Posted by: JungleGeorge | December 6, 2010

DNS Failure

Recently, I had trouble at home with PC’s trying to connect to the internet. All PC’s with wireless connections were failing except the one wire PC I have. It drove me crazy until they all started working again around 12:30 AM. The next day I checked my providers help forum and found they were having DNS issues and then I remember my wired PC uses  OpenDNS while the other PC’s use the ISP provider DNS. What a pain.

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Posted by: JungleGeorge | November 15, 2010

DropBox

DropBox offer free 2 GB of space on the internet for file backups, sharing between PC’s, file hosting and 30 day backup of deleted or updated files.  Email Registatation is required, small program installation, and a folder named MyDropBox.  To use,  just put your files in the My Dropbox folder. You can create sub-folders in it. The size of the file size must be smaller than the size of your account. So it needs to be 2 GB or less until you increase your account’s size.  There seems to be several ways to accompish this, the most common it referring people that open an account. Students get 500 MB with their EDU email account. Everyone else gets 250 MB for referral. The maximum additional free space is at least 8 GB.

To share you files between PC’s, log onto your other PC’s, connect to your Drop Box account at the DropBox site, and install the program. The process is quick and painless. It will start right away replicating files onto your new PC.  Besides Windows, DropBox supports Linux, Mac OS and Mobile Devices.

When I originally heard of DropBox I had two issues to overcome.

First being required to put everything in one folder named MyDropbox. After using if for a while I found this as benefit. You never worry about which folders are being backed up and its easy to remember. Its icon in system task makes it is easy to find on your differrent PC’s.

My second issue is the size of 2 Gb, my approach is not to worry about it. When I hit the MAX so be it. Until then I have easy access to files that duplicated. I have not hit the maximum size.

If your looking for an easy way to host or share folders/files over the internet, this tool makes it very easy to use for both you and your vistors.  Don’t worry about your private files, only the files and folders you want to share will be accessible by others over the internet. Only you have full access to your files. Do not forget the 30 day backup in case you want undo a change or bring back a file.

I continue to look for a valid alternative to DropBox but have not  not found one. All the others have file size limits or difficuties in backing/retrieving files. I am currently using mine for portable applications, docementation, and web site development.

Additional Link(s)

Posted by: JungleGeorge | September 8, 2010

Bookmarking Web Pages

After many years of using Linkagogo, I decided to look for an alternative. I will probably keep my account for creating an online backup for my bookmarks but I will no longer be using it to actively add bookmarks. Since I started using Linkagogo, social bookmarking has really taken off. There are so many online bookmarking options now.  To get a handle of these options, I created this post which identifies that various bookmarking sites I have looked into to meet my requirements. This is by no means an exhaustive list of available options.

My Requirements

  • Access from multiple browsers
  • Access from multiple computer
  • Option to keep them private by default
  • Support 1000’s of bookmarks
  • Organize in directory format
  • Export/import option for  multiple browser formats
  • Tags are optional
  • Reliable

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Posted by: JungleGeorge | August 18, 2010

Comparing Technology

Choosing a technology often comes done to choosing between two products. There maybe multiple solutions to choose from but in the end you often end up with two. I found a wiki whose purpose is to do just that. Its name is WikiVS and it host articles that compare two similar technologies providing the pro/cons of each.

Recently I got an email providing links to upgrading from MySQL to Postgres. I have been using MySQL for websites because it is more commonly available and runs on windows. I wanted to know what may of changed with Postgres that would confince me to change. That’s what lead me to this site and its MySQL vs PostgreSQL article.  Its well balance article with lots of details did not provide me an answer but did give me more insight into both DBMS.

I started looking at other articles like Laser Mouse vs Optical Mouse which I never really thought about. I only read a few articles but I am hooked on the site.

Posted by: JungleGeorge | July 2, 2010

Virtual PC

Microsoft’s Virtual PC is included on Windows 7 and is a free install for Windows Vista and Windows XP. This software allows for the running of other operating system within your windows desktop. The operating systems come as a virtual image stored on a VHD  file. Microsoft uses this tool to promote some of its operating system and software by providing trial VHD image files you can use with Virtual PC.

They also provide VHD image files for its different versions of Internet Explorer 6,7, and 8.  This allows you to test websites using all three releases from your desktop. They also come in versions with Windows XP and Vista operating system. To download these images, visit this page. These desktop IE images can also be used to install other software you want to try out.  The only gotcha with these VHD images are they expire. When they do, you can only run the image up to an hour before it is shutdown. You can then start it up again for another hour of use. When evaluating software, one hour is often enough time.

Troubleshooting

Virtual PC – “add or remove program has been restricted” – Tip to fix http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-2000/admin-restricted-to-add-programs/62185.html – HK current user -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows – > Current Version -> Policies. – Deleted the UNINSTALL NoAddRemovePrograms

Additional References

Posted by: JungleGeorge | October 22, 2009

Flash Drive Alternative for Portable Applications

Flash drives are the most popular media for hosting portable applications because they are small, portable, and usable by most PCs. The negative part is you need to remember to bring it with you and not run it through the washing machine.

Shared server drives work great as central source for portable applications but do not provide easy access when outside of the network.

CDs are best used as a backup device for portable applications because many portable applications cannot be used directly from a CD because they require write access to their folder.

Online Storage is used for backups of portable application. They are accessible from any PC with Internet access but require you to download the file to execute them. Many free sites suffer from file size limits, slow connections, and trouble maintaining backups from multiple sources.

Replication of folders between PCs provides copies of the files on all your PCs. Some include online access to your files as well. Servers without the replication software can map to network PCs with the replicated data. On negative side, software is installed on each PC that you want an up to date copy of the files.

Summary

I have tried Flash Drives, CDs, Online storage online, and shared drives. Replication with online backup offers me the best of all worlds. Flash drive is still the best solution for PCs without internet access.

Software Suggestion

DropBox is a file replication provider with online backup access for use on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Mobile Devices. The online backup provides 30 days backup of all file changes. The free version has 2 GB storage with limit no limit on the number of PCs being replicated. Registration requires an e-mail address, which become your account id.

Installation is easy with no noticeable performance impact. You can put your DropBox folder on any drive including a Flash Drive. If you want to stop it or start it up manually, you can when you want 100% of your CPU and Internet connection dedicated to something else. Now when I update or add a new portable application to this dedicated folder it is automatically copied to my other PCs when I logon to them. Now

There are other alternatives to DropBox but it is the first one I decided to try and have been happy with it.

Posted by: JungleGeorge | July 15, 2009

Anarchy Online

Anarchy Online is a free online multi player RPG game that takes place in the future on a distance planet. This futuristic world is a combination of old technology such as swords to futuristic flying vehicles. Game play revolves around improving your character by leveling, adding implants, gaining abilities, equipment, and nano (magic) skills.

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Posted by: JungleGeorge | June 4, 2009

NetBooks – The New Affordable Laptop

Recently, I started noticing the netbooks at a local Best Buy. They are small notebooks running on low power processors with small screens. What got my attention was how cheap they were starting at $300. You can argue you can get notebook for only for few hundred more but why spend the extra money. For the price of a an extended 3 year warranty on a $600 laptop you can buy a net book.  Think about it, some cell phones cost $300.

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Posted by: JungleGeorge | April 10, 2009

Maximum PC added to Google Books

Maximum PC is a monthly magazine for PC enthusiast.  It contains articles on building PC’s, installing and using various operating systems, tools to improve or fix your PC, news, reviews, and even has PC game reviews. Recently, all issues have been added to Googles Book Search.

Currently, I do not  subscribe to he magazine instead I visit my local library every quarter or so and I will check out a bunch issues for reading marathon. Besides saving a little money, this lets me look at the magazine with fresh eyes taking time to notice ads and editorials which on magazine subscriptions I have a habit of skimming over.

The February 209 issue has some interesting articles and ads. The article Give Windows a Clean Start addresses the need to reinstall Windows by using a new hard drive and  using the old one for a backup. I wished I thought of this a few years ago when I had to reinstall Windows. This article covers all the basis and references some free software to help in the rebuild.

The ads in this issue were also interesting.

  • Roboform is suppose to be free application that is used to remember all your user ids and passwords.
  • APC Battery backup that automatically power downs idle peripherals. Might be money well spent.
  • PC Pitstop free performance and stability scans. I used to use this site to check my internet speed and fix my settings in my NIC card so it would perform as expected.
Posted by: JungleGeorge | March 7, 2009

PC Games That Won’t Die

Extreme Tech’s article 5 Games that Won’t Die!, identifies five PC games (Diablo II, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, People’s General, StarCraft, & Fallout) that I never played. At the time of their release, I did think about buying some of them, but instead used my limited funds to buy other games.

People’s General is free, so I downloaded it with plans of playing sometime. Back when it was originally released, I was playing Panzer General II, which I purchased through an SSI 4 game combo pack. Panzer General II is another one of the games that will not die. A very active online community is developing enhancements and new campaigns.

This got me wanting to find other PC games. Using Stumbleupon, I started searching. After a couple of hits, I found a very interesting web page that lists free games for windows XP. This long list of free games is very well thought out. Many of them could be categorized as a PC Game That Won’t Die.

Looks like I will be busy downloading some more.

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