We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, December 13. 2012
As an experienced professional in the field, my experienced, professional answer was that I didn't have a clue.
But, as I've preached here in the past, why take the chance? These things are dirt cheap ($5/mo) and you don't actually have to do anything to the domain to preserve it (like build a web site), so I advocate getting it now before someone else does. You'll only have yourself to kick later on if you don't.
For hosting companies, I highly recommend BlueHost. It's owned by a good conservative family out in Provo, Utah. The CEO's twice-yearly emails are a laff riot, and very critical of current governmental policy. There's no sign-up fee and no early cancellation fee. Also, the cost of the actual domain name is free, unlike some hosting companies which charge up to 35 bucks for it.
Even if you're not going to use it for twenty years until it's finally time to post pics of the grandkids, get it now. There's only one 'yourname.com' out there, and once it's gone, it's gone forever.
This is, if you call my causing an 84-year-old man to openly weep, 'great'.
Continue reading "Of domain harvesters and the family blog"
Tuesday, December 11. 2012
This deals with taking a program that uses high CPU and lowering its 'priority' so it won't drag the system down, but will still hustle along as fast as it can otherwise. I suppose this is mainly for the field of video, because traditionally video conversion programs are power-hungry and slow, but it would relate to any CPU-hungry situation.
We'll be dealing with batch files, DOS, strings and variables.
Only the strong will survive.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Program priorities"
Thursday, December 6. 2012
I admit, even knowing what's coming, I find it a bit unsettling.
The other day I'm re-reading an old article on my site and notice a link to the computer DVD player, PowerDVD. I click on it just out of editorial habit and the site had changed something so the link is broken.
I go to the PowerDVD site, grab the address, update the post, and figured that'd be the last I'd hear of ol' PowerDVD for a while.
I cruise over to Hot Air and click on a link leading to the ABC News site. I glance at the banner after the page loads.
I read the article and go back to Hot Air. I scroll down the page and glance in the sidebar.
This is taking place literally minutes after my visiting the PowerDVD site, so, yeah, it's a bit unsettling.
And consider the irony of a site like Hot Air railing against governmental intrusion into our Internet lives, only to turn around and give everyone a marvelous example of real-time Web tracking. I guess all that 'invasion of privacy' stuff is okay as long as it makes you money with effective sidebar ads.
This is all being done by means of 'cookies', which are small text files that web sites place on your computer which other web sites can then read.
The problem is that cookies can provide a very valuable service when it comes to remembering who you are on certain sites. For example, if you check the 'Remember info' box when leaving a comment here, it places a cookie on your computer so you won't have to enter your personal info next time.
So if you delete them all as part of some regular maintenance regimen, much less outright turn them off, you have to do the name/password routine every single time you go to certain sites, a major pain.
A happy compromise is reached by using CCleaner. It'll clean out your cookies but retain the valuable ones. Details are below the fold.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Cookies — friend or foe?"
Friday, November 30. 2012
Pic: Sad fate of a Mac user who tried going the Windows extra mile
Before I get to the gist of the article, I thought I'd list out a few Windows 7 annoyances that you might like to take care of. All of these are on my Windows 7 setup page (most will also work for Vista):
— Getting rid of the "-Shortcut" tag on shortcut icons
— Changing the path to Internet Explorer's 'Favorites' so you won't lose them in case your system melts down
— Changing IE's tool bar icons back to 'Large'
— Activating 'Link to Email' in IE
— Disabling those incredibly annoying Task Bar pop-outs
— Cleaning up the 'New' menu
— Cleaning up the mouse's (right-button) Context menu
— Getting rid of icons on the Control Panel
Nothing earthshaking. What we call 'housework' in the geek biz.
As for Windows Update, if you have Microsoft Office Suite on your system, you definitely want to do this for security purposes. If not, do it anyway, just cuz. You never can tell what it'll find.
Normally, Windows Update just scans for actual Windows files, not programs. To do so requires a few clicks. Details are below the fold.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Windows Update - that extra mile"
Thursday, November 29. 2012
Ever hear someone say something like, "Windows sure gets slow and bloated over time", or "My system sure has slowed down over this past year — damn Windows!"?
The truth is, it's not Windows' fault in the slightest.
That is, it's the fault of the programs you've installed since you bought it, and whoever initially set up the machine if it came ready-to-go. About a third of the installs put in a 'pre-loader', which pre-loads a bunch of drivers and libraries and such into memory during boot-up so, when you actually run the program, it pops onto your screen approximately 0.87 seconds quicker. And each of these pre-loaders gobbles up a bit more memory and is one more background 'task' for Windows to keep track of.
Now, if just one program did this, no biggie. But multiply it by thirty programs and the rules change. With tons of your memory being gobbled up, the first symptom you'd notice would be your computer... slowing down.
Want to see something sobering? Open Control Panel, Administrative Tools, System Configuration. Click on the 'Startup' tab.
This window is empty on a brand new Windows.
Everything you see was put here by you or whoever set up the computer initially. And 90% of it can go.
But that's not what this post is about. Using System Config to get rid of pre-loaders is beginner's stuff.
This post is on the background programs that it can't get rid of. It's for you obsessive, pedantic bastards out there who demand a totally clean, pure system.
Not that I know anyone like that.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Removing unwanted background programs"
Wednesday, November 21. 2012
Yes, yes, I can hear your gasps of shock and bewilderment from here. Windex contains ammonia, which will make your LCD screen dull and flat. I and countless other computer gurus have been warning you about it for years.
Except there are three problems:
1. My monitor screen is already dull and flat. That is, it's not glossy at all. Glossy screens are terrible indoors, showing off every reflection from every light in the room.
2. What's not mentioned is how many applications it takes of ammonia to make your screen dull and flat. By my estimation, roughly 10,000 times.
3. LCD-friendly products don't work worth shit.
There's a reason Windex contains ammonia; it actually works when it comes to removing grime, filth, tobacco stains, and the spittle resulting from impulsively laughing out loud during one of Dr. Mercury's political posts.
The 'safe' alternatives, like Windex Wipes and using a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water just don't work very well. I've used two types of 'wipes', two 'safe' liquid spray cleaners, plus gone the vinegar route, but none of them got the screen dazzlingly clean with just a few wipes. There are always a handful of spots that have to be specifically 'scrubbed', and at that point I think it's possible you're actually doing more damage to that specific spot (with all the additional abrasion) than if you'd just given it a quick bath of ammonia and no scrub at all.
And that's just the first rule I'm breaking.
Another recommendation is to use a soft cloth, rather than a paper product. I tried both a diaper and an old t-shirt and thought they were both terrible. They smeared, as much as anything else, and since whatever you're wiping with has to be turned frequently, I ended up paying an overly amount of attention to making sure I had a clean spot for the next wipe.
Since I already have a roll of Charmin 'baby-soft' TP nearby for cleaning my glasses, I just use it for the monitor as well. Unlike the non-disposable cloth, you don't pay any attention to getting a clean spot on the wad of TP you're holding; you just wipe a few times and toss it. Like the ammonia, it's true that the slight additional abrasiveness from using a paper product might dull your screen over time — assuming you clean it 10,000 times.
And that's still not the end of my dastardly crimes.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Cleaning LCD monitors (updated)"
Thursday, November 15. 2012
I have good news about the latest Internet Explorer update.
But, in typical Dr. Mercury fashion, I'll let you figure it out.
Hey, no sense in me doing all the work, right?
This is still in beta format, which is why it hasn't been made part of the regular Windows Updates yet. The download site for the test version is here. There are 32- and 64-bit versions available, so if you don't know which system you have, right-click on 'Computer', open its Properties, look for 'System type'. It's for Windows 7 only.
The first dramatic thing that struck me was that it went right to Google the second I clicked on the link. It also dashed right over to the IMDb, then Maggie's. Each site responded perfectly with every word and picture intact.
Then I looked over all the menus and was again suitably impressed. Rather then moving things all around like they usually do, each function was exactly where it should have been, which denotes the high quality you expect from a commercial product. Unlike, say, some free piece of junk like Firefox. (The fact that I'm using Firefox at this moment to write this piece is entirely coincidental.)
I should also report that pictures looked their absolute best, and each video I played seemed to contain every single pixel, although I didn't make an exact count. The constant stream of ad banners and pop-ups seemed to glow with the exact intensity my monitor's 'Brightness' was set to, again showing off the height of browser precision.
Lastly, the new, improved IE fit my monitor screen perfectly right from the get-go. With a cheap product like Firefox, which comes in a less-than-full-screen size by default, you have to manually press the 'maximize' box, thereby wasting precious energy and contributing to global warming. Microsoft, caring about our planet's future, does it right.
All I can say is, when it comes to updates, this one breaks new ground.
Monday, November 12. 2012
Having been somewhat distracted recently (recuperating, healing, staying alive — small things like that), I haven't been too active in the video scene. When I did jump back in, I promptly ran into four problems. Some sites that had a Flash video were locking up in Firefox, I was getting a "This video is currently unavailable" message on most YouTube vids in both browsers, DownloadHelper (a Firefox add-on that downloads vids) had stopped working on YouTube, and, on top of all that, when I reinstalled Flash, I started getting Windows melt-down messages every time I went to a Flash site. Welcome back, Doc!
I reported on some of the problems a while back, but since I've now solved the last of them, I thought I'd compile the whole mess into one post.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Various Flash probs resolved"
Saturday, October 27. 2012
Internet Explorer remains an excellent browser, and, according to the tests I've made with online speed test sites, it outperforms Firefox, Chrome and Opera. I tried it again last night with SpeedTest, MegaPath and BandwidthPlace. As we say in the broadband biz, your mileage may vary.
IE's one big problem is that it opens links, like on the Desktop or in email, to a half-screen-size window. AutoSizer solves this annoying little problem by expanding Internet Explorer windows to full-screen size. It can do this with any program, and can also open small programs, like Calculator, in the center of the screen.
The problem is that it doesn't work on 64-bit Windows 7 systems. For those of you in this dire predicament, I have solved this mighty poser.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: AutoSizer update"
Friday, October 26. 2012
I wrote a review on the beta version here. It's morphed into an operating system designed for tablet computers, but as I note in the review:
So even the things that make it handy and tablet-y are semi-worthless. And while the Desktop is still available for 'normal' computer work, it's missing a few things. Otherwise, it's just Windows 7 right down to the exit sound.
My guess is that the New Wave crowd — those who just gotta have the latest trinket, like a tablet computer — will rave about it, but otherwise I think it'll be something of a flop. Regular (also known as 'normal') computer users will just stare at the opening screen...
...and wonder why the hell they should want to check the weather (when a glance out the window should suffice) or their vast stock portfolio (that's your stock broker's job) when all they want to do is get their damn email and hang out on the web for a while.
If you have, or are thinking of buying, a tablet computer, by all means read some reviews and buy the best tablet software. If you're just a regular ol' slob like me using one of them archaic desktop computers, forget you just wasted two minutes reading this post. Sorry. Blame Microsoft.
Friday, October 12. 2012
I'd add that the odds increase exponentially when the words "nude" or "topless" are included.
Others on the top ten list include Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara and Cameron Diaz, so kudos to the bandits for exhibiting exquisite taste. On the other hand, I've already initiated a law suit against them because Mila Kunis, my latest fave, was left off such a prestigious list.
And speaking of malware...
And remember the cold, hard truth in all of this; that you don't deserve one tiny shred of sympathy should you get infected and not be able to immediately remedy the situation. And this cold, hard truth is because:
1. With free programs such as Windows Restore at the ready, which make a great big 'image file' of your entire system, you would normally just fire up the boot-up disc, load last week's image file and you're back in business within minutes.
2. You shouldn't have been infected in the first place. A careful investigation after the fact will reveal that the free anti-malware program being used wasn't protecting the browser in real-time, allowing the infection to sneak through. This is known as you get what you pay for. It's a lesson that should have been learned long ago.
While Windows Restore does an adequate job, I prefer a commercial backup program called True Image. More info on both programs here. For an anti-malware program with real-time browser protection, I use ZoneAlarm.
As a small side note, image file backup programs aren't just for catastrophes. The other day I was curious if the Chrome browser had made any improvements since I last tried it a year ago, so I first made a backup file of the system, installed Chrome, played around with it for a while, was aghast that absolutely none of its major shortcomings had been addressed — then restored the original system via the backup file and it was as if the whole sordid event had never taken place. No muss, no fuss, no extra clutter of files on the system clogging things up.
This is known as owning a happy computer.
Thursday, September 6. 2012
Keyloggers, to remind you, record all of your keystrokes and then periodically send them home to mama. A program then looks for 16 entered numbers in a row (your credit card) followed by 3 more numbers (your security code), then it's off to cadillac.com and some early Christmas shopping.
It also steals passwords:
(Odd he'd mention the other browsers but not Safari?)
The fix is fairly simple. You delete some files on your computer and then block access to a certain IP address. Details are in the above link and one method to block the IP address is here, more info here. Even if you don't have the bad files on your system, you should still block the IP address.
Apple Releases Major Security Update for OS X
From one of the articles:
Yeah, I'll bet you do.
Tuesday, August 21. 2012
In The Secret of Amazon.com I reveal how one can buy older books for upward of an entire penny, assuming your
Well, I found out something even more amazing about Amazon.com the other day. This tale won't just introduce you to some new product or service; it'll introduce you to an entire new genre of item that you probably never even knew existed...
...and, if you own a printer and do much printing, you might want to very much.
You probably know the feeling.
What happens is that every time you turn the printer on, or even in mid-print if it feels the need, it cleans the printer heads. And every time it cleans the heads, it shoots a little ink down the nozzle and, after you add up a bucketload of cleanings, you're out of cyan. Or magenta. Or yellow.
So you cruise into Office Depot. $63 for the 4-pack. Hmm. Clearly, there must be a better way.
You check the Office Depot online site. $56. Hmm. Clearly, there must be a better way.
(you're repetitious, but thorough)
So you check Amazon.com. Ah-ha! $31. Now we're talkin'. You sniff around the page and see an "11 new from $27.20" link and figure you've hit rock bottom. $63 down to $27 in five minutes? Not bad, you old pro, you.
Then it happens.
That's when you spot the link next to it, and you humbly realize that, as smart and seasoned a shopper as you are, there's an entire genre of ink cartridges out there that you never even knew existed:
Used ink cartridges.
And, no, I just couldn't stop myself. The ad's gone now (there was only one in stock), but I grabbed the 4-pack listed for — are you ready — $9.95.
It arrived yesterday and all four cartridges are brand new inside of their factory-sealed vacuum packs. The reason they're sold as 'used' is because they're not in their nice little 4-pack box.
Learn something new every day, eh?
Friday, July 6. 2012
My post on it is here. Just takes a sec to check.
Friday, June 29. 2012
Traditionally, the easiest way to grab a YouTube-type video is to install a Firefox add-on like CacheViewer, play the video, open the cached files, sort them by 'Size', and the video was usually sitting right at the top of the heap.
There are two small problems with this method:
1. It doesn't always work. Sometimes the video simply isn't there.
2. If there's a choice of the same video but different quality, you won't get the one with the best quality.
Enter little DownloadHelper.
It allows us to pick the download with the best quality and format. Installation & tweaks are below the fold.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Firefox video downloads"
Friday, June 22. 2012
It's actually kind of a bizarre story. Your computer connects to the Internet using DNS numbers. Some bad guys in Estonia ran a fake advertising scheme and infected a shitload of computers around the world with a DNS hijacking program which changed the computer's DNS numbers. It would still connect with the Internet just fine, albeit occasionally the user might find some new browser window open advertising this or that, which is how the bad guys made their money.
Enter the authorities, who catch the bad guys but then are faced with a problem. If they had just confiscated their servers, every infected machine on the planet would have immediately lost its Internet connection — and without the owners having the slightest idea why.
Rather than risk global anarchy, the FBI substituted the servers with some rental servers to give people time to clean up their computers, but time is running out and the servers are going to be unplugged this July 9th. There's already been one court-ordered 'stay' of 3 months, and it doesn't look like there's going to be another.
The reason anti-virus programs don't catch the little rascal is because it's not actually a virus; it's not even a program, just a web file. The second someone clicked on the original fraudulent ad, the damage was done. No file was ever downloaded so there wasn't anything for the anti-virus program to analyze and stop.
The official FBI info file is here.
If you want to be absolutely certain you're not infected, go to Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, open 'Command Prompt'. Type in:
and hit the Enter key. Start looking down the list and you'll see 'DNS Servers', with one or two DNS numbers over to the right.
If any of your DNS numbers fit into one of these ranges, the machine is infected:
126.96.36.199 — 188.8.131.52
If so, head here for some fix-it tools, and please let us know in the comments which tool you used and on what operating system.
Mac users: If you use a browser with a Windows emulation program, check the FBI file for how to access your DNS numbers so you can compare them to the above list. If you're not running emulation, don't worry about it.
Router users: Check the router section in the FBI file. The router has its own DNS numbers that need to be manually checked against the list.
I suppose I should note the historical impact of the event. While there have been innumerable viruses, worms and trojans over the years that were expected to ignite on a certain date, creating Gawd knows what kind of havoc, almost none of them ever panned out. This time, however, we're being given a specific date and it's a damn good guess it'll actually happen.
After all, this one's backed up by the FBI.
Tuesday, May 15. 2012
AutoSizer is a terrific little tool. It's basic function is to open programs in full-screen mode, getting around annoyances like the way Internet Explorer opens in half-screen mode when clicking on an email link or Desktop shortcut. It also opens small programs, like Calculator — which seem to have a will of their own when it comes to where on the screen they'll open — in the center of the screen. Home site is here.
The problem is that it doesn't work with Internet Explorer on 64-bit systems.
Enter IE New Window Maximizer.
To set it up, download the free file, install, then open the Options/Configuration panel. Select 'Show IE windows while being maximized' but nothing else.
Sunday, May 6. 2012
Rainy Day — articles & humor
Art Gallery — pics & vids
Doc's WordPress Guide — how to fire up a blog site the easy way
Speakup 2012 — want to have a say in this year's election? Here ya go
WordPress Themes — some of the wilder/cooler/awesomer WordPress themes
Windows — tip, tricks, tweaks, proggies, procedures, processes; you-name-it
System Backup — the pro way of backing up your system
Video Lab — a fun way to get into video
Home Repair — home repair tips with a twist
Ratville — a tribute to my pet rats of yore
The Google Earth Project — video tours of some amazing planetary spots
Doc's Secrets —from Subway Sandwiches to an unknown bed of iridium
Well, that should keep you busy for an hour or two.
Saturday, December 3. 2011
I think, if only.
Personally, I'd be delighted to see a new 'web' spring up. Personal sites only, please. Commercial ventures okay if owned by only one person.
The problem is that the Web has gotten so massive that trying to search for info is becoming exceedingly difficult. Your initial search will probably come up with millions of hits. Refine it and, if you're lucky, it'll get it down to a mere tens of thousands.
When it gets near to impossible is when you're totally lacking in semi-unique 'keywords'. I twice spent over an hour looking for a WordPress plugin that would display the 'last modified' date when listing the posts — and have it be clickable so the posts could be sorted that way (like it does with the name of the posts, author, date, etc).
And I got nowhere fast, simply because there just wasn't any keyword that helped zone in on the answer. I just now did a search for "wordpress plugin list last modified" and came up with the expected 1.2 million hits. I have Google display 20 hits per page, so, at 10 minutes per page tracking down leads per 8 hours a day, that's 3.4 years to go through them all.
If you, like me, simply don't have the 3.4 years available to do a proper Google search, there are some nifty little tricks that can help out immensely.
Aren't there always? xxxxx
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Search engine tricks"
Wednesday, November 23. 2011
First, a little background. All files you see and hear via your browser are downloaded to your computer first. You may think you're reading a web page on some server in New Englandtown, but you're actually reading a file on your computer, and any pics, videos and music you see or hear are also being read from your computer.
Using Internet Explorer, these files are placed in a folder called 'Temporary Internet Files'. They're 'temporary' because only so much disk space is allotted for them and they roll off the back end as new files arrive. Firefox keeps them in a 'Cache' folder buried deep in the 'Users' folder.
The problem is that a web page can be coded so that certain items, like their precious videos, won't be put into cache for later retrieval, all in a determined effort to prevent us from
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: Capturing web videos"
Tuesday, November 22. 2011
Me, I'm not partial to any OS. Hell, given my druthers, I'd be on my Amiga 1200 right now. See, I hold to this wild, unconventional notion that once a program is up, it doesn't matter what the hell the OS is. Not once, in umpteen billion computer articles written over 20 years, have I ever said one OS was "better" than another.
So, now that you don't hate me too much for being one of those prissy, starched-shirt PC users, can I ask a question? I'd normally just do a Google search, but since I wouldn't have a Mac to test it on, it wouldn't do much good.
As I understand it, there's some way Macs can play online WMV video files. They can't normally because WMV is a proprietary streaming format and the prissy, starched-shirt PC users at Microsoft want a bazillion dollars from Apple for the licensing rights to play them. In turn, Apple wants a bazillion dollars from Microsoft so PCs can play streaming Quicktime videos, so it all evens out, neither can play the other, and thankfully the only people hurt are us users.
The solution was mentioned once in the comments here, years ago. I had (innocently, to be sure) posted a link to a clip in Doc's Bag O' Clips, which are WMV files, and one Mac user promptly
I'd like to put the info in the 'tech' section of the 'Clips' area so Mac users can enjoy the videos as well. All of the rest of the videos on the site are in standard FLV format, but for full-screen, knock-your-socks-off, almost-DVD quality online videos, WMV is the only way to go in the streaming world.
Since I won't be able to run it myself, please leave some brief instructions on where to get it and how to install and run it. I'll not only put the info in my 'Clips' area but also make a post of it here for future linkable goodness. I'll even mention you by name in the article so later you can impress the babes by shyly admitting, "Well, yes, I am published."
Update: I think we got it, thanks to MikeNC and 'muleheadedfarmer'.
For you daredevils out there who want to give this a go, try this site. Then click on the above link and test out one of the clips. In theory, Quicktime should open and everything should play just fine. Please let me know in the comments what
Tech note: streaming WMV files are 'activated' by a small WMA text file. I point it out so you won't be confused if you see both extensions mentioned. The actual video is a WMV file, initiated by a WMA file, which is what the link goes to.
Wednesday, July 13. 2011
Because I am.
So I wrote them all down.
Subway Sandwiches — Best thing in the joint and it's not even on the menu
Amazon.com II — Know anyone with a printer?
— Preventing Summer/Winter Colds
How To Contact Every Member of Congress — This can only be done once, maybe
How To Get On TV At The Olympics — Well, possibly
How To Get Into Guinness — Okay, this might take a few bucks, but what price, fame?
The Hippies — One of the biggest lies you've ever been told
Usenet — A wonderful source for pirated software, high-quality TV shows, etc
Miracle Cure — A marketing idea that could be worth zillions
The Magic Elixir — I accidentally invented the first 'elixir' in a thousand years
The Iridium Strike — A real treasure hunt from 40 long, dry, dusty years ago
Welcome to Doc's Secrets
Tuesday, July 12. 2011
Are you aware the best meal at Subway Sandwiches isn't even on the menu?
Are you aware you can buy used books on Amazon.com for a penny?
Are you aware you might be able to buy four printer ink cartridges on Amazon for ten bucks?
If you live in a warm clime and drink iced beverages, is your drink coaster properly sopping up the drips?
Are you (1) male, (2) in your mid-30's, (3) enjoy sex and (4) want to keep enjoying it?
Would you like to discover the terriblest truth about woman and be set free in the process?
Would you like to prevent summer & winter colds?
Would you like to prevent getting sore throats?
Would you like to prevent getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Would you like to quit sneezing from allergies?
Are you planning on using your teeth past the age of 50?
Do you know how to stop a sneeze in its tracks?
How about hiccups?
If you grow pot, would you like to increase your yield by 1,000%?
Would you like to contact every single member of Congress at once?
Would you like to be on TV at the Olympics?
Would you like to be in the Guinness Book of World Records?
Would you like to hear the real story of the hippies?
Would you like to find out about a wonderful source for pirated software, TV shows, etc?
Would you like to make a zillion dollars with an easily-produced product?
Would you like to try reinventing the first whiskey liqueur in history?
Would you like to know where there's an official iridium strike to make your fortune?
Stay tuned tomorrow for... Doc's Secrets.
Saturday, July 9. 2011
What makes this program so great is that it handles multiple identities, yet treats them completely separately when it comes to ISP configurations, passwords and the 'From' identity when replying to people. Plus, it nicely lists the identities along the left sidebar, each one followed by its own 'Inbox', 'Sent', etc, folder. Not bad for a free program. My page on it is here.
As far as the wayward add-ons go, I use one to organize the sidebar and another to minimize the program to the SysTray, both of which turned belly-up with the latest update and both of which I found working replacements for. They're on the page above. For the rest, you'll either have to do a Google search, looking for "thunderbird add-on" and a concise description of what you want it to do, or tweak the version number of your current add-on as described on the above forum page.
Friday, June 10. 2011
I'll say. I cringe at the mere thought.
Like a lot of people, my friend always assumed that because his last name is somewhat unusual, he'd always be able to pick up his "name.com" domain whenever he wanted.
He also thought he'd never actually have a use for it, in the sense that he doesn't have any kids, so it's doubtful he'll be posting pics of his cute grandkids a few years down the road, plus he doesn't have any interest in blogging.
Then he went to some kind of 'crafts school' for a month and is now gearing up to sell online some of the nifty things he's turning out, like lamps and chandeliers. But he doesn't want to commit himself to any one genre in a business sense, like using "JimsCustomLighting.com" for the domain, so what he really wants to do is — you guessed it — use his real name.
And — you guessed it — the domain is gone, gobbled up by the domain harvesters. It just goes to some "This domain is for sale" page. And, in many cases, you don't actually get to buy it from them for a mere $4,999.99, you lease it from them on a yearly basis extending from now until the end of eternity.
And then there's this (names have been changed to protect the innocent):
Ya got me. You wouldn't think that Bing (Microsoft) would actually sell its list of searches with the word ".com" in them to some domain harvester, but, on the other hand, it's not illegal to harvest domains, so it probably wouldn't be surprising to find out the domain harvester in this case is owned by Microsoft.
As it is, my friend isn't sure what the hell he's going to do. Probably end up using "JimsCustomDoodads.com".
So if you ever think you might want your own domain name, now's the time. Nor do you have to actually do anything with it, like build a temporary web site to 'hold' it. And most web hosting companies will automatically re-bill you each year so you don't lose it.
I've been designing web pages since the web was one month old, have used a lot of web hosting companies over the years, and my pick of the litter these days is BlueHost. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage space, unlimited email boxes, a whole shitload of helper programs, and all for a lousy $6.95 a month.
The direct link is here. If you want to read a bit more about BlueHost and get some ideas on conjuring up an available domain name (like using hyphens), read this, then use the link on the page to get to BlueHost. If the domain's available, GET IT. You're not signing up for a 1-year contract or anything. If you later decide you don't want it, they'll pro-rate it back and refund you the difference with no 'disconnect fee'.
If you're interested in firing up a blog site (elections are coming up!) or web site, please...
Continue reading "YourName.com = going, going, gon-"