Attack of the “Updaters”

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Yes, having up-to-date software is important.  But it’s only absolutely vital in a few areas, mainly the Antivirus, Malware, Browser and maybe the Email and IM programs.  Yes any program that accesses the internet directly I understand.  Why must you have some idiot updater be in your face and running at all times for programs that aren’t essential?  Why can’t it check when you open the program once a week?

Instead you’ve got Java Updater, Apple Updater and Google Updater all checking 24/7 for updates and they don’t make any bones about telling you there is an update available.  You might be knee deep in a video game and POW!!! Drop you at your desktop and kill your character or your whole group (if you play online MMORPG’s).  Just to find out that Google Earth is updated.  Big effing deal.  Didn’t need to know that at the most inappropriate time.

Watching a movie via my sweet little home network/movie server and BAM!!  Apple tells me that there’s an update for Quicktime.  Who the flip cares?  I was enjoying a movie!!

It’s getting harder to deal with.  Having to remove Java Updater from the startup, uninstalling Apple Updater (even though I removed the check mark that says “don’t install updater” it installs anways…  Google is getting harder to find stand alone installers… Come on guys!!  Stop eating my PC’s resources with your useless crapware!!  If it’s not a security software, you don’t need to be all up in my face with your updates!  And I don’t want to install everything under the sun that you have to offer as your updater is sometimes an all purpose installer!  (I’m talking about Google and Microsoft’s Live installers/updaters)

All my PC’s run streamlined and secure.  But the effort I go through to keep my resources open is ridiculous due to these un-needed and unwanted updaters/installers.

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Technology Not Age Specific

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I realize I’m getting older and the “old man” jokes are already becoming tiresome, but what the hell is with people telling me that I know more about technology because I’m not as old as they are.   This leads me to asking them how old they think I am.  They guess in the early 30’s and I always reply with “I wish”.  Then proceed to tell them that most of my kids are grown up and 2 of them are already married (NO GRAND KIDS YET PLEASE!!!!).

Then I got to thinking, none of my kids got into technology.  Well 1 got into playing MMORPG games, but that doesn’t make her knowledgeable about technology.  She still can’t operate her digital video camera properly.  So, there’s an example of a young generation not getting with it.

Also, 90% of the people who helped me become as knowledgeable as I am, are considerably older than me.  Not too mention, that computers started long before I ever got into it.  So, there’s an example of older generations who know more than I do.

So what does age have to do with technology?  You can learn at any age!  I’m not young and I’m not old.  I just have a sincere interest in technology.  Therefore I learn it.  You can too, if you’re interested.

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When Geeks Rule the World

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Got to thinking on how time changes everything.  Many years ago, trains, planes and automobiles changed how we travel.  Time and war got us to change how we feel about slavery.  Being homosexual was once considered taboo and unacceptable.

Though I’m thinking about myself and how things used to be for me.  As a child of the 80’s, I have many fond memories of that time period.  Save for the fact that I was a geek.  I got into computers, software and the like.  At the time, others considered folks like me to be a loser or use the term geek as a way to ridicule me.  Isn’t it funny that those same people call me for tech support because they too have computers?  Or how society in general get upset when their once considered geeky devices aren’t functioning?  These same people now have MySpace pages, email and such.  Using their cellphones, computers and other portable devices.

Back then, playing Dungeons & Dragons was OMG geeky.  You were part of a very small crowd if you played fantasy games in basements with your trench coat wearing buddies.  Now millions of people log on every night to their World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Runes of Magic, Warhammer and on and on and on…  Wow, you are all geeks!  Guess fantasy games are cool after all huh?

Look around.  The things that once got me picked on in school are now the things everyone is into.  And if you aren’t a geek on some level, then you aren’t cool.  Twenty-some years ago, you’d hardly see a shirt that says “I Love Geeks”, now it’s not only a shirt, but a bumper sticker, pins and more.  Back then it wasn’t cool.  Now it’s all the rage.  Huh… Go figure….

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Social Networking – How I Hate It

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We have so much to talk about, and yet nothing to really say.  Email, IM, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and on and on and on it goes.  Will Social Networking stop?  Probably not.  And if these socialites can’t be by their PC, then it’s the cellphone and text messaging.

Example: yesterday we took the kids to Busch Gardens.  The whole time we were there, the kids were on their phones just tapping or talking away.  They didn’t much care that we where trying to have some family time.  They just had to talk with ALL their friends.  Come on!  Roller coasters!  Sheesh….

  • Email – So there I was, surrounded by the cats, Fluffy, Snuggles, Snowball, Blacky…
  • Instant Messaging – did u get dat pic i sent?
  • Affordable Cellphones – Jenny and Jill could be BFF’s all day while raising the number of phone related auto accidents.
  • Texting –  OMG!  BFF Ilvu!! lol eek CRASH ttyl g2g popo here.
  • MySpace – Hey, I do not possess the intelligence to make a website, I’m colorblind and have no interesting life what-so-ever.  Thanks for leaving a comment!!
  • Facebook – Now I have a full-time job just replying to all the idiocies presented to me on one website.
  • YouTube – Look at me!! Look at me!! I have no real qualities, but goodness I’m the funniest person I’ve ever known!!
  • Twitter – What am I doing now?  Nothing any sane human being would be remotely interested in.

God, and I gave up dumasaphobia.com?  What was I thinking!  Oh yeah, I didn’t want to spend every moment of my day ranting about the retards that flock to Social Networking.  Talk about your full-time job.  Honestly people, why does anyone really care about your pathetic life that you need to make a mockery of yourself and show off just how talentless you really are?

Blogging, if you are a casual blogger who can creatively think of something good or give good criticism about or the occasional rant {ahem}, then I applaud you.  Especially if you can put a good presented personal website with it.  If you are handicapped in that arena, then Blogger or wordpress.com would be a better bet for you.  Though please try and learn how to use it to it’s fullest potential.  Educate yourself, it never hurts.  Get out, spend some time with real people, and places.  Then blog about them when you have the spare time.

Rather than being this mindless zombie that got a great address like “myspace.com/isucktonails”.

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Sony Presents – the USA

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What in the hell is going on with this “Great Nation”?  We are supposed to be so strong and so proud.  Then why is every one bailing out of business and letting America go to foriegn interests piece by piece?

Example: 7-11 stores are all now owned by Japan, the beer that stood for America and it’s freedoms for so many years, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. is now owned by Belgians.  Who, by the way, has already managed to destroy a great local theme park of ours Busch Gardens with all of their “changes” and I can only assume more changes are coming.

While this is nothing new, it seems that there is no sign of it ending.  Our recession is certain to put us over the top and push us to becoming the States of America no longer United.

It was bad enough when Amercia started outsourcing jobs to cut costs on products.  Now they are simply outsourcing the companies all together.  I may very well work at one of the last few American owned, American run companies if this trend continues.

Do you want some scary numbers?  How about the 16,613 other American Companies sold to Foriegn Interests between July, 1978 – July, 2008.  What will happen when your job at General Motors becomes part of Honda (not saying this is going to actually happen).  When all our major American Businesses become foriegn, will we then be held to the company that owns the most interest in America to rename us?  Sony Presents…  The United States of America – put that on your bumper sticker.   “The Good Old S.P.U.S of A”

I want my America back where it belongs!  In America!

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30 Days with Windows 7

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Warning, this review isn’t written with techno-geek jargon. 99% of end users wouldn’t understand that sort of rambling. Thus, I want Ma and Pa User to understand exactly what I think of Windows 7 in terms they can relate too. Besides, if you are an uber-geek, you already know how cool Windows 7 is, and don’t really need to hear my praises.

Back in the pre-Vista days, I tried out the beta and was smitten by it’s cool glassy looks. But all the polish in the world wasn’t going to shine up what was to become the second biggest pile of feces that Microsoft ever produced for an operating system (OS). I was so taken by it at the time, that I ponied up $200 hard earned dollars for that OS when it came out. Sadly, within my first 30 days of use, I couldn’t take the pain of it’s memory hogging, warning pop-up (UAC) annoying experience. Thus it was ‘shelved’, and sat in wait until about 2 months ago when I thought to give it a try again. Only to be let down before the end of the day. Thus leaving me to go scurrying back to my beloved XP.

Needless to say, when Windows 7 Beta came out, I only tried it out for a couple of days. It looked so much like Vista, I didn’t really give it a chance. Though when Windows 7 RC had hit the streets, I had so many friends telling me that it was worth the try. So I first tried it on my laptop.

It not only installed perfectly on my Acer 5620z Laptop, it also setup all the fancy button functions. Negating the need for any 3rd party crapware from the manufacturer to control said buttons. Running so efficiently, that I can still play my Guild Wars and Runes of Magic games on my laptop while using Ventrilo to voice chat with my friends. Is there anything this OS can’t do?

Now on to my baby, my desktop where I spend nearly the entirety of my evenings battling mythical creatures and socializing with my friends. Just as with my laptop, the OS did everything it should without flaw and even recognized my RAID 1 setup without the need for a driver. Is there anything this OS can’t do?

Not only does it look pretty (which yes Aesthetics are important), but it uses far less memory than XP did. How they managed that is a mystery to me. It’s fast, clean and a load of fun. Sure I could throw 100 technical terms out there and detail all the info. But Joe Average isn’t going to understand. Thus, in short I’ll say this OS simply kicks ass!

Well OK, it’s not perfect. Though I did finally get my Installer program to work. Now I’m just waiting for the author to give it official Windows 7 support so I can update my packages for my users. Other than that though, I haven’t had any issues. It runs like magic and takes less resources than Windows XP did.

A wonderful thing I would really like to see in software, is something to relieve the cluttered All Programs menu. I realize this has nothing to do with the OS itself, but software producers/developers. There needs to be a consortium to come up with standards of organizing the start menu (see Clipboard 9). Software either wants to be installed in the All Programs directly or in their own Company / Software folder. Within a few titles, it makes the All Programs list grow and grow. Until it’s nearly impossible to navigate. I would rather see a tree system done by Category, then Software. So when a software gets installed, it auto organizes based on what category their software falls into keeping the All Programs menu neat and organized.

Example:

Graphics

  • Paint.net
  • MS Paint
  • Adobe Photoshop

Internet

  • Internet Explorer
  • Skype
  • Pidgin
  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird

and so on… But I digress and go on to my review of Windows 7.

Sharing files is also very handy with Windows 7 and their new Homegroup (visit link for more info) system. Extremely clever idea. Also, my current shared folders can now have the requirement for username/password turned off. (hooray!!!) That’s all the tech speak you’re gonna get here.

Though one thing does concern me greatly about this OS. The price. With the economy in the shape it’s in, will I be able to afford to buy it for my computers? If Microsoft is listening, hopefully they introduce this great OS with an early bird savings or something that will drive it up. It really is a great product thus far.

This is probably the first Windows OS I’ve been excited about in years. As they say at Mickey D’s “I’m lovin’ it!!”

Screenshots (Click for Larger Images)

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10 Weeks Smoke Free

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Pandella and I quit smoking 10 weeks ago.  While she is doing better than me, I really only seem to want a cigarette out of habit more than desire.  I catch myself reaching for my pocket when getting  into the car (to remove them and put them in the center console), but they are not there.  Shortly after quitting, I had a really really nasty tooth extraction, basically slept for 2 days completely doped up on pain killers.  Never in my life have I had such a bad dental experience.  Generally I go to work afterward and just sound funny for a few hours.  However, after that, I’ve really had no desire to smoke.  So perhaps this time we’ll stay quit.

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Crownedalliance is now Believe

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I’m not real clear on where they got the idea for that Guild name.   But it certainly is a better overall choice than had we stuck with Messiah.  While it’s dictionary definition was respectable, the insinuation others would have taken it for, would’ve not been pretty.  Oh Lordy (pun intended).  So all the active members are now in Believe.  Don’t have a guild website yet under the new name.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and get tasked with that.  I like building websites for some silly reason.

Stay tuned. -> Here’s what I’ve submitted for the official Guild Website (if they so choose it worthy)

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Freeware Page Updated

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Cleaned it up.  Organized it.  Added all my freeware tools with the exceptions of Powertoys for XP (as I no longer use XP, who cares).  Also Windows Media Encoder 9 (not sure why I have it anymore).  And a way to hack XP themes and turn them black.  Again, I don’t use XP anymore… so who cares.

Visit the all new updated Freeware Page

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