Thursday, December 11, 2008

Google Chrome out of Beta and Crashing on Facebook

In case you haven't heard, Google Chrome is officially out of Beta:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10120965-2.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5

The only problem is my Google Chrome Application Shortcut for Facebook is now freezing up! Looks like Google's software isn't defect free. Good thing Chrome is my 3rd installed browser after Firefox 3.0 and IE 7.0.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

VMware Virtual Machine's drop their domain settings

I need to do more research on this problem, but I find that after a certain amount of time my VMware Virtual Machines drop / loose their domain settings. It's just annoying when you want to use a machine that needs to connect to the Domain and it refuses the connection. Each time it forces me to login to the computer, remove and replace the domain settings. It's an easy work around but it's also an annoyance.

Office Live Small Business

I used Office Live Small Business to create my scuba diving website SearchNrecovery.com and I have to say it is more limiting than I originally thought. I accomplished my main task and that was to put up some information and photos about scuba diving but it wasn't as easy as I had anticipated.

To add insult to injury, but I don't think Google's web crawler likes the site very much after the site code is crazy (thanks Microsoft!). Oh well, live and learn. I'm going to try Google's page creator for another and then maybe Drupal for another.

SkyDrive up to 25GB

Microsoft just jumped SkyDrive to 25GB. This will be great once the software tool that allows you to mount and access SkyDrive in Windows is available.

I also use Microsoft's Live Mesh, but right now they don't talk to each other. I'm hoping that service will come soon since I store / sync a few documents through Live Mesh and it would be nice to access them from SkyDrive as well.

Check out the lifehacker article.

I used to use Xdrive, but that software was soo crappy that I abandoned it rather quickly. I have websites hosted by 1&1 and so I made a few FTP accounts and mapped drives in Vista to them, but I don't use them as well as I should. Drag and drop access really is the best when using an online storage solution.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Very cool - Make your own iPhone Dock

I just saw this on Lifehacker. This very cool posting is about making your own 3G iPhone Dock out of cardboard.

Go here to find out more about it. You can download the instructions via a PDF file.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Synergy

If you haven't heard of Synergy it is a free (open source) software program that replaces a KVM switch for your mouse and keyboard - not for your monitor. Download it here. You install Synergy on at least two computers - one client and one server (the server being the machine you have your keyboard and mouse attached to).

Synergy transmits the coordinates of your mouse and your keyboard commands over the internet to the other device seamlessly, allowing you to cross your mouse over multiple monitors of multiple computers. I can vouch that it even works well with Wireless mice and keyboards!

If you are doing a Windows installation it is plain and simple. The Mac OS X installation isn't as simple because it requires command line inputs and configuration (I don't know why Mac has to be so difficult!). I also found the auto start portion of the software doesn't work well with Vista - but then again I don't think it was built with Vista in mind.

Here is the description from the website:
"Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It's intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all."

The specs are:
" * Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me (the Windows 95 family)
* Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP (the Windows NT family)
* Mac OS X 10.2 or higher
* Unix
o X Windows version 11 revision 4 or up
o XTEST extension
(use "xdpyinfo | grep XTEST" to check for XTEST)

All systems must support TCP/IP networking. "

Windows Update Installation Failure for XP

I'm running Windows XP SP3 on a number of work machines, when I noticed I didn't have .NET 2.0 SP1 installed and I needed it for a program I was about to run. When I checked Windows Update there were 30 or so updates available for download, including the Framework Service Pack, so I hit update and let Update do it's thing.

Once all the updates downloaded and began installing, the updates failed one after another. With no explanation I went back to Windows Update, ran it again and tried to re-download / install them. The same installation failures came up.

I figured I could download and install the updates one by one, but that seemed like a pain. I had 4 other machines with the same configurations - 3 could receive updates and install them but 1 other couldn't. The other option would be to wipe and reload those two machines but I didn't have that much time either.

All 5 of the machines were running Windows XP SP3 with IE 6.0. On the two machines that would fail on Windows Update, I installed IE 7.0 and reran the Windows Update. Apparently that worked because all of the old / new updates are installing fine now. If anyone else has this problem, try this and let me know what happens!

NOTE:
After the installation of IE 7.0, restart your computer. When you go back to Windows Update, you should receive a notice that Windows Update has an update - once you install that you should no longer receive the failed installation problem. If you install / reinstall IE 7.0 and don't receive the Windows Update update, then restart your computer again and/or uninstall and reinstall IE 7.0 again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

iPhone Applications

I posted before about a very cool iPhone Application called Snapper that lets you browse online stores by barcodes so you can compare online prices to store prices. I loaded up my iPhone with a few more applicatons some that I do like and some that I do not:

Don't Like:
1. Backgrounds - as easy as it sounds it really does nothing for the phone. I prefer to download photos of my choice and then sync them with my iPhone. The pictures were pretty lame and can be found just about anywhere online.

2. Google Mobile App - there is really no purpose to this app. All it does is provide a little quicker access to Google's applications online. The same thing can be done with Safari. I'm waiting for a Google Talk or Blogger App, afterall the iPhone comes with a Google Maps application and you can download Google Earth!

3. iThread - It's not a bad application if you are looking for a directory of web companies; on the same hand unless you need it, it's a waste of space.

Do Like:
1. Pandora - It's nice to have a streaming online radio and Pandora is the best out there. I've got a ton of music on my iPod but it's a nice refresher when you can find something you don't already have.

2. LinkedIn - A quick and easy way to navigate the professional social networking site.

3. VoiceNotes - Just as it sounds, this voice recorder is quick and easy to use. Plus it's handy when you need to catch a coworker saying something they shouldn't! I was able to record someone over the speaker phone in a meeting very clearly!

4. Urbanspoon - This app has some quirks but the hardest decision for me to make is where to eat lunch / dinner and so this app helps fill that void. You have to shake it a bit hard and sometimes it will end up on the same restaurant three times in a row, but hey it still works!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vista Configurations

I came across these two Vista Configurations / tweaks a few months ago and thought I would share them:

http://lifehacker.com/5044883/vista-transblack-head-up-display

http://lifehacker.com/5041776/a-transparent-vista

I like the idea of a heads up display - text information on my desktop and so I now use BgInfo by Sysinternals.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Favorite Background Image

My latest favorite background image for my test lab computers:



Yes it's Kourtney Kardashian and well.. it's just nice!

Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 (KB110806) (x86) installation failure

I was updating some Windows XP SP3 machines and when I tried to do a windows update it kept giving me an installation failure. I really needed the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 (KB110806) (x86) update, so I downloaded it from microsoft's site and installed it manually with no problems... What the hell is up with Windows Update?

Anyways the manual process is an easy, albeit long, work around.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MyFamily.com

One of my distant relatives is putting together a family website where we can share pictures, stories, and other family history. I volunteered, thinking the project would require some development but not really knowing what was required. As it turns out there are a lot of ready made web solutions for tracking family history.

As I reviewed the top sites here's a few notes I made:

MyGreatBigFamily.com
- Don't like the layout on the website
- Only one password for the site - doesn't ask for email, so probably has limited customization.
- No price listed...?

Famster.com
- Has a nice layout
- They don't have a very good description of the security / authentication features
- Hard to tell what the actual sites look like.

MyFamily.com
- Has a nice layout
- Free basic service - great for trying out
- Different levels of authentication
- Backup Service

EasySite.com
- Nice Layout
- Simple browsing
- One of the few sites you can browse
- Downside is it looks expensive
- Not necessarily geared towards family sites

FamilyDetails.com
- Tons of Detail (good and bad)
- Great authentication
- OK Layout

We decided to go with MyFamily.com and as I continue to use it, I will blog about the pros and cons - just in case anyone cares!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dell m2010

I was a little surprised to find out Dell dropped the m2010. I was reminded of it when I last watched 'Iron Man' - it's the computer sitting at Tony Stark's desk when Pepper Potts is trying to figure out what Obadiah Stain has been up to. 

I thought the computer was quite impressive for a mobile desktop even if it was a bit on the expensive side. You can still find them via Dell's Factory Outlet but even then they are expensive. I was intrigued by the design and how it was a striking contrast from most of Dell's computers. Now Dell has just released it's Studio Hybrids that are pretty cool as well. 

Does anyone have any thoughts on if they make a good computer? 

Friday, October 17, 2008

.VoV Extension

I've been looking for new movies to put on my iPhone and I keep coming across torrent files with the extension .vov. I can't find any information on what they are or how they are opened. 

Anyone have a clue?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VMware Fusion and Parallels 3.0

I've been running Parallels 3.0 on my Mac Mini with OS X Leopard for a few months. When I initially installed the program I was looking for a way to integrate Windows and Leopard and Parallels had a feature called "Convergence" that allowed you to run Windows over Leopard. It looked like the perfect fit.

Since my initial installation, I've crashed the program 5 times, it runs slowly (which I anticipated) and I've had trouble installing MP3 conversion software. I think it's time to tryout VMware Fusion. I really like VMware's software for Windows and the latest version has the "Unity" view which is like "Convergence" except it doesn't have a windows start bar, instead it integrates everything into the dock.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Windows Home Server on a Mac Mini

This is a repost from Blog Kenst:

Thinking of new ways to use your current / old equipment is always fun. I really enjoy my Mac Mini, but I'm not sure if it's because of the Mac OS X Leopard operating system or just the look and feel of the nicely designed hardware. I think it's the hardware, which is where I came up with the idea of putting my Windows Home Server on my Mac Mini. Currently I have a (huge) dell workstation as my Home Server, but it's nothing special. At least this would be asthetically pleasing!

The article below is about replacing Mac OS X Leopard with Windows Home Server:

http://www.homeserverhacks.com/2008/06/big-news-from-apples-wwdc-ihomeserver.html

I would be more interested in setting up Windows Home Server on a Bootcamp partition so I could still have access to the Mac OS X side. Even though it has a small hard drive - 80GB, it could be loaded up with external hard drives, expanding it to 2 TB. I'll put this on my to do list!

Cool Little Game: World of Goo

You can download the demo here:
http://2dboy.com/

It's a fun game to download a play. You can beat the 1st chapter in about an hour if you're good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Remote Desktop aka Terminal Services for Mac OS X

This could be, by far, the best program available for Mac OS X (Leopard). I just downloaded and started playing with it. I mean the whole reason why I purchased a Mac Mini (besides the small form factor) was to be able to use the Mac OS in conjunction with my Windows OS's. Now that Microsoft has a Remote connection, this should be far easier!

I will post laster on my findings, but at least download the latest version for yourself here.

XM Radio and Best of Sirius

I've been using an Audiovox Xpress R XM Radio receiver in my Tahoe for a few months now and I'm loving it. Then I use the online radio at work or when I'm at my computer (in the form of a sidebar gadget). Just yesterday I added the Best of Sirius package which gives me the Playboy Channel, Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and the NFL. I highly doubt I will listen to Martha Stewart, but you never know.

The only problem I have with the service is they don't offer the full lineup of channels online unless you pay for it. What does that mean? It means that if you want to get the exclusive stuff like MLB or NFL, you have to buy one of their home kit accessories (if you have a mobile receiver like me) or pay an additional monthly amount.

I'm not a big baseball fan, but I occasionally would like to get the Dodgers broadcast (now that they are in the playoffs). In the car you get one channel per game per sport, so I can listen to my 49ers get beat by whomever they're playing and then switch channels to the next MLB game or Nascar race or whatever. Is it soo much to ask to get that online for free? I'm already paying for the receivers!! 

Oh well, looks like I will be buying an indoor antenna for those NFL games at home!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Google Analytics

I just installed Google Analytics on this site so I can track who is coming here and why. I've got Analytics installed on all of my sites and believe me, it's quite helpful and intriguing at the sametime. I like knowing what are the most popular pages on each one of my sites and also what search engines and web browsers people are using to find them.

Not surprising, across all of my sites Google has the most organic referrals (ie searches). In fact if I Google some of my own pages and then try the same thing with Yahoo or Live, I don't get nearly the placement!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hulu is the Shit!

I'm on vacation in Pajaro Dunes and I've been on Hulu a great deal of the time, catching up on my shows: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Chuck, etc. I love it - the videos are so easy to play and clean looking that I just want to find a way to play them on the local TV set! Anyways gotta go.

This Blog's Technology

I run one tech blog called Ultimate Ultra Mobile PC Blog which is about.. wait for it... my Ultra Mobile PC or UMPC. (If you don't know what a UMPC is click the link.) Since I really enjoy blogging and I was able to get this cool domain name (don't criticize it) I naturally began thinking about how to put it together.

For Ultimate Ultra Mobile PC Blog I have an external domain name (purchased and administered through GoDaddy.com with DNS settings and hosting at 1&1) and I use Blogger to publish to it via ftp whenever I make entries. The good side to this is I can control / own what I write since I've got the html files. The downside(s) are you can't use the new XML formats for the blogs and it has become increasingly difficult to publish - Blogger seems to error out halfway through the FTP process. The system will tell me 4 times during a posting (my blog is bigger and bigger these days) that 'the process is taking longer than expected' and asks me constantly if I want to continue!

Anyway I was hoping to get better templates and avoid that problem by using Wordpress.org - by downloading it and installing it on my Mac mini. That turned out to be a big ordeal because the instructions were wrong - big time! However once it is completed, I will post it here so people will know how to do it correctly. So I temporarily gave up and instead used an alternative to a external domain in Blogger.

This time Blogger gets to host all of the files and I just had to redirect my blog here by changing the CNAME record on my domain to point to Google. Very easy / cool process:
http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=58317&cbid=cxpssutxqgg8&src=cb&lev=answer#godaddy. I've edited a lot of settings before, but never the CNAME records and so of course I enjoyed it. Once it worked, I was able to get a cool looking template (a wordpress rip off) and then used the new XML features to edit the layout of the page until I got the look correct. Now here it is.

Introductory Posting

Welcome everyone to My Tech(nology) Fetish.com. I plan to use this website for random but useful information about everything technology, including how I tackle certain problems - problems that I can't always find on Google.

So as I come across technical problems and figure them out or as I come across cool ways to integrate technology into your life (no not like lifehacker) they will appear here!

I will also be moving many of the technology postings from my personal blog - Blog Kenst - to here.