Archive for the ‘Computer Stuff’ Category.

Netbooks: The Missing Manual

Disclaimer: I recently received this book from O’Reilly for free. Thanks O’Reilly!

Let’s see.  The only thing going on in my life right now is work, work, and more work.  I did install Windows 7 on my Mac recently; I’ve totally dropped everything Mac-related, and this change to Windows (if you know me well) is quite a surprise.

However, I’ve been reading Netbooks: The Missing Manual from O’Reilly Publishing, in order to get a better idea of issues that Sonia and I should keep in mind with her netbook.  This summer, I bought her a Lenovo IdeaPad S10; great machine, great price.

The important thing to keep in mind with netbooks is that they’re like “Computers: Lite Edition” and need to be treated as such.  If you want speed, you should plug it in; otherwise the processor might slow itself down (a lot) to save battery.  If you want to use external data, optical drives are sometimes out of the question.  Data storage can be limited, and even movie playback can cause your fans to whir at high speed.  that being said, they’re great for those who want to be able to travel around with some of their data, and always have a connection to the Net, or have a way to take a few quick notes.

This book does a pretty good job of helping those new to netbooks keep these things in mind.  Here are my main thoughts about the book.

Up-to-date information about the Netbook craze. The book came out in August, and it’s very clear.  New laptop models are listed, Chrome is touted as a reliable browser, and the hardware specifications mentioned are very useful.  This being said, the book might not be as useful in about 6 months, when new netbooks have been released; new specifications become “sufficient” and “top-of-the-line”, and the instructions listed might fall out of date – especially in terms of the Operating Systems that are talked about.  We’re going to put 7 on her Netbook at some point, and the instructions are written assuming that the user is using XP.

Full of information about using your computer’s OS. This in and of itself is a great thing for a novice user.  However, it doesn’t go into much more detail than a normal “how to use your computer” book; while some of the instructions are be tailored towards netbooks (i.e. Chapter 1: “Buying and Setting up your Netbook”), they are few and far between.  A user who is experienced with Windows/Linux might not find major portions of the book to be useful.  This being said, however, a user who wants to experiment with Linux on his netbook would find this to be a great resource.

Pictures! It’s a black-and-white book, but the pictures are very illustrative of each instruction.  Screenshots are clear and big enough; other pictures serve as a good illustration of the topics covered.

All in all, I’d recommend it for the user who’s not very experienced with computers and just bought a netbook, or for the user who is thinking about taking the Linux plunge on one.  Others might not find it to be as useful.

~Chris

FiOS.

Holy crap.

I heard about RIP: A Remix Manifesto, a documentary about the remixing revolution from a copyright perspective, from DCist.  Haven’t watched it yet, but it has interviews with Cory Doctorow and Girl Talk (both people who I find fascinating).

Continue reading ‘FiOS.’ »

If you’re having problems with Windows Vista and a print server

Just wanted to help everyone out on the internets – this is a problem that at least a few people have come across (http://h30434.www3.hp.com/psg/board/message?board.id=Networking&thread.id=1020). It’s concerning using a networked print server with Microsoft Vista.

In my experience, the printer will either print garbage over and over, print nothing over and over, or print the first page over and over.  Either way, you’re wasting a lot of paper and toner, and it’s frustrating!

(Stop reading now if it’s not important to you :-P)

Continue reading ‘If you’re having problems with Windows Vista and a print server’ »

I’d forgotten how much of a pain Linux can be, haha….

Well, in all fairness, I think a lot of it was because I never use the system…so it had to be updated quite a bit. But I installed Motion on a shitty webcam. I had to update nearly everything on the system before getting it to work, but that’s life. Probably the same stuff would have had to happen on my Mac or on my Windows machine…I just happen to use the other computers more often :-)

Anyway, now I can set it up to see anytime someone walks into my apartment – it takes pictures and throws them into a flash movie for my perusal. It timestamps everything, and can even draw a box around the “changing pixels” (i.e.: the person walking into the frame).

I did all this WHILE packing to go home to NJ (and for Korea). As much as I hate the Internet…it’s really pretty awesome.

Anyway, time for bed. I’m going up with Eric tomorrow, then I have a week before I finally see 박선영!

Sonia!

Sonia!