Sunday, February 26, 2006

On The Day You Were Born

Most of us have seen these programs that either display or print what happened on the day you were born. I think I received a program on CD for a birthday present a few years ago. At any rate, this is a page that covers the subject very well. Try it at:
just for fun.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

National Archives available for free online

National Archives & Google Offer Historic Films Online.

I just can't tell you how much enjoyment this has brought to me. If you are a history buff, you are going to be spending a lot of time browsing these old news reels and films.
Click HERE to view


Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin today announced the launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives Web site.

"This is an important step for the National Archives to achieve its goal of becoming an archives without walls," said Professor Weinstein. "Our new strategic plan emphasizes the importance of providing access to records anytime, anywhere. This is one of many initiatives that we are launching to make our goal a reality. For the first time, the public will be able to view this collection of rare and unusual films on the Internet."

"Today, we’ve begun to make the extraordinary historic films of the National Archives available to the world for the first time online," said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of technology at Google. "Students and researchers whether in San Francisco or Bangladesh can watch remarkable video such as World War II newsreels and the story of Apollo 11 - the historic first landing on the Moon."

The pilot program undertaken by the National Archives and Google features 103 films from the audiovisual collections preserved at the Archives.

Highlights of the pilot project include:

* The earliest film preserved in the National Archives holdings by Thomas Armat, Carmencita - Spanish Dance, featuring the famous Spanish Gypsy dancer,1894
* A representative selection of U.S. government newsreels, documenting World War II, 1941-45
* A sampling of documentaries produced by NASA on the history of the spaceflight program
* Motion picture films, primarily from the 1930s, that document the history and establishment of a nationwide system of national and state parks. Included is early footage of modern Native American activities, Boulder Dam, documentation of water and wind erosion, Civilian Conservation Corps workers, and the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority. A 1970 film documents the expansion of recreational programs for inner city youth across the nation.

The National Archives and Google are exploring the possibilities of expanding the on-line film collection and making the Archives extensive textual holdings available via the Internet.

Lots of other videos available here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Get that number

About every month or so I get a request for a phone number for a business or person that is located in or near Ripley county. I have a phone directory Web Page where you can look up phone numbers anywhere in the USA. Also there is a page with hard to find local phone numbers. Did you ever have a water leak ? What number do you call for the Water Works ? You can find it now with ease. Give it a try at:
Also did you know you can find a reverse phone number look up at Google ? Just type in the phone number with area code and see who owns it. Just make sure to use this format with the dashes 812-555-5555. This works for businesses and residential.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

MB and Mb ?

Copied from an old "The Screen Savers News Leter:

Q: What is the difference between MB and Mb? Is there a conversion factor?

-- A freakishly loyal viewer

A: The big "B" in MB stands for byte. The lowercase "b" in Mb stands for bit.

In terms of data storage values, there are eight bits in every byte. A megabit is composed of 1,048,576 bits, whereas a megabyte represents 8,388,608 bits: eight times as many.

But wait a minute -- doesn't the capital M in MB or Mb stand for mega, and doesn't mega imply one million? If this is true, then how could a megabit be 1,048,576 bits? That's 48,576 too many bits!

Let's use kilobits to explain the reasoning. Computers thrive on binary language: ones and zeros. A binary kilobit, and we use binary values to represent storage capacities, is actually 1024 bits (2 to the 10th power). Back in the day, sloppy computer engineers noticed that 1024 was awfully close to 1000, so they just hijacked the decimal prefixes most people are familiar with and used them to describe storage capacities.

Problem is, hard drive makers tend to use the decimal scheme rather than the binary scheme they should be using. This is partially why when you install a 30GB hard drive Windows tells you the drive is only about 28GB. Formatting the drive also consumes some space.

Because this is all somewhat confusing, The Screen Savers has created a conversion chart for you to print out, trim around the edges, and carry in your wallet. You might find it useful the next time you visit the computer store.

photo of chart omitted

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Flash Drives

Thumb drives are the rage, they replace those unreliable floppies that after you've had them for awhile seem to be empty or your computer tells you they need formatted, but you know they don't. Yes the new flash or thumb drives are great and hold so much information. I have a one Gig drive that I carry in my pocket with much needed repair software on it. I have been carrying it for about 4 months now, but a few days ago I plugged into the USB port and wala ! A window pops up telling me to insert the disk, I pulled it out and reinserted, no dice, nothing, the disk was crashed. I tried to format it with Windows and it reported it could not. A look on the manufacture's Web site gave me lots of hints, but I'm sorry to say none worked. I found a phone number and after talking to Gandhi in Bombay for a few minutes I was told to download a formatting utility. I did the quick install and ran the program. After a few seconds it was done, I looked at the properties and low in behold I now have a two gig thumb drive. Don't ask, because I do not have a clue why. The moral is don't count on your thumb drive to keep information for long periods of time. They crash just like the hard drive inside your computer. Keep a back-up because it is not if, its when........ back it up !

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Broadband Internet compared to dial-up

I was at a young lady's home installing a piece of software she was having trouble getting to run. I found it must have Microsoft's Direct X v.9.0 to install. I went to the download page and found that the file was 42 Megabyte. She had a dial-up Internet provider and this told me it was going to be a long wait for the download to complete, so I started the download and left. The time was 2 PM, at 7:35 she called me and said it was complete. Seven hours thirty-five minutes it took. I told her to click the file to start the install, but the file was corrupt, all that time wasted. I told her not to worry that I would download it, burn it to CD and deliver it the next morning. I started the 42 Meg. download and 3 minutes later I had the file ready to burn to CD. It took longer to burn than to download it. Seven hours thirty-five minutes verses three minutes ! Plus her download was corrupt and worthless. Her connection was good for dial-up 50k, my broadband connection was 3 1/2 Meg. I'm just telling you if you can get broadband (and not all can) think about it. DSL from your phone company is about the same cost as dial-up or lower in cost. Cable is higher but faster, Satellite is slow, high in price, but better than dial-up if you can't get cable or DSL and want to pay the price. Not all need a faster connection speed, but if your time is a consideration, go for broadband.

knot knot is knot

Did you ever repel down from a copter or cliff ? but the years have passed and you think, "now how did I tie that knot". Were you a BoyScout ? did you tie some knots ? OK to the point of this Blog post, Here is a page devoted to rope knots of all kinds. The editor of this page displays a true work of art showing animated ropes that move and end up as knots. Think of a knot and it will be here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Free Credit Report

Don’t believe what you hear on television - even with the catchy “Free Credit Report dot-com” jingle. That’s the last place you want to visit for a credit report, Instead, go to Annual Credit Report dot com - which is the really, truly free service.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

AVG False Positive

About everytime AVG virus scans my drive it comes up with one or more virus infected files. These files have the word Java inserted in the name. Attempting to remove the infected files I did a search with Google and found very little information on the viruses, why ? because the files are not considered virus infected. AVG finds these files and considers them to be viruses but they are not. How to remove them came from a very hard to find search, but the fix is very simple.

With XP OS
Go to the control panel and click on "Java Plug In". Click on the tab called "Cache", now click on "Clear", A window will pop up, Click "Yes". Thats it, click the "X" at top right to close out. Run AVG again and the virus alert is gone. The cache being cleared has no effect on the performance of your computer that I have found.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Flight Plan - just a good movie

Flight Plan (no sex - no bad language - just a good movie)
Jodie Foster never fails to be the heroine in every movie she starred in, including this one. 37,000 feet above ground, Julia Foster (six year old daughter) goes missing on the plane. During the plot everything seems logical, as her husband was found dead six days ago. The flight crew thus assume that she is not in the right state of mind. Rent it today, its a good one.

It’s happening again

This article was taken from the lockergnome newsletter and page
Note: If you need a free or pay Virus program I recommend AVG
I use AVG on all of my machines, but please use one of your choise,
but please use one - anyone - everyone.

It’s happening again. The press is full of warnings about some new virus that has presumably already infected hundreds of thousands of machines, and that is set to cause massive havoc on February 3rd (and the 3rd of every month thereafter) by erasing certain types of files from those machines.

Referred to by many names, the "Kama Sutra" worm masquerades, as usual, as an e-mail attachment with promises of porn of some sort.

The good news is, of course, that the anti-virus companies are prepared, and most all of the reasonable anti-virus software packages, if kept up to date, will simply eradicate this pest as yet another virus. Life goes on.

So why all the hoopla?

There are two assumptions in that good news. Two invalid assumptions:

First, that everyone actually is running anti-virus software of some sort. The fact is that many machines are still unprotected. It's getting better, but I still get questions on a daily basis where the answer boils down to "you should've been running anti-virus software."

Second, and more troubling, is the phrase "if kept up to date." There are many people out there that don't realize that simply installing and running an anti-virus solution may not be enough. Or, perhaps even more common, after running with their one-year free update subscription that came with their machine, they simply let it lapse without re-subscribing or installing an alternate solution.

The scary part about each new virus is not that is exists, nor that it can cause damage - we should pretty much expect that by now. The scary part is that even with the history of virus threats, the news surrounding some of the more sensational ones, and the vast array of tools both free and commercial at our disposal - people still get infected.

In this latest case, those people stand a good chance of losing valuable data.

If they're not running up to date anti-virus software, what are the chances, do you think, that they happened to back up their data?

What I know is that on February 4th, many will start.

Prepare to be awed!

This site really makes you feel insignificant, or truly amazing. Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida has put up a very interesting page on their site. It begins as a view of the Milky Way Galaxy viewed from a distance of 10 million light years and then Zooms in towards Earth in powers of ten. 10 million, to one million, to 100,000 light years and then it finally reaches a large Oak tree. If ever there was a witness to creation, these folks have captured it for our viewing pleasure!

Once you click on the site, the software does all the work. Sit back and magine how perfect our universe is! You can play it forward and backward to be amazed over and over. At the end it says on that and review the process in reverse!
Click here to see the page

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ground Hog Day!

I want to Wish Everyone A Happy Ground Hog Day!


This is third Amaryllis I planted since last year
Two stems come out from bulbs and got two flowers
I enjoyed to watch flowers everyday now

James Furiya

I forgot my glasses

I was setting at a restaurant table with some friends, one said read the special from the menu for me, I forgot my glasses. I said make a tiny peep hole with your hand and look through it and you can read it yourself. Wow, you can, where did you learn that he said. I said its an ol' Indian trick, they had no glasses you know. I just made that up, but I bet it was true. You can poke a pin hole in a piece of cardboard or dark paper and peek into the hole to read fine print, like listings in a phone book, when you forget or have broken your glasses. Try it ! it works.

Photo Stacker

Almost everyone has a digital camera now and a folder full of photos. If you want to create a desk top like no other try this free program from Krrrk. The guys at wanted an easy way to take random pictures and generate a unique desktop wallpaper. It actually evolved from their obsession with CD album art (CD Stacker came well before) but their friends didn't have many mp3s so their wallpaper sucked. As a way to keep the peace, they made it work with their digital photos instead - something everyone seems to have tons of. Download this program and have a fun time running it over and over till you settle on your masterpiece. If you have wallpaper now on your desk top that you want to keep, make sure you back it up so you can restore it in the future. Read from the page for more info and to download.