting the site. If they use malware, spyware, adware, garbageware, dungware, thiefware, etc., then I don't need to visit their site for ANY reason. I have stopped using some download sites because of this problem and absolutely will not use Yahoo under any circumstances. I wish Microsoft could have gotten past the anti-trust problems and bought Yahoo. It would probably be a good site again. Yahoo has a history of promising to stop the charade and clean up their act. Greed seems to have lured them back time and time again. It is amazing that a number of people I consider to be intelligent persist in using this garbage.

But hey, it's your computer, do whatever you desire as far as that is concerned. But DON'T complain when you receive a bill for the extensive work it takes to disinfect a PC. The soap box is now back in the closet.

"Common sense is not so common."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Nippon Anguish

Prayers out to all those in Japan and the USA that have suffered due to the recent tsunami. Huge prayer out to the victims of the 8.9 earthquake in Japan. It's time for America to help one of our staunch allies recover from horrible devastation. The people of Japan recovered from the plight of WW II and became a leader. They truly changed from being an imperialist nation of cruel war lords into a polite, responsible society. Their drive to perfect manufacturing in a very positive way has changed the world. The nation recovered after nuclear bombing and embraced new technology to rise to the top of free trade. This freak act of nature will take many years of hard work to set right.

It was mind boggling to watch scene after scene on the news about the terrible results of this mega-quake. Please keep praying.

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field."
~Niels Bohr

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Thursday - Not Bad, Eh?

IMHO, every politician in in the USA should be required to watch AND LISTEN to this video before they start every day! Be sure and watch all the way to the end. This is an impressive woman!

Thanks EdC for another great link. God Bless the United States and our tremendous 'cousins' to the north in Canada. Thanks out to Rick Mercer of Canada for sharing a great piece of journalism.

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
~Mark Twain, Following the Equator (One of my all time favorite books)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Speed Tests

Since the server in Atlanta comes and goes when using the speed test button on this page, I have started using Speakeasy Speed Test too. The below graphic is to show my current speed. It is not a link. Click on the link in this paragraph and then bookmark it. Later I will include this speed test in the links list and may replace the button too. Just this week Metrocast has upped their download speed from 10 to 20. When they were adjusting settings yesterday this PC actually got a return of 34.49 down and 1.07 up. That's fast. Heck, that's the fastest download speed I've ever seen! Now if they will just increase the upload, lol.

Hats off to Metrocast for this enormous increase in speed. Take that, COMCAST!!!

"In college, Yuppies major in business administration. If to meet certain requirements they have to take a liberal arts course, they take Business Poetry."
~Dave Barry

Monday, March 07, 2011

Thin Raft

You have to get through the free verse poetry in the beginning to hear a great version of a classic Doors song. Stick with it. The video is okay, but the audio is outstanding, especially with the recording date in mind. Hey I really like a lot of their music. Morrison was a weird cat...God rest his soul.

"The scratches in Yoko Ono records are moments of relief."
~S.A. Sachs

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Another GW 2 Spoiler

Here is an update on yesterday's post. This is a better quality preview of the Thief Profession about to be released. This is the sixth Profession revealed in Guild Wars 2. Not a lot of action, but some detail about character development. Guild Wars players that plan on obtaining Guild Wars 2 will be interested even if they are not planning on using the Thief Profession.

"Our whole life is solving puzzles."
~Erno Rubik

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I Shall Come As...

Spoiler alert: This has not been posted on the Guild Wars 2 site, but since it originated at ArenaNet there is most likely substance to this preview. New Character - Thief. The Profession seems to be an Assassin with guns. The video quality is not that great in full screen, but the content is certainly interesting. You can tell the guy talking was one of the people stolen from Blizzard (WoW) back in the day since he calls the character a 'toon' - I really, really, really, hate the word 'toon' Yuck!

"It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water."
~Franklin P. Jones

Friday, March 04, 2011

Das Phone Ya?

OK, I am bad about not answering the phone because of my sleep weirdness - due to legal drugs and other junk. I am imposing a moratorium on calling anyone that doesn't answer the phone after three return calls. At least try to return it. What's up with Alcorn County? Y'all lose mainstream phone patterns? Good Lord knows I miss stuff from Red Dragon, the Murf, Mother n many others. Hell, none of them live in Alcorn or Tishomingo or Prentiss or Itawamba so on n so forth. Might be good. Maybe I don't need to talk, lol! Notice I said "I", lol!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Random Thursday - Guild Wars

Check out updates in Guild Wars. Go read the developer updates on the official guildwiki or the GW site. Read all of them. This is a great day for the game. Be sure and check out Embark Beach. Do we play an awesome game or what?!?!?!?!?!? Rock on!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ten Ways at Once

As is apparent, my wait to resume posting here should have been extended for a few more weeks. Many projects going on and it's hard to do some things entirely by myself. Every once in a while an extra set of hands will help prevent back pains, etc.

Cooperation in the workplace is almost non existent. Just not many jobs available. Certainly my age has something to do with it. Anyway, I've whined about that and just need to let all you good folks know the situation.

Trying to overcome health problems, scatterbrained thinking and living, and lack of work isn't helping my self organization either. I will certainly testify that worrying won't help! With an election in less than two years, we can vote the baboon regime out and put some decent people back in office. Then federal spending and availability of jobs should both improve. Just vote wisely!!!

Now a cup of coffee. Mello Joy is so awesome. TYVM JK! BTW the King Cake was to die for! Wish they sold both locally. Later.

"Caffeine isn't a drug, it's a vitamin!"
~J. Couch

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Tip Tuesday!?!?

Here's a great tip for Guild Wars: Hold down you control and shift key while dragging multiple consumables into the Xunlai Chest. A window will open letting you choose how many you want to put into the chest. This great for those that want to distribute Honeycombs, Rock Candies, Summoner Stones, etc., among several different characters on the same account. Thanks for the info Cyndane Eloize. Meanwhile back at the Guild Hall - anyone that has a really good tip please email it to cybersouth@gmail.com. As Red Green says, "We're all in this together." Help fellow players out and pass along some flashing jewels of information.

The idea is being tossed around for Tuesdays to be exclusive for various tips. You know, like the latest Windows Updates, Guild Wars stuff, useful shortcuts in office, where to find free .pdf manipulation software. Please include a link in the email about your idea if it is appropriate. Please refrain from making comments a place to link unless it is uber important (new malware, virus infections, emergency 'fixes' and such). It is very easy for me to keep the link permanently in GMail where comments are not as reliable, nor do they always show up. Opinions? Let me know. Comments are great for that! LOL.

"Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light."
~Norman B. Rice