01 February 2007

iSquint – Simple and Easy

Category: Technology — Posted by Michael at 0511

There’s a lot of video out there, but who wants to sit in front of their computer and watch it. If you have a video iPod, you can convert almost any video to an iPod compatible format.

After wasting a lot of time on this in the past, I found an easy and simple way to do it. iSquint converts the video It has some options for more advanced users, but you can also just drag, drop and convert! It runs pretty quick on my Intel 2GHz MacBook.

Believe it or not even some podcasts aren’t in iPod format!!! This saves me from them. Download it at iSquint.com.

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18 January 2007

Pogue’s Ode to the RIAA

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 2222

David Pogue is a tech journalist for the New York Times. But in another life he was also a Broadway arranger. His latest tech song is a commentary on the RIAA. We all know that the RIAA will eventually destroy the music industry, but it seems even more obvious when it’s set to music! 🙂

I agree with the others who have commented on the post, I want an mp3 of it!

Check it in Pogue’s Posts.

07 December 2006

James Kim — 1971-2006

Category: Life,Technology — Posted by Michael at 0046

You probably already know that I was a huge fan of the long gone cable channel ZDTV/TechTV. One of the people who contributed to that channel’s success was James Kim. Last weekend he and his family disappeared while on their way home from Thanksgiving at a friend’s house in Oregon. After being lost in the snow for over a week his wife and children were found. James, however, had left them to find help 2 days earlier.

After an extensive search by land and air James’ body was found earlier today. It appears he was leaving a trail of clothing to help searchers track him, but they got there too late.

Besides losing a great technology journalist what strikes me is that this could happen to anyone. They missed a turnoff and looked at map and found another route to take. It was a National Forest Service road that, unkown to them, is not plowed in the winter. They became stuck and wound up staying in their car for a week with little or no food.

I’ve seen a lot of people who were critical of James’ decision to leave the family and car. But I can’t imagine how desparate he must’ve been at that point. They ran the car heater until it ran out of gas. They then burned the tires for warmth. Seriously, how bad does a situation have to be to push you to the point where burning your tires is the best option. After a week of being stranded, he had to think that they’d never be rescued unless he went for help.

Like I said, what is so scary is that this could happen to anyone. I mean I don’t expect that you could get quite that lost in the this part of the country, but there are is still plenty of wilderness in places like Oregon. It’s definately making be reconsider what I carry in my trunk.

You can donate to the family at the site set up by a friend while the family was missing at www.jamesandkati.com.

You can also view a tribute from his coworkers at C|NET.

24 November 2006

Is your site up?

Category: Technology — Posted by Michael at 2224

OK, so if I updated this blog constantly I might know whether my website is working or not. But since I don’t I have to trust that my website is online. After my experience hosting the site with VizaWeb, I don’t trust webhosts’ uptime guarantee anymore. So I’ve enlisted the services of SiteUpTime.com.

They monitor your site and e-mail you if it goes down. They have packages ranging from free to $10/month.

Check them out now and worry less about your site’s status.

07 November 2006

Laptop safety warning

Category: Technology — Posted by Michael at 1923

The Joy of Tech is a very funny online comic about technology. I just recently started reading it, but noticed this in their archive. Sadly, I think this won’t just be a joke someday!

Check it out here…

30 October 2006

Microsoft – From monopoly to purveyer of baked goods

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 2105

I’ve long been a proponent of Mozilla Firefox. If you use the Internet, Firefox is the browser you should be using. (Check out Michael’s Guide to Spyware and Virus Prevention & Removal for more details).

Last week the new Firefox v2.0 was released. I haven’t had to much time to play with it, but it looks great. In celebration of this event, the Internet Explorer Team at Microsoft sent Mozilla a congratulatory cake. I don’t know what to make of this one. Was it a nice gesture, or does the black and white theme imply something else.

Well, either way, Firefox 2 seems to be kicking IE 7’s ass.

28 August 2006

First MacBook post

Category: Life,Technology — Posted by Michael at 1933

Some of you may know that my beloved 600 MHz iBook G3 died last week.
After a trip to see the Apple Genius and a determination that the logic board is dead, I decided to buy a new MacBook instead of paying to get it replaced.

This is my first blog post from my brand new dual core 2 GHz MacBook. (i got the white one, because I cant see paying more for some black paint.)

So far, I love it. I was nervous about getting an Intel Mac because most of my software will have to run using Roseta. After using Classic mode for years after upgrading to OS X I had a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to emulation. However, it has worked beautifully so far and it’s been seemless.

As usual, another great job by Apple.

26 June 2006

Spyware repair

Category: Technology — Posted by Michael at 1957

I’ve long talked about the Michael’s Guide section of my site. It includes some instructions and tips on how to help you fix your own computer including an extensive section on viruses and spyware.

While I still believe that a lot of systems can be cleaned by end users, I’ve recently come upon a few systems that were so badly infected that there is no way that the average user could fix them short of reformatting the hard disk (which would result in data loss.)

If you feel you are in this situation, please contact me and I’d be glad to quote you a price on fixing your system. I’ll remove any spyware and viruses, install software to prevent future infections, update Windows with all current patches and updates and more. My prices are reasonable because I consider this a service to the computing community as a whole since infected computers on the internet hurt everyone.

01 April 2006

Happy 30th Apple!

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 1029

You already know I’m a fan of Apple computers so it won’t come to surprise that I think their 30th anniversary is a cool thing. Despite many woes over the years the company is going stronger than ever. Surprisingly, it isn’t their computers that put them in the great shape they’re in today, but instead it was their iPod. Of course, I never leave home these days without my iPod so maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Read the article at CNN.com.

19 March 2006

A rant about ‘My Space’

Category: Randomness,Technology — Posted by Michael at 0812

If you haven’t been living in a cave for the past year or so you’ve probably heard of MySpace.com. Unfortunately, unless you are someone who uses it, the only way you’ve heard about it is probably through the media in the form of stories about how it is evil.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with it, MySpace is a website that allows you to create a profile and share it with the world. This profile is basically a mini-website which can include a photo gallery, personal facts, work and school information, a blog and more.

One of the things that has helped it grow in popularity is the fact thatit offers some useful networking features. You can link to a network of friends. This network allows links to your friends’ pages to be displayed on your homepage and it also allows you to broadcast alerts to all of your friends to keep them up to date on your life. Your friends are also able to leave comments on your homepage.

MySpace was originally created for the purpose of sharing and exposing new independent music groups and artists. However, the general public took a liking to it and it’s now one of the most visited sites on the web. While a lot of children use the site, a lot of adults do as well. Personally I have no real use for the site since I run and maintain my own website. However, if I were someone who did not know how to create my own site without using a tool such as MySpace, then I would most definately use it. Anything that allows people to easily express themselves online is a good thing, in my opinion.

Here’s where the rant begins… Like I said earlier, MySpace gets a bad rap in the media constantly. It’s blamed for people publishing too much personal information on it. It’s blamed for criminals using it to find victims. It’s blamed for kids posting threatening or other inappropriate messages. Are you seeing a pattern here? The website and it’s owners are blamed for everything that people do on it. In other words, the site gives people a forum and people use it in improper and negative ways so naturally it’s the website’s fault. It couldn’t possibly be the fault of these people who are posting on the site. Why get mad at your kids or teach them about personal responsibility when you can get mad at a total stranger who created and maintains a useful website?

The riduculous thing is that MySpace is not the first website that allows people to easily create websites. Geocities, Tripod and Bravenet have been around for years, and newer ones like Face Book and Friendster are extremely similar to MySpace. But because MySpace is so popular it’s the new popular target for anyone who wants an easy way to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions or the actions of their kids.

Oh well, I’m sure if you’re someone who really believes that a website is responsible for the actions of its users, you’re probably not reading this. You’re probably way too busy trying to find a way to sue the owner of the wall you spraypainted last night.

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18 March 2006

What I Listen To – Daily Giz Wiz

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 1410

The TWiT network of podacasts has expanded yet again. Leo now has a daily podcast with Dick DeBartolo who calls himself “The Giz Wiz”, thus the name of the podcast.

It’s a short (5 minutes or so) podcast that talk about a new and unique tech gadget each day.

They don’t have an actual website yet, but you can visit Dick’s site at www.gizwizbiz.com. Subscribe to the feed at http://leo.am/podcasts/dgw.

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11 March 2006

What I Watch – MacBreak

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 2028

OK, this is brand new. As new as it gets, actually. I haven’t even had time to watch the first episode yet, but I sure I’m going to like it so I’m including it here. It’s a production of the This Week in Tech (TWiT) folks with Amber MacArthur, Leo Laporte and others. In case you didn’t guess, it’s about Macintosh issues and news.

Their site is www.macbreak.com.
You can subscribe at http://www.macbreak.com/macbreak_rss.php.

05 March 2006

What I Listen To – 1010 WINS Brett Larson’s Tech Bytes

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 1802

You may have heard of Brett Larson. He’s a Mac guy who’s been seen on TechTV in the past. Now he does a 30 second daily podcast about technology. It’s a quick listen with interesting content. This is courtesy of 1010 WINS in NYC.

The feed is at http://podcast.medianext.com/stations/wins/rss/?c=18

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02 March 2006

What I Listen To – What’s New Now

Category: Interesting Links,Technology — Posted by Michael at 0944

Every week (or so) Patrick Norton (formerly of ZDTV/TechTV and currently ot TWiT) joing Jim Louderback (also a ZDTV/TechTV alum) discuss the newest technology products. They cover a wide variety of products that isn’t limited to computer stuff at all.

Their site is at www.whatsnewnow.com
Their feed is http://rssnewsapps.ziffdavis.com/audioblogs/whatsnewnow.xml

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26 February 2006

Upgraded WordPress

Category: Site Updates,Technology — Posted by Michael at 1215

After many months of of ignoring it, I finally upgraded my blog to WordPress 2. It’s a pretty significant update. You probably won’t notice any changes on the front end, but the back end it much different. Thanks to a bunch of new Ajax content you can now drag components around the screen much like you can on Google’s Personalized Homepage. It also features a WYSIWYG editor so you don’t have to tweak the HTML code f you don’t want to. Now of course, I still go into the HTML and make edits from time to time, but many of the functions that I always did by hand in the past are not automated. Of special interest to me are the graphic alignment and the link target parameters.

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