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  • IE8; Microsoft is getting pushy

    Posted on April 30th, 2009 admin No comments

    MS decided to add IE8 to “Critical Patches” which means people who have auto patch enabled will getting it, ready or not. Be sure to have a good backup! IE made my Zinio and Google deskbar apps act erratically. BTW, IE8 can’t be un-installed…one way trip (Gee thanks MS!).

    That Drive Clone Home edition I mentioned earlier has a Pro version big brother(about $5 bucks more) with a nice system restore big brother that comes up before windows boot that will do a system rollback. Nice when you aren’t sure about Microsoft latest code!

  • A world wide web of passwords.

    Posted on April 28th, 2009 admin No comments

    How do you remember all your site, work, personal and all the other important info in your life?

    Either you write it somewhere (unsafe) or you use the same password everywhere (also unsafe) or what I finally did was buy an e-wallet.

    E-Wallets are computer programs that encrypt your passwords and the like and keep them safe for later lookup…

    I used to use Two Peaks(now Iambic) Flexwallet but they sold they development to Ilium software and Ilium merged Flexwallet into their E-wallet program, I guess e-wallet was the first program of its type.

    Nice things: Very secure 128bit encryption, quick lookup. password randomizer built into the program. On top of that it will sync between your computer and your iPhone, PDA or whatever devices you carry. You update a password on your iPhone, it updates the e-wallet on your computer and vise-versa!

    Another nice thing is my fingerprint reader on my laptop works with e-wallet so I can pull it up with complete security. VERY NICE!

    And yes, also a 30 trial is available.

  • Speed up Outlook 2007

    Posted on April 26th, 2009 admin No comments

    This is a hotfix to speed up Outlook 2007, it will be included in the 2007 Service Pack 2 coming out next month but for those of you who can’t wait:

  • How to clone a hard drive right

    Posted on April 25th, 2009 admin No comments

    About 2 weeks ago I purchased one of Hitachi’s new 500gb laptop drive.

    You’d think that it would be easy to accomplish one thing: take a one-partition 200gig drive and clone it to a 500gb, hard drive and still have only one partition.

    Well it isn’t, I tried Easeus Disk Copy, Easeus Partition master, Arconis Copy and Partition programs, Apricorn’s EZ GIG II. I even tried Seagate own clone system They would clone but I still kept ending up with a 180gb OS partition and the rest I would have to make a second partition. I tried to expand the partition with Easeus Partition master, Arconis Partition program and even Gparted (Linux), all gave errors.

    Finally I did a format of the 500gb drive, put on a temp XP build to get it on the home network (It’s easy because I made a netboot build on my home NAS that will build my laptop in about 15mins from my network), it’s just the 6-8hours of restoring (even on a gbit network it takes forever!) that was killing me when I came across DriveClone Home edition.

    It did exactly as wanted, 15mins later (with a ESATA dock) I had a clone of my laptops hard drive on a 500gb drive! 30 trial works amazingly!

  • These are the times of great friends and worst of society

    Posted on April 21st, 2009 admin No comments

    I left my old corporation job after over 16 years and struck out on my own in my own business for the last year and a half.

    In that time I have been both overwhelmed by the kindness of some people and the cruelness and greed of others.

    No this isn’t some sermon, as a matter of I am a agnostic human-centrist (perhaps a deist…like the U.S. founding fathers), more an observation.

    My friends have been like family, always making sure I was OK, and I did the same for them. If someone needs something and I have it, I give it…Be it friend, family or NPR, PBS or the local Art museum.

    These are the times when I am even more supportive and protective of the “local little shops”, the local camera store, gaming shoppe or computer graphic store (See Coolgraphicssuff post) …whatever. I try to budget for them to keep them in business because I am seeing too many die.

    But my poor mechanic who was laid-off from Nissan, was mugged this week for the few pennies in his pockets. Some people give their last dollar, others fight someone for their last pennies. All he is trying to do is survive these times, take care of his family. He wasn’t in anyone’s way…just picking up a pizza for the family one evening and they mugged him in the parking lot.

    It does make one feel worst about the world.

    Even at my worst times I could never bring myself to take what someone else has, maybe I lack that “killer” instinct but I think we’re in this situation together and need each-other to climb out of it. I guess I can’t do such things because I know I would feel if roles were reversed.

    Even the government seems to be in screwed-up mode, they want to hand out money to the un-employed but they laid-off people as DES so no one is there to actually hand out the money.

    But don’t worry, CNN will televise the next food riot sponsored by Burger King.

    As the song says, We living in a mad world…

  • Ever notice how many rude people are on the ‘net?

    Posted on April 21st, 2009 admin No comments

    Apparently my blog hit some threshold that has people noticing it…

    Problem is all the comments I recieved more asked if I was more into alcohol or video games and asked that about 2 dozen times.

    Of the 2 I choose Gaming (well Half-life2, Fear2 or Team Fortress 2).

    Perhaps afterward soothe a bruised ego (hey, I didn’t say I was good in TF2!) with a nice Zinfandel with friends in commiseration.

    But still, till now neither has been a topic.

  • fluorescent bulbs

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 admin No comments

    I completely lighted my whole house in fluorescent lighting.

    I did this because:
    1. I bought a new plasma screen and wanted to save a 1kw per day.
    2. Got tired of my air conditioner cooling air that my bulbs were heating up thus costing me twice.
    3. Just that darn “greenie” feeling.

    One of the arguments my friends always come back with it that the bulbs don’t really last as long as the 7 year advertised life. Up till now my counter-arguement has been, just call up the manufacturer with the phone number on the stem of the bulb, they ask for the SKU and serial # (also on the bulb stem), and they will send you a new bulb (it’s the law actually).

    Well, now I have started losing that argument, bulb manufacturers(Feit for example) are starting to demand receipts to be faxed in before a replacement is sent. Who the heck keeps their receipts and what about all those (like me) who didn’t need them before and long since got rid of their receipts?

    I know this is just a way for bulb companies to keep their costs down during a down-turned economy but with the new budget having so many green energy credits, I am surprised if the florencent manufacturers couldn’t get their costs back in tax credits.

    Also why don’t these companies have websites where purchasers could register their bulbs, if you don’t register you only get a year warranty, if you do it’s 7. That way the stupid receipt isn’t an issue and replacement for these costy bulbs is easier on the consumer…seems like an easy fix!

  • New Wacom Tablet released!!

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 admin No comments

    For those that don’t know it, a digitizer pad is a way to using art programs like real world art. It makes using Photoshop or Painter with a mouse like trying to paint with a brick!

    Well, it looks like I am putting my old Wacom Intuits 2 out to pasture (I have had it since 2002 or 2003), I have warn this thing smooth!

    The new Intuos4 is out, looks amazing and has higher fidelity than my old 2… Check it out: http://www.wacom.com/intuos/
    I will give a review/update when the new tablet comes in later this week!

    BTW, I bought my tablet (along with my Cintiq and old Intuos) at: http://www.coolgraphicstuff.com/
    The owner Anthony Coffee not only is an excellent source for computer artists supplies (Digitizers, tablets, nibs, felts..) but he’s also an excellent graphics and realworld artists: http://www.anthonycoffey.com/ and great all around person!

    My Wacom 2 Platinum is looking for a new home…first best offer or good need and it’s yours!

    This tablet is unbelievable! The side buttons use OLEDs to label what the button assignment task is for so you don’t forget, the feel with the initial black nib on the pen feels like a felt pen on paper! Speaking of the pen, no pressure needed, it feels like working with a cross stylus and no pressure is needed for a line response…AMAZING! Trying the felt nibs is like markers…plus the black elligance of the new design is a work of art in itself! There are plenty of technical reviews but if you just want an endorcement, completely in awe here!

    Only thing better than this pad is the service with Anthony Coffee @ CoolGraphicsstuff.com, He’s been taking care of me for almost 6 years. Great guy and honest graphics hardware advice! Not meaning to sound like an ad, just like to advertise excellent stores when I get great service and keep the little guys in business, especially in this age where the little businesses are dying from lack of business and credit!

  • All I need is a blog and a song on the radio…

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 admin No comments

    Ok, guilty…Al Stewart fan here: www.alstewart.com

    Actually Al was in Phoenix about a month ago and we met up. Him and his side guitarist Dave Nachmanoff are both amazing people.

    But I digress…I was more going to mention my into to radio. I was a guest on the “Radio America Show”, if you want to listen:

    Hour1: http://archives.warpradio.com/btr/ComputerAmerica/031322.mp3
    Hour2: http://archives.warpradio.com/btr/ComputerAmerica/031323.mp3

    It was a lot of fun…

  • Spring Cleaning Time!

    Posted on April 7th, 2009 admin No comments

    Spring is just around the corner.

    Remember most computers out there (and 100% of the laptops I’ve seen) are air cooled.

    Time to get out the compressed air and blow out your vents, fans, CPU coolers of dust and dust bunnies!

    Also a good time to at least vac out the keyboard!

    The computer you save might be your own! 🙂