Apr 8, 2017

Chrome OS-Final Word.

Let me start off by saying "I LOVE the Chrome OS system". It is simple, elegant & very functional. With the inclusion of Android apps in the future releases it will get even better. I ran a "pseudo" Chrome OS & then I installed a stand alone Chrome via Cloud Ready. The install was easy & I enjoyed the OS for several weeks. Then a thought occurred to me. Why?

I was going to buy  a Chromebook, but ended up re-purposing my wife's old Win 7 notebook for my use. The battery is pretty much shot, but I'm not planning on taking it anywhere, so it will always be plugged in. So I wiped it & installed Chrome. If I had purchased a Chromebook I would be forced to make things work within that ecosystem. But I have a full computer, so I don't have those limitations. A better choice is Linux with Chrome browser & apps. That way I can use the apps of the Chrome OS world & still have a full OS to get other things done. Plus with a full OS like Linux I have a lot more options for system customization, more choice in programs to run & I can put items on the desktop; something that Google left out of Chrome OS.

So there is my final word on Chrome OS. If that is the only choice you have, no problem. If you don't care about tinkering with your system, great. Chrome OS will do most of the things that the average user will ever need & more. It is a beautiful & very fast system, that is a joy to use. I really  can't say enough about it & I hope Google does really well with it & Android. But, if you are a geeky power user like myself, it can feel a bit limiting to you. I am really loving my new Linux install, much more than Windows & I feel it is the best option on a PC or laptop. It has come a long way & is now super easy to install, use & is very compatible with hardware. It is also as geeky as you want it to be, allowing you to customize anything you want.

I love Chrome, Android, Linux, Mac OS, Chromium, Remix even windows.  I just love computers & gadgets. They all have their qualities & problems. I feel that Windows has finally met its match with the new generation of OS's & the market reports show a definite shift as well. The future looks bright for computers & I can't wait to see what is coming NeXT.

Mar 25, 2017

Hard Drive Panic

OH NOES!! I just realized what the lifespan of a typical hard drive is. Here is a hint, my drives are ready to fail any second now.

Just for your own reference, the typical life of a normal hard drive is around 4 years. At that time there is a 20% failure rate. That doesn't mean your hard drive is going to take a dump after 4 years, but  it starts to get a bit shaky after that time.  The longer you go past that, the greater chance of an "oopsie" moment. There is good news; the price of hard drives is way low. At the time I am writing this Amazon.com has: 320 GB one for twenty bucks. That might seem like a small drive, but with so much information in the cloud & streamed nowadays it is probably enough for most people. If you need more space, they also have a 1 TB drive for fifty dollars.

So what am I getting at here, & (as usual) why do you care? I think I have a solution to these drive problems & I will share them with you.


Seriously, if your drives are over 3 years old, it's time to think about upgrading. You can take your old hard drives, after you copy the data to the new ones, & store them in a safe location. An unplugged hard drive will last for quite a while, so it is a good way to have an extra backup.

  • This might be a great time for a new SSD, before they get more pricy.
  • It would also be a great time for a new/different OS, or just a refresh of your current one.
  • It would also be a good addition to your 3-2-1 backup system.*
  • You could format your new drive for dual boot.**
  • You could use my awesome partition system.***

Whatever you chose to do, don't delay. I lost a Maxtor drive (why did they ever go out of business?) with all of my video footage I was editing once with no backup & I was a wee bit pissed to say the least. Save yourself the headache & hassles before it's too late.

*  Backups in 3 locations, 2 types of media, 1 offsite backup.
**  Create an NTFS partition for Win, a blank one for Linux, a 2GB for swap & 1 for your data.
***  I like to set a partition for Win (around 30GB) & use the rest of the drive for data, that way if I need to restore or replace the OS my data partition is safe.

Mar 10, 2017

My new server, what do I do with it?

I have my home server (Server 7) running now. I am unsure exactly what it's function will be in my home, it is a bit confusing to me still. I know what it's potential is; storage for backups & files, hosting a "family" web site, media server & many other things as well. There are a few problems with these options, though.

Since I was confused as to the role of my server & since it will probably be re-purposed soon anyway, I decideid on a "chaotic" theme. Running paint, misaligned letters & crackled paint are a few of the "problems" with my case design. I plan on doing some more to it to enhance the look.

Problem #1
The basic fact is that I do most of my computing in the cloud, I just don't keep a lot of local files anymore. I use a Roku box for entertainment loaded with: Hulu, Netflix & Amazon Video. This takes care of most of my entertainment. I also have Google Docs as well as several online "Drop Box like" services for file storage. I do have a LOT of DVD's that are ripped onto a media drive, that leads to...

Problem #2
I own a lot of DVD movies & have copies stored on a "media" drive. Problem here is that I ripped them a while back, before I needed HD playback so they are all low res rip's. So now I need to rip them all again in higher resolution, but the new Handbrake will not rip them due to copy protection. So, for now I'm stuck with low res movies.

Problem #3
"Failure is eminent!" The components I used in this build are old,  this server is going on 8 years old. Everything fails at some point & for backup or server drives I would really like to have new hardware. I don't want to put a lot of trust in such an old system. Plus I have an Apple Time Capsule for my everyday file backups.

So there it is, after all this time building computers, I finally have a server. It works too, I watched the "Matrix" on my Roku box off of Server 7 today & watching it made me realize just how complex that movie is. but that is another story...

Server 7 settings:

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Intel Core i3 - 3.07 Ghz
  • 4 GB ram + 4 GB USB Boost
  • Nvidia GeForce GT330
  • 2.5 TB storage
  • !000 ethernet + WiFi
  • 3x eSata ports
Just about a week after Server 7 went online the mobo has gone to crap. It's randomly restarting and/or powering down. Not the power supply, I checked another one, so there it is. One week & it takes a dump. :P

I just got a new Segate 2TB cloud drive on clearance from Amazon to put my media on. I'll review it later.
R.I.P. Server 7, I barely new ya!

Feb 28, 2017

First Week With Chrome OS (sort of)

[UPDATE] - to Operation Chrome

I have been using my pseudo Chrome OS, & I have to say it is working perfectly for me. I don't need a "full blown" OS like Windows at all. I am looking at my hard drive & there is only 32 GB used, which leaves over 450 GB unused on a 500 gig partition. I used to have a problem with filling up my hard drive & worrying about expanding. Now with everything in the cloud, It's no longer a big deal. I am seriously considering getting an SSD & using my hard drives for media & backups.

Feb 26, 2017

My keyboard is dumb!

What is the problem with people, that we can't let go of anything? Don't believe me? Check out the ubiquitous little keyboard that sits in front of your computer. If you are using a Mac, then you have no idea what I'm talking about because Mac keyboards are much smarter. Look up at the top right & you will see a "Scroll Lock" key. Do you have any idea what that does? No idea? I'll explain it to you: IT DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It never has done anything, ever. Not even in the 80's or 90's, never had a use. Same with the Pause/Break keys, nothing, yet they are still on the keyboards for some unknown reason.

While we're at it what the hell is the numlock key doing on keyboards with dedicated cursor & home/page/insert keys? you never need to turn off numlock with a full size keyboard, maybe on a laptop, but still. The only thing the numlock key does that I can see is piss me off when I'm trying to type in my pin to log in & it is OFF! 

So, to all the keyboard manufacturers out there: stop being lazy & get rid of these keys & make my number-pad only have numbers on it. Don't think you can? Just look at Apple, they got rid of them decades ago.

Feb 22, 2017

I got the 1st iPad!

I wrote this in April of 2010, when the original iPad was released. I pre-ordered mine & since I was close to the UPS hub, I was the first delivery in Tulsa. 
I got the first one, neener neener neener!

This has to be the coolest device I have ever seen. I started out years ago with a Palm Pilot. Simple one color touchscreen and not much memory, but it had a better memory than me. I couldn’t remember anything, but my Palm could. The simple little handheld housed my thoughts, notes, contacts, calendar events & reminded me when to do stuff. It was perfect! Until the new one came out. Now I had pictures I could take with me & show off to friends & family. It was more perfect, until...

I got the Tungsten mainly for the cool slide out feature. Of all of the devices I have owned I think I liked the Tungsten's form factor the most (especially the T3). I upgraded many times over the years; I’ve had palms, berries & windows handhelds.

Since the first handheld was held in my hand, I have been hooked & have never been without a PDA of some sort. this is a good thing since I can’t remember a damn thing. I have always wanted a single device to handle everything I need (photos, video, music & PIM functions). Out of all of the devices, only the iPhone filled the needs of everything perfectly. Now with the addition of the iPad it is even better. I now sync the iPhone with music & the iPad takes care of the movies & TV shows. I can keep myself organized with the phone & do other things such as Internet & watching video's  with the iPad. Nirvana, finally!

Feb 21, 2017

my 1st post

Hello anyone who cares,

I am a Blogger, that's right BLOG-G-ER. That means I write about shit I think I am an expert on, as if anyone is actually going to read it. As of 2013 various statistics put the number of blogs in the world at over 152 million. By now (Feb 2017) it's probably up to like 5 kozillion. With so many blogs out there, why am I adding another one? What do I hope to accomplish? And, does anyone have pictures of Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear? (I loves the Doog)

The short answer is, I am doing this completely for me. I'm home, alone, bored, tired; yes, I am a housewife, househusband, homemaker, a bum. If people like my ranting & want to follow, then awesome-o.

I am going to make some video's on my YouTube channel if I can get off my lazy ass. Here's to the future...

FYI: I promise to keep these things short, sweet & to the point. I hate it when people ramble.