Saturday, November 03, 2007

Leopard looks great. But what if you can't see?

Progress is being made. However, it seems the state of accessibility for those needing readers or visual aids could be much enhanced if one of the major OS companies simply bought one of the big providers of accessibility software and rolled the products into the OS.

We will ask Riley about it Sunday.


Photos: The history of the digital camera

CNet's Crave blog has a pictorial early history of digital cameras. It's entertaining to me and I'm quite certain you will find it so, as well.


Friday, November 02, 2007

» Mac Attack: Porn video lures dropping DNS-changer Trojan | Ryan Naraine’s Zero Day |

"Organized identity thieves are using porn video lures to deliver malware to Mac OS X users, confirming fears among security researchers that it’s only a matter of time before Apple’s fast-growing platform becomes a big malware target."

For those of you with a Mac that thought you were safe to surf porn using a Mac, read this!


Mozilla Firefox Now Available

At the time of this posting (late night) only one mirror had been synched. I'm sure all the others will be fully updated by the time we're all awake and attempting to function.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Revolutionizing the command line with Hotwire

I raved a bit about Microsoft's Power Shell on the show, a while back, and it seems Hotwire is inspired by that.

The command line is handy. Everyone knows that. And it is also supremely powerful. Miscrosoft's Power Shell extends that and Hotwire does the same.

This is not the end of the story, by any means. This is just the first tentative steps in really revolutionizing the command line.


OpenSolaris Project Indiana

Phoronix has an article on the 'developer's preview' of the next Open Solaris release. I think it's pretty cool, though I am not currently attracted strongly enough to put it on a machine.

I thought you might like to read about it and see some screenshots.


A FREE Software Rant

I came across a thought provoking article at, very early this morning. It is my intention to share those provoked thoughts with you.

Before we go to much further, here is the link that got me to thinking. (My wife says you should blame this rant on them. :))

You all know I'm a Linux user. I probably talk too much about it on the show. If you have listened closely, you also know that I do absolutely all my computing on Linux. I don't have a dual-boot system where I can sneak some task out on Windows and there is no MS based box in the corner, waiting to bail me out of some tough situation. I do absolutely everything on Linux, because I can.

Now, I'm not much of a multimedia on the computer person. I have Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash installed, though I can not remember the last time I actually sat through a Flash presentation. And on occasion I play a music CD while I am working. But that's it. I don't do the video on PC bit at all. I will start soon, as my wife and I are going to publish a few how-to videos of Native American craft techniques. We will do so in a free and open format that anyone can play, regardless of their computing platform. Plans continue, but that is all I can say has been decided, for now.

I am a Free and Open Source software (FOSS) advocate. However; I am also a pragmatist. I realize that FOSS cannot yet serve every need. In fact, because of proprietary software's ubiquity, it may never do so. One area where this is glaringly evident is multimedia. Codecs (short for "COmpressor, DECompressor, the software that actually handles the multimedia information stream) for many formats are proprietary and there are no FOSS equivalents or substitutes because these regimes are aggressively protected by their owners.)

Or, there ARE FOSS equivalents out there, but downloading and using them may violate local laws, such as The US' "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" (DMCA). There may be other laws that apply, as well.

Fedora now has "Codec Buddy" to help you get these multimedia tools. Before that there was "Easy Ubuntu" and "Automatix" for other distributions. (I'm probably missing some others, here. Please excuse the omissions.) So there is a way around it, if you must.

I, personally, stick with FOSS and don't do this sort of thing on most of my Linux installations. I'm just funny that way. Don't have anything against them, despite the apparent lawlessness in using them. I just don't have a need. There is a bunch of media playback stuff in the other room.

I save the computer for computing.


Book review: The Essential Blender

I've been a Blender fan for a very long time. But it has a unique interface that is difficult to learn, a fact that has held a lot of people back.

However; Blender is VERY capable software that can generate really serious animation. It's also Free, in every sense, though it started out closely held.

Now there is a book, albeit an expensive one, that will get you up to speed in Blender. The profits from the book go to the Blender people, too, so I think it is worth the price. So much so that I just ordered one based on this review.


Rockstar may end up with big headache over unlocked AO content in Manhunt 2

Ahh. Here we go again, Folks!

It seems that when RockStar "took out" the adult content in Manhunt 2, all they really did was sever a few links in the code. Russian game hackers have now made that accessible. RockStar is in deep doo-doo over this one. Watch as it explodes in their faces like a grenade thrown in a game.

I can't think of it happening to a nicer bunch of people.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mac OS X 10.x Malware

This is a bit unusual. I think we're going to see more of it, though.

It's a trojan that requires user interaction/permission to install, so a bit of wisdom on your part should be enough to protect you. Should you have less than savvy users, though, something like this might signal the need to run an anti-virus on your Mac. They ARE available and while the OS seems not to require one, the foibles of it's users might.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Web marketing to people with disabilities

Here's a small article on CNet. The topic itself is huge, as you may have guessed from our discussions with Riley on the show.

I found this particularly apt at this time because I am planning a new site for my wife that will be shared with several organizations. (I can do that because their sites will be very low as far as traffic numbers are concerned.) I am fully committed to making it fully accessible to all. We will see how I do at that. It's not easy, though it is not really hard; simply adding another level of complexity and not a bad one at that.

I'm sure Riley will have some constructive criticism for me and I will solicit the same from all of you, should you feel helpful.


When antivirus products (and Internet Explorer) fail you

Here is one I think every user ought to know about. It's short and easily understood if you know much of anything about how your computer really works. A good read.


Data recovery firm sounds Mac hard drive damage alert

Whatever you do, don't take this as the swipe at Seagate and/or Apple it is intended to be.

That said; there are some good points about not moving laptops (or desktop machines, for that matter) while the hard drive might be spinning. Doing so is risky.

A cautionary tale and nothing more.


The Fastest Vista Notebook is a Mac!

You just have to love this, though I doubt it gives anyone at Dell, MS, HP or anywhere else heartburn.


Leopard with chinks in its armour

Heise has discovered some flaws in the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard firewall that should give users pause. Undoubtedly, the user can tighten things up, but I have yet to find good directions for doing so.

Apple may or may not be as lackadasical regarding this as Heise depicts them, or they could be fixing this as I write. I would like to think the latter applies, but we shall have to see.


UPDATE!! Here is a point by point refutation of the Heise article cited above. This is very much worth reading.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Installing Ubuntu in a VM

We will be playing with Ubuntu 7.10 in a VM Monday night 10/29/07 at 8PM Eastern 4PM Alaska (That's 5PM Pacific)

We will be using Skype if you would like to join us give me a call or email me your contact info if I need to call you.

The two files you will need are: a VM Player
(it is 173MB)
and the image (about 458MB) of Ubuntu 7.10

You will need to unzip (UltimateZip) the file into a folder, (it's a .Rar format) then install the VM Player and tell it to open the image file.

FYI, The VM Player will only let you run a VMimage there are a lot you can download and play with.
Talk to you tomorrow night!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 10-28-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 10-28-07. 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.

If you would like to download Gregg's Links from the Gregg zone here it is for download.
We are working on the bandwidth problems please bear with us.

Asus Eee PC 701 review

CNET UK has a really good, yet brief, review of the Asustek Eee PC 701 mini-notebook. I want one, rather badly. It would serve all of my mobile needs, though when my wife and I are sitting in the front room, watching TV, talking to each other and surfing, I might want a machine with a larger display.

Still, with the 701 being very inexpensive, there is no case for a larger machine for me in any other regime.


Heatpipes: The Investigation Begins

Ever wonder what all the fuss over heat-pipes is? This article at Phoronix will tell you and tell you about a number of units in specific. It's the basics you're after, I'm sure, so you know how they work.

This article is a bit long, but not too bad. An entertaining read, it won't really feel like work, even with all that learning you will be doing.