Friday, November 21, 2008

Front Page of NowPublic "Real World Minority Report"

NowPublic is a News and media outlet that is powered by its subscribers. When some one finds something on the web they find note worthy or have their own twist (Me being twisted, I always have a twist) they can flag it and put their take on the storie out there for all to read. I have found this site to be very interesting it has a mix of folks contributing from all over the world.

A couple of days ago I found something interesting that I wanted to share with NowPublic’s community originally the article came from PCWorld was entitled “Hi-Tech Shirts Link Social Networks To the Real World.”

Now for the self indulgent part (I don’t know if it self indulgent, tooting my own horn, brash, brazen, or just plain wrong) but I got my 15 minutes of Fame. (Kind of a let down a couple of days later but hey I did it.) It just got me really excited so I had to put it out there.

Here is what I wrote and the links to the NowPublic article directly:

“I don't know how many remember the movie Minority Report 2002 Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, a top Pre-Crime cop in the late 21st century. Well this has nothing to do with Pre-Crime or "Pre-Cogs", but it does have relative freakish feeling of "they know where you are and what your doing" When John (Tom Cruise) is walking through the city after he has had his eyes replaced. All of the automated systems are calling him Mr. Yakamoto due to the Eye-dent. Well now a company in the Netherlands has come up with a "bar code" so to speak that you wear, and can be linked to your social web page not a sophisticated as Eye-dent. Hmmm.. how much longer till we all get the barcode inked to our neck or the little microchip implanted under our skin. Big Brother will (or is) be watching." Here is the Link to NowPublic

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Help, ran out of hard drive space Part I

Laptop, hard drive, Norton Ghost, replacement hard drive, backup

With all of the music, videos, and pictures we save these days it is very easy to run out of hard drive space very quickly. Especially on a laptop, due to the fact that it’s not possible to add a secondary hard drive in to a laptop.

First off always make sure you do have a backup of those important files. I can not stress this enough, make backups on DVD’s or CD if nothing else purchase an external usb hard drive for 100$ and copy the stuff you know you want to keep.

This will show you how to replace a hard drive in a laptop with out having to reinstall the operating system (XP home in this case), and the applications that you have installed. I understand you have your computer set up the way you want it all you need is more space on the current drive. That is what this will attempt to show you.

**** Disclaimer: This is how I have replaced hard drives in the past. I make no recommendations, warranties, or guarantees to the software or the method of doing this to your computer. Proceed at your own risk. Remember I suggested you backup everything you want on separate media. If you are not comfortable with any part of what is presented here. Contact a Certified Technician and have them do it for you. ****

My wife has been complaining about running out of space on her HP Pavilion zt3000. This is a good laptop, utilizing Intel’s Centrino Pentium M processor, a 60GB hard drive, originally came with 512MB memory upgraded to 1GB, 15.4 widescreen display. Like I said it’s a good machine a bit bulky for my tastes but works great for her, and is really durable the girls have dropped it several times. A glass of water has been dumped in to the keyboard. And it is still running strong (mind you I have had to disassemble it and put it back together a couple of times to keep it running).

Items you will need:

I am using Norton Ghost ver. 14.0 for this example, there are tons of other programs out there that will assist you in imaging a hard drive. Some of them require utilizing them out of the operating system, booting from a live CD in the case of Linux. And other software vendors offer various programs. I have used a very old version of Ghost before but could not get it to recognize the USB ports or the adapter in this case. Do a little time researching what is best for you but I have included a link to Amazon for the version they are selling. (if this article helps you and you want to buy Norton if you click though on the banner it is the same price but you will be buying from my associate id and this will help me continue to keep this blog updated.)

Cheap tool kit


A small kit like this can be found at any mom and pop computer store, or even at a giant like MicroCenter. Don’t spend a ton of money on this 10$ bucks can get you the small screw drivers needed to complete most disassembly and assembly on most laptops.

New Hard Drive and a way to connect it to your Laptop:

hdd usb2ide

For the hard drive I went to CraigsList. Did a search in the computer stuff, someone was selling Laptop hard drives IDE 120GB for about 30$ each much cheaper than going to my local store. The USB adapter I have had for a while now but originally was purchased from MicroCenter for 15$ this is a neat little item. It will adapt full size IDE drives (including hard drives, CD drives, and DVD drives too), as well as laptop IDE drives, and SATA drives all to USB 2.0.

The computer and the hard drive attached.

hdd to computer

Now you have every thing hooked up, (the hard drive and the adapter are keyed so the pins will only fit in one way. Its almost fool proof)

Continued On to Part II (as soon as I get it typed up)

Monday, November 10, 2008

iPod Case For Divers

iPod Case For Divers

iPod, Dive 300, waterproof, iPod Touch, iPod classic, iPhone

This has got to be filed under the “You have got to be kidding Me” file.
PcWorld reports on Nov 10, 2008 Steven Schwankert

“The iDive is a case with waterproof headphones that allows you to take any number of iPod and iPhone models to as deep as 300 ft. . (90 meters), allowing you to listen to music and watch video in the octopus's garden.”

Steven does redeem a bit in the next sentence with “Designed for divers who need to while away hours during decompression stops”. Ok I think I could understand if these stops are longer than 10 to 20 min. But for sports divers who usually only dive up to 60 ft. down and stay down for less than an hour the decompression stop is at 10ft. (if memory serves correctly it has been 10 plus years or longer, that I have even looked at a decomp chart much less touched a tank, damn I miss that too.) and is way less than 20 min.

This nifty little item would only set you back a measly $349.99 from H20 audio, which I’m sure is nothing compared to that $229.99 iPod touch. Or for the real enthusiast that needs to make a call or surf the internet to find out what kind of sea snake that bit him on the iPhone at 100ft. down. Ok this is just me but, how the hell are you going to hear the DA DA, DA DA, of jaws sneaking up behind you when you are Jamming out to Van Halen’s Dance the night away?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Dreaded Flash Drive the most Dangerous IT Tool

The Flash Drive, Pen Drive, or the Thumb Drive are all names I have heard them called. These are the most dangerous tool in your IT tool box.

These little marvels of technology have made life easy for IT, the common worker, and even myself. Taking that important presentation (that is due in the morning) home is now just a plug, copy, yank, and in to your pocket on your way home in less than 30 seconds.

The drives now come in a variety of sizes that will suit almost anyone’s needs, from 1GB for $5.99 for documents, pictures, and music to 32GB $59.99 that will transport six full length DVD quality movies with room to spare for documents, pictures, and your favorite mp3’s. The larger models could even transport a mid-sized company’s entire data base containing all of their customer’s information.

There lies the problem, in an article written by Elinor Mills posted by cnet news on November 3rd 2008. British tax site goes dark after data security breach. The article outlines “The British Department for Work and Pensions shut down a consumer web site after a flash drive containing confidential passwords and source code was found in the parking lot of a pub two weeks ago, according to the Daily Mail”

Apperantly the drive was lost by one of their IT analysts (would hate to be that guy). And the data was password protected, but almost any thing could be relatively easy to crack these days. Now quite a few people are mobile and utilize laptops as well, if the company has its wits about them selves they should be using NT or XP Pro at the very least. But that is still easily bypassed as well with a Linux utilities disk but that’s a whole different article unto it self.

The question to be answered is, how often does this type of thing really happen? With the size of these devices and the relatively low cost how easy are they to loose and how much would you miss a six dollar 1GB drive?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One iPhone per Child OIPC

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Satirical off shoot from the OLPC (one laptop per child). Sorry could not resist the connection. Thursday October 30th 2008 PCWorld posted an article stating “Lower-income U.S. consumers are Flocking to Apple’s iPhone”.

The article also states that “smartphones are changing from a luxury to a necessity, according to research company ComScore Mobile.”

This has got my dander up since when is an over amped cellular phone that can play games, music, and watch videos over the internet become a necessity? I can understand the smartphone being a valuable business tool (I use one for contacts and schedules).

But come on a necessity to lower income folks. The article posts statistics of purchases grew fastest among people with annual household incomes between $25k and $50K with an 48% growth rate in that group. Now the phone cost $199 plus a $70 monthly charge from ATT with a family of 4 and say 3 of those 4 need a cell phone for one reason or another well that’s a lot of cash if you ask me per year.

With the economy in a “mild” down turn (now thats funny!) and Reuters posting “One in Five homeowners with mortgages under water”

Friday October 31st 2008 “About 7.63 million properties, or 18 percent, had negative equity in September, and another 2.1 million will follow if home prices fall another 5 percent”

So here is the crux, Question for all of you…. Is the iPhone really a necessity? With all of the hoopla with economic issues and the Government providing a 750 billion dollar bailout program?

As Featured On Ezine Articles

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