Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Procrastinating Methods

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Last night instead of studying for my cisco final exam, I found myself doing a variety of things to procrastine. I’ve compiled them into a list, just in case anyone needs any help procrastinating!

-Browse online forums, and catch up on the latest threads

-Read your RSS feeds

-Organize your hard drive and delete old files

-Defragment your hard drives (yes, all of them!)

-Burn old files to DVD/CDs

-Watch downloaded TV

-Discuss random things on irc

-Download more music!

-Organize your music library

-Digg

-Draw wierd pictures using the handwriting tool in MSN Messenger, and then send them to your friends

-Do cheap design/coding work for people on forums

-Cook something to eat

Hope this helps do stuff when you should be doing more important things! Although I doubt most people have trouble procrastinating by themselves.

Windows Vista

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Since my school is a member of the MSDN Academic Alliance, I get access to a lot of Microsoft Software (legitimately, of course). The most recent addition (other then Microsoft Visio 2007, replacing the 2003 version), is the Microsoft Vista Business Edition. I installed it on a spare hard drive on my school and was impressed with the feel of the new operating system. However, the support for drivers is not quite there yet. A few friends of mine have installed Vista, and I’ve heard various complaints from them, and other online sources about driver issues. This can’t be Microsoft’s fault, a lot of the responsibility must lie with the manufacturer of the hardware. However, Windows XP did come with many drivers for different hardware, so why doesn’t Vista come with updated drivers? Again, I image the hardware companies have to catch release drivers for all the hardware they make.
From the various blogs that I read, I see that some people detest Vista, while some people are looking forward to it being released to the retail market. Personally, I like the look of the operating system, and some of the changes they have made, but I will be waiting until later this year before upgrading from Windows XP to Vista. Of course, I will be formatting my Windows XP partition and then installing Vista on the empty partition.

One of the things I like about vista is the new folder structure. In a default XP installation, the user accounts were located atC:\Documents and Settings. However, in Vista the user accounts are located at C:\Users. Instead of having the ‘My Documents’ folder with ‘My Pictures’ and ‘My Music’ and such folders inside, those folders are all at the same level. That is such a small change, but I like it! There are a ton of other features in Vista, take a look at the Wikipedia entry.

New Monitor

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I recently added another new monitor to my setup. My friend recently sold his desktop computer and bought an Asus G1 (Nice gaming laptop!), so he was selling his 20″ widescreen LCD. I bought it from him for a reasonable price, and I’ve uploaded pictures of my desk, here and here. The monitor is a Benq FP202W.
I managed to find a software package called UltraMon, which has many features for dual-screen monitors. The one that I am using it for primarily, is to stretch one wallpaper over both of my monitors. I downloaded a bunch of wallpapers off of deviantArt, and have configured UltraMon. It’s working great!

I rarely, if ever, install custom screensavers. However, I did find a couple that looked cool, and did not contain spyware!. I can’t remember what they are called though, but they can span over both monitors, which I told them to.

In a post a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to install FreeNAS on my spare computer, and use it as a backup/media server. I have not done this yet, I have been preoccupied with School and work. I’ve been thinking about installing FreeNAS to play around with for a few days, and then eventually install CentOS 4.4 and use it as a sandbox server for updates, etc (as well as backup/media server) that I do not want to deploy on the dedicated server.

Downtime and Server Status

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

This website has been up and down for the past couple of weeks, and therefore I have not posted any updates. I’m still in the process of moving from a shared host to a dedicated server.

I did have the server up and running for awhile, on Plesk. I had my proxy sites setup, and they were bringing in money slowly. I moved them to my shared host while I had the server formatted with Cpanel/WHM instead of Plesk. My shared host suspended the account after a few days because of the high CPU usage by the scripts. I can’t blame them, but now I have had no daily revenue for almost two weeks.

What did surprise me however, is that I still received 10-15 pageviews on a few of the days that the proxy sites were down. I even received a couple of ad clicks, which is strange. I wonder if it was cached somewhere, and people were somehow using the cached version.

I thought I screwed up the DNS on the new server, however after waiting 4-5 days I found out that there the firewall was blocking the DNS (53), Cpanel (2082), and the Cpanel https (2083) ports. I hope that was the problem!

It’s the weekend!

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Well, it’s friday night, and I’m glad. Time to relax, hang out with friends, and work on some of my websites.

I’ve updated the theme, what do you think? I like it. I’ve also updated the links on the right side of this page a bit, added some and removed some old ones. If you see your link there, feel free to link back!
I have a computer downstairs that I’ve been letting my younger sister use for school, msn, and web browsing for about 8-10 months. I stopped using my old laptop for school, and now she is using the laptop from time to time in our living room. It is plugged in near the couches. Last night I was lying down on the couch, transferring some files off the computer onto my desktop. I will be formatting the computer and using it as a ’sandbox’ server, as well as a fileserver. It has 2 Athlon 2000+ MP CPUs, 512MB Ram (ECC), 250GB hard drive. Each CPU has a large fan, and they make quite a bit of noise.

I plan on installing FreeNAS and using it as a file/ftp/backup server, most of the time. I am planning on formatting the 250GB hard drive as using the FAT32 filesystem, so most operating systems can use it/write to it. I will throw an old hard drive (3-5GB) into the computer to use for the FreeNAS system, as the operating system itself requires only 32MB of space.
I have another 40GB hard drive sitting here, I might use that with an external case I have, or I could use it to install other operating systems to play with. I will be getting a free copy of Windows Vista (not ultimate edition though -_-) through th MSDN Academic Alliance program, through my school.

What kind of a computer/media setup do you have at home?

First Post of 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

I haven’t made any posts lately, but I’ve had a lot going on. This is going to be a long post, so here are the main topics in bullet form.

-Grandpa
-Xbox
-Sites Launched
-Cell Phone
-Flickr Limits

Grandpa

A few weeks ago, my mom’s dad was driving during the middle of the night. He fell asleep at the wheel, and drove into the oncoming lane and hit a semi-trailer head on. He survived, and was put into ICU in Kelowna. He has a broken hip, a few broken ribs, and some other stuff.

Xbox

The week after Christmas I was bored so I worked on my softmodded xbox a bit. To start I changed the default dashboard from evolutionX to Xbox Media Center, and uploaded a custom XBMC skin. I installed SNES and N64 emulators and some old roms including Super Mario World, Zelda: A link to the past, and Goldeneye 007. I also streamed some movies, music videos and music to my xbox using Windows Samba shares on my desktop.

Sites launched

One of my sites that I will abbrieviate simply by ‘GPTF’, has launched. I had a lot of problems with the template, but I finally compromised and got it working. The website is running CGIproxy, and I will market it on via Myspace as soon as I get hotlink protection setup in the script.

I’ve also launched three other proxy websites that I did not design, I used templates that I found online. I haven’t promoted these proxies much yet, also I may soon. They all have a custom hotlink protection script installed, so I don’t get people using my server without looking at my advertisements.

I’m getting an average of 1,000 to 2,000 hits a day on my sites, so now that I have some traffic, I need to improve my click through rate. I now have six proxy sites running, but I would like to develop some other websites so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket’.

I am currently earning between $1-3 a day with Google Adsense, although I’ve had a few $5 days.

The server that I ordered has been setup and I have transferred some of my websites over, and I will be cancelling my Hostgator account soon and transferring the rest of my domains over.

Cell phone

I was planning on purchasing a new cell phone on boxing day, however I’ve now decided that I will wait until after March 14, 2007 before switching. On that date, the mobile carriers will be required to provide wireless number portability to their customers. That means I can take my current phone number with me to another carrier when I switch. I currently use Fido as my mobile carrier, but I want to switch to a Virgin Mobile prepaid plan.

I also want to get a SkypeIn number, but they don’t have any in Canada. As soon as they get numbers in Canada, I will subcribe to both their SkypeIn and SkypeOut services. For now I am content with calling friends over Skype, PC to PC.

Flickr limits

Recently while I was uploading pictures to my flickr account, I was greeted with this notice. For now I do not think I will change to a different service, or upgrade to a pro account. I will probably upgrade to a pro account in the future, once I start taking a lot more pictures. I only upload certain pictures to my account, anyway.

Have a great year!

New LCD Monitor

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I just finished setting up my new Phillips 17″ LCD monitor to replace my 17″ CRT monitor. The CRT monitor took up over a third of my desktop, the LCD takes up barely any space at all. I was thinking about getting a 22″ Acer LCD but I decided not to, as the money could be better spent paying off my credit card debt.
I connected my UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to my computer and monitor, so if the power goes out I have “up to” 32 minutes of battery backup. I haven’t been using my UPS for a month or two since the carpet in my house had been replaced and I had not bothered to plug it in. Next time the power goes out, I am hoping to achieve 30 minutes of battery life from the UPS. Previously I had only had 3-5 minutes. I’ve read that this is because the CRT sucks so much power, so hopefully using an LCD will fix this annoyance.

I visited the eye doctor today, he is really nice. He said that I should get glasses to use when I using a computer, and reading textbooks, etc. He also offered to let me email myself a picture of the nerve endings in my right eye. I got it on my flash drive instead, I may post that here or not, I doubt you want to see them.

I recently updated the theme I am using on this website, but I still have to tweak it a bit. I am searching for a better header image, and I will be uploading a picture of myself to put in the top right.

K-Lite ends media format madness

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

K-Lite ends media format madness by ZDNet’s George Ou — Are you sick and tired of all the types of media formats that you come across on the Internet that never seem to play right? Are you sick of downloading the various media players from Apple, Real, DivX, XviD and so on but still not be able to handle every format you come across and all the various versions of each format? Media format madness is enough to drive a computer user insane but if you’re looking for a way out, K-Lite is the tool for you!

Suprnova.org is BACK!

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Well, it is, but under another name. A friend of sloncek, the admin of SuprNova, has opened a website based on the old optimized site code. The new website is NewNova.org, and has no affiliation to SuprNova.org.

I find this interesting. Back in the day when I first started using Bittorrent, SuprNova was my prime source for all things. I knew of a few other torrent websites but they did not compare. Then SuprNova went down because of lawsuits, and a ton of new bittorrent websites popped up. One of my favorite websites, lokitorrent.com, eventually got shut down because of lawsuits I believe as well. After that, I looked around and there were literally hundreds of bittorrent sites. Recently there have been a ton of invite-only websites, invites given out similar to the way that Gmail’s invite system works. Can anyone remember something similar happening a few years ago, possibly a lawsuit against Napster? That spawned the outbreak of many new P2P clients, such as Kazaa, Limewire, WinMX, and others.

I predict that as they keep cracking down on Bittorrent sites, that more and more will keep coming. They may have defeated some more P2P networks, but there are many still operating. I do not even use networks such as Limewire that much anymore, as I can download the full cd via Bittorrent.

The movie industry is going to have to create something similar to Itunes, but for movies, before we see any decrease in movie pirating. They can create all the copy protection they want, but there will always be someone there to bypass it.

I am a member of SuperTorrents, and OiNK. Oink is a great source for music, and supertorrents is where I get a lot of recent miscellaneous movies, music, and other files. I tried to get an account at Demonoid, but I could not successfully login, so I gave up. Of course all of the music and movies that I download have been released under the Creative Commons license.

Google Rocks

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Yay, another post.

Well, I just noticed that my Gmail invites are at 100, instead of 50. I think this just changed recently, but I could be wrong. Also, they have more then 2.5 gigs of space. I think I should get a few friends of mine together and have us all upload songs to a Gmail account, and it would make it easier to share good songs in between semi-large groups of people. (I in no way condone pirating music, the songs I am speaking of have been released under the Creative Commons act. *wink*)

I just installed Google Desktop on my computer, and when I went to google to search for a plugin, I noticed that I can now search my desktop from my browser. That is pretty cool, but also a little wierd/scary. Wow, I just searched for a word, and it’s showing me all my msn logs, and stuff. Pretty cool.

There is also a sidebar feature, which takes up a lot of room in my opinion on the screen, but it has tons of features. There is a Photo section that shows you files on your computer, it has Google Talk built into it. There is a notepad feature, News, Web Clips, list of recently opened files and viewed webpages. Also there is weather and of course, a place to type in search queries. Click here for a screenshot. Once I remove a bunch of the functions such as weather, news, etc, I will consider using this regularily. I will have to start using the Google Desktop more though, because im still amazed. :) I’m sure a nerd.