Feb 23, 2009

Feb - 09 2009 | By

Additional notes 

Worst Moments in Network Security. See the above link.
One example is about Robert Morris who sent out a worm via Sendmail (which is still used). He said he did it as a research project.

Early viruses were sent out infrequently. Now, new ones are sent hourly. AVG updates every 4 hours, just trying to keep up.

Glenn bought a 10" EEPC mini notebook for someone. It weighs 3.2 lbf with a 4-cell battery; a 6-cell battery should run from 5 to 7 hours

Openoffice is mentioned. It's a great alternative to Microsoft office and handles many of its file types.

Glenn found a Targus mini docking bay at buy.com for $23; actually a USB replicator to give 4 USB ports to go with that EEPC. It has an AC adapter, so those are powered USB ports.
Those that aren't externally powered are ok if what you plug into them is low speed & low power, but some devices like mini hard drives can draw 300 to 400 milliamps which can exceed the capacity of the replicator if it's not externally powered.

Paul gives a little lesson about what wears out in computers (besides the obvious mechanical wear in hard drives and such). It's the periodic expansion & contraction of components due to thermal cycling during power up & power down.
There's an old trick for trouble-shooting electronics, which is spraying freon on suspected components after they've heated up and started causing a symptom. If the symptom changes, you've located the problem. These days, use cans of compressed air turned upside down. Fast-evaporating contact cleaner may work too.
The views expressed are those of the speakers only. All imaginable disclaimers apply. Use the above at your own risk. AND, on top of that, be careful, don't freeze your skin.

Paul mentions what he calls "chewing gum stick" with embedded Linux, typically $140.

iobridge (see above link) connects remote monitors, like a weather station or X10 devices, to the net.

Electronic hobby kits have pretty much disappeared. Much has been miniaturized and integrated into more consumer friendly devices.
Even PCI not used much anymore, components are now usually plug in externally thru a USB port.

A laptop wireless card can often be replaced if it's plugged into a mini PCI slot.
Ebay can be a good source of recycled computer parts, like wireless cards.

Google Gmail can be used offline and you don't have to download anything special.
It uses AJAX which allows context sensitive right mouse clicks; the right mouse click gives a menu relevent to what you're doing on Google, not the usual menu you get for your browser functions.
To activate the offline feature, in Gmail go to settings -> labs -> turn on the feature you want (e.g. offline mode).
EDITORS NOTE:
There are a couple of modes when you 1st login to Gmail.
If you don't see the "Labs" label under "Settings" and…
If you're using the "Set basic HTML as default view" or "Older version" (top of the screen), you'll have to "Switch to standard view" or "Newer Version", depending on which screen you get.
There's more Gmail Offline info here:
A side note:
Google Docs also has offline capability; see here:

Glenn got a Lenovo $300 at buy.com with web cam, microphone, 80gig hard drive, 512 ram, XP and Atom processor.

The movie Slumdog Millionaire recommended. The major part of the story is about knowledge and how it's acquired.

Talk about Google labs continues…
Google will sometimes offer new features for testing to a subset of their users, but Gmail Offline should be available to all.

A caller asks about how to delete temporary internet files. He's not on the web but bought a used computer and the files are taking up a lot of space.
Use Ccleaner

A caller installed a DTV converter box, but keeps getting the response "weak signal".
– DTV reception is normally poor when the transmitter is far away. There's not much you can do but subscribe to cable or satellite.
– Glenn suggests the booster, which the caller has, on his antenna is only good for analog signals and may actually attenuate the digital signal.
– A new digital TV may not help if the problem is a weak signal.
– Get your TV free over the internet if you don't mind it not being live.
– Use services like hulu.com or graboid.com.
A side note:
– You can check what reception to expect at your location:
tvfool.com
antennaweb.org
antennaweb.org/aw/Stations.aspx
– Other DTV antenna sites I haven't checked:
hdtvantennalabs.com
antennasdirect.com

A caller says her flash player is prompting to upgrade, is it ok?
– Yes. You can't run Flash independently and have it check for updates because it's a plugin for the browser and you just have to trust it to do the upgrade.

The same caller has a Mac G5 and wants to know if anything else but broadband is needed to watch video online?
– No
– To watch a YouTube video on dialup you can launch it and hit the pause button until the progress bar reaches the end, then press the pause button again and watch the video. It will take a long time to download the video, but it is possible.

The same caller also asks if the audio from KVIE (TV) that you can hear on FM radio at 87.8 will go away when the digital switch takes place.
– No, it should remain.
– EDITORS NOTE: It's my understanding that the signal at 87.8 is the actual broadcast from KVIE and not a separate broadcast. So, I expect (and I've heard as much) that it will vanish at the switch over. I'll miss it too. It's interesting that the most informative content seems to be in the audio (as it also is with community radio) rather than the video.