Tuesday, April 29, 2008


My wife and I have been watching CARRIER on PBS the last few nights. It is a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high- stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The episodes follow a core group of characters as they navigate their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror. If you can't watch it on PBS you can still catch it online at http://www.pbs.org/weta/carrier/full_episodes.htm

CARRIER Badge 125 x 40 Brown

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Available on Microsoft's Servers

The gHacks blog sniffs out some installation files for Windows XP Service Pack 3 hosted on Microsoft's Windows Update servers, while official notice of the update seems to be running a bit late. You can grab the 32-bit English-language SP3 here, while other languages are available at the gHacks page. I installed the update this morning and all seems to be going well so far.

Stimulus Rebate Payment Schedule

Stimulus Rebate Payment Schedule

Those long-promised tax rebates are now on their way to U.S. taxpayers.

People who chose to have their rebates directly deposited into their bank accounts will see the money there beginning yesterday. The government's paper checks will start going out on May 9, a week earlier than previously announced.

Stimulus Payment Schedule
Direct Deposit
Last 2 SSN Digits Payment Transmission Date
00-20 April 28
21-75 May 9
76-99 May 16
Paper Checks
00-09 May 9
10-18 May 23
19-25 May 30
26-38 June 6
39-51 June 13
52-63 June 20
64-75 June 27
76-87 July 4
88-99 July 11

Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Linux Ubuntu usable enough for non-tech-savvy people yet?

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron)Image by ktostereo via FlickrThe author asks his girlfriend to perform simple tasks using a fresh Ubuntu installation. It's surprising how some of the simple things we assume to be easy are actually hard for someone who's never used Linux. Interesting insight into how ready Linux is for the desktop.

read more | digg story

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coming to PBS Tonight, April 27th - May1st CARRIER filmed aboard the USS Nimitz

USS Nimitz departing North Island, 2 April 2007.Image via WikipediaCARRIER, a 10-part series filmed aboard the USS Nimitz, is a character-driven immersion in the high-stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. The programs follow a core group of film participants, from the admiral of the strike group to the fighter pilots to the youngest sailors, as they navigate personal conflicts around their jobs, families, faith, patriotism, love, the rites of passage and the war on terror. So tonight turn your TV to PBS and take a look at this interesting show.


CARRIER Badge 125 x 40 Blue

I'm still here

Ubuntu (Linux distribution)Image via WikipediaGood morning all. Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I have been a little busy here. We had quite a bit of yard work to do and we finally got that done so we are ready for summer. I still have some painting to do outside the house but will get to that in the next week or so. On Monday I am taking a neighbor to Kansas City for a dental appointment. It's a long drive ( over 100 miles ) and she is having a root canal done.

I have talked to Cindy and John ( my kids in the Navy ) and both are doing well. I can't really post much of what they are doing right now on here for security reasons but things are good.

I did manage to upgrade my Linux computer to the latest operating system version "Ubuntu Hardy Heron". The only problem I had was getting Synergy to work after the upgrade. I fixed that by uninstalling it on the Linux computer and then reinstalling it. Everything works great now.

That's about it for now. Hope everyone has a nice Sunday. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ubuntu 'reaping Linux dividend

Ubuntu (Linux distribution)Image via WikipediaThe public perception of open source is changing fast, says Ubuntu leader Mark Shuttleworth, who leads distribution of the Ubuntu operating system (OS). He described the latest version of Ubuntu, dubbed Hardy Heron, as "perhaps our most significant ever".

A new version of Ubuntu, a version of the Linux OS, is released on Thursday.

Mr Shuttleworth said the success of the Asus Eee PC and the work of the One Laptop Per Child programme had driven awareness of open source.

"There has been a sea change in the way people think of Linux, which is very healthy," he said.

Read the rest of the article here

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Dual Screen Windows Desktop

My Dual Screen Windows Desktop
Click Image for full size version

My current Ubuntu Linux Desktop

My current Ubuntu Linux Desktop
Click Image for full size version
Posted by Picasa

Google released Picasa 2.7 for Linux

Posted by Picasa
Google has released Picasa version 2.7 for Linux, which promises many of the same improvements of the PC version, including uploading and downloading from Picasa Web Albums.

Further improvements include:

* Folder hierarchy views: Browse explorer-style through your photos
* Save edits to disk: Including batch saving
* Improvements to importing: You can now import into an existing folder.
* Better RAW support

And much more. If you want to try Picasa on Linux head on over to Google and download the latest version. Picasa should run on any x86-compatible Linux system.

I posted this entry using the new version of Picasa.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sales of Linux on Dell computers continue to grow

(From Computerworld) As Dell Inc. approaches its one-year anniversary of selling laptop and desktop computers preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, the company is continuing to expand the fledgling program to new computer models and markets.

Read the entire article here.

Configure a Dell Computer with factory installed Linux

Visit Dell's Linux Community Forum

Watch the top 10 Linux Commercials

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I finally got Synergy to work

What a day. I have been trying to get Synergy to work with my Windows XP and Linux machines for two days now and finally got everything to work tonight. What I had to do was so simple. I had to click the Scroll Lock button on my keyboard on my Windows XP ( Server ) machine. That was it. Once I did that I was able to move the mouse from one computer and Operating System to another. I can now control both computers from one mouse and keyboard. The Scroll Lock is a hotkey that locks the mouse and keyboard to one computer. LOL This will make things so much easier. :)

This is how I finally got Synergy to work. On the Linux desktop I installed QuickSynergy. That was easy. Just go to the Synaptic Package Manager and do a search for QuickSynergy and download and install it. In QuickSynergy you go to the Share tab and type in the Server computer name in the direction box ( in this case the left box ) then go to the Use tab and type in the IP address for the Server computer. Then click Start. ( the Server is the computer that has the mouse and keyboard that you want to use )

On the Windows desktop go to the Configure button next to Screens and Links and input all the variables for both computers. Do this for the IP addresses and the computer names. It using two computers you will have 4 entries here. Under the advanced setting put the windows computer name. Make note of the port Synergy uses.

Next: GO to the Windows firewall ( or whatever firewall you are using ) and add exceptions for synergy. Synergy will do this once when you set it up but you should do it again. I had to do this to get it to work.

Next: Go to your router settings and enable port forwarding for synergy for the port that you noted earlier. Do it for all IP addresses for the computers that you are going to connect using synergy. That's about it except for the pesky scroll lock button on the keyboard. The Scroll Lock button locks Synergy to one screen. If you are having problems getting it to work try clicking on Scroll Lock and try again.

If you have any questions just ask.

I want to say a special thanks to Sean over at "The Tech Juice" for his excellent tutorial on Synergy and all his help.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It's intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s). Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.

How to use Synergy Video from Cnet

Cindy sent a picture

My daughter Cindy sent me a picture today of the Gun ( CIWS MK-15 ) that she works on for the Navy. She also said that she might go to the Olive Garden Friday with Rylan and Sam and her boyfriend Dimi. Cindy said that she had a great weekend and is doing well in FC CIWS C-School in San Diego, Ca. We are very proud of you Cindy.
: )

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mibbit: Web-based IRC client

Mibbit is a new IRC client. While AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Google, Skype, ICQ, and others dominate the world chat scene these days, once upon a time IRC or Internet Relay Chat was king. And while IRC doesn't get much attention these days, it's still alive, kicking, and useful if you need a multi-user chat system for communicating with co-workers, open source project developers, or anonymous folks you might want to trade files with.

So what makes Mibbit different from old school IRC clients? It's web-based, which means you can run it from anywhere. But despite the fact that you can run Mibbit from your web browser, you get all of the features you'd expect from a desktop based IRC client, and then some.

There's a search engine that lets you find channels by keyword. You can change the color scheme, and even use a built in translator to communicate with users in different languages. Each new channel or server screen opens in a new Mibbit tab, and if you're running Mibbit in a tabbed browser, you'll get cute little alerts like "Server stuff!" or "People said stuff!"

There's even a Mibbit widget that you can install on your web site to let visitors chat with you via IRC.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Linux Desktop

I just updated Ubuntu Linux to the latest version after downloading the iso file for it and burning it to a DVD. I inserted the DVD into the linux box and re-booted the computer and booted off the DVD, formatted the hard drive again, installed the latest version and am now doing the 206 updates that needed to be done. Here is a Screenshot of my current Linux desktop.

I found a good article called "Why Use Linux?" that you might want to read. So far it has been smooth sailing here. I installed Synaptic Package Manager on this computer yesterday and it made things allot easier. Now the next step is to get Synergy to work so I can use just one keyboard and mouse to control both computers.

Another Computer up and running

My wifes computer in her computer room

My computers in my computer room

I worked on a computer due to a lightning strike for a neighbor and they ended up getting a new one because this one didn't work ( several parts fried ) and insurance paid for the new one. After working on it here for two days and about 15hrs I was able to get it up and running again with the Ubuntu Linux OS installed. I downloaded Freedos and formatted and ran Chkdsk on the hard drive and then after several tries was able to get Linux installed. I had to replace some things inside but I had the parts here. You can see my setup in the picture.

The new ( old ) computer is a Dell Dimension 9100. All three of our computers are connected to the internet now through my Linksys router.

This is what it has:

*Pentium 4 3GHz with 2 MB Cache and Hyperthreading Technology Chipset Intel 945P

*375 W Power Supply

*3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell Battery

*1 Gig DDR2 SDRAM 2 DIMMS 667-MHz.

*160 Gig 7200rpm SATA 16MB Cache Hard Drive

*CD-RW drive

*DVD-RW drive

*3 1/4 Floppy Drive

*10/100/1000 Ethernet

*256meg PIC Express NVIDIA Video Card with TV Out

*Sound Blaster Live 24-bit Advanced Audio Sound Card

*Dell USB Keyboard

*Dell USB Optical Mouse

*56K PIC Data Fax Modem

*7 USB 2.0 Ports ( two front-panel and five back-panel USB 2.0-compliant connectors )

*Running the Ubuntu Linux Operating System

Dell Dimension 9100

Good morning. I have been busy trying to work on a Dell Dimension 9100 that was given to me after a client had it replaced due to this computer failing due to a lightning strike. The hard drive has failed and all test show that the drive it a total loss. I tried to run a linux live cd on it yesterday to see if that would work and still I had no luck. My son John called from Mayport Naval Base last night and he is going to get me a new SATA hard drive for this computer and then I will work on it some more. Aside from that I will upgrade the memory and video card and see how far I can get with this thing.

Memory Upgrade for the Dell Dimension 9100 Desktop/PC

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Over 1 million viruses, worms, and trojans on the loose

The Internet is a very scary place. I'm talking about malware, like viruses, worms, and trojans. According to security company Symantec, the amount of malware on the internet has reached an all-time high, with over 1 million malicious programs in circulation.

A surpisingly large number of those threats were developed in the last year, with 711,912 new pieces of malware coming out in 2007 compared with 125,243 in 2006, an increase of 468 percent bringing the total number of malicious code threats detected by Symantec to 1,122,311 as of the end of 2007.

The good news for Internet users is that most of these applications are variations of older threats, which means if your anti-virus software is up to date, you should be relatively safe.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Congratulations John

Good afternoon. I just got a call from my son John. John called me to tell me that he had a great day today on his Ship. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal today for the Battle E that his ship got.

Yesterday they ( his Ship ) had a picnic and John played Chess for a while. He said that the CO and XO came over to watch him and that the XO challenged him to a game when they got underway next time.

So far John has:

*National Defense Service Medal
*War on Terrorism Service Medal
*Marksmanship ribbon
*Battle E
*Navy Achievement Medal

Congratulations and good job John.

I haven't heard from my daughter Cindy but I am sure that she is doing great in CIWS C-School in San Diego. Cindy will be going to the fleet sometime in July.

We are very proud of both of our kids in the Navy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Kansas Jayhawks 2008 National Champions!

We had an exciting night last night watching KU defeat Memphis 75-68 in overtime. We were on the phone with our son John ( he is at Mayport Naval Base ) and he was watching the game in his barracks. Immediately after the game my father called from his house in Port Orange Florida to say congratulations. My Dad is a die hard Terp fan but follows all the teams in NCAA basketball. KU came back from a 9 point deficit with just over 2 minutes left in regulation and hit the 3-pointer with a couple seconds left to send the game to overtime. It was one hell of an exciting game.

Memphis vs. Kansas, End of Regulation

Kansas Beats Memphis In OT for Championship

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Cindy's Barracks in San Diego ( Video )

My daughter sent me a video of her barracks at San Diego Naval Base. Cindy is in her C-School and should graduate in July. The is where she lives. It looks like a hotel room to me.

Cindy said today she is going" to Walmart and out to a Mexican restaurant called Freds (lol) w/ Rylan He is AM3 and we are leaving at noon."

AM3 Rylan

Cindy sent some pictures.

My daughter Cindy called last night from San Diego. As most of you know Cindy is in FC CIWS C-School at Naval Base San Diego. She went out yesterday with a friend and saw the Maritime Museum in San Diego, H.M.S. Surprise, USS Midway CV 41, B-39 Soviet attack submarine, Kansas City Bar & Grill ( where some of the movie Top Gun was filmed ), Star of India 1863 Merchant Sailing Ship, 18th Century Royal Navy Frigate, and the Ship used in the movie Master and Commander. Cindy had a great day and sent some pictures that you can see below with Cindy's descriptions. Thanks Cindy. :)

Torpedo tubes w/ ET3 Schlegel inside

Kansas City Bar & Grill ( From the movie Top Gun )

Kansas City Bar & Grill ( From the movie Top Gun )

The Ship used in the movie Master and Commander

Sail Boat Models

Boiler Room on Ship

Speedometer thing for a ship like in Titanic

Star of India 1863 Merchant Sailing Ship

Entrance B-39 Soviet attack submarine

Inside B-39 Soviet attack submarine

Inside B-39 Soviet attack submarine

Old B-39 Soviet attack submarine

Friday, April 04, 2008

The last few day here have been quiet

The last few day here have been quiet. Our neighbor had her computer fail due to a lightning strike a few days ago. She had me come over and test it and then write up an estimate for her insurance company. After I talked to the the Insurance Adjuster her Insurance company decided to cover the whole thing minus her deductible. I ordered her a new computer yesterday and should have it sometime next week.

This is what she did have:

Pentium 4 3GHz with 2 MB Cache and Hyperthreading Technology Chipset Intel 945P
375 W Power Supply
3-V CR2032 lithium coin cell Battery
1 Gig DDR2 SDRAM 2 DIMMS 667-MHz.
200 Gig 7200rpm SATA 16MB Cache Hard Drive
CD-RW drive
DVD-RW drive
3 1/4 Floppy Drive
10/100/1000 Ethernet
256meg PIC Express NVIDIA Video Card with TV Out
Sound Blaster Live 24-bit Advanced Audio Sound Card
Dell USB Keyboard
Dell USB Optical Mouse
56K PIC Data Fax Modem
7 USB 2.0 Ports ( two front-panel and five back-panel USB 2.0-compliant connectors )
Microsoft Works Suite with Microsoft Word
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Her new one will be a little better.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Some pictures

Here are a few pictures that I took when Kara and Sheila were here visiting from Arkansas. They left yesterday to go home. Hopefully they will come back to visit us again soon. We had a great time...

Kara & Vicki with our dog Tanner


Kara & Vicki with our dog Tanner