FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!



Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Friday, May 28, 2010

Windows 7 Experiences

My XP box was aging so I bought a new Windows 7 Acer Aspire.  The following is a brief and reasonably unemotional recitation of my less than fun experiences.   Needless to say, Win7 has been breaking my heart!

Software Under Win 7 Paint Shop Pro from Corel installed and works just fine.

FrontPage 2000 installed but since it was an upgrade, it asked where FrontPage97 was and FrontPage 97wouldn’t see Win7. Finally I realized if I put the FrontPage97 cd in the DVD drive and told the install software to check the D: it said great, then I had to put the FrontPage2000 back in and it worked. Yes, I know that there are newer and no doubt better software packages for web work. I own several of them but I still have two client websites I am supporting that I created under FrontPage. Neither client wants to spend the money to have their site redone under a new software package nor I am willing to redo their sites for free. So as long as I can keep FrontPage working, I can support their site and if and when they want to upgrade, I can then accept changing the software.

FAILED Broderbund’s American Greetings Creatacard Platinum 7 will not load with no drivers listed anywhere to upgrade it.

FAILED Serif Desktop Publishing including PagePlus11, DrawPlus 8 and ImpactPlus 5 will not work and they have no plans to make it work. They at least replied to an email to support to say the only recourse is to upgrade the software for $59.00 which is a whopping $3.00 less than you can buy it online. Later; they did make an offer of $39.00 to upgrade with I did grab since I use that to format my books.

Microsoft Picture It Photo Premium installed and worked.

FAILED Bicycle Bridge wouldn’t even start the installation.

Memorex exPressIt label soft installed no problem.

Bridge Baron would not install.

Scrabble would not install.

Windows 7 will not see my Dell X51V PDA, nor will it sync to it.

Second Copy backup software would not work. Had to buy the new version.

To add insult to injury my new Acer Aspire 1300 died. It failed to respond to any resuscitation and they told me to send it in. Since it is hard drive failure I tried to convince them to just send me the drive, to no avail. Thank goodness my backups were up to date. The enormous down side is that all of the software I laboriously installed over the past few weeks will have to be reinstalled. ARRGGHH!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who Knows What About You?

Spokeo is a site that correlates data that their bots find on the net and sell it. Doesn’t sound sinister until you discover that the data is about you! Data mining is used by many companies but this is one that offers to reveal whatever they have found for a ridiculous low price. To gather all your personal data on the net you would have to spend some time and do some searching. It would take a fair level of expertise to search all the sites and get photos you have posted, opinions you have expressed and things you had hoped might never again see the light of day. Spokeo has the expertise and the incentive to do so since they sell the data to people who are willing to invade your space to learn more about you.

Spokeo advertises that they are a search engine that specializes in organizing people related information. They have a privacy policy that allows you to remove yourself from their data base but they explain that the removal has no bearing on the original data sources where the found the information. Snopes suggests that even the removal procedure may be just a way to gather legitimate email addresses. Regardless of whether that is true or not, you may want to check out Spokeo and remove your information due to concerns about privacy and especially since there may be gross inaccuracies. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Internet TV

I have a stand alone computer connected to my TV. I purchased a video card with an HDMI connector to get the best possible resolution. Well, after much fooling around, I discovered my video card HDMI and my TV don’t play well together. I ended up using an SVHS connection which while adequate, I could have done with my old video card. Tsk. I have a cable modem and a fast pipe is necessary for watching Internet TV on the big screen. I still get drop out on occasion and since I get the same problem on my XP, Vista and Win7 computers I am inclined to blame my Comcast cable modem.

I have run slide shows of photos from my computer to the TV. It brings fond memories of the slides my Dad used to show but he had to drag out his screen, set up his projector and occasionally replace the projector bulb. I turn on the computer. I occasionally lay back in the recliner and surf on the big screen. I do not type well on my lap but I am sure that the txting mavens out there will have no problem lying back, splitting the screen, watching their favorite TV show, surfing and keeping an eye on their Facebook page at the same time.

The guys at Diamond Case have a great article on their newsletter that has a wealth of data on different components besides computers that will allow to have the big screen computer TV/surfing experience. This is not a paid blog.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

IO Gear External VGA Card Is Sweet!

IO Gear External VGA Card The more I see of this company, the more impressed I am. This external USB 2.0 video card allows you to either extend your screen onto a second monitor or open a separate application on the second monitor. The USB 2.0 External VGA Video Card allows you to connect an extra monitor to your desktop PC or laptop's USB port. The connected monitor can be configured to either clone your primary screen, or extend the Windows desktop allowing visibility of more applications at the same time. The USB 2.0 External Video Card offers a vast array of screen resolutions and color depths. This ensures that there is little difference in performance between a directly connected screen and a screen connected through the USB 2.0 External Video Card. USB 2.0 External Video Card, Item Number: GUC2015V
View large spreadsheets across two screens with display continuity
Open attachments on one screen while reading the e-mail on the othe
Do multiple screen displays and presentations without bringing another computer
Use second display for pallets/tools Type documents on one screen while viewing reference material on the other
View charts and live data at the same time
View videos/TV on one screen and your desktop on the other screen
Easily connect additional monitors using a USB 2.0 Cable
Enjoy resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024 at 24 bit color
Bus Powered - No external power supply needed
Supports usage through powered KVMP's or USB hubs
Price is $59.99 at Amazon.
IOGear USB 2.0 External VGA Video Card GUC2015V

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Who Needs It?

I just finished reading an article about Office 2010. It has some new features and lots of polish. Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report is the article. I’ve read his stuff before and he does a nice job. He claims to be a Microsoft skeptic but feels Office 2010 is worth purchasing. This article is the first of a series in which he apparently will defend his feeling that “why wouldn’t you want to upgrade?”.

My contention is that if what your using works for you, whether it is Office 2003, 2007, Works or Open Office, why change? Office is always expensive. Follow Bott’s blog and if he points out a feature that will make your life easier, better or just more fun, by all means run out and upgrade. However if this is just one more layer of sweet, sticky icing on an already enormous cake, who needs it? If there is no emotional satisfaction, increased productivity or cost justification, why would you want to upgrade? Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This is a link to Microsoft’s press release on Office 2010. Read and watch it, go to the Office 2010 site, download the Beta and you decide.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Belkin Mini Bluetooth Laptop Adapter

I haven’t used this but it looks pretty sweet. I’ve got a buddy who has two computers but no network. He wants to share his printer wirelessly. His new printer had Bluetooth but neither his desktop or laptop has Bluetooth. For a whopping $12.99/computer at Amazon he can add Bluetooth capability. From Belkin’s site: This small adapter simply plugs into one of your computer's USB ports, and with just a press of a button, quickly connects you to the latest Bluetooth wireless technology. The Mini Bluetooth Adapter easily pairs your mouse and keyboard to your computer, and also communicates with headsets, printers, phones, and other devices enabled with Bluetooth technology. For PC Users:Windows® 98, 2000, Me, XP, or Vista® For Mac® Users: Mac OS® X v10.2 or higher Note, Windows 7 is not supported. (but then what is?) As usual this is not a paid blog but if you click on the Amazon link, I will get a commission. If several hundred of you click on it, my commission will enable me to buy a cheap bottle of wine or a paperback book on sale. BTW it is $13.99 at Buy.com and I get zero commission from them. Belkin Mini Bluetooth Laptop Adapter

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wireless Surround Sound

I first hear a Yamaha Sound Projector in the Diamond Case Design showroom. I was watching a big screen and marveling at the surround sound. I looked high and low for the speakers and couldn’t find them. I asked and was told ALL the sound was coming from the sound projector. I expressed disbelief but was assured that it was true. I have wired surround sound but it is probably 15 years old. This wireless surround sound beats the bejabbers out of my wired speakers. The diagram shows how the sound projector “beams” the sounds to the appropriate place. I guarantee you will think there are speakers in those locations. It is truly amazing.

A complete review of Yamaha's new YSP-4100 and YSP-5100 Digital Sound Projectors can be found at the Diamond Case Design website. The guys at Diamond Case really know their stuff.

This was NOT a paid blog.
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