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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ubuntu

So I Skype Eric, he is back from Japan and tells me about his travels, sounds like fun, we must go to China together next year, for the Olympics, probably more fun with more people.

I can't believe it, as I was trying to help Eric out on his computer, turns out he is talking about having too many things open on his desktop he mentions Evolution, I remember he installed Ubuntu, wow, he is running Ubuntu and liking it.

I closed my blinds this morning, it is cold in here 16ÂșC and I miss the hot sun light, but then it glares my screen so it is no good, I think about a thermal black thing to absorb it, but in looking on the internet, it is way to expensive for a 6'x9' for $68, no way, are this Aussie dollars, Yen? Address shows Summit NY, so I guess no.'

Ron wants a talk about these cool Lego like electronics at LiLAX, why he can't just contact the company himself instead of contacting us to start with, I don't get, talk to them first, then us.

Day after Christmas

I went to Fry's as is custom on Black Friday or Dec. 26. Not that many people, but then I was there an hour after opening. I looked around and found that the 42" Monitor that I had bought last year was still the same price, not on special that day. They had a really poor video feed on it, I guess they were trying to sell more expensive HDTVs by giving them much better feeds, this one looks really good at home, but not in the store. I settled on buying a 300 Gig Maxtor PATA drive for $44, 6 GB/$, and a 750 Gig External Maxtor with USB2.0 and FireWire400 for 149.99 + Tax, 5 GB/$, 2 awesome buys and no more of that out of disk space for me, I had not been able to do complete backups for people here, now that is a thing of the past. I then made a stop at the small Apple store, nothing special going on there, and and Best Buy, but they were both not doing any after Christmas sales, so left rather quickly.

It has been very cold here, yesterday I saw that the temprature had dropped to 58 indoors, good thing I had the heater lit. Not sure if this is the reason I have not been producing much these days. Just seems like a good time to hybernate.

Today I was looking over the Flickr for StartupWeekendLA, then got dragged into the the pictures that Marianne Masculino took, 1600+ wow, that is quite a large collection. Would be nice if JJ took pictures, I do want to take her to the next StartupCamp. I wonder if someday she will ask me to take down this link, she doesn't even really know me except for the StartUp Weekend LA. Anyhow nice collection. I better get mine up there too.

I am doing this on a borrowed latop, I got to say that by now it is easier for me to use Ubuntu then IE 6, on this Windows XP. ^T does nothing for me, no tabs. Oh well, ^N still does the new window, will have to do.

Last night I setup a Real VNC on a computer, but the ATT supplied DSL router is still thwarting me, either that or the computer was turned off overnight, I really don't know, although the guy claims the doesn't do that, foolish as this may be, burning power all night and giving black hats a computer to take over.

This little laptop is very nice, light weight, long battery life and it works great, I might have to create a user here, I have it on weekends sometimes. I feel a bit like I am traveling today, since I am typing this on a borrowed computer. I may be getting a year old HP, hope that the warrenty can remedy the 2 horizontal lines accross the screen. Today using the IE here, not spelling checking, lousy IE. But this is avery nice HP Compaq nc6400, light weight and functional. But I hear the DVD drive is broken. I hear sounds of waking in the next room, time to go back.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Nokia N95

So I still feel like this hardware isn't living up to all it does, the software is kind of lacking. But that can be fixed. It will never be as cool as an iPhone, they really got the software right, but meanwhile it is a very powerful phone does more then iPhone can right now, but it is slow, the camera on the iPhone is very zippy, can take pictures really fast, this one takes some time, I have to time them both someday. Meanwhile I got sent this really cool link to a N95 commercial.

Chevron Refinery

This morning I was in the living room watching the sky slowly light up when I saw a big plum of smoke, watching financial news trying to protect my investments in these hard times, I finally did decide to take a camera and walk out there to see what is going on. I figured that we would get car wash vouchers again as usually happens when the pollute the area, but I am also curious as to what is going on 2 blocks from home. So I did take lots of pictures of the refinery, big black plum of smoke up on the sky, started around 6:30am and by 8am when I am typing this the sky is clear again sun is bright and shining over the buildings, not a cloud in sight. At some point I guess I will find out what is going on. video

I took a look at ElSegundo.NET, but no story, haven't figured out what happened. I guess I could call the company, but usually they will leave fliers in car windshields to let you know what happened.

I am watching Fox Business news and this guy there is powering his boat on human fat, wow, I had this idea as well, we are all so fat.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

XP vs Ubuntu, backups

Some of you may remember that after a Tuesday update, Wednesday October 4th my computer stopped working and my bandwidth after that was very limited. I never figured out what went wrong, but still have that XP drive that won't let me type the password to login. I have often missed information on that drive, and perhaps now that I have a long Christmas weekend I will have time to come back and revisit this. Meanwhile I have retrieved some information from the drive, I also bought a great 250 Gig Seagate external USB drive from Best Buy for $99.99+Tax, saw another Western Digital 500 Gig at, of all places the Apple Store on 3rd St., Santa Monica, for $149.99, not bad, for something in that store, but more important, this is lots of storage for very little money. I even took a look at the 1 TeraByte, $300, maybe I can store everything I need without breaking the bank. This kind of limitless space would do wonders for my ability to store things twice, once on a system and again on the backup drive, because lets face it, we all don't want to spend time doing backups, but we really do need too. The other option that I have been using for backups is Google. I run my email through Google now and this makes email backup automatically, then I can upload some files to the documents section, and pictures and again a complete backup model, and to boot I have access from anywhere in the world I have internet access. It is funny as I am typing this Security Now #123 is talking about Jungle Disk, based on Amazon S3 15 cent per gigabyte storage. Free 30 dy trail, I might try it. So offsite backups at Google or Amazon are really easy now that we have all this connectivity and storage available.

I got to test that a blue tooth keyboard to the N95 sometime, the time I had one available I couldn't find the option on the menu, turns out under Office is where it lives, who knew, the stupid numberpad is really bad for typing. My aunt came back a week ago from Cape Horn, the weather was good so they crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the bottom of the world and got some sort of certificate on the boat, flew back to Germany from Buenos Aires.

I have to sometime get someone to give a talk at LiLAX.net about firewalls again, I listen to Security Now and keep hearing about the Astaro, which is Linux based and sounds awsome, I also need to run Snort on my home machines to see if they are behaving and on visitors to check for bad behavior. I think that it even makes sense for ISPs to have some automated scripts send email to users of thier system, although it is a bit like big brother and users might not like this sort of thing, besides how quickly would the RIAA ask to use that system to figure out if someone is sharing music? but so much wasted bandwidth on the internet used for bad things could be saved.

Friday, December 21, 2007

N95 is the first gadget on Mahallo

I was so surprised to see it in first place on Mahalo, under the Gadgets section today, it isn't a well known phone, not the buzz of the iPhone or the cool Apple look, not a crack berry, it is a pretty capable phone, my N95. I see there was a firmware update on December 11, I surely missed this and T-mobile probably didn't push it as they don't have this phone as an option. So time for me to try the Nokia updater, but it claims I have the latest, strange. Yesterday I downloaded the gMail application to my phone. It is very slick, but only works with network access, no local email stored on the phone.

more interviews

I hate going to interviews, they are lots of work and usually end in disappointment, I guess I never liked dating either.
But I think that a job with real pay might give me more money then my consulting is right now, after all I am not doing that full time. On the down side, I will probably have much less time to learn, so it will hurt my abilities. Perhaps I might have to stop blogging, not that this makes me money, I guess I started putting ads on in August and as of now I am up to $21.39 in revenue. Not impressive, I can surely make more with anything else, but then this blog wasn't about making money, it was about sharing what I am doing in something other then email and about figuring out what all these things do and how they work, it has been a learning experience.

I am almost done cleaning up yet another Windows XP Home machine. It is a Christmas present for Victor, so I have to clean off all the personal files, put them on a really neat Seagate 250 Gig HD I just bought at Best Buy for $99.99, great deal I would say, the loyalty card they made me get kind of sucks, can't these retailers link the loyalty program to a credit card? I can't carry yet another thing, so I will have to enter my phone number each time. Anyways, for something that had expired virus sigs and no patches, not even SP1, wow, it actually was still functional. But I do need to do a reinstall on such a system. If I end up doing this for a living, would need to setup a monitoring firewall to see where all these Windows PCs communicate too. I got to figure that many are part of a bot net or supply services like SPAM or keyboard logging.

Got to run, hate the freeway, grrrr, probably won't take this 40 mile away job, unless I get lots of $$$.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

car computer


I have someone on my street building a car computer, it is more of a nights and weekend thing, although he has a company now. I thought years ago when I first saw this that the software should be what he concentrates on, but he being a ME was more interested using mechanical HDs and making the thing resistant to shocks, all very nice, but as I predicted solid state HD have now come to the point where this isn't needed anymore. Today I found an website that shows the Samsung. Sometimes ads on websites are useful.

amzon rocks! or is it christmas?

I listed my DVD/VCR on Amazon on Thursday, it sold right away, so did the 20" TV/VCR from 2002, used, it is amazing, it actually works. So I listed David's CD Changer.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wow

This has been a wild weekend. We thought of an idea, designed a product and implemented it. 2.5 days and we are live, elected a board for socialmixr.com, took a vacation and incorporated a company. In the picture the people that were still left on Sunday night, less then started, but still a pretty big group.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

don't bug me till monday

I am up early catching up with all the events of the night, seems the group posted till almost 3 AM, wow, so off to the location, so little time... dev is working, some slept right here at the office. The Street Fire guys are really great to give us the use of these offices.

StartUpWeekendLA

Busy day, interview for PortBlue this morning, then a computer coaching this afternoon, followed by Startup Weekend LA, at streetfire.net about 70 people coming up with startup ideas and then implementing them in a weekend. They want to compress a year of a startup into a weekend for 5% of equity they get, you are part of the 50% the founders get, 45% goes to the future of the company, cool concept lots of energy, will be there all weekend. Judging from the webpage, they worked until 3AM, I got pulled out earlier. I am a bit late reading up on this the Google Group has been active, and I have to get up to speed. Things happend so fast, should have been on this all week, but alas too busy with the market and my own little tech things.

Friday, December 14, 2007

brokers

I have used several brokers for some time now. They give you different tools to trade with. Over the years I have gotten different results with the brokers I have used. Some like the defunct Datek encouraged you to do lots of trades by giving you up to the second updates, given the high trading fees when you trade lots, it was a loosing proposition, so that isn't a great strategy. I want to look into several brokers and the tools they give you, how the strategies work over time. I wonder if anyone out there could help with their own brokerage account.

Getting ready for a job interview, wish me luck.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

upgrade or work

I need to upgrade my computer system if I am to do more stuff from this office, but that takes money, so maybe I should concentrate on getting a job. I have left upgrading my resume for last, perhaps that is what I should have worked on the MacBook Pro, after all I had no other information on it last weekend, but alas I decided to play with it and learn about Leopard, the first chance I had to use it outside the Apple store. As I said before, it is a really nice OS. But still what is the cost/benefit of getting an Apple, or should I simply get a motherboard with lots of RAM from Fry's and stick it in one of the many cases I have here. That would be a 10th of the price.

for later

Much of my blog is reading the eMails, blogs, CNBC, life and posting something that I should have read completely, but due to time restrictions I didn't. For instance this morning Bruce seems to have spotted our most popular speaker at UUASC in a LA Times article, can't say for sure if it is the guy, however I recognize Heathervescent. She has done a great job of spreading her brand and tech events in the area and according to the article she now has a calendar seems to be time to get Dan Kegel's lalugs out from under him, he doesn't update, but has the old Google creed, so it is the place many link and look at, too bad no one wants to update it with his rather convoluted svn update procedure, which often breaks and you only update the repository, it doesn't post.

This youtube reminds me of the stock market, it promises to be good for me, but keeps given me bitter returns. You do have to admire the tenacity the baby has. I got to say that this babies and lemons don't mix theme is funny.

Monday, December 10, 2007

slept like a baby

Been busy this eweekend. After a rather boring LiLAX meeting we went to the airport, picked up Eric and took him to Mike's Sandwich shop, where Howard was waiting from the LiLAX meeting. This was our after meeting. I still have to download the pictures off the N95, darn I had already put it back in the shipping box as I don't really have a use for it, the T-Mobile chip is back in the old Nokia 3650, took me forever to wade through the menus to find the name, T-Mobile doesn't stamp the model on the phone. So Charles goes his way, thanks for driving and we get the new MacBook Pro out of the suitcase and plug it in, startup and wow, it asks a few personal details and up we are with a .MAC account free for 90 days and everything. It is a very nice laptop, big screen, rounded edges, perfect in every detail, too bad the things are expensive, now I need to find an employer as I want toys. The next thing we hooked up was the Meraki, you go to the dashboard an put your address in the name of the network, you give it the order number of your unit and add it to the network, plug the ether in and now it is sharing your bandwidth wireless, all very nice. You can order more of them as repeaters you need 1 for every 10 connected they work out amongst themselves what the best routing is and it is all centrally controlled and monitored. Pretty cool I would say, except I already have an access point that I want to repeat, can't get it to work that way, not buying another Merak, for $49.99, probably getting some other solution as this one doesn't do that from what I can research. The only cool thing it did was that I could connect the client to it and it will give me internet off the Meraki network for this one over the wire.

So off to hacking the Meraki, you can in fact login into it from the ethernet port and browse to 10.128.128.128 and in the advanced screen you can join a SSID, just what I wanted, but they don't support it and write it is DEPRICATED, who cares, it works, life is good again.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

MacBook Pro

So having gotten over our last LiLAX meeting in Carson at the university we went to the airport to pickup Eric who brought my sister's Mac, so I loaded my pictures on it and started playing with iPhoto and did some calls with iChat and Skype. It is a really nice notebook, big screen light and powerful. Software is just easy to use and intuitive. They are not cheap, but then I guess you get what you pay for.

twit 124

I got to say that I prefer TWIT to cable TV on a Saturday morning. I got up this morning and turned on TWC to surf channels while the computer was coming up, then at some point I realized that iTunes had new content, and started running TWIT and their talk about the OLPC and the competition it is getting from Wintel. Then it went on to DRM talk which led to a talk about DVD Jon. All good stuff, now if it was easier to move stuff from my iTunes to the N95.

Flight AA149 is late, arriving at 11:18 at gat 42b baggage 2 so I guess we will ditch Eric at the airport, he can fend for himself, he loves to stay at the AA club there and always complains about me picking him up to early.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Logitech

Today I installed a Logitech camera for someone, didn't work in Ubuntu 7.10, geez, looking at support I couldn't find the model number, then I notice the tag on the USB cable, it has a model number 861206-0000 search the forums, can't find it, somehow it is looking for 0000 search for 861206 it works, I find it is a QuickCam 8.4 driver. Download it install on XP it works, but why can't they make this easier to match the camera to the driver. Don't buy this camera for Linux, it won't work.

Apple Retail


Watching CNBC again I saw a story on Apple opening another retail store in NY, the second biggest they have. I thought that the story of Apple retail is really interesting, they started it because computer stores didn't want to carry their product because it wasn't selling well enough, so Ron Johnson headed the retail operation and turned Apple stores into this hip place to be which sucks you in and gets you to spend all kinds of time there. I know I have spent hours there, checking email, listening to talks in the back. Maya, PhotoShop, iMovie, iDVD, FinalCutPro, iPhone, iTunes, switch at 6, .... I have listened to many talks there, they are very interesting and it is a really nice environment. I get it, they sell more per square foot then Best Buy. It is a great place, I enjoy it and I have been doing very well owning the stock as well. There is also such a big market of PC users they can switch to Apple, what an opportunity.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

contact

I have 3 out of my 4 contacts from my video talking with me about different subjects. A hosted PBX, NDA is being asked if I can refer to it, and a wake up call credit card component.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fonality wins

I listened to Fonality on a webminar about their solution and I got to say that it impressed me more then MS did yesterday.

Notes

Some of the notes I took at the TechNetEvent I am trying out today http://labs.live.com/photosynth/ is a neat website that you upload your picture to, it finds the other pictures that match that one and locates it geographically. But alas my old G400 Graphics card isn't good enough and it only generates an email to MS telling them what I tried to run it on, says:

Build:
3860

Error:
Required texture caps not supported by D3D device

Description: Matrox Millennium G400 DualHead Max
DriverVersion: 5,12,1,1200

PresentationIntervals: 0x8000000f
RasterCaps: 0x100187
SrcBlendCaps: 0x1ff3
DestBlendCaps: 0xff
TextureCaps: 0x4147
TextureFilterCaps: 0x303033f
MaxTextureWidth: 2048
MaxTextureHeight: 2048

Wow another meeting tonight, however it is already fully booked according to http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032360759&culture=en-US:

*** Visual Studio 2008 Install Fest on 12/5 at MS in Irvine
Published On: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 12:43:16 GMT

When: December 5th 5:30p – 9:30p

Where: Microsoft Irvine / 3 Park Plaza, Suite 1600 / Irvine, CA 92614

Registration URL:

http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032360759&culture=en-US

Registration Limit: 200 (first come…)

On site competition:

We will have a “Show Us Your Visual Studio” slot where you can get your members (and you can compete as well) to show in 5 minutes their favorite thing about VS 2008. The space is limited for this and we will have a site up for people to register for a slot soon.

We will also have a Guitar Hero completion as well!

Free product!

Everyone who comes will get a NFR copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional mailed to them after the event, at the event we will have evaluation copies of Visual Studio 2008 Professional. To upgrade from the Pro eval version to the Pro retail all users will have to do is enter a registration number. If they want to install a different version of Visual Studio 2008 line Team Suite they will have to uninstall the eval version.

Food and drinks will be served.

Many giveaways (XBox, Zune etc.)

Text on the registration site reads:

ATTENTION DEVELOPERS! Are you ready to be one of the first to get their hands on Visual Studio 2008? Join Microsoft and the Sothern California User Group community for a Visual Studio 2008 Install Fest and Community Party on December 5th, 2007 at the Microsoft Offices in Irvine! Visual Studio 2008 is HERE and this event is your opportunity to get your hands on the released version before anyone else! Every person that installs Visual Studio 2008 on their computer at the event will receive a FREE fully licensed copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional in the mail shortly after public release.

Don’t miss out a great evening of fun, food, the latest Xbox 360 games and your very own copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional!

We hope you will join us - space is limited so register today!


read more...

RSS feeds for SoCal Tech Events

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

free food from the devil

That is what the email said, it was an invite to a MS event in Irvine today, I signed up way back, but thought I was carpooling with Charles, who was nowhere to be called this morning so that didn't happen. So carpool to work with JJ and on the road at 9AM, 80 miles until Irvine, 10-20, grrr... what can you do, traffic is what it is. Registered at TechNetEvents and it was a pretty good event, although like most things from a company it was basically a way for them to promote Server 2008, active directory, Office Communications Server 2007, live.com and other talks I didn't attend as they had 3 tracks. It was at an Edwards 21 theater, instead of movies they projected PowerPoint from a projector down in the bottom. Interesting idea, theaters probably don't do much business during the day. Made some good contacts, gave out some cards and URLs, good networking event. However I am a big open source user right now, this is on Ubuntu as I type it. Ubuntu is getting to the sweet point for me, it works as easy as Windows and runs all I need. I have my laptop in it and my desktop is dual boot, but spending more and more time in Ubuntu. Like Leopard, it comes with more usable stuff out of the box.

I am not against using the best tool for the job though. I will run XP when I need to.

I went to LAJUG today topic JavaFX. Spoke with Matt outside about the stock, a 4:1 reverse split wasn't how I wanted to get value for my investment, SUNW or now JAVAD has been a trainwreck for me. I was too busy working in 2000 to sell it and since I moved and didn't have the net back then, or the sense to sell all, not paying attention cost me lots of money back then, not really Sun's fault, but ouch... Meanwhile most browsers support both Java and Flash so this could be a real compeditor to Flash, which is top dog now. FlashFX came out in May, seems interesting.

Today I deleted my 559 spam messages, about half through decided no need to keep going, Google did a good job filtering no false positives, only when I was in China did it baffle me why I couldn't get email from the person sitting in front of me, and some occasional dubious email that can't make it, but on the whole gMail is awesome as long as you don't need privacy or your mail to be deleted.

Just found out that there is another bar camp on the 14th, great, bring it on. At least this one is in Culver City not London.

Monday, December 3, 2007

heat

Got my heater lit, best gas guy yet. Gave him my this URL and he has computer problems, like everyone, big market I guess. It was rather cold last night but 3 blankets did solve the problem. I installed Miro and will play with it now.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

UK, you called?

So my YouTube ad for Aserisk, Linux LAMP etc.... is working, people are calling me, not often mind you, but I have gotten 4 leads far, maybe one of them will pan out. I am starting to think that this idea Charles had of going to London for BarCamp isn't as crazy as I thought it was. However the regular BarCamp is over this one is more government focused.

Rosevelt HS

Saturday 6:30, my office phone rings, I can hear it speak out Charles' phone number, damn, he wasn't kidding, he did get up that early to pick me up to go to this HS in East LA. We take a long route and pickup Albert who cliams to not have slept since Thursday because of video games, great, Dallas can't be found, but what tenacity Charles shows in trying to get the guy out of his house, but to no avail, cellphone isn't answered, house phone we can hear it ring as I am at the front door knocking. The house is right next to a school at the end of a street. Nice quiet neighborhood, but piles and piles of old computer hardware pilled on the side, they have years of dust on them, could have been rained on, maybe that would be an idea, leave them in the rain and the dust takes care of itself, then tear them open and make the students get them to work as a challenge.

I have no idea after spending the day what they are trying to do. Ken could be trying to do something lnice for the community, but John finds it very strange that someone would do something without trying to get something out of it. Charles is looking for a money making venture for his company and this doesn't require much investment in money, I keep hearing about a grant and the area could obviously use education, like anywhere I guess. Anyhow I guess it is a classroom to teach open source. But does anyone really want to learn this? Or do they really want marketable skills like Windows and Office, which is what everyone is looking for. I guess that Ubuntu and Open Office is close enough to be transferable to real world experience, besides if you use Linux you are probably going to get MS interested in funding the classroom or even better Apple. China and the 3rd world has been very efective at getting things done this way, Windows can be bought for a buck if you make it clear to the company that this is what you are willing to pay and not a cent more. After all if you have a bunch of yahoos making something new it might compete, and that is a bad thing for a company that has 90% of the market and wants desperatly to keep it. Anyhow I have to keep on this project, it could be interesting, maybe I can replicate it at the SouthBay Adult School in Redondo Beach CA.