Thursday, July 31, 2008

AVG by Grisoft on Vista and Side By Side Incorrect Configuration Error

AVG running on Windows Vista gave me an error today. Complained that my side by side configuration was incorrect or something and I had a strange thing happen. I could no longer download files in Mozilla Firefox nor Internet Explorer. I would click on a link, the download would progress but would never place the end file where I saved it to. This was happening in both browsers. I couldn't find data on this exact error, only on how side by side was supposed to provide a new level of software compatibility. Bravo Microsoft.

I found a lot of chatter on google about it, and tried some suggestions, but then started thinking. It's time I try another tool. My solution, uninstall AVG, and install Avast. I like it so far but haven't gotten into it enough to tell how Avast anti virus compares to Grisofts AVG. I've suggested AVG for years, but it looks like I may need to reassess All my security tools. Spybot and Adaware have gotten some negative press lately, perhaps it's time I move on from my favorite trio and consider others. Ive also heard Clam AV is good, but have never installed so can't comment.

I have been using Avast more and more lately and it's an excellent anti-virus app. One thing I love is that when you install it, it will ask about a scan for viruses on the next startup. It does this really early in the boot process, about the point a chkdsk would start. The benefit is, if your computer is already infected with a virus, it will perform it's first scan with no services / viruses running. It also has real time file scanning and a lot of options for scanning. It includes an email scanning function. Has a voice option to speak to you when a potential virus is being accessed. The best part is it seems to be more compatible with Vista. Vista hasn't complained a bit since the install. Really nice App. The home addition of Avast is free antivirus, with free anti virus updates.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Hell Week

Well after a weekend spending hours setting things up, demonstrating how things work, things blew up in my face. Suddenly the application I was demonstrating to a user disappeared from their PC. Then Sunday, spent the entire day (til 7:30 PM) fighting a series of viruses, adware and malware on a house full of 3 PCs, just to have them all drag to their knees. Damn I'm in for the long haul correcting that one.

So I trudged forward on Monday just to have an odd amount of little crap go wrong for me. I know this will be like this for the next few days, as I have been here before. Not sure if it's karma, the sun, the moon or the stars, but life is dumping on me as I blog.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to inherit a great laptop, for free. An IBM ThinkPad (StinkPad), so today I endeavored to install XP and Ubuntu Linux as dual boot. I have a desktop PC at home that tri-boots, vista, xp and ubuntu. The laptop wasn't having it with regards to XP. The CD boots, as soon as it says starting Windows, it turns the whole laptop off. Tried bios settings and other fixes, older XP cds (w & w/o Service packs) to no avail. Then I tried Linux. Linux worked like the champ it is. Even Ultimate Boot CD worked, but not an installation. So forward I went with Linux.

I've used linux on my web servers for years, even accessing with a terminal (putty) and I'm pretty comfortable with working within Linux. My one failing point is hardware and troubleshooting. So today I get a nice taste of some raw Linux via ubuntu. Oddly enough a lot of the documentation begins with, OK now you've got ubuntu installed, lets begin working. Not sure of any other Network Administrators, but whenever I get a fresh install of an OS, the FIRST thing I do, is grab hardware drivers. The laptop has a built in WiFi card. Ubuntu found the sound card, all controllers, the video, I think it even found bluetooth. Not the WiFi card, It's an intel something or other.

The Forums tell me to find wlan-ng, I did, I popped it onto a usb stick, copied to the laptop, untarred, and there sits the driver. How the heck I install them, No Clue. The version of Ubuntu I have is a couple versions behind, so I started grabbing the latest. Perhaps it will have the drivers included, but that does not step me any closer to troubleshooting and installing new hardware. Oh well.

So now I'm checking out all the Open Source apps available, and I am impressed. Ubuntu will be far better than the other MS OS's (Vista or XP). The small setback? No MS Office, no Windows apps really. I will try Wine, to run them, but im not confident, Yet. So here I go, setting the example of Open Source operating systems, and the plethora of applications available. This DEFINITELY includes LAMP (Linux of course, Apache (webServer), MySQL (powerful database engine), PHP (programming language), and Perl (another Programming Language).

I plan to use the laptop as a development platform for rich web applications. I'm kinda glad XP didn't work like it does on thousands of other PCs. Sometimes a weekend from hell, can turn into a shining light at the end of a tunnel.

I will be posting code to my sourceforge project, well commented so that others may learn how to create web apps. I'll also include a list of tools I install from the open source repository, there's so many I want (30gb HD says I won't get em all). So until my next post, remember there is no good or evil, simply the yin and the yang.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

A Proposal on What to do about Copyright, Balance is key.

Copyright and Intellectual Property laws have a chilling effect on content and media creators. Rather than providing incentive for content creation, in the digital age they provide incentives for the destruction of content and rights of citizens, subjecting them to lengthy and financially debilitating lawsuits. Balance is required.

A Proposal for Balance

Monday, July 14, 2008

Revolution OS

Learn how the movement of Open Source gained massive expansion by people who shared their hard efforts with the public domain. Learn why someone would just "give away" their work. A fascinating view of the history of free, Open Source Software from the shoulders of giants.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Not sure what I was looking for but this is what I found

Cool Wallpapers For your PC

Redneck DeLorean

Hope he makes it home

Hey, he called shotgun

Seen Matts Girlfriend ?

Wrong Turn

I tired this, and it was true for me

Dating Sites in the middle east

Aurora Borealis From Space, Northern Lights

Is she supposed to do that


Can You canoe ?

Strange order

Do either of his shirts fit him ?

No thanx, I'll hold it.

Making more than a withdrawl

Animal Rights

Is that really a guy bending over and..... ?

And the crowd Goes Wild while he cries

Why so sad ?

Is that her shirt ?

Waste of a perfectly good Vette, maybe he should pass on the other side

Worlds Prison Populations on a map

At least its something to do

Lego my Dogo

Speech on boredom

Courtroom Drama

Funny Commercial


Visited 3 Sites today, resolved an email issue (which was a user issue). Inspected outlook situation where users were 'transposing' people into other folders. I think its a mistaken drag and drop situation, recommended setting up folders for each user, and securing the rest of the data away from the sales people. Wish they would move to a web based database instead of outlook, yukkk. Oh well it's Friday !!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Long Tail

Just what is the long tail ?
The long tail is that elusive marketing component that says the big money is in letting something ride for a time (like an investment). The big money isn't in Britney Spears, it lies in the long tail of misspelled and uncharacteristic keywords. What's this got to do with a blogger or a community developer ?
Consider Google, they are in the heated battle of their lives. They have all the MPAA and RIAA execs at their door begging them not to go forward. Yet they will. Why?
Consider the mix differential. I can take a video off youtube, that has been designated Public Domain and do with it whatever I like. I can derive it to anything I like. I can mix it with other videos, I can include it in my own, unique production, I can use it for commercial purposes. Most of all, I can use it without fear of retribution. I can use it to make something new, and unique, I can stand on a shoulder of Giants !
Contrast that with something I cannot use, say Britney Spears Music. I can take a video off of youtube and mix it to something new, and re-release it as a new work of my own. You juat cannot do that with closed, copyrighted content.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A little something about you.

If you're a fellow digger, then I owe you a debt of gratitude. You see I am someone who does not appreciate the way Intellectual Property has been contorted by the entertainment industry giants the RIAA and the MPAA. These are the main proponents of stronger Intellectual Property laws as well as the plaintiffs in many cases against their very own customer base. These and others are pushing governments all over the world to adopt a more strict sense of Intellectual Property Laws (like patents, and copyrights) and sadly it seems they are winning. They want to criminalize it, and extend it's broad reach.

And then there is you. By commenting and posting things that you write into dig you expose things to the public domain. Don't believe me ? Read the bottom of diggs pages and you will see that all the hard work is clearly dedicated to the public domain. I understand that If I find an image or a song Through the Digg service, that it does not make the final media public domain, yet having the ranking and comments in the public is certainly nice, and the exposure and viral spreading is priceless.

Knowledge/Information is best shared, it is useless if it is locked up tight for the financial benefit of the few. Consider Thomas Jefferson's position as he was very concerned that these rights would become swords in the courtroom. Jefferson's famous comment....
He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

I read all sorts of articles across the web that pose threats to that very spirit. New laws are being pushed by lobbyists, and entertainment industry shills. These are big money players, using money to directly influence the politicians We elect. The energy and money behind this is staggering, and it is wrong. In a time when distribution costs are at an all time low. In a time when content creation is at an all time high, These individuals are looking to cripple that spirit with THEIR laws. They seek to lock down movies, video clips, audio clips, tv shows, songs, anything they can lock down and charge for licensing. They want to soak every penny they can.
There is an opposite. It is the public domain, and fair use. Whenever something is dedicated, or more importantly "Licensed" in such a way that it guarantees freedom for the consumer. Content is truly free. Imagine a world where we can get free music, free videos, and create off of them, a derivative work that is totally creative and new, and most importantly Legal.

I agree that sometimes content has a value, especially, I agree that their creation Sometimes carries a cost and a length of time to create. I don't push for the abolition of these laws, yet in the face of the strong push for stronger laws, at a time in history where they should be getting more relaxed. I have to fight fire with fire. My real view is that things need protections, but that they should be a little more lax than they are today, and certainly for not as long a term. Consider that snapping a picture with your cell phone, or recording yourself sing in the shower, is protected for the rest of your life plus 70 years or More for your ancestors. How ridiculous is that? Why lock things down so tightly ? Especially when they are so frivolously created. Corporations are milking classic content using these egregious terms and overbearing rights. They are making Billions and crying poor mouth at the same time, using their money to secure the welfare system they have created for themselves. NO ONE should be fooled by them. Their fear uncertainty and doubt is unfounded.

It is in this spirit I would like to make you aware of a tragic opposition to this wonderful way of thinking. I would like to point you to legislation that will further restrict our rights, and make sharing a criminal activity. Legislation that is being foisted upon foreign governments as well as the USA. This treaty will embolden the entertainment industry at the cost of materials in the public domain. It is called the ACTA Treaty. It is not a law rather a treaty (which will of course lead to laws that will follow and prop it up). The perils of this treaty passing include materials and media that are communicated on the internet as well as when we travel. The Supreme Court has already ruled that border patrol agents may search your laptop for media when traveling abroad, and that means US and Foreign Agents who accept the treaty. I don't know about you but I don't need them looking at my private data. Yet in a post 9/11 world, these are the rights that are being taken away by the very people we elect to represent US, er corporations, no US !!

Response to Mark Cubans Blog Post

They (Google) sure aren't hurting for money though, are they? I think their mission is far more noble than the posts I read here. Seems like many here think from the standpoint of what would benefit ME would be..... which seems to be all about MONEY ! so that is one perspective but there is another. That free content is better than locking it up and giving it to one soul/corporation for the rest of their lives. They will make more money off future videos and they know quantity is king there. Standing on the shoulders of Giants if you will. The boat these posts seem to miss is that, over the long term their collection of free content (especially if filtered) will continue feeding itself. People who make vids for the heck of it will continue do so, and they can release them under any license they choose. Releasing to the public domain allows them to be used in other more creative works and it's perpetual from there. People now have a to go to and finds a huge amount of media to incorporate into their own, new, creative works. What happens as google makes pennies off their trillions of videos while others seek a $5 to view? Locking things up for the interests of few was nice while it worked, but we can benefit as a society and perhaps build a far more diverse representation of the human experience if we embrace freedom as well as capitalism. Perhaps watching a video is not a criminal activity because someone tells us so. Perhaps its a matter of respect and given the choice, many will involved in both sides. One thing is sure, with the ability to release my creative works to the public domain, I feel better as a human for sharing without a toll. I prefer to make money providing something with more value, such as a service or a trinket, perhaps a meal or some lodging. Placing a tax on every piece of media under the sun, I have no interest in that at all. Balance will prevail, and I believe ultimately Google (and others in the Open community) will trump the old ways of business I see here.

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The Federal Reserve

This movie will shock many, others will have known it was so all along, and still others will appreciate the impending doom we face if we don't actively do something to take this nation back from our corporate shill politicians. We all know that money is power, let's begin a journey to track that money... I mean power.....

The Money Masters


Went to First General Services, fixed their mail server problem, stale records pointed to a dead mail server on outbound mail service. Corrected and tested fine. Installed flash for sales rep. Headed over to Lamm, upgraded some antivirus apps, Scanned for spyware and automated scans both spyware and virus. Recovered files on web server for public relations firm. Printer was printing random characters due to corrupt usb port, removed port, reinstalled, re mapped workstations. Set up Picasa from google, awesome image application for storing viewing thumbnails and sorting images into albums, then uploading albums to web site. Phone's ringin' off the hook lately, feel like tech support more than network administrator. My government failed me again today. Horrible what these people are doing to this great nation, and specifically AGAINST its constituents. And did I mention I hate Intellectual Property, Copyright and Patent laws in this country ? Wow what a club to beat your opponent with, but I'm gonna hit the sack, I'll rant some other time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Hung out, Hung an LCD TV on the wall, now hanging up for the night.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Nice little article if you want a peak at a USA run by Hussein Obama.


4th of July, no work. R & R day.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Money Masters and the Federal Reserve

I may be way off base here, but I'd love to get the input on this particular video about our monetary system, and the role government has played in our money. Fascinating. Check it out. This is just 1hr of 3.5 hrs.

another day in virus hell

got to work with Act! 10 today the 2008 version, using it to link up to outlook. Also to use the Act! conduit with a pocket PC phone, cool tool. I really like the way you can filter the import of contacts and calendar entries. Also got to fight a spyware problem, seems BlazeFind is a piece of spyware that adaware doesn't clean so cleanly. Had a problem with a registry entry that wasn't pointing to c:\windows\system32\userinit.exe, and yes the comma had to be in the registry entry. Otherwise the system would bring up the login or logon screen and once any user logged in, it would immediately log them out and present the login or logon screen. The ultimate boot CD came in handy again.