The Knightcast episode 31 : Tips for the mobile geek.
Direct link to the show : http://www.knightwise.com/podcasts/kc290506.mp3
An episode jam packs with tips for the mobile geek. How to carry and organize your tech equiptment as easy, light, convinient and efficient as possible. What to take with you, where and how to store all your geeky goods. Furthermore we talk about the Ubuntu-Granny incident and let you hear ' The Knightcast Signal".
- News and events.
- MUSIC The Knightcast signal as preformed by Noplasticinside .
- The Knightwise.com website gets 11000 hits over the weekend.
- The Ubuntu story on Digg .
- MUSIC The road less traveled by Sweet Crystal.
- Part 1 : Tips for the mobile geek.
- Why this podcast.
- Dividing everything into zones.
- Zone 1 : your body.
- MUSIC : Move it by Life has teeth .
- Zone 2 : The "Bag"
- Groundrules.- What to put in your bag.
- Zone 3 : The car.- Groundrules.
- What to store inside your car.
Sometimes is wierd to say how story's evolve on the internet. One would think, that between thousands and thousands of voices, blogs, websites and podcasts it is hard to seperate the songs from the static. But still. Sometimes a story is written in just the right key that it chimes out and resonates through the internet. Sebastians review on AIM pages is a perfect example. An article that begun on his own website has been picked up by AIM and its hardcopy's are now scattered over the tables of the design team at AOL to guide them in the redesign of AIM pages. Enjoy.
AIM Pages by Sebastian Prooth.
As you will find out when you listen to episode 4 of the Global Geek Podcast I tried to sign up to the new AIM Pages service.
I decided to go back today and try and get a profile going over on AIM Pages. I started to create the profile about 20 minutes ago and I have had multiple problems while creating the profile which I will share with you, so you don’t waste your time with this website until you have read the problems you might encounter while registering!
Number one, the site is NOT intuitive, not easy at all. I am glad I have blog creating experience or I would have been struggling to get this profile up and going. Once I selected a profile from the tech group, I applied one I liked, or so I thought, more on this later.
Then I proceeded to actually fill out the “modules” and build the profile. What a yawn. The about me section malfunctioned every time I opened it up to edit it, and once I had placed the text and said OK I want to keep it, I saw that it did not show up against the background, so I went back into the editor and selected white text, to show up on this brownish clay coloured background.
The photo uploading system is difficult as well, once you figure out that save does not mean upload/keep, and you have to hit upload, you will be greeted with a dialogue box that has an upload interface, good luck getting it to work the first time around! When I selected the images to caption them once I had uploaded them, it took clicking around them, on them, everything, to get the caption box.
I realized after trying to set up the Contact me section, not to bother. Why? Because what you select to show up as methods of contact don’t even show up when you hit apply!
And if all these problems were not enough, I decided to have done and apply the profile. When I did I was greeted with a totally separate theme than the one I had selected, my words did not show up against the background so I had to highlight the text on the page to read it, and most of all when I went to edit the page again, it died in the ass. Totally. I was not able to get back into the edit area where I had been before.
One final problem and the one that just made me leave the entire endeavor. I went to settings, and it brings up a dialogue with one option. Leaving AIM Pages? Click Yes to delete your profile!! Oh yeah, thats a setting alright! You can check out what I eventually got out of the profile here – As you can see, the text is the wrong colour (Invisible)!
Is AIM Pages a MySpace killer? Umm.. Let me think about this one. Absolutely not. There is no way on God’s green earth that this website is a Myspace killer, I could not even configure a profile, with 11 years of Internet using experience. I have been using Myspace to store a profile for over a year, and I have never had the problems like I have had in 20 minutes trying to build a profile on AIM Pages. Web 2.0? More like Web .20. If I were AOL or whoever is behind this, I would be ashamed that some meeting deemed it ready to be released for use… it just isn't – Comments Welcome
I don't know about you .. but i am out of here.
Computer maintenance can be a tedious task, and somehow Windows Pc's can't get enough of it. Wether I open up a computer magazine or listen to a podcast about Windows its always spyware this and scandisk that etc. Now as for spyware and such , I completely understand , there is a lot of crap out there, but standard maintenance tasks on your computer are not something you should worry about. One of the images that shoots to mind is this guy sitting in front of his computer WAITING for the de-fragmentation to complete that he started about an hour ago. Meanwhile he is just sitting there , like its some kind of laundry machine and he has to get his socks back. Not for me No-oh! If I tell my pc to clean up his room ? He better do it all by himself. Here are a few tricks that you can use to have your pc do 'his on thang” on “his own time”.
Step One ! Pick a free spot in your calendar.
Don't do computer maintenance at the peak of your day or while you have five little brothers and sisters waiting in line to play World of Warcraft. Do it at night . And don't stay up for it , let the computer do it. So choose a time when you don't need your computer and dive into the BIOS ( Press delete or F2 when the computer is starting up.) Most BIOS's (is that plural ?) these days have an “automatic power up” option that you can set. This means you can let your computer power up automatically at a certain time without you having to get up and press the button. Set the auto power up to a certain time and day of your choice.
Step Two ! Log in automatically.
Its not the best way of doing things securely , but if your computer is just parked in your room you can enable auto-login. One of the programs you can use for this is TWEAK-UI it will not only give you the option to auto-log-on as a certain user , but also lots of other cool tweaks.Are you afraid somebody is gonna try to access your computer while its unguarded ? No worries , just set the screen-saver to 1 minute and password protect it.
Step three ! Let the games begin.
Once your computer is securely logged in you can let him do its daily chores.Open a text-file and start typing.
at 01:00 /every:M,F defrag c:
The AT command lets you schedule certain tasks at certain times. In the example above it will run the command DEFRAG C: (de-fragment your hard-drive) every monday and friday.
at 02:00 /every:M,F defrag d:
Identical stuff , this time for the D drive, an hour later.
TIP : if you want to save yourself a lot of pain in the but , make a separate partition on your hard-drive where you set your windows swap file. This will greatly increase your de-fragmentation times and speed up your pc.
Next up you might wanna do a little cleaning up of your hard-drive. Its never bad to do a anticipative scandisk before your favorite telletubie pictures get lost on that runt hard-drive cluster. Now you can't do a scandisk (or check-disk ) on a drive thats currently in use , just like you can't vacuum the rug you are standing on. But again , that is not a problem. When you run the CHKDSK command in Windows and point to a busy drive , Windows will do the operation next time the drive is free ( that is the next time the computer boots up). So once again , take the AT command and type up these little lines of code.
at 01:30 /every:F chkdsk c: /f /r
This means : every friday clean up my drive , repair the data on broken clusters and move on.
And last but not least , you have to shut the machine down. You don't have to get up to do that , just use the shutdown command as follows.
at 01:45 shutdown -s -f
This means : at a quarter to two , shutdown the computer. (and force close all open programs)A nice tip you might want to remember is that you can enter the shutdown command in the RUN box in your start menu, for example, your computer is burning a cd, its still gonna be an hour before its done. But you wanna go out and grab a burger and don't want your computer running in vain all night. Just type shutdown -t 3600 and hit enter. Here 3600 stands for the number of seconds the computer waits before shutdown.
And thats it. Just type all the commands in a txt file, save it as maintenance.bat and either drag it to your startup folder so it runs automatically every day , or click on it to run everything manually. You can find more examples of the AT command here . Now go outside and play … and let technology work for you !
Keep it simple.
If visitor statistics have proven one thing in the last few days, then it is that keeping it simple works best. A small article about configuring a Ubuntu workstation for grandma turned into a site-rush overnight. The moral of the story ? Linux is being presented as an operating system that is way to hard. Somehow I think that the one thing that is holding back de destribution of Linux desktops to the mainstream is … The Linux community itsellf.
Blame the community ?
Now don't get me wrong. Whenever I was in need of Penguin related information, I knew where to turn. Tons of forums, newsgroups and websites where jam packed with information. And they where more then happy to provide it …. Only .. it was presented in a way that was only comprehensible for “the inner circle of linus-ians “ They where friendly and nice, and the howto's started out pretty friendly and easy , but three posts later in the thread the learning curve had gone allmost vertical and they where talking Grep this and Ls that and what have you. When this sudden increase of complexity startled me and I asked or a little more directions I was redirected to another thread that dealt with that problem on its own. Its like asking somebody to help you because your car door is stuck, and as an answer they give you a manual in automechanics.
My wires are crossed.
Wireless support in Linux is a pitfall in that account. When it works out of the box , its fine , when it does not : You're screwed ! And this is sometimes the fault of the evil hardware manufacturers that don”t want to release their drivers (poor Linux heroes even reverse engeneer them to get it to work). But other times there IS a way to get it going, but you have to edit this, copy that, compile this , download that … AAArg ! By the time I have figured that out my laptop will be outdated anyway.
And once more all together : AUTOMAAAATIX !!!
An example that it CAN work is the famous automatix script, instead of posting a gigantic textfile with a complete list of applications you can make, they decided to script it in a little Gui so people could click and pick what they needed. Is it Linux-geeky cool : NO ? Would bash-brawlers frown upon this de-geek-i-fi-cation of technology ? YES .. Does it work ? Hell yes !
Strip the technobabble from the how-to and bring it down to playschool level : Copy this, past it there, click that. No pipes , no grep, no compile, no wget .. just copy paste and click. And the result : A newbie proof way that has done MORE for the linux community since its early rise a year ago , then pages and pages of “man” files have done in years. I'm not saying we don't need these because we do and they are a wonderfull work of patience and passion, but to somebody who just gets started .. they just don't work.
It can be for dumb people too.
And the other thing is : Using Linux does not mean turning it into some major command line operating system that will be able to run the planet should the white house ever decide to pull the 64 k of ram out of the presidents head. It can also mean using it for a simple system. Or a safe-surft computer. So you see my bearded linux-zealots ! Keep'in it simple is keepin it popular !
There is nothing as annoying as having to wait. Wait for your girlfriend on the first date, wait for Santa Clause to come at night, wait for the person in front of you on the public restroom when you have to make a mega dump. Or .. Wait for the delivery of your Macbook. Yep, I now curse myself for not being an earlier adopter of the mean machine and waiting until last thursday to order it. Delivery would take from three to seven days the apple store said. With previous orders that mostly meant ' Three to seven days, but in two days you'll have your goodies”. Unfortunately THIS time (of all times) Three to seven days does mean .. to seven days. So as I sit behind the front door like some hungry puppy waiting for the doorbell to ring. But no Macbook yett. A lot of it has to do with this freaking bank holiday we are having. Not only does this means I have four days off (which could have been spent in utter bliss with my new macbook) it also means the transportation and courier industry is a little fucked up and .. guess what , delivery's have been delayed.
But with the use of the tracking number at the apple store and some surfing we can see where our macbook is at this very moment. Lets track the shipping shall we ?
So we take the tracking number of the apple store and hop over to the website of the courier company. There we can see a step-by-step history of where it is.
May 18, 2006 om 07:05 PM GMT Order placed.
Yes indeed , After a little doubt and a lot of research I placed the order , exactly one week before that blasted bank holiday. I could have done it about a week earlier but I decided NOT to be an early adopter.
May 22nd 2006 05:22 Suzhou Consignment Received At Transit Point
So at the early eastern dawn my Macbook arrived FROM the factory at my couriers pickup point. A quick Google lets me see where the town of Suzhou actually is , a tad east of Shanghai.
May 23rd 2006 00:41 Suzhou Shipped From Originating Depot
Okay, It took my little Macbook a few hours to grab a cappuccino, some croissants and be on its merry way.
May 26, 2006 15:50 Arnhem Hub Consignment Passed Through Transit Point
Probably by boat or by plane (i guess by plane) it arrived at Arnhem in The Netherlands. Pretty late and with no hope of arriving at its destination here that very same day. As I was on the road myself that day I encountered what traffic must have been like for the couriers : Rainy, overcrowded highways and a lot of people on the road that had a day off. Mixing proffesional travelers with leisure travelers and bad weather = Chaos.
May 27 th 2006 04:49 Brussels Hub Consignment Received At Transit Point.
Ah ! Joy to the world, my little Macbook has jumped across the border and has arrived in our nations capital of Belgium. As it is Saturday morning, the 27th of May, 9 AM : The one million dollar question is : Is TNT running errands today ? If so : My Macbook could only be minutes away, If not … its gonna be freaking MONDAY until it arrives.
I'll hope for the former but fear the latter. No matter no matter …..