Category Archives: Technical Stuff

Deepest Sender

Another way cool bloggin’ tool (for WordPress, Blogger, and LiveJournal).  For those of you using Firefox as your web browser this may be for you.  Deepest Sender is an extension that with a click of a button will open a window for you to post to your blog.  Though I have not tested everything, there are buttons for assorted justification, lists, links, images, indents, etc.

To start this tool once installed, you can find it in the Tools menu.  The initial click will ask for log in information and the hardest part is the website.  For WordPress this would be:

http://www.yoursite.com/wordpressdirectory/xmlrpc.php

or if wordpress is on the root of your site it would be something like:

http://www.yoursite.com/xmlrpc.php

Add username and password, select a few preferences and there you are. Or so it seems.

You can also add an icon in the Firefox tool bar by right clicking the tool bar and Customize… Then find the Deepest Sender icon and drag and drop on to the tool bar where you want it.

Have fun.

Links:
http://deepestsender.mozdev.org/
http://deepestsender.mozdev.org/help.html

MPAA in violation of DMCA

Looks like it illegal that I make a personal copy of my personal, purchased DVDs for my personal use under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) pushed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). However, it is ok for the MPAA to make copies even if they promised in writing not to make copies of that specific documentary?

Quoted from the MPAA web site:

“Manufacturing, selling, distributing or making copies of motion pictures without the consent of the copyright owners is illegal,” the MPAA’s website says. “Movie pirates are thieves, plain and simple…. ALL forms of piracy are illegal and carry serious legal consequences.”

I really think that recording industry has gone way too far with trying to limit the “Fair Use” of copyright material and I hope that this event will start unraveling the trend.

More information here at the LA Times.

Another point to make on this article is that the MPAA believes it is okay for the recording industry to use internet service providers to snoop people’s personal download information and gather “evidence” while a guy is not allowed to drive around in a car and see what their employees are doing in public?

“Intel Inside” a Mac? – Part 3

Well, it is official, after Jobs claimed at least a 2-3 times speed increase, it looks like Macworld says the Intel much closer to maybe 25% increase. And this is mainly for software that was developed for the Intel processor in mind(AKA “Universal” software).

If the software was not developed as “Universal” software for both the PowerPC chip and the Intel chip a tool called “Rosetta” needs to interpret the software for the Intel system. The results do not look good. Of the software tested only one ran on the Intel at near 50% of speed of the G5. The others were even slower.

Also, if you need to run Classic programs, they will not run on the Intel at all.

A good review is here (from a Mac proponent).

Finally, why Intel? Reading assorted articles, IBM, Texas Instruments, and AMD all have better products. Could Apple be looking at selling software only in the near future? Or even selling their computer business in favor of consumer electronics and positioning themselves to make the transaction more “valuble”? I surely hope not. But then again, this might create a push to look even closer at Linux as a desktop OS.

Sony Saga Continues

Oh what fun! The recording industry complains about the consumers doing illegal activity but the Sony story just gets bigger.

Not only does Sony put code on you computer to limit you use of recordings that you purchased for your own personal use, but it opens wide doors for malware. And these installed files from Sony are invisible to the user so they are very hard to find. Of course this has already been exploited. And it is hard to remove. To top that, the Sony provided “fix” makes even bigger security holes from what I hear.

BTW, “Any consumer who fails to keep up-to-date with the hidden software is in breach of the [end user license] agreement.”

To top it off, some of the code used in this software seems to be suspiciously like the LGPL licensed code for LAME. It looks like some one may be in violation of copyright and licensing?

“The issue that has been lurking for a long time is how invasive can content companies be as to monitoring your computer,” said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the EFF. “I think that Sony has gone too far here and violated the personal property rights of computer users.”

Some of the MANY references:

My suggestion, just don’t buy Sony for a while.

Microsoft Office 2003 Cost!

Owch! My behind and back are now aching as I pick myself off the floor after falling out of my chair in shock.

Customers must pay $399 for Office 2003 Standard Edition, which excludes many of the choicer collaboration features such as InfoPath, featured in Office Professional for $499. The Register, Microsoft: no Office party

Ok, maybe not that much but for a retail package of Office 2003 Standard Edition I found at $345 at my favorite low-cost retailer. If you are just upgrading, it is $213!

Why would you want to buy Word processor, spreadsheet, email and calendar, and presentation programs especially at that cost.

These are available for free. In fact here is an office suite that is cross-platform, uses open standards for files, is MS compatible, and to top it off, has a database in it too (that cost $100 more from MS). Give it a go: OpenOffice Oh, I forgot, you can use the same program in Windows, Mac, Linux and other OS, sharing config files to make it ‘look’ and feel the same on all platforms. Then there are the plugins that add even further capabilities – FOR FREE!

Ok, so the above does not have email, calendar, tasks etc. Another tool with added benefit of assiting in avoiding viruses many of which are enhanced by Outlook’s “integrations” to the OS, is a product from Mozilla and the Mozilla Foundation.

Thunderbird is a compact but powerful email client with features available like crazy (including and impressive encryption tool that uses GnuPG to permit only the intended recipient to read the email!). Others nifty tools can be found in the Extensions area. Again, this is an application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other OSes.

What about Internet Explorer(IE)? We can deal with that too! Mozilla has a superb alternative, though in more recent releases of Windows you can not fully get rid of IE.

Firefox is the solution! Again, this tool can assist you in avoiding the trash that internet browsing can bring. There are filters and popup blockers that are fully integrated into this browser. Also, a major release (1.5) is on the horizon that adds more power and still a fraction of the size of IE. Again, there are tons of extentions for Firefox including, weather, audio player contol, RSS, etc. And, if you can program a little, they are giving away cool computers in exchange for new extension for Firefox 1.5 – Firefox Contest. And Again (I feel like a stuck record – what is that?), this is an application available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other OSes.

Still sore from the fall. But hopefully you learned something new from it like I did: “Never check news about Microsoft while sitting on an office chair that swivels and rolls”.

Printer Info on Printouts

Interesting idea though I am not sure what I think of it yet in light of privacy. It seems that with inkjet, laserjet printers and probably others, digital codes may be printed on every sheet of paper that is printed. Information such as time, date and serial number in the form of colors printed on the paper.

More information here.

Software Tools Rippoffs? (focus: PDF converter)

Had an interesting discussion last night about software tools and then this morning I checked into an “opportunity” for passive income (I beg to differ that it was passive income because it seemed to require continual work but that is another story) using all these software tools you could purchase.

The amazing thing about it was that these tools could be found for free. For example:

Make any document into internet friendly PDF so your friend with a Mac can view it too for only $97! A savings of $150 from having to purchase Adobe Acrobat!

😀 This is good. The tools to do this are FREE! If you want a very simple tool that does what the above product says it does go to PDF995. This is a real simple PDF producer. However, for free you get ads (these may be irritating for some like me) but for $10, poof they are gone, a $87 savings over the above product!

But I am a Scrooge and can’t spend a dime but I get an even better product for it 😎 You may say that is not possible. Well, here goes:

PDFCreator
This is my preferred tool. Sorry the “home page” is not working at the moment but I took you to the project page. The current stable version is 0.8.0 and that can be downloaded following the link via the “download” in the Latest file releases section. I am using the AFPL version but the GNU version should be fine too or you can do both and when creating the PDF you can select with generator to use under Options. Probably should apply the PATCH file once the PDFCreator is installed.

Pretty simple to use though may be a little slow. Open the document that you want to convert in your document creator and then go to print but select PDFCreator instead of your normal printer. A little window pops up that you can input some document information in. If you are really into modifying, you can check out the Options. Here you can do many adjustments to the PDF but I have found the default to generally be best (though you can increase or decrease graphic resolution for your specific needs and many other tweaks).

Viola, a $97 savings over the initial product! And probably many more options and better support though I am not going to spend $97 to find out!

Please comment with comments and questions!

RSS Feeds and Mozilla Product

This is way cool! The blog software that is used here has RSS feed capabilities and can send out Blog articles and comments separately to your RSS reader. As for RSS readers, there are a ton out there but both Firefox and Thunderbird have an “Extension” called InfoRSS that will scroll the RSS feed along the bottom of the application window in the “Status Bar”. So within a few minutes of posting this article, the headline “RSS Feeds and Mozilla Product” will be scrolling across the bottom of my web browser and then placing the mouse on the title, a box will pop up with the first few lines of this article.

I know that RSS and similar have been around for a while but this intergration and the ease of use has me excited. Even have some stock scrolling and emergency information from my web host. You can do regular news and all sorts of other stuff.

Here is the link to InfoRSS for those that are interested:
http://inforss.mozdev.org/

– Allan