Archive for category Computers

Self Help

Along the lines of ‘Teaching a man to fish’.

If you do not respond to my emails….I cannot assist you.

Although telepathy and telekinesis are my top two choices for superhero powers, I do not possess either of them. Therefore I cannot read your mind and solve your problem for you.

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New Toy

I have been testing one of these at my office. Looking forward to getting it up and running full time.

I have also been using OCS for meetings and such. Totally beats regular voice conferencing!

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At this exact moment, 3:42pm March 27th, 2008 I have 1234 emails in my Inbox.


EDIT: The server is in Dallas, so the post time is in Central.

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The HD Format War: Mission Accomplished?

Gizmodo has a really good article about the aftermath of the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war.

Whole Blu World: The Format War’s Bloody Aftermath

For those of you who thought that there is a definitive winner is this debacle and that the prices of everything are going to drop, think again. This isn’t like the VHS/BETA war of 20+ years ago. Back then there wasn’t an already entrenched excellent alternative (DVD) when that battle was going on. Now that Sony has won (at a very large expense) they have to move and fight ANOTHER battle to get the HD train moving for all consumers.

An aside to this; I’m not big on AV Tech. I stick more to the computer gadget end of the spectrum. I’m also not a movie/sound buff. Never was and doubt I will ever be. I am the consumer that waits until the prices drop and the market has good saturation before I go and drop some cash on AV. So I probably won’t have a Blu-Ray player for at least 3 years, from what this article states. (I don’t even have a decent 5.1 system)

I am also the consumer that Sony has to CONVINCE to move to HD and buy their over priced shit. I already dislike Sony for their arrogance and shoddy equipment…why should I listen to them?

It’s a good thing the Wife and I didn’t buy a Blu-Ray player when our DVD/R player crapped out on us recently. (Which I dismantled, diagnosed the 2 issues afflicting the POS, fixing one and jury rigging the other!) We’d have to buy A COMPLETELY NEW ONE in 3 years time.

Good use of the Bush ‘Mission Accomplished’ photo as well. Yeah, they might have unseated their opponent (Toshiba and HD-DVD), but now they have to dig out the insurgents (DVD and his drinking buddy Joe Schmoe Consumer).

And let us not forget the Rebel Alliance (The Internet, PPV Streaming Movies, and Pirated copies)….who’ll be there to pick up the winners trophy if the others battle themselves into irrelevancy.

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Where our Robot Masters will come from

Apparently, the Japanese

This one is for you RP

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I have come to the conclusion that there is not a thing out there that cannot be fixed with a Leatherman!


Freeing the Music

David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists รขโ‚ฌโ€ and Megastars

These are two really good articles about where the music industry needs to go, back into the hands of the musicians and out of the hands of cranky old men.

Like IDR stated in the comments, hit the NIN site and read Trent’s experience with self distribution so far.

It’s not the shiny, happy utopia that one might think. But I never stated it would be and neither did David Byrne. There are several (as David counts 6) ways of doing the distribution thing. There is NO Silver Bullet that will take down the record company monopoly and free the artists and the music…not yet anyway. It’s gonna be a lot of trial and error, great ideas and horrible ideas, good luck and shit luck. It’ll probably be ten times harder than just signing your life away to the record company. But down the road, when the times have changed, when the freedom is realized, THAT is when it’ll be worth it. Trent, Saul, David, Thom, and the hundreds of small artists/groups already doing this are the trailblazers. They are opening the way to the future.



Portal is a game created using the Half Life 2 Game Engine and is part of the Orange Box from Valve.

The basic premise of the game is that you have a gun that opens a Portal Entrance and a Portal Exit. You have to position these portals in such a way that enables you to move throughout the game, usually bypassing obstacles and what not. One example is the player is pinned down by an automated gun. He opens an exit portal directly above the gun and an entrance portal next to himself. He then pushes a crate through the entrance portal that drops directly on the gun thus destroying it and clearing the way for the player to proceed. Nifty, huh!

The game is apparently a lot of fun and a very unique take on the First Person Shooter. The PA guys gave it the good word and they have yet to steer me wrong. Here is the comic they wrote for it as well.

Anyway, the video below is the song at the ending during the credits. Listen to the lyrics. It’s quite enjoyable.

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The laptop

As is the trend with most technology companies, I was given a new laptop (which by the way I have already switched out to a newer laptop). I was originally given the Toshiba Tecra M5 with Microsoft Vista Enterprise on it. It is equipped with two gigabytes of memory, 100gb HDD, CD/DVD/Dual Layer DVD writer and a 14″ screen. Standard build laptop from any major manufacturer. What I have snagged for myself for an upgrade is a Toshiba Tecra M9. This has four gigabytes of memory*, 160gb HDD, CD/DVD/DVD Dual Layer writer, and 14″ widescreen. More of a developer’s laptop, but it’s a perk of being the guy in charge of laptops! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have had experience with the Toshiba brand in the past, and I am really impressed on how much better the computers seem to be built. I had bought and configured Tecra models about 3 years ago, and although decent as a laptop in concept, the machine itself felt flimsy. I believe it was an early attempt to make laptops lighter, but instead of using tough and lightweight plastic, they used cheap and lightweight plastic. The laptops were light alright….and felt like they would crumble in your hands if you looked at them wrong.

I don’t get that feeling with the current models I deal with. The M9 (newest), the M5(old), the M3(older) and the M2(oldest). Of course the M2 and M3 models I am getting back are two to three years old and severely worn, but for the most part they are in one piece. They all seem very sturdy and capable of taking the beating a laptop will undoubtedly take.

Since I appropriated myself a developer class laptop, I am looking forward to Messing with Microsoft Virtual PC and getting a server environment (Domain Controller, Exchange Server, IIS Server, etc..) running on this. Good Times ๐Ÿ˜‰

*Unfortunately due to the limitiations of the 32 bit chip architecture, the system only sees 3gb of memory. There is suppossedly a BIOS update that will let me see almost all of it (3.75gb) but I have yet to try it out. I have heard mixed success on the internal company message boards about it working

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Cool little blurb about browser market share. Seems that IE is loosing (and has been) it’s market share. While Firefox is making gains. I like the little zing that Giz puts in there:

So what do they do? No, not improve the browser. They remove the WGA check on the download, which previously required users to have a legit copy of Windows XP before installing.

So basically they figure they can regain market share by letting users of pirated copies of Windows and those folks still running 95/98/ME have 7, instead of putting the time and effort to design it better and bring it up to agreed upon standards. Sounds like a standard operating procedure for MS to me. Reminds me of a little kid who is proven wrong continuing to throw a temper tantrum. It probably stems from the fact they were wrong about personal computers not ever needing more than 64k of memory! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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