joreth: (Bad Computer!)
PSA: Turn your fucking phones sideways when taking video! There's a reason why, when we moved away from a mostly square screen for moving pictures, we moved towards a landscape orientation (there are several, but this is one of them).  For still photos, a portrait orientation (that's the tall, skinny frame shape) works fine with the appropriate composition because it's a static image. But for dynamic images like video, because things move horizontally more often than vertically, you need that extra space on the sides for things to move into.

When you record stuff vertically, there's a lot of moving side to side to get all the action in the frame. It's dizzying and annoying. You end up missing parts of the action because it moves off-camera quicker than you can follow it. You cut off more than you show. Yes, people are vertical and taller than they are wide, but the orientation isn't for the shape of the subject, it's for the MOTION of the subject.

Your videos look like shit. They're shaky and blurry and annoying. Please, take it from a professional camera operator - someone who people pay a lot of money to make pretty moving pictures - turn your phones to the side when you take a video. I guarantee that your videos will automatically look a hundred times better for doing this one thing alone, even if you never learn another thing about framing or composition or any movie tricks at all.
joreth: (Super Tech)
#‎ProPresenterTip‬: Create a user profile on your computer that is just for conferences. Personalize the desktop to a professional-looking theme or with elements relevant to the event. Remove all unnecessary programs, especially background programs. Disable auto-connect stuff to the internet. Create a folder on your desktop with your presentations and any files that are embedded in the presentation. Disable your screen saver and your power saver functions.

This way, when you hook up your laptop to a projector, you won't show any embarrassing or unprofessional desktop images, warning pop-ups, email notifications, etc. or have your screen go dark if you leave it sitting too long (and especially showing your login screen on a big screen for the whole room to see), and you won't have to search for your relevant files. This also reduces the memory requirements on your laptop so that it runs more smoothly.

The only thing you should have enabled in your presenter profile is your slideshow software and possibly the appropriate media player (but seriously, embed that shit instead of popping out to an external media player, and keep those files in the same folder as your slideshow). If you're doing something technical that uses the internet in your presentation, then you can have a browser enabled too, but otherwise, your presenter profile doesn't need internet access, email access, facebook access, virus protection & operating system update notices, power-saving mode, or password-protect. Strip it down to the absolute bare minimum.

Oh, and if you *are* using the internet in your presentation, double-check and get in writing before you even leave for the event that your room will have internet access in it, or make sure you have a damn good hotspot to use. And then test that shit the moment you arrive, not as you're running into your room 6 minutes late.

And if you can get artwork from the event itself to make into a desktop wallpaper, that makes those moments when your desktop *does* get broadcast on the big screen look less accidental and more professional. And for Loki's sake, leave off all those hundreds of shortcut icons! You don't need them here!

When you need to use your computer as normal, you can just log onto your regular user profile and have all your stuff back. But when it's hooked up to a projector, we don't need to see your wife's picture behind the field of shortcut icons or that your McAfee is out of date or that your brother-in-law just sent you a funny email forward.

AND BACK UP YOUR SHIT. Put all your presentations (and the embedded files) on a thumb drive as a backup. If, for any reason, your computer doesn't want to play nice with the A/V equipment, or you spill your vodka on it at the bar the night before and fry the circuits, or you forget your power cable and it runs out of battery, you might be able to find another laptop to use if you have your presentations available on a flash drive of some sort.

Create a PowerPoint Slideshow version of your presentation (as opposed to a full PowerPoint Presentation), whether you have Windows or you use Keynote. This embeds all your media better than the standard .pps file, and not everyone has a Mac that can run Keynote - you're much more likely to find a Windows machine and a PowerPoint Slideshow is self-contained so it can usually play even on Windows machines without PP installed (but you can't edit it).

Hook up your laptop to the projector in the room you'll be presenting in during a meal break or at the end of the day BEFORE your presentation, to make sure that everything works and everything talks to each other. As a professional PowerPoint operator*, the single biggest problem with slideshows is not testing beforehand. Almost everything can be fixed if you test it out ahead of time. But 3 minutes before your room is supposed to go is too late to troubleshoot bad cables or weird laptop settings. If it doesn't work at that time, then you're doing your presentation without your slideshow.

For even more tips on how to present, visit https://sites.google.com/site/polymediaassociation/trainingpresentations



*For those who don't know, I am actually a professional PowerPoint Operator.  Yes, they have those, and yes, they pay me very good money to fix all the presenter fuckups.  I get called in only for the very big shows, we're talking like Microsoft big - the kinds of shows where presenters are not some no-name monotone guy standing behind a podium in a dinky meeting room; the kinds of shows where the presenters are professional and have teleprompters and a team of 11-20 video professionals behind the scenes making everything look good.

Here's a secret about those shows - the presenter doesn't drive their own slideshows.  They're holding a clicker, but the clicker just flashes a big green arrow at someone like me backstage and *I'm* the one who drives the deck.  And I'm usually back there with 3 or more computers working in a team with professionally produced video and audio on seperate machines.  I sit through hours of tech rehearsals going back and forth through the slideshows to make sure that every slide works as intended and that every cue is hit when it's supposed to be hit, and when it doesn't work, I'm there for hours after the presenter has gone to the bar to schmooze, working on their slideshow to get it to work.  If you're reading my blog for advice, then you're probably not speaking at a show big enough to afford someone like me.  So take tips from a professional in the business and make your presentations look like you're speaking at a show big enough to afford me.
joreth: (boxed in)
I am bringing back the Percontation Point, which looks like ؟ (a backward question mark) and denotes sarcasm or irony in the sentence. With limited character space and lack of tone, I need all the help I can get telling others when I'm being sarcastic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony_punctuation

It's kind of amazing how many people got upset at the suggestion of visually labeling online interactions as sarcastic or ironic (I found some message boards while researching the symbol). The most common response is "if you're too stupid to tell I'm not serious, you shouldn't be on the internet".

I'm rather appalled at that attitude. Without tone, and with lots of people reading who don't know the writer personally, I find it incredibly easy to misunderstand irony and sarcasm, and think someone is being serious when they're not.

I went off on someone for being a sexist asshole before he explained he was being sarcastic simply because I had never read that person's name or writing before and had no clue what his personality or viewpoint was. He even used some hashtag code that apparently means "I'm being sarcastic" that I had never heard before and can't remember now.

It would have been nice for both of us if I could tell at a glance that he meant the opposite of what he was saying the way I can tell when I hear or see someone speak.

**EDIT**
I went on a search for a convenient webpage to bookmark that had single character symbols that could be entered into text boxes like Twitter & Facebook status updates, so that I could copy and paste the character, rather than try to remember all the alt codes to do it. I found several good sources, but none of them had the percontation point, even though it is a text character and not an image. So I took the characters from the largest source of special characters, added the percontation point to it, removed the characters that didn't show up or that were duplicates, and uploaded it all as a public Google Doc.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cV6rGtnruVnU5pFwNMEPls318w1c5Pc9chipIHW367M/edit?hl=en_US
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
 Yes, spammers, I have noticed you posting anonymous comments in really old posts.  Your superficial, generic, and vague "compliments" on my posts do not blind me to the fact that you also posted a URL to some unrelated website that collects credit card numbers, phishes for email addresses, and installs cookies & spyware.  I am not so easily won over by flattery that I completely lose my intelligence.  Does that tactic ever work for anyone?

Your comments are deleted without ever seeing the light of day and your ip addresses are logged.
joreth: (Rock Climbing)
I'm writing this mostly for my own archival purposes, but I'm leaving it public in case others want to know, along with the background of what brought it up, since it's amusing.

Here's a good explanation of some work-arounds for Twitter from [personal profile] zarfmouse on how to mashup Twitter with a bunch of other stuff. I'm writing about the ones I plan to use.

So, I'm on Twitter (as Joreth), even though I don't find it very useful but I do find it mildly entertaining. If Twitter ended tomorrow, I wouldn't be heartbroken, but it has some utility. What I get out of it the most is cool atheist quotes and I'm having a bit of fun participating in the RT fad of immediately re-posting something that someone else posted (called ReTweeting). I think what I like about it is related to what makes people send glurge and sappy forwards and really stupid jokes through email, but with LJ and Twitter, I can just post it more or less publicly without emailing someone, which I feel is somewhat intrusive. If someone wants to read what I pass on, they have to come to my page or they have to friend me, which indicates that they want to read what I post.

So I find it to be useful in that respect - indulging in my not-really-important shouting out to the world something interesting without feeling like I'm interrupting my friends.

I have friended a few people, but not all of my friends, and I've friended a couple of my skeptic heroes, like Richard Dawkins, Rebecca Watson, Phil Plait, and James Randi. Who I decide to friend depends primarily on how social I'm feeling at the exact moment they friend me. It has nothing at all to do with how I feel about that person specifically. Much like who gets friended on LJ :-)

One of the neat features of Twitter is that I can send tweets from my phone. This, again, indulges my "OMG something funny I have to tell someone RIGHT NOW but really isn't important or I'd actually call someone" desires. It's the stupid joke I just heard and would share with someone if someone were there, but since no one is, I'll probably just forget about it because it wasn't that big of a deal sort of thing. But I have a very limited text messaging plan, so I have the feature that sends other people's tweets to my phone turned off.

Here is where Twitter has pretty spectacularly failed, IMO. You can subscribe to any specific person and get ALL of their tweets. And that's it. I can't subscribe, on my phone, to a particular hashtag (like wanting to read everything that's tagged with "shouldbeobvious" regardless of who tweeted) and I can't receive on my phone only those tweets that are directed specifically at me like replies to something I've tweeted about (in tweet-speak, that's any tweet that has @Joreth somewhere in the text).

This is profoundly annoying. I discovered this when I posted something to Twitter from my phone and then realized that I couldn't see if anyone responded to that tweet until I got home to check my Twitter page. Unless I subscribed to all of my friends and got ALL of their tweets that day. This, of course, also leaves out anyone who is not currently in my friends list who happen to see my tweet and responded (this happens mostly when I put the #atheism tag at the end of one of my tweets and anyone who searches for #atheism will read it even if they're not currently following me).

So I'm either Twitter-blind when I'm not near a computer and I can send tweets out but can't receive any, or I'm bombarded with all tweets by whomever I subscribe to - and some of my friends are rather twitter-happy ... you know who you are! This would quickly send my SMS plan skyrocketing. And I *still* wouldn't get tweets from people I'm not subscribed to if they send a reply tweet (@Joreth) or if they attach a tag that I'm interested in following. So Twitter fails with cell phone messaging.

Another #fail of Twitter is that you can't have more than one Twitter account associated to a single phone number AND you can't have more than one phone number associated with a single Twitter account.

So this means that, when I set up the OrlandoPoly Twitter account to post last-minute information, like where we're going for dinner after the meeting, I can't send a tweet from my phone because it's already associated with my personal account. I have to log in to Twitter from a computer to send those tweets so that people who are attending *just* the social dinner can get that information in time to join us.

Fortunately, The Center, where we meet, has a computer lab, so this *shouldn't* be a problem most months. Except this month when the key wouldn't work and we had to move the meeting at the last minute to another location and I couldn't get in to use their computer lab.

I also couldn't add multiple phones to the OrlandPoly Twitter account if I wanted to distribute the responsibility among a panel of OP officers or administrators, if I wanted to.



Here's why this comes up now:

In the last couple of days, I've been having a go-round with some idiot who has the absolute hubris to name himself TrumpetofGod on Twitter. It started by pointing out his logical fallacy of claiming that atheists who reject god are therefore setting themselves up to be god. I couldn't resist notifying him that people who do not believe god exists at all can't therefore claim to be a god, because we would then cease to exist ourselves (or believe ourselves to not exist). He then proceeded to send nearly a dozen @replies full of gibberish. It was a major blue-fish-tuba moment. As in, I understand the definition of each of those words, but strung together in that order and the sentence has no meaning. One or two of them were understandable, if by "understandable", I mean that I did actually understand the meaning underlying the sentence but he was still speaking religious nonsense.

One of those sentences was: "Jesus answerd did you hear. He said U want to kill me because my Word (pure love) has no place in you. Ur heart is either for love r"

Our exchange has quickly gone downhill from there.

So I thought I'd add him to my Online Skeezballs tag here on LJ for everyone's enjoyment, but rather than copy/paste my tweets, then go to my @reply page and copy/paste his tweets, I decided to do a Google search to see how this whole auto-tweet-to-LJ thing worked and if I could filter or specify or do something to post just this exchange.

That brought me to this guy's LJ with his Mashup instructions.



TwitterMail SMS -> Twitter Feed

TwitterMail will give you a special secret email address. When you send an email to that address it'll get posted to your twitter. Unfortunately you will need to give TwitterMail your Twitter password which is not something I'd normally recommend (since TwitterMail is a third party), however your twitter is a public feed with very little sensitive information so the cost of being hacked by the owners of TwitterMail is very low.

Now if you store the special secret TwitterMail email address in your phone's contact list, you can quickly and easily send an SMS to that address and it'll go instantly to your twitter feed. This also bypasses the possibility that Twitter could in the future charge a premium rate for their built-in SMS service.

You can register the email address of your cell phone (e.g. 7735551212@tmomail.net) with TwitterMail so that when people @reply to your twitter messages that'll get SMS'ed back to your phone.



I tried this.  I was able to successfully post a test message to the OrlandoPoly Twitter account from my phone even though that phone is currently associated with my Joreth Twitter account.  But so far, receiving @replies isn't working.  I registered my cell phone email address with my Joreth account, then sent an @reply from the OrlandoPoly account at the website, but I haven't received that as an SMS yet, 2 hours ago by the time of this posting - I will update if it starts working

UPDATE from the Twittermail FAQs page: 
If a friend send you a post on twitter (by using @yourusername) we will send it to your emailaddress. You can enable/disable this in your settings.

We're checking your replies every 2 days, if you want an e-mail instantly when you receive a Twitter reply, then we have a special feature for Friends of Twittermail (this means that people who donate $15+ become "Friends of Twittermail and get replies instantly).

So apparently I won't get my @replies right away.  I'll wait 48 hours for an SMS and I'll post what happens here.  If I actually get an SMS with my @replies, then I might spend the $15 to get them instantly, because waiting 2 days defeats the purpose of having them sent to my phone - I could just check the website.



RSSFWD - Twitter Feed -> Cell Phone

If your phone doesn't work with Twitter's built in SMS service there will still be one piece of the puzzle missing. You want to get updates from certain friends sent directly to your cell phone so you can have up to the minute status updates.

First determine the email address of your phone.

Next determine the RSS Feed of the twitter feed you want to send to your cell phone.

Then just go to
RSSForward and enter the feed URL and submit. Use text only messages (there's a checkbox for this). When it asks you what email address to subscribe you should NOT use your cell phone's email address directly. Instead you should use your gmail account or some other account that lets you set up a custom filter.

Then in your email program (e.g. gmail) set up a filter so that messages from rssforward get forwarded to your cell phone. You could get arbitrarily clever with this and subscribe your email address to ALL your followed twitter feeds but only forward certain ones to your cell phone.

The reason for the filter-forward step is so you can easily use the "unsubscribe" link provided in each rssforward message.


Why the RSSForward feature is so neat, is that I can subscribe to the RSS feed for a hashtag and get all tweets that are tagged with something specific. For example, I just subscribed to the RSS feed for all tweets that have the hashtag #shouldbeobvious but nothing has shown up yet (including the test tweet I sent 30 minutes prior to this posting).  If that changes, I'll update this.

UPDATE: I finally received an email/text with the hashtag #shouldbeobvious.  3 days later.  I had actually forgotten which hashtag I was supposed to be looking for.  Since the hashtag I chose has such little activity, I don't know if this will be a recurring flaw in the process or it just took that long to set up.  I'm betting a recurring flaw, like the @reply service above. 

But I'll keep it set up for a while and see how long it takes between hashtag postings and receiving a text.



So, if the RSSForward thing actually sends tweets of specific hashtags to my cell phone, that'd be awesome!  And if Twittermail actually sends @replies to my cell phone, that'd be awesome!  But if not, at least I found a way to send tweets from my cell phone to multiple Twitter accounts.

And if ya'll want to read something that makes your brain hurt, check out TrumpetofGod's Twitter.
joreth: (polyamory)

I came up with another possiblity for my post: http://joreth.livejournal.com/154250.html

*UPDATE #2* I just thought about possibly changing the name to polymedianetwork.com since I've pretty much ruled out polymediagroup.  The pros:  shorter than polymediaassociation; no double letters; the word "network" is very similar to "association" in connotation.  The cons: still longer than pma.com or polymedia.com; I have to change the name and the acronym to PMN and I don't know if I like how it looks as well as PMA; "network" implies a looser connection than "association" but not significantly so.

You can comment here, or you can go to the original thread (where I have added this at the bottom) to see all the other comments before commenting.

Long URLs

May. 13th, 2009 12:56 pm
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
How do people feel about long urls?

Old School url conventions had us putting the name of the business in full in the domain because it helped Google to find it and rank it high.  Keywords were of utmost importance in Google rankings, and if any of your keywords were part of your URL, that was weighted even more highly.

But the problem is that you end up with these really long URLs that have the full business name.  So you have to type this whole thing in, but the positive side is that you could find just about any business' website by taking a chance and typing their name into the address bar.  I still find websites this way and only go to Google if that doesn't work.

So nowadays, linkbacks are the more important method of getting high Google rankings.  The more independent websites (that are not link farms) that link back to you, including blogs, the more important Google thinks you are, because people are talking about you. 

This means that the specific characters in the URL are much less important, but for non-Google advertising, it still helps to have an easy-to-remember URL, like for business cards and ads.

The point of all this is that I'm ready to buy the domain for the Polyamory Media Association that I am creating, which will bridge the gap between the poly community and the media.  We will be maintaining a database of poly people who are interested in talking to the media, including their relationship setup, what types of media they're interested in, etc., we'll offer media training, and we'll also screen media requests as well as actively pursue media events.  I've been calling the organization PMA for short, and I finally decided to create www.pma.com only to discover today when I tried to buy it, that pma.com was already taken, as well as every other suffix possible for pma.

My next instinct is to go with the full URL, polymediaassociation.com but I'm resistant to such long URLs even though I tend to prefer full name URLs.

So, I'm throwing this open to suggestions.  What kind of URL would you like or be willing to follow or be able to remember if you wanted to find this website?

TAKEN:
pma
tpma
pmassociation
pmassoc
pmagroup
thepma

POSSIBLE OPTIONS:
polymediaassociation
polyamorymediaassocation
polymediaassoc
anthing else?

*UPDATE* polymediagroup.com is available, and I suppose I could always change the name to PMG, I just like how "association" sounds.  I'm trying to come off as professional as possible, it's a national organization, so I don't want it to sound like a local poly group or run by a single person (it's not, I have lots of associates who are helping me).

*UPDATE #2* I just thought about possibly changing the name to polymedianetwork.com since I've pretty much ruled out polymediagroup.  The pros:  shorter than polymediaassociation; no double letters; the word "network" is very similar to "association" in connotation.  The cons: still longer than pma.com or polymedia.com; I have to change the name and the acronym to PMN and I don't know if I like how it looks as well as PMA; "network" implies a looser connection than "association" but not significantly so.
joreth: (Misty in Box)

I'm trying to come up with a word that means "a device in fantasy-based literature that is used to store/view/access magical visions, images, tell the future, see things happening elsewhere, etc."

This can be a type of device (like magic mirror) or a proper noun of a specific device used in a specific book or series (please reference the source, in case I haven't read it).

Any suggestions?

Basically, I'm trying to come up with a name for my new external hard drive that will hold all my movie files and my other external drive that will hold all my pictures.  I've used the same theme in naming since the late '90s, which you can see on my website.  It's a more-or-less medieval/fantasy theme involving magic and multiple dimensions. 

For example:  Minstrel is the name of my iPod because it plays my music, Harper Hall is the name of the external drive that stores all my audio files, The Vault is the name of my external drive that holds all my miscellaneous stuff, but I'm looking for names of things that hold images and videos.  My computer is named the Inn Between, as is the website, and I've given my wireless modem the name of Io Transfer Station, although that's sci-fi and not fantasy and I'd prefer not to stray into sci-fi much more for my naming system.  I've temporarily named my photo external drive Visions, but that's the name of the link on my website that takes you to the pictures and I'm hoping to give the storage device the name of another storage or playing device, but in the fantasy genre, plus I need a second one for the video drive.
joreth: (Bad Computer!)

I finally got around to creating and ordering a backup/file organizing system.  I posted about needing to replace my laptop because the hinge broke, but none of my files are stored on the laptop.  The hard drive there is solely for running the OS and programs, and a partition for downloading files, which I then scan for viruses and move to an external drive, just in case something gets infected, I can wipe my laptop and my files will still be safe.

So everything is stored on a single 500 GB MyBook Hard Drive. 

I've been having problems with it since I got it, but it took me a while to figure out, and then purchase, a solution.

My solution is to buy a TB drive, which would serve as a backup drive, and then a handful of smaller external drives, into which I will divide my files according to type (movies, music, photos, other stuff) for portability and additional security that if something happens to one drive, I won't lose all my files.

My existing drive has the following problems: 

When I first got my drive, I followed the instructions in installing it, I plugged it in, the light came on, the drive started spinning, but the computer couldn't see it.  At all.  After calling tech support, I discovered that the drive, which requires an external power source, will sometimes draw just enough power to start up, but not enough power for the computer to find it.  This happens primarily when I plug it into a power strip with other devices also drawing power.  So, annoying, but I found a reasonable work-around, which was to buy a much-needed UPS and plug it into there with all my peripherials plugged into a separate wall switch on a power strip.

Then, after owning it for a few months, it began to overheat.  When it overheats, I can click on "My Computer" and see the drive still there, but if I click on the drive itself, the window tells me that there are no files.

Simultaneously, I discovered a problem with iTunes and Windows Vista.  Apparently, iTunes doesn't like Vista (who does?), and thinks it knows better.  It would rewrite the upper and lower limits on my CD drive and it would also rewrite something having to do with my USB ports that made them not work.  Since my drive is connected via USB, this meant that every time I started up iTunes, it would change my USB ports and my drive would not work the next time I turned on the computer.  I had a rather complicated process to go into the bios and fix the USB code each time I booted up.  Then I would have to make sure iTunes didn't start up so I could access my drive.  I discovered this particular problem when I tried to plug in my thumbdrive and *it* wouldn't work either, making me question my assumption that the drive overheated for good.  When I plugged in the drive to someone else's computer and it showed up just fine, I knew it was a problem with the USB port.

So now, I have this rather annoying startup process.  I plug in just my drive and unplug everything else.  I start with the drive on its side (it's designed to sit either on its side or flat, looking like a book, hence the name "My Book") to make as little contact with the surface as possible, thereby increasing the airflow and decreasing the heat.  Then I start up the computer.  If it doesn't find my drive, then I unplug it, lay it flat, put an ice pack on it, let it cool off, reboot, and plug it back in.  If it still doesn't start, I repeat the process using different USB ports.

So, yesterday, my new hard drive system arrived.  The MyBook was currently turned on and I had access to it, so I figured I'd finish up the projects I was working on and then begin the transfer process.  Halfway through, I tried to open a folder on the drive only to be told that it was empty and there were no files.  I reached down and, sure enough, the drive was hot, the ice pack having lost its freeze and was now a hot piece of liquid-filled plastic covering more surface area of the drive.

So, I began my reboot process, unplugging the drive, replacing the ice pack, letting it cool off, etc.  It didn't turn back on.  I repeated, using the variations outlined above.   The fracken drive will not connect with the computer.  I even went so far as to leave the drive unplugged over night with a fresh ice pack, and to shut down the computer for a while before attempting it again.

So, here I sit, with a box of hard drives, all ready to begin the rescue process of my piece of shit MyBook, and it sits on my desk mocking me with its blue eye, teasing me, telling me "yes, I have power, but I still won't let you get at your files!"  It literally shut down just in time to prevent me from salvaging my files.  I have the box of hard drives!  It's right here!  The MyBook was working when it arrived and it stopped working just as I was about to switch over!  I don't care what logic and reason tell me, my computers hate me.  They're malicious and vindictive and spiteful and they do things to me on purpose just to torture me.

I can't back up my files, I can't rescue my music, or all my photography, I can't access my tax spreadsheet, I can't get to my website files (all of the websites I maintain), I can't do anything but read my email.

I fucking hate computers.

***UPDATE***

As more evidence that my electronics are malicious and hate me, just as I hit the "post" button, I plugged my drive in one last time and it fucking started up.  It only did that because it knew I was ranting about it online and it wanted to make me appear foolish.  It's hateful like that.
joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)
OK, I have like absolutely no free time right now, but this was too important to wait.  I found the coolest Google function ever!

If you haven't heard yet, Google has now given us the option to store our medical records ONLINE.  And it's about fucking time!  Do you know how much time, storage space, and paper would be saved by taking all our medical records digital?  And how much money that translates into?  I don't have the figures in front of me, but trust me, it's a lot! 

Yeah, I know, people are afraid of their "personal" information getting "out there", but going digital is seriously the best direction we can go with this.  I don't really have the time for (and therefore am not going to) debate the merits of the details of going digital - there are good points and bad points, safer methods and not-as-safe methods - right now I'm just talking about in general, digital files are the way to go for medical recordkeeping.  Imagine being able to take your records with you when you move, change doctors, or go on vacation!  Right now, the best we have in this arena is if we wear one of those medical alert bracelets, which can really only tell them the barest minimum of the most important information you need to impart.  Until we learn how to implant digital files and data into ourselves so that it's always with us wherever we go, an internet-based storage system is the next best thing (and perhaps even better, since it won't get damaged in the event our bodies get damaged).

Go to www.google.com and click on "more" at the top of the page.  When the pulldown menu appears, click "more" again.  On the next page is a list of all of Google's nifty services and about halfway down the page is Google Health (or go directly to https://www.google.com/health)

You can then fill out all the medical information you want.  I've started by listing my codeine allergies and my latest STD test results and the dates of past procedures like my LASIK and my most recent pap smears.  I still have to go back through old papers, buried somewhere in my file box, for more detailed information like which childhood diseases I've had and exactly which Herpes test I took (since there are several and I can't remember what it was called), but, as I said, I have no free time right now and won't for at least a week, so it's a start.

Then, there are 3 features that really make this super-cool. 

First, for a fee, you can convert paper records.  Google will allow you to "link" your profile with any number of healthcare providers to make your profile easier to maintain.  One of them is called "MediConnect Global", which will, for about $100, actually retrieve medical records from around the world and convert them for import into your Google Health profile.  This is very handy for even finding those records you may have lost or forgotten about.  For a smaller fee, you can use one of the other services that will allow you to send them your records (either email, mail or fax) and they will convert them to a digital file compatible with Google Health, and at least one of these guys will put it on CD for you too.

Another really cool feature is that, if you have a particular condition (or several), you can link your profile to any number of providers who will then monitor your profile for you and give you recommendations, suggestions, let you know about medicine recalls, identify gaps in your current healthcare practices, calculate your risk assessment for things like heart attacks ... in short, the personalized health monitoring system we all wish our doctors would do but rarely have time for in this era of HMOs.  Of course, I don't recommend substituting this service for your real doctor, but some of us don't have doctors, and everyone can use this to aid them and their doctors in their healthcare assessments.

And the third really cool feature is that you can share your health profile with people.  If you have a significant other (or several) or family who might need access to this information in the event of an emergency, you can give them permission to view the information in your profile.  This could come in especially handy if you are rendered incapacitated for any reason and can't assist your loved ones in finding the relevant information at the time of the emergency.

I'm not tagging this with the STI tag, although I think it could be used during the Sexual Health & History Disclosure procedure.  The reason I'm not tagging it is because I think it is important to actually see the physical report from the doctor or lab and not to rely on someone's word that they have been tested.  Google Health amounts to "someone's word", because we all fill out our own profiles, so we have to trust that anyone else's profile is truthful.  However, once a test result has been personally verified, it might be helpful to have access to your partners' history for future reference.  The Sexual Health & History Disclosure Form performs the same function, but it is a local file, whereas Google Health is online and accessable from anywhere with an internet connection.  So I recommend including this with your general Disclosure procedures, but not substituting this for the exchange of real paperwork.

Next, I'd love to see an iPhone app that syncs with Google Health to download a copy of this profile to the iPhone/iPod that can be viewed and edited and syncs back up with the online version.  Then it's only another step away from implantable file storage!
joreth: (Bad Computer!)

I'm in the market for a new laptop. I currently have a 17" laptop with full-size keyboard and 10-key, 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB harddrive. I use my computer for watching videos, internet, photo editing, and listening to music. I have external speakers and hard drives, so I'm not all that concerned with harddrive space. I do not game - at all - so I'm not concerned with high-end graphics for gaming or video editing, but I still want good enough graphics to do photo editing.

I am also on very tight budget, or else I'd get a Mac. And no, I have no interest in learning Linux at this time - I want something I that doesn't require any new programming or language skills at all and that will run all the windows-based, industry-specific software that I use at work. Now that Macs have the whole dual-boot process working pretty well, I'd consider a Mac, but I can't afford the equivilent computer that I can in a PC.

So, here are the two I'm considering. Does anyone have information positive or negative about either? I'm aware that all windows-based PCs occasionally have a bad egg in the basket, so a single anecdote of "my cousin, who doesn't know anything about computers, bought that one and it sucked" doesn't help. But a statistical DOA rate might.

And yes, I know that Windows Vista sucks, but I either can't afford the modelsl that are still available with XP, or they don't have XP on a 17" screen laptop. I've been running Vista for 2 years now and I've got the hang of how to work around it's stupidity, so if I fail to remove Vista from the new laptop like I was unable to on this one, I can deal.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9166635&type=product&id=1218041148373
HP Pavilion Laptop with AMD Turion™ X2 RM-72 Dual-Core Mobile Processor

The important bits here are, 17" screen, AMD Turion dual-core processor, 4 GB RAM (expandable up to 8 GB), 320 GB hard drive, $699.99

Specifications for the Pavilion )

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834147921
HP G70-250US NoteBook Intel Pentium dual-core T4200(2.00GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 3GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel GMA 4500M

Here, the important bits are 17" monitor, 3 GB RAM, 320 GB hard drive, intel dual-core, $699.99 after instant & mail-in rebates.

Specifications for the Notebook )
Very little difference. One is a fraction of a pound heavier, one has 1 more GB of RAM, one has 1 more USB port (but I have several hubs). Both are the same price but one requires a mail-in rebate. I'm ordering several external hard drives from New Egg, so the benefit there is I can add it to the total order and I might save on shipping. So, because they're so similar, I'm looking for anything to tip the scales in favor of one or the other. Suggestions?
joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)
Now you can get free 411 services about businesses (not personal entries) from any phone (land, cell or VoIP), including SMS and maps, courtesy of Google, who else?

joreth: (Bad Computer!)
I would like to make videos of 3D animated scenes using humanoid (but not fantasy) characters.  This means either clearly human people, or people-symbols/cartoon characters.  I want my characters to be fairly generic, and if I go the symbol/cartoon route, gender-neutral is fine too.  I have absolutely no 3D programming experience whatsoever.  Ideally, I would like some kind of program that already has a library of 3D characters and settings that I can just load up and give commands to, things like "walk over to this location" and "hug that person" and "get angry".  I can then use screen recording software to record the animation.

I also don't want to pay any money for this, as it's a side project and not intended to make me any income, so suggestions of where to purchase the Sims, for instance, won't help (although a program like the Sims would probably do what I'm looking for).

The only other alternative is for me to learn how to do 3D animation on my own, which I am currently attempting to do, but there's a learning curve and I'm impatient.  I'm a cinematographer and camera operator, not a graphic artist.

So, any suggestions on open-source or free or "borrowed" software or names of stuff I can search for on Piratebay?  Simple programs that will, one way or another, end up with a final product in .avi format.
joreth: (Bad Computer!)

I'm in the market for a 1T external hard drive.  I currently have a 500GB WD My Book, which was working just fine for a while, but has recently begun overheating.  I have to unplug it, let it cool off, then reboot the computer while simultaneously plugging it back in to get the computer to see the drive once it overheats.

And, because I'm poor, I never bought a backup system.

So I'm doing google searches to find reviews, but I'm having trouble finding any for the 1T size.  I have a coupon for another WD product, and the 1T My Book Pro Edition is currently on sale for $200.  But I'm cautious about purchasing another My Book.

I found one review (http://www.gcn.com/print/27_14/46462-1.html) that covered several different brands, and based on that one article, the Seagate FreeAgent Pro and SimpleTech Pro Drive sound pretty good.  They both have decent transfer speeds, good backup software, and go for just over $300.

I've also heard that Maxtor has a good reputation for decent hardware.

So, anyone want to chime in with their opinions and experiences, or links to reliable comparison reviews?  I'm concerned with cost, overheating issues, and backup capabilities.  Transfer speed is important, but less so than the 3 I just mentioned.  It might be inconvenient for something to take a long time to transfer, but if I have to sacrifice speed for not losing my data totally, I'll make that sacrifice.
joreth: (Bad Computer!)

http://www.okcupid.com/profile/DingoWallaby/journal/11518627596411682891/No-Title

COMPUTER: Windows has downloaded an important update! Do you want to restart now? If you don't do anything in five minutes, I'm going to go ahead and assume that's a big 'yes'.

ME: Not right now.

COMPUTER: How about now?

ME: Nope.

COMPUTER: You're going to have to pee sooner or later, tough guy.

It won't stop NAGGING me. Of course, sooner or later I have to step away from the computer, and when I come back:

COMPUTER: Windows is shutting down. HA HA HA HA HA HA.



This is why I shut off auto-updates and just periodically go check them myself, manually.  I can then do my reboot on my terms, not freakin' Microsoft arguing with me.

Irony

Aug. 4th, 2008 04:20 pm
joreth: (::headdesk::)
I have a tendency to keep paper backups of important stuff.  I have a long, dramatic, love-hate relationship with technology.  My computers regularly crash on me, and it doesn't matter if I built it, my computer-geek friends built it, or it's store-bought.  If something *can* go wrong, it will.

I still have a harddrive with half my photography locked in it that I can no longer access because the drive failed.

So I keep things on paper.  I make notes, I have a paper calendar, I have a paper phone book.

I began my Media Reflections posts and have notes everywhere.  I have a whole folder on my computer of topics I want to write about and haven't gotten around to yet.

But one day I noticed that a particular TV show that I watch gives me a topic pretty much ever episode.  So I went back to the beginning and watched every episode, in order, and took notes in a notebook and never got around to making a digital copy because I put more faith in the analog versions to not fail.  

And I've lost that notebook.

Argh!

Now I have to go through and watch the whole series, again, just for the purpose of taking notes.  And I know if I save them only to a computer file, my external drive will choose that time to finally fail before I've gotten a backup system in place and I'll lose it there too. 
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
Many (I'm willing to bet most) of you who read my journal do not need these instructions and can probably even list out the more common (and more efficient) ways for spammers to get your email address. 

This is not for you. 

This is for those few who do not know this very simple message and for the more knowledgeable among you to steal as a template to send to those less-knowledgeable friends and family you have (I know you have them!) if it strikes your fancy.  

I get emails all the time with hoaxes, urban legends, chain letters and glurge (which are bad enough in their own right) that have 5 pages of headers on them listing every email address known to man as my family blissfully forwards out yet another story about a young child dying of cancer and how Microsoft will donate $5 for every name signed down below or how this really cool thing will pop up on your screen if you just send it to 500 people (seriously, it works, I just did it and you HAVE to see it!). 

And it drives me nuts.  Not just for the bullshit that gets passed around as "fact".  But this isn't about the content of those emails, it's about not using the very simple BCC field to hide the email addresses to those dozens of family members that absolutely have to know that you can't tell the difference between an internet hoax and a real issue. 

Send these instructions to those who desperately need it:

joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)


 
I work down at the Pizza Pit
And I drive an old Hyundai
I still live with my mom and dad
I'm 5 foot 3 and overweight
I'm a scifi fanatic
A mild asthmatic
And I've never been to second base
But there's whole 'nother me
That you need to see
Go checkout MySpace

'Cause online I'm out in Hollywood
I'm 6 foot 5 and I look damn good
I drive a Maserati
I'm a black-belt in karate
And I love a good glass of wine
It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell them I don't want nothing serious
'Cause even on a slow day
I could have a three way
Chat with two women at one time
I'm so much cooler online
So much cooler online

When I get home I kiss my mom
And she fixes me a snack
And I head down to my basement bedroom
And fire up my Mac
In real life the only time I've ever even been to L.A
Is when I got the chance with the marching band
To play tuba in the Rose Parade

Online I live in Malibu
I pose for Calvin Klein, I've been in GQ
I'm single and I'm rich
And I've got a set of six pack abs that would blow your mind
It turns girls on that I'm mysterious
I tell them I don't want nothing serious
'Cause even on a slow day
I could have a three way
Chat with two women at one time
I'm so much cooler online
So much cooler online

When you got my kind of stats
It's hard to get a date
Let alone a real girlfriend
But I grow another foot and I lose a bunch of weight
Every time I login

Online
I'm out in Hollywood
I'm 6 foot 5 and I look damn good
Even on a slow day
I could have a three way
Chat with two women at one time
I'm so much cooler online
Yeah, I'm cooler online
I'm so much cooler online
Yeah, I'm cooler online

Yeah, I'm cooler online

Yeah, I'll see ya online
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
 and can I send them my computer?
 
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
1. First, make a highly complicated and technical product. 

2. Then make it widely available to the general public.

3. Let Joe Schmoe, your average guy, purchase it and take it home and use it for a while.

4. Eventually, the product will not work as expected.  This may be because Joe is totally clueless and is hoplessly lost or it may be after Joe has exhausted every possibility his otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable brain can come up with and is now hopelessly lost.

5. Give Joe a phone number to call for help,

6. Send that phone number to another country where our Tech Support will answer the phone without being able to speak English and can only recite answers step by step according to a pre-written form based on keywords he singles out of the original question (much like the troubleshooting guide on the company website).  These questions could be phrased intelligently by a knowledgeable person or could be complete jibberish by a total moron who happens to have enough money to buy our product, making it less likely that Tech Support will be able to correctly identify the problem in the first place.

7. This way, when Joe, who is already frustrated because his product is not working, tries to get help, he will be unable to understand even the most simple instructions because the highly complicated and technical-sounding terms are difficult enough to understand when spoken with a Midwestern accent in the language that invented the words, and will be impossible to understand when spoken with a thick foreign accent even when Joe is somewhat competent with aforementioned complicated and technical product but especially when Joe is a moron.

8. Make this experience so frustrating and painful that eventually Joe hangs up on our Tech Support personnel.  This will keep our call center product solution phone call times to a minimum, allowing us to connect to a maximum number of customers in a minimum amount of time, thereby being the most efficient method of support for our customers.


Yeah, this sounds like a BRILLIANT strategy!
joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)
Read this absolutely WONDERFUL review from someone who upgraded their computer from Windows Vista to Windows XP.

No, that's not a typo.  From Vista to XP.  Upgrade. 

Stolen from [profile] datan0de, thanks!
joreth: (::headdesk::)
Does anyone know how to extract the information (video) from a .wvx file and turn it into a local video file that can be then uploaded to youtube?

WVX File Extension

File Type Windows Media Video Redirector
CategoryVideo Files
Common?No
File DescriptionContains the location of a Windows Media video (.WMV) file; acts as a shortcut to the media file, but does not contain any actual video data
Program(s) that open wvx files
Mac OSMac OS Microsoft Windows Media Player
WindowsWindows Microsoft Windows Media Player
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
I posted a Tech Support issue a few days ago.  Here's the latest update on it:



*grumble grumble*  Some day I'll learn how to not be so annoyed by the stupid that is tech support.  I apologize to those friends of mine who are in tech support.  Clearly you are the exception, not the rule.
joreth: (Default)
> Mail-Id: 1179365107-3397
> "Name:" : Joreth
> "Yahoo! ID:" : jorethinnkeeper
> "Email Address:" : Joreth@techie.com
> "Operating System:" : Vista
> "Type of Browser:" : I.E.
> "Browser Version" : 6
> "Issue Type:" : Blocked Messages
> "How often this occurs:" : Don't Know
> "Description" : I sent out a warning to several of my friends and family
> about a phishing scam, and my warning email got blocked as though it
> WERE the phishing scam.  This was a very important warning and I think
> it needs to get sent.  Please fix this!



> ----- Original Message -----
> Hello Joreth,
>
> Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.
>
> At this time, it is unclear what assistance you are seeking.  In order
> for us to better assist you, we would appreciate some additional
> information.  Please reply to this email with the full details of what
> you are experiencing -- the more information we have, the better we will
> be able to investigate this issue.
>
> We look forward to providing you with a solution as soon as possible.
>
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.
>
> Regards,
>
> Florence
>
> Yahoo! Customer Care
> http://www.yahoo.com/
>
> 34612450


Let me try to say it more slowly then.

I wrote an email to some family and friends.

It was a warning about a Phishing scam.

It was bounced back to everyone I sent it to.

The reason was that Yahoo suspected my email as being a Phishing scam and refused to send it.

How can I get past this filter?

The original message was received at Wed, 16 May 2007 18:25:54 -0700
from webmail-outgoing.us4.outblaze.com [205.158.62.67]

    ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
<email address>
     (reason: 554 Message not allowed - UP Email not accepted for policy reasons.  Please 
visit http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/defer-04.html[120])

    ----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to mx1.sbc.mail.yahoo.com.:
>>> DATA
<<< 554 Message not allowed - UP Email not accepted for policy reasons.  Please visit 
http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/defer-04.html[120]
554 5.0.0 Service unavailable

Video Chat

May. 17th, 2007 08:27 pm
joreth: (Super Tech)
AIM has high quality video chat capabilities, which is cool.  Apparently you can only use AIM's video chat feature if you have access to the internet router and can reconfigure it.  That sucks for those of us who don't know how to do that, and for those of us who want to use video chat from public places, like Starbucks.

Yahoo has low-quality video chat capabilities, but it works on any computer even if you can't reconfigure the router.  Except if one person has a pc and the other person has a mac, then you can trade video, but not voice chat.

MSN doesn't talk between pcs and macs period.

I found this service called "SightSpeed" which appears to offer free video and voice chat between pcs and macs.  The video quality isn't great, but it does offer a full-screen option with a little PIP of my camera down in the corner.  Unfortunately, I just installed it and don't have anyone to talk to yet, so I can't test it.

Does anyone else know of a good-quality video/voice chat program that works between pcs and macs without configuring the internet router?  Microsoft really doesn't want anyone to be able to communicate with anything that isn't Microsoft-specific in origin, does it?
joreth: (Bad Computer!)
I was just sent this email.  It appears to be an ebay customer sending me an email asking a question about an auction.  Problem is, I don't have anything up for auction right now.  It looks all official, just like a real Ebay form, and it has links to a page that looks just like an Ebay sign-in page.  THIS PAGE IS FAKE!!!  This is a very clever attempt to obtain my username and password for my ebay account.  And since most people use the same usernames and passwords for everything, this guy could potentially have enough information to steal my identity and take over any online account. 
 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not fall for this kind of scam.  If you ever receive an email that you don't know anything about, that appears to send you to a legitimate website where you have an account, DO NOT sign in.  Check the address bar at the top of your browser for the url.  It should say http://www.realwebsitename.com (where "realwesbsitename" is the name of the company you're supposed to be visiting) with no other numbers or words in the url.  If you ever receive an email like this and you're not sure if it's a scam or not, do not follow the link in the email.  Instead, open a new browser window, type in the url for the homepage of that company yourself (in this case, I would type in http://www.ebay.com), then check your inbox or whatever mail services that company offers to see if the original email appears in the legitimate inbox.  I recommend finding the Contact Us or Help sections and sending the email to their tech support services asking them to verify the validity of the correspondence.  Then they can check it out for you, and if it's a Phishing Scam, you have just reported them.
 
Forward this on to everyone you know, but PLEASE remove all headers and PLEASE put everyone in the BCC field (that's Blind Carbon Copy).  If you have to put *something* in the To: field, feel free to use emailforwards@yahoo.com for that purpose.

joreth: (Default)

There's just something fundamentally wrong with this way of thinking.

So, because I wanted a new laptop to replace my desktop that crashed, I was forced to own an OEM version of Windows Vista ... because computers are no longer released with XP (thanks to Dell for hearing their customers' complaints and are now changing that policy).

I purchase a new computer

It comes with Vista

I don't want Vista

In order to remove it, I have to purchase a seperate copy of Vista because the OEM version that came on my computer does not come with an installation CD.

The reason I don't like Vista is because nothing is compatible with it.

If I want to keep Vista and make everyone else upgrade their products, I have to pay for those upgrades because they don't seem to want to release Vista patches for existing software: 

---------------------------------------------------
Dear valued costumer,

thank you for your e-mail and your interest in our software.

We regret to inform you that there is no Nero 6 version available supporting Windows Vista.

Nero 7 Reloaded supports Windows Vista since version 7.5.7.0 Users of Nero 5 or Nero 6 (either retail or OEM) will receive a special upgrade price for the Nero 7 serial number, of course.

You can place your order directly on the secure Nero web shop.

Customers from the USA, Canada, Mexico and Latin America please use the following link:

http://www.nero.com/enu/Upgrade_InfoPage.php

Customers from Australia and Asia please use the following link:

http://www.nero.com/eng/Upgrade_InfoPage.php

Customers from all other countries please use the following link:

http://www.nero.com/eng/Upgrade_InfoPage.php

Your old serial number will be required during the order process.

Please contact Nero Sales again with details on how you purchased your previous Nero version if you cannot find your old Nero serial number. If you want to test Nero 7 at first, you can download the current demo version of Nero 7 from the Nero website.

Customers from the USA, Canada, Mexico and Latin America please use the following link:
http://www.nero.com/nero7/enu/nero7-demo.php
Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Best Regards,

Dan Liedtke
Nero Support
Nero AG
Im Stoeckmaedle 13-15
76307 Karlsbad
Germany
Fax : ++49 (0)7248 928 499

http://www.nero.com

Vorstand: Richard Lesser (CEO), Kevin Dillon (CFO)


Aufsichtsratvorsitzender/ chairman of the supervisory board: Jim Corbett


Amtsgericht Mannheim HRB 362519
________________________________________________


So the bottom line is that I had to pay for software I didn't want, and in order to remove it, I have to pay for another copy, or in order to make current copies of legal software work, I have to pay for another copy of *each of those* to work with an OS that I am required to own even when I didn't want it to begin with.

Congratulations Microsoft, you have officially converted me to Mac ... and I didn't like Macs!

joreth: (Bad Computer!)
godamn vista can fucking go to motherfucking hell with the goddamn jolly green giant thrusting it's humongous fucking green fist right up its ASS into it's colon, ripping it all the way up and a whole tank full of pirranahs sucking it's fucking cock and tearing it to shreds!

MICROSOFT ... YOU SUCK!!!!!

So, I bought this little doohickey that transfers analog audio sources and converts them to MP3

It came with Nero software.

I already had Nero installed because I use a dvd-burning software that utilizes Nero.  But I installed the one that came with the hardware because it was a more recent version.

The installation process crashed twice because "Nero has known compatibility issues with Windows Vista", according to its error message.  Yeah, along with EVERY OTHER FUCKING PIECE OF SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE KNOWN TO MAN.

Then it installed, but it refused to let me access any of its programs, telling me I had an unlicensed copy of Nero.  Heh, my first legitimate OS telling me that my first legitimate piece of software is not legitimate.

So I uninstalled it because my unlicenced version installed better and I can't burn DVDs without it.

But when I tried to install the previous version, I got as far as the screen where I put in the serial #, and the "next" button refused to un-grey itself.  First, it had the legit serial already in place, telling me that it detected another version already installed (remember the one I just uninstalled?).  It didn't allow me to use that number, so I put in the number that was previously associated with this installation disc.  No dice.

Nero is not showing up on my Programs list so I can't uninstall it anymore, and there is no uninstall option listed in the Start Menu folders, and I can't start up any of the Nero programs to try and fix it that way because it just tells me that it's an unlicensed copy and I should go to the website to get a licensed version.

So now I have bits and pieces of Nero floating around my system that I can't get out and no way to burn my DVDs.

Bill Gates, you can fucking suck my huge purple dick and I hope you choke on it.
joreth: (Default)

Is it a rule or something that they can only hire morons for Tech Support?  I mean, I understand they get a lot of stupid people calling so they're used to their callers being morons, but shouldn't they at least be able to read before they're hired?

> Question / Problem:
>
> In my screen saver power settings, I have it set to start the screen saver
> after 5 minutes, turn off display at 10 minutes on battery and 15 minutes
> on plugged in, and turn off hard disk at 30 minutes on battery and never on
> plugged in.
>
> The display will turn off when it's on battery power, but it will not turn
> off while plugged in.  How can I fix this?


> Thank you for contacting Acer America. What you are describing could be due
> to the way the power management was set up. Plug in your AC adapter, then
> click on the Start button and select Control Panel. Click on Performance
> and Maintenance then click Power Options. In Power Options you can change
> the length of time before any component is shut down. I hope this
> information is helpful.


No, that was not helpful.  If you fully read the request for help, you will
see that I have already set my power settings to shut off the display after
15 minutes and it still does not shut off.  While I realize, as a tech
support personnel, you recieve requests for help from people who have no
idea how to turn on a computer, let alone configure it ... I, however, am
somewhat comfortable with and familiar with PCs, although Vista is quite
the challenge with it's numerous incompatibilities and driver issues.  I
suggest, in the future, you fully read the request before filing off an
auto-response that doesn't help and wastes both of our time.  Now, shall we
try this again with a more appropriate suggestion?


When you set your power options, was the AC adapter plugged in, or was the
computer running on battery? This could have an effect on the setting. I
recommend setting this option with the AC adapter attached. You could also
try launching the ePower Management software with the AC adapter attached,
and creating a custom profile for the settings you desire. If this does not
resolve your issue, please contact Acer Technical Support at 1-800-816-2237
M-F 7am-9pm CST and Sat-Sun 8am-5pm CST, excluding holidays. Currently we
are experiencing high call volume, so please expect your hold time to be
longer than normal. We are working to reduce this by providing additional
support personnel and by providing online support tools such as
www.FixMyAcer.com. I hope this helps.


I already tried all that with the AC adapter plugged in.

joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
OK, I'm a pc user, but my objections to Apple are getting narrowed further and further until the only *real* objection I have is that the PC equivilent is cheaper.

Let me tell you the current hell that is Microsoft.

1) You cannot purchase any new computer or laptop without also getting Windows Vista.  You have no choice, you will have Vista whether you like it or not.
2) When you purchase a computer with Vista on it, you get an OEM license for it, which means you did not actually purchase Vista, you just have permission to use it temporarily on this machine.
3) Vista does not come with drivers for existing hardware
4) Existing hardware does not support Vista at this time.  So that means that if you buy a computer with Vista on it, none of your existing peripherials will talk to it.
5) So you go to the hardware manufacturer's websites to download the drivers, but they're not available.
6) Tech support says the Vista installation CD should have the drivers on it, just pull them from the CD
7) But the computer didn't come with an installation CD because it's an OEM licensed version.  This also means you can't uninstall Vista and put any other version of Windows on it that works better.  You can't even format the fucking computer and start from scratch.
8) So Microsoft's website says to contact your supplier for the computer.
9) The supplier (Acer, in this case) says they can't help, it's the hardware manufacturer's responsibility to make drivers that support Vista
10) But the hardware manufacturer says the Vista CD already has the drivers and they can't provide them
11) But Microsoft says to contact Acer for issues about missing Installation CDs

So I have a computer that won't talk to my printer or scanner or any number of pieces of software (like Acrobat and Office).  The manufacturers of these hardwares and softwares say that they have no drivers available but the installation CD does.  Microsoft and Acer say the only way I can get my hands on the installation CD is to buy a legitimate copy of Windows Vista that I didn't want in the first place and that I already have installed on my computer to get the installation CD, but that it's really the hardware manufacturer's responsibility for making drivers in the first place.

So basically I have an E-Machine that won't let me install my printer, my scanner, or any other software that I already own, but it'll let me browse the internet and check email, using 40% or more of my system resources to do so.
joreth: (Bad Computer!)

Please forward this on to everyone you know who might need help with spammers, but PLEASE do not list anyone else's email address when you forward it!  Send this email as a Blind Carbon Copy (BCC).  If you have to put something in the To: field, I have created a fake email account just for this purpose.  You can put forwardedemails@yahoo.com in the To: field to protect all legitimate email addresses from being seen.  Add this email address to your address books and use it anytime because no one will be reading any email sent to this address.  And make sure to DELETE all email address headers from the previous person before sending this on to someone else.  When you forward any email, it should look as though you've written it yourself, with no "original message" information at the top, no annoying > at the line breaks, and definately NO ONE ELSE'S EMAIL ADDRESS visible.

joreth: (Bad Computer!)

So, apparently Viacom, in a totally irresponsible and extremely arrogant move, did a very crude search of YouTube content for ANY term related to ANY of their shows and then SPAMMED YOUTUBE WITH DMCA-TAKEDOWN NOTICES ... 100,000 to be specific.  According to the DMCA, youtube is obligated to take down any content reported as copyright infringement immediately.  They are supposed to actually investigate them, but with as huge as youtube is, they don't really have the time or resources.  Consequently, THOUSANDS of youtube users had their totally copyright-infringement-free content removed from youtube's servers and these users are now on a list of potential copyright infringers.  

How I came about this information was when I discovered that one of my favorite videos, "re: Your Brains" by Spiffworld - music by Jonathan Coulton, has been taken down with a notice about copyright infringement.  Since Mr. Coulton says right on his website that all his songs are under the Creative Commons license (which means anyone can use his songs in any way, as is or altered), this video was clearly not copyright-infringed.  Jonathon Coulton is now notified and is keeping up with developments on his website http://www.jonathancoulton.com and he has included a couple of links to outside news sources who have caught wind of this fiasco.  I plan to show my support by visiting the http://www.metacafe.com/tags/spiffworld and downloading the video where Spiff has also posted it, and re-uploading it to youtube as soon as I have some time.

joreth: (Bad Computer!)

OK, it's behind a cut so those of you who don't have the time or don't want to take the time to read it from your friend's list don't have to.

First contact written on Contact Form on mail server's website:

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