Friday, September 21, 2007

Roll back DirectX with handy shareware

DirectX Happy Uninstall is the name of the program and from what I know, it is long overdue. There are a lot of reasons to roll back DirectX; probably as many reasons as folks use to justify upgrades. Most of us just don't need it and we may not want to dedicate the resources it takes to it. It's a personal decision.

First reports, like this one in The Inquirer, are good. I have chatted with a couple happy users and don't know of any unhappy ones. It does not yet work on Vista or DX10, but for XP users, this is a good one. The price is right, too.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Firefox Won't Save You from IE Flaws

We all though we were safe using FireFox or Opera.

The problem is the OTHER programs that are on your computer that are not patched.

The broader implication is that even users who think they're safe because they don't run IE are exposed to any IE vulnerabilities out there, Petkov said. This is true not only for Windows Media Player users but also for those who run Skype, GTalk and AIM, given that those applications all use IE for rendering incoming and outgoing messages, he told eWEEK in an e-mail.

Petkov told eWEEK that the best way to protect a system from the Windows Media Player vulnerability is to upgrade to Windows Media Player 10 or 11.

We always tell you to run your Microsoft Updates, for those that don't maybe because they don't have IE as their default browser YOU need to read this report.
You should always run the latest version of any program you use. Be it Skype, mIRC, AIM any program.


Protect yourself from silent Windows updates -

From Windows Secrets [I subscribe because Fred Langa merged himself with them, so he could gallivant around the continent.] this seems like a very complete reference about the "hidden updates." Just to update Gari's post.

Protect yourself from silent Windows updates -

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

eCommerce… as Imagined in 1967?

We may not have flying cars or be wearing disposible clothing, but our implementation of e-commerce is even better than predicted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

iPhone unlocking for pleasure and profit

Here's a quick article on the current state of iPhone unlocking. It's apparently still a somewhat ungainly process, though doable by anyone willing to take the time to fully digest directions for the deal.

I suspect that over the next month or so (perhaps 6 weeks) we ill see truly user-friendly software appear for doing this. The fear factor is already fairly low. A "bricked" iPhone can be recovered without a trip to Apple for which one would undoubtedly be charged and the process is no worse than the one for unlocking.

While I doubt I will get an opportunity, I'd love to give this one a whirl myself.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 09-16-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 09-16-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

Links from the Gregg Zone!

!) Well to start the week, I caught a story on the news about the earthquake in Indonesia, started looking around for some information on it, and found this site. This is one is cool, and I am a little surprised I had not run across it before. The site is primarily, focused on the United States all you need to do is click on your state, and you will find lots of info about where you live, some I am sure will be new to you. I clicked on Nevada, of course, and Alaska out of curiosity just to give you an idea of what is there. I found in Alaska there are 33 volcanoes some with web cams, saw an article about a bird that migrates 18,000 miles ( they put a electronic satellite tracker on the bird studying bird flu), it went eight days non-stop on one leg of it’s journey, over eight thousand miles. What is up with that? Any way, check it out for yourself.

2) Are you into new age stuff here is a site with supposedly over fifteen thousand videos on almost anything you can think of from Acupuncture to Zen, about as extensive as I have found in this arena, well worth checking in to

3) The dead line for the free internet is coming up very fast, like two months. The government moratorium against taxes and state fees on internet use is ending on November 1, if this is news to you, or you have forgotten about it, this web site will fill you in on the details. You can also learn about what you can do to help insure free access in the future.

4) A site that discusses the authenticity of the latest Bin Laden tape, interestingly it appears is a fake. If you are interested in the analysis used to determine why, and how it might have been done check it out here.

GIMP UI brainstorm

I can state with a fair degree of certainty that the vast majority of us who actually use higher-level image processing applications such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro (or whatever Corel is calling it now) and the like use only a very small sub-set of the features available. I know I do and the same goes for nearly every user I know. Not all, but the largest part. And finding those features in the application and using them well enough to do what we need done is confusing and time consuming. It just goes with the territory.

The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is like that for me. I use it daily. Now, there is a program on to allow both users and developers to "brainstorm" new interfaces. You can find it at the link above.

I welcome this. Perhaps The GIMP does not really need a new interface so much as one that allows more casual users like me to access the few features we use more easily and/or directly; perhaps with customizeable menus or something like that. People who actually make that software work for it's keep probably need something like the current interface. I don't know about their needs. I only know about mine.

In the OCLUG newsgroup on our servers (, see the show site for more information) I recently asked if there were a simpler image manipulation program available for Linux for just this reason. None was suggested and I have not found one yet. However; this does not just affect Linux or Unix users, as there is an excellent port of The GIMP to Windows, as well and Windows users can now have all that GNU goodness too! :) Windows does have simpler applications for the purpose: Witness IrfanView and others. But Linux still lacks one. A new interface for The GIMP might just turn that trick for those of us who need it.

You might want to watch this one develop at the link given above and perhaps even put your efforts into the project. I'm watching it closely now and am thinking about whether or not I have any ideas worth submitting.