Archive for the ‘PSA-Types’ Category

The Gadget Bill of Lights

Posted on May 15th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, PSA-Types, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Time Wasters | Comments Off on The Gadget Bill of Lights

Okay, funny headline, serious idea.

Mike Elgan of has written a very good bill of lights for gadget makers, proposing that they stop putting LEDs and other “cool” lights into our tech gear, because it can be downright annoying at times, especially at night.

“Despite general design ingenuity, it seems that nobody at Palm ever
considered the effect of that hideous green light on the Treo. When I
would go to bed, the entire room would flash: GREEN! GREEN! GREEN!
Turning the phone upside down reduced, but didn’t stop, the annoying
assault. I typically would have to bury the device under something or
hide it in a drawer. Annoyingly, nobody knows what that green light is
for, and even worse, you can’t turn it off.”

. . .

“My PC and other computing equipment make my office look like a jet
cockpit. I have two LCD monitors, each of which has two indicator
lights that flash even when the PC is turned off. The attached sound
control has a light on it. My keyboard has multiple lights. The power
cord has lights, the printer has lights, and the power button is
illuminated. My cable modem and Linksys router flash like crazy all the
time. Together, these useless lights create a visual cacophony of
blinking, multicolored lights that make me feel like I’m taking part in
a NASA stress test for astronaut candidates.”

Read the full article (very good), and send in the Gadget Bill of Lights to any tech designer you know who continues to INSIST on using loads of useless flashing lights.

Summer PSA : Hard drives and Air Conditioners Don’t Mix

Posted on May 10th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, How To's, Lacking a Category, PSA-Types, Site of the Day, Tech News, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »


Okay, I guess the title of this is a little odd….I don’t know anyone who’s ever tried to use their computer tower to support an air conditioner, or anyone who’s ever tried to air condition a hard drive to improve performance by sticking it in front of a window-mounted unit.

The real PSA in here to to be careful to protect your computer from power surges over the summer. Air conditioners, in particular, put a huge load on the average home electrical system (especially in older homes.) When an air conditioner turns on, or shuts off, its possible to have a power surge that runs through the electrical system into your computer, and can fry hard drives, among other important computer components.

I suppose while I’m on it, I may as well mention that during the summer, computers can also be subject to power outages and brownouts. Make sure that you save data when you’re not using your computer, just in case the power shuts off while you’re away. More importantly, do your part to prevent brownouts in the first place. Remember to turn off your computer when you’re not around, or out for the day. Check to see if your monitor has a sleep mode that it goes into when you’re away. Not only will you help prevent brownouts, you’ll save the cost of the electricity too.

Read more about it here

Additional Notes:

If your computer is plugged into a different circuit than your air conditioner (If you turn off the circuit breaker / pull out the fuse that your air conditioner is plugged into (and it shuts off) but your computer stays on), you’re most likely OK. And, It’s always a good idea to use a UPS or other quality surge protector with your computer.

Another additional note : Be careful if you have a large laminator plugged into the same circuit as multiple computers and and air conditioner. When the circuit breaker goes, neither the computer, or the air conditioning user will be very happy. No further comment.

– Joe

Business 2.0, king of the “backup reminder” looses issue layout due to. . .faulty backup. . .

Posted on May 2nd, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, PSA-Types, Tech News | Comments Off on Business 2.0, king of the “backup reminder” looses issue layout due to. . .faulty backup. . .




Although I don’t backup everything on my computer, I do keep a backup of all my important files – mainly music and photos at the moment.  (I was going to get another internal drive, but found an external drive much cheaper.  It’s also easy to take my files on the road, without filling up my laptop.)

So the lesson for today : Backup the important stuff on your computer!
You’ll be glad you did.  It can be as easy as copy and paste, overwrite the old backup, and you’re all done, or you can program an automated file transfer to update the backup.  Your choice of how to do it, but a potential killer if it isn’t done at all.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Just a headsup

Posted on April 20th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, PSA-Types, The Never Ending Story/Other FLB Events, Time Wasters | Comments Off on Just a headsup

For people who use computers alot….and their computers that don’t have batteries…or external drives…either make sure you have a nice trusty ups, or some pretty reliable power service 😛
Here i was…burning a 4 gig dvd. Half way through, whirrrr, zeeeeeee, silence. “AH CRAP!” I was burning from my network pc. Well….theres a coaster. Waits patiently for the power to return. YAY! Pops in a new dvd and starts burning. 3 gigs in, whirrrrrr, silence. “OMG. WHY?”
Twice. Two coasters, and corrupt data on my network now. Its just great…lol. then again, we’re talking about my laptop which has a battery life of an hour when its on low everything. So…do what i just did if you dont want this happening to ya: EBAY>>Search>>UPS>>Buy.>>Pay…>>>Happy!
lol…this is a normal public service message brought to you by Brian’s crazy paranoid house that has too many packages arriving at his door every day. 🙂

Blogs Turn 10!

Posted on April 12th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Historic Technology, PSA-Types, Tech News | 2 Comments »

Some of your friends may still be hardpressed to describe what one
is, and you may well be feeling guilty about not updating your own
often enough – but hang out the bunting because blogging is now 10
years old, write Bobbie Johnson and Mark Oliver.

Blogs might still feel rather novel, but there are now something like 70m of them around the globe. . . .”

Quote from

I’m not really certain what to comment about this one…
I’m sure that there were people doing “blogging” before 1997, but I agree that around 97 blogging really got to be popular, as it was introduced to the masses, and made considerably easier to read and write a blog.

So, happy 10th birthday blogging, don’t go away anytime soon.

Why you need long passwords…

Posted on March 27th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Photos/Videoes, PSA-Types, Tech News | 6 Comments »

After a brief hiatus….i’m back 😛
And here with a command from the ladybug itself. USE LONG PASSWORDS!
i can tell you right now, that my usual password consists of around 16-17 chars, with one non-alpha numeric char thrown in just for fun. Joe know part of it, but he only knows the easy part 😛
But, yes, someone did a study on password lengths. Just lookit it:

thanks downloadsquad

Science Video : Train Hitting a Car

Posted on March 20th, 2007 in Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, PSA-Types, Science!, Site of the Day, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

Technically, because the earlier posts are towards the bottom of the page, the one below this came first.  Odd coincidence?  Possibly.  I had NO IDEA Brian was looking at that…

Don’t try and beat the train, and don’t stop on the tracks.

So, on to the link…

Ways to STOP Piracy

Posted on February 26th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, PSA-Types, Tech News | Comments Off on Ways to STOP Piracy

Ok…lets review this for the people who think this is a good idea or are just ignorant of this event.
Programmer makes a piece of software that records your screen into a quicktime movie. Fine. THats all good.
License it, by using serial codes. Good Job…
Make it, so if you enter in certain “pirated” serial codes, program DELETES THE HOME FOLDER OF THE USER. BAD IDIOTIC MORONIC IDEA. This is for Mac’s by the way…
Some sentiments about this idea:
1) Prepare for the lawsuits.
2) File for bankruptcy NOW
3) Remove yourself from the face of the earth for your moronic judgment skills.

I’m sorry…but, this ACTUALLY HAPPENED. As one commenter said, he is an embarrassment to all programmers out there.
And I QUOTE: “there exist several illegal cd-keys that you can use to unlock the demo program. If display eater detects that you are using these, it will erase something.”


Again, i state…this is an example of nonexistant judgment skills. PLEASE take this as a warning to all you budding programmers…don’t ever ever ever ever dream up of some pathetic/dangerous program protection system?! PLEASE.

/end rant. Read the comments on versiontracker

PSA : 22 Ways to Reduce Eyestrain

Posted on February 23rd, 2007 in How To's, PSA-Types, Site of the Day | 2 Comments »

I know that I spend loads of time sitting in front of this computer screen each day, and that’s just to complete homework, and doesn’t include the hour (on a slow day) that I spend looking up stuff to post on the blog, and some days, eyestrain can be a real headache.

Here’s a list of 22 ways to reduce eyestrain.

Some Basics :

1.  Don’t sit too close to the monitor.  An arms length away is good.
2.  Don’t use a light source behind the monitor.  Get a lamp off to the side of the monitor on the desk instead.
3.  Get an eye exam – glasses while on the computer may help.
4.Avoid working in a dark room.

I’d strongly reccomend reading the full article, because even if it doesn’t help you, I bet you know someone who it can help.

Frances E. Allen is the first worman to recieve ACM Turing Award

Posted on February 21st, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Historic Technology, PSA-Types, Site of the Day, Tech News | Comments Off on Frances E. Allen is the first worman to recieve ACM Turing Award


New York, NY, February 21, 2007
– ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, has named Frances E.
Allen the recipient of the 2006 A.M. Turing Award for contributions
that fundamentally improved the performance of computer programs in
solving problems, and accelerated the use of high performance
computing. This award marks the first time that a woman has received
this honor. The Turing Award, first presented in 1966, and named for
British mathematician Alan M. Turing, is widely considered the “Nobel
Prize in Computing.” It carries a $100,000 prize, with financial
support provided by Intel Corporation.”

(Basically, Allen worked on programs that take computer programs and translate them from one computer language to another, and she also worked on computer programs that used multiple processors.)

Read the full article here