Monday, December 29, 2008

I started to burn the 18 DVD's to complete the year end back up of the Macbook 1.

I burned two copies of the Documents folder and three copies of the Mail and Mail Downloads folder. This means I have 13 copies left to burn.

Organizing software then installing some on Remembrance

I spent about half an hour last night organizing my disk software cabinet. I then finally installed Access 2007 and also Visual Studio 2005 on Remembrance. I did not like the terms of the Visual Studio license at all. It forbids open source licenses and also requires that all software build with this IDE run only on Windows. How is that not a tight grip on property like a monopoly? I also installed Dereamweaver 8 on Remembrance.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Backing up and file and folder making.

I made some folder for years, months, and quarters. I made some templates for folder arrangements. So I have years from the early 1950's through to 2008, I also have a folder full of the months and folders for quarters for different fiscal years. I can then copy and paste these templates into what ever I am organizing.

I also have made some html txt files for this blog and my studies blog for the year 2003 when these blogs were started. I hope to find all my study notes and other files that I made and store them in folders for each year and then back these up to DVD.

I have made some burn folders for the documents folder, the desktop and other files folder and the email folder for the Macbook. This is three 4.7 GB DVD's and I will make six copies for each DVD. So my back up process for 2008 has started.

The Macbook hard drive replacement was successful.

It seems the hard drive replacement has been successful. I will still need to install Windows on the Macbook but the Mac side is working fine and everything seems to be still working.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Using R to parse regular by line occurances

Task: total prices of a web page list.
Goal: to price the cost of owning every O'Reilly pocket reference and guide.
Software needed:
A web browser
A spreadsheet
R software
a text editor.

Find a well formated web price list such as

Step 1: Web browser
Highlight the beginning of the price list (i.e. highlight the beginning of the first item/record on the web page). Scroll to the end of the list or web page. Hold your shift key down and click just after the last item/record. Now copy this highlighted list. You should have all the items highlighted

Step 2 Spreadsheet
Paste this in to an empty spreadsheet. Examine this and see if prices are on one row alone. It does not matter if there are dollar signs with the prices in the cells or also in this case a currency symbol USD. But here we find in the spreadsheet a price such as "$9.99 USD" occurring in every eighth row. The Prices should be in cells by themselves. But there is all the other stuff like the title and the blurb which here we want to parse out.

Step 3 Spreadsheet
Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file comma separated file. Remember the name and directory for the first line of R code below in the next step.

Step 4: R software (, text editor
Copy and paste the code below into a text editor
Change the directory and file name to your file and directory name from step 3 in the first and and the directory in the last line of this code. On the last line chose a file name.
Change the line jump <-(seq(x,y,z)
so that x is the first row a price occurs and y the last row a price occurs and
z is the number of rows between each price.

You can also change jump(x,y,z) to parse out all the titles or all the blurbs or all the dates published.

After editing copy the code into the R command line a line at a time
the # lines are comments

Use R software and run this code on the R command line after editing it in the text editor. Stop after each line that begins with # to check the results. good luck and use R help if needed.

###################Code Starts here##################
OPocket <-read.csv(file="/Users/ptimusk/documents/school/books/OReillyPocket08-12-24.csv", header= FALSE)
# read into R and the variable OPocket the csv file created by Excel save as csv.
#change "Users/ptimusk/documents/school/books/ your directory
# and file name OReillyPocket08-12-24.csv

#check variable for rows that contain prices. Every foth row starting at 4 ending at 394
jump <- seq(4, 394, 5)
# create an index of rows where prices occur. Start with row 4. End with row 394
#Count by 5 rows

OPocket.Prices <- as.vector (OPocket[jump,1])
#take only the rows(indexed by "jump") with prices out of the variable OPocket

# check to see above variable contains quoted prices in 79 rows

#write the prices to a csv text file

###############Code ends here######################

Step 5 text editor
Open with the text editor the file you just wrote on the last line of R code
Save as txt

Step 6 Spreadsheet

With the spreadsheet and a new empty spreadsheet open the txt file you just saved. That should be the text file with the Prices. This file should have the variable OPocket.Prices as an R format variable.

The spreadsheet should take you through some import steps where
you can adjust the separator characters to parse out the prices only without the $
and without the currency symbol. You also parse out the first line and the quotes.

Sum the prices column
Your done!
Answer: all the O'Reilly pocket references and guides will cost 851.69 $ for the 79 books.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The steps are now completed and the hard drive in my Macbook has been replaced.

I was able to replace the hard drive in my Macbook. I now have a little bit more than 170 GB free space on my Macbook hard drive. I was not able to automatically restore the windows XP on the Macbook. I intend to reinstall that using 32 GB of space on the hard drive.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Machine is done the back up now.

I have completed step 1 in the hard drive replacement. But I do need to make some special backups of the windows side of the Macbook. Although I am planning on reinstalling the Windows on the Macbook so I can adjust the size of the windows partition and start from scratch with a 32 GB windows partition. So now I am going to reboot into windows after one last updated backup from Time Machine. Then I will reboot with the Leopard install DVD and do step 2 which is to check that Leopard will do the restore function I need from it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

iTunes on the Macbook

I am just copying the songs from the Macbook to the Network drive. I used the add to library option on iTunes to do this copying. This will make sure any songs I have bought using the Macbook are copied to the network drive.

Time Machine is about half way done its back up now.

Time Machine is about halfway done the back up of the Mac side of the hard drive. It still needs to be set to back up the windows side of the drive.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I got an early Christmas present from my father. It is a new 250GB hard drive for my Macbook laptop.

I bought a new laptop hard drive. I bought a 250GB drive for 75$ from a local computer store. Here are the specs Fujitsu model MH22 BH.My brother gave me instructions to use the Leopard Time Machine software to help replace the drive. I will use Time Machine in the first step and fourth step.

The first step is to do a full back up of the Macbook hard drive using Time Machine. To do this I will use the LaCie 250 GB hard drive that I have been doing Macbook backups on. I needed to delete the most recent back up of the eMac that I had done on the LaCie 250 GB to give me enough space, 90 GB, to do a full back up of the 80 GB drive.

I am waiting for iTunes to get loaded with the new library then I will shut down all applications on the Macbook and run only the finder and Time Machine to complete the first step.

Once that first step is done I will test the Leopard Install DVD to make sure it is going to work according to the Time Machine instructions for a system restore.

Then the third step, if the Leopard Install disk appears like it is going to work, is to replace the hard drive. I will use the instructions at iFix it to replace the hard drive. I happen to have the tools I need because I had bought a Torx T8 screw driver when I refurbished an original iBook a few years ago.

Then the fourth and final step is to follow the instructions for a system restore from the backup made by Time Machine on the LaCie 250 GB USB drive.

iTunes on both the eMac and Macbook is now using the Linksys network storage bay to store songs.

Today I used the advanced tab in iTunes preferences on the Macbook to change the place that iTunes stores music. I changed the storage location to the network storage drive that is already being used by the eMac's copy of iTunes. I did that to save space on the Macbook but, in fact, today I went even further to solving the lack of hard drive space on the Macbook. But more about that in the next post. This means that the network storage drive needs to be turned on whenever I start iTunes on either computer or else iTunes will change the storage folder back to the default location. I can not run iTunes on my windows PC because Apple do not make a 64 bit windows version of iTunes. This means I must try to configure Windows Media Player to work with my Linksys Musicbridge. I have had no success with that yet.

After iTunes is settled into using this new library (The process is about half way completed now.) I need to add the songs from the Macbook iTunes default storage location to the iTunes library. This is to make sure I have copies of all the music I have purchased from the iTunes Store using the Macbook. So in effect adding these songs from the old storage location the default iTunes folder on the Macbook will copy any songs from the Macbook not already on the storage drive. I will also add the default iTunes storage folder on the Macbook to the eMac's iTunes library.

The last step will be to reload the iPod with a good selection of the whole iTunes library. I will also resubscribe to some Podcasts I have previously deleted. I have almost 120 GB of storage on the network drive. So the present model of iPod Classic would work fine but for now I have an 8 GB Nano.

The ThinkCentre is now donated to making a community centre lab.

A local group I am involved with is offering a computer lab to a community centre. The idea is to run Ubuntu with the education version running terminals on old Pentium 1 and Pentium 2 computers. The donated ThinkCentre will be the server for this small lab that will allow an upgrade of the community centre's computers. This is being done for a community centre in a small town near, Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

Here is the link to the basic information about this version of Ubuntu

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I copied the user folders from the ThinkCentre to Remembrance

I copied the user folder from the Linux side of the ThinkCentre to the Linux side of Remembrance and I copied the windows user folder to the windows side of Remembrance. I now just need to take the 250 GB drive out of the ThinkCentre and try it out in the 1 U clone server.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I need to reinstall Linux on Remembrance .

I reinstalled Linux on Remembrance. I had tried after the initial first install to install KDE piece by piece and had gotten some "not authenticated" files and broken packages and was stuck even trying a lot of stuff and learning the Gnome package manager. So I reinstalled the whole operating system.

I use a command prompt to install KDE as the desktop right from the start.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I have successfully completed the first step in backing up the user folders from the ThinkCentre.

I tired again to offload the user folders on the ThinkCentre to the eMac using the home network connection but this failed. I then simply plugged in the 160 GB portable LaCie USB hard drive and quickly copied both the Windows and Debian users folders to this external hard drive. Now I might back these files up to DVD's. I have blank DVD's to do this with. I did spend some two hours on this work as planned. I will now not need to put in another 10 to 14 hours on computer upkeep this week but will hopefully put in some time before the weekend.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I am donating the ThinkCentre to a Geek lab.

I am donating the ThinkCentre to a Geek lab along with my old Linksys 5 port switch. This means I need to take my user data off the ThinkCentre. So far I have taken off the Vista Documents folder, the Desktop folder and the Eclipse workspace folder. I will spend 2 more hours making sure all user data is taken off the windows side then 4 hours taking off the user data from the Linux side. This means I am donating 7 hours to the Geek project. I also will need 1 hour to take out the 250 GB IDE drive. I will use this drive in my 1U server and see if I can get it to boot up. So that may be a few hours of installing Debian if that clone boots up. It has a Pentium M processor. I have also allocated another 4 hours to installing more software on crystal 89 which I have named Remembrance in honour of Remembrance day the day this computer came to life. Yes, this new windows/linux PC has been working since November 11th so is still not a month old.

The Canon IPPixma 4300 printer software is now installed.

I have installed the other printer software, the Canon IPPixma 4300 software now on the new PC.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am installing a one year one time install version of ESRI's ArcGIS 9.2 student version on the new PC crystal 89.

I was surfing the school's web pages for computer services for students. I was trying to find a copy of Symantic anti virus software. I did download the school provided Windows version of Symantic anti virus software but it is 32 bit and will not work on the new PC. But while exploring software available for students I noticed that the license for ArcView has changed at school and we are now allowed to use the software at home. I was taking a break from work and decided that in my travels on the buses yesterday to go to school and get a copy of ArcView which is now in version 9.2. I had trained in version 3.2 in 2000 at Carleton at the geography department there where I have done many years of part time studies. I have also done an analysis of a conference paper about GIS last winter 2008 as a school term project. I have also read an introduction to ESRI GIS database use this past summer by borrowing a book from my workplace library. I was studying for a job competition but did not get very far with that application so stopped reading the book. So at the moment I am installing ArcView 9.2 with the intent of continuing a project from 2000.

At the moment I have installed the software and plan to open my old term project from the course I took in 2000. Then, by accessing recent census data I will update the ArcView project. I had used spreadsheets containing census 1996 data, entered into Excel from Zypher at the Ottawa Carleton Social Planning Council. There I had been paid to enter the data. I am a proud supporter of the Ottawa Carleton Social Planning Council and give them money every pay cheque through charitable donations. This is my present and first project for ArcView 9.2. I then may also attempt to open GIS files provided by Statistics Canada and Elections Canada, two of the workplaces I have worked.

I did not succeed right away with the new software. I was able too import my project file but could not get a map to appear. I am up over night and do not want to spend my time on a desktop computer working out this problem as I had planned to read books. So I am stopping now with the software successfully installed and registered.

The new PC Crystal 89 is up and running and has been stable now for 2 weeks.

The new PC has mostly been used as a platform to play Eve Online. I have also run a Windows version of Second Life successfully once or twice. I had been using Google's Chrome browser on the other PC I own running Vista. I have managed with the new PC to avoid installing Vista. The new PC has also been used with Eclipse and I have gotten Eclipse to work on the new PC. I need Eclipse for school work in computer programming. For web browsing I am using only FireFox. For email I am only using web based accounts. I have not done any blog work on the new PC.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Much more installing of software needs to be done yet on the new computer.

I did manage to use a USB key on the new computer without issue. I can not open the front USB ports because the little door does not seem to function anymore.

I have also used a USB headset successfully on the new computer.

I need to install printer software. I have used Open Office 3.0 now once on the new computer. I have not needed yet to print anything.

I have a new Internet modem from Bell.

I have a brand new 2wire Internet modem. It is apparently a wireless four port router as well as a gateway. I have not set it up yet but now that my school work is submitted for the week I may set it up on Thursday. I have horror stories warning about changing successful network setups with new parts but I will go ahead with it. I did not want to risk changing it before my critical Internet activities were past for awhile. I no longer have a back up ready Internet service because I no longer have a computer with telephone modem. Although, I do have two telephone Internet services I have not accessed these for a few years now. To correct this I should buy a USB modem for my Macbook.

I found out from Bell that I use about 23 GB in downloads in a month and less than 2 GB of uploads for around 24 GB of traffic. I have now been upgraded to a 60 GB limit from a 30 GB limit. I believed everything the Bell technician told me when she sold me the upgrade.

The new computer is one week old now.

The new computer is still working and is only one week old now. It has not needed any windows updates since the second windows install. It runs as a 2 Ghz processor. There is an error message saying Intel Unlock press F1. I tried to fix this by changing a setting in the BIOS under CPU settings and crashed the machine. I needed to take out the CMOS battery and clear the settings. But that worked, even if I lost the jumper. I am really glad I bought six little bags of screws, jumpers etc. on ebay a few years ago. These have come in handy on this PC build. I have now put both sides back on the case and placed the computer a little more permanently on the floor under the desk.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The new PC is stable for two days and a bit now.

With just enough drivers now installed and a few rounds of windows update I think the Win XP 64 bit is now stable.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The sound was not working on the new PC. But I have it working now

I had spent two hours trying to get the sound working on the new PC but had no luck yet. I just plugged in my Microsoft headphones and those worked. I finally used the setup file in the audio drivers section of the motherboard DVD and now did get the sound working at the same time I got the headphones to work. Luck or persistence.

I played Eve Online in premium mode and it was cool. I chose the upgraded graphics for the new computer based on computer game demands.

I now am installing JAVA 6, then Open Office 3.0 then Eclipse, then Adobe reader and then I will start to install Debian 4.0 r5.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The windows XP is now being updated. It seems stable.

I seem to have Windows XP working fine now. I did learn, being more careful this time, that I need to install a Microsoft HD audio HotFix before installing the the audio drivers from the ASUS motherboard disk. Right now I am not sure how to do that but slowly I am using Windows Update to bring the system up to date

This time I will not be installing any ASUS AI software.

It was just after installing the ASUS AI Nap that the system stopped booting. My theory is that the AI NAP was keeping the computer asleep. This time I will only install the drivers minus the RAID driver and not install any ASUS applications. WinXP should be reinstalled in about 6 minutes.

Reinstalling Windows XP 64 bit.

So with one error I am now reinstalling Win XP 64 bit. I am again waiting for the formating of the harddrive.

Windows XP is now installed on the homebuilt PC and has been updated once with 46 updates. Now I am installing the motherboard drivers.

The Windows XP install worked and I updated the system using Windows Update

Now I am installing the drivers for the motherboard.

These include

  • an Intel Chipset Inf Update Program, now at version,
  • a high definition audio driver that is a SoundMax ADI1988B Audio Driver version,
  • a Marvell 61xx SATA RAID Driver version,
  • and finally a Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet Driver version

Now I am installing motherboard applications. These include

  • a Marvell Yukon VCT application version
  • ASUS AI Gear version 1.00.16
  • ASUS AI Nap version

At this point the machine would not start Windows anymore so I am forced to reinstall Windows and this time not install so much stuff from the ASUS disk. This time I will not install the raid driver or applications. Hopefully this time I do not loose windows. I will also install the few drivers that I will install first then do a Windows Update. Strike one to ASUS.

I want to have the system up and running by 9:00 PM when I can play Eve Online again with the new expansion and hopefully in premium mode with advanced graphics.

First boot worked now installing Windows XP 64 bit.

So today on Remembrance day I bought the Intel E8400 Dual core 64 bit Wolfdale processor. It uses 65 watts and is 80 plus power efficient. I installed it in under five minutes. I hooked up a keyboard, ethernet cable, mouse and monitor and booted the machine. The first attempt failed and I investigated the motherboard. In fact, the power cable to the motherboard was not securely attached. After I fixed this the system booted up. I went into the BIOS setup and set the clock. I then saved the configuration and then the system asked for boot media. I turned it off and burned a windows XP 64 bit operating system disk and am now installing it. The next step will be to update windows. Then I will install the motherboard drivers. Then the monitor drivers. I will then start installing software. I will make a list on this blog later today of the software I will install.

I am downloading a current release copy of the Debian net install CD and later today I will install Debian on the second drive.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I have installed the 8 GB of RAM now.

I installed the other 4 GB of Kingston 667 Mhz RAM today so now have 8 GB of RAM in the new project PC. I now only need the CPU but that may not be bought until Christmas. I do now have two copies of Windows XP 64 bit version. I am having trouble downloading the 9 GBs of Vista 64 bit from my school's server.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I found out that the Wolfdale processors are 64 bit processors, so I am downloading Win XP and Win Vista 64 bit versions from the MSDN school site

I had worried that the 8 GB of ram would not work with the computer I am building but if I use 64 bit versions I can access all the RAM. I did learn that the Wolfdale processor is a 64 bit processor so I can use 64 bit versions of Windows for the new machine. Using the Microsoft Developers Network academic alliance web site I am able to get free legal copies of windows. I am downloading Win Vista 64 bit and have already downloaded the Win XP 64 bit version. I will run the Win XP on the new computer and not the Vista.

By the way the CPU is going up in price again probably because of currency changes in the recent markets.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The monitor drivers are installed

I installed the monitor drivers for the new 19" monitor on the windows Vista on the IBM ThinkCentre.

The new monitor needs the driver CD probably. Eve window can be good but takes adjusting.

I have been playing with the EVE Online game settings with regards the window size and number of pixels. So the monitor is wide screen meaning that I might stretch the game a bit on some settings. Right now I can get the monitor to some windows settings but it would be better if I ran the CD that came with the monitor and get some proper settings. The monitor should be at 1440X900 pixels but windows does not have that setting. This has me thinking that a second monitor with a huge screen might be good rather than two identical monitors. Then I would use the large one sparingly because of course it would be power hungry monster. I am really reflecting on the amount of power that we Canadians use these days. It is so much power we are the most power intense country in the world.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I bought a new monitor an LG 19" widescreen monitor

I bought an LG monitor model W1952TQ-TF and may buy a second one in a few months.

I bought two Kingston 2 GB sticks for my new PC for 4 GB of RAM. I may buy 4 more GB now.

I was able to get 4 GB of RAM and install it in the PC. I may buy 4 more GB of RAM today. All I need to buy now is the CPU. I damaged the head of the screws for a case fan I bought. I am worried now that the case fan will rattle. I may have to forcibly remove the fan and take it back to the store.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Backups happening. Labeling the last set of the DVD's and backing up email.

I spent some time labeling three DVD's of the Macbook Documents folder from 2007 fall. I have six copies each of these three DVD's. I still have many more DVD's to label. I also bought another 50 blank 4.7 GB DVD's to continue the process and prepare to start backing up 2008 in a couple of months.

I also used one of the LaCie hard drives to back up my email and that was successful.

The eMac DVD drive opens again.

One sign that I may be able to keep using this eMac for another few years, the DVD drive opens now. I will now just need to be careful with running too many applications on it at the same time. I will also not use the DVD drive too much.

I installed Eve Monitor on my Macbook under Windows XP and uninstalled a lot of Microsoft software

I uninstalled Microsoft SQL client and Visual Studio 2005 from my Macbook on the XP side. This gave me about 2 GB extra space on the windows hard drive. I then installed EveMon and got it working just fine.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So Eve Monitor stopped working.

I got an new API key for the game Eve Online and my Eve Monitor software became broken. I have been spending hours this past half year playing this multiplayer online role playing game. I have a lot of friends in the game now. It is a very cooperative game.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Technology consumer goods prices are always going down so as long as something does not leave the market, it always better to wait

The Wolfdale CPU I had wanted, the 8400 is down in price to around 170$ now. It had been at 180$ I will not be buying it this week most likely. But perhaps two weeks and a few days from now. RAM prices are also going down. I plan to buy either 533 or 800 DDR2 RAM although the mother board manual says only 533 can be used for 8 GB of RAM. This would be about 160$. Those are the main remaining pieces in the computer. I have now started wanting a new LCD monitor or even two and a stand for two monitors. This would be about 600 dollars more on this project but one monitor could work with the Mac Mini. The Mac Mini would be 1000$ so perhaps an iMac for a few hundred more might be better.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My eMac is getting to be slow

I do most of my computing on a late 2005 eMac. It is becoming slow and I can no longer open the DVD drive. I leave it on all day sleeping. It has seen a lot of use. But it still runs Second Life just fine and is able to surf the net. All my email stores are on this machine. I need to transfer email to another newer machine. The easiest transfer would be to my Macbook. This would also reduce energy use of I started to do all my email on the Macbook.

Another plan is to upgrade to an iMac. An even cheaper plan would be to upgrade to a Mac Mini. This might also allow me to use the planned upgraded monitors that are going to be the monitors for the new PC. I am looking at refurbished 22 inch HP w2207 on sale at Future Shop. These are selling for 199 right now and I think of buying two monitors and placing them on a stand. I could switch one monitor back and forth between the PC and the Mac Mini.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Java installs all around

I have Java installed on all my computers now. Today I installed Java on the two windows installations I have. So on both my Macbook running XP and on my IBM ThinkCentre running Vista I have installed Java 6. I needed to install my professor's software ABC model and failed to install this on Vista but have just been successful installing it on the Macbook running XP.

Missing blogs and numerous accounts all over the web.

I started a couple of word press blogs I never use. Today I signed up for a virtual worlds integration project. But it is some commercial project. I had a gmail account too for my Second Life avatar but can not log in now. I also have forgotten about the inworld blogging system I had installed in Second Life. I also left the socioprano forum behind. There is a similar PHP forum for users of manual focus lens on digital cameras I joined this summer. I should go back there now and up date my signature file and read some more there. I have a hosted web space on yahoo with three blogs that get some updates. I have lost access to one blog I used to update daily. It was an semi anonymous blog. I use non anonymous email lists to fill that void now. I also opened a my experiment account and have open sourced some spreadsheets and also some R code there. That site is non-commercial, in fact, an open source government site based and funded in the UK. Mostly it is for bioinformatics.

Yes I have lost a number of accounts within my busy digital life

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I have a network storage hard drive working now. It is my music storage device.

These linksys storage bays finally went on sale and I bought one. I installed my first SATA drive in this. It is a 120 GB drive. I got the drive used from a computer swap. Eventually I will put two 1 TB drives in this storage bay. So I now have network storage.

I am running the iTunes storage folders on my eMac and on my Vista computer from this network drive. This size 120 GB will also perfectly match the new iPods if I ever get back into iPods. My new workplace is not a place where I listen to music so I do not listen to music all day like I could last year.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I bought the power supply for the new PC

Here is the link to the Sea Sonic M12 power supply I bought for my new PC. It is installed now as are the new Samsung DVD burner and an old 100 MB zip drive. The floppy is also wired up and the back port plate is installed. Also two more USB ports are now connected on the front of the case.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Video card for new PC

This is what will take the energy and be bad for budget and environment...the PCI-express video card. This card needs a 400 watt power supply. A green PC would use less something like 300 watts. Here is the manufacturer's information page for the card I bought e-GeForce 8500 GT Part Number: 01G-P2-N793-LR

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Building a workstation from parts.

I am planning on building a semi green PC. I would like to use the Wolfdale processor because it is the latest in high energy efficiency. The power supply will be a 500 watt Seasonic which is again a high efficiency component but all in the all this system will be a high energy use system. I will also try to buy an HP w2007 20 inch widescreen LCD monitor again this is a high efficiency monitor in terms of energy use. So this will be a PC rather than a Mac. It will run Windows Vista and Debian Linux. Yesterday I purchased a motherboard for this project. I simply bought an Asus high end board on sale at PC Cyber The board is an Asus P5WDG2 WS so brings me into the quad core dual core world for the first time. .

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I still need to label all the DVD's I burned. Film Labeling

I have a sharpie black marker for labeling DVD's and CD I burn. I have these seven DVD's in six copies each that need labeling now. I am also looking around my office for some sheets of labels so I can print and label some film canisters. The reason is that I have three rolls of ISO 400 and three rolls of ISO 200 film and I will get them confused. Actually now that I think about it they are labeled on the film cartridge so the containers or canisters will not need labeling. I think I will load a film roll now. Old tech eh?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My new monitor is a used Samsung SyncMaster 955DF

I was helped by a friend with recycling an older computer. He also donated to me a 19 inch monitor. I am using it now with the IBM.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The 2007 documents folders from the Macbook are all backed up to to DVD disks now

I have finally completed backing up the documents folder from the USB hard drive. I deleted some from the hard drive yesterday. I can now move on to examine the user folders made by LaCie backup software. I will then back up some of these files.

I also copied the present contents of the documents folder, the desktop and the email folders to the USB drive. I now have three backup folders from 2008 on the USB drive.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I adjusted the by line for this blog.

I adjusted this blog's by line to better reflect the ThinkCentre computer which I thought was an Intellistation but is not.

Sixth disk being burned now.

The sixth disk is almost burned in six copies now. Again I have gotten behind on labeling the disks. They are stacked up on a chair in the living room beside the laptop. I have only the seventh disk to burn six copies of and then I believe there may be some user folders to back up but with in those folders I can probably safely ignore backing up the documents and desktop folders. It has taken me almost 8 months now to back up 2006 and 2007. I do not know where I am with the progress of backing up the eMac. Also I have not backed up my Linux or PC computers much at all. Both the PC and the Linux are on the same physical machine the IBM ThinkCentre. I think now to make space I will delete these documents folders I have backed up over the past two months. That is I will delete them from the USB hard drive, This should give me about 20 GB of space to back up the Linux or PC parts of the IBM computer.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Installing Wn2K also failed as the Win2K disk is not good.

I am giving up on this data access problem for now.

Hard drive issues caused a failure with installing NT on the Dell.

I was unable to install Win NT on the Dell. Only Win NT and Win 98 will operate the Iomega Ditto drive. May be I will install Win2K and only access the IBM 20 GB secondary drive for now. Yes, I think I will do that now.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I am setting up the Dell computer temporarily with Win NT to help me access some of my computer files from 1999-2003.

I may be missing files from my home computing that occurred between 1999 and 2003. I am not sure I am missing anything but I have two backup sources where these files are stored. These back up sources have not been accessed in a long time. I just need one access to each and a chance to copy off the files. Then the sources can be discarded and I can check all the files I find.

One is an Iomega Ditto Tape Drive. Supports I will use for the drive are here at Iomega's Ditto support site for Win NT.

The second back up source is a difficult IBM 20 GB hard drive. This was my old second hard drive in a Duron system used from March 2002 to late 2003. It is a difficult drive because it has many partitions due to numerous Linux installs on it (done when I was a Linux install Newbie), and some windows repair guys working with it.

So those two sources will be attached to the Dell for offloading. I hope I can network the Dell with my Macs and get the files off. That's plan A.

I have a PS2 mouse, PS2 keyboard, network cable, monitor hooked up the the Dell now. First I will install the hard drive or attempt that. Then I will plug in the Ditto parallel port drive. So those two steps still need to be done and then I will attempt an Win NT install.

The hard drive is now installed as a slave drive in the Dell. I will hook up the Ditto now.

I can not find the Ditto drive so I am cleaning my office more and setting aside this project for today. Everything else mentioned is ready to go. I also need to find my Win NT disk.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I am still making steady progress at backing up the 2007 documents folders for the Macbook1

You could say to quote Marc Smith of Microsoft that, "the internet would be nothing if not for Obsessive-Compulsive users." So I feel obsessive about my backups but they are really needed in case of a hard drive failure or other potential lose of the computer system. I have in business speak added value to home computing.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back ups continue

I have two documents folders from the Macbook 1 from 2007 backuped to DVD now and have started on a third folder.

The DVD drive in my eMac is still stuck closed

I have not been able to open the DVD drive of my eMac.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Backups continue

I managed to burn one DVD of the documents folder for my Macbook. I made six copies. I call this Macbook, Macbook 1. So this is a 2008 copy of the Documents folder. I also completed burning the 2007 desktops about 6 of them from various months of 2007 of the Macbook. I am now going to make 7 sets of 6 copies of DVD's each of the documents folders from 2007. I have seven folders on a USB hard drive. So this is the next back up run for the Macbook. I am burning these disks at 1 X speed with no errors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

One of these computers I traded for works and is complete.

So I traded away my Sun Ulltra 5 and got two 1U servers, three mid sized towers and one Dell laptop in exchange. I also traded a Peavey Stereo EQ. The stereo EQ cost 99 dollars and was really a mistake as it was a monster and very old. When I can afford it I will buy a proper modern EQ for our music gear set up. So I was testing out these computers and one of the towers seems to be missing a hard drive. One of the towers is a Dell Pentium III 600 Mhz machine and it works and is complete. It has an 80 GB hard drive. I installed Debian 4.0 r3 on it and set it up for someone who I will donate it too.

For the servers I bought a Pentium M processor for one of them and got that in the mail, installed it and it starts up but does not post. The other 1U server is a Sun Fire v120 and for that I bought two hard drives 18 GB models 4177, the right hard drives with caddies. I am waiting for those to arrive in the mail. Other than that I have done no work on the servers. I need to learn more about operating servers.

The Dell laptop needs a power supply and is a Pentium II computer and has one USB port and a Modem.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back ups at present

I have backed up this blog and my studies blog now. I have not done more work on the bibliography though. I also have the Macbook desktops from 2007 backed up to DVD. Again I have 6 copies of this DVD. I now must move on to backing up the 2007 documents folders from the Macbook. I also have backed up the eMac to DVD but did not label the disks so need to go through a stack of DVD's and load them in the Macbook and then write in magic marker on each DVD what it contains and which copy it is.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I did not back up my studies blog but did start some bibliography work.

I did manually enter the few books from my studies blog from October 2003 into RefWorks and made a rich text bibliography in ASA style. There are a few more books from that month of the blog and a case or two and some newspaper articles. I also downloaded and started to use BibDesk. With BibDesk I manually cited the first two months of the blog. Those files got saved in my studies blogs back up folder on my eMac. But other than that I dropped my bibliography work after the last post.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Back ups of this blog

Here is the path today. I was feeling guilty that I am not reading enough because I am borrowing about 40 books and instead of reading these I am cerfing the Internet. So I started to read some more of the O'Reilly book on PHP and MySQL. I read about MySQL and there is an example of SQL code for adding a book to a database. I get distracted and thought about making a database of all the books I have ever read. I then figured I could grab some books from my studies blog. I of course have to have all the posts to search. I then figured it is time to back up these blogger blogs. So I started with this one which is now five years old. I looked in my directories and found I have about two years of posts not copied and pasted into word processor files. So I have now copied all those approximately 24 months and now every month is copied and pasted from the web into a Microsoft word doc file.

Now I must to do the same for my studies and more studies blog then I can figure a way of scanning it for bibliographic cites. I typically used the McGill legal studies style for my citations. I have many choices now. I can do what the book recommends and use MySQL which is installed on my Macbook and on my Linux computer. I could also install MySQL on this eMac. Or it may in fact already be installed here. I could also use RefWorks but that depends on being a registered student at the university of Ottawa. I could use BibDesk and need to install that on this eMac. I could make a plain text file of the data or use Excel meaning use some tool not especially for books. I could also use Some of these book specific tools will be able to share the files. So the only problem now is to back up the studies and more studies blog and then extract the citations. From there I will go to RefWorks then download for BibTex and then manually up load to librarything. Also I could use Refworks "Grab it" and may be capture the books right off the blog pages. I may try that now. I am also thinking now before I leap that I should keep a separate list of books that have appeared on my blog only. Once again by writing I have helped solve some problems.

Hard drives for the Sun but thats it for now.

I can not really afford to be buying a lot of parts for the Sun v120 right now. I may buy some hard drives for about 30$ today but that would be it. I am more interested in buying camera gear and groceries at the moment.

This is a DVD for sale right now on ebay.

X8082A 371-0736 8x DVD-ROM/24x CD-ROM Drive.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Swapping computers and parts with someone.

I put the Sun Ultra 5 up for sale for 120$. I have an offer to trade it for some other machines. One machine is a partial Sun fire v120 with Intel 866 Mhz chip and 198 MB PC 100 RAM. Another machine is 1 U rack server with 256 MB DDR but no chip (I did just buy a 1.8 Ghz Pentium M chip for this). Also a foxconn server board again for a Pentium M chip. A few older pentium II's and Penitum III's and one Pentium IV. These older computers are with partial cases and drives.

I researched the Sun Fire v120 and also the Foxconn board which he says is brand new. I will post some of my research later.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Documenting some chart making in Open Office and Excel.

This post may be hard to follow but it is for myself to document my techniques and not loose them. If you learn from it you may find it useful for your spreadsheet work. It is also a way for me to practice for work and to push my spreadsheet abilities for data handeling.

I downloaded some data that was free. There were only 5 years covered. I have been using years as my X axis for the past two weeks. The data was divided by age groups and I only downloaded 5 year age bands from 45 to 89 and then 90 and over. It was for cause of death data and is published annually. These vital statistics are free for download. I have around 27 causes picked out. I had the data for both sexes and for men and for women. So for each year I had a column and for each age band and each of the 3 gender categories I had the 27 causes in rows. All in all about 750 rows of data.

I downloaded that data into a spreadsheet. I then created a new sheet in that workbook. Editorial Note: When one downloads data it seems the workbook has only the one sheet unlike when one creates a new workbook with three sheets. In the new sheet I copied totals for cause of death for the same age bands and the same gender categories but from all causes of death in Canada. This was copied from a separate download. These two sheets were then not changed and after this step; data were only copied out from these two download sheets. Then in a third sheet I made my own row labels for the genders and age bands matching the second sheet's row ordering. The labels from the database were lengthy and unreadable in the width of my spreadsheet window and the differences between the labels could not be viewed easily. Editorial note: the labels were so long not even a 30 inch monitor would display them completely I am guessing. These new labels were shorter and after much copy and pasting I had made all some 31 rows labels by age bands and gender categories. They were in the same row ordering as the downloaded deaths by all causes. I then made five year columns after these row labels in the first column and copied the totals deaths by all causes by years data to this sheet.

Then I went back to a copy of the death by specific causes download in separate workbook and saved a copy of that download as a text file or comma separated file. I then closed it and imported it. I imported the data as a text file. This is one of my data handling tricks that could also be done with regular expressions if one was using a programming or scripting language. The picking of the appropriate delimiters is the trick. I chose delimiters during the import that would cut the long row labels in this file so that the specific causes' names, age band's names and gender names, were all brought in to this new spreadsheet in separate columns. Actually I used three columns and then copied these labels into a new fourth sheet in my main workbook. The row order for the 750 rows was preserved.

I then went back to the first sheet in the main workbook with all the cause specific data and copied all the data but not the labels into the new fourth sheet. So sheet four was the same as sheet one, but I now had three columns for labels and the labels were short and readable on the screen. I then made new rows in sheet four at the top of the beginning of each specific gender category (both sexes, males, females) and the beginning of each age band (5 year age bands 45-89 and the age band 90 and over). So when for example, the data for both sexes, 45 to 49,and 27 rows of specific causes of death started in the sheet, a new row started the 27 rows for both sexes, 45 to 49 years old. Then going back to sheet three with the total causes of death by genders and age bands, I added two more columns between the labels and the yearly totals columns to make a proper column alignment with the three column labels in sheet four. Then one at a time, the new rows I had created in sheet four were pasted with the rows from the 31 age and gender specific death by all causes data and short labels for gender and age bands from the third sheet.

I was now ready to calculate some results. I created formulas for counts for specific causes over total causes and then made this number a percent. I used the real number for the total but for the specific cause count I used a cell reference. I then filled down the columns into the 27 specific causes effecting the calculation for all five years and all 27 causes for the first set of data which was 45 to 49 both sexes. This was the only data I worked through today. I still had these 27 cause specific rows by 5 years columns of data highlighted after the fill so I then used format cells to change all the numbers to percents with 6 decimal places.

I then charted all non-zero rows basically following the charting techniques in Excel I have learned at work but I did it in Open Office. Somethings are done differently in Open Office charts. I then also did a counts chart that matched the percents charts but makes no reference to total deaths. After a long break, I spent some time formating the charts for printing and printed the two charts out.

I then saved and closed all the workbooks. I thought it would be a good idea and relaxing and good for my intellectual health to document all my work so I have posted this notes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I used Disk Utility to Seven Pass erase a USB key.

I am giving a small 256 MB USB key to a coworker. I copied all the files off of it this morning and then did a seven pass erase of the key. I will now bring it to work for her.

I am getting some old SLR lenses

I am very tempted this past year to buy a Digital SLR camera. I have gone about buying old SLR non digital lenses this week. I may have over spent on these.

Hard drive space on the Sun Machine.

I think I ran out of hard drive space on the Sun Machine. I am not using it much so will wait to upgrade the hard drive. The memory I bought for it is may be the wrong type. I have updated a few items now. That was all I did with it last time it was on. I have learned to turn it off now properly.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sun machine

I am just launching Update Manager on my Sun machine, Crystal-Sun-1. I turned off the machine last time and it might have been during updates so I may have incomplete updates.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

The eMac2 finder is working again.

The fix worked. I had run out of hard drive space but after deleting the two most recent burn folders I have some 8 GB of space back on the eMac2 and the finder is working again.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The eMac2 is having troubles but fixes are being attempted and emergency critical backups have begun for right now in case of further failure.

I was making some backups on the eMac2 using backup files from the 2006 user folder on one of the USB drives. Then a DVD being used as media failed to eject. Then the finder would not respond. The computer has been like this for almost two weeks, without a finder. So the thoughts of backing up the present files were quickly brushed aside as the finder could not be used.

I did think last night to access the folders remotely using the Macbook1. So slowly late last night I have been copying the email folder and mail download folder off of the eMac2. I have shut off the email and the plan is to use the email software on the Macbook now.

Speaking of changing email software, I did loose a little email for about 1 hour's worth of incoming email on the Linux machine when I thought of switching to Linux for a main email computer. But I should learn to copy Mac Mail to Linux and also to Thunderbird email software on Vista. I still do not have a way of transferring email between operating systems other than Netscape email. I am hoping Thunderbird can do this too as Netscape is now closed as a company. This reminds me I need to access Netscape downloads and download some historical copies of the browser.

After my back up I will try to read all this email in the IBM under both Linux and also Vista. If this works I will try to load all the email into Solaris but I doubt there is room on the old Solaris box

I am also remotely deleting the last folder made on the eMac2 which was the burn folder for the backup I was trying to make. I am hoping that when this burn folder is deleted the finder will work again. If this does work out this way the situation will be less critical.

The only follow up may be simply increases the backup frequency for the eMac in future. I guess I would also stop burning disks on the eMac2 and try to avoid a similar problem in the future. I may also continue to follow through on switching some main computer tasks off of the eMac2 and onto a different but newer computer.

I can also just look up how to manually eject the DVD and that may solve the problem too.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Still burning backup DVD's from the 2006 state of the Macbook1.

The eMac DVD drive is not opening so I switched to Macbook for backups and then turned off the virus software and the Macbook is doing fine burning the DVD's of the 2006 end of year files that were on the Macbook1. These are copied off the USB drive they were stored on by LaCie Backup software which backed up the user folder then in 2006.

The email from 2006 is all backed up now to six DVD's and properly labeled. The whole user folder is not being backed up to a number of separate DVD's and I am not sure how many DVD's I will need to split the user folder into. So far I have the folders and files decided for two DVD's and the first disk is now burned to six identical copies. The backups continue.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Buying a Tadpole laptop

I am looking into buying a Tadpole laptop. These run Sun Solaris as the operating system. I also have bought Sun Solaris 9 for Dummies for 13 dollars including shipping through's network of bookstores.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My final exam was written. I did so so.

I think I only scored B on my final exam. I know I had a few questions wrong. I have no formal classes until the fall now when I will study simulations. I am designing a simulation and have written some code in R to simulate a working week. I have some pseudo code that I can now implement in other computer languages.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I enjoyed a creative person's gathering in Second Life or a creativity meeting in a virtual world

I spent two hours this afternoon in Second Life enjoying a creativity gathering. I met artists from Europe and America.

Slowly installing the media wiki on the Debian Linux IBM Thinkcentre

I have not been using Linux much. I did start Apache2 last week and downloaded Mediawiki and started MySQL. I used KPackage to install all of these. Yesterday before school but after work I followed the instructions to get PHP5 to allow MySQL. I did need again to change permissions to edit a file. I had to go as far as using a root terminal to get chmod to work on the file. I edited with vi and then chmoded the file back. I expanded the media wiki software in the var/www folder and stopped.

I have been using the media wiki quite a bit on the Macbook for my study organisation. I have also been using LATeX much more and have learned to use BibTeX now.

For fun I have been playing Eve Online.

I must focus on school work now so tinkering will have to be put on the back burner for a week or so because it takes a lot of time to do.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fink is now updated and the Macbook has a fresh install of the X code developer tools.

I updated Fink after following their instructions for update problems. I had to command line delete all my developer tools and then reinstall from the Leopard DVD. I then was finally able to install ImageMagic. I have that name wrong. I now need to adjust both Drupal and Mediawiki to use ImageMagic for handling graphics.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Drupal is up and running with some issues.

I got Drupal running now on my Intranet. This is also running on my Macbook and will only be accessible when hooked up to my router, I think. I need to schedule a cron job for this application. I also need to install ImageMagic or GD image software. Both Drupal and MediaWiki need these image softwares.

I will now install Drupal on my Macbook.

I have MySQL running now and PHP 5 working with Apache2 on the Macbook. So now I will investigate Drupal as I build an Intranet based on my Macbook. If this works out I may run another Intranet server on my IBM machine under Linux.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mediawiki is installed on my Macbook now

I have Mediawiki installed now. I have started to use it to record my research but at this point I am only sketching out basic main pages. I had installed the 64 bit MySQL by mistake and that is why it would not work. I reinstalled the proper version for MySQL for my Macbook and it worked. I followed the very good instructions at the Mediawiki wiki to install Mediwiki and it is now working.

I am setting up a study wiki on my own computer not to be web based.

I was using and got all excited by messages between grad students about what they use for organising their research. They seemed to have settled on Wiki's. I use blogs and emails and appointments and pen, paper, and ink. I also use a variety of structures and software tools. I have tried using Microsoft Project software but it is not that great.

To use a Wiki I selected I needed to install it on my Macbook. I first had to start Apache which I have done. I then needed to install MySQL 5.0 which I have downloaded and run two installers and then added the preference panel for MySQL. But so far I can not get MySQL started. I have studied MySQL in the past. I also managed to edit the file httpd.conf for apache so that PHP 5.0 will run now. I had to use vi for the edit and also chmod to change the permissions on the file so I could save my edit. I then changed the permissions back too. I had to use Linux for Dummies to use vi and to use chmod. I will leave this note here and report back later. I did take a break at this point to read some books before documenting this. I am now going back to the install of MediaWiki following the instructions for that software. It promises TeX support and images. I am going to run MediaWiki on my laptop and not serve it over the net.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ice Dove for email

Ice Dove is thunderbird for Linux. I am attempting to transfer all my Mac mail to Ice Dove this morning.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I deleted my Eve Online subscription.

I played the computer game Eve Online for a little more than one month. I was motivated to try out Eve Online by a powerpoint slide presentation by someone who works at IBM. Roo Reynolds who was presenting his slides on computer games (social, massively multi player, virtual world) to a British charity audience shared these powerpoint slides at Slide Share.(Tracy Kennedy introduced me to Slide Share by putting my Slides from my facebook paper there). He was showing the charities what games could do for charities. Sort of like the Second Life Relay for Life event, which I tried out a little last summer with some other students. His main point about Eve Online was that it was cooperative. Players, although strangers would help each other play the game. This could help me understand community based training and collaborative learning of computer operating. About a week ago, I was able to experience this in Eve Online as two other players helped me with a mission. This consisted of clicking buttons to make the play ships shot at other computer played ships until they were dead. So two other players helped me kill these computer ships, or in the language of role playing "NPC's" ships and thus complete the mission. Of course, the whole major theme is space ship battle.

I deleted my subscription because the game was taking too much valuable time from my home life and other activities and was costing money and I have no extra money. Also my main focus both with computers and school work is not in the entertainment gaming field. Yes, I can make connections to other topics like helping strangers and cooperative play but as I said it took too much time and too much money. I have also been able to experience the cooperation at a basic first time experience level. But games have traditionally been used in education to effect cooperation (aka Game Theory).

Enough with that game and information society cash out stream. This will save me 15$ per month as that was going to become the cost of that game. The game Second life is now costing me 33$ a month on a regular fee basis plus costs of buying land and other items. In fact, I am this weekend, buying another 512 basic lot adjoining my present virtual 3D land holdings

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I downloaded a trial copy of SubEthaEdit. This software for the Mac allows editing by more than one person and also editing over the Internet. I have not tried it out with someone over the Internet but my brother is willing to try it with me. I have this software on both my Macbook and my eMac.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I downloaded Adobe InDesign to learn.

I downloaded a trial copy of Adobe InDesign to learn for a job at work. The problem now is version conflict. The tutorial book I have from work covers a version and, in fact, the versions of InDesign we use at work are not the same as the latest offering from Adobe. This could cause problems. Oh well I will install this latest version on my Macbook running Leopard. I read too at Adobe's web site that Dreamweaver 8 which I bought for my Macbook may give me problems under Leopard and Adobe will be offering no help with these problems. There is a solution to this and that is to uninstall Dreamweaver from the Macbook and install it on my eMac. But I have not yet found Dreamweaver to be a problem under Leopard. So if I did not have to learn this for work I would not be installing it on the Macbook and learning it. I would be using Open Source software all the way. Then again, this is learning that is work related.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I installed Vista on the IBM Thinkcentre

My school program is part of the Microsoft academic network so we get free Microsoft operating systems. I upgraded the Windows XP to Vista on the IBM Thinkcentre about three weeks ago. Some programs no longer work now. Also when I install a program it does not appear in the programs list. I am not able to use the Linksys Music bridge right now. All that work scrubbed.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Playing Eve On-Line

I started playing Eve On-Line this evening. This space adventure game is played by thousands of persons at the same time. I just created a Character and started to learn to play the game. I am playing a female character named Margarite Liberte and she is a Gallente character. I will get the spelling right and figure out more of the web presence of this game as I go. Game costs look to be twenty dollars per month. Is this the space simulation for me? My total game costs would be about 53$ per month including Second Life membership and land costs. Also this pressures the urge to buy a new monitor or new computer although the Macbook was bought knowing the Macbook would not be good for Second Life. It does seem to manage to play Eve Online with only two crashes so far. I tried Eve on the IBM Thinkcentre too running under Vista and it was fine. I could not install the game under Debian 4.0 Linux because I am missing a python component.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Successful burn of only one disk

I have may be ruined three of the 8 GB disks because they could not be verified by the eMac's burning software. I did get one disk burned and verified though. For the other three disks the data got burned and is on the disks it just has not been verified. I did also manage to get the one 2006 documents folder down to below 8 GB so it would fit on only one of these 8 GB double Layer (DL) dvd disks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am preparing the eMac's documents folders from 2006 and 2007 for burning

Again I was deleting movies and burn folders that had been left over on the documents folders I want to back up. I have some new 8 GB DVD's now. I have fifteen so I will use 12 of them to do two back ups. I think I can just back up the one documents folder from the end of 2006.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The backups continue I am moving on to the eMac backups now with the Macbook mostly completed.

I spent this morning preparing the backups of the Desktop folders of the eMac for DVD archiving. I inspected the five dated Desktop folders that go back to December 2006 when I bought the 250 LaCie USB drives. So there are four Desktop folders covering 2007. I also made a folder of the Desktop for now, January 2008.

I took a different approach and an important step I am realising. I went into each Desktop folder and deleted old burn folders and movie files. These were mostly movies I had collected from google that are copyright free . These were downloaded for the PSP or iPod. Most were movies used in Internet research such as Apple computer TV advertisements. Another movie was a documentary on how the Internet came to be. This deleting is important because it will help not only cut down the size I need to archive but it will also clean up the back ups in case someone else has to open them some day. It also cleans them up for my own use and I learned some practical file management this way. I do not need to back up other peoples stuff so much. These movies are only related to me as research sources I have used and will most possibly be still available from the Internet in the future. Also I do not need to save more than one copy; not one copy in each desktop. So for these movies I left one copy in the first Desktop it was found in and then deleted these large files in future desktop folders.

So I now have all these Desktop folders ready for archiving to DVD. The six folders should now fit on one 4.7 GB DVD and I have at least six blank DVD's to use for this. This is a way of clearing up the eMac's LaCie 250 GB backup drive. The other LaCie drive had 80 GB free after the backups last week and it is now back in regular service for the Macbook again but not with Time Machine or LaCie backup software but instead a simple copy of the three basic folders every other month.

    These three folders are
  1. Documents
  2. Desktop
  3. Mail and Mail downloads

I am buying fifteen 8 GB double layer DVD's today for 20 dollars and then the next purchase will be 50 or 100 4.7 GB DVD's.

I helped some other poor computer owners to use their computers.

I won't go into great details because I respect the privacy of these persons. But I did try to upgrade the RAM on an old PowerBook Lombard but made the mistake of installing the 512 MB RAM chip on the top RAM slot. I now have to return to try again and this time install the RAM on the bottom slot. This should bring the Lombard up to 576 MB RAM. The only other thing I will do for this person's Lombard is get it a bigger hard drive. But that can wait for now but I will start to look around for a brand new 20 or 30 GB hard drive.

Yesterday, also I connected someone to the Internet. She was paying for the service for about 5 months without using it. This was Rogers Yahoo Internet service that was delivered by a technician but not hooked up. The technician could see that she had only a windows 98 Pentium1 laptop but left her stranded with the bill. I helped her buy an new HP low end desktop as a microloan and gave her my Sony LCD 17" TV monitor for a complete recent system which she has been learning to use. So yesterday we hooked the system up to the net and then I updated a variety of softwares and she now has an email address. She has some basic understanding of what she is doing now but we covered a lot in the two hours of help. I have her using Thunderbird, Firefox and Open Office.

There is one more person to help and perhaps today she will also get some help.

The 160 GB LaCie drive is now working as the Music Library folder on the IBM Thinkcentre

I did in the end just delete the Time Machine back up on the LaCie 160 GB drive. I also in this move decided that I would not be using Time Machine. I was being sour on the Mac and the new Time Capsule drive sold by Apple. So I simply deleted the Time Machine back up folder.

It took a while to get the LaCie drive working with the IBM Thinkcentre running XP. In the end I formatted the drive on the eMac using Disk Utility as a MS-DOS disk. iTunes on XP asked if I wanted to copy my music library to the LaCie when I changed the store folder of iTunes to the LaCie. So this worked fine and it works with the Linksys music bridge. So that is that. Too bad the Linksys bridge does not also handle video.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Configuring the use of external hard drives

I am these past few weeks deciding that I will clear off one of the LaCie USB external drives, the one for the Macbook and then use it as the Time Machine drive for the Macbook. Then I will not need a new USB external drive for the WinXP streaming music library and can not afford a new drive right now. This swapping of Time Machine drives will free the LaCie 160 GB pocket drive for use as a music library. I had started to use the 160 this way when I considered that I might carry it around and loose it. Thus public not personal files like a music library seem to be appropriate for a drive that might be off site and possibly lost.

I do have some very personal voice memos though which I should make sure stay on only the eMac. I used the Griffen iTalk microphone and my first 60GB iPod photo to record these memos and I no longer record voice memos that way. I can now use my Blackberry to record voice memos but have not really recorded any of these yet.

The LaCie 160 drive is all cleared off except the backup from Time Machine which I will try to transfer to the new Time Machine drive. The old 250 Macbook backup drive is being cleared off still and backed up to DVD's in fact six copies of each DVD. Four of these copies will be mailed to family members each person getting two copies of each disk. I have some cardboard boxes for mailing that are filling up with DVD's now. I did buy more blank DVD's and DVD's sleeves. I will use up this new supply of fifty DVD's sometime today. I will not quite finish the back up and clear up but have about 80 GB free now so I can start the Time Machine on the drive today. I have also copied some folders to the eMac's 250 GB external drive.

I am almost done backing up all the 2006 backups which mostly include a variety of dated copies of three major folders for different dates through the year. The folders are the Desktop, the Documents and the user folder.

So now I am almost ready with enough free space on the Macbook 250 external drive to start Time Machine as I said. Then I can start the music drive on the Windows XP computer today too. This means two help files are needed from the Apple Web site. One help file explaining how to transfer or change Time Machine drives and then a second help file or help web page to change the store folder for the music in iTunes on the WinXP computer. This does tie down the iTunes to having the external drive running but it does not have to absolutely use AC power. So this should help with my habit or keeping all devices not in use turned off and not on some sort of on state. All those AC adapters left plugged in produce heat and thus use wasted electricity

The Canon IP Pixma 4300 will not print duplex from the Debian computer.

So although I could select duplex and the printer tried to print duplex it did not in fact work. The pages were printed upside down and right side up alternating as is needed but the paper feed did not grab the first sheet and draw it back into the printer. May be there is a clue in this description as to how to write a better driver. I guess I should write at least one driver to meet Linus Torval's jocular challenge of "real programmers write their own drivers" but I would counter that reality is a myth and anyone can be a real programmer and, in fact, the world is full of real programmers and very few unreal programmers. I am only playing with words here and must get beyond this aggression towards Linus Torvals caused by some negative experiences of Linux geeks in the past.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Returning the RAM and buying more ink.

I will after work today and after doing local errands return the PC 5300 Desktop RAM and get a refund. I will then buy some black ink for the Canon IP Pixma 4300 and further test it on Linux. Apparently I can print duplex with Linux and need to test this. This will mean I do not have to buy an HP printer just for the Debian computer. There was this past week a nice large format HP printer on sale. But I can just not afford this right now. May be in the summer when this particular printer is cheaper I will buy it. The IP Pixma 4300 is now on sale for only 100 dollars and I paid 200 dollars about a year ago.

The Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge streaming music device arrived and I just set it up.

I decided to set up the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge model WMB54G streaming music device and see if it worked. It does work right out of the box on the IBM Thinkcentre PC running windows XP. It also can use optical connected digital audio. Thus pleased with this device, I will keep it. Rather than try to clear off my current USB external hard drives, I will buy a new 500 GB LaCie USB external hard drive for just music on the PC. Then I will set the iTunes up to use this external drive for its store library.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The IP 4300 printer works with the Debian computer

I did get the Debian computer to print a test page to the Canon IP 4300 and may be able to print with duplex as well but I am all out of black ink right now.

I am taking back the memory and Linksys streaming music device

I am taking these back to the store for a refund.