Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I hate iTunes / iPod

Music transfer from iPod to PC

I Hate iTunes / iPod

Hate is a harsh word, but Apple has made it very difficult to change music players. Don’t get me wrong iTunes does have a nice layout, and I do like Cover Flow. But come on Apple prefers their .m4p layout over .mp3, my phone will not play .m4p and neither will any of my other music players.

So, another Christmas has come and gone and a new iPod nano has joined the family. Last year both the Wife and the oldest Daughter were blessed (cough, cough) with iPods. Wife received an iPod classic 80GB from yours truly and daughter a 4GB nano I guess 3rd gen (I think, am not so sure about the "generations" of these) from Santa (yours truly also). Things weren’t much of an issue last year because most everything was new, and did not have to transfer music or save stuff off of one. But this year when she received the new 16GB nano-chromatic I had some music to reclaim off of the old 4GB nano. Some of the music my daughter had purchased had gotten deleted off of the main computer some how and the only place it resided was on the nano.

Here is the dilemma how do I get her music on to the new iPod? I am not really familiar with iTunes, but I do know there is no option to go from iPod to iTunes their transfer is a one way street. Hop on the good old internet and search iPod to PC millions of hits (ouch! this is going to take a while), most of the programs are pay for use or if they are free or share ware they are riddled with spyware or viruses at best. After about the 10th page of search results on Google eureka found something worth looking at, it was a thread with good reports on a program SharePod with a link to

You could also try Cucusoft iPhone/iTouch/iPod to Computer Transfer which is a Shareware title that also does a very good job of getting the music transfered.

Downloaded SharePod 3.8.7 unzipped it (ran virus scan) plugged in the iPod ran the .exe voila there is all of her music. This is a very simple program easy to use neat and clean, once the music shows in the left column you can just click on backup iPod and dump the entire contents in to a folder of your choice (no installer just run from where you extracted it to). After all of the music was ripped off plugged in the new iPod and there is the option to copy to iPod with the exception of a few little glitches everything loaded to the new one. And now I can place all of the music in the back up folder in to iTunes folder every thing is back to normal.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ntldr missing

Ntldr Missing

Well in the last post I had a computer half way across the States infested with a nasty little bit of malware/spyware that was corrected with malwarebytes (great program). I also noted that that I had a bit of an issue with my personal (45 dollar laptop) rebooting with an NTLDR missing on boot. Well unfortunately I found out why I am getting this error. Apparently the hard drive ate it self, tis now toast, tango uniform, has seen its last huraaa. And so on and so on... well I do have most of the stuff backed up on an external hard drive but the most recent blog notes and some pictures are gone. I did try trusty SpinRite and it could not even start the disk check, also tried the Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.1 which has gotten me out of jam's be for. (this is a bootable linux iso cd that has a bunch and I mean a bunch of tools including NTFS tools check it out) But all of this to no avail, so I have consigned myself to giving up .. I am trying one last ditch effort to at least retrieve some of the info off by freezing it over night in my mini refrigerator at work. (secret place I keep my stash of Bluemoon) will have to see what happens in the morning if I can pull any info off will let you know.

Update: I have tried every thing in my tool kit of software, hardware, and even Hammer time!! To no avail the hard drive is DEAD.... Freezing the drive did nothing it will show up in Windows but showing I/O error. Well time to find a different hard drive for the laptop and start over with a ghost image I had be for .. THIS IS ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO ENSURE YOUR BACKUPS ARE GOOD... as I have said be for backup backup backup.

Monday, December 15, 2008

360 antivirus, Ntldr missing

General computer issues, NTldr, Malware Antivirus 360.

How to fix Antivirus 360
How to clean Antivirus 360, How to delete Antivirus 360

Yesterday was Sunday, I get to sleep in on Sunday's (usualy) seeing that it is my only day off. Still on the 6 day work week (will be for a long time). Got a txt msg round 9:30 a.m. “computer problems again call me when you can!!”

This has nothing to do with the NTldr error that comes later. So I call her,
M: “I’m getting a message stating that I have a virus!”
Me: “ok which computer is it?”
M : “My work Laptop”

Side note when we were searching for new computers for the business we decided on Dell at the time the D620’s and D420 for her cause she hates carrying bulky items and for that reason she would never carry her Toshiba cause its way too big and bulky. The D420 is a great computer for her in fact I wish I had gone for it. Its 12 inch screen is still big enough to read everything the keyboard is good enough so that you can type on it for a long time with no issues .. and it is still very fast even with the slower processor.

Me: “OH no that’s not good what exactly does it say”
M: “360 antivirus found virus avg8.0.87.exe is infected and won’t let me close it”

Not good .. I have not loaded Norton on this machine.. I know that for sure .. to me sounds like a bit of Malware .. but you don’t dare ask where she got it .. just fix it right? And I know AVG is a good virus software and that file is good.

Me: “it’s ok everything will be fine can you open another IE window? If so go to”

Here is another good reason to atleast add if not use all the time FOXFIRE IMO best possible browser ever and I don't get paid referals on for it I just use it.

M:“ok I’m there. Now what?
Me: “type in Malwarebytes download it and let it run.”

Now I had to walk her through the entire process of installing and running the updates and running the scan .. but it did take care of this nasty little bit of code like it has for me when I have accidently installed something that I should not have. This process did take a couple of hours to complete, and did require a reboot to fully clear things out. It did get it handled for me .. and she’s happy.

Here is where the NTldr issue comes in … so later that night I’m blogging away (ok not much blogging more surfing than anything) had my normal 15 tabs open in foxfire and 5 tabs in IE. Something started slowing down.

*** Second side note here: This laptop is a Toshiba A95 if memory serves correctly. I paid 40 bucks for it to some guy off craigslist. Great laptop after I cleaned out the soda pop they spilled in to the keyboard and fried a couple of things. The DVD still did not work but did not need that at all anyways. ***

So tried the normal shut down restart… But it would not go down.. AAARRRRGGG

Well after 5 min of waiting tried 3 finger salute (ctrl, alt, del) to no avail. Fine hit the power button and try a cold reboot. Got up went to get a drink came back, DOH missing NTldr recover off the install cd. Sometimes things like this get to me so turned it off and put it in my bag got my other laptop and started all over again… Well now I have another project to share with you in the next post of how to recover from this issue. To be Continued. Just like the Ran out of hard drive space post I still have to complete..

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

XV6700 and XV6800

Verizon wireless phone internet settings, original EV-DO settings. Pda Phone XV6700 and XV6800
Also know as HTC Apache, ppc 6700, ppc 6800

I know, I still have to finish the post Help, ran out of hard drive space. But things like this and many more keep me from finishing the series. Oh well, ok so here we are a co. worker comes to me this a.m. “I can’t get on the internet can you fix it?” yes as usual I can give me a couple of min.
Not as easy as I thought .. I use a few sites to help me out when I run in to issues like this one is ppcgeeks and the other is pdaphone. Unfortunately, both of these sites have millions of posts and is difficult to navigate and search quickly. Don’t get me wrong they are great sites with tons of valuable information and the folks who post are willing to help on anything or anyone.

So on to the issue, the XV6800 had lost the settings for #777 here is what settings I had to adjust to get the internet back.

Click on start>settings>connections then click on the connections icon.
If the #777 connection is there edit it if not you will have to

click on add a new connection Name the connection whatever you want (i.e. EVDO) if its not already there
Modem drop down should be "Cellular Line".
Click next and in the box for the number to be dialed put #777
Click next and in username put and in password put vzw
Click finished and your done.

Inet should be working now
*** Warning *** if you don’t have a data contract with Verizon and you use the internet and email.. you will be charged an exorbitant amount of $$ per kilobit.. not Meg’s bits.. so don’t use it if you don’t have it .. fair warning given.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How To: Blogger Expandable Post "Yet Again"

Blogger or Blogspot Expandable post, yes I know there are tons of sites that have How To's for this but for some reason I had to use no less than three (3) of those sites and compile their information to create something that would (A.) work for me, and (B.) do things the way I wanted them done.

If for some reason you don't know what expandable post is .. it is the teaser first paragraph with a read more link that will take you to the rest of the article.

I am using a modified layout and I don't know if this will work for every one (classic templates, or beta) so use at your own risk.

The best help so far was from but I still could not get the size of READ MORE that I wanted. The reason I want it bigger is due to some of the feed back I have received, "Great information on your site, but your articles are really short and leave you hanging" well thats because they are only reading the teaser, and not the full post. And I can verify this with the tracking metrics I use showing only first page read .. and a very high bounce rate from the front page.

Ok nuf ranting. Here is how I have done this and how it works for me and for the advanced users ummm.. sorry going step by step for all folks:

Go to your blogger Dashboard

Find the Blog you want to edit and click on Layout

Once there click on Edit HTML

****Warning, Warning, DANGER Will Robinson*****

SAVE YOUR TEMPLATE be for you do any editing so that if something does not work right you can always upload the old one and you are back in biz.

Find this bit of code ]]></b:skin> in your template HTML and paste the following piece of code in between ]]></b:skin> and </head>

Now this sounds difficult to non-html (web geeks that know all of this stuff I'm not one of them yet) but its easy if you use exploder .. umm mean Explorer click on the Edit drop down and find on this page or press the ctrl button and <crtl> +f this will bring up a search box or a search down at the bottom of the page.

type in the search it should take you directly to where you want to insert your code.

Go to the beginning of </head> and press return to make some space to work

copy this code and paste it in to the space you just made

<!-- Style to implement "Read more on this Article" link in all the posts (Start) -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
span.fullpost {display:none;}
<!-- Style to implement "Read more on this Article" link in all the posts (End) -->

Ok what this did is defined a class for the Read more link

Save your template.

Now Click on the Expand Widgets Template checkbox at the top right.

Using your search box find <data:post.body/>

copy and past this bit of code imediately after the <data:post.body/>

<!-- Code to show "Read more on this article..." Link (Begin) -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'>
<a expr:href='data:post.url' style='color:#0000FF; text-align:right; font-weight:bold; font-size:140%; text-decoration:none' >Read more on this article...</a>
<!-- Code to show "Read more on this article..." Link (End) -->

Ok what this did is defined a class for the Read more link
with a color of blue thats what color:0000FF defines
text will align right
font will be bold
font size will be 40 times bigger than the normal text in the blog

Save the template ...

If you get errors
XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: Open quote is expected for attribute “{1}” associated with an element type “cond”.

This is why I created this article cause after 5 tries getting that error I had to search more sites.. Like I said it might not work for all.

Ok if you were able to save with out errors the last thing you need to do is add the last bit of code to

at the bottom of Formatting
Post Template box

paste this:

Here is the beginning of my post. <span class="fullpost">And here is the rest of it.</span>


Hi, this is my test post.<span class="fullpost">This line is not shown in the main page</span>

now the next time you create a post where it says I, this is my test post. Here is where you put the teaser. And the rest of the post should go where it says This line is not shown in the main page.

If you have any questions shoot me a comment, Hope this helps at least one person

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1984 Yamaha Venture XVZ12

Update Pulled her out ... put the battery charger on her and she started right up. Wow Great old engine. Will need a tune up but is ready to ride.

I just hate this, but having to sell one of my baby’s. She is a 1984 Yamaha Venture XVZ12.
She has 48,661 miles on the odometer, 4 cylinder (monster engine, like straddling a Volkswagen bug engine), 1200cc (pure power), full dresser, water cooled, shaft driven. For these reasons (and more) I have to let her go. First off she is much too big and powerful for me. I have ridden motorcycles for over 20 years now .. mostly dirt bikes out in the ruff. But this was something I just had to have back in 2005. I rode her for a couple of years during the nice parts of the year here in Colorado. But after hearing of some folks that have lost their lives, limbs, and memories. I just could not bring myself to continue to ride this beast. When you put the gas on she will try to throw you off (doesn’t help I don’t amount to much over 150lbs.)

Here she is befor moving her or washing her off.

Put her out their on Craigs list Denver. Had a ton (over 300) of hits in just an aternoon. Will be updating this blog as I pull her out and do some more things to get her ready for her new owner. (this really bites don’t want to let her go)

America's #1 Trusted Source to Gov't Car Auctions

I received her in less than current condition. I rode it for 2 years and then put it in storage a year ago and have not ridden it since. (did now and she started right up and took her around the block) I have not even had the chance to knock the dust off but I did get her to startup the battery is dead and currently on the charger but with a jump she came up right to life. She was running great when she went in to storage. There are a few things I can tell you she needs. First off a bath would help, front tire should be looked at soon, the air shock seals will eventually need replacing. 2 lens covers up front for the turn signals. Some body work the plastic in some areas are cracked and need attention. There is an exaust leak on one side .. (makes it louder) and it will need either a battery or a new stator because it will not take a charge when running. At least one side of the stator is good because the bike runs great off of it I just will not stay charged. None of these items stoped me from using it daily for 2 summers.

Here is a review I found .. unfortunately I lost the link last night when my laptop decided it wanted to shut down by itself.

Yamaha's entry into the full-dress luxury touring market was the first motorcycle to be conceived from the beginning for the touring crowd. Rather than just adding a fairing to an existing machine, Yamaha engineers designed a total package. They succeeded very well. The Venture was extremely smooth and quiet, and was very comfortable. Yamaha claimed the seat was orthopedically designed for maximum comfort. The machine was also adjustable... the bars could be moved, the passenger pegs had three positions etc. This was a supreme attempt by Yamaha to oust the Goldwings from their perch as the most popular touring machine. Wet weight in 1984 was 771.5lb's.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Darius Rucker Live Up Close and Personal. This guy has an amazing voice.

Darius Rucker hosted by KYGO at the Soiled Dove Underground on the 23 of October 2008.

This is way off topic for what I normally write about, (normal what’s normal in my life?) But this guy is amazing just truly amazing. (stealing a phrase from my daughter OMG). Had the opportunity to go to the Soiled Dove Underground in Denver last night thanks to a family member that won tickets and could not attend. Now mind you I don’t get out much so take this for what it is, and was not so keen on taking the night off of work to go see someone who sings country.

*** Tangent: I’m not much of a country guy, more of a Dave Matthews type. But my wife loves George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Martina, Faith and Tim, Reba, etc. and she has this habit of dragging me to these concerts and I have to put a smile on my face and act like I am having fun. Usually do have a good time but I won’t let her know that. End of Tangent. ***

First thoughts of the Soiled Dove Underground, The seating is cozy (bit cramped if you ask me) we have been to places like this a few times where you are up-close and personal with the performer (oh and the couple sitting next to you on both sides as well) The food was pretty good, we had the chicken fingers and what they call the dip duo, and a couple of cervezas. All in all it was relatively inexpensive for a night out on the town. We were very lucky to be seated next to a couple that we hit it off with, and were able to enjoy the evening with them as well.

The first act was a lady that is apparently a local performer. I give her credit as she is a singer/song writer that is trying, it was probably just me but I really could not connect with her music.

Second act came around a band of 4 gentlemen. (guys) they are locals from here in Colorado the Railbenders (not rail road related??)

These guys are really very good, most of the songs they played have a very up beat tempo to them. The lead singer/guitar Jim has a deep crisp voice that reverberates what he sings. Tyson playing the upright Bass reminds me of clips of the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? Made in 2000 thinking of the Soggy Bottom Boys. Tony on the Guitar in my opinion could keep up with the likes of Joe Satriani, he will just keep your feet moving. Grahm on the drums has a great voice too .. and where would the band be with out his percussion?? All in all they were great they played I-70 Westbound, Whiskey Rain, and another very colorful song I don’t recall the name of but had something to do with staying home getting hammered, and the wife.. well we will just leave it at that.

Finally, it was Darius Rucker’s turn on stage and Kelly Ford brought him out and the crowd went wild. Now I know I’ve heard that voice some where before. Like I said I don’t spend much time listening to country music (except for when with my wife in the car on a road trip somewhere).

Hey this guy was a part of Hootie & the Blowfish (I liked those guys)! This guy's voice is just phenomenal, amazing, more expletives than I can think of, his "wing man" of the evening, Glenn added to almost every part of the experience with his backup vocals, and sweet guitar playing.

As interlude to playing Darius would take a Q and A break after every 2 or 3 songs. He answered questions without a hitch or hick up just like if he had it all planned our. Darius is a very smooth laid back personable gentleman from his performance to his Q & A sessions. This is someone I can relate to and listen to his music. During one of the breaks someone asked to hear Darius jam for about 20 seconds. (now I’m sure the guy was wanting to hear Darius play the Guitar but what we got was far better than any expectation) Darius broke out in a vocal solo with no back up, no guitar, no music, or tempo to back him up…. Wow this actually gave me goose bumps clear crisp the actual rich baritone voice of Darius was out there for all to hear.

The evening turned out great would have been good with just listening to the Railbenders but to listen to Darius Rucker .. It made it a memorable evening.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WOW you can make money off the Internet

This just blew me away, I now can make cash money off the internet. Ok so let me preface this with its less than $20 bucks, and it did take a month and a half to make it. But hey it’s more than I have ever made from all the surfing online that I do.

If you have read any of my other blogs you know I’m cheap (dirty word .. uum lets say frugal), and that I have not posted in a while. I am working on a couple of projects right now that I will hopefully be posting in the coming days, (I’ve just been slammed, overworked, inundated with other stuff for a few months.)

Ok so back to this whole making cash off the internet or making money online how ever you want to put it. Gomez, sounds funny huh.. yeah this guy Gomez he pays you. Well ok not so sure that there ever was a Gomez (person) but this company will pay you for using your internet bandwidth when you are using it and when your not. Like I said it’s not much and the maximum they will pay out in any one month is currently only $45. And yes with everything else in the world there is a catch, you never get anything for free there is a cost to everything.

First off … click the link. This will take you to their site. (WHOOOAA don’t click it just yet read the rest of this post first .. I haven’t started using pop ups or redirects to or any other stuff that will keep you here)

Gomez link

Once your there you will need to create an account, and then download the software. (WARNING … I don’t know what their software does, or how it does it. I use different virus software Norton, McAfee, and AVG none of these show it as a virus and none of my Adware products identify this as a threat either. So use at your own risk. I do *** End WARNING)

Once the software is installed (it utilizes java) it will ask you to put your user name in and what kind of connection you use. Their site is informative if you use a phone line to hook up to the internet but if you do I’m not sure you want you phone to be consumed by this all the time. When it starts it will say the next update will be in 15 min. They use increments of 15 min’s. So far pretty easy right .. here comes the catch,

First off to make $$ your account status must be active, not pending. I don’t have any clue how the algorithm in the program works or who makes this decision. But from what I read else where it could be tricky to be selected.

Second I am in a unique position to have a few computers (ok more than a few) at my disposal and am already paying for the electricity and the internet bandwidth. The current program pays:
Online Time Payments (per day) $0.10
Processing Time Payments (per min.) $0.0005
Referral Bonus (per Active Referral) $1.00
Min. Monthly Payment $5.00
Max. Earnings per month $45.00

So the more computers the more potential, still not that much though.

The referral is only paid out for people you send over that are selected for active too. So don’t think SPAM emails out to 3 million and you will get rich quick .. remember the max in any one month is $45.

Third if you are active. And showing earnings you need to have a PayPal account and it must have the same email address that you used for Gomez. Now at the end of the month it will show your earnings for the month on the web site.. Don’t expect to have the money deposited on the very next day. It was not until the 22nd of the next month till I saw the deposit in to the PayPal account.

You will not get rich off of this and make millions of dollars. But hey from someone who has made $$ it works .. Now I hope they don’t deactivate me for writing this article, because it will offset at least one bill I have per month lol.

Monday, April 7, 2008

DIY Remote Shutter Release for Canon 400D aka. XTi

I'm all about saving the all mighty dollar, I have always been keen on the DIY stuff love to tinker with all kinds of stuff. When I was a mini-kid (as my dad use to call me) I would take things apart just to see what was inside and try to figure out how things worked. My Simon Says was in a million parts and pieces not a week after I got it for Christmas one year, needless to say it did not work for another month or so after that till I figured out how it all went back together (try hiding that from your parents for a month when you are 6 years old). This yearning to know how things work has continued in to my adult hood (love watching How It's Made and other programs on the Science Channel) so anything I can tear apart and put to use as something else just makes my day.

I can not take the credit for this Mod / DIY with the remote shutter release found similar configuration on thank you deth2all.

Taking pictures with the 400D has just been great I love this camera, unfortunately I'm not the steadiest person in the world. Taking pictures of small things with the 70-300mm just don't come out right when you are bouncing all over the place, even with the tripod pressing the shutter release will cause blur. And what about all of those self portraits, trying different things with lights (that my beautiful wife and children will not sit around for 2hrs.) from some of the Strobist Lighting 101 and 102, it's a bit of an issue waiting for the timer on the camera plus you have to pre-focus the shot and that is tough when all you have is a blank (black sheet, in my case) wall to focus on. (just doesn't work).

Well as deth2all suggested I found an old cell phone corded hands free ear phone. Had one that was no longer working properly from work it would place and receive calls but no one could hear me, apparently the microphone was not working any more. That is good because that part is not needed, and actually not wanted to function. All that is needed to do is clip off the ear phone part, and crack open the body of the set (ok, so cracking it open is a bit harsh carefully pry it open, mine opened with just a fingernail your mileage may very).

Don't have before and after pictures only after didn't think about this till it was to late. (DOH!)
DIY remote XTi 1
After clipping (did not have a set of wire cutters with me, used fingernail clippers) the head phone wire off I tried it, no go would not work. Had to use a sharp screw driver (the jewelers screwdriver set I had from the dollar store) and scratch the etching connections on the PCB {printed circuit board} after the connection was broken, just a press of the button and the camera fired. (WHAHOOO) this is cool.
DIY remote XTi 2

Now I can take all of those cool shots that will make me a famous photographer (as is said before, YEAH RIGHT. NOT!!!)

But does allow to get these shots with out blur from camera shake and other shot not having to use the “big teddy bear” as my stand in model.
rose 1a
Probably need to go back to the editing room with this one, but love the red
rose is a rose

and just for artistic tries for a self photo (hey first try, wanted the light back on my shoulder a bit more don't need the hair light.. showing that thin spot.. YIKES am I getting older?? or are my jeans .. I mean genes kicking in.. will try some Rogaine or something.)
just a

let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The perfect Digital SLR / Laptop Backpack

DSLR, dslr laptopb bag, dslr laptop backpack

Well I have come to find out it does not exist here where I can purchase it! So, that is not entirely true either, but after spending 2 weeks searching on the web and looking at the limited camera shops we have here locally I have settled with this one.

Label states Quantaray Pro by Nanue Pro,

This Post has moved to a new home click here to go to it Thank You

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Off Camera Flash Photography Beginner Setup (Cheap)

Poor Person's cheap Flash Photography Studio setup for beginners

I have been reading on Strobist web site for a while now. This is just a great site very informative when you want to move to off camera flash.
Like a lot of people that get in to photography, (ok maybe not that many, I'm sure there are more folks out there that just want to take good pictures) I have delusions of grandeur and

This Post has Moved click here to see the rest of the story

Most of my Photography Stuff is moving to

Do you know what an ID 10 T Error is??? "Data Image Recovery"

Reclaim lost photos, Digital Photography media unreadable, digital photograpy sd card lost photos, digital photography compac flash card (CF) lost phots

Well I do... and I have done it.. idiot.. thats me.

Ok so in my original post Welcome I mentioned something about diving deep in to the Digital Photography realm. Well after shooting a bunch of pictures I figured “hey its time to upload them to my laptop”. So plugged the camera in to the USB port awaited the EOS utility to appear (this takes an inordinate amount of time on my little Dell). Finally after what seemed like an eternity (made a new pot of coffee, had a cup) it popped up and off we went, buzzing all of the pictures down in to the designated folder. This takes a bit as well (off to have another cup, hmmm not going to sleep tonight are we?) something odd happened .. EOS utility just stopped downloading .. I though “huh maybe it did get everything...”
Here is where the ID 10 T thing cropped up .. “Kewl all done I will just format the card and put the other one in that I need to download” (Great, Fantastic, just Freeking Awesome Idea). Put the new card in waited again for the utility to do its thing and blip .. up pops the notifier “Battery to Low to Continue”. DOH what have I done??? Not that there was anything really important (it is to me) on the other card that I had formated but still “AAAAARRRRGGGGG...” how could I be so stupid cardinal rule for any data transfer “MAKE SURE IT MADE IT TO IT'S DESTINATION DOUBLE CHECK IF NEED BE”.

Ok so now what.. Being a Techie.... (ha, obviously not such a good one now are ya?) I did remember glancing at a few data recovery tools in the past that I though would not have much use for me at the time (I am A+, Linux, among other things Certifiable or is that certified tech why on God's Green Earth would I need something like that.). Off to one of my favorite sites key word search .. “file recovery format fat” Wahoo tons of files match and state they can recover everything. (LOL, yeah right) Started downloading file after file on to my computer (hey if it starts acting funny, wipe out and reload the OS whats another 4 hrs of life gone?)

Here is my set up:
editting setup web stuff

Dell C400 1.3Ghz PIII
512MB ram
120GB Western Digital HDD

pc card reader
(bugger... and I call myself a photographer ... this is not my work got to be someone else blurry.. have to redo and repost.)
PCMCIA card reader for the Lexar CompactFlash card (oohhhh 1GB .. hey I'm married with children have to budget things accordingly my toys don't come first)

Oh and WinXP ..(yeah, yeah I know .. could be using a Mac or Linux or something..)

Zero Assumption: Not sure if it works in this instance it started through its evaluation of the flash card and I just could not wait to see if it was going to find my files. And that was after waiting for 30 min or more. (so I'm a little impatient).

DiskInternals FAT recovery:
also just as slow for the waiting thing, but immediately started to find my files so I let it go (what the heck it's only 1 o'clock in the morning not like I need to be up a few hours to run the weekly meeting or any thing right??) but at the end it said it could recover the files and I could even see thumbnails of my RAW photo's that I erased by formating the card. Whew this is good one press of the button and I should have them back. “FYI: the demo just allows you to see that you can retrieve the files. You need to go on line and buy their software to get anywhere. Seems to be a good set of software though but not for me.

**** RANT****
I'm up for software writers to get paid for what they do I really am... but hey I need my stuff back and like I had mentioned before .. “I'm married with children” so I can't just shell out $$ when ever I want (well I guess I could, but then house wouldn't get paid food on the table... stuff like that)
I like the shareware thing, common license, or GPL and give credit where credit is due. And most of these folks you can donate to as well... (all of this stuff is expencive too many hobbies to little $$)
****End of RANT***

File Scavenger 3.2 :
This just did not seem to work at all, (for what I needed) the writers of the code obviously put in the time and effort .. but just did not work. And if it did ... ya got to pay

Also did not work. User friendly interface .. but no files

Now I'm really getting frustrated ...

key word : format data recovery fat free (get this free stuff :))

Finally got some where.... (ha... this is it .. its got to be it)

PC Inspector smart recovery 4.5 :
CONVAR Deutschland is a subsidiary of the English company group, CONVAR EUROPE Ltd, with headquarters in Rochester / England.

Kudo's to these folks, great user interface, even does *.cr2 for raw image search, found all my files and then some that were previously formated off the card. Wow could not say more. (FYI did not keep the original names of the files .. but hey they are back) This did take a while couple three hours. But well worth it .. in my opinion.

So if you have found your self in the same predicament .. try it out I think they are all on the up and up.

Welcome to CE's Geekbook.

I started this blog because I am a geek at heart and need a place to keep all of my stuff that I will end up forgetting if I don't type it somewhere. This site is not for any one specific thing, item, or thought. My thoughts tend to go in a million different directions at any one time. At the moment I have jumped in to the realm of digital photography with a Canon XTi the 2 lenses that came with it and a “nifty fifty”.

Oh and by the way, If you do by some stretch of the imagination read any, some, or all of my posts (lord knows why you would want to.) you may come across those little bracket things ... That is just my inner voice chiming in (my rice krispies talk to me too)
You can see some of my work at

Comments are always welcome.

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