Posts from the ‘Computer Life’ Category

Netscape Navigator – The end of an Era

I Just read that on March 1st of this year that Netscape Navigator is no more.  

Netscape Navigator was one of the first browsers I ever used.  It may have even be the first, but I also remember using a browser named mosaic, so I am not sure which browser was first.  It was a very good browser until Internet Explorer came along and was so far ahead at the time that i switched (until Firefox came out).  I did try Opera when it was still banner ad driven if you didn’t pay for it.

Now I use multiple browsers. I have the five major ones: IE8, Opera 9.61, Firefox 3.1B1, Chrome B2, Safari 3.02.  I have tried, and liked Flock 2b3, but just couldn’t stand putting another browser on the computer.  So what is the best one?  I haven’t a clue.  I bounce around between all.  Right now I’m writing this blog with Google Chrome, I usually read my RSS feeds with Opera, Safari rarely use but enjoy the speed. IE8, it’s there to test the new builds.  There is no clear cut winner yet.

I will not really miss Netscape Navigator too much. From a sentimental perspective, though, It will retain a spot in my memory and maybe someday I will think about it some more.  

R.I.P. Netscape Navigator.

For the official announcement, click this: Link


Okay, So the Linux hiatus was short

Decided to give Linux another try.
I think part of my frustration is with the current system I’m using at home.
Since the new Kernal release, I have been experiencing all sorts of graphics issues

KStars  -> Astronomy Packages can’t be installed due to 10 pixels wide install box.
Blender -> Starts up and in full screen locks up computer.
Chromium -> Appears to launch and then I’m back at the desktop
Stellarium  -> Everything works; control buttons are blank.

I have a couple of options here.

Install Window version with Wine.
Give up on Linux (again), tuck tail and run back to XP
Attempt to install and run Virtual Box.  Best of both worlds?

In all honesty, the computer industry, IMHO, is in a chaotic mess. Linux distros are running rampent. Windows, any flavor, is getting old with the patches, lockups and lameness. The only shining beacon right now is Apple and they are overpriced.  I just want to come home, fire up a game and play without worrying about what OS I’m running or why.  Think it was better back in the C64 days before the age of GUI.

Current frustration with Linux (besides the above stated apps) is lack of knowledge I have. Yes, it’s my problem and I’m working on it but not fast enough for my liking.  I did an update before heading for Canton this weekend and when I turned on my computer I was shocked. My Gnome installation had somehow transformed into KDE3.  How did I do that?  Sort of like KDE3, but I would have loved to be in the loop when my OS does something.

That’s my update for today. If you have any way of helping me fix my issues drop me a note. I am running PCLINUXOS 2008 Gnome on a Compaq Presario 4268 with 256 MB Dram, Athlon 600Mhz and a GeForce 2 graphics card if that helps.

Linux Hiatus

Tonight I will be working on shifting my computing platform back over to XP.  I have been playing around with Linux for almost a year now (Ubuntu, Kubuntu (3&4), Suse, PCLinuxOS 2007) and have seen no practicle use in switching to it 100%, yet.  I’m sure, if history is any indication, I’ll be back in about a year.

There are just too many things I still do in Windows that are still very slow and frustrating in Linux.  This time around, however, I noticed that things are improving.   I am still frustrated with application installation and also with interacting with other machines on my home network.

Applications are getting better.  What is Open Source on XP can now be found as Open Source on Linux.  However, things like Genealogy, Games, and Financial Apps are still pitifully absent.  Give me Quicken (or Money), Family Tree Maker (or My Heritage), and tons of popular games on a P3 and I’ll switch back.    I’ve tried the Open Source versions and they just aren’t there. A nice touch would be Gtalk or Trillian for Linux.

So, until later, take care Linux!

July 15, 2007

Elsmere, Ky.  ->Fort Wright, Ky.  ->Cincinnati, Oh. ->Columbus, Oh.

 I had a semi-relaxing weekend.  I went to Northern Kentucky  to try to help my dad get his computer running.  I attempted to install Windows XP 4 times in a 1 day period.  Received several different errors. One was a memory management error with a blue screen of death.  There was a “out of the box” error saying XP couldn’t load onto the hardware.  While formating the hard drive, there was a grinding noise between the 1 and 2% completion bar.  So coming back, I brought his computer system with me.  Hopefully I can track the hardware problem down.

Read more…

Some good news

Somethings have improved since my last blog entry. We are still looking for a home church. We do not want to get too attached because we have decided to move back to our home town area of Cincinnati, OH. We definitely have a church to go to if everything works out looking for a new job. If not, we will keep looking up here in Columbus, OH.

Some more good news: I still have my job. I found out that the client was under the impression that I was bringing back his PC in an hour. I never give my customers that narrow of an expectation. I usually leave it open ended. Like, “we will see what we can do. It’s typically an hour and a half unless we run into any unexpected problems (which we did with this customer) I get a call that my lead (JR) was called in to finish the call that night. However he worked it out with the client to work on it Saturday. Which the client agreed to. Customer was heading to Mexico on Sunday but never told my boss nor I. Looks like it will work out, but I’m holding my breath until after our monthly team meeting tomorrow.

Finally, the best news of all. I have no food allergies!!!!! I can eat nuts again and even shrimp. I’m having a little hard time adjusting to my new-found freedom. I don’t want to overdo it, but I’m excited about the possibilities and I usually have problems with a lot of excitement (yes, I’m on Paxil).

Oops, I did it again!

Switching up on operating systems again.  I’m back to Ubuntu 7.04, but with a twist.  Several months ago, I thought my computer had gone belly up and so I put it in storage and pull out the Compaq AMD 600mhz system my sister had given to me.  It’s been my working system up until yesterday.

Yesterday I got the bright idea to try a different power supply.  Of coarse I didn’t switch everything over immediately.  I had just the system board, cpu, and power supply.  I was hoping I’d get the traditional 3 beeps that happens whenever the system doesn’t have any installed ram.  To my delight, I heard 3 beeps! Soon I had all the AMD parts switched over and  fired up the system, the fans roared to life, the starting BIOS beep, did so, then NOTHING.  Just running fans.  Checked all my my connections, same thing.  So something told me to swap the keyboard.  Bingo!  System comes up to BIOS configuration screen.  No cd rom detected even though two were installed.  Hmmm.  I looked at the front and both activity lights on both drives were pegged on.  So I reached into the system and put the jumpers back onto “cable select”.  Fix #2 was completed.  Final thing to do since all the hardware was working correctly was to install Windows XP.

So from power-off I booted to cd.  Then all I got was a black, blank screen.  Nothing I tried would bring it to the familiar blue dos configuration screen.  At this point, having nothing to lose, I thought about Ubuntu.  So, again from power-off, turned on the system, selected boot from cd.  Long pause later, Ubuntu booted up, I selected install, and the rest is history.  I still don’t understand XP.  I tried 2 different install cds.  I also checked for scratches, etc.  Please email or comment here if you have any explanations or suggests.  I have some things I need to do on XP and I can’t get VMware or Qemu configured properly either.

That’s where the current state of my system sits: Intel P3 533mhz Cpu, 256mb ram, 50gb hard drive, 1 dvd player, 1 cdrw, Geforce 2.   So I can picture my friend R.W. rolling his eyes and saying “no more!  stopit!”  I agree, but rest assured it will happen again.  It’s times like this I learn the most about computers.  I’ve learned more about XP in the past 2 weeks than I have probably all year.


A Nice Suprise in the Mailbox

I get home this evening, and sorting the mail, when what do I find? My free Ubuntu cd! I may have to order a 2nd cd with Kubuntu as that’s the flavor I’m currently running. I don’t even know if I am done playing OS roulette yet (as my friend RW puts things).

What’s on the horizon? I have a DVD of OpenSolaris coming and I’m in the process of downloading FreeBSD. What I would really like to settle on is OSX, but that won’t be for several years at least.

Then there’s the Vista question. If I do stay with one of these other operating systems, It will be a huge departure since 1992 (?) when I left the Atari scene and before that I had a Commodore 128D, 128, 64. I cut my basic programming teeth on a C64. I’m not convinced that Vista is the end all to beat all they try to market themselves as. However, I have all these games that I’ve built up over the years. Nothing new, but definitely some that are nostalgic to me. PacMan, Flight Simulator, Total Annihilation, and Descent 2 just to name a few. Since I’m into this new phase of open source software I do not want to have to buy yet another program just to be able to play a few old games. Maybe I’ll be able to find a few game conversions or maybe Wine will actually work. I just don’t want to limit my entertainment options. Everything else I do on the PC is up to standard with what I did on the Windows system. Just a few things I’ve be thinking on sporadically.

What do you do with your computer? What OS are you running? I look forward to your answers……