It's been nice to be able to use technology for my own purposes for the last eleven months instead of making it work for everyone else. Of course, the day of reckoning was approaching, and multiple daily outages at dfwmiata.com meant it was high time I fonud more suitable web hosting.
Thanks to the services of cloudflare.com, the switchover resulted in about the same amount of downtime as a vbulletin version upgrade. I was pleased, since that was only because I did install a version upgrade in the process...
My other tech "to-do" is building a NAS box for myself. I'm leaning toward FreeNAS 7. Of course, my procrastination has resulted in staggering hard drive prices, so it looks like this project will be getting pushed into next year.
I'll admit it. I was a texting holdout — but only because the people I interacted with were Instant Messaging junkies. My half dozen or so confidants can or could be found on Google Talk or equivalent most of the day. We shoot back and forth with jokes, snide remarks, photos, banter, cool websites, news and what have you. So, I knew the benefits of text... But why on earth would I want to use that damn tiny keyboard?
Then I started hanging around with cyclists — and thus, spending a lot more time away from a proper computer. Most of our group are fairly techno-savvy and appreciate the benefits of quick, effective communication without the extended courtesies of hellos and goodbyes required in a phone call. So they text. A lot. It took me nearly two years to get sucked into it, but now, I see there's quite a bit of texting in the history on my iPhone.
Dave Moulton posted (and retracted) a well-written piece on the aging hipster the other day. I thought of my over forty friends who are texting addicts. Staring at the small type on the screens and battling the even smaller keyboards on their phones.
But, I know there's hope for the world. Last Friday morning, I got a call from my dear friends Audre & Warren, thanking me for my text inviting them to dinner. I hadn't texted them on Friday morning... but... even though I knew we needed to pack, it sounded like a fine idea. Eventually, though, we figured out they were responding to a text from a few weeks... or maybe months ago... And this is not the first time it's happened.
Which brings me to my point... Perhaps the best way to get a grasp on technology sometimes is to not grasp it at all... Instead, just make sure your friends grasp that you don't get, don't want to get it, and never will get it... You'll probably be happier... I hate texting. Can't stand that stupid small keyboard. But now that they know I can... I'm stuck.
Wickett.org came to life in 1997. Changes in ISP's resulted in our e-mail addresses changing 6 times in 7 months. It was time for stability. And since we had a domain name, we might as well put up a website.
The first incarnation was static HTML living on a FrontPage enabled server. Groovy! So groovy, in fact, that it still lives.
Wickett.org 2.0: the pMachine years
The first "fancy" wickett.org ran on pMachine. Now available as an open source platform, pMachine is incredibly fast and has some nice features. I really should apply some of my current understanding of css and html layouts to a pMachine site. I cut my teeth on building the holy grail - the table-less css layout building pMachine sites.
Wickett.org 3.0: the Mambo period
Some sites I was maintaining needed some features that pMachine didn't provide. Mambo seemed like a great choice. And it might have been. But development of Mambo fractured. Bugs and security holes popped out of every corner. Mambo had to go.
Wickett 4.0: bitweaver digs in
Wickett.org 4.0: bitweaver digs in
Mambo still lived on for some sites I maintained, but it grew more and more unruly and prone to hacks. Some sites I managed to talk into using alternatives. The Miata site became forum only.
A friend suggested I play with bitweaver. It was a tad slow, but it had all the features I needed, and I learned a lot about page design building the Wickett 4.0 layout. In fact, I liked the layout so much, I kept it! The 4.0 site is also still living at least until the next time a mandatory (read: security related) upgrade for bitweaver comes out.
Wickett.org 5.0: Drupal rhymes with "Roople"
I've been recommending Drupal for new sites and have built quite a few over the past few years. I've been meaning to convert Wickett for quite a while, but the cobbler's kids usually do go barefoot. Drupal properly configured runs rather faster than bitweaver, and it has some modules that do a better job at presenting some info than the stock bitweaver modules.
One of my frustrations has been finding a base site template to build from - as is frequently a concern when using content management systems. Zen themes were a godsend. Suddenly, I had a true and proper blank slate to start from, and within an hour, I had the foundation of the design you see here now up and running.
Faxes on some days are the bane of my existence. Texas eFiling for courts has helped, but our small firm still sees over 300 pages a day of faxes. Fortunately, most of these faxes never see paper thanks to my new friend Hylafax running on our Asterisk-based PBX.
It took a lot of tries to reach a cost effective and reliable solution for inbound faxing - remember, the budget for technology in small law firms is $0...
So... seriously... could you just scan that and e-mail it instead???
The USB flash drive has replaced the floppy disk drive as the best storage medium for transferring files, but it also has its uses as a replacement for CDs and DVDs. USB drives tend to be higher in capacity than disc media, but since they are more expensive, they cannot (yet) really be used as a replacement. There are reasons why you would, however, choose a USB device over a DVD disc, and bootable software is definitely one of them. Not only is it faster to copy data such as setup files from a USB drive, but during usage the access times are also significantly faster. Therefore, installing something like Windows 7 will work that much faster from a USB drive than from a DVD.
This guide will show you two different ways to create a USB flash drive that works just like a Windows 7 DVD. In order to follow this guide, you'll need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of free space and a copy of the Windows 7 installation disc.
Ron Brix’s longtime job as a computer systems developer for Wrigley, the gum and candy maker, required intense attention to detail, single-minded focus and a willingness to work on something repetitively until perfect.
I've known several high functioning autistics. All were amazingly capable and showed amazing abilities when presented with the right opportunities. It's great to see businesses looking to utilize the special abilities of people who might otherwise have a tough time in the workplace - rather than just finding ways to "accommodate" them.
I can only hope AT&T will make good use of the data they gather from this app and are successful in fixing the myriad of issues with their network.
I'm still remaining optimistic that in six months, being an AT&T user will be like eating at the restaurant that just re-opened after being shut down by the health department... Not a cleaner house in town...
There’s a common problem in Windows XP that can make network browsing very slow.
If the 'My Network Places' folder contains a shortcut to a network share, then each refresh of the explorer window will attempt to read icon information from every file in the remote location, causing the system to slow to a crawl.
Removing all shortcuts from 'My Network Places' will return the system response to normal.
Every time you open a file via a UNC name, Windows XP will automatically add another shortcut to the 'My Network Places' folder - so the issue tends to get worse over time.
You can prevent the automatic addition of shortcuts by setting:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\ Policies\Explorer\NoRecentDocsNetHood to 1.
Q841978 - Explorer.exe stops responding when you use network shortcuts (XP)
Similar issues affect the Start menu and Desktop - placing a shortcut to a network resource in either location can drastically slow down system response, particularly when the network resource is unavailable. Shortcuts to Domains or Machines don't suffer from these problems as they always have the same icon.