Sunday, December 31, 2006


My Mom and Sister are in town, so we did stuff with them today. We went to the Orlando Science Center to see the display of Our Body - The Universe Within. If this comes to your hometown, or even nearby, don't miss it. Especially if your a Personal Trainer, this is a must-see. After we left we walked Park Avenue. Robin bought us some Chocolate Popcorn from PeterBrook Chocolate. Their chocolate covered popcorn must have cocaine, heroin, Marijuana, opium, and caffine mixed in to make it so addictive.

After that, we ate at Bosphorus restaurant on Park Avenue. Turkish food. It was excellent. It was recommended to us, and we now pass on that recommendation.

Tech Warning
I've found some free PocketPC programs. One program is a sound player, pretty much every audio file available. Pocket Windows Media Player wouldn't play .ogg files (vorbis). Ogg is the open source solution to MP3. You're suppose to pay a license fee if you use mp3 files or players. I've been looking for some way to support ogg files on PocketPC, and I found it. I also found a WiFi scanner utility on the same site. I'll have to check with legal to see if I can link to all those.

This blog brought to you by:

The foks at have some cool stuff. Check out the X-treme Geek Homepage

Friday, December 29, 2006


I made several editorial mistakes on my last post, especially in the beginning. Usually, I'll do a quick write, not worrying about mistakes, check for spelling, and post it. Nancy will look at in online, and tell me other errors. Sometimes we get everything, sometimes not. On the last post, I wasn't able to edit, for some reason. Blogger wouldn't present the post in the 'edit' field. I'd wasn't even able to go in and edit the .html of the post. So, you got to see a rough draft of a post. This this problem continues, I'll have to change my edit strategy.

I'm in the second chapter in The Long Tail. Some of the business and economic things I understand, some I don't. I don't pretend to understand economics well. Probably a factor in my political leanings. So I'll probably re-read this chapter after I finished the book. I acquired a copy of the audio book, and I'm going to listen to that as I read -not at the same time, mind you. In the car, I'll listen to the audio book. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a device that could do that, and keep the place where you are in the material. Even if you switched back and forth between audio and written, it would be booked marked when you took a break. Hmmmm....

My sister got me Dilbert and The Way of the Weasel:

If you work in an office environment, even virtually, especially in a cubicle, you need this book. I like all the Dilbert books. Have the series on DVD too. Okay, I get carried away with the things I like. Welcome to the new market; it enables us to get carried away.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Not Much

That's me, and Grammy Dina -Nordina Wayman. She's Nancy's mom. She's the one that gave us the Universal Annual Passes for Christmas. I'm holding Laura's new teddy bear. And, yes, I do look a bit pudgy in this picture. I let the holiday eating get me.

This week is almost over, meaning this year is almost over. I've spent some of the week studying and drilling for the A+ Hardware certification test. Mostly what I've been doing this week is setting up a plan for next year. I'd like to start out the year with a more detail plan, detailed steps, and turn those steps into appointments. That's worked well for me in the past.

This year, pretty much as last year, my primary focus will be on school. All other decisions are secondary to that. My next focus is on income producing activities. My business should increase a wee bit, but I want to keep that scaled back just enough to leave room for my next income producing activity; an entry level tech job. I want to talk to some people in the business who are in the know about this kind of stuff before I start applying, but I'd like to have a tech job by March.

I'm still reading The Long Tail:

I'm only in the first chapter, and it's really good. So far, it's explaining a new era where items for sale are not on a store shelf, and take up valuable space. Many things, especially entertainment stuff like music, books, videos, are online. There's no self space. You can store as much as want. This is economic abundance. In contrast to economic scarcity, where the most popular items and the hits dominate the retail store. Simply put, the lack of shelf space has held back our choices. We now have more choices. Niche marketing is growing. I'll report more as I read more.

The fiction book I'm reading is 1632 by Eric Flint:

In 1632, a modern day section of Grantville, West Virgina, a coal mining town, is instantly transported back to 1632, in Germany during the 100 years war. Imagine; rednecks fighting the Inquisition. The thing I like about it is how the town of Grantville deals with their new life. Eric Flint has many more books in this series. I intend on reading them all. Not this year though. I have most of them as Microsoft Reader files, so I'm reading them on my Pocket PC. On Eric Flint's Trail or Glory website, you can download some of the ebooks for free. Kind of like a 'brochure' for the dead tree version. I highly recommend checking out his books, especially 1632.

Eric Flint does an interesting thing to make his books work. In most writing, especially adventure, the Show don't Tell adage is hammered into your brain.

Here's an example of Telling:
Jason sat in front of his computer, placed his hands on the keyboard, but didn't type. Nothing came to him. He had writers block.

Here's the scene with Showing:
"If I could just get started," Jason though.
He put his coffee cup next to the monitor, and sat down.
"Okay, what should I write about?" he asked himself.
Jason finger tips touched the home row keys.
"Come on, do something. Just type a sentence, any sentence."
His fingers didn't move.

The same scene in front of you, but with the added detail that gives you a better picture in your head. The first reads like a police report. That's not bad, if you're writing a police report. But, it doesn't work if your writing an adventure novel. Unless....

Unless the time scale your writing about must be covered quickly. Eric Flint starts off each scene with showing but ends the scene by telling. Not every scene, but most scenes. At first, I thought it was simply bad writing. Then, after I put my ego aside, I realized it was a technique used for a purpose. Without this technique, Flint's books would be too long. He's able to make the technique work, and not sound like a police report.

I'm behind on some bills. Who isn't around Christmas. Time to catch up. Or play, Catch Me If You Can. As you can tell from the above picture, I've also gained some holiday weight, and need to get that taken care of. Luckily, I know how. That's part of my next years planning. For now, I'm going to enjoy the holidays.

I've been watching an Ubuntu branch Linux distribution, Fluxbuntu Linux. Instead of Gnome (in Ubuntu), KDE (in Kubuntu), and XFCE (in Xubuntu), Fluxbox is a Linux Graphical User Interface (GUI) that uses less resource than the others. Fluxbuntu might be a good choice as a replacement/alternative Operating System for systems under 500 MHz. Right now, I use Damn Small Linux (DSL) for that, but I'd like to stay with the Ubuntu Linux versions. If Fluxbuntu works out well, it will keep computers as low as 133 MHz still useable. They won't be powerhouses, but they'll be able to be used by someone. For me, it's kind of fun to see how low of a computer can still work good, with the right materials, operating system, and software. I don't have to have the newest and best. It opens up a whole range of toys.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Geek Reading

This Christmas has been a Bonanza for my new literary curiosoties.

Nancy gave me a copy of The Long Tail for Christmas:

a book I've been wanting and very important book for writers in todays marketplace. With a gift card, I got Wikinomics and Code.

Wikinomics is about how online collaborative environments are changing how we communicate and do business. The book code is about the history of computer coding, and how it works.

As I looked through it, the presentation looked interesting. Very story-like. Time to catch up on my geek reading. And yes, if you click on the above links and buy one of the books, I get a percentage. But, like I said, these are books I have, and am currently reading.

With school, I haven't been to excited about reading lately, and even writing has been a strain. I'm glad to get back into a reading swing with some different material for me.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Ever since I changed the colors and layout of my blog, I've blogged more. I guess there was something about the previous look and layout that just didn't inspire my words. I could sit here for the next few days and analyse just what inspired me and why, or I can just go with it. I'm too lazy to analyse. I'll go with it.

On Saturday, we went to Lakeland to meet up with the kids. The youngest has moved back to Lakeland, and the oldest was already there. They're only an hour and fifteen minutes away, so I'll be able to see them more.

I worked on setting up their computers, but without broadband, it's difficult. No way to even do updates. They're getting it; Bell South DSL I believe. I'll be able to talk to them more, and hopefully see them online. Who knows; maybe I can get some some Skype phones. Guess that will come later.

This experience taught me an important lesson; Modern day Operating Systems; Windows, Mac, and Linux all depend on being online to work well. They'll work without being online, but you don't get the updates and security fixes. Without being online, you really don't need to worry too much about security, but the updates sometimes fix bugs in the systems. You can get by with dial up, but barely. In todays world, with cellphones, many people won't have a phone line. Some people don't have a phone line or Cable TV. Their lifestyle just doesn't warrant the expense of paid for TV content, or they just don't get into TV much. No time, or no interest. Many people are less technologically connected with the world around them, sometimes by choice.

But, todays world also depends on connectivity. Entertainment, communications, even education, are quickly going online, if they've not completely made the switch.

Today showed me what can happen with future "FreeBox"es I give out. In order for people to really benefit from having a computer, some form of connectivity needs to happen. There are low-cost dialups, and I've heard there are even no-cost dialups. This could be a choice for some people to at lest get email, read forums, and use Instant Message programs. To really get the full-hit experience of the Internet, you need broadband. Some people can borrow their neighbors wireless access point. I'd get the neighbors permission first (yeah, right). It really doesn't hurt to ask, especially if you can offer something in return. Or, you could do the borrow-till-they-say-something, and feign ignorance. "I'm really sorry. I didn't realize it was connecting to YOUR house." But, many people don't have wireless in their homes, and many people lock their wireless access points down. I do have a program that can break those encryption codes, and get the password to the wireless access point, but using them to break into someone system is a crime. I believe it falls under the laws of trespass.

When I get FreeGeek going here, I'll need to have SOME way of helping people get connected.


I got Nancy a Blue Mailbox. To understand the significance, go to, and download our free ebook (you'll need Micrsoft Reader to view it, so go here. In the future, I'll have universal versions up). I got a book I wanted: The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson. I also got some clothes, a movie, and bunches of other stuff. I'm enjoying them. The attempting under-consumer in me feels guilty. I'll deal with the guilt later.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Quicker than I thought!

Two years ago, I made a rather bold prediction: In the future, media content will be purchased after it is consumed. And, the consumer will pay what he or she thinks the material is worth. And, the content creator will receive a majority of the money.

Rather bold, wouldn't you say? People would pay from what they thought something was worth? Yeah, right.

How many books have you read? How many books have you read all the way through? How many books did you start, and just couldn't finish. Maybe the story or content started off good, but just drifted away, and you lost interest. How much did you pay for that book?

How many books have you read that you just couldn't put down? How many books did you stay up reading all night, till you were done? How much should that author have received? More than likely, they only made 8% off of the total price of the book. Did you think he or she deserved more?

Two years ago, I predicted ebooks would begin a revolution of content creation and distribution. Like I said above, the author would write the material, distribute it, and the reader would pay for it after they read it. If you just couldn't finish the book, you didn't have to pay for it. If you couldn't put the book down, you could pay what you thought it was worth, and the author received the majority of what you paid, not pennies on the dollar.

I was wrong. Not about the concept, or really even the content. I was wrong about the medium. Ebooks just never took off. I still believe they will, someday. When the technology exists to deliver the content on an acceptable product. I use a Pocket PC to read my ebooks, and have read my last seven books on it. Three books -not included in that seven- are my text books. The problem is; most people are patterned by paper. They just can't break away from the dead-tree delivery method. So, for the moment, they'll have to pay first.

But, I was also right. My prediction came true, but through a different medium: Audiobooks. Or, more precisely, Podiobooks. is a unique site. Authors of written work turn their material into spoken word, and distribute it for free. Podiobooks hosts the content. You can download the books, usually by chapters, and listen to them anytime you want. If you like the material, you get to pay whatever you think the material is worth, or whatever you can afford if you wish. If you're broke, you can enjoy and not pay, just like a library.

My prediction came true because the method of content delivery existed in an acceptable format; the digital audio player, specifically, an MP3 player. For most people, an iPod. Many people already have the accept format of content delivery, and people are use to using them. did exactly what I though would happen. Good for them.

So, my commercial tonight is free, unless you kindly choose to pay an author. This post was brought to you buy:
You can click links to put them in your iTunes if you wish. I use Juice (iPodder for Linux users). You can have the chapters downloaded when you want, and listen to them when you want. Put them on your iPod.

And, if you really enjoy a Podiobook, drop the author some money. They make it easy to do.

Friday, December 22, 2006

eBay stuff

In the new year, I'll be doing more stuff on ebay. My intention is to help Nancy and her mom sell the things they want to get rid of, and sell off a few of the things I don't need. Hopefully, we'll be able to make some money that way, but at the very least, we'll have cleared out some 'clutter' as Nancy calls it.

I'm going to get me one of these:

It's only $79.97 at
X-treme Geek Homepage
From what I'm learning, taking good pictures is a must for eBay sales. Most of the stuff we're going to sell is small, so something like this would work well.

eBay is how many people do their shopping and selling. Some even make a living at it. I like the idea of buying and selling used stuff, as long as it's good. Nancy and I watched a show on CNBC about eBay, how it was started, and how it grew.

There's an organization called that enables people to give, donate, exchange, trade, or whatever need be done to keep useful items being used. FreeGeek is a branch of FreeCycle, from what I understand. If you're into saving money, I highly recommend FreeCycle.

Next year, I'll probably be starting an entry level tech job. I'd like to get into something in networking in Orlando. I'd like to work under someone who's really knowledgeable and experienced. Kind of like being an apprentice. But not the Donald.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

This computer is too freakin slow!

I hear this too many times. And, it's always wrong.

Remember how fast your computer was, when you first bought it. You marveled at how quickly Internet Explorer came up when you double clicked it. Microsoft Office started in less than 5 seconds, sometimes even two seconds! Oh, and the real measuring tool of a computer's speed; How quick AOL could load!

But that computer seemed to age. In just a few months, it seem to take forever for Internet Explorer to load, and it's suppose to be part of the system. You could count to ten, or even fifteen before Microsoft Word came up. But the worst? You could get a pot of coffee done by the time AOL came up. The computer got slower.

"My computer's too slow. I need a new one!" If I was a big software company, in kahootz with some big hardware companies, what would motivate me from stopping that perception? Or, would I be motivated to NOT stop it. Or, would I do better by enabling that perception. And, maybe my hardware partners would do better too.

Remember how fast your computer was when you bought it? Guess what: IT STILL IS! The computer hasn't changed from the day you bought it. Sure, it's a wee bit older, but that won't change the speed. Your hardware is fine.

It's the system that's slow! Particularly, Windows gets slower. After a while, it starts to crawl. Suddenly, you need more memory, and that fixes it for awhile. But it slows down again. In a few months, your hard drive fills up. You start deleting files, sometimes questioning if you want them or not. You might even get a bigger hard drive. If you were lucky, someone talked you into a faster hard drive.

To be honest, it's not completely Windows fault. Some of the programs in Windows can slow it down. Like Norton or McAffe Anti-Virus. Big programs that slug-up the system. Nor is Windows alone in the problem. Both Mac OS X and Linux get slower over time, but not near as much as Windows. Since I've used Ubuntu, I've made a point of attempting to glut the system down with programs and files. Audio books, TV shows, podcasts, anything I can to top out the hard drive. So far, the only time I notice the system being slower is when I open a folder with lots of files. Lots of BIG files. Other than that, I've not noticed any slowdowns. Do that to Windows, and it's like pouring sugar into a gas tank (anyone under 35 will have to ask their Grandfather about that one). Mac OS X is not much different than Linux. I've noticed Nancy's iBook get slower only when accessing folders with lots of files. Other than that, it's not much different from the day she bought it. The difference is in how Mac OS X and Linux (both Unix variants) organize their file structure.

When I was a Windows Only user (that should be the name of their next OS version), I'd speed up the computer by saving my personal files somewhere, reformatting the hard drive, and reinstalling the system and programs. Each time, I'd install fewer programs, putting in only the ones I actually used. I've probably done that almost a dozen times with my laptop. Pretty much, every six months, sometimes sooner if I suspected malware. Each time, it was back to it's purchase day speed. Each time, it felt like a new computer -probably a big part of the reason I did it.

I don't use the Windows installation much on the laptop, so I've not notice a slow down since I did a 'wipe-clean'. I boot into Ubuntu when I use it, so no problems with Malware. It's got loads of programs on it, and it's just as fast as the first day I did the re installation. Actually, Ubuntu runs faster than Windows did.

My first Ubuntu system was on an 800 MHz desktop. It seemed faster than the 1.8 GHz desktop with Windows I was also using. After I took the A+ Hardware class, I understood why. The processor speed in only one part in the chain of hardware on a computer. Once a program is in memory, THEN the processor speed is important. The only real application the average person would truly notice the processor speed is with photo editing. The rendering of a photo will be faster with a faster processor. But, the difference in an 800 MHz Pentium III and a 2.8 GHz Pentium IV when rendering a photo is noticeably by maybe a second or two at best. Now, if you were rendering an incredibly large ProEngineer file, or digital art, the difference could be in minutes and even days. The piece of digital art I have took TWO MONTHS to render, once the artist pushed the enter key. And, that was with a very fast computer. One the 800 MHz, it might have taken a year. But, I don't think most of you are digital artist, or using ProE.

This is a screenshot of a Low End Mac:
You're looking at an Internet Browser (Firefox), Instant Messenger (GAIM), and a photo editor all running at the same time on a 333 MHz, 160 Meg memory, 6.2 Gig hard drive Bondi Style iMac:

I changed absolutely nothing from the way I found it. It did have more memory added before I acquired it, but other than that, nothing else was different. What you see above is the iMac with Ubuntu Linux 5.10. Since then, I've loaded Xubuntu Linux 6.06.1 on it, and with the XFCE interface, it's even faster. Mind you, it's not a speed demon, but it's more than fast enough to be usable. And, it's much faster than it was with Mac OS X on it.

The computer you have now is fast enough. If you're reading this on that computer, and you've been complaining, "This computer is too slow," it's not the computer. Put a system that won't slow down too much on it, and you'll see.

There are ways to make a slower processor still very usable:
  1. Top out the memory in the system: Go to the manufactures website, and see how much memory the computer will handle. That should be your first priority to speed up the system. Don't bother buying a bit at a time. That's a waste of money. Save up, if you have to, and buy exactly what you need to get all the memory.
  2. Get a faster hard drive: The actual size of the hard drive in the computer isn't very important. Even a 40-60 Gigabyte hard drive is all you really need. How fast is it is important. For a desktop, don't bother with anything under 7200 RPM. A faster hard drive, and more memory will get your computer as fast as you ever really need. And, it will be usable for a very long time. If you need more storage, you can always purchase a big 200 Gig external hard drive.
  3. If you insist on using Windows, always save your personal files externally, never on the computers hard drive. Every six months or so -or when you hear yourself say, "This computer is too slow,"- reformat the hard drive, reinstall the system your programs. Yes, it takes too much time, but you'll feel like you have a new computer.
The only time you'd really need to get a new computer is when the one you have now has complete hardware failure, or when the parts to fix it cost more than a new one. Computers do drop in price, and the costs of labor plus parts for fixing one can be more than a new one these days.

Don't get me wrong; I've got nothing against new hardware. I spend a few minutes everyday seeing what new hardware is available. It's part of my future. And, those new Core and Core2 Duo's are very fast! But, get the most you can out of what you have now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Good Days

This is Nancy at Universal Orlando today. We went to pick up our new annual passes (thank you, Nordina Wayman!). We did a few rides at Universal Studios, and a few at Islands of Adventure. We did the Disney annual passes for two years, and got 'Disney'd out'. It was time for a change, and Universal was cheaper, and closer. In fact, I believe it was less than half the price. It's good.

No commercials today. Linkshare has been finicky with it's sign-in page, so I can't get the links I want. The independent affiliations are still being worked on, so those probably won't be available till next year. For now, let's use this free commercial:

If you have a Mac, especially one of the G3, G4, or G5 versions, Open Source Mac is a collection of free, open source software for Mac OS X. Good stuff, sometimes better than paid for stuff. Check out the site, and have fun.

Getting sleepy now. It's been a good day!

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Blog Color??

I took the "What Color is your Blog Personality" Test:

What's the Color of Your Blog Personality? Quiz at About Web logs and...

My Blog Personality's True Color Is...

It's all about passion, heat, and intensity.
I take pride in my strengths and I learn to deal with my weaknesses. I like to blog about things that really matter to me.

What do you think?

Update of Fixing Sick Mac PowerBook: Success! With a few well learned Unix commands, it's working fine now. I copied all the personal data to a seperate hard drive, reinstalled the system, updated the system, loaded the software back on it -plus a few open source bonuses, and it's better than new. A good practice for me.

I noticed that I reposted a photo of Nancy and I earlier. Oh well. We look good, especially together, so it never hurts to remind our public of that.

I took one more blog test: What's your Blogging Personality?

I took the Blogging Personality Quiz at About Web logs and I am...

The Pundit
I like to blog about a specific topic of interest that I am passionate about - be it business, politics, technology, law, education, entertainment, or literature. I blog regularly and I welcome relevant discussions about my topic. I have a constant thirst for knowledge.

So? Did they get it right? Comments, everyone, comments please!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Birthday Boy

Today is My Birthday. It's also National Day in Bhutan. Republic Day in Niger. In 1903, the First Flight took place -thanks Wilber and Orville! In 1777, France offically recognized the Unites States of America. In 1991, Boris Yeltsin declared the Soviet Union would ceast to exist after New Years. In 1843, Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol" was published. My day wasn't that historic. But, it was good enough for me.

Nancy made me whole wheat pancakes for breakfast. A departure from our normal Sunday morning french toast. Not sure why I chose that, but I did. We clean up, rested a bit -Nancy's still a bit under the weather, and got read to go to the dog park. We spent about an hour there. Kibbles and Bits was there for a promotion, and Ginny was up for a shot:

Abby got a shot with Nancy, and Chili just couldn't stay still enough. The photos were for their "Most kissable Pup" contest. We just wanted the free stuff. Thanks Kibbles and Bits.

After that, my friend, Doug Spratt, dropped his sick Mac PowerBook G4 off. It's a nice Titanium version; 1.1 GHz, I believe. Working on this show's me why I like Open Source software better than proprietary products. Mac OS X and Linux are similar, but a lot of OS X is closed source. With a bit more education, I could learn about more about the OS X system. It has the FreeBSD as it's base, Darwin as a shell, and Aqua as the GUI. It's secure, but it can be difficult when things don't work. I want to learn about fixing Mac and Apple products in the future, but the training on that cost major $$. That will be post graduate training for me.

Nancy took me to dinner tonight at Seasons 52. It's the Winter Menu, and I had the Sesame Crusted Tuna. She had the Pork Medalions. Seasons 52 is probably one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. I've never had a bad meal there. No, there's not a CoachDANNY affiliate, just a really good restaurant. When she feels better, we'll go the Universal/Islands of Adventure this week.

Back to the Mac: Parts of the PowerBooks' hardware isn't working right; the Airport, Ethernet, CD/DVD, even the USB ports are being picky. At first, we couldn't even get to the desktop. After a bit of nasty hacking (interpetation - Unix commands), I was able to get the desktop up. Not very well, but well enough to reinstall the system, without losing any data. After a bit more hacking, I got one of the USB ports to work, and I'm transfering all the old data on it. I'm going to reinstall the system, as brand new. I'll report on that tomorrow.

This experience reiterates what I've done for awhile, and have said on this blog before: Backup whatever you don't want to lose! The computer isn't perfect -Windows, Linux, or Mac- and the users are even worse. Things happen; hardware breaks, software quakes, and data goes bye-bye.

Ask yourself this question: If a flood, fire, or other disaster happen, and you lost EVERYTHING, could you still get your data?? I can!

There are files I could lose, and shrug them off. No biggy. My music files, podcasts, and other files I could get again if I wanted, with some time. But my audiobooks, ebooks, personal documents, and especially my pictures are backed up in three places:
  1. External Hard drive: With the size of the small USB thumbdrives -4 GB at the moment, and getting bigger every three months, this is an option for current important data. Otherwise, a bigger -200 GB or more- drive is recommended.
  2. CD/DVD's - A copy of things you want most, especially the pics, should be available. Also, keep a copy of the same disk at someone else home or office. You can get them quickly if needed.
  3. Upload to or The basic accounts are free. If you need more, buy extra storage and upload limits. If you have a Yahoo ID, you have a Yahoo briefcase -about 30 Mg of storage. Keep you more current important items there.
Keeping everything on the computers' hard drive is simply waiting for disaster to strike. And, it will. Eventually. It always does.

The more I work on computers, the more my decision to use Ubuntu Linux as my main OS is confirmed. I like Macs. I really do. I like Mac OS X. For awhile, I'd go back and forth between wanting a Mac and a System76 laptop. Unless they go belly up, System76 it is!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cool Things

This is my birthday weekend. Tomorrow, the 17th of December, I'll be 43. I don't mind telling my age. I don't like feeling it. Physically, this hasn't been a great year. Not near as bad as some people, but not my best. Some of it was out of my control -as far as I knew- and some of it was in my control. My focus this year has been on career change and educational progress, not physical. I learned a lesson this year; no matter what, the physical must never suffer lack of focus. So, next year, I've set a goal. My friend, Josh Miller, encouraged me to do so. Here it what I've got to accomplish:

This is called a "Press to Handstand". Or, "Handstand Press". When I was competative, we called it a "Press-hand". I was able to do this easily in my youth. This is my goal this year. When I accomplish it, you'll see the video, right here!

I didn't study much. A little, but I needed a mental break. I want the certification, but bits and bytes were tossing my head about. That, and it's my birthday weekend. I'll take any excuse for being a slackard. My version of being a slackard: Searching the Ubuntu forums to figure out how to make my equipment do what I want. I call this, "Progressive slaxation". It may not be productive at this very moment, but I'm willing to bet it's going to get me way ahead in the future. Ubuntu is going to be the next Red Hat of the Linux OS world, and probably a major player in the developing nations, leading Microsoft to rethink their business model. Meanwhile, folks like Mark Shuttleworth will be way ahead, with businesses like Canonical, System76, and various other offshoots. I think when Red Hat did the Fedora Core thing, they make a good decision, but may have made too many mistakes in doing so. (Linux specific techy warning!): Fedora Core's legacy project has faultered -if you want to call it that. The Fedora Core organization has had some difficulties, and Red Hat hasn't jumped in to fix it. Possible, Red Hat should have kept their desktop OS free, and not split off Fedora Core as their free version. Ubuntu is giving away the software, and selling support. And, anyone can create their own support company.

Okay, time for a commercial break. I contacted System76 earlier today, and they don't have an affiliate program yet. Middle of next year, they told me. No worrys. I'll still advertise for them. From what I hear, it's THAT good of a product!
The Gazelle Value series, starting at $799
Now, I don't get any money if you click on the Sytem76 links. Eventually, when I have an affiliation with them I will, but not just yet. Still, I think it's worth it to promote them. Worth it, to you! I seriously doubt you'll bother, for now. In the future, I think people will install and use Linux, especially Ubuntu, by the thousands. The momentum is already started.

Tonight, Nancy and I went over to her mothers to put together her new workout chair; The Resistance Chair Exercise System by Continuing Fitness. I'd seen this thing on TV, and thought it might be a good idea for her. Nancy and I ordered it online, and her mother recieved it in only a few days. As I put it together, and watched the DVD's that came with, I was extremely impressed. For older adults, this is an incredible product.

We also got her mother the short-stroke exercise bike attachment.

Just like the System76 computer, I don't get any commissions if you purchase this product. No matter. I'll get commissions pretty soon -I applied for affiliation. But, the product is that good. I highly recommend it. If you have an older adult relative, especially someone who's become slightly feeble, this would be an excellent choice for them. Check out the website, and email me for more information.

Other than that, not much else has gone on today. Here's Nancy and I at Amy's wedding rehearsal dinner:

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back to Marketing

Well, I've decided I'm going to try the old affiliate program thing again. I'm going to do more ad's here again. See if I can actually get this blog to bring in some income. If I don't, no biggy. If I do; BONUS! I'm going to put ads for specific things, mostly. I might do a few general ads here and there, but mostly specific items I use, or would use if I had the money.

I have this theory that the key price for most people to buy things is $150. Once prices for electronic gizmo's drop to that price and lower, the buying really happens. I could be wrong, at that just be my price. Anyway, I've applied to be an affiliate for some very specific things, and I think you'll understand when you see. I'm also going to try to make them somewhat entertaining. Other than the Google Adwords (below the archive to the right. Click on one, if you would. Please?), The ads will be part of the blog. At the very least, I'll try not to make it too boring.

I know this is a departure from my over-consumer attitude, but I think you'll see that it won't become a freakin marketplace. I'm not going to try to sell you everything under the sun. It's kind of like Clark Howard's advice on investing; "buy stocks in companies that you use their products or services". I don't know how accurate that actual turns out to be in the financial investment strategies, but it makes sense to me. Most of the items you see will be things I would have written about anyway, but this way, if you click on the link, and especially if you purchase something, I might actually make some money.

You might decide to find the item yourself, or search for a better price. Or maybe find it on Ebay. By all mean; do so! If you see something, and say, "Okay, that's looks pretty interesting," then my job is done. If you choose to buy through my link, I'll benefit. If you choose to purchase the item somewhere else, then you'll benefit. I've got no problem with that.

So, for my return to ads:

Cingular Wireless, LLC

I use Cingular for my service. Why? Rollover minutes! I've got WAY too many now. Probably around 10,000 extra minutes. It would take me a month of talking to catch up. I picked the above ad because I think that was the phone in the new James Bond movie. Not that I'd want that one, but it looked cool in the movie. I'm sure Q-Branch modded the phone for 007.

Now, to keep things even, and somewhat fair, here's something you can very much use, and it's free:

Portable Apps are applications you can load onto a USB Jumpdrive (thumbdrive, portable drive, whatever you want to call them). There's even a suite of apps. I use the OpenOffice portable app often, and the GAIM portable app too. I use OpenOffice much more than Microsoft Office, so having the portable application for it really helps. So, for something for free, and really productive, click on the link, download the suite or specific app you want, and enjoy. I highly recommend the portable antivirus, ClamWin.

In Other News:
We took Chili to the vet today, for a checkup on a urinary tract infection. The infection had cleared, as we expected. Chili, however, wasn't pleased with the method of getting her temperature, and let us all know with an abundant fecal sample. I think that dog can turn stink up a notch at-will (poor will....everyone fires at him). Nancy and I decided to wait outside for the results. The doctor even decide to finish the lab exam outside.

I've spent most of the days going over practice A+ Hardware certification practice exams. When I can consistently score above a passing grade, I'll go take the test. Hopefully, that will happen after Christmas.

One last recommendation: Go to the Ghost Relations Deptarment Blog:
I thought I was a Haunted Mansion freak! I'm not worthy to be this guy's apprentice!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog Inspired

I like the changes to my blog. They inspire me to blog more. I even like the new flickr doohicky. I used an html version, instead of a flash version. It's static, but it load much quicker.

My laptop's battery is doing better with the power changes. I can get twenty to thirty minutes now. 1 GHz works well enough. Anything lower doesn't make the battery life better. I used the instructions in from the Ubuntu documentation website. If you decided to put Ubuntu on your laptop, you'll want to follow those instructions to get as much battery life as you can.

In Other News
Money is tight this holiday season for me. Okay, money has been tight EVERY holiday season for me. One of the issues of being a personal trainer. Many professions experience this during the holidays; doctors, lawyers, accountants. It's the bain of self-employment. For a few years, I did something that helped me though the season. I save my pocket change up all year, and used that for presents. I got the idea from Clark Howard, on his consumer advocate talk show. It worked. The problem this year is that I didn't spend enough money to make it work. I didn't spend enough because I didn't make enough. I didn't make enough because I'm in school. Hopefully, in another year, I'll be able to spend enough to get some pocket change for Christmas. Then, I too can participate in our over-consumer economy, and the over commercialized tragedy everyone knows as Christmas. Christmas has become so very un-Christian. I think Jesus would be pissed. No. He'd be forgiving.

Since I've figured a way to load pictures directly from my PocketPC's sd card, I'll be able to get more pics to flicker soon. I'll start taking more pics. Happy Day! You'll see more of my face plastered around here.

Nancy's cold isn't too bad this year. She called it her, "Bi-annual cold." Is she being insensitive toward the sexual practices of viruses. Viri (whatever multiple virus are called). Maybe, someone will come along and represent the virus, and sue her. It could happen.

I'm wondering how many blogs people read. I read about a dozen a day. I listen to about ten podcasts a week, usually on the way to school or back, and one or two videocasts a week. Being that I'm a techy, and interested in the social aspect of the internet, my actions are expected. But what about people who aren't Web 2.0 active? What about just regular surfers? Do you read Dvorak Uncensored? How about any of your friends blogs, or interesting blogs you've run across? Do you read any famous persons blog, like Neil Gaiman or Cory Doctorow? Maybe someone like Mark Shuttleworth? Or do you read just your friends blogs? I wish more of my friends would do blogs. It's a great way to stay in contact. At the very least, use the frigging blog entry on your myspace page (no matter how ugly the site is, or how slow your music choice causes it to load!)

Blog Changes

As you can see, I've made some changes to my blog page. Blogger gave me the option of updating my page. I looked through the color choices, and decided I liked the old colors I had a year ago, so I returned to those. It also give you more control over your page. I like that too. Especially the links. The only thing I don't like is that I lost my flickr link. Not a big deal actually. That little link thingy caused the page to load slower on some people computer. If you click on most of the pictures posted in my blog, you'll be able to get to my flickr page that way. Otherwise, I'll just set up another link. I'd rather have the page load quick. I'm sure you would too. Slow loading pages get ignored, and fewer return hits.

I'd considered changing to my own blog, with different software, on my own server (the one I'll eventually get up, when we move). But, I found out Neil Gaiman uses blogger for his blog, and he as a lot of push on them about changes. I figure if it's good enough for Neil....

I finished my last final today. Got an A in both classes: A+ Software and Networking. I'm going to take the A+ Hardware certification test soon, hopefully right after Christmas. If I can get the A+ and Network+ certifications, I can get an entry level tech job, and fix some $$ issues.

I also returned the the urologist today. Drew blood for PSA test. I'll find out the result in 7-10 days. Working days, I'm sure.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Sometimes, this is how I feel about my understanding of networking.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grinch 2.0

In the fitness business, income tends to drop around the holidays. That tends to make one view Christmas as an over-commercialized holiday. Nancy refers to me as "Her Grinch". With things being a bit tight this Christmas, getting the house ready for sale, she's beginning to understand the perspective I've had on this holiday for twenty years. Okay, it's been longer; probably thirty.

Anyway, she helped me out a bit. A good Grinch needs a good Max. My Max is Chilidog. Looks really close don't she?

More Power

After getting the Power Scaling on my laptop to work, the settings wouldn't stay once I restarted the system. Now, after a bit of tweaking, the settings stay. BONUS! Right now, I'm on battery power, with the CPU set at 1.05 GHz. So far, I've been running for 12 minutes, and the little battery icon says I have 18 mintues left. We'll see how long it goes. My lap is getting warm, but it's chilli here tonight, so I'm not complaining too much. The fan is keeping the CPU cool, but there's no fan on the memory, and it's getting very warm. Isn't that just perfect for a geek? Snuggle up with a warm computer on a cold night.

I'm going to test the battery power on each setting. I'm guessing it won't be a whole lot, maybe 5-10 minutes difference between each. Right now, there's not too much difference in speed between 1.05 and 2.8 GHz. I'm not doing any picture editing or watching any videos, so the CPU speed isn't much difference.

At this point, I'm wondering if a faster hard drive and new battery would be cheaper than a nice spiffy new computer (that I can't really afford anyway).

Nine minutes left.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nancy the Geek

I've almost Geekified Nancy. Take a look at her desk:
She has a Mac iBook G4 (the 'old' PowerPC kind), a 17" LCD Monitor with speakers and a USB hub, a rebuilt Compaq with Ubuntu Linux -Dapper Drake 6.06 LTS- on it, a Linksys Wireless Router with various antenna boosting going on, and I'm taking the picture with her digital camera. And, she has a USB Jumpdrive, and an external Hard Drive.

What probably makes her Geek is non of these things by themselves (unless you count the Ubuntu Linux computer), but all of them together. I've actually caught her using both the Laptop and the Desktop at the same time. She'll ask me to help her do something, and I'll ask, "What happen when you tried it?" She'll reply, "I didn't try yet." I get her to try it first, and 95% of the time, she can do it just fine. Most of the time she can't, it's either an equipment or software problem, and not her fault. She'll get impatient, just like everyone, but she can use all the above just fine. What I think really makes her geek? She refuses to use Windows!

She'll listen to my Geek/Techie podcasts with me, but not with great enthusiasm. She'll listen up if I play a writing podcast. Or a dog podcast. I think once I get her knowing how to use iTunes to get her favorite subjects, she'll listen when I'm not around. Not yet, but eventually.

She's more of the IT user, and I'm the household CIO (Chief Information Officer). I gather the equipment, set it up, implement it, and she uses it. Hey, I just realized: I'm a CIO!

We're taking over the world, one by one. Just like vampires.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


We did the DogPark thing again today. Elias held another open house for us, and we have to get the pups out, so we take them there. Two and a half hours! They wore themselves out. Nappy dogs.

The Laptop fix didn't stick. It seems to disappear when the laptop goes off. I can reinstall all the instructions, but I'm missing the instruction to make them start at boot-up. I'll work on it after my finals.

I have figured out how to transfer files to and from my iPAQ PocketPC, without using Windows. Just like using a camera, I simply transfer what's stored on the SD card. Weird that it was that easy. I'm not to worryed about syncing it with my Ubuntu computers. I mostly use Yahoo Calendar for my schedule, email, and contacts. I can access it from my cellphone. I big plus. That way, I don't have to depend on MS Outlook.

During the semester break, I'm going to figure out how to properly network my own computers. Now that I've posted it on my blog, I have to make it happen.

Workouts have been going well. I'm getting stronger again, and some muscular endurance back.

Checkout Nancy's Blog, and see what entertaining things she has to say.
I'm jealous; she has more hits and visitors than me now. But, she's earned it.


I may have fixed an issue with my laptop, as best it can be fixed. Laptops do something called Frequency Scaling, or Underclocking. That's where when you're not plugged in, the CPU uses less power by being slower. I have a 2.8 GHz CPU in my laptop, but it's suppose to run slower when on battery. On Ubuntu, I was having some difficulties getting this to work. I finally got it working. I can 'throttle down' my CPU, as low as 349 Mhz. As the battery gets lower, I can make it go slower. Right now, I have it set at 699 MHz. Before, my battery lasted on a few minutes before it was depleted all the way down. As of this sentence, I've been running about 15 minutes, and it says I have 13 more minutes. I can also lower the brightness of the screen to eek out a bit more battery life. So, I've got that working, and it's seems to be helping. A lot.

This is an old battery I have on this laptop, so getting a new one would help me get more than an hour. But, they're almost $200. I'd rather save up and get a System76 Laptop, that can go for 4 hours. The more powerful ones can go to three hours. This computer never did that good new. But, for now, I have my portability back. As best it can be.

I keep trying to come up with ways to make this laptop work better. Getting a new battery and a faster hard drive would help, but now they're not really needed. My goals are now to keep what equipment I have working as long as possible. Hopefully, it will be 3-4 years before I really need a new laptop. Keeping my goals in line with the Free Geek ideals, I'll be able to keep most of my equipment working longer than people could imagine.

Speaking of Free Geek; that's moving forward. My professor is in discussions to see what we can do through Valencia Community College to make it happen. It would make it a lot easier with their help. And, grant money might be available. Cross your fingers. The Free Geek thing is important to me.

Well, my battery made it for 30 minutes. Much better than the 5 minutes it was doing before. I'd had the CPU set for 1.05 GHz for the first 15 minutes, with the monitor at full brightness. I think I could make the battery last longer by dropping it down right away. I'll try that tomorrow. It's late right now.

Friday, December 01, 2006


So I have this Network project. I have to prepare a presentation of what it would take to network 25 computers, with a server, a switch, and anything else necessary. There are other necessaries, of course.

I've learned about the OSI model, packet data, cabling, 802 standards, IEEE standards, and much more. I still can't properly network my own computers at home!! I know this is the first level class, and there's another after this, but I feel like the little a child from an improvished country that just been handed a set of Star Wars lego. I'm mostly clueless.

In the last few days, in an act of utter desperation, I've downloaded about 25 different books on Networking. The first one I looked at, Networking for Dummies, is better than our text book. I wish I'd done this at the beginning of the semester. I'm reading it as much as possible. Some of the other ones too, but the Dummies book first. I learn more when I attack things from multiple angles. If only there were some good videos on networking.

Okay, found them here!
No, I don't expect you to rush to that website. I linked it mostly for my benefit.

I'll get the project done. I'll probably get a good enough grade. But, I'd like to feel like I have a clue of what I'm doing.

In Other News
Lately, there hasn't been much other news. Just school. This is a good thing, I hope. Nancy and I do our daily routines; I train clients in the mornings, she walks the dogs. I go to school, then come home and eat lunch, then stick my nose in the Ebooks. Websites. Hey, it's what I'm in school for. All these years of playing, I was actually LEARNING!

I'm really excited about getting a FreeGeek 'franchise' going here in Central Florida. My professor is excited about it too, which has me double charged. Like double caffinee coffee with a red bull.