Archive | March, 2004

Right-click subscribe in Firefox for Newsgator!!!!!!!!

Well, someone has finally done it. Stuart Hamilton has created a Mozilla Firefox extension for that nifty little context sensitive Subscribe to Newsgator option. I have decided to upload it here on my site for download, as well. You can get it here. Thanks, Stuart!!!!!

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Acme Markets offers online shopping to PA residents

I am not sure whether or not Acme is offering the online shopping experience in all their stores, but they are offering it in the Philadelphia area. The service costs $4.95 for in-store pickup and $9.95 for delivery. In-store pickup orders placed by 10 a.m. are ready after 5 p.m., and delivery orders can be scheduled for next day delivery if they are placed by midnight. I don’t know whether shopping online for groceries is going to be more convenient or not, but the site appears to be pretty well organized with a shop by aisle, product name (a-z) and a search feature. The advantage for pick-up will be that you can place your grocery order at work and pick it up on the way home without having to stand in line, since you pay with a credit card at the time you place the order.

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eWeek article: Linux vx. Windows – Which is more secure?

This article at eWeek is a great summary of a Forrester Research report that was published recently pitting Linux vs. Windows on a security front. Most interesting to me was the way the report’s author, Laura Koetzle, took a quantitative look at security rather than the more typical subjective response, “Of course LInux is more secure.” Forrester charges $899 for the full report, so the best most of us are going to do is to read the summary over at eWeek, but in case you want it, here is a link to the report at the Forrester site.

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Catching up

I am catching up on a few updates I have wanted to make but have been too busy to post. More to come.

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Not the first positive step from the folks at SixApart, but a HUGE one!

I was incredibly impressed with the first post written by Mena Trott on her new weblog at SixApart, Mena’s Corner. Having worked in and with start-ups before, I can completely empathize and sympathize with some of what she is describing. I hope that she can find the time to keep this going, while I would never expect daily, at least biweekly.

One of my main criticisms for Typepad, which I use to host this weblog (read disclaimer), has been that I felt they didn’t plan adequately for its success, and they didn’t communicate quickly enough when it had problems. Do I understand why? Of course, but understanding doesn’t excuse it. SixApart is supposed to be one of the “new” companies that has a firm grasp on what weblogs and real-time communication is all about, since they have helped to make it a reality for so many people. When they don’t execute on that, it is more disappointing than when one of the “traditional” firms have similar failures. That being said, I still think SixApart and their products are some of the best around, and I hope they keep up the great work!

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The McGurk Effect

Ok, I have to start this post with the disclaimer that this is the freakiest thing I have ever seen with regard to illusions. The illusion that happens is auditory, which I didn’t know was possible until now. All I can say is go watch it and see for yourself. I found myself a little frightened. I found this one through Mithras.

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Microsoft Technet Briefing – Active Directory Fundamentals and Patch Management

I attended the MS Technet Brieifing in King of Prussia, PA, yesterday, and again I was pleased with the results. The presenter was Kelly DuBois, who is the regional Technet presenter for VA, MD, DE and PA. Her presentation skills were outstanding. She was fun to listen to and was EXTREMELY interactive, which helps to keep dry technical presentations more bearable. In this case, I answered a lot of her questions, but only because I couldn’t bear to let the whole room sit in silence when she asked a question where the answer was ON THE SCREEN.

The attendee pack for this one was pretty weak. There is a sampler CD from Windows & .NET Magazine, and I was able to pick up the Windows Security Update CD (February, 2004). There was also a t-shirt and some marketing material in the requisite black Microsoft bag, of which I think I now have 5. There is a 20% discount for subscribing to Technet available – enter the code T200-19 on the form or give it to the phone representative to receive the discount.

The content of the presentation was very basic, and I think it would have been more suited as a 100 level than a 200 level course. Unfortunately because of timing, we rushed through the patch management side of things. It wasn’t a problem for me because the other Technet events I have attended recently covered SUS 2.0 very thoroughly, but I could see where some of the other attendees might have gotten short-changed on the topic.

Overall, it was a worthwhile use of my time, since I got to meet Kelly, who I am sure I will be seeing again at other presentations. Otherwise, I didn’t really learn much that I didn’t already know about Active Directory and SUS. If you are new to AD or have a very limited understanding of how it works, especially wth regards to the FSMO roles, then the presentation is worth it.

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The Windows Secrity Update CD (February, 2004)

I picked up the Windows Security Update CD for February, 2004 at the Technet Briefing yesterday. This CD is available for free from Microsoft (not even a shipping charge), and it is targeted at people with slow Internet connections. It includes the following updates on the CD for Windows XP and 2000:

There are also a host of updates for Win98 and ME on the CD. It is definitely a good thing to request if you are still on dial-up and haven’t patched in a while, but it will take 2-4 weeks to arrive. It also comes with a promo CD from Computer Associates for their firewall and antivirus products.

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How to help someone use a computer

Thanks to Roland Taglao for the pointer to this article by Phil Agre at UCLA. For people that do what I do, that is help people with computers, this article represents the same kind of things for us that we think users should know about the computers and don’t. If more people who help people with computers acted this way, I wouldn’t have as much success with my business cleaning up after the Saturday Night Live Computer Guy.

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Wireless network periodically dropping connection

I found this article at Ars Technica. I have a couple of different clients that have this problem, and I am going to try their solution. We’ll see what happens.

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