Sunday, March 2, 2008

From The Desk of the Jeremy Crow R&D Department - Volume 5

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The mess that is my computer, and worse yet all of the computers laying around here that others deposit when they are done with them. This includes everyone actually from my kids, to my uncle, to my mother, and some weekends need to be dedicated to cleaning it all up. I am after all a packrat to the last degree, and get miserable over having to part with something that may be useful at a later time. Years down the road I realize that most things to do with a computer never become “useful” again. I do learn things through all of this though and try to share my observations with those that might be about to waste all of their time wasting time like I do. This weekend was dedicated to making the pile of computer parts into something useful or simply throwing them all away. Here are the things that I learned through this with a few extra things thrown in for fun.

I started the weekend with my computer {AMD Dual 64, 4 gigs Ram, 2 internal 320 gig Hard Disks, 2 external 320 gig Hard Disks [for music], 2 external 500 gig Hard Disks [for porn], 1 external 120 gig Hard Disk [for graphics], 1 external 500 gig Hard Disk [for centralized back up], and two 19 inch flat panel monitors, Windows Vista Ultimate}, my laptop {Intel Centrino Dual, 2 gigs Ram, 60 gig Hard Disk, Windows Vista Home}, a laptop that my mother left here {unimportant}, a laptop that my uncle left here {unimportant}, my old IBM ThinkPad {Pentium 3, 192 meg Ram, 12 gig Hard Disk, Windows 2000 Professional}, my old computer {Pentium 3, 1 gig Ram, 2 internal 80 gig Hard Disks, 17 inch CRT monitor, Windows XP Professional}, and a desire to make them all usable. We should throw in the computers that I made for the kids, but in different rooms to this mix. Oldest has a laptop {AMD Athlon, 1.5 gigs Ram, 80 gig Hard Disk, Windows Vista Home}, middle has a computer {Intel Celeron, 512 meg Ram, 80 gig Hard Disk, 17 inch widescreen flat panel monitor, Windows XP Media Center}, youngest a computer {Intel Celeron, 512 meg Ram, 80 gig Hard Disk, 15 inch flat panel monitor, Windows XP Professional}, grandmother has a computer {Intel Celeron, 1 gig Ram, 80 gig Hard Disk, 17 inch flat panel monitor, Windows XP Professional}, and my aunt has a computer {Old Dell piece of Dell, unimportant}. All of these computers except for my big boy are connected to a Linksys Wireless N Router, but all are using the G Band.

The long and the short of the computer upgrades took a lot longer to do then to explain, but here is the meat of it all. Uncle’s laptop {the oldest slowest by far} received an OS transplant. I installed Windows 2000 on it and it seems to work ok. It has no integrated networking, and its 32 meg of RAM makes it doomed to be in a dumpster, but for now it takes up little space in the closet. You never know when you will need something small. My mother’s computer was total junk so I went through it to see what could be salvaged and see that she already had. What a bitch. Onward to the old ThinkPad, I gave it an OS transplant to see how much longer it has. It took Windows XP Professional and is now siphoning in all of the 103 updates that it needs. It will probably sit in the closet, but has a few years left to it. The old computer was using slow Ram and old technology {it was still using USB 1.1 even} and received an OS transplant to Suse Linux with a KDE shell {my personal favorite, but kubuntu would have been ok too}, and now is a lean mean terminal for doing writing and graphics. It’s always good to have a Linux terminal around anyway. This did take most of the weekend, but it felt satisfying to get these things off of my plate. What I learned came from all of the multitasking that I did on the side, and my new outlook on some things from it. Bored to tears, I carry you onward.

Now years ago I got a copy of “Port Magic” to help me deal with all of the networking tasks that needed to be done with a few computers. It was free with AOL which is what I was using because it was safer with the kids on the computer. In time, I got rid of AOL as it is inefficient, but I purchased “Network Magic” which as what “Port Magic” changed itself into, {Mental Note – Most of my Tech Geek friends are going to be outraged with a lot of my revelations coming up here so please apply Duck Tape to your head to keep it from exploding now} and for 30 dollars you can have a trouble free network. I stand behind Network Magic 100 percent, and have always suggested it for anyone with more than 1 computer. During times like these it is indispensible to be able to get old computers hooked up quickly and easily. Another thing that is indispensible is to get all of the computers running together easily, which is where another investment I made {tape the head, seriously} in purchasing a license for Live One Care comes in handy. It actually works the way that Norton has always lied to everyone about. In conjunction with Network Magic, it installs anti-virus, firewall, tune up capabilities, and sets up all of the printers on the network to work together better than any program I have used. The 500 gig Back Up Drive that I had mentioned earlier is also utilized by Live One Care, as it backs up every computer on the network to this single unit, o that every computer’s back up is in one safe and convenient location.

Now make sure that you keep the tape applied to your head as I am going to venture into the world of “Tech Absurdity” that goes beyond my simple admittance that I use Microsoft products willingly rather than searching the internet for all of the freely available programs to do each thing individually. I find now that a lot of the things that I have done might not have been as stupid as I thought immediately afterwards. I originally wanted to purchase extra licenses for One Care so that it would cover more than the 3 computers that it is supposed to and found out that I didn’t need to. It works perfectly fine so far on 7 computers and worked for computer number 8 that I just added. Just like the Network Magic was only supposed to work with 5 and just registered itself on number 8 as well. Now we are getting our money’s worth! I then installed another amazingly useful program that I had purchased along the way called CleanMyPC Registry cleaner. For one computer it is 25 dollars but since I have a house full I had purchased the 60 dollar “Family Pack” which comes with lifetime free upgrades and can be installed on every computer in your house. Those who use Registry Cleaners will be thrilled to know that this one has NEVER ruined my Registry and is very thorough while still staying away from the entries that could prove fatal to the computer.

Now as for the new things that became integrated during the long waiting periods for software to update, I had decided to install the new Microsoft Office {Home and Student} that I had purchased a while back and never had time to install. Now for 149 dollars anyone who isn’t using it for a business can own this. It has a full version of Word, Excel, Power Point, and One Note which everyone should own {keep your head taped Techies!} but I can hear it now from everyone that is allergic to updates. Oh My God, I can’t believe that you would actually install Office 2007! I heard from a friend of a friend that has a friend that their second cousin once removed installed Microsoft Office 2007 and their dick fell off! Well I am here to tell you that my dick is still on and I have a terabyte of porn to use it on, but more importantly like a lot of the updates that people are allergic too there are some things in Microsoft Office 2007 that are an absolute God send, and most people don’t get that far. Without a doubt the most important of all of those I am looking at right now. Simple visual enhancement that makes your text look like it is right out of a book. I can’t explain it much better than that but as I look at the new Word interface it is so amazingly easy on my eyes that I can’t believe that I ever looked at it the other way before. Same monitor, same OS, just a much better way to look at what I am doing, and that is before I go poking around and see what “Power Enhancements” are in this new package, but I am impressed.

I also started searching through my Hard Disks for things, and realized once and for all that everyone lies when it comes to “better” searching. Windows Live Search is abysmal, and that is why everyone and their grandmother is trying to make their own “search” capabilities for your computer. I have downloaded, installed, and removed Google Desktop Search, AOL Search and a myriad of other “specialty” search programs that search for specific things, and they have all sucked. Free Download of the Day had a Freeware Search tool the other day that totally sucked, and didn’t work on Vista {I read the reviews before I install them} and inside the reviews someone had put a link to Copernic. They had said that it was free for non commercial use, and insisted that it was the very best. I went and downloaded it easily enough, and it is amazing! Great interface, searches every single aspect of every file, and catalogues every word, tag etc. It organizes it all into categories, and it looks beautiful, and works better than any of them, or all of them combined.

All in all it was a pretty productive weekend despite the hostage state that I still find myself in, but the best is yet to come for me. I rambled quite a bit today but it all falls under the helm of “operation - change the subject” and I am a bit scared these days. My son jumped on my back today and blew it out completely again. It was stupid that he did it but he was simply over excited over company being here. It was the ending of a week that had forced me to come to the horrible realization that I probably have colon cancer, and I have set up a doctor’s appointment for after I get my father back on the plane to Florida. I don’t even have a bed to go lay on until the pain in my back subsides, and what is worse is the reality that all of my fighting to get past the next tragedy or problem and hopefully get to the other side of them all is becoming a failure. I think that more than anything I am looking at it all wrong as stopped caring. It has all seemed like a fitting end to a life that I can no longer stand in the least. The trick to a good blog is to hide all of the important stuff behind a ton of crap that weeds out the casual reader. ;8o)

Other Crap This Weirdo Publishes... Mental Notes & Random Musings {Daily Blog} The Crow's Nest {The Homepage of J~ Crow}

Nothing that was printed here was intended to offend anyone, and if it did, screw ya, you begged for it. If you believe that there are some measures that can be taken to change me, then please feel free to pray for me, and while you are at it yourself, because you read this far, and if you hated every minute of it, then you are an idiot, not me, or the other people who like what I have to say! .. Jeremy

All writings Copyright © 2008