Wow, It snowed!

First Snow of 2010
First snow of the year

I woke up this morning to this.  A white blanket covering the ground for the first time since last winter ended.

It was very windy yesterday, Trees fell, and a number of signs broke off due to the high winds.  Those winds must have died down some time last night, otherwise, we couldn’t have gotten such a blanket of snow 🙂

The Holidays are right around the bend now!

I will post the rest of my story later this week.





Regional Weather Map for the morning of Oct 27, 2010
Regional Weather Map for the morning of Oct 27, 2010

My History with Computers Part 2, Windows XP, and Linux

I’ve been having some issues with a Windows Vista install that has gone on the fritz, which is why I took so long to post this…

Well, here is Part 2 of my History with computers.

Now, somethime between 2001 and 2002 we got a Windows XP E-machine, it ran well, but my mom thought that Windows XP looked too much like a clown to be good in business :), E-machines was a good company … at the time.

After that one I got a Windows XP Compaq desktop.  Once again it ran well, though fairly slowly, it was eventually pointed out that I had gotten a computer with a slow CPU, so this wasn’t Windows XP’s fault.

One of my aunts had also just married a European man (From the UK to be specific) and he brought some disks with Mandrake Linux 9 on them.  This is what started me onto Linux, I installed it on the Windows 98 E-machine, and ran it for a fair amount of time.  It wouldn’t update due to the company behind it changing the name to Mandriva, which broke the older updaters.  I ran it off and on for a while, but stuck mostly with Windows.

Around this time is when I started to see problems with some of our computers.  My mom had gotten another E-machine around the time that I got the Compaq desktop computer.  Her E-machine computer started randomly re-booting, and crashing.  we took it into the Geek Squad… for a whole week, and they gave it a clean bill of health.  it died two days after, motherboard failure.  She got a HP Desktop from Walmart with Windows XP Media Center Edition.  This was just before the release of Vista, so it had one of those ‘Windows Vista Capable’ labels.

The HP Machine ran very well for over a year, then it got a Virus which wasn’t detected by the Virus checker, it did a lot of damage to the OS before I installed AVG Free Antivirus to replace the older, paid, program.  The viruses were detected and removed, but the computer was far too unstable for work.  My mom needed that computer running well within 24 hours, and she didn’t trust the Geek Squad since the last machine.  I decided to try out Ubuntu Linux.  The machine was running by the next day, able to boot between the unstable copy of Windows XP, and Ubuntu 7.04.  In retrospect, this was the first step to our ongoing removal of Windows from our main machines.

At this point I got a new E-machine, which had a very badly bugged copy of Windows XP (Last XP Machine at Walmart, everything else was Vista) The copy of Windows XP could not run any Full-screen programs, even though I installed a high-end graphics card.  It was soon running Ubuntu 7.04, and it got upgraded to 7.10 in October of that year.

Whew, that was a lot of text 🙂  Tune in tomorrow (I hope…*) for the third part of this series! Windows Vista, and Beyond!

*My Windows Vista/7 Laptop just died, time to put Ubuntu 10.10 on it 😉


My history with Computers Part 1, The early days

Windows 95 Desktop
Windows 95 Desktop

I’ve used computers since I was a little child, so I have quite the history with computers, starting with DOS/Windows 3.11, and ending currently with Ubuntu Linux, and Windows 7.

As I said, my first computer ran DOS/Windows 3.11, I got used to the command line with DOS, and worked with the GUI in Windows, it was a good system, it was actually fast (It still feels faster than some modern Windows 7/Vista machines…) I still have that computer, and it works, no Y2K problem with that one 🙂 .

My second computer was a Windows 95 Gateway.  This computer is still functioning as well, so I can still try out good ol’ Windows 95.  This is also a very good computer.

My third computer was a Windows 98 HP Pavilion.  This computer died a little while ago, Disk drive failure, this is going to be used in a project in the future :).  I didn’t think much of Windows 98, the computer crashed on a regular basis, and was really SLOOOOWWW… Needless to say, I wasn’t fond of this computer. This is when I started to learn how to Re-install the OS, as I did it a few times to speed this thing back up, before the drive failure.

The next computer was a Windows 98 E-machine.  Now Windows 98 ran as well as the Windows 95 Gateway computer.  I don’t have much to say about this one, but eventually Windows did die, I got a copy of Windows 2000 to put on that computer, and it has been running perfectly since then. I’m glad about the HP, it allowed me to learn

My fith computer was an old DOS compaq laptop, it stopped running a while ago due to a virus 🙁  all of it’s rescue disks were destroyed by it.

My sixth computer was a Windows ME Compaq laptop.  I don’t have much to say about Windows ME, except it crashed a lot.  It went Blue-screen when I opened Netscape! or Windows Media Player!….  I didn’t like that one.

Well, in my next post, I’ll post about my Windows XP Days,  it gets a little busier there, as things changed with the release of Xp.  it was good, but had it’s pitfalls…  See you tomorrow 🙂


Useful Computer Tip of the Week

Use BleachBit to remove your files.

Bleachbit is much like CCleaner, which I recommended for Windows users a while ago.  I still recommend CCleaner for Windows Users, but since it’s Windows only, it isn’t useful for Linux users.  You can remove files, shred files (Completly wipe them) and wipe the free space on the disk drive.

The reason that you would want to shred a file is to make it impossible to recover later.  There are programs that can recover files that have been deleted, which is why you would want to ‘shred’ your sensitive documents.


Useful computer tip of the week

Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD
Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD

Use Linux Live CDs to try Linux out before you think of installing, it will be a little bit slow, CD Drives are slower than Harddrives, but you can get a taste of what it would be like to use Linux.  This post was made from the Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD, which was released yesterday, I’ll be making a short review of this new version later.

For those that want to try Ubuntu 10.10, the CD has a program called Wubi on it, if you use that in Windows, it’ll install Ubuntu as a Windows application, so you can try it at full speed, without fear of breaking your Windows installation.

Until then, have fun 🙂


Useful computer tip of the Week

Many Linux users may notice that there is no audio in Java applications.  I recently found an fairly easy way to fix this.

This should work for Ubuntu users, I cannot vouch for other versions of Linux.

  1. Press ALT+F2
  2. type in ‘gksudo nautilus’ (Without the quotes)
  3. enter your password
  4. go to /usr/bin
  5. search for ‘java’
  6. rename the file named ‘java’ to ‘java.bin’
  7. make an empty document, rename it to ‘java’
  8. copy the content of the box below into the text file
  9. #!/bin/bash
    padsp /usr/bin/java.bin “$@”

  10. save the file
  11. right-click on the file
  12. go to the permissions tab
  13. click on the allow executing as a program checkbox
  14. Now you should have audio in your Java Applications!

I will post a file that will do all of this for you later, which will make the process much easier.