Category Archives: GeekStuff

OS X: A Cry for Help!

Someone needs to stop me from moving to a Mac. I’ve looked at the applications I use lately, and with the exception of MSN Chat (which I’m told is being Mac-ified soon), my compilers (Visual Studio 6.0 and .NET), and CityDesk, everything else that I use is already ported to OS X. What’s OS X? That’s the latest version of Apple’s operating system, with a new user interface (known as Aqua) built on a version of Unix (mostly a flavor of Linux) – I’m assuming you’ve heard of it already, but if you haven’t Apple explains it better than I can in this little Rant. So not only do you get the warm and fuzzy feeling of stiffing the “monopoly company” of the PC world, but you also get the “hippie” feeling of OpenSource, Linux, BSD, etc. I think you get to show off not only an Apple Logo, but you also get to show off the Penguin – I don’t know for sure what’s proper in Geek-Etiquette.
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iPod version 1.2 + Calendar

Got iPod 1.2? If you don’t you can upgrade either with a Mac or a PC. The first release from Apple was the 1.2 OS X based Upgrader. This is in a new format exclusively for Mac’s OS version 10, or higher. Shortly there after, they posted a release of the Firmware Upgrader for version 9.x of the OS. This is the version that most PC users are using to get the 1.2 version of the Firmware onto their iPod. Of course the new iPods already come with 1.2, so if you’re just buying an iPod now, you’re already all set. If not, I recommend the new version of the Firmware – they’ve added a bit of stuff to the iPod with this release.
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StyleXP

I’ve been trying out this particular product for a while now, waiting for it to screw up – it’s rare that I get pleasantly surprised by an application. First, what is StyleXP? Simply put, it allows you to apply a “skin” to Windows XP. What’s a skin? I know you won’t ask that, so lets move along. Now some background. For years, there’s been applications that would allow you to change the way your Windows desktop looked and worked – applications would take over the Window itself, or offer a shell replacement, and that would allow you to put a custom look and feel on your desktop. The most commercial and memorable one, to me anyway, was Norton Navigator for Windows 95 – and it nominally sucked.
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Sending Contacts to iPod

PC-based iPod owners, here’s a tip for you. As I’m sure you know, 1.1 of the iPod software can store contacts as part of it’s storage. They show up in the menu as a storage item; depending on your software, you may or may not even have automatic synchronization for the contacts. I didn’t want anything automatic, of course being an untrusting Geek, so I wanted to figure out to get my contacts on the device on my own. It’s simple actually: the iPod wants vCards (.vcf’s) and Outlook can export them, if you ask it nicely.
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RAVE: AIM+

Chat rooms have been around for a long, long time. How long? From the days of the Apple //e and the Commodore 64 so at least the early 80’s. Before the earliest chat rooms, there was still one to one communication, commonly found on UNIX terminals, in the form of “talk”. Actually, it’s because of AIM that I am writing this in the first place. It seems that there’s an ambitious programmer out there that got tired of some of the AIM restrictions and opted to do something about it. Enter AIM+.
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Mozilla 1.0 released!

Mozilla 1.0 is finally done! It’s available for download now on a few different platforms… it’s all set to go. For those of you that may not know, Mozilla is an open-source initiative that was orchestrated to offer the world a “free” browser to surf the web with. No need to buy into Windows or buy AOL‘s Netscape Navigator – this is open-source! You could even add your own features, by getting the source code from Mozilla and going to town on adding your own things. It even includes a built in IRC client so you could stiff the no-longer free mIRC.
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Find in Files Fix in XP

It took me some time to find the problem with the “Find in Files” option of the Windows Explorer that’s included with Windows XP. In Windows 2000, I was able to say find “Bubba” and it would go and search every file in the directory that I told it to. Since I work with text files that can be named .HTM, .HDM, .WML, or even .ASP, I was a perturbed to find that when I did a similar task in XP, it only look at .TXT files and sometimes .HTM files. Well, perturbed was an understatement, as I chased my tail for almost five hours looking for a particular Title tag in a WML file, but that’s another story.
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Network Monitor on XP

If you’ve already made the move from Windows 2000 Server to Windows XP Pro, you may have noticed a number of new applications to use on your desktop. Of the applications, that was noticeably missing (at least my skewed point of view) is Network Monitor (NetMon). — Since I still have Windows 2000 Server available to me, I got creative and ended up with a working version of Network Monitor running on Windows XP Pro.
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J2ME in a Nutshell

Tis a rare thing, a technical Rant, for something that is such a popular topic, but what in the hell is wrong with J2ME? Java, version 2, Micro Edition, has become the little darling of the wireless industry. The press talks it up, middle managers are scrambling for news on it, and upper management has a hard on for it, yet it’s becoming the biggest pooch screw since Microsoft‘s Bob. Lets address them, one at a time shall we?
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RAVE: Ericsson’s t68

Tech review time, and it’s actually a Rave. I’m a phone-addict. I can admit this – it’s also part of what I do for a living, so it gets an addiction that gets feed well. Over the last year I’ve have a Nokia 8290, Motorola P280, Samsung Q-105 and a Ericsson t68. I’ve had many others – the beauty of having VoiceStream as a carrier is the GSM portability of the SIM chip. I take my lil’SIM chip, plop it into a new phone and my phone number (as well as contacts and other settings) go with me. I can even take the chip to Europe or Asia and use their phones because most of the world is GSM based – in the states we’re 1900 band, while the world 900/1800 so the phones aren’t always 100% capable of ocean jumping but the numbers are.
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PS2: Grand Theft Auto 3

This won’t be the first time this happens, but I need to share a Geek moment with the “world”. Also, and please don’t be shocked, but this is a Rave and not a Rant. It could easily be turn into a Rant, depending on what the nay-sayers of the world do with this, but for right now it’s a Rave… and this Rave is for Grand Theft Auto 3 by Rockstar Games. Before we go any further, let me get on the soap box right now: This is for Adults only. Should you see anyone under the age of 18 and they have this game, go yell at their parents; for as great as it is, it’s all about adult humor.
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TiVo

Yay TiVo! A friend of mine turned me onto this lil gadget a while ago and I shunned it for a long while because I figured “Got a VCR, why bother”. That comment alone could get me stoned by the nearest UberGeek, but even so, I defend the comment! At least I would have… but I don’t because I was wrong: TiVo is worth it. Not only from a “pause” live TV bit, but from an ease of recording thing too.
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Tribute to CityDesk

No, that’s not a typo – this is GeekStuffs. Stuff is an important and generic enough word where it needs a specific plural – I cite “foodstuffs” from 1984 as example. Anyway, this is a tribute to CityDesk. They made this kickass blogging tool that lets me do all this typing. One I got the format setup to how I like it, they just let me drop in new articles. Some neat stuff that. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks. Um, so thanks.