"You don't have to protect yourself against fools. You have to protect yourself against people like me." - Jeffery Deaver

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ubuntu

I Don't Get It

Every now and then I get the urge to change up my desktop and try something new. Recently, my laptop running Windows 7 crashed giving me a perfect opportunity to try Ubuntu. I did a search and found there was a relatively new version of Ubuntu released.  Great! I downloaded the latest version for desktops (there are versions for desktops, netbooks, and servers) and burned a CD. You can test the OS by loading it directly from the CD or by installing it as the main OS or side-by-side with Windows. After a quick test running it from the CD I decided to load it as my main operating system as my Windows 7 was already gone.

I was looking for a fast, clean and lean OS. I always liked the look of linux systems. The Ubuntu website boosts these very features:

"Super-fast and great-looking, Ubuntu is a secure, intuitive operating system that powers desktops, servers, netbooks and laptops. Ubuntu is, and always will be, absolutely free."

Ubuntu is certainly all that. And I would have continued to use it except for my biggest disappointment. Flash playback in full screen. Flash playback in normal mode plays fine, but playback is really choppy at full screen. I downloaded the latest Flash player with no improvement. I downloaded the previous version of Flash player as recommended on some forums, but still no improvement. After spending a couple of days browsing forums for a solution, I decided to throw-in-the-towel. Unfortunately, this was a deal breaker.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Optimizing the Acer Aspire REVO AR3610

I had the Acer Aspire REVO for a little over a month now. Right out of the box it actually runs pretty good. Note that I only use the box to stream TV and play movies. I'm not into gaming, so that was not a priority at all. For someone who in into heavy gaming, there are better boxes out there. For my purposes, the only files I had problems with were the MKV files, which after doing some googling I managed to get it working quite well. However, even after uninstalling everything I didn't want, I still found that simple procedures like opening up the file explorer was taking more time that it should. I like to run my machines lean and fast. So, this weekend I decided to reformat the hard-drive and reinstall Windows 7.

Reinstalling Windows 7
The Aspire hard-drive comes pre-formatted with three partitions. One partition holds the system recovery, one the system boot information and the third stores all the files and OS. I wanted to recover the space used by the system recovery and boot partitions. In order to do that, you have to boot the system from the Windows 7 install disk. As the Aspire does not come with an optical drive and I don't have a USB optical drive, I needed to setup the Windows 7 install files on a USB stick. It's easy enough to do, but you have to have an original Windows 7 install CD and the Aspire doesn't come with one. Luckily, I do have one I purchased. You can find instructions for creating a bootable USB install disk at Into Windows.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Celebrity Wallpaper of the Month

I ran across this website that has lots of great celebrity  wallpapers. Enough to change your wallpaper everyday for years. The site is www.WallpaperBay.net. Here is a blurb from there welcome page.

Welcome to WallpaperBay.Net, the online place to find over 35.000 female celebrity wallpapers. We have wallpapers of more than 700 celebrities from USA and around the world. All the hot female celebrity wallpapers are in 1024x768 resolution. Just click on the first letter of the celebrity name above to see the available wallpapers.

Here is one of my favorite wallpapers. It is of Eliza Dushku. Just click on the image to download.



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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Acer's Aspire REVO

First Impressions

After spending the last year or more hooking and unhooking my laptop to the TV to watch movies and stream TV shows, I decided to get a computer dedicated to that particular function. My only criteria was that it had to be at least as powerful as my laptop, used a small footprint and came with an attractive price tag (under $400.00). I spent a few weeks looking around at a few boxes until I stumbled upon the Acer Aprire REVO. It seemed to fit all the criteria. As far as footprint goes, it's about the same size as my Bell 2-wire modem.

Before buying, I did a little bit of research on the product. The predominant feature of the unit was the NVIDIA Ion processor. I have to admit that I don't keep up with the latest hardware available. A NVIDIA Ion processor sounds good. The NVIDIA website describes the processor as:

"Next-generation NVIDIA® ION™ graphics¹ energize your PC with over 10 times the performance of integrated graphics. Go beyond simple Internet browsing with a media-savvy ION GPU. Experience full 1080p video on sites like YouTube HD or from Blu-Ray discs. Play the most popular PC games like World of Warcraft or accelerate popular video and photo apps, boosting performance of editing and converting videos, face tagging photos, and much more. Only ION delivers the Windows 7 Home Premium experience including the rich 3D user interface. NVIDIA ION packs a premium graphics punch at a fraction of the size."

Reviews I have read seem to suggest the processor does well with video after a little tweaking, but not so good with heavy gaming. Not to worry. I'm not into gaming.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Real-Estate Agent Called...

By Howard Walsh | Windsor Home Inspections

I did a home inspection yesterday for a couple in Chatham, Ontario. The couple obviously wanted to use their own home inspector and found me on the internet. In fact, when they first called, there was no one in the office and they left a message. Usually when that happens, they end up calling whoever is next on their list. I called back about a half hour later and got their answering machine. I left a message and figured that was the last I would hear from them. But, they called back about a hour later. Obviously they wanted to use me. Great. We booked the inspection for early Sunday morning.

Saturday afternoon, their real-estate agent called. He just wanted to check on a couple of things and discuss the property. I always find it interesting when this happens. He said he wanted to make sure that I was certified and was bondable, which I am to both. It also appears that the sellers don't want to negotiate on anything the home inspector might find. And, he, the real-estate agent, wouldn't be at the inspection in the morning. Apparently, he doesn't like to work on Sundays, especially when the property is out of town.

This is what I find interesting. What makes the real-estate agent feel that he needs to "look into" the home inspector that the buyers decide to use. Would he also look into their lawyer and mortgage broker? I don't think so. Obviously I wasn't his choice. He would probably prefer to use someone who would ensure the sale of the house went easy, and since the sellers don't want to negotiate, his recommended home inspector wouldn't find anything to damaging to the sale of the house. That's my opinion. Other than a support beam beginning to rot and a couple of leaky pipes, their wasn't too much else wrong with the house.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Free Mother's Day eCard

I just created an eCard for Mother's Day. You can download it for FREE!

Works perfectly in Outlook 2007. Just follow these instructions to install.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

50 Email Marketing Tips

I just received this bocklet of tips from theEmailGuide.com. It lists 50 tips to improve your email marketing campaigns. Some are helpful... some are not. If you are new to email marketing, I'm sure you will find a lot of helpful information. Some of the tips include:

The best times for emails to be delivered
According to a report from Pure360 the prime windows of opportunity fluctuate depending on the material.

For example, some 27 percent of all eMail marketing restaurant promotions and 19 percent of live event promotions are opened first thing. While the mid-afternoon period between 3 PM and 5 PM (the post lunch slump) seems to be the time for people to go for those emails promoting “chance of a lifetime” or “life changing” opportunities.

Unsubscribe! I mean change my email! D’oh
When someone hits the unsubscribe button, are you ready to handle it? As a company you can learn from the reasons behind someone unsubscribing, or even better: give them an option to change personal details or preferences on frequency (opt-down) and save them from unsubscribing.

MailChimp & SpinnakerPro offer great free email marketing solutions
Here’s two companies offering a 100% free email marketing solution with no obligation. This takes the risk out of email marketing for those just starting out.

There's a lot more. Download all the tips.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Makes a Home Inspector Good

By Howard Walsh | Windsor Home Inspections

What makes a home inspector good? That will depend a lot on who you ask. For sure the home buyer or seller will have a different point of view compared to a real-estate agent. The home buyer wants an inspector that is going to be honest about the house they are considering to purchase. The buyer wants to know if there are any serious flaws with the house, and issues with the structure, roof, basement. How is the electricity and plumbing? Are there going to be any surprises when they move in. Is the furnace going to break down in the dead of winter? Will the air conditioner work when needed most in the heat of summer?

Sometimes the home buyers expectations of the home inspection are unrealistic. Sometimes they expect to find out everything that ever was wrong with the house. Sometimes they expect to find out everything that ever was done to the house. Sometimes they expect the home inspector to see through walls. And sometimes they expect the home inspector to be a fortune teller.

Above all, the home buyer expects the home inspector to give an honest, trustworthy opinion about the present condition of the property they are about to purchase. To the buyer, that is what makes a home inspector good. Often this goes directly against the desires of the real-estate agent!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

My Own Syntax Highlighter

Let me start of by saying that there are a lot of great syntax highlighters out there. Certainly we don't need another one. That being said, I did create one, but not for any other reason than I wanted to see what was involved. It is not a complete highlighter in that not all scripting languages are covered. Basically, I just covered the languages I use most often, which are HTML, PHP, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, DELPHI and XML. You can try out a demo of the highlighter by clicking on the link below.

Syntax Highlighter Demo

The the following code in this blog was generated by this syntax highlighter.

I started off working on the HTML and decided to go the old C++ route and parse the script one character at a time. This worked out quite well as it was easy to identify the tags, tag name and attributes without having to iterate through a list of all the HTML tags and attributes. Also, this works well for XML as well where there aren't any standard tag names.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Syntax Highlighting

9 Top Online Syntax Highlighting Sites

Syntax highlighting is very important especially when we want to show our code example in a blog. By enabling the syntax highlighting on the blog, readers can read the code blocks easier.

There are a lot of free and useful syntax highlighting scripts available. Most of the scripts are written using Javascripts, though some of them are powered by other programming languages such as Phyton or Ruby.

70-410| 70-488| 70-461| MB5-705| 200-120| 70-410| 70-488| 70-461| MB5-705| 200-120| 70-486| 70-412| MB2-704| 70-483| 70-480| 300-101| 70-417| CCD-410| C4040-251| 1Z0-060| 070-410| 70-347| C4040-252 MB5-705 70-410 C4040-250 70-461 200-120 70-486 810-401 70-483 70-417 640-554 70-488 CCA-500 N10-005 C4040-252 MB5-705 70-410 C4040-250 70-461 200-120 70-486 810-401 70-483 70-417 640-554 70-488 MB2-704 70-480 70-346 1Z0-061 AWS-SysOps C4040-251 70-410 70-488 70-461 MB5-705 200-120 70-486 70-411 70-480 70-346 220-802 PMP 70-488 MB6-703 70-462 1V0-601 2V0-621 070-480 300-115 70-414 C4040-252 MB5-705 70-410 C4040-250 70-461 200-120 70-486 810-401 70-483 640-554 70-410 70-488 70-461 MB5-705 200-120 70-486 70-411 70-480 70-346 200-120 400-051 NS0-157 400-201 70-410 CISSP 400-101 70-411 70-461 220-802 PMP 70-488 MB6-703 70-462 1V0-601 2V0-621 070-480 300-115 70-414 642-874 101-400 070-486 MB5-705 AWS-SYSOPS 9L0-012 CISA 3002 CISM 70-533 2V0-620 200-120 400-051 NS0-157 400-201 70-410 070-410 CISSP 400-101 70-411 200-120 400-051 ns0-157 400-201 70-410 070-410 cissp 400-101 70-411 70-461 220-802 70-533 70-532 70-243 E10-001 VCP-550 1Z0-062 70-466 200-101 70-489 70-461 220-802 PMP 70-488 MB6-703 70-462 1V0-601 2V0-621 070-480 300-115 70-414 642-874 200-120 200-120 400-051 NS0-157 400-201 70-410 070-410 CISSP 400-101 70-411 70-461 220-802 PMP 70-488 MB6-703 200-120 400-051 NS0-157 400-201 70-410 070-410 CISSP 400-101 70-411 70-461 220-802 PMP 70-488 MB6-703 70-462 1V0-601 2V0-621 070-480 300-115 70-414

Though there are a lot of Syntax Highlighting Scripts that are powered by Javascript, today I am looking at what is available to use online without having to set up your own website or web-page. After about an hour using Goggle, I was able to come up with 9 tools to do the job. I suspect some of these tools use the same engine. Here is what I found.

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