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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Which picture should I choose?

Last Saturday I took part in Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk, this time participating as part of the Buffalo, NY group.

I've now had a chance to process and consider the 100 or so pictures I took, and have come down to these five as my best. But picking the one that I have to submit is the hard part, and that's where I'd like your input...

Possible WWPW Submission #1
Possible WWPW Submission #1

Possible WWPW Submission #2
Possible WWPW Submission #2

Possible WWPW Submission #3
Possible WWPW Submission #3

Possible WWPW Submission #4
Possible WWPW Submission #4

Possible WWPW Submission #5
Possible WWPW Submission #5

I'd love your opinion about which you think is best. You can let me know by responding in the comments below, replying via twitter from here, or emailing me at pbeens@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget (Thank you Doug!)

@dougpete, you area always teaching me something new, this time about Roy Tanck's flickr widget. Using the widget, here are my latest flickr photos:

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at roytanck.com

Thank you Doug!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Dell Mini 10 Journal

July 5, 2010. Received my Dell Mini 1012 today. Delivery took about 3 weeks, possibly delayed because I ordered a non-standard configuration (I included a Bluetooth adapter). It’s nice and small, a good thing, but it’s taking me some time to get used to the keyboard.
Here's a quick rundown of what I did to get it ready:
  • Registered Mcafee anti-virus software. Not my usual anti-virus program, but heck, it came free with the computer.
  • Installed Google Chrome, and the extensions I use the most (Lastpass, Shareaholic, Google Voice, Adblock, Forecastfox Weather, ScribeFire).
  • Installed Picasa for managing my photos.
  • Installed VLC media player for watching my TV shows and movies.
  • Installed PDFCreator for, ahem, creating PDFs. I have a license for Adobe Acrobat Professional, but I don't see a reason to install it at this time. If I ever start using my Mini 10 to scan documents, I may change my mind.
  • Installed Eraser for erasing sensitive data.
  • Installed Bulk Rename Utility for renaming my photographs when I download them from my cameras.
  • Installed TrueCrypt for on-the-fly disk encryption. I'm not normally paranoid about my files getting into the wild, but I plan to get in the habit of encrypting any work-related files I carry to and from work or home.
  • Installed uTorrent for managing my BitTorrent files, and for downloading Open Office (below) because it refused to download via HTTP!
  • Installed Open Office for word processing, etc. I wasn't going to install this as most of my document creation is in the cloud (using Google Docs), but I could find myself without internet access one day and need to word process something or open a Word or Word Perfect file.
  • Installed Portable Python, which is an editor I use my Computer Studies classes.
  • Installed TinyGrab for uploading screenshots to my website.
  • Configured, then updated Skype for making phone calls. The setup file for this was already installed in the start menu (handy!).
  • Installed Winbar to let me monitor my memory and CPU usage.
I notice that everything I have installed is free, so perhaps I'll make it my goal to keep it that way. I also notice, that even after installing everything above, creating this blog entry, and doing a little web surfing, that the battery still has over 4-1/2 hours remaining. Not too shabby.
I think I'm going to like this little computer, as long as I keep a mouse attached to it (the trackpad is awful!), much to the detriment of my MacBook Pro.
For those of you that are using netbooks, what other "essential" programs are you using?

Update
  • Installed 7-Zip to manage zip and other archive file formats.





Friday, July 02, 2010

Internet Speed Tests at Home

For a few months I have the luxury of having two different internet providers at home: Bell Sympatico and Cogeco. It's only natural that I do a speed comparison, so here they are:

Bell Sympatico


Cogeco


The Bell package is their "Performance" offer, at $42 per month, with some deals thrown in for the first year ($5 off per month) and if you have another Bell product (I have a Bell cell phone, for another $5 off per month). The Cogeco package is the "standard" high speed, which is costing me around $48 per month, IIRC.

The green numbers above are the download speeds, in kilobits per second (kbps). Neither Bell nor Cogeco match their rated speeds, which are 6000 and 14000 kbps, respectively. Interestingly, both are just over 80% of their rating. (A little collusion in their advertising departments, perhaps?)  The red numbers are the upload speeds, with Cogeco being about 50% faster.

I have the two packages side-by-side for a few months because Bell's is free, a bonus for buying a computer from Dell. I'm not sure if I'll keep it after the trial period, first of all because it's slower than Cogeco, but also because it has a lower bit-cap per month (25 GB vs Cogeco's 60). I believe I can add another 30 GB for $5 per month (a good deal!) which makes it more lucrative, but I'm still not sure. I'll crunch the numbers after a month or so and decide.

(Bell, if you call me with an outstanding deal on a Bell Mobility & Internet & TV package, you may be able to sway me.....hint, hint.)