Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did You Get a New Computer for Christmas?

As I've said before, Lifehacker.com is a great site for computer and other techie things. One of their latests articles covers starting out with a new computer. Go here for the goodies.

Enjoy

Oh, the computer discussion group has been put on hold for a few weeks - didn't have very many people in attendance. We may have to move that meeting to Fridays - I've a new job in the Sales Office on Monday-Thursday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jolicloud

Just loaded Jolicloud on my HP Mini 5101 - it works great!! It's now a fast little computer.

Found another link you might be interested in - for the power user -

://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/microsofts_secret_stash_10_best_unknown_windows_utilities

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Monday's Discussion Group

This Monday we'll again have a Google Wave demonstration.

Bring your laptop and logon to the internet using our WIFI hot spot. We'll discuss anything related to computers and technology. Might not know the answer, but I'll bet we can find it on the web.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Google Wave

I've several invitations available for Google Wave. If you're interested, give me a call/email. I think it'd be a good thing to use to solve computer problems via a group discussion.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Apps

Lifehacker just published the 61 free apps their thankful for --

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chrome OS

Have you heard of it? Maybe the next big thing in computers - a browser that is the OS. Take a look at this video --



Monday, November 16, 2009

First Discussion Session

Only one person attended my first discussion session of the year. So, it was pretty informal.

Let's talk about Google products next Monday. Specifically, Google Voice.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Home

This is not political, nor is it Geek-related, but I just watched a movie that all should see --


It's about our planet (Home) and what the future holds. All your friends and all of your family should watch it.

Be concerned.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Downloads

If you're into trying new web sites and new software, give this a shot -


I haven't tried it much yet, but it looks like a wealth of possibilities.

Windows 7

Oh, did I say that I've installed Win7 on three computers and enjoy it very much?

I know that Vista got a lot of bad press, and many people don't like it, but after the first few months of it's release, I found it to be a very good OS. Win7 is a little better, but it's received good press, so folk think it's much better. It does seem to load and shutdown a little faster, and it does have some better features, so it must be better.

Anyway, I've used it for several months, and when I see XP, I'm glad I updated. XP seems so old, now. If you have the opportunity to upgrade to Win7 - do it!

Multimedia Computer

I've had Mediacom for a few days, and the speed seems consistent at about 9mbps. This is somewhat slower than the advertised rate, but I'll give them a few weeks before I question it.

Ok, back to the multimedia computer, the internet, and my TV.

I'm currently using an HP laptop with an AMD Turion Dual Core ZM 82 and 3 GB of memory. This pc is connected to my TV via an RGB cable and an audio cable from the headphone jack. The TV quality is very good. And, any audio that supplies 5.1 surround sound is adequately reproduced by my somewhat inexpensive amplifier. This system setup works quite well in my small space. I can get music from a variety of free providers (e.g., Pandora, Last.fm), but the Genius feature of iTunes does a very good job of generating a mix of music from my collection.

The pc is a little noisy with the cooling fan running most of the time (I do have it set on high performance), and the heat generated is significant. So far, I've not had any heat related problems, however.

As long as Donna does not want to use the TV for "tv", I'm able to do all my internet stuff using the TV. I'm currently using media programs such as Hulu, Boxee, ESPN360.com, Netflix, Blockbuster, etc. - all on the PC. And, with the higher speed Mediacom internet, most things load and run quite fast. I would like to use a more suitable PC, however. Not sure why, but using the laptop seems to be a waste.

I get several RSS feeds that give the latest news on gadgets and the latest media toys. It appears that Dell will have an Inspiron 400 in a couple of weeks that would be very nice as a media computer and a company called AsRock has a computer that is equally nice - it has a Blue-Ray player. Take a look at this video -


If anyone in the Park would like to pursue this sort of multimedia stuff, please let me know - I'd be happy to show you my system setup and talk about options.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yep!

Speeds are still there. Yeah!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Speed!

After many phone calls - it looks like I'm finally getting some speed. Almost 10mbps at this time. Hope tomorrow morning is just as good!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Re: High Speed

Still no internet access, but we do have Cable TV throughout the park.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

High Speed

I've been back in the Park for a while and have some updates to the other blog; failed miserably in getting this one updated. Sorry.

Once we get Mediacom installed and I'm satisfied with the speed, I'll provide some information on the programs I'm using to get media from the internet. Maybe someday you won't need cable tv service! In fact, Blockbuster Video has just been added to TIVO and we can now download videos instead of getting them in the mail from Netflix (Netflix has that service, also, but the selection is slim). The price is $4 per video (a dollar cheaper than Amazon) and may be a cost-effective alternative to Netflix.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lifehacker Pack 2009

Another list of recommended programs (free); this time from Lifehacker. I've used a good share of these and like them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Windows 7 Continued

I installed W7 on a HP Pavilion tx2000 notebook with fingerprint reader, swivel touch screen, and built-in wifi/bluetooth. Neither the fingerprint reader nor the bluetooth works. Shortly after the install, bluetooth recognized the cell phone and, briefly, the Microsoft Bluetooth mouse. Now, nothing. The web isn't much help, either. But it is nice to know that others are having similar problems. Touch screen is more precise than it was in Vista.

Now the good - hibernation currently works much faster than it did in Vista. Boot times seem much quicker, too. I do like the combination quick launch and running programs bar better. It first I thought I wanted the separate quick launch toolbar, but now, not so much.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Windows 7

Last week the release candidate for Windows 7 was made available to the general public. Being the leading edge sort of a person I am, I spent the day trying to get it downloaded and installed. If you upgrade from Vista, expect the installation to be very long. AND, I found that strange things happened with the upgrade.

I then did something drastic - I did a new install of 7 and erased Vista! Windows 7 seems to run a little better and the install was much quicker. BTW, unless you hack the download file a little bit, what you will install is the Ultimate Edition. Not sure what that really gives you yet (I need to read more), but it will last until June of 2010. At which time you must buy 7 or go back to a previous version.

The UI is slightly different than Vista - maybe better?!?! It may load a little faster and I think hibernation is faster, too.

More later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lifehacker

One of the Google products I use is Reader. Reader is an RSS feed aggregator that quickly shows the updates of the feeds I like. One of those feeds is Lifehacker. Lifehacker has a multitude of tips and downloads that will bring out the geek in you. Take a look at it here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Discussion Group Suspended

The Gold Canyon Discussion Group meeting has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Thanks for the participation; see you next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

UtilityGeek

Take a look at this web site - UtilityGeek.  You might find some useful (and free) programs here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Online Photo Editors

While "stumbling" I found this web page. Try some of them out.

http://www.dailygyan.com/2008/11/10-online-photo-editors-that-you.html

Friday, January 30, 2009

MagicJack, et al

MagicJack says ---

Dear STEVEN SHAFF,


We have received the magicJack(s) that you have returned. We have issued a credit to your credit or debit card. This credit will appear on your next months billing statement (Please note: if you returned a "Trial magicJack" within the thirty day trial period and were not charged, we will cancel your order and you will not be charged on your card). Please remember that you can always visit us at magicjack.com.

Thank you,

magicJack Customer Service

That sounds good.

The meeting this week was another with very good participation. Don't have a topic for next Monday. Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

magicJack

We talked a little bit about magicJack last Monday.  It's a small device that plugs into a usb port; a regular telephone is then plugged into the magicJack.  If you have a high speed internet connection, then you are able to make unlimited and almost free calls.  Only one problem for me - I was unable to get it to work on either of my Vista machines.  When I plugged the magicJack in, both computers' Windows Explorer slowed to a crawl.  I was never  able to get it up and running, let alone in the 2 minutes they promise.  I spent over an hour on live help site with India and still no success.

MagicJack promises a full refund if returned within 30 days.  Well, that's not quite the reality.  I placed the order on January 13; received it a couple days ago; and yesterday printed off the return instructions.  They stated I had to have it back to them by February 3 before they would grant a refund.  I don't think that is 30 days.  AND, I don't think I'll get back the $6.95 shipping (and handling) they charged me to have it sent via US Mail.

I do not recommend magicJack.  Try Skype instead.

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19 Meeting

A good meeting today; lot's of discussion from everyone!  This is the kind of meeting I hope we can continue to have - input/output from all.

Topics for next week's discussion are solicited.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 12 Meeting

Suggested topics for Monday's meeting -

Options for High Speed Internet
Virus Protector Programs

FYI - I'm using Alltel's broadband cellular service - tonight my download speed is 2208 kbps!  What is yours?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Computer Group Meeting

The first heavily attended CG meeting can only be improved if the room coordinator (me) would just fix the seating arrangement! I guess Google is a good topic. Since they is so much interest, I bought some Google stock yesterday - please get all your friends to buy some as well!!

We'll keep the meetings in the Ocotillo room for the foreseeable future. I'll try to use more rectangular tables for next time. I will set up a wifi network for our use during the meetings, so bring your laptops (and extension cords with multiple outlets).

I have no topic for the next meeting, but would rather have a discussion on any topic the group would like. If you have ideas or problems that might be beneficial for discussion, let me know and come to the meeting prepared to present them.

Thanks for the turn out!