Archive for May, 2007

iTunes sucks

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

My title might be a little misleading seeing as how I love to download content off iTunes like I know a lot of other people do. However, I don’t understand it like I don’t understand pimps. In short (and keeping this at least PG rated) how can someone do all the work and let someone else get a cut of the money.

I see iTunes this way. You pay for content and for some reason you need to get permission to move it. This is the whole Digital Rights Management (DRM) debate in a nutshell. Just a thought that came to my mind when having to move someone’s iPod data when their computer crashed. Some people are losing hundreds of dollars of music they paid for.

Oh, I do know a good way to get the music off.

Everyone working together

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Maybe it was watching Star Trek when I was a kid and realized that the whole world came together when we realized that their were other people out there in space. Maybe it was the first time I looked at an ant hill and saw them all bringing food back so that they could split it up and save it till later. Maybe it was being 4 years old and my sister hoisting me up to go into the cookie jar on the shelf so we could get some cookies.

I don’t know what it is but I love people working together. Maybe that’s why I love seeing more wireless access points around town that are wide open. Open source software like Firefox, Linux, Apache webserver, and WordPress (that I’m using right now to write this blog). Everybody helps write this software and makes it free to others. BRILLIANT!!!
Share some wireless today for your fellow man today. I might to download some directions in your neighborhood until I get my navigation system one of these days.

I don’t have a spare anything

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

My post today is inspired by a documentary I was watching this weekend. I’m not a big fan of nostalgic cars but a show was on about muscle cars from the 70’s. This made me think. Those cars were going faster than a lot of the street legal cars today. How could this be? Well, due to the gas crisis they faded away like dinosaurs in favor of economy cars.

This made me think about old computers. People throw away more computers that can do everything they want them to do and more. I have so many computers that I’ve taken everything off of and stripped and made perfectly usable machines using Linux instead of Windows or even just stripping Windows down. All the kids in my neighborhood and in my family come over and I’ll set up a lot of computers for holidays so everyone can get on their Myspace pages or network video games. The problem is that now everyone thinks I’m super rich and can spare computers. The “He has so many and he can’t spare us one?” look comes just before the question.

I’m an extremely giving person with my time, money, and company but this causes a problem at times. I have extra computers but they come with a disclaimer. “This computer is a little slow, low on hard drive space, etc.” People don’t listen to disclaimers, though. Every time, within a couple weeks or so I’ll get, “This one’s slow. It needs this. It needs that. It won’t play this game.” All of which I already know, but people’s requirements are different when they just want something to get on the internet with, write some papers, and balance their checkbook. The next thing you know, you’re the rich snob that doesn’t really care about them.
I can make anything do almost anything but at what cost to my reputation? If you’re one of these people, I want to help you. I really really do. However, I don’t have a spare anything. I don’t have any spare pieces that I’ll be required to service forever. Any spare computers that won’t play the newest 3D games. I don’t have a spare anything.

Tip: Backup and encrypt

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I thought about all the people in New Orleans after Katrina that lost all their information. Well, here’s what you can do for yourself today. If you’ve got a scanner and a CD or DVD writer you should scan in all your important document and photos if you like. Then copy them to a folder on your computer. Here’s where the magic starts.

Truecrypt (www.truecrypt.org) is a program that will make all the information unreadable even to the best hacker. Read the instructions and create a truecrypt file the size of your CD or DVD . Once you give that file a password you can copy it to the disk and you’re all set.

You can give the disk to your family, friends, or even put it in a safe deposit box. Without the password. NO ONE can open that disk.

P.S.: It works on Windows and Linux but I don’t know of a solution for the Mac yet. I’ll keep you posted if you’re interested.

Is there anything else for me to measure?

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

In my constant evolution as a person I may attack things a little differently than some. However, I think it needs being said that these things should be good ideas for whatever career you may choose to be in. In my life I set people as guides to what I wanted to be. My dad for most things, my brother Derwin for basketball, Ray for women, Ronnie for business skills, etc.
As a rookie computer guy I looked at my boss’ boss and said “by 35 I want to be that person.” This kind of thing motivated me to do great things. I got that job title at 29! My dad now thinks calls me to solve problems to impress his friends and all my other idols consider me a peer.

The problem now is a good and a bad one. I don’t know what to measure. I started my consulting company 3 years ago with a odd problem. Visualize and design my own future freehand.

Tell me if you have this problem or something similar. If not, maybe you need a guide to push your bike until you realize you can propel this bike called life on your own in any direction you like.

Tip: Don’t use Internet Explorer again!

Friday, May 25th, 2007

I’m not a Microsoft basher but I’m giving you a tip that everyone should know that will save you so many problems. STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER!

Mozilla Firefox is a free web browser that will keep out a lot of the crap that flows around the Internet and will eventually slow down your computer. If you’re using the Internet (which you are right now) then you have no excuse. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Of course don’t forget to use an anti-virus, adware removal tool, and update often… or use Linux or a Mac computer. That conversations for another day though.

Soldiers can’t get on Myspace?

Friday, May 18th, 2007

In an article on Time Magazine’s website (link to article), the government is cutting access to some websites for soldiers overseas. Those websites include: MySpace, Youtube, and 11 other popular websites.

Myspace logo youtube
This really proves my last post that we are really addicted when your life is in danger and your sitting inside the hollow shell of building wondering if you have any new friends on MySpace. However, please people. Can’t we let them have a little fun when the bullets aren’t flying?

Are we too connected? Now there’s Jaiku

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Do you… Jaiku?
I’m an addict of the internet. I do it so that I’ll have great things to bring you. I’m on Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Friendster, LinkedIn, Frappr, Digg, etc, etc, etc. Now, I just joined a site called Jaiku. Jaiku is like Twitter in that you can get constant information on where your friends are and what they are doing if they type it on the computer or on their cell phone.

Let’s start by saying, I’m not a very secretive guy. However, the thought of putting so much about me out there to everyone seemed silly to me just a little while ago. How does the internet end up stripping this ideal of protected information from our minds? Do we all just need one more “friend” on Myspace to be comfortable? Maybe if you tell me you’re having fun at a party on Twitter I will be validated because you thought to write.
I liken it to riot mentality. Normal people that are usually civil are found to be in the middle of riots. They will burn down buildings and trash cars like all the others. Why? Like a river all the molecules of water start working together and form a perfect object. What will this riot mentality body of Internet users become?

I don’t know but I want you to be my friend. Instant Message me on AIM, be my friend on Myspace, link me to what sites your looking at on Del.icio.us or tell me what you’re doing on Jaiku. After this site I’m truly done. I will truly feel complete!!!

On second thought let me check Plaxo and see if I’m in this all alone. Jaiku me soon (I love weird names like that).

Do what you love with passion and you’ll do good at it

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

I found inspiration today in a note I’d received 10 years ago.

When I was a young little buck in my career (actually I’d been doing it for some years already but doesn’t that really take away from that great intro) I worked at a huge company. It was a manufacturing facility that was part of a huge global company. One year all the locations Information Technology (IT) staff met in one city for a big pow wow.

Even though I felt really out of place amongst the “suits” somehow I caught the eye of a couple VP’s and a President that talked to me and pretty much told me they knew I was going places in this world. One took me aside and told me that he got me a book. It was on Stocks and bonds and knowing the market good and told me that it had treated him well in the past so he bought one for me because they all had so much faith in me.

Figuring that this was one of those things that they were pulling everyone aside and doing I mentioned it to some other people later. Needless to say a lot of people were pissed that they didn’t get any person time with the top Execs like I did. So I then looked at the book and treasured it.

Last night (10 years later) I looked at the book again after reading a couple chapters years before. I pulled it out hoping to get back into stocks and investing only to notice the index page for the first time. The chapters were highlighted and the order I should read them was numbered in the column. I was so touched I read the book literally all night last night and still haven’t gone to sleep yet.
Do what you love with passion and people will notice you and want to help. However, at the same time there will be ten times as many that want you to fail. Keep working relentlessly on whatever your direction is. That one in ten is always worth dealing with the other nine.

Tip: Linux for all my friends

Monday, May 14th, 2007

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this but there isn’t just Windows or Mac out there. There’s Linux and it ROCKS!!! Use it at work or at home.
I use a flavor called Kubuntu (a version of Ubuntu if you’ve heard of it) and it’s worth a try. The best part is… it’s free and it can’t get virus’ or spyware. Sound good? Why doesn’t anyone else know about this? They do. The majority of websites in the world are using Linux with the Apache web server and behind the pretty face of a Mac is Linux’s cousin Freebsd.
I’ll show you that you’re abilities are endless as time goes on.

Warning: Don’t trust any computer guy that puts it down that doesn’t know how to use it. Sticking with the safe stuff is comfortable but like I’ve said before keeping an open mind can lead to big rewards.