I learned about these great cleaning cloths from Clayton Morris. I went and picked up the three pack of cloths from Home Depot’s cleaning supplies department. They are large enough and made slightly different than most microfiber cloths. So a couple of quick swipes and your iPad screen looks new again as it takes all the finger prints away. You can find them over at Home Depot for about $6.
I grew up with the Commodore Vic 20, then the C-64 and my last Commodore machine was an Amiga 1000. So you can imagine the temptation I feel in getting one of these NEW rebooted Commodore 64 units due out this year. You can find the units and watch for them to go on sale over at http://www.commodoreusa.net/
Today marks 6 years of podcasting for Friends In Tech member Douglas E. Welch so he deserves a special mention and highlight on this blog. His blogs are listed below but be sure to check out the main website at welchwrite.com for more information and links to his other communities. Congratulations once again Douglas!
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES PODCAST
Helping to Build the Career You Deserve
CAREERS IN NEW MEDIA
New Media Tools and Answers
Control your technology – don’t let it control you
A GARDENER’S NOTEBOOK
Join me in my garden
CAREERS IN NEW MEDIA
New Media Tools and Answers
Control your technology – don’t let it control you
A GARDENER’S NOTEBOOK
Join me in my garden
Friends In Tech was mentioned on the Mike Tech Show in reference to our Child Friendly Surfing Flier – here is the link and our original posting information.
It is the return and refresh of the Friends in Tech Child Safety Flier. Feel free to share this flier with anyone whom has kids and is concerned with online safety. We have links for everything from blogging, cyberbullying to advice for parents. We managed to toss in a couple of software and podcast picks that are family friendly. The flier looks great printed out as well as the electronic PDF. Please respect all the sites we cover and do not modify the flier if you share it. FiT nor any of its members derive any financial benefits from this flier or its mentioned sites. We are simply tech geeks with children, nieces, nephews and young friends we want to be safe and happy.
Most of the time my Firefox browser will have many tabs open, but at the minimum it will always have gmail and google reader open. This morning my memory usage for Firefox was hovering at 900mb and reached over 1gb. Needless to say the performance in the browser was horrible. Even closing Firefox took about 3 minutes. On restarting Firefox the performance would be better but eventually the memory usage does creep back up again.
I read in a recent blog post from The Windows Club about the free SpeedyFox – this compresses the sql-lite database that Firefox now uses for internal storage. Download the program, quit Firefox and run the small executable – no install necessary. It will show the default Firefox profile but it is also possible to select other profiles in a drop down box. It took about 20 seconds to run on my profile although the more information page mentions it could take 5 to 60 minutes to run.
The author also recommends that the program is also run about every two weeks. This can be done by creating a scheduled task using the case sensitive /default_profile switch or using /profile:name or /profile:path (needed when Firefox portable is being optimized. Slightly more information is available within the Help menu of the program. Note that if you were running this automatically you would have to exit Firefox first – this could either be accomplished using autoit or by just killing the program with “taskkill /im firefox.exe”
After the program was run I relaunched Firefox and the performance is so much better. Granted I’m running from a new launch of Firefox but I was able to stream a Youtube video immediately with no buffering requests, I was able to type this post in the browser without having to wait for the text to catch up with me and so far everything works great (my memory usage is currently up to 126mb with 3 tabs open.
I’m not going to promise that this program will do the same thing for everybody’s browser but it is definitely worth running. Currently the program is Windows only, but a Mac client is in development.
There may be a few of us left out there who don’t have an iphone, but WordPress for Blackberry v1.0 is now available. Although this is a 1.0 application, it has gone through several 0.xx versions so should be stable enough to use.
The blog posting at the Blackberry WordPress blog has the full details including the over the air installation link. This means you do not have to download the blackberry app store to the Blackberry just to download the WordPress application.
The one big feature I like about this new version is that it shows pending comments so you can now approve them from the Blackberry without having to log into the main website.
At the firm where I work, we do have a set of wireless microphones that are used quite often in our main conference room for CLE sessions, and other events. The system has been there longer than I have, so I’ve never really paid much attention to it, but have made a note to go look at it with our facilities folks next week after being made aware that any wireless mics broadcasting in the 700MHz band will be illegal as of June 2010!
Certain wireless microphones have operated in frequencies that are needed for public safety. When these microphones were first designed, the frequencies they used were in between the frequencies that television stations used to broadcast television programs. With the completion of the digital television (DTV) transition on June 12, 2009, television stations no longer use the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz (the 700 MHz Band) for broadcast. These frequencies are now being used by public safety entities (such as police, fire and emergency services) and by commercial providers of wireless services (such as wireless broadband services).
The wireless microphones that had been operating in the old TV broadcast channels can cause harmful interference to these public safety and wireless consumer services. Therefore, all users of wireless microphones (or certain low power auxiliary stations) that operate on any of the frequencies in the 700 MHz band – including both licensed users (under Part 74) and unlicensed users – now have to stop operating in this band.
I had no idea. Did you? Here’s hoping ours are 2.4GHz wireless mics!
“Mattie Stevens, a young boy of the early 80′s, dreams of owning a Commodore 64. He sets out to convince everyone this is the perfect gift. But, along the way runs into opposition from his parents and everyone around him including old Santa Claus”
Cast of Players:
Narrator: Kreg Steppe – Technorama
Harvey Stevens: Dad – Kevin Devin
Mandy Stevens: Mom – Susie Murph – How to Grow your Geek Podcast
Mattie Stevens: Son – Daniel Devin
Sandy Stevens: Little Brother – Spencer Holden
Curtz Eisenberg: Friend to Mattie – Harrison Steppe
General Beringer: General – Douglas E. Welch
Lieutenant: Steve Holden – Tech News Radio
Mrs. Little: Katie Floyd – Mac Power Users Podcast
Santa’s Helper: Chuck Tomasi – Chuckchat.com
Santa: Larry Pesce – Pauldotcom.com Podcast
Judge: Victor Cajiao – Typical Mac User Podcast – Typical Shutterbug Podcast
Andrew Carnagie: Andy Helsby – Absoblogginlutely!
J.P. Morgan: Grant Bichocco – Mr.Grant.com
UPS Guy: Paul Asadoorian- Pauldotcom.com Podcast
Skipper: Rylie Starcher
Tip of the Hat to the old Christmas Commodore 64 Demo
Previous FiT Holiday Specials:
- Halloween – Server Room of Horrors – 2005
- Christmas – A Geek Christmas Carol – 2005
- Halloween – Server Room of Horrors – 2006
- Christmas – Lucky the Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Geeks – 2006
- Halloween – It’s the Great Server Chuck and Kreg! – 2007
This has been a Friends in Tech Production.
Friends in tech has made several really great holiday specials over the years. If you are itching for something to listen to while you wait for A Geek Christmas Story try out our previous productions!
Friends in Tech presents a new Christmas Special for 2009, A Geek Christmas Story.
“Mattie Stevens, a young boy of the early 80′s dreams of owning a Commodore 64. He sets out to convince everyone this is the perfect gift. But, along the way runs into opposition from his parents and everyone around him including old Santa Claus”
Watch for it at FriendsinTech.com December 21st.
I am a big fan of two factor authentication where possible for high value logins. This is where you enter a changing number to go with your password. This number comes from a device you carry with you. In particular I use the free Verisign mobile token on my iPhone. They make it for many other cell phones. You can install and use it for free with services like paypal, ebay, some banks and even with the free service called PiP (Personal Identity Portal) from Verisign.
The free token program can be found at:
You can get a pip account and use it for any site that supports openID. Giving you two factor authentication even for a lot of blog commenting and forum systems. PiP can be found at:
Verisign has a quick demo video of the mobile token on youTube. Check it out and add some extra protection to your accounts. Especially if you use eBay or paypal.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast from David Allen, the man behind the “Getting Things Done” methodology, and he recommended (paraphrase) “…to be more effective, Outlook users should start their app in calendar mode. ”
It’s true. Each morning, I find myself getting side-tracked by the inbox when I should first be looking at the “hard landscape” of the calendar first. An hour can easily pass while I process my inbox before I realize what the rest of my day looks like, that’s just wrong – and I knew it. When I heard this tip, I had one of those slap-your-forehead moments and said “Of course!”.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Locate your OUTLOOK.EXE file on your hard drive. Typically it’s under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office somewhere. You can use Explorer’s search feature to locate it precisely.
- Once located, right click and use the Send To> Desktop to create a shortcut on the desktop. If you already have an Outlook icon, be sure you note which one just got added. You may not be able to edit the correct properties of the default icon.
- Now, locate the icon on the desktop
- Right click and select “Properties”
- Choose the Security tab and locate the “Target” field. At the end of the value in that field, add:
[space] /select outlook:calendar
- Click OK to save your changes
- Try the new icon
Once you are done reviewing your calendar, use the normal means to go to your inbox and start processing. Congratulations, you just became a little more effective.
(I typically launch Outlook from the Quick Launch bar since my desktop is usually obscured by one app or another.)
I’m not sure how long this has been around, but I noticed that Google Maps now has the ability to show alternative routes when using directions. This is great when you know that you want to avoid a particular area but do not know the next best route.
To use this feature, get directions using google maps and then hover over the alternative routes. The new route will be displayed on screen at the same time as the original one. See the screenshot below for more details.
I was reading Kevin Eikenberry’s blog this evening, specifically his post on the Most Overlooked Networking Opportunity, about networking within your organization, and this bit really caught my eye:
Be a silo buster. If your organization operates in a fragmented, highly departmentalized, siloed way, decide to be the silo buster. All these ideas can help you do this, but the point here is to make a conscious decision to network with the purpose of building relationships that will begin to break down these barriers.
That certaily sounds like most IT departments to me. How many IT departments have a tech/(l)users mentality, where you don’t really see the people you supports as anything more than users, and they don’t see you as much more than a bad SNL skit? How much better would things work if your IT techs were seen as actual human beings? In this economic climate, how much more value to you appear to be bringing to the table when everyone knows you, talks to you, and respects you, when you’re taking the time to learn about what they do and how technology might be able to help? How much could that value mean when it comes time to decide who to lay off?
Give it a shot, you might be surprised just how talented and interesting those (l)users are.
” (ISBN: 0-12-370488-X) by Bill Holtsnider & Brian Jaffee.”
That you can embed in to your blog spreadsheets, documents, and forms created with Google Docs? I didn’t, until today.
It’s actually quite easy. Take for example this simple form below.
To generate such a form, log on to Google Docs, create a new document, and select Form. Create the fields you wish to receive responses to then select Embed. The code necessary to embed the new form within your blog is then presented.
Now, to get it in to your blog you’ll need to ensure that you are in HTML mode before pasting the content in to the body of your post. That’s all there is to it!
Any other tips and tricks with Google Docs? Please share.
It has been a long time since you had audio on the the FiT feed. Well here we go again. This time around several of us got together and had a chat. We talked where we have been in 2008 tech wise. What we expected to get for Christmas and where we are going in 2009.
We Chat About:
- Nikon D90 – SLR Camera
- Victor’s eeePC
- Fujistu Tablet Pcs
- Box.net Storage Service
- Getdropbox.com Storage Servic
- Brightkite Location Service
- Flip Mino HD Camcorder
- JVC GZ-MG155 Camcorder
- TomTom GPS
- ChuckChat Technorama TomTom Video
- Zoom H2 Handy Recorder
- Sling Media – SlingCatcher
- aTV Flash Hack Stick
- Amazon Kindle
I have an older WindowsXP based Media Center pc made by HP. It is the model z545. This is a discontinued unit which is too bad. I liked how the black case fits right in with your entertainment gear.
Last night my wife says the remote control quit working. This happens now and then, but a simple reboot usually fixes it right up. This unit is connected to dual Directv receivers. I found to my dismay when the system rebooted it claimed something was corrupt and could not see any tuners. Spending my weekend rebuilding the OS was not something I looked forward to.
After some poking around here is what I did to fix it. Otherwise it was time to look into a Mac Mini as a media center. I just liked having my xbox360 be able to pull tv from the directv over my network.
While a normal episode of Geek Cred features an interview from tech, sci-fi, games, or anything geek, Geek Cred Live is back and going to be a monthly thing. What is Geek Cred Live? Geek Cred live is all about you, the listener. With no special interviews, and no set format or set topic, you are the guest–it’s all about hanging out and talking geek!
The next Geek Cred Live will be on this Friday, November 28th, at 10:30 PM EST (GMT-5)
The live show will be done via TalkShoe.com. If you want to participate, if you aren’t already, sign up over there, download and install the TalkShoe software, and when the show starts, join the Talkcast here, which will let you listen to the live stream and participate in the chat room. If you have something to say, dial-in by calling the number (724) 444-7444, enter the Talkcast ID, 52365, and your pin number, and use the software to request to speak. That’s it!
Look forward to seeing you there!
To find out more about Geek Cred, you can visit the show website at http://www.geekcred.net.
According to this Legal Technology article, it could be.
Sometimes the cutting remark can blunt the cutting edge. Every year firms spend millions of dollars on hardware and software, but when we asked third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates about their firm’s technology as part of our annual midlevel job satisfaction survey (August 2008), we heard a lot more about long waits and condescending IT staffers than we did about innovative products. Specifically, we found, the quality of tech support — the size and organization of the help desk, and the responsiveness and attitude of its employees — often was the make-or-break factor in respondents’ opinion of their firm’s IT efforts.
I saw this first hand a number of years ago. Not specifically with a help desk, but I saw how a crummy attitude, and an unhelpful support person can ruin a tech project. I came in to an organization that had a fairly complex, yet very useful database system. Unfortunately, hardly anyone ever used it for anything outside of it’s main membership function. It had meeting planning, and subscription modules, and no one used them. When I suggested using them to some folks, I was met with fierce resistance, and came to the realization that everyone in this small organization simply hated this database, and I couldn’t really figure out why. I made an effort to educate people on the benefits, help them learn how it worked, etc. and nothing helped. Everyone still hated it.
It was only a couple of years into this job that I learned the reason why. Apparently, when they purchased this software, the software company sent a trainer to work with all of the staff. This person was not especially helpful to new users, had no patience for questions, did not do a good job training, and just generally wasn’t very nice. Everyone hated her, ergo, everyone hated the product.
I’ve continued to see the same thing play out over and over again. If your tech support folks convey a bad attitude when it comes to questions about your IT efforts, it will influence how people view the projects thesmelves.
Have you seen this play out in your own workplaces? Share your stories!