My first PC was an Apple II. I loved it. It started the PC revolution. However, Bill Gates landed the contract to provide the operation system for IBM and my work required my migrating to the Microsoft environment. My second PC was an IBM.
Once parts started becoming available, I built all of my PCs. I could build a higher quality system than you could buy from a vendor. The same is still true. Dell, HP and others are caught up in the commodity market and that tends to drive quality down to have competitive prices.
When Jobs returned to Apple, I liked Apple’s equipment, but I could never justify paying more than it would cost me to build an equivalent system.
My last Microsoft system was a Gateway, because I found a very good deal. It was well built and a screamer. Once I moved it from Windows Vista to Windows 7, it was a fine PC. Windows 7 is the best OS Microsoft ever built in my opinion. I know there are still XP advocates, but I liked 7 much better. However, it required a lot of power to run 7 and many stayed with XP because it ran on older hardware. Continue reading Some Apple Experiences
This morning I was updating part of my contacts and accidentally deleted a contact I needed. Since I have iCloud active, it immediately deleted it on all Apple devices.
Panic set in until I remembered that Time Machine continually backs up my system.
I went to the iMac that has Time Machine activated and looked for the previous entry. I restored that contact and my heart rate went back to normal.
Once again, Time Machine has saved my butt.
When I was on Windows 7, I used Altaro Oops!Backup. It did the equivalent, but cost $37. I see that Windows 8 has a builtin Time Machine Feature. That by itself would make me upgrade from Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8, if I were still on a Microsoft environment.
I received an email yesterday around three PM, from Multiservicios Internacionales De Chiriquí, telling me that the Natalie’s laptop had arrived. I jumped into my car and ran over to pick it up. My bill to get it from the U.S. to David was $102. $49 was the Panama taxes and the rest was shipping from Florida to Panama City and then transportation from Panama City to David.
I can’t complain about that.
Before I move on to the laptop, let me give you a little more information about Mail Forwarding Services. Not all places on the Internet will accept an order and ship to Mail Forwarders. This was the case with B&H Photo where I ordered the ASUS laptop.
When I placed the order, I was notified that the order had been rejected because B&H did not ship anything to mail forwarders. Amazon has never refused me, but this laptop was going to cost much from Amazon.
I contacted a friend in the U.S. and asked if I could have it shipped to him and have him ship it to me. He said he would and I re-ordered with the shipping address changed to his address. Now the order went through. I can understand B&H’s concern.
My order took a little longer to get here via Multiservicios Internacionales De Chiriquí, but the price made up for the time.
Now to new purchase. I received a double boxed shipment. The outer box was put on by my friend removing the outer box from B&H. The following photo is the original ASUS package.
Continue reading ASUS Bamboo Laptop Arrives
Yesterday, Microsoft launched their new flagship browser, IE9. I downloaded it and tried it. Yes, it does look nice on Windows 7, but it causes me problems with a web page I frequent. While it is still in my PC, I have stopped using it.
However, while studying IE9, I found that FireFox has released version 4.0RC, so I downloaded it. I like it. In fact, I liked it well enough that I set it as my main browser. Normally I wait for the RC version to be changed to the final version, but I didn’t in this instance.
I had been using Google’s Chrome browser as my everyday browser, but it also has one page I look at once every couple of months that it doesn’t render correctly and when I go to that page, I have to use FireFox. Now I don’t have to use anything but FireFox.
I had a slight misfortune with my PC and managed to corrupt my hard drive. I was in the process of installing a dual-boot Linux and managed to botch up the boot record for Windows.
I have had Linux on a secondary drive and had not had a problem before, but I always plan for a disaster.
Last year, I had purchased a product for Windows called Oops!Backup by Altaro. It operates very much like Time Machine on the Mac. Every hour it checks to see if there have been any file changes to the system. If there have been, it writes the changes to a backup drive.
I also have another network drive that it syncs a backup copy daily. Therefore, I have two backups. One for the last hour and if that drive fails, I have a previous day’s copy on the network drive.
I paid $37 for the software, but recovering from this failure paid for itself. I never have to worry if I have a current backup. I lost no documents, photos or anything. I just lost a little time.
I also use a secondary backup software from GFI. It is free software and stores in a format that can be used by Linux.I only do this backup weekly as Oops is my primary backup.
If you are not doing backups on your PCs, you should consider one of these products for you Windows PC. If you are using a Mac, you should make use of Time Machine..
It is always good to say Hurray after just saying Oops.
Here is another article from the New York Times on the growing dangers of Wi-Fi insecurity. People in this part of the world seem to think that they are immune from the dangers, because they think it is only 1st world countries that have the technology to sniff out your information.
Think again, because the technology is getting cheaper and more available everyday. Cities like Boquete and Panama City, whose tourist trade continues to grow, would be a prime targets. Some spots in David, such as TGI Fridays and McDonald’s, would also be prime targets.
Everyone using the Internet needs to be practicing Safe Internet Intercourse. There are several things you can do.
- Use a stronger password. Many people think that using cute words such as superman or panamapete are fine. They are not. A strong password should be at lead 8 characters long and contain both upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and special characters. So how do you take a simple password and harden it without making it difficulty to remember? It is not tough. How about $uper123Man as a replacement for superman or Panama123%ete for panamapete. A simple substitution of characters in your current passwords will be adequate.
- Don’t connect to Wi-Fi that does not use WAP encryption. If your hotel or favorite restaurant has an unsafe connection, talk to them about hardening their connection. If the connection uses WEP encryption, it is not enough. How will you know if it is WEP? The password will be specified as WEP or WAP. WAP is more secure.
- Consider using a VPN. What is your peace of mind worth? My VPN, WiTopia, costs me $69 a year. That allows as me to protect regular PCs using a Windows, Apple or Linux operating system, as well as my iPad.
- If you have a home Wi-Fi, turn off the broadcast mode. With broadcast on, anyone driving down the street can see if there are Wi-Fi systems available. If your network can’t be seen, it is harder to be hacked. If your router provides a guest channel, don’t use the same password as your primary channel.
- Always keep your OS current on fixes. ALL operating systems are vulnerable, but the most vulnerable are those that are never maintained.
- Keep your Anti Virus current. On my Windows PC I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It is free and very good. I have never had a virus on any Windows OS I have owned, but I am meticulous with my maintenance. If you think you are immune because you own a MAC, think again. One of the last Apple updates was the largest security fix release it had ever done. And with MAC gaining market share, its threat level increases. The same is true with Linux.
Remember my new acronym SII, and practice Safe Internet Intercourse. I don’t condom condone anything else.
I finally solved a Facebook problem that has haunted me for some time. Once in a while, Facebook would not allow me to sign on or if signed on would not accept either a comment or post.
I would get some screwy message about exceeding the maximum amount of invalid signons and to reset my password. Resetting the password would not do anything.
The error messages for the comments or posts said something to the effect that I had used words that were deemed improper, when the comment may have been as simple as , “Good Job”.
I blamed Windows 7.
Today, I figured out the problem. If I have the system running normally and appear as an IP address in Panama, all works. However, if I have VPN turned on and appear as if I am in the US, nothing on Facebook works. I can now create the situation at will.
Apparently this is a supposed safeguard that Facebook. I will now move forward knowing I have solved at least one problem today.
The title is not exactly correct. What I have done is to replace Windows 7 RC (the last free down loadable Release Candidate of Windows 7) with openSUSE 11.2.
I had been running Windows 7 RC in a dual boot configuration with Windows Vista for a few months. Windows Vista with all of the latest upgrades is fine for me and I am tired of testing Windows 7. While Windows 7 improved some things, it does not look good enough to invest $$ to buy a commercial version. With Windows 8 expected in 2012, I will stick with Vista.
Also with the way that Linux is improving, by the time Windows 8 is ready, there won’t be any need of my considering it.
I have been running openSUSE 11.2 on my second PC since its release. The upgrade to the KDE 4.3 desktop has been a tremendous improvement. openSUSE is using the KDE desktop as its default desktop, but Gnome is offered as an option. I prefer KDE over Gnome, but I could use both and switch at log-in time. Continue reading Replacing Windows 7 with openSUSE 11.2
In case you are considering Windows 7 and have a spare hard drive to try it on and a PC capable of running Windows 7, you still have today to download the last Release Candidate.
This is basically the version that has been released for production. I downloaded it and have installed it on a spare drive. It will be able to be run until June of 2010.
After I have had a chance to look at the new system a little more, I will give my impressions vs the Window’s Vista system I am running.