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Now that’s journalism

I missed this over the weekend, but Dwight Silverman does a good job of breaking down the $100 PC available during the Thanksgiving Shopping spree.

Surprise, surprise, the $100 for a PC really isn’t quite the deal it appears to be. It would be nice if retailers could go the route Dwight suggests, and just make buying a PC as uncomplicated as it can be. It’s already complicated enough for someone without a lot of tech knowledge, why make the shopping experience confusing too?

Technorati tags: 100PC, shopping, holidays
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Pause in WLW

Has anybody else using Windows Live Writer to post to their blog noticed occasional slowdowns? Like when it’s autosaving a draft, and you’re typing, the program doesn’t keep up with you, and then fills in behind with what you had been typing once it recovers?

For someone like me, who doesn’t type real well, it can be rather disorienting! :)

Technorati tags: WindowsLiveWriter
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Some Explanations

I’ve been thinking about a couple of things for awhile now and I feel like I should share with you some of the reasons why I am doing things the way I am.

First, the switch to Flickr from the galleries, that will be taking place bit by bit over the next few weeks or months. One of my main motivations for signing up with Google Analytics was to see what kind of traffic was being generated by the photo gallery and other non-blog areas of the site. I use StatCounter on the blog, and didn’t want to add that to all the other pages and skew those numbers, and I really wanted to see what Google Analytics had to offer.

I learned that the galleries, themselves, really weren’t getting much attention, or traffic at all. In fact, I really wasn’t seeing much for all the work I was putting in to getting the photos on-line, and as much as I enjoy taking the pictures anyway, sharing them is part of the whole deal for me. So, I decided to make the upgrade to Pro on Flickr and get some more exposure simply by having them available on the service. I’m also looking forward to using some of their tools to really get a feel for what people like, what they’re commenting on, etc. So, keep an eye on the Flickr, you’ll be seeing batches of new photos every few days!

The other things I’ve been thinking about, because I really felt like Mark Cuban nailed the problem exactly last week when he wrote Blog Pimpin:

“It’s all about Big Pimpin for traffic baby. Welcome to trying to make a living in the Blog Game.”

That right there explains exactly how I feel about the idea of putting advertising on my blog. I simply don’t want to be that guy, the guy who’s constantly scouring TechMeme or Scoble’s sites to try and get noticed and get traffic. I want to write about what I want to write about. I want to talk about working in IT, about neat technology, about things I really like, and if you happen to find that interesting and come along for the ride, great. If what I write about doesn’t interest you, good luck finding a blog that does. Now, I’ll devote some time and energy to trying to get new readers, and have more of an audience to use as a resource. Like I said about the photos, sharing is part of the whole deal for me, but having money involved changes everything.

Putting ads up, or doing anything that changes that simple dynamic, just doesn’t interest me. It would change what I write and how I write. I’m honest enough with myself to know that. I would spend what precious little mental energy I have to spare concerned with getting traffic and getting click-through’s, etc. That’s not why I started this, and it doesn’t really interest me right now. It’s simply not a concern I want to add to my life.

Technorati tags: Flickr, Photography, , MarkCuban
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Problems Everywhere

This has been a week of problems. Seems like everywhere I turn things aren’t working the way they should, or used to, whether it’s an on-line tool, technology at work, or at home, it’s following me around!

The wireless network card in my laptop is being finicky. I can create an explorer.exe crash in two clicks by trying to change the advanced settings while the card is connected. I tried updating the drivers, which completely wiped all the advanced settings that were stored, but didn’t really solve the problem. It just made me have to remember the encryption passcodes for work and home again. :)

I’ve noticed lately that Ping-O-matic is being difficult for me as well. I don’t use it that often to ping the various services but every once in awhile I like to let you all know I’ve posted something, but the ping form stops loading after 3-4 results. My assumption is that nothing past those first 3-4 is ever getting pinged, but I don’t really know. Their blog’s last entry is a promise to add Bloglines to the web form from April. I’m starting to wonder if this tool has been semi-abandoned. Anyone know differently?

Lastly, I tried to install the Gmail mobile client to my Blackberry 7730. The install went ok, and I can log in, but I can’t send anything. I get a Java unhandled exception, internal server error, every time I try. Blah! It’s just been that kind of week. Hopefully the weekend will be better, I have some home tech projects I’d like to get done, and I don’t need anymore problems!

Technorati tags: Pingomatic, WirelessNetworking, GmailMobile

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Sometimes free work pays off

Although, truthfully I did get paid in Guinness and made from scratch cookies, but all the work I did on that laptop paid off in an unexpected way today.

I was sitting at the helpdesk early this morning, when our network admin came by with a laptop. It had been one of our pool laptops for a remote office before it got completely hosed by trojans and spyware. He had been working at cleaning it up off and on for a few weeks and had gotten to the point where there was just one trojan left on it, and he was having a hard time getting it cleaned, because the .dll that McAfee was identifying was attached to winlogon.exe. I agreed to take a look at it using some of the tools I still had on my thumb drive.

When I booted the laptop, and McAfee told me I was dealing with Adware.Virtumonde, the same exact bit of crap that I had struggled with on that other laptop, I knew I was only going to need one of those tools. The VundoFix tool. I ran it, let it do it’s thing, rebooted and voila, no more trojan warnings from McAfee.

Took me 15 minutes to do something our network admin had been struggling for weeks with. Tell me that doesn’t make me look good? ;)

Technorati tags: VundoFix, Spyware

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One other thing

I spent a little more time knocked out from the Vicodin this past weekend than I planned to, but I started the process of getting the pictures loaded up on Flickr, so if you’re a visitor to my Flickr page, it’ll keep growing and growing throughout the week and probably into next week as well. Right now the galleries from Philly and Louisville are up there, the rest will be forthcoming, and then I’ll start redirecting my links and updating the 404 for this site to point folks to Flickr for the photos.

Sheesh, that’s a lot of work!

Technorati tags: Flickr
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Virtualization everywhere

Yes it seems like every time I turn around there’s something new in this space. Today it’s the preconfigured Virtual Hard Disks available from Microsoft.

I wonder, combine this with what I had written about VMWare Converter being able to convert VirtualPC virtual machines on Friends in Tech last week and all the other news around both VMWare and VirtualPC and this is definitely a technology that allows us IT geeks to have a whole lot of fun playing with different Operating Systems and setups. Now if we only had enough time to play!

Technorati tags: VirtualPC, VMWare
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Changing things around

Looks like I’m going to have some extra time on my hands over some of the next few weekends. I’ll be laid up after my little surgery tomorrow for the rest of the weekend, then my wife will be leaving me home alone for a couple of weekends in the near future, so naturally I’ll be working on some projects.

Now, granted, I’m not taking on any of the projects that require a lot of mental concentration this weekend, I’m afraid the painkillers will keep me from doing that very well, but I do believe I’m going to work on upgrading my Flickr account and begin the process of moving over all the pictures I’ve been hosting here. Nothing against the stuff I’ve been using to host galleries, I just feel like Flickr has reached the point where I want all those features for all my photos. So I’m moving them there.

I also am toying with the idea of creating a free Flickr account for the Friends of the Library site while I’m messing around in there, just as a place to put the extra photos that I don’t have room for in the journal entries. I’ve got some photos for that now, hopefully I’ll continue to get photos to make it worth my efforts.

I’m looking forward to spending some long hours working on some tech projects. It’s been awhile since I had the time or energy for that. :)

Technorati tags: Flickr, Photos

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Another useful tool

I saw this post on Lifehacker today, which is a great site for finding tools and ideas to simplify your life. It was titled “Automatically Download and Install your Favorite Software”, which got my attention.

They’re talking about InstallPad, a tool that will allow you to set a list of software and will go out download those applications and install them while you go on about your life. This could be very useful in setting up a new machine, or in setting up security apps on a machine you’re cleaning up for someone. For example, I could have had Ad-Aware, AVG, etc. in an InstallPad list, and this tool could have grabbed those and installed them while I watched TV or something equally productive like that. *L*

Anyhow, I think I’m going to grab this and give it a go the next time I’m setting up a new machine or something like that. It could proof helpful!

Speaking of helpful tools, I posted over on the Friends in Tech blog about the Vmware Converter Beta, which also seems like it could be a very exciting tool!

Technorati tags: InstallPad, Lifehacker
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