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  • #2190701

    Tech Juggler

    Locked

    by master3bs ·

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    • #3055669

      Freeze Dry: good if it works

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Microsoft announced today that Windows Vista will include a new technology called Freeze Dry.

      Simply put, Freeze Dry is supposed to keep maintain all application states and all unsaved documents you have open; including when your pc is rebooted.  The scenerio that I heard explained it this was this.  You set your workstations to automatically install updates late at night when nobody is there.  The computer reboots in order to finish the install.

      This is not a problem, because you have all the employees trained to save often.  Right?  Hopefully to a shared drive that you backup daily, right?  And surely they wouldn’t leave an unsaved document open ready to tackle in the morning.

      Well, they would and don’t call me Shirley.  But in Windows Vista, Freeze Dry automatically saves your system state and open documents and restores them when the system starts.

      This will be great if A) it works right and B) it can be turned off.  I don’t want my application states restored if they forced errors and caused a reboot.  Nevertheless, I’m excited about the possibility.

      Say what you will about Microsoft in general and Windows in particular (and I’ll be right there with you) but I can’t wait to start using Vista.

      -master3bs
      aka Scott

    • #3055045

      Shouldn’t online buying be easy?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I’ve was trying to buy desktops, notebooks and printers for my organization.  I knew the specifications and about how much I wanted to spend on it.  Armed with this knowledge and my optimistic spirit I began my search.

      My search primarily included the HP, Lexmark, Dell websites.  Specifically, I was looking in the state and government contract areas, but didn’t limit my search to that side.

      Even knowing what I wanted, it took forever to find it.  These companies present you with the handful of models they want to sell; compartmentalized into predetermined categories.  What that means is I have to go to each individual category, view what is there and compare it on my own to what is in another category.  In the individual categories I can’t see what each model’s base price is without clicking on it.  Even opening new windows to make comparing easier leaves me with a dozen IE windows that I have to navigate in and out of.

      Some of the areas in the sites have a compare feature, but even then it was difficult to compare what  I wanted to.

      What I want is an advanced search form.  Let me enter spec criteria and price criteria, then give me a crisp form to choose between.  Admitably, HP has one area of the website I found that has almost just that.  But when I selected a model it didn’t allow me to customize it.

      When did online shopping get so difficult?

       -master3bs
      Scott

    • #3054177

      The funny things you hear

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I was reminiscing about the days back when I did phone side tech support, and remembering some of the great things I heard people say.  Fortunately,  I wrote some of them down so I’d remember.  Or rather, as Indiana Jones’ Father said, “I wrote it down so I wouldn’t have to remember.”:

      • You want me to look at my tower or my computer?
      • I downloaded it off the uternet.
      •  *flush*
      • I said “On the left side, does it say ‘Switch to Classic view or Switch to Category view?'” He said, No I’m using XP.”
      • My computer had a virus on it so I rebooted.
      • My world is still spinning so I know that its not ready.
      • The Irate end user said “My IQ is 179. What’s yours?”  I of course said “180.”
      • #3064478

        The funny things you hear

        by gsg ·

        In reply to The funny things you hear

        My favorite is the user that told me her harddrive was down.  I didn’t ask any questions, just grabbed a new harddrive, conveniently pre-built, my trusty screwdriver, and my car keys.  She was at an office exactly 6.2 miles away.  The problem was that it was rush hour and it took me an hour to get there.  I found that the problem was that she called her PC the hard drive, and it had a bad power supply.  So, back across town to pick up a new PC, then back to her office.  Lessons learned — 1)  ask more questions  2)  users will call a pc a hard drive  3)  keep a couple of spares of everything in a closet at the other site.  4)  counting to 10 does not work to control your temper when you’ve spent 3 hours in traffic

      • #3064241

        The funny things you hear

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to The funny things you hear

        That’s a good one.  I’ve noticed that the only thing a user will not call a pc is… a pc.  They will, however, refer to everything else as a pc.

    • #3064893

      Vista

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The big question: Can your system handle Windows Vista?

      The hardware requirements are pretty steep.  Vista will change from implementing bitmap images to vector graphics. I am excited by this change, but it will require some changes.

      I’ve read that a 128MB graphics card is needed, and a 256MB card is recommended.  You’ll also want to have a processor with Hyper-threading capability.  You don’t need it, but the OS will take advantage of multi-threading so you’ll want it.

      Monitors are a real issue too.  Read this if you don’t believe me.

      Memory is an issue as well.  If you go with the 32-bit computing (which is likely to be the norm) then 512MB of RAM is going to be needed.  However, as is usually the case, you will need to double that for optimum usage.  And if you want or need the 64-bit version; double those numbers again.

      Personally, I don’t recommend buying any new system with less than 1 GB of RAM.  But looking around the office where I work I don’t see many that have that capability.  How many of you do?

      S-ATA 2 hard drives are needed.  I haven’t read anything about disk space yet, but it’s going to be huge.  That’s a discussion for another day…. the more lines of code in an OS the greater the possibility for stability, performance and security issues to crop up.

      In short, you need a great system to run Vista well.

      • #3062233

        Vista

        by jcrobso ·

        In reply to Vista

        This is why Dell and other PC companies LOVE M$. As M$ forces the next
        bloted OS down our throats, we have to keep buying new PCs so we don’t
        choke to death on it..

      • #3062128

        Vista

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to Vista

        I would sugest that there is a HUGE difference between a “great system” and a HUGE Bloated system. Huge isn’t necessarily better and judging by what I’ve seen of Vista, I don’t think it’s worth the money.

        I have an ASUA A7V880 Dual Channel Motherboard as well as an AMD 2.800 CPU, 400 mgs Ram and a forty Gig Maxtor Hard drive. All brand new, all in excllent working condition running my Windows XP Pro. I’d have to be crazy to give all this up just to accomodate Billy Bucks and Vista. If someone happend to be inthe market for a new computer, great, but for someone to dump what they’ve got us to run a “Bigger and far more Bloated” system is just plain Nuts.

        If Microsoft  or anybody else thinks that we’re crazy enough to get rid of what we’ve got just to be “BIGGER” not better, then they need thier heads read. Badly.

        Remember, it’s Bigger, not better, there is a huge difference.

        I wouldn’t get too excited about this. When you think of the plethora of patches and updates to come, you will ask yourself was it worth it? You know the answer.

        Thank you for your attention.

        Aaron A Baker

         

         

         

      • #3062009

        Vista

        by wydglide ·

        In reply to Vista

        Sounds like your going to need VISA to run VISTA!

        you know what is bikers say…..Chrome dont get you home!!!!

         you can spend $25,000on a bike or a PC but it can still just be the shinest bike broke down beside the road i think VISTA is just more chrome!

      • #3061914

        Vista

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Vista

        I just think its ridiculous to have such bloated requirements.

      • #3125265

        Vista

        by russ.carpenter@venturasun ·

        In reply to Vista

        We can and will buy newer, more powerful systems to run the latest OS from Microsoft.  Just buy stock in Dell and Microsoft and quit wanking.

    • #3065696

      The Pill: how much do we know?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The birth control pill is a common method of… well of preventing pregnancy.  Hence the name and all that.  It actually works in three ways.

      1. It prevents ovulation (when the egg is released from the overy; this is the only time of the month you can get pregnant.)
      2. It can causes the mucus in the cervix to change so that sperm are not allowed to enter
      3. If the first two methods do not work, the pill makes the woman’s body discard the fetus so that it dies.
      What was that again?

      Yes, you read that right.  The common birth control pill can cause an early baby (within the first 7 days) to be discarded.  This, by the way, is a chemical abortion.

      It does this by irritating the uterus’ lining, preventing the baby from attaching to it.  This keeps the young fetus from being able to get food from the mother.  It cannot survive.

      So what?

      Regardless of your views on abortion, and I know they are likely to be strong, I think anybody taking or considering birth control pills should be aware of this information.  In essence, many women who would never chose an abortion are nevertheless opening themselves up to having one without their knowledge.

      Because of that (and many other reasons,) it can be hard to get the word out.  My wife brought this to my attention some time ago.  She has mentioned it to friends and family; some who have listened, some who have refused to do so.  I can’t speak for them, but I think they may prefer ignorance to learning a truth that might be hard to take.

      Another reason this is not known by most is the way terminology has been used.  In order to gain acceptance it has been maintained that pregnancy starts at implantation.  That is to say that the egg is fertilized with the sperm, conception has begun, but has not attached itself to the uterus yet.  That is called implantation.

      As a matter of fact, Dr. Tietze, of Planned Parenthood and the Population Council suggested about this issue ?not to disturb those people for whom this is a question of major importance.? (Discussion, Proceedings of the Second International Conference, Intra-Uterine Contraception, held October 2-3, 1964, New York City, ed. Sheldon Segal, et al.., International Series, Excerpta Medica Foundation, No. 86, page 212)

      For those of you that read my blog, I wanted to bring this to your attention.  And I’m not saying that anyone who has taken birth control pills has been wrong.  I’m saying there is a great chance that they have been misinformed.

    • #3065750

      To monad or not to monad?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I can’t seem to find a straight answer on whether or not Windows Vista will include a new command line interface.  At one point Microsoft was going to include it, then they weren’t and now nobody seems to know.  Conflicting information is all over the internet and Microsoft simply isn’t saying.

      The command-line exists in the Beta 1 release and is codenamed Monad.

      I want to wave my arms in the air and beg Microsoft to include monad.  The power and precision available in a command-line setting makes administration and troubleshooting easier.  And we have long needed a stable command-line environment for the odd occasion when the GUI won’t boot up.

      And frankly the geek in me relishes the opportunity to learn a new command-line interface.

    • #3057472

      Monitoring and blocking

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I work for a secure correctional facility.  That situation has challenges unique unto itself, like the new one I just found out about.

      Some of the guests (if you will) in our facility now need to have internet access.  To give it to them I have to setup computers on our network, which potentially presents security issues.  Additionally, I want to make sure I know what is being accessed on the computers.

      The administrator in me doesn’t want to risk it, but then that’s not my choice to make.  So help me, the geek in me relishes the opportunity to lock the pc’s down and then see if the users turn out to be smarter than me.

      I have several ideas I’m implementing to lock the pc’s down; but I need to know if they work.  What excites me is some software I learned about from a friend that he is using.

      It’s called eBlaster.  It monitors and records all activity.  This includes emails, chats, peer-to-peer, programs, web pages, logons, keystrokes and IM’s.  Now a lot of that should be blocked but if I fail, I’ll know about it. 

      The best part is it emails a copy of everything to me.

      My plan is to implement server side security procedures as well as locking down features using registry changes on the workstations.  And eBlaster will be my backup in case I miss something.

      Frankly this is one of the funnest projects I’m working on right now.

    • #3059874

      You need a sense of humor

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      It recently came to my attention that there are actually people out there reading my blog.  Needless to say, I’m shocked.  What is the world coming to?

      Nevertheless, I now feel responsible to write something constructive.  Failing that, I’d at least like to write something enjoyable.  Naturally, my mind went to comedy.  Did you know that according to some guy passing by in my hallway, 65% of all Americans need a better sense of humor?

      There you have it. Something worthwhile.  I am going to give you a quick guide to developing a sense of humor.

      1. Comedy is often the things to happen to other people.
          It’s true.  Watch some guy spill hot coffee on himself, or someone else accidentally hitting himself with a hammer.  Under the right circumstances its funny.  Now watch it happen to yourself.  Not so funny.  Now I am not advocating attacking people with coffee or hammers for a joke.  But the principle remains.
      Here is some field research to help you learn about the humor of other people’s problems:
      The Pearls Before Swine daily strip
      If i had a hammer
      Click here for a readable version of the above strip.

      2. Comedy takes intellect.
           The more you know, the funnier you can be and the more humor you will notice.  There’s an old saying that Dying is easy, comedy is hard.  People sometimes think that people who make others laugh (comedians, actors, or just regular people who are funny) are somehow less talented or intellectual.  The opposite is often the case.  So read more, think more, learn more.  And think about what is different about the things going on around you.
      Here is a resource that might help you with this step.

      3. Delivery and presentation is everything.
       
        This is something that has to be learned through experience.   I’m going to use an advanced technique to help you with this.  Nothing in the Brevity strip is ever funny.  Sometimes the premise has the potential of humor but it just never works.  So study what this guy does and make sure you never duplicate it.  I guarantee you’ll be funnier if you follow that advice.
      This is not funny
      The above strip is not funny

      • #3057043

        You need a sense of humor

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to You need a sense of humor

        1. There is one branch of comedy that does not rely on the misfortune of others: puns. Puns are based entirely on humor embedded in the structure of our language. Finding a pun and laughing at a pun are strictly intellectual activities that require no reference to anyone being embarrassed, ruined, or flattened by a falling piano. So the human race calls puns “the lowest form of humor.” Go figure. By my lights they are the loftiest.

        2. For most of us, the key to being funny is simply a good memory for funny stuff we hear. How many times have you heard people ruin a good joke by forgetting part of it, reciting it out of sequence, or blowing the punch line? The ability to repeat a joke correctly and with the proper delivery can make you seem like a really entertaining person. After all, it’s no secret that many of the most popular professional comedians don’t write most of their own material. Even the best of them can’t necessarily come up with funny quips spontaneously.

        Yes, Pearls before Swine relies heavily on misfortune-based humor. But it’s not as bad as the Three Stooges, whose popularity I will never comprehend, yet I still feel guilty when I laugh at it.

        Frank and Ernest is great, they usually make word jokes. Zippy the Pinhead finds humor in artifacts most of us haven’t seen first hand. Other good strips like Cathy, Boondocks, and Baldo gently poke fun at the inconsistencies in our philosophies and institutions, a step or two above pratfalls. The TV comedies that I found the most humorous, like Northern Exposure and Due South, worked the same way.

        Still, we are programmed to find someone else’s misfortune funny. Most of us laugh at it before we can catch ourselves and pull off a straight face. It’s surely an archetype, a legacy of the simple relief of seeing the rampaging rhinoceros catch the other guy. These days few of us are ever chased by perissodactyls of any species, but the synapses in our Neolithic brains haven’t quite caught up with the dizzying changes we’ve made in our environment.

      • #3063353

        You need a sense of humor

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to You need a sense of humor

        I agree with you about puns.  They are in fact my favorite form of humor.  Still, as they say, you have to walk before you can run so I started with these steps.

      • #3131294

        You need a sense of humor

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to You need a sense of humor

        True humor is a lost art these days it seems.

        If you watch TV or the movies, what passes for humor these days is just plain mean.

        The popularity of Rosann Barr, who has made her entire bit on being cranky and b!tchy.

        Taken to a lower denominator comes alledged comics like Rosie
        O’Donnel.  This person is FUNNY?  All goes back to your
        original idea of enjoying other peoples misery, but in this case it is
        CAUSING that misery and then reveling in it.  Sad, actually.

        George Carlin used to be GREAT and witty.  Now he is a cranky old man.

        Eddie Murphy was always crude, but never in a mean way.

        Robbert Schimel (sp?) has got to be one of the funniest people out
        there now.  It is adult context, but not in a graphic way.

        To teach my boys that comedy doesn’t have to be mean, I have been
        playing the abbot and costelo’s and laural and hardy videos for
        them.  Sure, there is some slap-stick, but there is a deeper
        thought involved than just hitting someone and laughing.

        As for the “above strip”, they only keep the strips available for a
        month back in that spot, and then you end up with a dead link. 
        Will I never know the rapture of the humor or lack of humor in that
        strip?

        You want a funny strip, the classic calvin and hobs strips HAVE to be the greatest ever for being consistantly funny.

      • #3130629

        You need a sense of humor

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to You need a sense of humor

        I love abbot and costelo.  And Calvin and Hobbs remain one of my
        all time favorite strips; along with Farside.  Neither strip
        relied on being cruel to get a laugh.

        I’ll have to do a followup blog eventually on more forms of
        humor.  I’ve gotten more comments and private comments combined
        from this one than most of my tech blogs.

    • #3056544

      Know your EULA

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Okay, I admit it.  I don’t read End User Liscense Agreements.  Sure, I used to.  Every line was read in the first ten or so EULA’s I agreed to early in my IT career.  Then I skimmed.  Then I simply clicked I agree and went back later to remove the spyware.

      I did develop a habit of saying “I do not agree,” everytime I clicked agree figuring that made the entire process non-binding.

      I read an old article from TechDirt about a company that offered $1000 to to the first person who asked for it.  The result?  Four months later somebody read it and got the money.  It shows I’m not alone in not reading the agreements.

      Now there is some software that reads EULA’s for you.  If it does what it says, it will be of great benefit: “EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you’re about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.”  It is distributed through:

      JCS

      First a disclaimer: I have not installed this software yet, and am not endorsing it.  I’m simply passing the word.  I heard about it in a Techdirt article that linked to a blog that linked to a site you can download it from.  You don’t have to go through all that though.  The software is called EULAyzer and can be downloaded from Majorgeeks or directly from the Corel Distribution network (this link is to the exe.)

      One other word of advice; if you decide to use the software as I have; be sure to read ITS EULA.  One of the first things it says is “You are downloading the installer for EULAlyzer(TM) (along with the other items noted below, the “SOFTWARE PACKAGE”).”  I haven’t gone through it with a comb yet.  You certainly will want to know what you are agreeing to with this software.

    • #3058769

      Indulge me

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I have a friend who was picking on me because of my blog.  Now, she’s apparently a good enough friend that she continues to read the blog, but seems to find the material somewhat lacking.

      The pessimist in me thinks that she does this because technology isn’t really her thing.  She overheard a conversation I had today about processor speeds and RAM and her eyes glazed over so much it made me crave some Dunkin Donuts.

      So, today’s blog is for her.  I am going to type some words and phrases that are sure to interest her.

      There you go my friend.  😀

      • #3062461

        Indulge me

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to Indulge me

        Ruth’s Crisp? Do they have crunchy steak there? 😉

        Easy on your friend. Geekiness is relative. I’m sure she knows some Rum ball trivia that’d knock your socks off.

      • #3062432

        Indulge me

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Indulge me

        Heh.  I had just been corrected before reading your post.  Apparently the restaurant is called Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  I’ve heard its excellent; but haven’t heard whether or not they serve crisp steaks.

    • #3062433

      20 years of Windows Part 1

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Windows turns 20 years old this year.  Happy birthday and all that.  Above you can see an image of Microsoft Windows 1.01’s bootup. 

      I’m going to do a short series of a lookback at the Windows operating system’s history; followed by a look ahead at Vista.

      Windows 1.x

      No, I never actually used this version.  I did use DOS, which this version of Windows ran on top of.  It had file management in the form of a program called MS-DOS Executive.  (see below)

      MS dos executive

      It also boasted a very limited set of tools such as notepad which couldn’t open anything larger than 16K ; as well as a calculator and paint.

      I have heard, but have not verified, that it is possible to run some of 1.x binary programs in XP.  I’d like to get a copy of one and try. 

      Largely though, this was window-dressing (if you will) for DOS.  It was cumbersome, applications could not be overlapped, and there were very few commercial applications. 

      The versions included 1.01; 1.02; 1.03 and 1.04.  When 1.04 was released, Microsoft also released OS/2 with IBM.  OS/2 never really took off; and 1.x was eventually replaced with version 2.0 in 1987.  (I actually did work on a pc once that had this Windows 87 running on it.

      Take a close look at these pictures, then look at your pc and imagine how different our computers will look 20 years from now.

      • #3062604

        20 years of Windows Part 1

        by neil higgins ·

        In reply to 20 years of Windows Part 1

        I came on board with Windows 3.1.I can’t remember how many floppies it had,I think it was nine? Back then when my IT skills had risen to zero,I thought the system was the bees-knees.Of course it was Windows 95 which put Microsoft on the map for the masses,maybe it was the novalty of being on one cd,which convinced more than a few to buy it,rather than technical know-how.Still,it’s nice to look back on the early stuff. 🙂

      • #3061077

        20 years of Windows Part 1

        by frob ·

        In reply to 20 years of Windows Part 1

        My contact with computers started from Win 3.11. One day me and my friend were talking about IT stuff and I said:

        – What do you know about IT? You’ve never installed Window 95 from floppies…

        Oh my, that were the days… :]

      • #3072853

        20 years of Windows Part 1

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 20 years of Windows Part 1

        You’ve not lived until you’ve made a backup copy of all those floppies. 🙁

    • #3061406

      20 Years of Windows Part 2

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Windows 2.x

      Windows 2.0 came out in 1987, and sold for only $100.  It allowed the user to overlap and resize windows, a feature that has long since been taken for granted.  It also added icons, and early development of Excel and Word for Windows were available.

      The later versions of 2.x supported PS/2 devices.  This version was sometimes referred to as Windows /286 or even Windows /386 for the versions that were able to access memory higher than 640K.  It had the makings of an operating system, but wasn’t quite “ready” yet.

      That brings us to the system requirements.  As this ran on top of DOS (As every version through ME did) you had to have DOS installed (Anywhere from 3.x to 5.x.)  You also needed a hefty maching to run this OS.  We’re talking a 286 Procesor with 512 KB of RAM.  Compare that to the upcoming Vista Requirements from my September 6th blog.

      This OS never took off.  I actually got to work on a pc that had it installed years ago.  There was little support for it from developers or the general public.

      • #3062230

        20 Years of Windows Part 2

        by jcrobso ·

        In reply to 20 Years of Windows Part 2

        Well the reason that Windows 3.0 worked at all is that IBM sent a team
        of programers out to Redmond to help out the boys at M$.

    • #3061912

      End User Delight

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      There’s a mildly humerous ID-10T story below, but first some background.
       
      Many years ago, I had just arrived at a new job that initially involved sales and some minimal HTML design skills.  Eventually my position grew to include computer support, but not at first.
       
      Well, I decided within the first week there to open up my PC and fix a problem.  The engineer came by and, rightly so I might add, informed me that I was not to take it upon myself to fix the computers there.  They were his responsibility, and you he know anything about my background.  For all he knew I would end up blowing the things up.
       
      Of course as time went on we worked together on a lot of the computer issues and probably ended up teaching each other quite a bit.  I took on a larger role on pc’s because the company learned I could do so and there was great rejoicing.
       
      I truly appreciate his concern now.  I am the only computer tech/administrator/etc in a medium sized facility that has been without any computer tech pretty much since it opened.  The Business Manager did an admirable job but 1) It wasn’t her primary responsibility, 2) She had no real prior experience and 3) She was just too busy to deal with the majority of the problems.  As such, most of the computer users here learned to fix their own problems, making the computers much worse off than before.  Note the sarcasm.
       
      What prompted this blog is that I’m still finding some of these so called “fixes” and encountering some users that try to apply new ones before coming to me.  As such, my job security continues to increase which is probably a good thing.  The most recent thing I found was somebody that plugged a speaker cord from the motherboard into the hard drive jumper pins thus making the hard drive inoperable before I corrected it.  What possessed somebody to do that is beyond me.
       
      So anyway, even though I knew what I was doing back at that other job; I now greatly appreciate the engineer not letting me fix the pc at first.
      • #3061860

        End User Delight

        by jpott ·

        In reply to End User Delight

        I can relate to that!!  I recently had an end user who decided that he would upgrade the memory in his computer… not all that difficult for the average person, BUT this was no average person.  He opened the case and found the open memory slot.  He proceeded to put hs new 512MB Corsair PC3200 memory module in.  As I recall, he said “it was a bit stuborn but I finally manged to get it in.”  He then closed everything up and turned on the computer….. to his dismay nothing came up on the screen…. suddenly the aweful smell of electrical smoke filled the air.  He quickly turned it off and re-opened the case.  He took out the new memory module only to find some light charring on it…. being hopeful he turned the computer back on…. NOTHING…. that’s when he called me.  I had him bring it in and I took a look at it….yep, he did it…. he put the memory module in backwards – even with the keyed notch…. no wonder it was a bit stuborn.  I simply told him – yes, I can fix it but I’ll need to send it back to the manufacturer to get the smoke put back in…

      • #3061858

        End User Delight

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to End User Delight

        That is one of the best hardware stories I’ve ever heard.  Love the smoke line!

      • #3071476

        End User Delight

        by lastchip ·

        In reply to End User Delight

        Me too!

        A chap spoke to me and said, he had been trying to fit a wireless card
        in his computer. When he looked, all the blanking plates at the rear
        were used, so he decided to open it up and take a look. He found a
        spare slot inside and tried to fit the card. His next comment was; “I
        had to fit it backwards, it’s the only way it would fit”. Somehow, he
        managed to force it in reverse into the AGP slot!

        Result – a very dead computer!

      • #3057744

        End User Delight

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to End User Delight

        wow

      • #3060325

        End User Delight

        by schuylkill ·

        In reply to End User Delight

        I am lucky enough to work for a company where almost all of the users are too afraid of their computers to attempt to open their cases, but could I make a couple of suggestions?

        1.  Explain the situation (and the consequences, especially emphasizing the cost) to senior management.  Ask that they issue a formal policy to prevent users from cracking open their cases.  Once the policy has been implemented, make clear to everyone you talk to (in a tactful way) that this is SERIOUS, and you’d hate to have to report someone to HR, but this situation is just costing the company too much money, etc.

        2.  Most cases can be locked.  Lock the ’em up.

        3.  Get some tamper-evident stickers and put them on the cases.

        These steps should take you a long way towards preventing users from mussing around with their pc’s.

    • #3061854

      Just RAM it in

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Blog comments don’t get read as often as the blogs themselves; but this comment from my End User Delight blog has to be shared:

      From jepott:

      I can relate to that!! 

      I recently had an end user who decided that he would upgrade the memory in his computer… not all that difficult for the average person, BUT this was no average person.  He opened the case and found the open memory slot.  He proceeded to put hs new 512MB Corsair PC3200 memory module in. 

       As I recall, he said “it was a bit stuborn but I finally manged to get it in.”  He then closed everything up and turned on the computer….. to his dismay nothing came up on the screen…. suddenly the aweful smell of electrical smoke filled the air.  He quickly turned it off and re-opened the case.  He took out the new memory module only to find some light charring on it…. being hopeful he turned the computer back on…. NOTHING…. that’s when he called me.

        I had him bring it in and I took a look at it….yep, he did it…. he put the memory module in backwards – even with the keyed notch…. no wonder it was a bit stuborn.  I simply told him – yes, I can fix it but I’ll need to send it back to the manufacturer to get the smoke put back in…

      • #3126366

        Just RAM it in

        by perrishm ·

        In reply to Just RAM it in

        thats a good one, i hope the manufacturer will be able to find the same smoke that came out back in

    • #3057786

      Words Resembling Wisdom 10/05/2005

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      God gave us two ears but only one nose; and that nose has two nostrils.  I think that should tell us something.

      The nose of wisdom

    • #3066137

      Requirements required

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The background

      I purchased an HP Color Laserjet 4610n with a Jetdirect Printserver for our facility.  It’s a great machine.  The hardest thing was getting it out of the box; but once that nightmare was over it was time to connect to the printer.

      It was easy as pie.  This baby is network ready.  I was printing from my Notebook within minutes.  Ditto the next three machines I tried.  The speed and quality were excellent.  I was in network printing paradise.

      The problem

      Did any of you read my Who supports Win 98 discussion?  About 90% (actually, its down to 85% now) of the pcs here are running Windows 98.  And guess what printer is not compatible with Windows 98?  That’s right, the HP 4610n.

      The solution

      The installation disk wouldn’t run saying 98 isn’t supported.  Knowing that not being supported, or even not being compatible doesn’t automatically mean it is not possible; I began looking for possibilities.  The HP website had no 98 drivers.  No other website did either.

      So, I installed the printer on a 2000 machine and set it up to be shared on that machine.  I then used the add printer utility and found an existing driver that would run (the HP Color Laserjet PM.)  It printed and I found I was no longer in the tenable position of explaining to the business manager how I had purchased a $1200 paperweight.

      I also learned to take a close look at all system requirements before buying new equipment.  (Although today wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting had I done that in the first place.)

    • #3060302

      Will the real 1611 please stand up?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Let’s take a moment away from the world of IT.  If I may (and it’s my blog so I may) I’d like to discuss a Biblical misconception.

      The local Christian radio station is running Pastor Appreciation messages from the respective pastor’s congregations.  One such message went something like this:

      We love and appreciate Pastor so-and-so from such-and-such church because he doesn’t compromise the Word of God.  (Good for him I thought when I heard this.)  He preaches out of the King James Version (KJV) – the 1611.

      I find it very hard to believe he preaches from the 1611 publication of the KJV.  For those who are still reading and don’t know, there is the idea in some church circles that only the King James Version is the authoritative Word of God and all other versions should not be used.  Among those circles is the idea that only the version produced in 1611 should be used; despite the fact that most of these people have never seen a 1611.

      I will not take the time right now to address either side of the KJV debate.  I do want to point out the misconception about the KJV from the year 1611.

      Take a look at your copy of the KJV Bible.  Turn to a well known verse; John 3:16.  If it reads like this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” then guess what? You are not holding a 1611 KJV.

      If it reads like this then you do have one: “For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.”

      It will also look more like the writing below:
      Genesis 1

      It will also contain the Apocrypha, other possible translations of some verses, have obscure spelling of most words and look & sound substantially different from what we reagrd today as THE King James Version.

      There, I said it.

      • #3069641

        Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        by george.ayton ·

        In reply to Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        Very interesting> I am”into” this issue and did not know the english was so butchered in the 1611. Also, I have a separate Appocropha..really unusual stuff in it..

        SO are you saying there is questionable veracity to a KJV in general? and only the 1611, unusual as it is has worth?

        George at gt.ayton@sympatico.ca

        Thanks for the post, tho you may get criticized for it……

      • #3068961

        Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        No, both today’s KJV and even the 1611 KJV are very authentic and reliable translations.  My only real point was that people generally know about the 1611 KJV, but don’t realize they aren’t reading the 1611 version.  It has been updated and revised numerous times.

        I wouldn’t say that the 1611 butchered the English.  Instead, it was written in the English language as it existed at the time.

        Now I’ll stop avoiding the main question you asked me.  I do not contend that any English translation; KJV or otherwise; is the only translation with worth.  Any translation that accurately translates the Bible from the Hebrew, Greek and Arabic texts is one that accurately contains the Word of God.

        When I preach (and yes I am also a pastor) I will generally use the New American Standard Version, The New King James Version or the King James Version.  I will sometimes use others, but those are the three I use the most.

      • #3060175

        Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        by tewman2 ·

        In reply to Will the real 1611 please stand up?

        The 1611 version also had no chapter and verse breaks, that came about 150 years later(not sure as to the exact date).

    • #3070726

      War-anty

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I have a notebook I purchased for use at my company.  Up until recently it has worked wonderfully.  Then one day I noticed on the screen what I thought were dead pixels but later determined it was a small scratch.  I am still at a loss as to where the scratch came from; but that’s not important.  What is important is the frustration that ensued.

      I really don’t like to complain very much about companies so I won’t tell you the name of the company.  However, I will let you know that it rhymes with swell

      To be fair, the company sub-contracted to the dude that came out and every representative I’ve talked to on the phone has been pleasant and more knowledgeable than your average phone tech.  Because of that you shouldn’t infer anything by the fact that I used the word swell to rhyme when it is only one letter removed from swill


      I called the tech support line to exercise my warranty and within a few minutes my next business day rep was on his way to replace the screen on my laptop.  There was much rejoicing.  If I had the time I would have written a glowing blog about the service.

      The man came, took my Notebook apart, replaced the screen.  Upon reboot I discovered my keyboard didn’t work.  He took it apart and plugged the keyboard connector in.  No problem.  He left and I began working; at one point opening a program that opens and consolidates multiple IE windows. 

      My system crashed.

      I turned it back on; started over and it crashed again; then coming to the blue screen and performing a memory dump.  I logged the information; rebooted and Windows reported it had recovered from a “serious error.”  I logged the information; sent the error report and was informed by the service that device drivers were at fault.

      Now I could deal with this problem myself, but I figure I have a warranty for a reason.  Even though its doubtful replacing a screen could cause this I wanted it on record that it had happened.  I called tech support, we spent over an hour talking and determined that a Symantec driver and a CD/RW writer had conflicted (interesting as I hadn’t been running the CD/RW software.  She had me uninstall both and then asked me if I had the CD/RW disk to reinstall.  “No, it’s not in the software that was shipped even though it came installed.”  She determined that because it wasn’t shipped she couldn?t resend it.  For the record I have since solved that dilemma on my own.

      Well we get off the phone, I walk away and my computer is off.  I did reboot after an update and its possible I shut it down by mistake but I don’t think so.  I decided to let it go and deal with the driver issues myself.

      Then I get to the end of the day and close my laptop.  Well, I tried to close it, but that function no longer works.  When the tech put it back together he must have put something back out of place; so I get to call back again and have him come back out.

      There is not nearly as much rejoicing now.

      • #3053467

        War-anty

        by cmj3 ·

        In reply to War-anty

        The solution should be obvious: Reboot the tech rep.

    • #3068584

      Speed Tip: Cache Size

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      In a recent Q/A, someone had problems accessing web sites from IE.  My answer included the following advice: “Go to Internet Options. On the general tab click settings. Lower the number of “amount of disk space to use” to 20 MB.  Click OK once. Click Delete Files on the general tab.”

      Change this to 20mb

      He asked, quite fairly I suppose, the following question: “Can you please tell me the purpose of reducing the disk space for temporary Internet file? How would it help?”  As the user does not allow private messages and the question is closed, I’ll answer right here.

      This is a tip I learned back in my High Speed Internet phone support days.  There were a number of times when a speed issue or a browse issue was resolved by changing the cache size to 20MB and clearing the files.  The reason is that when IE loads a website it first looks to the cache to try and bring it up quicker.  However, going through too much offline data actually slows the process down.  This can even get to the point of timing out and not being able to pull a website.  I’ve fixed too many issues this way to discount it as a option.

      In fact, I highly recommend making a habit of always lowering your cache size to 20MB.

      • #3071000

        Speed Tip: Cache Size

        by wboardman ·

        In reply to Speed Tip: Cache Size

        Based on a tip I read somewhere last year, I have been changing all of
        my settings to 5MB, and the browsers work fine. I believe the reasoning
        was that the higher RAM in most modern computers reduces the need for a
        large disk cache.

    • #3057949

      Words Resembling Wisdom 10/17/2005

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Life is a lot like a newborn baby.  It’s sticky.

    • #3072353

      War-anty Update

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      So here is the rest of the Notebook story from my War-anty blog.

      I called Dell back and we determined that they shipped the wrong size screen.  It was too thick, preventing the case from closing.  I decided then to give the tech guy the benfit of the doubt since he received the wron part and it seemed to fit.

      Well a different guy came and showed me where the screen has to be grounded; and that the first screen that was shipped would not reach and was not grounded.

      Proof that the previous tech guy knew something was up.

    • #3072223

      Registry version Hack

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I’m a genius.  At the moment I am also a tad insufferable; but that will pass.  I try to not blog more than once a day; but this was too good not to share.  You can thank me later

      I was presented an old Win 2000 (pre service packs) Latitude Notebook that needed to be networked.  It had no NIC and no wireless adapter.  The part came in today; but troubles arose.  The setup wizard needed Internet Explorer 5.5 or better and this was running 5.0.  It was not an insurmountable problem; but as stated there was no network connection to download the update.

      I tried manually installing the card, but the installation includes software needed for it to function properly.  So I went back to getting IE 5.5 or 6 on the machine.  I had no IE setup CD; and as you know downloading the “setup” program from Microsoft only downloads a file that then connects you to the internet to download the rest.

      I went to the administrative Update site; but remember that this OS has no service packs on it; and you have to have at least service pack 3 to download any updates that way (and I believe that 5.5 was included in one of the first two service packs.

      I tried using Firefox and setting it as the default browser but the software is hardcoded to look for the current version of IE.

      Hardcoded.  Current Version.  Inspiration hit me.

      I went to the registry, told it that the IE version was in fact 6.0.2800.1106.  The software believed me and I am downloading 2000 Service Pack 4 at this very moment.

      • #3046343

        Registry version Hack

        by hafizullah1 ·

        In reply to Registry version Hack

        Very nice, and it doesn’t cause other problems.

        Reminds me of the Old Days, before DOS 6.x and setver.exe, where we had to use Debug to go into an executable hardcoded to look for an older DOS version and hack the “Check DOS Version” Int21h call to accept the version we were using. This meant searching for the hex digits for the call in lowbyte-highbtye sequence and then (since most of us can’t disassemble hex dumps by eye), disassembling the call to see how the programmer coded it, sometimes tracing the jump instruction to see where it went, and recoding the jump (often a JLE — “jump if less-than-or-equal” to the value returned by the Int21h call) to let the program run.

        As long as there are coders who think inside small boxes, there will be hackers bending their code to suit their own purposes.

      • #3046342

        Registry version Hack

        by gshollingsworth ·

        In reply to Registry version Hack

        What next? BIOS hardcoded for IE and a minimum version at that?

      • #3115543

        Registry version Hack

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Registry version Hack

        I sometimes miss those days too.

        But yeah, it was ridiculous to have that hard coded to IE 5.5.  Absolutely no reason for it whatsoever.

    • #3046457

      Master3bs & reducing stress

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Many have wondered what my handle means.  Master3bs?  What’s that?  Is it a pun?  An insult?  Some kind of vast right-wing conspiracy?  No, I’m afraid it’s none of the above

      My juggling balls Simple put; it refers to one of my favorite hobbies: juggling.  I call myself master3bs which is short for Master of 3 balls
      Frankly Decent4bs and WorkingOn5bs didn’t have quite have the same ring to it. Working on 5 balls

      At any rate there have been a lot of discussions here lately about reducing stress and not getting burned out.  While it can be frustrating at first; juggling is a great stress relief and its a lot of fun.

      I have taught many people of various skill levels to juggle and how to do several tricks.  Since you can’t all come to my house I’ll give you this link instead.

      Keep in mind these points:

      1. Practice & keep working at it even if its only 5 minutes a day
      2. Put it down.  If it gets too frustrating stop for a few minutes or even for the day.  It will be there when you get back

      There are countless possibilities and benefits to juggling.  For those of you in IT (most of us here I imagine) it is a good past time for when you are doing a long installation.  I learned to juggle back when I was doing phone side desk support.  It gave me great pleasure to say “I assure you sir, you have my undivided attention,” while performing the 3 ball Mills Mess.

      Oh, and my icon is a picture of an acryllic ball used for something called contact juggling. And if WorkingOn5bs stinks as a handle; Beginner1bCJ is even worse.

    • #3043639

      Early XBOX 360

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      XBOX 360

      So it turns out that XBOX 360 games will be available before the XBOX 360 itself.  Presumably, this is to generate more hype about the games themselves.

      I’ll bet you it will also generate game shortages when the system finally arrives (admitably only a week later.)  The games to be released early include Call of Duty 2, Condemned: Criminal Origins, DOA 4, Kameo: Elements of Power, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Quake 4.

      I know its only a week early; but this seems a lot like releasing Windows Vista in 1995.  “Don’t you wish you could install this?”  Hey at least the cases they come in will be nice to look at.

    • #3046212

      Misadventures in linux

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I put up a discussion about this here; figuring I’d get more feedback; but I wanted to have a record here on the ol’ blog too.  I’ll go into a bit more detail here to make it worthwhile.

      I installed Mandrake Linux. In general the process was a lot easier than redhat was years ago, but I did get an error installing package libxorg-x11-6.7.0-3mdk.i586.

      I went back and determined what it was that was not installing correctly. Turns out it has to do with the graphical interface.  It was listed as a “must have” on the installation guide so I decided to continue anyway; as I can always reinstall.

      Well I now have a very powerful command line OS.  That is fortunate I guess, because I believe in knowing the command line of any OS if it exists.  It had been some time since I used linux at all; and I was hardly a command line expert in it.

      Well it didn’t take long to relearn the ls; su; cd; and other commands; and only slightly longer to get the text editor to work.

      I then learned to go to the /etc/inittab file and change it to boot to the GUI instead. Before doing that; I learned the startx command and tried it. This gives me a series of no such file or directory errors.  Because of that, I assume that changing the inittab file will only lead to disaster.

      So I’m going to reinstall mandrake again. In the meantime I’m downloading a centOS ISO and will grab a debian next.

      Mandrake is supposed to be one of the easier flavors to install; so I’m going to at least get a graphical interface to work on it before moving on to another flavor.

      There, I wrote more.

    • #3115506

      It was the software (linux install)

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I often hear about people migrating to Linux having problems getting hardware to work or finding software that will run on their new systems.  As usual, I did things backwards again.  My problem turned out to be a hardware/software problem on Windows; not Linux

      I have downloaded ISO’s for Debian, SuSE, Mandrake & centOS.  I burned the images onto CD and went about the install process.  Every single one of them failed at some point in the installation; having various problems reading various packages.

      I downloaded them from various sites and from various connections.  Everyone failing told me that the problem was with the burning itself.  centOS had an app in the install that tested the CD; which verified the problem with the CD’s.  I was using Sonic; so I installed IOMEGA and was able to burn properly.

      In the process I found centOS to have the most intuitive installation interface.  Mandrake, however, was the only one to be able to run even a command line OS after the failed install.  This is doubtless due to the fact that the packages it could not read were related entirely to the GUI interface.

      Right now I am installing Debian from the network CD.  The ISO was only about 108 MB; and it installs the rest of its packages over my internet connection.  It is the coolest thing ever.  (Or, “it’s edgy” as the kids say.)

      • #3115417

        It was the software (linux install)

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to It was the software (linux install)

        I’ve had a lot of trouble with Sonic software too. I don’t get it. Sony
        probably makes the best CD/DVD hardware but their Sonic software is
        terrible.

        Good luck with the Debian. I recently installed Debian for the first
        time. Once I got the command line going I entered the following command

        apt-get kde

        The apt-get software got both KDE and the X software and installed
        them. I rebooted and the system came up in runlevel 5. This is the
        runlevel where the GUI starts before you log in. It was very easy.

      • #3115269

        It was the software (linux install)

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to It was the software (linux install)

        Thanks for the tip.  I’m looking forward to playing with Debian; which won’t be until Monday.

      • #3119260

        It was the software (linux install)

        by n8matt ·

        In reply to It was the software (linux install)

        I have a system running the unsupported/free version of RHEL AS3 – and just minutes ago I FINALLY successfully ran my first installation of anything that didn’t come with the original install – I updated the Macromedia Flash player – I actually kinda smiled and recalled my many late nights on my uncle’s PET trying to get the Peek/Poke thing to go, and then giving up and just playing blackjack…  Anyway, I have a decent history with these confounded gadgets, but I have not allowed my brain to enter the Linux world (perhaps afraid that I would, again, find myself up at nights trying to learn something – Scary!) – I need to get comfortable with it, though, as I am proposing a Linux based e-mail solution for my company, and I’m the only tech… Kind of a sink/swim thing that I’m forcing myself into…  Anyway, I’m curious about your work with the many distributions – I had installed SuSE 9 with the KDE ui, but wiped it in place of the RH 3 – I actually wanted RH4, but it wouldn’t recognize my onboard RAID controller from Dell.  About your many CD errors – I may be in left field here, but I had much trouble with ISO images if I burned them WITHOUT choosing the “disk-at-once” feature in my Nero.    This may seem disjointed, but I like frozen fruit with some random alcohol in a blender  – and all of these Linux options just remind me of a wine-tasting event – room temperature fermented juice, and they think it tastes “GOOD???”  crazy – but I really need to get a grasp of the thing anyway – maybe I’ll develop the palate for it (or I’ll run myself out of a decent job…)

         

    • #3114880

      Who is Vader?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Episode III went on sale today and fanboy that I am; I purchased it right away.  I needed to see it again; I yearned to look at the deleted scenes; I just had to watch all six films from start to finish.

      Oh, and I had to find out the truth about Darth Vader’s father.

      I can hear you now.  “Darth Vader’s father?  Didn’t he watch the films?  Vader had no father!”  Not so, and I can prove it.  Remember from Episode I, Qui-Gon asked Anakin’s mother who the father was.  She said he had no father.  Let’s assume she wasn’t lying.  She seemed nice enough.  Now remember Qui-Gon tested Anakin’s blood for the mysterious midi-chlorians and was astonished at how many there were- more than in any Jedi.

      Fast forward to Episode III.  In the opera scene, Palpatine tells Anakin, “Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life …”  He went on to say that his apprentice (later revealed to be Palpatine) learned Plagueis’ secrets.

      Obviously, either Palpatine or Plagueis was the “father” of Anakin.  Anakin wasn’t conceived naturally but was brought about by a Sith’s manipulation of the force.  I caught this on the first viewing in the theatre; possibly because I joked going in that we would find out that Palpatine was Vader’s Father ala:

             “Your mother never told you the truth about your father did she?”
             “She told me enough!  She told me he smelled bad and she was going to lie on him so that nobody would ever know she let someone like that get close to her!”
             “No…  I am your… er.  She said what?”

      Or something like that.  Well the DVD’s have commentary from George Lucas himself.  I popped in my DVD and went to the appropriate scenes with the commentary on.  AND GUESS WHAT!?!?

      They don’t say.  It wasn’t even mentioned.  Oh well, I still have the DVD.  Maybe it’s in those deleted scenes…

      Father and son

      • #3137434

        Who is Vader?

        by gsg ·

        In reply to Who is Vader?

        From IMDB.com:

        SPOILER: The first draft of the script also explained the mystery surrounding Anakin’s conception. In the confrontation scene between Anakin and Palpatine where Palpatine confesses to Anakin he is Darth Sidious, he would also explain that he used the power of the Force to will the midichlorians to start the cell divisions that created Anakin. This explanation was later deemed unnecessary by Lucas and subsequently cut

      • #3120280

        Who is Vader?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Who is Vader?

        That is awesome information!  Any idea where I could find an early copy of that script?

      • #3131320

        Who is Vader?

        by kiwimarsi ·

        In reply to Who is Vader?

        Very insightful you are I would say. I also paid close attention to Palpatine’s words concerning Darth Plagueis. How do you suppose that he came to Tattoine and why would he have chosen Shimi – a slave to conceive?

      • #3131288

        Who is Vader?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Who is Vader?

        The best I can come up with is that he was looking for a backwater
        place that was out of the eyes of the Republic.  Just like Qui-Gon
        said, if Anakin had been raised in the Republic he would have been
        identified at an early age.  If Luke was to be believed, there is
        no more remote location.

    • #3137878

      Addicted to Konquest

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      My regular blog readers (and you know who you are) know, I’ve been working on setting up a linux box.  Right now I’m running centOS 4.2 and struggling to get it to access files on the Windows server.

      And I’m struggling to get good at Konquest.  I was poking around the system today looking at what was available and discovered the game.  For those that don’t know, its a galactic sized Risk type game with bad graphics.  And I couldn’t put it down.

      I have an XBOX for crying out loud!  Still, I was fascinated not only with the game itself but my inability to play it.  In 10 tries I only won 3 times.  I may have to wipe the system now if I’m going to get any work around.

      Konquest

      • #3136125

        Addicted to Konquest

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Addicted to Konquest

        Update: I took some time during lunch and have dramatically improved at the game.  😀

      • #3197670

        Addicted to Konquest

        by werderwolf ·

        In reply to Addicted to Konquest

        Hi there
        Some Friends of mine and I have expirienced Konquest about one year ago
        and we were just fascinated. We decided to design an online-version of
        it in order to be able to play at different times the same game. We
        also added some other features like fog-of-war or mirrored maps. The
        only thing thats missing is an opponent played by script, but I hope we
        can add that later. We want it to be better than the one we found in
        our distribution… 😉
        You’re welcome to try it yourself, you can find it at http://www.phacs.de
        Ulfert, Germany

    • #3137183

      A little knowledge

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Co-Worker #1: Why is my computer so slow?
      Me: There could be a number of reasons; I’ll need to look at it
      Co Worker#1: Do you want me to defrag it?

      Co-Worker #2: I’ve defraged my computer but I still can’t get on the network drive
      Me: Defraging has nothing to do with getting on the network.
      Co-Worker #2: Do you want me to try it again?

      I’ve been in my position as head of IT (and only IT worker for that matter) for about 3 months now.  In the past the staff has had to A) have the business manager who has some IT knowledge but 1000 other jobs or B) deal with the issues on their own.  When they went with option B, obviously somebody told them that defraging was the answer to everything.

      They are getting better about coming to me first with their issues (which in itself keeps me busier than ever) but I still run across comments like these.  Worse, I still find issues that have continued to worsen without anyone bringing it to my attention until the problem has become a crisis.  A handful of the people still think like this.

      Co-Worker #3: My computer runs slow and half the time I can’t print.
      Co-Worker #4: Why not have the new IT guy look at it?
      Co-Worker #3: No, I think I’ll just try defraging again and see what happens.

      • #3137098

        A little knowledge

        by wayne m. ·

        In reply to A little knowledge

        Go To Them

        It is usually a good thing when people take a little bit of initiative to solve a problem for themselves.  Sometimes, of course, they will do things that do not address the problem, but that is better than when they just sit on their hands and wait for an answer to materialize.

        One of the better approaches is to circulate as much as possible.  Don’t wait to be called, find an excuse to walk the hallways so someone can “just grab you for a minute.”  Many times people are embarrassed to admit they do not know how to resolve an issue and do not like to open trouble tickets for what may be minor issues.

        When called in and someone has tried something, thank them for trying, even if it was for something silly.  “Thanks for defragging the hard disk.  That is one less thing I have to worry about now!  What else can you tell me about your printing problem?”  If the person seems to be interested, show them some things to try the next time.  Yeah, now he may drop and reinstall printers for every printing problem, but it is a slightly better response than defragging.

        In the early days (3 months on the job counts as early days), try to make yourself visible.  After you have some personal rapport with users, they will become more likely to pick up the telephone and give you a call.  Don’t try to explain why a user’s attempt to resolve an issue was not productive and give him a couple of things to try himself next time.  Psychology is just as important as technology.

      • #3137020

        A little knowledge

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to A little knowledge

        That’s pretty good advice.  I try to be as visible as possible; and to be someone people can approach. 

        As far as self-user-support, the line needs to be drawn somewhere.  I have given simple troubleshooting steps to people on basic problems.  But other more serious problems have occured because a user took it about him/herself to install software or even open up the computers.  I blogged sometime back about finding where somebody plugged a speaker cord from the motherboard into the hard drive jumper pins thus making the hard drive inoperable.

    • #3118243

      Unlock Windows

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Windows has a bad reputation for bad security.  If you don’t believe that; I’ll be glad to discuss the issues the next time I update my spyware definitions; virus definitions; scan for exploits or reconfigure my firewall settings.

      Fortunately; that lax security can be used for good as well.  Let me introduce you to some new tips that take advantage of windows’ problems.

      Scenerio 1: Product Key

      You have to reinstall Windows XP.  You have your XP CD or restoration CD.  You have your drivers copied and ready.  You have everything you need except your Product Key code.  Uh-Oh!  You can’t reinstall can you?  Now you can.

      Keyfinder from Magic Jelly Bean Software retrieves the information for you.  It is easy and simply and I love this utility.  You can use this tinyurl http://tinyurl.com/b01p to get to the website as well.  (I love Firefox extensions!)

      Scenerio 2: Forgotten password

      Almost all of us have forgotten passwords.  And you can’t see what you’ve typed in a password field even after its saved because it is astericked out.  For instance, my password for a chess site I enjoy is *********.  What if I need to know what it is?

      Simply go to http://www.snadboy.com/ and download Revelation 2.0.  It works like a dream.

      Scenerio 3: Forgotten XP Administrator password

      Snadboy won’t work for this one.  You’ve forgotten your XP admin password and without it you can’t do… well much of anything.  Microsoft itself wrote the instructions to solve this dilemma and you can find them at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=321305.

      • #3117554

        Unlock Windows

        by jepott ·

        In reply to Unlock Windows

        Forget Microsft, the ultimate boot CD has a fix for scenario 3… I’ll just leave it at that and let you figure out the rest.

      • #3117521

        Unlock Windows

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Unlock Windows

        Oh yeah, I forgot about the ultimate boot CD.  I’m planning on downloading it soon to try it out.  Thanks!

      • #3119500

        Unlock Windows

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Unlock Windows

        Found the website to get the CD.  Appropriately enough, its at http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

    • #3131292

      Get Firefox

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      First, let me tell my non-IT friends that this blog should interest you too.  (Yes Jeff, this applies to you and to your laptop).

      I am a latecomer to Firefox, but now that I’ve used it for a month I’m hooked.  To those who don’t know, Firefox is an internet browser that rivals Internet Explorer.  Appropriately enough, you can get it at http://www.getfirefox.com.  There are several reasons why Firefox is superior to IE; but the two top ones are Tabbed Browsing and Extensions.

      Tabbed Browsing:
      I multitask and in IE, I constantly right-click links and open them in new windows.  This keeps me from leaving a page I am still looking at; while continuing a search elsewhere.  It also clutters up the taskbar and potentially hurts performance.  The answer: tabs.
      Tabs
      This makes navigating the web smoother, faster and more productive.  In the above example, a google search has been performed and results are opened up in the same browser.  (Jeff, this makes Kings of Chaos attacks a dream.)

      Extensions
      A close second to the tab advantage are the extensions.  Simply Click on the tools menu, Extensions, and then get more extensions and you add functionability to your internet expierience. I’m amazed at how much you can do with these. 
      Extensions

      Below are the extensions I currently use:

      NoScript: Provides protection against scripting on websites. I can tell it what to allow and what to block
      .
      IE View: You may still prefer to view pages in Internet Explorer.  This extension automatically opens the pages in IE at your request, and even allows you to tell IE to always open for particular pages.

      CustomizeGoogle: This is a nifty tool that I haven’t fully utilized yet.  Remove google adds, add other searches to google, prett much tell gogle how you want it to search.

      Bork Bork Bork!  Hilarious!  Converts all website text to Bork language.  It turns my last blog from saying:

      “Windows has a bad reputation for bad security.  If you don’t believe that; I’ll be glad to discuss the issues the next time I update my spyware definitions; virus definitions; scan for exploits or reconfigure my firewall settings.”

      to reading “Veendoos hes a bed repooteshun fur bed secooreety.  Iff yuoo dun’t beleeefe-a thet; I’ll be-a gled tu deescooss zee issooes zee next time-a I updete-a my spyvere-a deffeenishuns; furoos deffeenishuns; scun fur ixplueets oor recunffeegoore-a my furooell settings.”

      Copy Plain Text: If you highlight it, you copy it to the clipboard.  Very useful.

      Tiny URL Creator: Creates a small url that never expires for any webpage.  For example, my blog page can be found at  http://tinyurl.com/7ulkb

      FasterFox: Some people find FasterFox to speed up FireFox, others don’t.  On my system it makes things much faster.

      If you haven’t already, download it now and enjoy!

      • #3121958

        Get Firefox

        by zro.tolerance ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        Your missing a couple very very important extensions:
        # Mr. Tech Local Install – creates keyboard shortcuts to access the extension menu and makes some changes to the entire extension section which makes it work and look better. I recommend you install this one first.
        # Download Manager Tweak – can make download window load in new tab or as side bar or in new window. Make it pretty too
        # Duplicate Tab – speaks for itself but note, also copies the history associated with a tab
        # Firesomething – humourus extension, changes the title bar by adding a little phrase. My Mozilla currently name Mozilla Turbodingo. You can add phrases to place up there. They cycle randomly
        # IE View – well, some pages only work in IE so just right click and go
        # Image Zoom – a great tool, a great great tool. It works very well. Context menu.
        # TextZoom – change default font size in Firefox…very very good. Needed this one
        # PDF Download – lets you choose whether to open or download a PDF. So even though you mek the mistake and click on a link that is a pdf and you didnt realize, it will prompt you what to do instead of Adobe freezing up your browser for a while
        # ReloadEvery – reloads tab every X time
        # Statusbar Clock – date and time in your Firefox status bar
        Stumbleupon – if-you-have-nuff-free-time internet surfing toolbar. Jumps from site to site based on user ratings. Sites load almost instantaneously
        # Define Word – Just a right click away from a dictionary but you can also add other sites too…example, i have Howstuffworks and Webopedia as other search sites

        AND THE NUMBER 1 – LEAST KNOWN EXTENSION
        # TAB MIX!!!
        By FAAAARRRRRRRRR, This is the best Tab Extension. It Combines several oter extension like Tab Preferences, UndoCloseTab,Tab X, mini-T(drag+indicator), etc and gives you one fully customizable extension for Technies and Non-Techies. Check it out…you can even put show the loading bar on the tab itself.

      • #3121957

        Get Firefox

        by zro.tolerance ·

        In reply to Get Firefox






        Your missing a couple very very important extensions IMHO:

         

        #  Mr. Tech Local Install – creates keyboard shortcuts to access the
        extension menu and makes some changes to the entire extension section which
        makes it work and look better. I recommend you install this one first.

        # Download Manager
        Tweak
        – can make download window load in new tab or as side bar or in new
        window. Make it pretty too

        # Duplicate Tab
        speaks for itself but note, also copies the history associated with a tab

        #  Firesomething
        humourus extension, changes the title bar by adding
        a little phrase. My Mozilla currently name Mozilla Turbodingo. You can add
        phrases to place up there. They cycle randomly

        # IE View – well,
        some pages only work in IE so just right click and go

        #
        Image Zoom
        – a great tool, a great great tool.

        It works very well. Context menu.

        # TextZoom – change default font size in Firefox…very very good.
        Needed this one

        # PDF Download
        lets you choose whether to open or download a PDF. So even though you mek the mistake and click on a link that is a pdf and you didnt realize, it will
        prompt you what to do instead of Adobe freezing up your browser for a while

        # ReloadEvery
        – reloads tab every X time

        # Statusbar
        Clock
        – date and time in your Firefox status bar

        # Stumbleupon – if-you-have-nuff-free-time
        internet surfing toolbar.
        Jumps from site to site based on user ratings.
        Sites load almost instantaneously

        # Define
        Word
        – Just a right click away from a dictionary but you can also add other
        sites too…example, i have Howstuffworks
        and Webopedia as other search sites

         

        AND THE NUMBER 1 – LEAST KNOWN EXTENSION

        # TAB MIX!!!

        By FAAAARRRRRRRRR, This is the best Tab Extension. It
        Combines several oter extension like Tab Preferences,
        UndoCloseTab,Tab X, mini-T(drag+indicator), etc and gives you one fully customizable
        extension for Technies and Non-Techies. Check it
        out…you can even put show the loading bar on the tab itself.

      • #3121917

        Get Firefox

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        I found a couple of those after posting the original blog.  Now
        I’m trying out Mr. Tech, Duplicate Tab (very excited about this one),
        Firesomething, Image Zoom, and Tab Mix.

        Tab mix had some mixed reviews.  We’ll see how it works.  Thanks!

      • #3121894

        Get Firefox

        by lucas rodriguez cervera ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        I like flashgot, an extension extension,

        meant to handle single and massive (“all” and
        “selection”) downloads with several external Download Managers.

        Lucas Rodr?guez Cervera
        Nevant

      • #3123306

        Get Firefox

        by lastchip ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        Don’t forget;

        Spellbound; the spell checker that can be used directly in Firefox.

        Spoofstick; for detecting spoofed web sites.

        Netcraft; to help avoid phishing sites.

        Adblock; to filter out the ads.

        I kid you not, since I’ve been using Firefox (about a year) malware no longer exists.

        Enjoy.

      • #3127751

        Get Firefox

        by thinw002 ·

        In reply to Get Firefox


        As well as some of the plug-ins mentioned here I use the following (check them out online)

        ViewSourceWith
        easyGestures (doesn’t work with version 1.5 yet)
        Disable Targets For Downloads
        fireFTP (doesn’t have ssh)

      • #3127660

        Get Firefox

        by zro.tolerance ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        That mixed review thing is true about Tab Mix+ but not Tab Mix. I’m
        using Tab Mix+ for awhile now and the features that i use it for don’t
        really crash or anything. They just work. Alot of the features it has i
        don’t use so maybe some of them are buggy but for the most part its all
        good.

        I started using fireFTP recently and i’m not impressed at all.
        Hopefully another version will come out to fix the problems i;m having
        (example no horizontal scroll on your local explorer listing, no pause
        and resume, no password to protect logins for FTP sites). I not cursing
        at all cause i know people normally do these stuff in there spare time
        and ar enot getting paid.

        FasterFox is another extension that i’m about to
        install once i’ve update to 1.5. The review show that this really works
        in terms of speed but i don’t like the fact that it caches links on the
        page so that once you actually click on the link, it loads almost
        immediately. But i’ll see how it goes.

      • #3127539

        Get Firefox

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Get Firefox

        Fasterfox seems to work to varrying degrees with different
        people.  It’s worked well on my system although I have had to
        occasionally go in and tweak the settings.  I noticed a dramatic
        difference after installing it; and probably wouldn’t have kept using
        FF without it.

        I believe I’m using Tab Mix as opposed to Tab Mix +.  It’s decent,
        and again I had to tweak some settings to get things the way I wanted
        them.  I can live with or without it.

        Shortly before people started commenting here again I had discovered
        AdBlock.  I still appear to be getting some of the ads it detects
        so I’m not certain I’m doing it right.  I just haven’t had the
        time to play with it much.  If I can get it to work the way it is
        supposed to it will be very valuable.

    • #3132432

      Do you eat possum?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I was going to make my next blog about peer-to-peer file sharing, but this can’t wait any longer.

      Cake

      I have a co-worker that eats possum. What she eats in her free time
      is none of my business aside from the obligatory sarcastic comments.
      The problem is that she is A) insistent that we are all missing out on
      a great treat and B) baffled that nobody else eats roadkill.

      Possum 1

      She goes on and on about how good it is fried; especially the skin.
      It’s to the point where it’s so easy to make fun that it’s not fun
      anymore. Now I just stare at her like a frightened animal in the face
      of an oncoming car. The irony is not lost on me.

      Possum 2

      So I put the question to you, my faithful readers. Do you eat
      possum? And how would you deal with a co-worker that insists you should?

      • #3132450

        Do you eat possum?

        by peter spande ·

        In reply to Do you eat possum?

        Run, don’t walk to your favorite restaurant.  

      • #3130969

        Do you eat possum?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Do you eat possum?

        Will do.  I just won’t take her with me. 🙂

      • #3123787

        Do you eat possum?

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Do you eat possum?

        The small town of Pinewood, SC, has an annual festival called the
        “Possum Trot”.  (For those of you who have never attended a true
        southern small town festival, put it on your list of things to
        do.  Right after eating roadkill.)  I’ve seen the cans of
        “Potted Possum” available for sale there.  I’ve also talked with
        the festival organizers who sat up at 2:00 am peeling the labels off
        deviled ham cans and glueing on the possum labels.

        Call her bluff.  I’m betting she doesn’t really eat roadkill and couldn’t dress an opossum.

      • #3123753

        Do you eat possum?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Do you eat possum?

        I may have to do just that.

      • #3121582

        Do you eat possum?

        by gsg ·

        In reply to Do you eat possum?

        I don’t eat it, but my Mom said that when she was growing up on the farm, they would eat it.  Apparently, it is quite greasy and gamy, and does NOT taste like chicken.  I have, however, eaten squirrel and rabbit.  I draw the line at the frog’s legs, however.

    • #3123037

      Have a Merry What!?!?!?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I
      sincerely mean that, despite all the hassles that go along with
      Christmas. And lest anyone hassle me about the topic I chose to bring to
      the soapbox, I promise to bring this around to IT by blog’s end.


      This is the time of year I can listen to Christmas music without having to
      explain that, “yes I realize it’s the middle of March.”
      Incidentally, it’s also the time of year that I hear people complaining how
      repetitive Christmas music is on the radio. Never mind that there are
      still radio stations playing the same 25 songs they play over and over all year
      long anyway.

      But that’s not the problem. Here’s the problem. Including this
      sentence, I’ve already used the word “Christmas” four times in three
      paragraphs. Is anyone offended yet? If not, I’m surprised.
      Why else would many companies forbid their employees from wishing a “Merry
      Christmas” to customers? Didn’t you get the memo that Christmas is
      offensive?

      Each year we hear new stories about manger scenes being protested or even
      removed. We hear about more regulations imposed on what people can say or display without causing someone else to be affronted.

      This year I’ve already talked to a friend that was unable to buy a Christmas
      tree. All the stores are selling in our town this year are “Holiday trees.”

      Ho, ho, ho.
      Tree

      As my friend put it, which holiday are the trees for? For instance, how
      many Hanukah trees have you seen decorated so far this year? I thought so.

      Our culture seems increasingly uncomfortable with anything resembling
      Christianity. I could write about the historical heritage of Christianity
      in America
      and Christmas, but let’s take a different route. In fact, I’ll only share
      two bullet items:

      1. Christmas is not just
        religious
      2. What is truly offensive?

      And yes, this will eventually
      deal with IT. I have a computer solution to the problem.


      First let’s look at point #1.
      Christmas is not just religious. Now
      I am a Christian, and I love this time of year to celebrate the coming of Jesus
      into the world. Was He born on December 25th? Probably not, but at
      year’s end it?s a good time to reflect and celebrate His birth.

      Now that I’ve mentioned “The True Meaning Of Christmas,” many of you
      are about to respond that many elements of Christmas started out as a secular
      holiday. That is in fact, my point.

      Not everyone that enjoys
      Christmas does so from a religious perspective. Rudolph did not come into
      the world to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to a holy
      God.
      To protect people from Christmas on religious grounds doesn’t make
      sense when there are so many secular elements as well.

      Christmas

      That brings me to point #2.

      I am not offended by people who celebrate Hanukah. I do not agree with
      their religious beliefs, but their practice of said beliefs do not infringe on
      me in any way.


      “Happy Hanukah to you Scott.”


      “Thank you, and a Merry Christmas to you.”

      I’m not offended by Kwanza either. If
      anything, it amuses me, especially at a time when the manufactured elements of
      Christmas seem to bother people. I’m not offended by the atheist who
      doesn’t believe in God, the Jehovah’s Witness who celebrates no holidays at
      all, or the Mormon who distorts the message of the virgin birth.

      Many of the above people’s beliefs bother me because I know them to be
      incorrect and harmful. I’m always glad to discuss the beliefs with
      people. The thing is, in addition to the Bible, I also believe in the
      First Amendment. It makes for good reading, especially if you’ve never
      read it in its entirety.

      What offends me is the idea that we can keep from offending everybody. It
      offends me that “freedom of religion” has come to mean “freedom
      from religion.”
      It is an affront to ask my beliefs & traditions
      to be trampled upon to protect the sensibilities of people with thin
      skin. We have become a culture whose members think they have a right to
      never be confronted with something that disagrees with their beliefs.
      Then many of those same members call those that do have other beliefs close-minded.


      That is offensive; but there is a solution.
      I told you this would
      eventually get back to technology. I’ve written a simple computer
      program. This is the 21st century so it should be child’s play to upload
      this program into everyone’s brain; and have the program executed during
      Christmas season.

      Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

      (Want to see who’s next On the Soapbox? Find out in
      the Blog Roundup newsletter. Use this link to automatically
      subscribe
      and have it delivered directly to your Inbox every Wednesday.)


      Option Explicit
      Private Function GetOverIt_Input(Input As String, Response As String)

      Dim mood as emotion
      Dim anal-retentive as Boolean
      Dim skin as integer

      if skin <= 0 then
      skin=10

      response=?I?m sorry that I expect the world to cater to my every whim.
      Please accept my apologies, and take this $20 as an advance on the Christmas
      gift I?ll be buying you this year.?
      call
      function AddMaturity()
      end if

      if input contains ?Christmas? AND anal-retentive=True then
      response=?Have a
      Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone.?
      skin=skin+5
      set anal-retentive
      to False
      Call function
      Smile()
      end if

      if mood IS LIKE ?grinch? then
      mood=?festive?
      response=?I don?t know what came over me,
      but I?m changing my ways, or my name isn?t Ebenezer Scrooge.?
      end if

      Return
      End Function

      (Want to see who’s next On the Soapbox? Find out in
      the Blog Roundup newsletter. Use this link to automatically
      subscribe
      and have it delivered directly to your Inbox every Wednesday.)

      • #3127453

        Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        by jepott ·

        In reply to Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        I couldn’t agree more!!!  Thanks for your great blog and I hope you have a very Merrry CHRISTMAS!!

        Oh… sorry did I offend anyone – well… get it over it.

        Thanks Scott!!

        JEPott

      • #3128771

        Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        Thanks Jeff, and Merry Christmas to you too!  Hope you have a
        merry one.  Remind me to tell you something funny about this blog
        later on.

      • #3129342

        Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        by aaron a baker ·

        In reply to Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        Excellent Blog, with just as excellent Points of View.

        Well done indeed.

        Christmas comes at us from many varying points, means and ways. Secular, and/or Religious.

        It should be left as it is, “Sacred” to one and all for whatever reason.

        May you have a “Very Merry Christmas” and a “Happy and Prosperos New Year”.

        Warmest Regards

        Aaron 🙂

      • #3129248

        Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        Thanks Aaron.  I put a lot of thought into it.  I’m glad to
        hear positive feedback (I’ll take negative feedback too if anyone has
        it.)

      • #3126593

        Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        by rexworld ·

        In reply to Have a Merry What!?!?!?

        I agree we should not be afraid to celebrate Christmas or to wish people a Merry Christmas.  I will disgree with you somewhat, though, on the premise that Christmas is not just religious.

        All the secular stuff we’ve built up around Christmas is nice but it just isn’t strictly speaking “Christmas”.  It may be closely related in many minds–the shopping, the eating, the egg-nog, etc.  It’s all part of the larger “holiday season” that we celebrate.  

        But Christmas itself, narrowly defined, is still a religious celebration.  We just happen to have built a lot of other secular stuff around it.

    • #3127096

      Redirected Male

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Coming soon will be a summary of these misadventures in fixing a certain Human Resources laptop. 

      For now I want to share an article I had published recently.  It is about comic books in general, and is located at the Sequential Tart
      website.  Each month they publish one article by one male, and I
      got the chance to be a guest writer.  Sadly, it pays the same
      amount my previous writing assignments have.

      You can see the article here.  It feature is called the Redirected Male (please no jokes, I didn’t name the feature) and my article is entitled

      Happy Holidays! What I Want From Comics This Season

      For those that only enjoy reading about tech stuff, I try not to go
      more than two blogs without a tech article, and my last blog entry
      counts as half of one.

    • #3126403

      New IT Toys Galore

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      (Sing to the tune of a popular Christmas song)

      You’d better watch out
      Cause I’m gonna cry
      They’re tears of joy
      And that’s no lie
      I’m getting an exchange server

      I’m making a list
      of the things that are nice
      Gonna get a T1
      At such a great price
      I’m getting some really great toys

      My 256 connection
      Will soon be in the past
      Configuring all the emails
      Will now go very fast

      Oh…
      You’d better watch out
      Cause I’m gonna cry
      They’re tears of joy
      Oh me, oh my
      Merry, merry Christmas…
      To me!

      • #3126382

        New IT Toys Galore

        by beth blakely ·

        In reply to New IT Toys Galore

        An exchange server AND all that songwriting talent? There’s no stopping you now.

      • #3126305

        New IT Toys Galore

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to New IT Toys Galore

        I admit it, I’m pretty amazing. 😉

        Of course I don’t know WHEN this will come down the pipeline. The
        company is trying to find the money in the budget. Being the
        stand up guy that I am, I offered what i had in my pockets- 70 cents
        and a stick of gum.

      • #3127281

        New IT Toys Galore

        by jepott ·

        In reply to New IT Toys Galore

        So… are you going to get this during the coming or current century??  HAHAHA… oh sorry… HOHOHOHO – hope you get it soon and that it doesn’t cause you the trouble I’ve seen…. ooohhh another song???

    • #3197739

      Don’t be an idiot- like I was

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      A person high up in human resources at our corporate office came down to do some work here. When she arrived, her laptop was non-functional.

      “Yes, I’d be delighted to look at it for you.” After working with it for a while I managed to get it to boot into safe mode. Last known good configuration didn’t work, she didn’t have a repair disk (or a Windows XP disk for that matter.) Even if she did have a repair disk she had no floppy drive and at the time I had no external floppy drive. Still, some of the XP files were corrupted.

      Now I knew this would not work. I new that ntldr, boot.ini and ntdetect.com are all files that are specific to each compute they are on. Because I knew that, I had never tried using them on a computer they were not intended for. But, knowing it wouldn’t work I decided to give it a try. What’s the worse that could happen? Boot back into safe mode and replace them with the backups I made?

      For the record, that is not the worse thing that could happen. Especially when dealing with a person’s computer that could potentially have me fired.

      Windows wouldn’t load at all. I considered reinstalling, but was hesitant to do so. Even though you can install over windows and not lose data, I was hesitant to do anything that drastic as she had her only copy of her Thesis on the laptop.

      I tried making boot cd’s. I used my Windows XP CD to try and repair windows. She did not know her administrator’s password. I used the Ultimate Boot CD to get to DOS and replace the system files with the backups. The UBCD (and the 6 other CD’s I tried) only has a read-only DOS mode for NTFS.

      The UBCD and other password changing utilities were unable to succesfully change the administrator’s password. Other ways of doing this involve loading to safe mode which I could not do.

      If this had been a desktop I could have taken the hard drive out and loaded it as a slave, then replace the files. It is possible to put the hard drive in another laptop with an extra bay, or to I ended up finding generic instructions for removing a hard drive from the model of laptop she had. This laptop was made after those generic instructions were written and the hard drive was located elsewhere.

      I looked harder and found instructions for the specific model, but they didn’t match the hard drive which would not come out. I then found out that the hard drive had been replaced and had a slightly different mechanism (clips instead of screws.)

      My favorite tool I found was Phlak which promised to be able to do what I needed. I used it to succesfully mount windows onto a linux system from the CD. Guess what? Read only access. (Apparently the author is working on a new version that will have write access.)

      So finally, I reinstalled Windows. To prevent the possibility of lost files, I created a new Windows directory and kept the old one.

      I never should have replaced those system files in the first place. Having done that, I should have gone ahead with a reinstall instead of spending three days going down fruitless paths.

      On the upside, I have a number of new tools and toys I discovered alone the way. Maybe it pays to be an idiot sometimes.

      • #3127279

        Don’t be an idiot- like I was

        by jepott ·

        In reply to Don’t be an idiot- like I was

        I can feel your pain – I’ve been there done that….  New rule of thumb for me – always clone the disk before performing any kind of maintenance on it…

        I did something very similar and have since cloned drives before working on them… at least I can get it back to the state to which I received it.

        I wish you the best on the next one that comes along.

        JPott

      • #3254464

        Don’t be an idiot- like I was

        by triangle ·

        In reply to Don’t be an idiot- like I was

        Hello,

        Actually, I suppose using NTFS Reader utility, to access NTFS system in DOS. That is a great tool, located on a data utils set, CD image Active@ Boot Disk that also includes truly powerful tools for data erase, recovery and backup.

        http://www.ntfs.com/boot-disk.htm

    • #3125541

      Update on Christmas

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Here is an update to my blog, “Have a Merry What!?!?” from a better blog than mine that was more thought out as well.

      The blog can be found at http://markwaltz.typepad.com/marks_weblog/2005/12/christmas_or_ho.html and it was very thought provoking for me to read.

      Here are some selected comments from the posts:

      • If Christ-followers are going to enter the conversation, let’s at least do so in an informed manner.
      • Labels aren?t the point. Jesus is. Nobody is taking away our ability to honor Christ in our lives.
      • This time of year was chosen by the Pope in an effort to absorb the debauchery that marked the pagan celebrations in December. Christmas is a Christian holiday ? established in contrast to other celebrations that honored pagan gods that Christ-followers didn?t trust.
      • Our job has never been to ?Christianize? America or the world through political, legal or otherwise forced strategies. The church of Christ and his followers will always have Christmas. We do recognize the Christ – the one true God.
      • Immanuel – He’s here… whether our neighbors say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.
      • As I’ve wished people well, I’ve done so embracing the wonder, the joy of the love of the Father who sent his Son, Jesus, as an infant into our historical timeline. And no one thought anything about it. It was synonomous with “Merry Christmas”.
      • Now, when I or any other Christ-follower uses that phrase, we’ll likely be questioned about our intent. That’s unfortunate.

      I still stand by my point that in trying to offend no one, you end up offending everyone.  However, I was glad to read this fresh perspective on the whole debate.

    • #3125530

      The USB Bible (Or, King James Dongle)

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Do you have a pastor friend, or even Christian friend who is into computers?  Do you need to buy them a gift?  I present to you the King James Dongle.

      USB bible
      $29.99

      With all due respect to my “Will the real 1611 please stand up?” blog, this comes across to me as the perfect gift.  If you think so also, feel free to send me a private message and I’ll get you shipping instructions.

    • #3125516

      My recent blogs

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I try not to post more than one blog a day.  Lately, there has been little danger of that.  Today that danger has become a reality.

       To make sure that nobody misses my recent posts; here are my last 3 blogs, posted in the last 2 days.

      The USB Bible (Or, King James Dongle)
      USB bible

      Update on Christmas

      Don’t be an idiot- like I was

      and, from a few days ago a blog that contains a catchy new Christmas song:

      New IT Toys Galore

    • #3126170

      My recent blogs

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I try not to post more than one blog a day.  Lately, there has been little danger of that.  Today that danger has become a reality.

       To make sure that nobody misses my recent posts; here are my last 3 blogs, posted in the last 2 days.

      The USB Bible (Or, King James Dongle)

      Update on Christmas

      Don’t be an idiot- like I was

      and, from a few days ago a blog that contains a catchy new Christmas song:

      New IT Toys Galore

    • #3125977

      Various tips

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Ok, now I’m really embarassed.  Back on October 10th, Beth Blakely’s blog had a challenge to blog about some tech tips.  I skimmed the message, and replied to her blog with a handful of tips.

      I needed to look up a registry fix that I posted in it, so I went back just now to see what I wrote and noticed what she was really asking for.

      So anyway, in no particular order, here are the random tips I wrote on her blog.  They’re not the best in the world, but what are you going to do?

      Oh, and I’m still waiting to be contacted about anybody wanting to send me a gift per my last blog.  Where is the love?

      Here we go.  I’ll start out with a new tip so there is fresh content (with thanks to jepott):

      • For a speedy shutdown, create a shortcut and make this the target (without the brackets) :[  %windir%\System32\SHUTDOWN.exe -f -s -t 01  ]
        This calls the shutdown exe, forces open programs to close, stops services, and starts the process in 1 second.  jepott, I added the -f switch to close open programs and it works smoother now.
      • Back when I did phoneside desk support; a constant struggle was determining what version of Windows an end user was running.  I learned that by going to the run command and entering winver it will automatically tell you what OS and build a Windows machine is running.  Winver works at least as far back as win 95 and I suspect it goes back further than that.
      • A quick way to get to the Task manager is holding down Ctrl-Shift-Esc.
      • Here’s a good one I use because the delay annoys me:  When using the start menu there is a delay between different tiers of the menu. By changing the delay value to zero you can speed up the display. This will allow the different tiers to appear instantly.
        1. Start Regedit.
        2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
        3. Select MenuShowDelay from the list on the right.
        4. Right on it and select Modify.
        5. Change the value to 0
        6. Reboot your computer.
      • I posted a tip to an older blog about internet speed here: why you should change your cache size
      • The following were posted by  pschneider@… 
        Win+M — Minimize all windows
        Win+Shift+M — Maximize all windows
        Win+F — Find files
        Win+R — Run command box
        Win+D — Desktop (does the same as Win+M)
        Win+L — Logoff
      • chobbs posted this: Ctrl+F6 inside Word or Excel (or most MS Office apps) will toggle you between open files in that app.  This even works in Crystal, which is nice.

       

    • #3124019

      5 nonexistent headlines for 2006

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      5. Headline: Artificial Intelligence Journalism now a reality.
      Lead: AI has come a long way baby. This article is the first to be 100% written by an intelligent, personal computer program. It uses the newly released Microsoft Journalism 1.0 (TM) and is STOP ERROR 0x00000055: DATA_COHERENCY_EXCEPTION. THIS INDICATES AN INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN PAGES IN THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DAYA CACHES. RESTART AND SET RECOVERY OPTIONS IN THE SYSTEM CONTROL PANEL. IF MESSAGE REAPPEARS CONTACT YOUR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR. Drive C: is not vaild: (A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail

      4. Headline: Beam me up Scotty
      Lead: The 21st century finally has its first transporter. Produced by DLTLabs, the transporter is able to transmit non-organic material a distance of up to 2,000 miles. A spokesman for DLTLabs said, “As soon as we can find a power source large enough, we’ll be ready to mass produce the device and bring it to market.”

      3. Headline: Congress passes BUI law
      Lead: Blogging under the influence could soon become a felony. If the President signs the McCain/Clinton bill, bloggers will have to be more careful what they write. Commenting on the bill, Senator McCain said, “Something has had to be done about this for a long time now.”

      2. Headline: New BCS computer model will guarantee undisputed college football champion
      Lead: Computer programmers from EA Sports have finished a computer system that will guarantee an undisputed national champion, silencing critics that were lobbying for a playoff system. “Why play the games on the field, when an XBOX 360 can play them for you without putting the players in harm’s way?” asked one of the lead programmers.

      1. Headline: Microsoft unveils Windows OS (Open Source)
      Lead: Move over Linux. Microsoft announced today the move to make Windows Vista and subsequent products 100% open source.

    • #3196722

      Adventures in SQL

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I’ve been working on creating a new Points Management System in Access to replace the existing system from Excel.

      It tracks students’ (juvenille detention students) behavior, assigning points, demerits, rewards and reprimends for various actions.   I ended up having to write 10 SQL queries for the thing to work.  (And if anybody knows how to comment SQL in Access, please let me know.)

      It was too much information to store in Excel.  I had never seen a spreadsheet go all the way to Column IV before.  This one did, and had a different spreadsheet for each student.  These spreadsheets had to be recreated about every 3 months.

      As always, headaches came from A) changing requirements; and B) incomplete information on how data was used & calculated.  Also, I struggled with how to build a particular query to calculate a reward system known as Canteen.  I won’t bore you with the details of what had to be calculated, but I will bore you with some of the applicable code.

      This runs the risk of meaning very little, even to the people here that use SQL on a regular basis.  This code turned out to be a lot less complicated than my previous attempts to get it right:

      [qryCanteenEarned]
      SELECT
          Count(qryPointDaysAll.DayEarned) AS numDayEarned,
          qryPointDaysAll.SFName,
          qryPointDaysAll.SLName,
          IIf(numDayEarned>4,”Yes”,”No”) AS YNGetCanteen,
          sum(qryPointDaysAll.expCanteenPoints) AS TotalCanteen
      FROM qryPointDaysAll INNER JOIN qryActiveStudents ON qryPointDaysAll.StudentID=qryActiveStudents.StudentID
      WHERE
          (((qryPointDaysAll.DayEarned)=’Yes’) AND
          ((qryActiveStudents.CFName)=[Counselor_First_Name]) AND
       ((qryActiveStudents.CLName)=[Counselor_Last_Name]))
      GROUP BY
          qryPointDaysAll.SFName, qryPointDaysAll.SLName, qryPointDaysAll.expCanteenPoints;

      [qryPointDaysAll]
      SELECT
          tblPoints.PointDay,
          tblStudents.SFName,
          tblStudents.SLName,
          Sum(tblPoints.AShiftPoints) AS expAShift,
          Sum(tblPoints.BShiftPoints) AS expBShift,
          Sum(tblPoints.CShiftPoints) AS expCShift
          Sum(tblPoints.AShiftPoints+tblPoints.BShiftPoints+tblPoints.CShiftPoints) AS expGroupTotal,
          Sum(tblPoints.Period1Points) AS expPeriod1, Sum(tblPoints.Period2Points) AS expPeriod2,
          Sum(tblPoints.Period3Points) AS expPeriod3, Sum(tblPoints.Period4Points) AS expPeriod4,
          Sum(tblPoints.Period1Points+tblPoints.Period2Points+tblPoints.Period3Points+tblPoints.Period4Points) AS expSchoolTotal,
          Sum(tblPoints.CitizenPoints) AS expCitizen, Sum(tblPoints.GroupPoints) AS expGroupPoints,
          Sum(tblPoints.RespectPoints) AS expRespect, Sum(tblPoints.ResponsePoints) AS expResponse,
          Sum(tblPoints.ViolationFines) AS expViolations, Sum(tblPoints.PropertyFines) AS expPropertyFines,
          expSchoolTotal+expGroupTotal+expGroupPoints AS expDayPointsMax120,
          IIf(expDayPointsMax120>95,expDayPointsMax120-95,0) AS expTotalCreditsAbove95,
          expTotalCreditsAbove95+expRespect+expResponse+expViolations AS expCharacterStrength,
          IIf((expDayPointsMax120>94 And Not tblPoints.SuspendCanteen),”Yes”,”No”) AS DayEarned,
          tblPoints.StudentID,
          IIf((expDayPointsMax120>94 AND NOT
              tblPoints.SuspendCanteen),
              expCharacterStrength-expViolations-expPropertyFines,0) AS expCanteenPoints,
          tblPoints.PointDay, tblPoints.SuspendCanteen, tblPoints.PointID
      FROM
          tblStudents INNER JOIN tblPoints ON tblStudents.StudentID=tblPoints.StudentID
      WHERE (((tblPoints.PointDay) Between [Start_Date] And [End_Date]) AND
          ((tblStudents.Discharged)=No))
      GROUP BY
          tblPoints.PointDay,
          tblStudents.SFName,
          tblStudents.SLName,
          tblPoints.StudentID,
          tblPoints.PointDay,
          tblPoints.SuspendCanteen,
          tblPoints.PointID;

      • #3097408

        Adventures in SQL

        by rkendsley ·

        In reply to Adventures in SQL

        If you are trying to describe the query in a couple of sentences, then you can right click on the query itself and use the properties to add a SHORT description.  Looks to be only about 256 characters or so (4 lines).  Or, you might as well use your database skills and create a data-dictionary table within the database itself, listing the query name and a memo field that could hold your comments about the query.

    • #3080518

      24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The following takes place between the hours of 8:00 am and 9:00 am on any given weekday.

      Events occur in real time.

      8:00 Arrive at the office. I clock in, unlock my office and dock my laptop. I have a message on my voice mail, but no coffee and one must have priorities.

      8:07 I am drinking my coffee when the phone rings. Ms. Smith’s date is wrong on her computer.

      Me: In the right hand corner of your screen you should see the time. Double click on the time.
      Smith: OK.
      Me: Now you should see a calendar. Click on the date and then click OK.
      Smith: I can’t.
      Me: What do you mean?
      Smith: It has the wrong date. It’s still a day behind.

      8:24
      I finish talking Ms. Smith through the concept of changing the date and throw away my coffee cup. I check my voice mail and listen to a message from Ms. Brown who is letting me know when she will be in the office for me to finish working on her computer. Yesterday I discovered she was using the wrong password, and told her I would reset her password on the server and that would take care of things. I return her call and leave a message telling her that everything is taken care of and I don’t need to get into her office. I begin to check my email

      8:31
      I leave my office to resolve an email issue on the payroll computer

      8:41
      I return to my office and find two new voice mails

      Message 1 (Ms. Brown): I got your message Mr. Tech Juggler. I guess you can get into my office after lunch if that’s ok with you. I still don’t understand how my password got changed in the first place. How long will you need to be on my computer? Just call me back.

      Message 2 (Ms. Brown): Mr. Tech Juggler, I just realized what that password was. That was the password I’ve been using to get onto my computer, so never mind changing it. I’m sorry, hope you have a nice day

      8:43
      I begin working on updating a tracking database system.

      8:59
      I realize I need more coffee and head out the door. I am stopped in the hallway by Ms. Brown who asks me if I’ve finshed fixing her password problem.

      8:59:59

      9:00

      • #3080447

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by smorty71 ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        Awesome post. Would love to see more people use this format.

      • #3080435

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jepott ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        HAHAHAHA…. Sounds like the Marc and Paul syndrome that I have…

        JP

      • #3080356

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        Thanks.  I intend to occasionally post more like this.

      • #3078005

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        You know there are automated tools for self service password change. Ms. Brown could go to another users computer, log onto an Intranet site and change it herself.

      • #3078977

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by skicat ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        Brilliant!!!

        You forgot the part where your users have a hidden camera pointing at your desk so they know the second you sit down and start calling you.

      • #3079586

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jaqui ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        forgot the part about the camera pointing at his desk?

        that lasted for 3 minutes.
        He came in real early and set it to broadcast a loop of an empty office eternally.

        saves wear and tear on the company phones that way.

      • #3079514

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        That’s exactly what I did.  Smartest move I ever made. 😛

      • #3079706

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        I had intended to do a semi-regular 24 feature here.  This first one was so popular though, I’m afraid of spoiling it.  

        But I guess I’ll do some more, especially if I keep getting voice mail messages from Ms. Brown.

      • #3097593

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jason.schell ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        I would bet you get paid a lot of money to keep your users in the dark. Are they still running Windows 98? Ever heard of date and time synchronization? You complain about these unskilled users but the reality is if they knew any better you would be out of a job for keeping them so far behind in technology. Some of us have real IT jobs offering real value to our customers.

      • #3097525

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jason_whiteaker ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        To the latest poster berating the guy for doing his job and “keeping his users in the dark…” –

        You, sir, sound like a PHB!

        Perhaps you should step back and consider that you may not know all the facts. You don’t know what kind of environment this guy has to live in, nor do you know the company culture. How do you know that he isn’t miserable and looking to better himself somewhere else? Maybe he has personal obstacles preventing him from living the perfect life you seem to think is so easily attainable.

        I feel sorry for your direct reports. I bet their lives are just swell trying to keep your impossible standards. You sound like a twenty-something punk who hasn’t had to work your way up through the IT ranks. I wonder if you’ve ever lost a job and tried to support a family.

        Perhaps you’ll get smacked upside the head and get your pride checked before berating someone without the facts. So-called “managers” like you are such weasels.

      • #3097517

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by jason_whiteaker ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        You, sir, sound like a PHB!

        Perhaps you should step back and consider that you may not know all the facts. You don’t know what kind of environment this guy has to live in, nor do you know the company culture. How do you know that he isn’t miserable and looking to better himself somewhere else? Maybe he has personal obstacles preventing him from living the perfect life you seem to think is so easily attainable.

        I feel sorry for your direct reports. I bet their lives are just swell trying to keep your impossible standards. You sound like a twenty-something punk who hasn’t had to work your way up through the IT ranks. I wonder if you’ve ever lost a job and tried to support a family.

        Perhaps you’ll get smacked upside the head by life someday and get your pride checked before berating someone without the facts. So-called “managers” like you are such weasels.

      • #3097505

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by bschaettle ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        What??  No calls from the “power user” secretary who insisted on having full control of a multi-user database that she has now corrupted without making a backup?  Your day is hardly complete, in that case, but there are another 10-12 hours left afterall.

      • #3097477

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by brucelabonte ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        Awesome start! Please post more!  BTW, I think you meant 8:59:59 at the end.

      • #3097445

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        I did mean 8:59:59.  Thanks, I made the correction.

        Oh, and to the 20 something tech guy (heh) I work with what I have available.  If you’d like to contribute some money to my budget, drop me a private note, ok?  Thanks.

      • #3097260

        24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        by cathy.pearson ·

        In reply to 24 – 8:00am to 9:00am

        Another spin on being a tech juggler:

        7:55pm After another grueling day of tech support for an ISP, a twenty-something geek gets ready to log off the phones for the evening. He’s had lots of calls that taxed his soul and conspired to steal his will to live. Just as he reaches to put the phone on night mode, that one last call comes in. *brrRRrrng* He’s doing the dance from having WAY too many cups of coffee earlier to keep him going. Should he walk away? Or should he subject himself to yet another repetitive, dopey end-user question when it’s time to bail?

        7:56pm Underappreciated tech guy answers the call, doing the right thing, putting his best smile into his voice, even though he’s done this very thing a hundred times today. The girl on the other end of the line is cute and somewhat of a flirt. They quickly resolve the issue and she’s a very satisfied customer. She is amazed and impressed with his technical expertise.

        10:00am (the next day) Inspired tech support guy (who is feeling a little more cheery this morning) sends a follow up email to make sure the customer from the night before is no longer having any computer problems. She is so appreciative of his caring and concern, she sends back a cute and inspiring email.

        2:00pm (a year and a half later) Greatly appreciated tech support guy walks down the aisle as he marries the cute girl.

        Moral of the story: Tech support guys are ALWAYS underappreciated by those who use them, but are ALWAYS appreciated by those who love them. 🙂

        –signed The Girl

    • #3080089

      How to reply to an email

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      This is for my friend who reads my emails but never responds to them.  He uses Yahoo Mail.

      Scenario: You just got am email from a friend. You wish to respond but are unsure how.  Do not panic. You have a yahoo account, and there are simple steps to do what we in the tech world refer to as “reply”

      Step 1:  There is a button that says reply on the top of your email message.  This is easy to spot because it is to the right of the word delete, to the left of the word forward, and has the word reply written on it.  Push the button that says reply.NOTE:  You have not actually replied at this point. Please move on to step 2.

      Step 2: Just below the button that says Attach files is a big white box.  Left click your mouse in this box.

      Step 3: Type in the words you want the person who sent you the email to read.

      Step 4: Below the white box is a check box that you can ignore.  Below that are four buttons.  The one on the far left is the send button and has the word send in it.  Push that button.

       If all goes well you have just successfully sent a message. Hope that helps!

       

      • #3079784

        How to reply to an email

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        My heavens, did we wake up on the sarcastic side of the bed?

        Who’s Mommy’s little smart@$$?  Who is it?  Could it be you?

        Yes, it is, it is!  You’re Mommy’s little smart@$$!  Yes, you are!!!  😉

      • #3079707

        How to reply to an email

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        That’s not sarcasm.  That’s instructing with style.

      • #3077487

        How to reply to an email

        by jepott ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        I think ole R.W. needs to see that eh???  HAHAHA!!!!

      • #3097581

        How to reply to an email

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        He sure does.  He’s the one I sent this to originally in fact. 😛

      • #3098626

        How to reply to an email

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        For advanced email replying techniques, once one gets the hang of
        Tech Juggler’s instructions above, I recommend checking my new blog
        post reply intelligently to email.

      • #3110019

        How to reply to an email

        by pbk121 ·

        In reply to How to reply to an email

        Hi Folks,

        Though this is “Instructing with Style” it does cross the borders towards Sarcasm a bit 😀
        I personally do not find anything wrong with it though .. There are some (Human) objects in this world who do not ever care to reply to mails 🙂

        Thanks a lot for a gr8 msg to send across to such objects.

        Cheers

         

         

         

    • #3097458

      Words Resembling Wisdom (1/17/06) No judgement

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      We have at all of our facilities “teachable points of view” handed down from our corporate office.  These are guidlines that we are to follow that enable us to do a good & professional job.

      One of them reads “Immediately respond to issues without rushing to judgement.”  Sounds very wise doesn’t it?

      I guess what they want us to do is to instantly respond, but never do so with judgement; good or otherwise.  That sounds dangerous to me.  Especially when another teachable point of view urges us to “be proactive in all you do.”  One defenition of proactive is “controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens.”

      I am to be proactive.  I am to cause things to happen rather than respond to something after it happens.  But should something actually happen, I am to respond to it immediately without good judgement.  *sigh*

      • #3097297

        Words Resembling Wisdom (1/17/06) No judgement

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Words Resembling Wisdom (1/17/06) No judgement

        Pendantic.

        This is a common issue with programmers, who tend to think in binary terms.

        English is a more flexible langauge than say, COBOL( a very unstructured language to be sure).

        Rush to judgement, is a term that has come to mean something specific over the course of decades. It relates more to the word Judgmental:

        1. Of, relating to, or dependent on judgment: a judgmental error.
        2. Inclined to make judgments, especially moral or personal ones: a marriage counselor who tries not to be judgmental

        It has a negative connotation – in other words, rush to judgement without examining all the facts, or considering other perspectives.  I understand exactly what they are trying to say with that guideline. You are to withhold any judgemental comments and respond to the issue. If there is to be any (negative)judgements, resolve the issue first, then deal with the consequences.

        Your reaction strikes me as something like a game I like to call “silly bugger”, in that you are chosing to be obtuse and difficult. And yes, thats judgemental

         

        James 

    • #3257560

      24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The following takes place between the hours of 9:00 am and 10:00 am on any given weekday.

      Events occur in real time.

      9:00 I explain to Ms. Brown, using one syllable words, that her password problem is corrected. I have a hard time coming up with a one syllable word to mean “password.” I finally settle on the phrase, “what you type in that you can not see when you log on” to mean password. Oddly enough, she seems to understand this. At the same time:

      9:02 Ms. Wagner is entering in data into the Behavioral Management System I designed. The system is going through a testing period. Despite the fact that it takes half the time to enter data in to it, Ms. Wagner does not like the new system because it looks different from the old one. She is carrying out a plot to sabotage the deployment and shift the blame to the programmer, i.e. me.

      9:05 My conference call meeting on the new Internet based payroll system starts in ten minutes. I get my coffee, grab my laptop and head towards the meeting. On the way there I stop by Ms. Wagner’s desk.

      Me: Ms. Wagner, are you getting the hang of the new system?
      Ms. Wagner: This takes twice as long as the old way. Why can’t you get it to look like the old one?
      Me: Well, the old one involved opening dozens of Excel files at once, and was a nightmare to maintain. Excel really isn’t designed to handle the massive amount of data we track. I think once you get the hang of it, it’ll go a lot quicker.
      Ms. Wagner: It still takes longer
      Me: I’ve entered data into both systems and this is a lot quicker. I’ve also shown it to the other people that have used the old system.  They all like this a lot better because it involves a lot less typing and it really goes fast. Tell you what, I’ll work with you on it when I get out of my meeting.
      Ms. Wagner: OK. Maybe then you can get it to look like the old one.

      9:16 I arrive at the meeting a minute late, but it hasn’t started. We are on hold with corporate. Small talk begins.

      9:21 The administrator hangs up with corporate and calls back demanding to know why the people who called the meeting can’t be found. Small talk has degraded into discussion of the weather. Panicking, I start looking on my laptop to find work that will occupy the time. I discover a note about a report I forgot to fill out. That will do.

      9:29 I am saving my work on the report when I realize someone is addressing me.

      Mr. Ryan: What do you think Scott?
      Me: About what?
      Mr. Ryan: What we’ve been talking about for the last ten minutes.
      Me: Um, the weather? It’s fine.
      Administrator: Well the next time he calls a meeting, can you make sure he’s there for it? Thanks Gail. Bye.

      According to corporate the meeting was never scheduled. We leave for our respective desks.

      9:35 I get back to my desk and have a voice mail from Ms. Wagner. She says she is swamped and a week behing entering data on the new system because it’s too hard. I call her desk but she isn’t there. I need to go to the bathroom, so I decide to check her desk after that.

      9:37 I am indisposed

      9:46 I am no longer indisposed. In fact, I feel much better now. Ms. Wagner still isn’t at her desk. I look at the sheets she has to input and decide to wait. In the meantime, I discuss the system and the problems with getting it working with Ms. Wagner’s supervisor.

      9:58 Ms. Wagner arrives back at her desk. Apparently she was indisposed as well. I agree to take half the sheets of input and enter the data in myself. Estimated duration is 45 minutes.

      9:59:59

      10:00

      • #3107342

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by jepott ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        Too funny!!!  I love the last part… ‘Apparently she was indisposed as well…’

        Thanks for giving me a good laugh!!

        JEPott

      • #3109892

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        That was my favorite line from the blog.  I was proud to have written it.  Thanks.

      • #3258398

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by visor57 ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        Deja-vu! (except about being indisposed! lol)
      • #3258238

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by dc guy ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        Software is not as good as we technicians know it to be. It is only as good as the end users perceive it to be. Most of the people on this planet do not have the aptitude, disposition, training, or interest to be technicians. In particular, they don’t share our automatic joy at the thought of something familiar changing into something that promises to be better. For them there is no fun in wrestling with things they’ve come to view as tools and appliances in order to make them do the job they’ve always done. For them it means that a task they’ve always been able to execute with no conscious effort suddenly becomes something that requires considerable attention.

        I’m sure even the most unreformed propeller-heads among us can think of something we take for granted that would distress us if tomorrow it became substantially different, even if everyone tells us it will be better. The first thing I would outlaw if I were king is daylight saving time. It takes me weeks to get used to it and then the ptaaks change it back. Renumbering my cable tv channels once or twice a year is right up there. These are things that supposedly make my life better like your new software.

        No matter how much we enjoy change, it is hard for all of us, and it is much harder for normal people than it is for us geeks. That is why the Change Curve starts off with a steep drop and goes into the Valley of Despair before it (hopefully) climbs back to benchmark and (hopefully) continues to rise.

        That said, Ms. Wagner is doomed because she is a minority of one. If everybody else was able to adapt to the new system she’ll have to do it. But that doesn’t mean her objections are frivolous. (Although she could just be a lazy whiner.) Some people just have great difficulty adapting to change. They don’t get jobs in IT so we’re not used to dealing with them, but they’re real people.

      • #3258196

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        Those are some good points.  I think Ms. Wagner’s (these are not their real names by the way) biggest reluctance comes from the change itself.

        According to her supervisor she also tends to slack a bit and get behind, so there’s that too.

        I’ll say this for her. She just called me up and thanked me for showing her (again) some shortcuts that make the system run smoother and quicker.  It helped her out.  That was the first positive thing she’s said.  You can teach new tricks, but it takes patience.

      • #3110322

        24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        by pcoone1 ·

        In reply to 24 – 9:00am to 10:00am

        I appreciate the sharing.  I’ve have always wondered.  I hope you love your job, sounds like quite a feat.

        Thanks again. 

    • #3133200

      24 – 10:00am to 11:00am

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      The following takes place between the hours of 10:00 am and 11:00 am on any given weekday.

      Events occur in real time.

      10:00 I begin the process of entering in data into the new Behavior Management System.  Ms. Wagner says it takes forever to do this.  I have half of the sheets that need to be entered and have estimated it will require 45 minutes.


      10:03
      Data entry is going quicker than expected, but the process is a bit mindless.  Music would help, so I create a playlist that includes Billy Joel, Mark Shultz, Vanessa-Mae, Christmas Music, John Williams, Rich Mullins and a stirring rendition of Guys and Dolls.  Fortunately, I recently had to move my office to a hole in the back and nobody can hear me sing.

      10:06 Ms. Wagner calls me.  I pause my music.  She does not, which makes it difficult to hear her, especially because she has me on speaker phone.  I do not engage her in a conversation about her taste in music, even though mine is better.  She asks me how to add a student in the system.  I say, “By clicking the button that says ‘add a student.'”

      10:12  The QA department begins generating a claims-file to send to State.  The process has worked well since I corrected the modem settings.  It takes 25 minutes for the file to be generated and then sent.

      10:32  I finish my half of the data entry.  I walk to Ms. Wagner’s office to return the data sheets.  She asks how I finished so quickly, and I respond with an almost witty remark about how efficient the new system is. 

      That makes me feel guilty, although I am uncertain whether the guilt comes from the remark itself or that the remark was not witty enough.  Nevertheless, I make up for it by showing her again the quickest way to enter data.

      10:41 I begin to catch up on some other tasks that have been set aside.  These include updating a username list, updating a Windows 2000 system to Service Pack 4 and testing a hard drive that appears to have failed.

      10:47  Meanwhile, the QA report compiled and the modem dialed.  The modem connected and failed.  The ever optimistic QA department starts the report again.  It will take another 25 minutes for the report to fail to send.  The QA department’s cup is half full, but in 25 minutes they will begin to drink out of it heavily.

      10:51  My supervisor calls and asks me to come to Administration and help her move some furniture.  I tell her I’ll be right there.  Then, on a whim, I find and re-read my job description.  Sure enough, it reads “…and other duties as needed.

      10:52 I decide to check my email first. This includes company and personal.  I have no new company emails.  I have 65 new personal emails. 50 of them are in my junk folder.   15 are actual emails in my inbox.  Of those, 4 are emails I will actually read, but not now.  But first, it is time to go move furniture.

      10:57 Once again I wonder if there is a physical law that mandates manual labor only when I have worn a long sleeve shirt and the AC is not functioning properly.

      10:59:59

      11:00

      • #3107920

        24 – 10:00am to 11:00am

        by jepott ·

        In reply to 24 – 10:00am to 11:00am

        Great blog!!  Ya just gotta hate those “and other duties” part of the job!!

        JEPott

      • #3133909

        24 – 10:00am to 11:00am

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 24 – 10:00am to 11:00am

        The nice part about the other part of the job is it filled up 10 minutes of this blog.  

        The annoying part will come with the resolving of the Claims report. That’s not for a few hours though.

    • #3133885

      7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      As I am writing this blog, I am downloading the Preview Beta Version of Internet Explorer 7.0. I’m also pondering whether or not I will actually install it.

      Off the top of my head are 7 reasons not to.

      1. It’s Beta
        This is a question of philosophy. Some people like being on the cutting edge, some people like to play it safe. I like to be on the cutting edge, but don’t like to shoot myself in the foot doing so. (Please pardon the mixing of metaphors.)
      2. Some Anti-Spyware & Anti-Virus programs prevent it from installing
      3. The code for IE 7 was posted online
        How this happened, I do not know, but just the prior availability would make malware easier to write
      4. Numerous bugs have been reported
        This, of course, is to be expected in Beta versions. Some would contend it is to be expected with Microsoft products.
      5. OS integration
        This one I don’t know about. I remember reading that IE 7 will not be as closely integrated with the OS. Is this true? Will this cause problems on my machine? Will I be able to uninstall it without difficulty? I don’t know the answers to these questions.
      6. Security
        Yes, IE 7 is supposed to have tighter security. The day it was released though I read an article (no link this time, I didn’t bookmark it and forgot where it was) about a security flaw. That is not encouraging.
      7. Firefox
        I still love Firefox. It is meeting most of my needs. Firefox has a nice download manager, it has great extensions, it has wonderful features. Will IE 7 be able to meet or surpass these features? Almost certainly not in the preview version, and who can say in the final release?

      Will I install it? Probably, yeah. But I can’t say for sure yet.

      Want to see who’s next On the Soapbox? Find out in
      the Blog
      Roundup newsletter. Use this link to automatically
      subscribe
      and have it
      delivered directly to your Inbox every Wednesday. 

      • #3135211

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Why not test it out in a virtual machine. No harm done if it blows something up.

      • #3134884

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by jon-sharpe ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        After you install IE 7, since it installs over your present version of IE, it becomes integrated into the OS. Although I haven’t tried to uninstall it, I imagine it would be rather difficult. I would probably have to download and reinstall IE 6 SP1 in order to get IE 7 out.

        It will be interesting to see how thightly integrated IE 7 is into Windows Vista. I have tested a few of the beta versions of Vista, and so far it appears to be Windows XP with a fancy new GUI and a bunch of security fixes. =\

      • #3096952

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by steven warren ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Jon: You are incorrect in your assumption that Windows Vista is simply a fancy new GUI and a bunch of security fixes. You have to look deeper than that. What are you basing this judgement on? Have you read any of the docs or played with the beta at length at all.

        Besides security fixes and a nice GUI, with Vista you have the ability to speed up your system by sticking a USB flash key in your USB drive. It allows you to allocate memory to the computer and keep memory for yourself. A new anti-spyware solution is embedded called Windows Defender. A completely redesigned/rebuilt IIS 7 which is now modular is in Windows Vista. A protected mode in IE is included that separates IE from the rest of the Operating System. I can go on. Jumping on the bandwagon does not suffice when it comes to Windows Vista. It is going to be great! I encourage you to play with the beta.

      • #3092761

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by realist123 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        …”I read an article (no link this time, I didn’t bookmark it and forgot where it was) about a security flaw. That is not encouraging. “

        “This, of course, is to be expected in Beta versions”

        Which one is it???

      • #3092709

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by vawns ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I installed IE 7 to play with it but I still prefer Firefox. IE 7 can be removed by doing the following:

        Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK.

        Click to select the Show updates check box.

        Scroll through the list of installed programs to the Windows XP ? Software Updates section.

        In the Windows XP ? Software Updates section, click Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview, and then click Remove.

        In the Software Update Removal Wizard dialog box, click Next..

        Click Finish when the process has finished, and then restart the computer.

        Cheers,

        Vawns

      • #3092693

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by vawns ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I installed IE 7 to play with it but I still prefer Firefox. IE 7 can be removed by doing the following:

        Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK.

        Click to select the Show updates check box.

        Scroll through the list of installed programs to the Windows XP ? Software Updates section.

        In the Windows XP ? Software Updates section, click Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview, and then click Remove.

        In the Software Update Removal Wizard dialog box, click Next..

        Click Finish when the process has finished, and then restart the computer.

        Cheers,

        Vawns

      • #3092653

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Thanks Vawns.  That’s exactly what I needed to know.

      • #3093269

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by twister_7777 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I strongly prefer to let is run and see about this one before I install this software in my computer.  The major parts of beta softwarea (are beta) and bring their lots of problems and who needs more computer problems ?

        Not me, Firefox in my pc is not in danger at the moment 🙂

      • #3093137

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Well, I really want to look at ie7 and I really don’t want to mess up my laptop.  So, I’ve decided to put it on a test machine if I can find a spare one that will handle it, or clone my desktop first and then load it.  I’ll figure out which will be less time consuming and probably blog about it if I find anything interesting enough to write about.

        How many others have already tried it here?

      • #3092997

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by Erik Eckel ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I downloaded the IE7 beta, but then I got cold feet, too. I was about to install it on my production machine when I realized that, if I ran into trouble, I’d be hard-pressed to justify the install (it’s only a beta, after all). I’ll likely try it out on a test machine, instead, and go from there.

         

      • #3092943

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by l.harper ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        The only negative I’ve heard so far regarding the use of the IE 7 beta is that some secure web applications are not recognizing it. Specifically, I spoke with an Internet banking user who, when logging into his bank account online using the beta browser, received an error stating that his browser version is old and needs to be updated. So just be prepared for web apps which are not yet updated to recognize IE 7. If you have Firefox installed as backup that may help, though some apps require IE.

      • #3133034

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by roho ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        If you really want try IE7 beta 2 and be sure to not mess up your system then download it and follow instructions from this site on how to install IE7 in stand-alone fashion.

        I have done it and it works great. For as far as running standalone.
        For the rest: IE7 beta 2 is a bit of a disappointment. I see new things goin wrong with the rendring of my sites, so there will be new hacks needed, I fear.

        I have had wonderful popup blocking messages when I try to dropdown a dropdown list (?). And no matter how much I turn the popup blocking off or on I can not select an item in a dropdown box using my mouse. I can with a keyboard … 

      • #3132924

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by anon jr ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Actually, from what I’ve read over at SitePoint the rendering “problems” are coming from IE7 rendering things closer to standard than previous versions. Provided that is the case, I’d rather rush and fix all my sites than let people complain about the rendering problems and put MS in a position to justify going back to supporting the old, bad habits.

        I’m getting ready to install it and give it a shot as soon as I get my backup server fixed. (just in case it doesn’t want to uninstall)

        As for the code being posted being a problem, couldn’t you say the same about FF? (I use FF and love it, but I hate to see a logical fallacy go unanswered.)

      • #3132922

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by rob3077 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I can’t believe we’re even talking about the bugs as a reason not to try it.  THIS IS A BETA.  I have yet to try a beta that didn’t have bugs or security flaws.  Also, any user that demos beta software on their daily use computer is asking for trouble.  Every noob knows to use a test machine.  IE7 beta 2 will potentially screw up your registry.  There is no doubt.  Especially if you’ve demoed IE7 beta 1 on the same machine.  Make sure you do your system restore points and try out the software.  Its actually a nice interface and nice features.  You will have trouble with sites that used CSS hacks, because all of that is fixed in this version.  Which is one of the reasons why MS released it, so that webmasters will have time to update their code.  Also, png images are flaky, its a bug they know about and are going to fix.  Thats what’s great about beta’s…

      • #3132901

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Rob, the fact that Beta’s have bugs is kind of my premise for the blog.  Is it worth running software that you know is going to have problems?

        Your point about not running beta on a main machine is well taken, and sound advice.  However, the only way to really test a piece of software is to use it in real conditions.  That means using it on a machine that you…. well that you use.  

      • #3132854

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by l.harper ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        The only negative I’ve heard so far regarding the use of the IE 7 beta is that some secure web applications are not recognizing it. Specifically, I spoke with an Internet banking user who, when logging into his bank account online using the beta browser, received an error stating that his browser version is old and needs to be updated. So just be prepared for web apps which are not yet updated to recognize IE 7. If you have Firefox installed as backup that may help, though some apps require IE.

      • #3092310

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by johnfarnham9 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I’m running Firefox at home after trying it before and ending up going
        to Mozilla Suite. Every once in a while it freezes – I think it stays
        running in the background when not being used and not responding to
        reactivation clicks. I’ve re-installed it twice on that account. Do you
        FF fans have any similar problem ? Mozilla doesn’t do that.

      • #3093848

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I did have that issue.  I didn’t reinstall, but FF had an update that I got, and then I updated all my extensions and the problem hasn’t happened again.

      • #3133718

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by admin ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Yet another example of delusional IT press bias againt anything MS, and pro Firefox… The old saying is still true today: You get what you pay for… If Firefox was *SO* much better, why hasn’t there been a huge push to install it on corp desktops, or integrate popular applications? Perhaps its just a coincidence that many online banking services refuse to work in Firefox…

        I had no problems with IE7, and it uninstalls fine too. I’ve been using Vista for months now, and I find many of its features indispensable and hate using my other “old” XP computer now..

        All software has bugs in it, we just haven’t found them all yet. But its beyond me why people get down on IE, which is undeniably the gold standard in browsers. It seems as though its become fasionable to trash anything MS puts out jsut to have a reason to complain about something…

      • #3133707

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by scatalin ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        “The code for IE 7 was posted online.
        How this happened, I do not know, but just the prior availability would make malware easier to write”

        Now, here one thing that I don’t understad. There are so many open source projects out there, and lots of people are saying that this is a good thing, that for these kind of projects there are no security risks involved, since having many programmers work on the code will have as result a more secure application. Now, when the source code of a Microsoft’s product goes online (being it with their consent or not… I’d rather say it’s without their approvel), some will say that this will sure pose a security threat, that it will “make malware easier to write…”   Hmm…  Now, how do you call that?   And, anyway, this is a beta product, and do I have to say what beta means?

      • #3133704

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by majestic100 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        For much the same reasons, I was reluctant about installing IE7.  I however bit the bullet……..and regreted it.  Had nothing but problems, none more so than trying to get rid of it.  Not as easy as going to Add/Remove programs especially when it’s not listed – despite what one is told.  Thanks to the Microsoft Communities feedback eventually managed to remove traces.  I’ll stick to Firefox, then Opera, then IE6 (for updates)

      • #3133670

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by lordzowy ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I’ve installed IE 7 beta on two personal PCs and my office PC. I’ve noticed a few things that I’m not happy with that I have notified Microsoft about. But I have to say that this is the move in right direction that Microsoft needs to stay in the browser race. I’ve yet to attempt an uninstall, but at this point I’m not feeling a strong need to do so. I’m happy with the application and although not for everyone as it is a beta I think this will be a welcome improvement over past releases.

        Given their past attempts at creating a secure browser environment for the general population I applaud them for their efforts this time around. Keeping in mind that this is a beta and most of the issues get worked out at this stage I feel that once all is said and done they will have a good competitor to other Tab based browsing environments.

        I look forward to the next release.

      • #3133519

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by greeva_65 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Like the original blog says, I like to be on the cutting edge, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot.  Well….I shot my foot. I downloaded and installed IE 7 and am not happy with it.  I’m wondering if anyone else has had these basic UI problems.  IE7 seems very heavy.  My browsing time has almost doubled.  Every 30 minutes or so, it stops responding and I have to close and reopen.  Some “buttons” take you to places other than where you wanted to  go.  i.e. I clicked on my Home Page icon and it closed IE7.  I have some flash graphics on my home page and IE7 will not display them.  I use Yahoo! email and it has changed the layout there. There are absolutely no graphics.  I might as well be writing in notepad.  Thanks Vawns for your removal instructions. 

      • #3091786

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by sykandtyed ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        For all you users of IE7.

        Before you download the beta, create a restore point.

        There is nothing else to do to after installing IE7.

        One note here. If you intend to do online bankind, Most sites do not recognize IE7’s format. I have read that Wells Fargo and my own bank does not accept IE7.

        Getting back to uninstalling IE7. Simply go to the restore point you created before installation of IE7 and your original browser will be right where you left it.

        WT

      • #3091742

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by mtp137 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I installed IE 7.0 Beta while leaving Firefox as my default
        browser. An odd side effect was that all hyperlinks in email messages, received
        in Outlook Express, when clicked on opened the ‘My Documents’ folder. I did not
        initially realize that IE 7 was the problem, however after a fair amount of
        troubleshooting & web searching, I came to the conclusion that it must be.

        It was not listed in the add/remove programs list, even with updates being
        shown, but finding the solution on the MS site was not difficult.

        Once it was removed hyperlink functionality was restored to Outlook Express and
        both Firefox and IE 6 appear to be functioning normally.

      • #3091705

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by rizwandean ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Ok, I installed the beta version on a test PC and by far the biggest problem we have had is it crashes when you have too many bookmarks in your Favourites. We had about 100 entries in ours when hell overflowed and our system crashed. Each time we re-booted and hen tried to acces the favourites through IE7, the system froze and then crashed. Thinking it was the fault of a junior SA, he was roundly mocked by all of us (a guy who cant install a M$ app must be on drugs!) and we proceeded to install it ouselves on another test pc and we copied all the old bookmarks into the new machine and then tried again… to our shock (and embarassment as the junior SA was now mocking us) the system crashed as well. Worse still, we ended up with a huge warning box popping up on the machine telling us that a critical file had become corrupted and then the machine died. Upon restarting, the machine was no longer running like a pc, it was running slower than a toddler can crawl. We tried to uninstall IE7 (which we now call “Bills evil toy”) but found that it further resulted in our machine tipping closer to the gates to hell. In the end, we had to format the machine and reload everything again.

        My advice: DON’T TRY IE7.

      • #3254531

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        Yet another example of delusional IT press bias
        againt anything MS, and pro Firefox… The old saying is still true
        today: You get what you pay for…

        And an even better example of people not paying attention and only hearing (or reading) what they want to hear.  At no point in my blog did I trash MS.  If I wasn’t interested in IE7 and MS, I’d have never written this blog.

      • #3254508

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by josh.hoskins ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        One issue I’ve found is that I can’t use an Ascii character in my password in IE 7.  Unfortunatly, a lot of my passwords have these so I’m effectivly locked out of these sites with IE 7.

      • #3254363

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by coreypi ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I would say this, I love the new IE7 interface which is altogether different from Internet Explorer 6.
        Should you download IE7, be prepare for problems like backward compatibility to Internet Explorer 6 when visiting
        secure web sites which still uses Internet Explorer 6.  Secondly, Windows favorite Live generates an error message, that it cannot sign in. And finally when I notice when you go into Internet Explorer add-ons under tools, some add-ons were disabled. Other than that Internet Explorer 7 has a lot capability to becoming the best by far as security goes when it’s fully integrated into Windows Vista. 

      • #3089615

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by pablito9 ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        WARNING! When I installed IE7 Beta, links in emails in Outlook Express stop working unless I make IE7 Beta the default browser! If I keep Firefox as the default browser, links in emails won’t work. Instead, the program displays the directory for Outlook Express! If I make IE7 the default browser, and then make Firefox the default browser again, the links stop working and I get the Outlook Express directory again.

        Has anyone else experienced this??? This sounds like a kind of Trojan horse technique…

        hmm checked the messages and it looks like someone else experienced this problem but was more polite about it than me.

      • #3084431

        7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        by computerguru ·

        In reply to 7 reasons not to try IE 7.0 Beta

        I have to disagree. I have been using IE7 for about a month now and would never use anything else. I love the tabbed interface. Yes there are some layout changes but that is a small price to pay considering all you are getting. I have run this browser through its paces to see what she could do. A full burn in I opened the maximum number of tabs in one window which happens to be 70. and there was no crash I even opened 10 instances of IE7 which you guessed it is 700 webpages at one time. She held strong. If I tried to do that in IE6 It would have crashed way before. The setup is easy as pie and the features included are awesome. I love tha anti-phishing utility and the spyware blocker and the pop up blocker is so much better than the one in IE6 I have had no poups at all. All in all IE7 is an excellent addition to the Microsoft Family. KEEP THEM COMING BILL.

    • #3100629

      Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I love quantum physics, even though I don’t understand quantum physics. I can grasp the principles and philosophy behind many of the concepts, just don’t ask me to prove it to you with a calculator.

      Take this for example. This article describes a quantum computer that works best when it is shut off.

      This makes sense only in the world on quantum physics, where you can get a measurement by not measuring something. Now, scientists have built a non-running computer that works.

      Team leader Onur Hosten said, “This scheme could have an advantage over straightforward quantum
      computing. A non-running computer produces fewer errors.”

      I thought quantum computers themselves were still theoretical, but I guess not. Maybe they still are theoretical, and that’s why they work now?

      • #3087623

        Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        by oneamazingwriter ·

        In reply to Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have simply created a subconscious mind from the sounds of it. I can sit awake and only puzzle over something, yet go to sleep and find the correct answer. I, too, do my best work when I am not working. Now, if only I could convince someone to pay me to sleep!

      • #3087584

        Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        Nice.  I laughed when I read your comment, but on further thought that’s a pretty good analogy.

      • #3087538

        Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        by oneamazingwriter ·

        In reply to Quantum Computers- they run but they don’t

        Thanks. Most of my best thoughts come to me in cartoons or with punch lines. Life in the fourth dimension is full of good humor. Until a computer can laugh, I will always be one up on technology!

    • #3273186

      Do you gmail?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Gmail
      I’ve been using my yahoo email address for years now.  So why would I change to another?

      Well, because so far, I find that I like Google’s Gmail system.  It has a unique organizational system, is fairly lightweight, and displays no graphical ads.  There are a lot of nice features such as a lighweight chat with gmail contacts and the ability to send email from other addresses (such as my yahoo mail.)

      I’m not ready to make the switch 100% yet, but I am trying all the features and learning more about gmail.  Its been nice so far.  Hey, I use google for so many other things, why not this too?

      • #3088342

        Do you gmail?

        by incentreloaded ·

        In reply to Do you gmail?

        For tech support Gmail chat is also great if you want a no cost tech support feature.  Chats get automatically saved unless you want to ‘go off record’.  With chats being searchable you can follow a conversation trail.  The upside is you can have a record of what the client said in case he decides to whelch later.  It’s a double edged sword though, if you say something reckless and the client holds you to it!  

    • #3087583

      Quote of the day

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      “Hey, did you get that computer fixed?”
      “Yes.”
      “So it’s fixed then?”

      • #3090239

        Quote of the day

        by jepott ·

        In reply to Quote of the day

        “So, what was the problem?”

        “Ummm… ID10T error.”

        “Oh, OK – thanks for fixing it.”

        JPott

      • #3285511

        Quote of the day

        by scott james ·

        In reply to Quote of the day

        It could have just as easily been the “keyboard to chair” interface…  🙂

    • #3085930

      Phone call of the day

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      My toolbar that lets me bold and change the text is gone from my Word program.
      Ok, can you click on the View menu?

      Yes.
      Now click on toolbars, and click the word Formatting.

      l don’t see that.
      What do you see?

      Add Hardware, Add Remove Programs, things like that.
      OK, you need to actually open up Microsoft Word to get the toolbar back.

      Oh man, I need to turn the computer off to do that don’t I?

      • #3085929

        Phone call of the day

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        Oh, for the record, I realize this is also an example of bad tech support on my end.  I should have verified that MS Word was already open.  Still funny though…

      • #3085409

        Phone call of the day

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        Clasic

        I think you have a real good one there, & they think the oil level in their cars moter never needs checking if a little light don’t come on. (Don’t they do that at the factory?)  And, where does electricity from? It comes out of a socket in the wall silly.

      • #3085223

        Phone call of the day

        by smittypeg81 ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        I got that one beat.

        A young lady called me the other day and said her screen is blank and that she couldnt get the computer to do anything. I asked if the computer was on and she said “YES, the green light on the screen is on”. I had to laugh I know right alway what was going on.  

      • #3086857

        Phone call of the day

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        I’ve had a few variations of that call.  The best was back when I was doing DSL tech support. The person was upset that he could not get onto the internet.  That was true.  However, he could not turn the computer on at all.  I suspect it was a bad power supply.

      • #3268345

        Phone call of the day

        by richard ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        I had a lady customer who had all the unused sockets in her extension cord filled with those dummy plugs, you know the ones that stop small kids from sticking their fingers in the sockets. Out of curiosity I asked why as their were not not any small children around and nor would there be. She replied that if nothing was plugged into the sockets the electricity would fall out!!!!!!!!

      • #3268310

        Phone call of the day

        by alangeek ·

        In reply to Phone call of the day

        I got dragged into a critsit (critical situation) where a service center that handles calls from thousands of customers across the country was reporting that they were all down, nobody able to work, 100+ people sitting idle, potentially causing loss of lotsa money, and potentially incurring the wrath of the IT director and all his direct reports.

        Duty analysts from all the application teams and their supervisors were called in, along with the network services people, who were calling in the corporate network guys, and one of them was contacting the communications vendor to check on the leased lines. I was only involved because I supported a proxy server that occasionally gets involved in transactions that had not yet been migrated off the proxy.

        After finally getting someone to repeat for me what the error message was, I asked how many users were actually affected, and suggested they get someone at the site to check the network cable on the PC of the guy who had called in the problem. Sure enough, the cable had been knocked out of the wall jack for this one guy, and nobody else was onsite yet, as the service center wasn’t due to open for another 30 minutes.

    • #3106573

      5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      How did you learn all that stuff?”

      Do you get asked that a lot? I do. People are often amazed by what
      computer professionals can do; from the very simple to the extremely hard.

      What baffles me is that they are often uninterested in the answer to their
      question. I understand if somebody’s eyes glaze over when I answer their
      question about how I fixed something (but that’s a post for another day.) They
      are never satisfied with what I tell them- its too mundane.

      There are three things that helped me learn how to work in all the aspects of
      IT I find myself in. A) Experience B) College teaching me little about real
      world IT problems, but still teaching me how to learn and C) The attitude that
      I can find out what I need to know.

      Because that is not enough for people that ask me the question, I have complied
      I list of 5 ways I learned IT that may be a bit more exciting.

      1. Star Trek. It turns out computers really can talk to you and they tell
        me what to do. What? You don’t hear the voices?
      2. I have a photographic memory. I got bored in high school one day and
        flipped through every computer manual I could find. Things just kind of
        snow balled from there.
      3. When I was studying computers in college, I just couldn’t get things right.
        My computer programs erased hard drives. I fried every motherboard
        I tried to work on. Then one day my professor was working on an
        experiment involving gamma radiation. His name was Dr. David Dranner.
        I wandered into his lab at the wrong time. The resulting
        explosion somehow grafted into my brain the ability to instantly diagnose any
        computer problem. It did some pretty weird things to Dr. Dranner too.
      4. I’m a juggler. Science has proven that learning to juggle improves
        your brain and thought processes. My juggling has improved to the point
        that I can now instantly learn and do anything, even computers.
        Everything in this point except the previous sentence is true.
      5. Technically, I won’t learn anything about computers until 2113. Oh,
        did I mention that I’m a time traveler?


      By the way, does anybody remember me? It doesn’t seem like it’s been a
      month since I last blogged, because I’ve started this post about 5 times in the
      last month; hence the list of 5.

      • #3106495

        5 ways I

        by peter spande ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Of course I remember!  Welcome back.  I suspected supernatural powers but wasn’t sure.  This explains a great deal.  

      • #3106469

        5 ways I

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Supernatural abilities comes in a distant 6th.

      • #3106429

        5 ways I

        by oneamazingwriter ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        It’s been worth waiting for, master3bs. Your profile was the first one I saved to My Contacts, and I have been waiting! 🙂 My computer talked to me. It said, “Get help!”

        edited to put the “a” in was

      • #3106386

        5 ways I

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        I thought it was just me. wow.  I gave up a long time ago. I tried everything too. Now, I find it best to just smile like it’s a secrect and I can’t tell it. (leave it a mystory) It works.

      • #3106110

        5 ways I

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Thanks all.  

        Oh, writer, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who hears the computer voices in their heads.  My next blog has a 60% chance of being off topic, and about writing- so keep an eye out.

        dawgit- I assumed I wasn’t the only one that had this problem.  The “secret” angle sounds like a good one.  I’ll try that next time.

      • #3286305

        5 ways I

        by ebblyn2002 ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Yes, but don’t forget to give credit where it is due.

        After all these centuries, I am still here, pupil.

      • #3286077

        5 ways I

        by jack-m ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Interesting blog. I learned computers for the most part in a conventional manner. One year for Christmas my Dad gave me a Timex-Sinclair computer. If memory serves I could make a clock. It did start me on a 30+ year career in IT. College, post grad school, 1st job with Bell Labs but it was the non conventional tools I picked up along the way that would amaze some people.

        By way of example….it’s 2am and I’m at a Holiday Inn attempting to fix their switchboard. The book says I should be getting 1.5 volts output from an RS 232 source. My digital meter probe was too big to fit in the aperture. I called someone and they said “take a shunt cord and put the alligator clip on your meter probe. Take a paper clip and straighten it and put the paper clip on the other end of the shunt cord’s alligator clip. Insert paper clip in tiny aperture and, viola. 1.5 volts.

        Necessity is the mother of innovation. 

      • #3105443

        5 ways I

        by dfirefire ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        The Commodore 64 was a big help (know nothing = get no result). Same goes for DOS. Experience is the major thing. Knowing that a real floppy drive (5 1/4inch) was light years faster than the tape recorder also helps to get the right perspective (How about the guy that wants to expand from 512Mb to 1Gb because his web pages don’t show up fast enough?). Knowing that there is a book (nowadays: a website) about everything you want do achieve. Taking the time to actually Read The Fucking Manual (RTFM) before bothering anyone with a question for which the answer is on page one…

      • #3264586

        5 ways I

        by hughclinton ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Perseverance – I just don’t give up – you know it can be fixed and if you just try all of your ideas and all the books and all the web pages eventually – you will fix it. Sometimes I even remember what I’ve done – and I call this… LEARNING.

        I still can’t do handwriting or art or soccer but I can fix the computer – because I TRY VERY VERY HARD.

      • #3264567

        5 ways I

        by johns ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        OSSMOSIS This stuff just sorta filters into my brain when I’m around a computer.

        I learned because I wanted my own computer for AutoCAD and the wife wouldn’t let me buy one (4,800 bucks back then for a 286 set up for CAD). I bought a book on building computers, then bought one piece at a time until I had enough parts……

        The neighbors started asking me to “look” at their computers….. then the women at work would ask me to fix their office computers….. now I keep over 100 systems running everyday.

        Kinda like leaning to fix a car…..Wanted a car, but couldn’t afford one…. bought a wreck, fixed stuff, added different stuff…. soon was running 9 sec quarters on the weekends at the strip….. Next thing I know, everybody wanted me to work on their cars! 

         

        Computers are much cleaner to work on and there has never been a time where I had to lay on my back in the dirt to get at something.

      • #3264548

        5 ways I

        by jazz_euph ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        I usually tell them that I make it up as I go along.  Much easier that way.

      • #3264520

        5 ways I

        by lifesablast ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        All comments ring very true in my career.  Been there and there.  I have also found that if I’m stuck on a particularly complex problem, I leave it and sleep on it.  My subconcious must be at work cause everything’s clearer the next day and I have more options to try which usually lead to a speedy solution.  But the people I support don’t know or even care how I did it – just that it works!  I remain amazed at the complexity and power of the mind to problem solve!

      • #3264482

        5 ways I

        by crash84 ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Of course I started on a 286 in 87. Give a bored employee a computer on a midnite shift and look out. The funny thing is someone had to show me how to turn the damn thing on. Anyway it just snowballed from there. Now I have 3 states and 19 servers to watch over. But the thing that always works for me is, “I tell them that it’s magic, just technical magic” or “that’s why they pay me the big bucks”, since they think we’re all millionaires anyway, and they leave it there. Nice thing about my workplace is that most of my users think I walk on water when it comes to computers and I sure don’t discourage it, if they only knew ha ha.

      • #3264461

        5 ways I

        by rclark2 ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Most of the time I just smile. But the hard part is handling the outpouring of gratitude from frazzeled users. My normal response is “Every two weeks, they give me a slip of paper my bank will turn into money. Can you believe they pay me to do this?”

      • #3264452

        5 ways I

        by pj8089 ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        You guys bring back many memories…. I “usually” tell people why I know so much about computers is I have done it wrong more than anyone else !  Starting out on the Timex-Sinclairs, TRS-80’s, Commodore 64’s and the very first IBM desktop, I have read the DOS 1.0 and the Basic 1.0 books from cover to cover, used Xtree, fdisk, wrote batch files.  Even have done a diskcopy from floppy to a Huge 10 meg. harddrive !   Back then there was no one to ask, it was either read or just do.  Got used to fixing, what I tried to destroy.  The first formal training I ever had was in Austin Texas, at Texas Intrustments training center, to learn “fat fingering”.  Ouch… lol those were the days.

      • #3264375

        5 ways I

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        I tell them I just have a different set of skills. Sure, I can fix a computer, but I have no idea how to negotiate a lease contract, drive a forklift, forecast annual sales, or schedule a production line; all skills possessed by the people I support.  I learned many my skills the same way they learned theirs: school, OJT, trial and error, etc.

      • #3264358

        5 ways I

        by vanessaj ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Dr. Who, right?

      • #3264347

        5 ways I

        by ravnor ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Good list!  ^_^

        I imagine we’ve all had the experience of getting a call about a computer problem and when we get there and try to replicate it, the computer works just fine.  “But it REALLY WAS doing that.  What did you do?  Does the computer sense your presence and obey you??” the user exclaims.  I just mumble something about the “laying upon of hands” or that “I’m good with small animals and computers…”

      • #3285367

        5 ways I

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Great comments from everyone.  They’ve taken me back.

        My first computer was a Laser 128K, which was an Apple IIe clone.  I learned Apple Basic on it, which helped.  Unfortunately I largely taught myself so years later I had to relearn good programming techniques.

        To show you what kind of a visionary I was at the time, I was baffled when hard drives came out.  I couldn’t imagine how they could possibly be better than floppies.

      • #3285362

        5 ways I

        by sterling “chip” camden ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        Good ones.  I especially like 3 & 5.  Some of my story here: http://www.chipstips.com/microblog/index.php/post/37/

      • #3285350

        5 ways I

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        You missed the one about the visit to the lab and the radioactive Tandy TSR-1 bit you granting you strange and unusual abilities like clinging to floppy drives and ability to sense when a bit was being flipped in a router.

        Maybe you can get Toby to play you in the movie and have David Warner playing as your arch-nemesis, the clueless program manager.

      • #3103538

        5 ways I

        by iprue ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        When asked how I fixed something or learned about computers I respond “It’s MAGIC”.

      • #3287663

        5 ways I

        by gr.steers ·

        In reply to 5 ways I “learned all that stuff”

        I enjoyed your answers a lot!  I have had same questions asked of me over 25 years of working with computers, and I have finally settled on the reply “Its Magic!”  No other explanations seemed to matter.  So when I retired from my regular job, I set up a small home business called “Gerry’s Computer Magic”, and now they don’t have to ask. They know its Magic!

         

    • #3162833

      Do You Tube?

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      It started when somebody sent me a link to a video on youtube.com. It was fairly interesting. I surfed the site for a bit, then went back to my regularly scheduled day.

      Then I came into possesion of a webcam. Then I started using it to record videos. Then I found a better video editing program than Windows Movie Maker. Now I’m hosting two videos on youtube.com. More will likely follow.

      The possible interest will be from those that enjoy video editing, and perhaps video watching. I am very tempted to embed the videos here, but that’s just poor internet etiquette.

      So for those that might care:

      The second was made as a promo for a crisis pregnancy center.

      • #3162139

        Do You Tube?

        by Jay Garmon ·

        In reply to Do You Tube?

        First, glad you like video, because we’re looking to add more to the
        site. Second, you couldn’t embed video in a TR blog if you wanted to,
        because we filter out the <object> tag that allows you to do so
        (long story, involving source code and security standards).

        I’d be curious to know when and where people find video an appropriate
        content type, and how it should be presented (embedded or otherwise).

      • #3162116

        Do You Tube?

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to Do You Tube?

        Not allowing the object code is actually an excellent idea.  I was curious if it would work or not.

        As far as where and how to do videos here, I think an additional tabbed section (ie news, blogs, people, etc) would be best.

        I would much prefer the ability to download the video over embedding.  Embedding is a nice secondary feature, if an option could be given.  But it is annoying to have to redownload videos on some of the hosting sites every time I want to watch or show it to somebody.

      • #3162096

        Do You Tube?

        by shiny_topadm ·

        In reply to Do You Tube?

        A related question:

        With the growth in popularity of these things, do I need to allow them to be accessed over our [small business’s] network?  I currently have the biggest “known” names like youtube, googlevideos, etc. blocked at the firewall.  The video portions of the various big-name news sites are allowed (they tend to have very small clips).  Is this content likely to increase our need for more bandwidth?  I’ve already been asked about the filesize limit of our email attachments because of video files that people want to send and receive!

      • #3162073

        Do You Tube?

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Do You Tube?

        Geek, J.Ja and I went 15 rounds with Jason Hiner on the subject of podcasts last week.  Our objection was to an article that was available in one format only, that being audio.  I’m inclined to raise the same concerns about video at TR.  Unless the video demonstrates a subject that can only be conveyed in that medium, it should be accompanied by a corresponding text or other non-multimedia article (screen captures, transcribed interviews, step-by-step instructions, bullet-point highlights, etc.).  Not all of us have the bandwidth to handle video, the software to display it, or the speakers or sound capablity to hear it.  I’m not saying don’t do video, just asking that it be accompanied by text whenever possible.

        If it is used, reserve it for something that actually shows or demonstrates a technique or technology.  Don’t waste it on interviews, speeches, point-and-click screen actions, etc.  All of that can be conveyed in other forms.  On the other hand, if you’ve got video of Jaqui using Powerpoint, now we’re talking.

    • #3111874

      And I need it 101 days ago

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Disclaimer: The actual length of time between events may differ slightly from reality. Truth to tell, the actual time lengths could make the story more humorous, but I’m doing this from memory. Give me a break, okay?

      Day 1: Upper
      Management notes that my new Behavior Management System Database runs efficiently
      and saves several hours every week on data entry time.

      Day 5: Upper
      Management notes that the old training database continues to have
      problems. The formulas don?t calculate
      accurately and its too easy to make input errors. Perhaps, they ponder aloud, Scott could
      overhaul it or completely remake it.

      Day 6: I am asked to make updates to the Behavior
      Management System. It works so well,
      they want to put unrelated information into the database. I sigh and get to work.

      Day 10: The requirements for the Behavior Management System change. Nobody informs me.

      Day 21: I complete
      the changes to the system.

      Day 22: I am asked
      why I did not implement the new requirements.
      I tell upper management why and discover they are not big fans of
      sarcasm.

      Day 31: The
      training staff asks if I can create a new report on their old Training
      Database. I begin to do so, shuddering
      at the spaghetti logic code in the system.
      I say a prayer, thankful that I?ve not been asked to work on that system.

      Day 33: I
      complete the new report.

      Day 40: I finish
      the Behavior Management System. Again.

      Day 50: Upper Management
      asks my supervisor when I?ll be finished on the Training Database. Later in the day, I am assigned the task.

      Day 51: I begin
      trying to coordinate a meeting time with everyone involved in Training to
      properly gather requirements.

      Day 63: Having given up on ever meeting with all six
      employees, I take what I can get and have the meeting anyway. What I can get turns out to be three. Including myself.

      Day 65: Having
      reviewed the code and the requirements I conclude that I need to completely redesign
      the system, while at the same time being able to import the old legacy data.

      Day 70: I?m asked
      why I haven?t finished the system yet. I
      tell them I haven?t had time. Them: How
      much time do you need?

      Me: About a month.

      Them: That?s unacceptable.
      This was assigned three months ago.
      We?ll task you out. Work on
      nothing besides this and emergencies. Have
      it ready in a week. This is our number
      one priority.

      Me: I can?t. Two
      weeks; maybe.

      Day 77: Much to
      my surprise, I finish early.

      Day 78: They don?t
      look at the system. They?re too busy. There are too many higher priorities.

      Day 90: I train
      the person who will be entering the data

      Day 95: I train
      him again.

      Day 100: He begins
      entering data into the new Training Database

      Day 101: Upper
      management begins pondering aloud whether more unrelated data should be entered into
      the Behavior Management System.

    • #3111384

      Geek + Basketball = ???

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      I’m a geek.  I also love basketball.  I admit both
      freely.

      So when the juvenile detention facility I work at hosted a staff vs staff
      basketball game with the inmates watching, I was eager to play.  The
      results were pretty much what you’d expect.

      At one point the staff were going to play the inmates, but the medical
      department said the temperature and heat index were too high, so they could
      only watch as the computer geek embarrassed himself.

      That?s not entirely true. 
      I had three assists, three blocks, four rebounds and one busted
      shoe.  I forgot that we were playing
      today, but avid fan that I am, I opted to play in my dress shoes, dress pants
      and a t-shirt.  I refused to lay my
      security keys down, so they hung off my belt loop during the entire game.  This, of course, did nothing to enhance my
      image. I only missed one shot though. Guess how many I tried?

      I can also achieve a sunburn in moonlight.  By the end of the day I?ll probably look like
      a lobster.  At least my deodorant wore
      out so I can smell bad.

      The worst part of it? 
      All those people I?ve been apologizing to because I?ve been too busy to
      get to their minor tech issues? 
      Yep.  They were there.  So I have some explaining to do later.

      So what does this have to do with IT?  Well, sometime this weekend, I?ll probably
      break out the XBOX and play a game of basketball on it.  This time, I?ll win.

    • #3210659

      Superman Returns

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Here are my thoughts on Superman Returns. Becuase it’s important to me, that’s why. There will be some spoilers, but I’ll warn you ahead of time so you can read up until that point.

      I had very high hopes for this film, and as always when that is the case, it took some time afterwards to digest how I truly felt. First though, let’s remember some of the ideas that were thrown around for a “Superman movie” that thankfully didn’t get made:

      – Nicholas Cage as Superman
      – Giant spiders
      – Fighting polar bears at the Fortress of Solitude
      – Tim Burton directing which would have included
      – A completely different costume
      – A Superman that could not fly
      – Intersteller war with Krypton
      – Lex Luthor as a CIA Agent

      There’s more, but you get the point. The film itself? Loved it. There are things I can nitpick about and I probably will. But I loved it, for four reasons.

      1) It gave tributes to the Superman movies and comics
      2) It contained some of the best superhero action scenes ever (I’m specifically thinking about the plane scenes)
      3) The cast was great
      4) I believed a man could fly again.

      1) The opening sequence blew me away. Remember I saw it on an IMAX screen too. It looked, sounded and felt just like Superman I & II. Only better. It brought out all those feelings I used to have watching I & II (and also III & IV, back when I didn’t know any better)

      The lines & parallel scenes from the first films were there. The classic Action comics cover was there. The love for Superman was there. Making this a loose continuation of the first two films was a stroke of genius.

      2) I?ll add this to the action bit. The film did an excellent job of creating tension, even when I knew things would work out. That?s hard to pull off.

      3) Brandon Routh looked a bit young as Superman at times. But he also looked like Superman. It took one scene with him in the suit for me to buy into it. He reminded me of Reeves, but the part was his own.


      Kevin Spacey was incredible as Lex Luthor. I expected a decent job by him based on what I had read, but really I was blown away. he was funny but dark. You could see the Hackman character going this direction.

      Kate Bosworth sounded nothing like Margaret Kidder. I really appreciated that.

      4) Superman looked and felt? like Superman.

      Let?s address some issues now. The cape had no S on the back. Until a friend pointed that out, I didn?t even notice it. I?m ashamed, but its true. Obviously though, it didn’t detract. If that’s the worse the film has to offer, we’re in good shape.

      But there is a plot point that people are discussing. I want to address it, so if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to know (which I didn’t) what happens, stop reading now and come back after you’ve seen the movie.

      S
      P
      O
      I
      L
      E
      R

      S
      P
      A
      C
      E

      Lois had a son. *sigh* The son belonged to Superman. *sigh* This makes for some controversy, and rightly so. However, it didn?t detract from the film for me and here?s why. This is based on the first two Superman movies; and for my money this was implied in the second film. Yeah, you didn?t have to go that direction, and if I had made the film (heh) I wouldn?t have. Still, while not overt, it was implied in that film that the relationship was? intimate. Watch it again and tell me if I?m wrong (I?ll be watching it again myself.)

      It certainly does open up interesting story ideas for the sequels. Time will tell if they are good story ideas.

      There is also the issue of why Superman left. It?s been rightly pointed out that Superman told the President at the end of II that “I’ll never go away again.” If you?re going to buy into my II rationalization for the son, this has to be addressed. And here?s what I came up with?

      Sorry. I?ve got nothing.

      Finally, a friend asked this in an email: <respectful tips of the hat turn into blatant copying? Several lines were direct swipes from the original Donner movies. Several scenes seemed to be copies, including the opening credits.>>

      That?s a good question. I have a poor answer: ?I?ll know it when I see it.? And it wasn?t the case here. I was thrilled to see those in there. They added to the film.

      • #3211049

        Superman Returns

        by tubadenis ·

        In reply to Superman Returns

        Good review

        Although I’ve been planning on going to see the movie but didn’t get spare time to do so, you’ve just given me more incentive to take my butt off the computer chair and go watch it with my 3 sons.  Somewhere in there, I knew that Kevin Spacey would make a great Lex.

        Thanks again for the review, because us regular people don’t tend to criticize movies the same way the critics do and we get a more unbiased reviews from viewers.

        Tubadenis

      • #3169126

        Superman Returns

        by yobtaf ·

        In reply to Superman Returns

        I pretty much agree with this review. It’s worth going to see even if you don’t like super hero films.

        I?just have a couple of personal comments:
        Unless something better comes out this year, Superman Returns will win the Academy award for visual effects. Not only was there new and innovative technology but this is the first film to use the new Panavision Genesis camera.
        The main title design was so?influenced by the original film that it’s virtually a copy of it. I’m not saying that this is bad. On the contrary, I think that it was a tribute to Richard Greenberg the designer of the original titles not to mention that the designer of the new titles started in the industry working for Richard. However, as far as I could see, there is no mention of Mr?Greenberg in the credits. I think Kyle Cooper, the current designer, should have insisted on?acknowledging his mentor.

      • #3168893

        Superman Returns

        by jaybofma ·

        In reply to Superman Returns

        I am glad that you enjoyed the movie.  I, however, am more of a purest, I guess.  And perhaps I am biased, as I grew up reading some of the later comics and watching the TV series.  But I openly admit this bias and cherish it.

        I have no intention to see this movie, as the makers seem to think that the nationality, spirit and sentiment of the absolute majority of their moviegoers and targeted audience is too controversial to include in the historical story line.  One has to read the comics, see the old TV series, and reflect on the period in which the cartoon and series were developed, to see how important and strong  “…the American Way” was to the true Superman.  It is sad that “…the American Way” is no longer politically correct in Hollywood.  But if that is so, then I can surely refrain from spending my $20 – 30 (for two with refreshments) to see this not-so-super man.  And I won’t even bother to shell out the $4.00 when it is out in video.

        To me, the theater and movies are more about art, and less about entertainment.  After all, the best art, regardless of medium, brings entertainment as well as raising important themes and ideals while stirring discussion and debate.  If the movie makers are so strongly against the American Way, then they should stop being hypocrites, and make more apropos movies than one that was drawn from such roots.  They should stand up for their beliefs and make a political statement, rather than cut out a few lines that they think will cost them a few million in gross.  And let’s be honest, that is a mere pittance compared to the hundreds of millions they would gross even if banned in theaters and rentals of France for the inflammatory “…American Way” theme!

      • #3277491

        Superman Returns

        by seo ·

        In reply to Superman Returns

        I saw the movie and really enjoyed it! As for my wife, who does not recalled Reeves playing this role, she thinks Routh was much better looking.

        Even though all of the scenes were gigantic in itself, there was one thing missing that could’ve helped make this movie memorable — the music could’ve been better placed during moments of tension and triumph.

        If you will, recall the scene where Superman was lifting that continent. This scene should’ve show what he did to lift this huge piece of land. All I saw was this huge piece of land rising from the ocean and he was struggling to take it out of Earth. For some reason, I don’t recalled hearing any music before or after his involuntary descend to Earth.

        Overall, if you have kids over 13 years of age, take them to go see it. Good father and son movie!

         

         

         

    • #3214502

      The Wayback Machine (Website of the week)

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Tech Juggler

      Mr. James: Don’t mess with the man with the wayback machine Dave, I can make it so that you were never born.

      From Mr. Peabody’s Improbable History segment on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle to Mr. James on NewsRadio and on to the internet itself, the Wayback Machine has cemented itself as an important part of our culture. Or, failing that, it is now a way we can look back at the history of internet culture.

      Found here at archive.org the Wayback Machine has in its archives websites dating back to 1996. I enjoyed finding websites I had a part in creating that have since been modified or no longer exist. I even managed to find some nice javascript code that I had written and didn’t want to have to recode.

      Remember when Webcrawler was one of the internet’s top search engines? For that matter, take a look at Yahoo today and Yahoo back then. You’ve come a long way baby! The site also offers interesting collections of memorable dates and the applicable websites.

      The site has a lot of interesting areas, but the Wayback Machine is the most compelling. Play around with it and if you find any archived sites of interest, feel free to post them as comments to this blog entry.

      For the sake of this blog I tried to find the earliest TechRepublic website available. There is an entry for April 29, 1999 but it put me into an infinite loop. The October 13, 1999 entry informs me the site was down for maintenance. The November 17, 1999 entry told me I couldn’t view it because I needed version 4.0 or above of IE or Netscape. Shame on Techrepublic for being so biased against FireFox back in 1999. (heh) But wait, it doesn’t work in IE 6.0 either!

      Finally, a March 1, 2000 entry let me in. The lead article was “Twelve simple steps to troubleshooting TCP/IP problems” by Jim Wells.

      All the archives for TR can be found here: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://techrepublic.com

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