Tag: Geek

Linux Distributions

Today I downloaded 4 different Linux Distributions (OpenSUSE, Mandriva, Ubuntu & Fedora). For those that down know, Linux is a free substitute for Microsoft Windows. I booted a LiveCD (a LiveCD is a bootable CD that lets you run from the CD and doesn’t put anything on your hard drive) on my desktop just to try out OpenSUSE. It was pretty nice. The only problem I detected was that the speakers didn’t work. I only fooled around with it for about 5 min so who knows what else didn’t work (printer, usb, mem stick, backup drive, etc). I booted my old (very old) laptop up with each of the CDs and couldn’t get them to work. I still haven’t tried Fedora but I’m not very confident after failing with the other 3. The goal here was to try to speed up the old laptop. No luck. I’ll probably end up buying a $600 laptop instead.

Wireless B vs. G

I have an 8 year old laptop that is very slow … Pentium III class. I wanted to try to get it working well enough that the kids can use it to go to noggin.com, nickjr.com, or the online computer lab at M’s kindergarten. The main problem is that it is very slow. I started thinking about the speed problems and decided that the problem could be the fact that it uses wireless B technology instead of the newer G or N. I tested my theory by plugging the old laptop into my network and seeing how fast that was. The wired connection is much faster than any of these wireless options. To my pleasure the laptop became usable at sites like noggin.com. The laptop is still very slow but the network connection is a lot of the problem. OK, so I went to Walmart to buy a wireless G card. It was $35. I installed it and took the laptop downstairs to try it out. It is faster than it was but not as fast as the wired connection (but close). This setup should do for the kids until I get around to buying a new laptop.

Disposable Email Addresses

I’ve been using this service called Spam Gourmet to help me limit my spam for a while. It works very well. If I had used this for everything I have ever signed up for I would be nearly spam free today.

The idea is this – whenever you need to give out an email address to a business give them a temporary email address at spam gourmet. The email address limits the number of messages that will come through to you. So:

amazon.5.monty@spamgourmet.com

is an address that I would give to Amazon when I ordered something. This address does not already have to exist with spam gourmet to work. Amazon can send up to 5 emails to that address and they will be forwarded to my real address. After those 5, spam gourmet will eat them and no longer pass them on to me. The 5 can be any number up to 20. If I decide that I want to get more messages from an email address that I gave out, I can always go to spam gourmet and increase the messages allowed to 20 again.

I have used these disposable email addresses a couple hundred times now and it is still doing a good job for me. I can’t even imagine how much spam I would get if it weren’t for spam gourmet.

Safari

I just downloaded and installed Safari.  Safari is Apple’s web browser and it is pretty nice so far.  It is in beta so there is a toolbar icon of a bug which makes it easy for you to report bugs to them.  I’m making this blog post from within Safari.  I like the minimalist feeling that it gives so far.

I just had to uninstall and reinstall Opera because it was behaving badly.  I had to uninstall it, reboot, delete it’s directory, reinstall it.  Now it seems to be working OK.  D uses Opera for her web surfing.
I also checked for updates to Firefox which is what I normally use.  There were some so I installed those too.
All caught up with the latest browser code out there 🙂  I’ll keep you posted on how Safari turns out.  I think I’ll install it on my work machine so I can try it out there too.