Friday, June 30, 2006

Congrats Nancy!

In her short time blogging, Nancy has passed me in page views. She's earned it. Her writing is very entertaining. I'm willing to bet she probably has more individual site visitors, too. Nancy works hard at her blog. She posts every day. And she puts up pics every day on her Flickr site. People love pics. Especially of girls. Especially of bright shiny object girls.

Just look at that smile. Don't be fooled. Behind it lies a sinister mind. One capable of world-wide conquest, but only on a sunny day of course.

Those of us who know Nancy know she likes to talk. A lot. It's how she releases nervous tension. She even thinks out loud. She may tell stories, but she can never actually lie. It would eventually come out. The cool thing about Nancy is; she wears herself on her sleave. What you see (and hear) is what you get. And, what you read.

So, check out her blog. NOW!!

I know I need to blog more. I was doing very well when I blogged daily, and especially what I posted lots of pictures. As you can tell, I use for my blog. Nancy uses Yahoo360. I like Yahoo360, and I have a page reserved there. It links to this page, my main one. Yahoo360 has lots of tools. More than blogger. Nancy can see how many page views she has. So can I, but she can see how many individual visitors she has. She can see how many page views total, in a month, in a week, or in a day. Good tools, not to mention the automatic linking to Flickr. Yeah, I have a flickr dohicky too. Yahoo360 has done a good job with their stuff, and I recommend it.

But, blogger what my first blog. I'm use to it, and so are you. I'll stick with it. Sure, I could go to Yahoo360, or even better, make my own. I could use Moveable Type, just like Cory Doctorow does, on his site. I could use Drupal, like Leo Laporte does, on But why? Those take actual work. And we all know, work sucks. Even when you're not getting paid for it.

I'm sure part of my slow down in blogging, and page view, is from my time spent studying. It's also the cause of my techy comments. Boring to most, I'm sure. But the cool thing about blogging is: I don't care! Okay, well I do, but not all that much. I'm not being paid here, and you don't have to read. If you are reading, THANK YOU very much. Most people skip over my techy comments anyway. But, they are my life now. While I still workout, my personal training business will become part-time, and not my major source of income. I'll always train a few people, but technology is where my future is. So, I blog about technology. Even if it bores you.

The funny thing is; I originally started this blog so my family and friends could read it, and keep up with what's going on in my life. Guess who are the last people to read my blog.

Finding Time

Earlier this year I made a goal of improving my time management process. So far, I've not done well. Actually, as far as time management goes, I've failed miserably.

A few years ago, my friend Josh and I decided we value our free time to much to be overly productive. That, an neither of us really admire achievement. We train lots of over achiever types, and they're more unhappy than the under achievers. The over achievers are always stressed, whereas the under achievers are usually a little too laid back. I'd rather be a little too laid back, poor, and happy.

When I have done well at time management, I've been incredibly productive. But, I seemed to be busy enough, without enjoying life. What I forgot to do was pay myself first, just like with a budget.

So, in the future, I have to schedule the fun first. In the past, my productivity has been all or nothing. That would make me look like the over consuming, self important woman across the street, living in their oversized mac-mansion. God knows, I don't want to be or look like that!

Technology Warning: Techy comments to follow. Read at your own risk.

My Bossman project is helping me in the A+ Hardware class. I still haven't conquered wireless networking with Linux yet, but I'm getting close. Step-by-step, I'll get it.

What I'm missing are monitors. I have plenty of computers to give, but no monitors for them. Whoever gets these computer will have to get their own monitor. So, if anyone out there in the Central Florida area want to unload and old CRT that works just fine, email me.

I got My Toy back. The headphone jack is fixed, and I can listen to my techy podcasts, audiobooks, language lessons, and newscasts now.

Techy Comment Mode OFF

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bad Day

In the last 4-5 years, I rarely have a bad day. To be honest, a bad day for me really isn't all that bad. It's more like; kind-a-sort-a-not-so-good. Maybe it was the storm system. Maybe solar flares. Maybe it was the multitudes of antihistamines. Maybe it was my attitude.

I woke up about 7, and started in on my tests and assignments I had to do. By the time I had to go to work, I thought I was near were I needed to be done. Then, at work, I encountered the most rude and condescending customer so far. She wanted me to know which soccer shinguards were 'comfortable'.

"How can you not know?"
"I have a master's degree in Education. This shouldn't be this difficult."
"What do you mean, you don't know which one is easiest to put on fast?"

This is a person for whom the C word was made! So, Miss C, whomever you are, if I ever meet you on the street, you'll be arrested shortly thereafter. I'll make sure you assault me. I can be the most annoying person on earth. Oh, wait. You are. Nevermind.

When I got home, even after getting off work early, I still didn't finish my stuff in time. Even after six hours straight. All I can hope is that the teacher has mercy on my grade.

There are days when I understand how and why people could get on crack or meth.

Especially after a B*T*H, C**T, WH*R* of a customer like that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Open Source Issues

I've been touting Free and Open Source software for a few months now. By October, it'll probably be a year. I installed Fedora Core 4 (Red Hat) Linux, and have learned a lot since then. While a free operating system, office software suite, video and mp3 players and organizers, super fast internet browsers, 13,000 free software titles are really nice, Free and Open Source software isn't without it's problems.

Linux works great, most of the time. I'll wager that it works on 90-95% of hardware out there. I don't mean computers, I mean individual pieces of hardware in the computers. In that respect, something somewhere in a computer is bound to not work, or take a lot of effort to get to get working. Most distributions have problems with something. Usually, it's something just slightly annoying -like the mic not working on my Ubuntu installation- or a bigger issue -like difficulties with WiFi cards an all Linux machines.

But, good news; I've found a section all about WiFi in Ubuntu, so I'm a good step closer to getting it working. That, and a souped up -or soup can in this case- antenna, and these will be some kick-ass machines. I think whoever recieves these machines will be very surprised at how nice Linux works.

But, this is about the problems.

One problem that plagues Free on Open Source Software is the fun factor. It's fun to create software that everyone uses, or at least everyone will want to use. It's not much fun creating software for the behind-the-scenes hardware that is greatly needed. More people work on the fun stuff, while only a few say, "Okay, I'll work on the WiFi."

In the near future, that won't be much of a problem. More hardware makers will write drivers for Linux. My hope is that one day, drivers will work equally on all systems; Windows, Mac, Linux. Then, we won't have to bother with waiting for new drivers.

Progress on my Bossman Project is slow, but in forward motion. I'm trying to get all the necessary components together to give out a good computer. It's good practice for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bossman Ubuntu progress

So far, Ubuntu is still the easiest and best Linux distribution I've tried. I'm might take a few more for a spin, especially as I jump start some of this older equipment. It seems like the new releases of some Linux distributions cause more bugs than fixes. Now, some bugs are easier to fix than others, but I'd prefer supported stability over flash and dash.

Ubuntu still has some bugs. The biggest one for me is the wireless difficulties. I need wireless to work, in order for Bossman to work. Also, a minor bug; the mic doesn't work. Other's using Ubuntu have noticed the same. The Ubuntu communties coders know about, and are working on the issues. It's cool being able to know exactly where things stand. The community developer and user structure works very well with software.

I think we're about to see a slight stall in technology development. Not a drop, but a slowing down. It will be the time there is a shift to Linux, and the time for hardware developers to catch up. And, since Linux can be used on some pretty old equipment, fewer people are going to buy new computers. And, with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) being as good or better than commercially distributed software, some people are going to be out of a job.

I'm not a rabid Linux cultist here. What I am doing is attempting to predict future trends, especially where technology is concerned. I've done pretty well so far. I'm putting so much effot into Linux lately simply because that's where I think things are headed. If it was in the Mac OS direction, I'd spend my time there. If Windows, I'd focus there. Windows is dominate, at the moment. But, the rest of the world is moving in the Linux direction, and we're slightly behind the curve.

Checkout for some good info on the different Linux distributions.


I can see how some American's lose their patriotism. They are the ones that see Americans. Real Americans. The people who usually practice the American tradition of overconsumption. I see why bad attitudes exist in retail. Why employees smile whipes away when they see you. I understand why some seem to roll their eyes when you ask for help. I see the reasons behind the general sense of frustration, and even despair in the retail industry.

In the back of your mind, buried deep, the person in working in the retail indusy has the slight, gnawing feeling that their participating in something that 'just ain't right'. They're not sure what, it's just there.

I'm beginning to believe that the current corporate structure is becoming outdate. It may work in some business, but it seems to be a very ineffective structure for others. I'm beginning to think it's the wrong structure for retail.

Of course, I could be talking about something I know nothing about.

What's going on with me? Most of my time is spent studying. I would post you some pictures, but there would be nothing new in the background. That, and I'm having to get the headphone jack fixed on My Toy (iPAQ 3715 Pocket PC). Can't listen to my podcasts and Audiobooks.

Either America ain't what it use to be, or I was too young to notice it's always been like this.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

So Long Bill

Today, Bill Gates announced he'll be stepping down from Microsoft. I think he's going to miss it. Not the wealth. He's going to give that away, anyway. He's going to miss the creation. The playing with software like a toy.

During his time at Microsoft, Bill Gates changed the world. Microsofts mission statement was "A Computer On Every Desktop". He accomplished that, and more. A computer in every pocket. Without Microsofts' influence, and background support archeicture, there would be no cellphones. No PocketPC. Funny thing is; Steve Jobs almost had that position, and lost it. But the Macs are better because of it.

Bill Gates has changed how we work, interact, communicate, and how we are entertained. He's a visionary. A good one. But, it's done.

He's accomplished his goal; A computer on every desktop. I think part of Microsofts problem now is lack of direction. No purpose. No new creations, or at least, nothing specatular.

In fact, the doors of Microsoft (Windows) are falling in. The attacks on the structure of Windows has become impossible to truly defend. Their domination of the market is the cause of their downfall.

Microsoft will fall. Not completely, but it will never be the dominator/terminator it once was. It might be possible, but only if they change quick. Very quick.

I don't hate Windows. I don't hate Bill Gates. I admire him. He got to do what he loved; make technology happen. Whether his wealth was worth it, I'll let you argue that one.

At their best, Microsoft played tricky business games, and got slapped on the wrist, but greatly hassled by the Department of Justice. It may have been part of their downfall, but I don't think so. I don't think most people cared. They just wanted their computers to work right. And for awhile, Windows made that happen.

I'm sure will be hearing more from Bill and Malinda Gates.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Addition

Nancy spent the last two weeks, maybe more, in complete obsession on dogs again. Nancy's really good with dogs. Me too, pretty much. The pic above is of our new family member; Ginny. She is a full bread Louisianna Catahoula Leopard Dog. A blue tic Coonhound has longer ears. Ginny is a treat. Sweet girl, and gets along really good with Abby and Chili. Especially Chili. They are best friends. Friends in mischief.

Nancy's blog is much better than mine. She writes everyday. Sometimes twice a day. Her writing technique is fun, so, I suggest you check it out.

Techy Comments mode; on.
My used equipment with Linux fully installed, is stalled. Unless someone already has wired broadband access. Then, it works perfect. I'm still struggling to get wireless equipment to work on Linux. Both Fedora and Ubuntu have been a struggle. I've tried the top ten distributions. I still like Ubuntu, and see why it's #1. It works with most everything. On the message boards, wireless works perfect right away on the install, with some machines. And, some people are able to get the wireless working, after much command line work.

In order for my project to work, I have to have;
  • Useable equipment - Even some stuff as far back as 97 will work. Most stuff after 2000 will work really well.
  • A copy of Linux that's good enough to replace Windows XP or Mac
  • In most cases, the users of the equipment will need wireless access. My project is meant to get equipment into the hands of people who don't have a computer, probably wouldn't be able to afford one, and they probably won't have their own broadband access. The equipment will need to be strong enough to access a wireless access point.
  • An antenna good enough to reach five miles. A good possibility. With a wireless system that can reach that far, a computer should be able to find an open, free access point.
I've got computers. I just need to get the wireless working. Preferably, a USB wireless receiver. Cheaper.

Lots of studying lately. Especially the simulators. I'm treating them like a game. Everything I've used in each hardware class, I've used will working on this project. Having this much equipment really helps me gain experience. Just think of me as your auto mechanic, but for the computer.

No matter how the software or internet companies change, everyone will need their hardware worked on, or tweaked. Hopefully, I'll always have a job.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wireless Woes

Almost everything works perfect with Linux. Almost everything. Except wireless networking.

I've been able to make a computer dual boot Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu, but I haven't been able to get a wireless connection. I can't offer a benefit of a free computer without having wireless capabilities. With Linux, a used computer, and a reliable wireless connection, I can offer someone a free computer, free OS, and free internet (usually through a citywide program of some sort). With the right antenna, you can pick up a signal from pretty far, and in cities, pick up many signals to choose from.

But Linux, including Ubuntu, is having issues with wireless connectivity. It is possible to get it working, but with a lot of work -and to a geek type, a lot of work would be way to bothersome for the average user.

The issues of wireless connectivity will hold Linux adoption back. Maybe that's the intention. So far, except for the issues of wireless connectivity, I think Linux is a superior OS to Windows, and a bit easier than Mac. Once the issues are fixed, and I've no doubt there will be a fix very soon, Linux adoption will take off at an exponential rate. Many public and private schools are already seeing the benefits of changing to Linux. So much less hassle with Key Code numbers, and having Windows tell you, "Wrong code". Right now, windows has an edge with wireless connectivity.

Most people won't have an internet connection at home, and a reliable wireless connection is going to be important. Right now, getting wireless to work is a top priority in my free computer project.

Doing this at the same time as taking A+ Hardware has helped, both ways. Everything in my class is familiar. And, so far, everything I've learned in class, I've used in the past few days. Things came together for me, just at the right time.

Believe it or not, that happens to me often. Sometimes, far too often. At the very least, I know I'll get the wireless working, just when I need it. Things will come together right at the right time. (yes,...pumping up my resume here).

I know some people tire of my techy stuff, but that's what's going on in my life right now. Not as exciting as exercise, and especially not as exciting as Skull and Bones. But, that's where it is.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Break

We went to Islands of Adventure yesterday. It was the first time for us both. We'd been to Universal, but not to Islands of Adventure. Nancy got a special invitation in the mail, so we used it. We decided we'll have to get annual passes for this place too.

Yesterday was a good break. I did study yesterday morning, but even still, my mind was whiz-banging on computer hardware stuff all day long. Being in the mix of battle, so to speak, it's hard to take your mind off it. Motherboards, SIMMs, DIMMs, DDR SDRAM, logical volumes, and bits of binary danced in my head all these last few days. It still doesn't feel like studying, or work. It's still fun. I guess that's a good sign.

My dual booting computer is stable, speedy, and really useful. I might have to setup my laptop like that. The harddrive on this one is slow, so I'll probably wait till prices come down on laptop harddrives before redoing this one, and giving it the dual boot.

Checkout My Flickr photos to see our day off.

A Break

We went to Islands of Adventure yesterday. It was the first time for us both. We'd been to Universal, but not to Islands of Adventure. Nancy got a special invitation in the mail, so we used it. We decided we'll have to get annual passes for this place too.

Yesterday was a good break. I did study yesterday morning, but even still, my mind was whiz-banging on computer hardware stuff all day long. Being in the mix of battle, so to speak, it's hard to take your mind off it. Motherboards, SIMMs, DIMMs, DDR SDRAM, logical volumes, and bits of binary danced in my head all these last few days. It still doesn't feel like studying, or work. It's still fun. I guess that's a good sign.

My dual booting computer is stable, speedy, and really useful. I might have to setup my laptop like that. The harddrive on this one is slow, so I'll probably wait till prices come down on laptop harddrives before redoing this one, and giving it the dual boot.

Checkout My Flickr photos to see our day off.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Ubuntu 6.06 so far

Techie Comments
I can't say enough about Ubuntu at this point. Easy to use. Very easy. Probably a bit easier than Mac OS. On this desktop I've pieced together, it's very fast. Linux is getting easier to use. They still have some things to do to make wireless easier to work with. Wireless is easier on Windows XP and Mac OS. But actually getting around, Linux is easier.

On some of the older systems I'm going to prepare, I'm going to experiment with Xubuntu. Xubuntu is a lightweight version of Ubuntu Linux, using the XFCE desktop. XFCE is designed to work on older hardware. In order for my goal of helping keep computers working longer, and out of landfills longer, I need something that can work surprisingly well enough to someone to encourage them to keep the equipment. Something free, safe, and secure. Not even a marriage is that good! Ubuntu works on lots of equipment, even much older equipment, but Xubuntu is even faster on older equipment than Ubuntu. Everything on Xubuntu is basic, but still very usuable. If a small company wanted to save money, they could have their data moved to the Linux platform, keep their old equipment, or purchase less expensive stuff, put Ubuntu, Fedora Core, or SuSE Linux on their computers, including the servers, and have a more secure system.
It would be bonus if any company was to start their systems all on Linux. Save a lot of money.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Over the past few days, pretty much since the last time I posted, all I've really done was catch up in A+ Hardware class. The pressure of a June 4, 2006 11:59pm deadline pushed me to catch up, or I might have actually fallen too far behind. My problem wasn't lazyness, or lack of time management, or ADD style of learning/studying problem. It was my own doubt. I doubted I was doing well in the class. Doubting I was understanding what I needed, that this was 'over my head'. I was avoiding dealing with that. Ignorance isn't bliss when it causes you to be poor and frustrated.

In the last few days, I've boned up, caffinated up, woke up, paced up, obsessed over, stressed over, cussed over, and finished everything I needed to. Within the time I needed. And I did good. Got a 92% of the overall test, so far. I knew the stuff way better than I thought I did.
The problem comes from the perspective that; since it's math, there's so much too it, it's overwhelming. The problem with math, for me, is that the noise of math is so distracting, the obvious infinite nature of it, there's no possible way I could ever understand it. Just too much. Words, languages are finite, and have an acutal capacity. There are only 26 letters in our alphabet, 33 in the Russian Crylic, and I could even deal with the 2500 possible characters in the Chinese script. At least, it's better than infinite possible characters. But with math, for an ADD person, you start to see it everywhere, in everything. It's becomes like load music. Very loud.
Okay, maybe not that bad.

The problem wasn't my math skills, or my knowledge in electronics, it was only in my doubt.

I also gained a learning rhythm from it. A pace. It was weird. Maybe it was the wine.

An obvious congnitive distortion. I wonder how many others do that? I think confidence in the ability to learn, juts like confidence in the ability to move just right in sports, has a lot to do with the outcome. Is it really that obvious?

In Other News
I got Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Ubuntu Linux to boot on this computer. Dual boot. It took me ten freaking tries, folks. Ten freakin tries. It's not easy. I did get it on, and a proceedure to do it. I'm actually noting the procedures of everything I do on these computers. Yes. I know. It's weird. I think it's called Geek. Ugh.

Ubuntu Linux is freakin awesome. It's easy to boot that as your only OS, but it is difficult to dual boot. Ubuntu is the best distro I've tried, so far, and I've tried a few. Easy to use.

If you have old computer, don't throw them out. I just might be able to get them going with a Linux distribution.