Saturday, February 18, 2006

Quick Posting



Today is shaping up to become a busy day.

Lavie really wants her own pc (she is feeling left out). So it looks like a small bonus she got will be coupled with any IRS tax refund to get her a laptop. I promised her we would stop by a few places so she can try them out (keyboard feel)--no final decision yet.

Alvis has a gift-certificate so that means a trip to the mall.

I just want to nest and catch up on almost 10 episodes (each) of Ghost in the Shell:2nd Gig, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Neon Genesis Evangelion I've VCR'ed over the past couple of months.

And there is that deferred Valentine's day dinner out I promised the girls....

So, in an effort to reduce the pile of links in my "To Blog" bookmark folder, hang on for a quick ride. Commentary will be held to a minimum but I will try to sort these a little bit.

Tax-time

Full Story - Tax Preparation Software Consumer Report [consumersearch.com]
It's Tax Time: We Review the Boxed Software [pcworld.com]
Nakama Yukie-Japanese tax-software girl video ad. [blog.q-taro.com] (direct Quicktime link)

I have personally been using TurboTax for ages. The interface is pleasant, the cost is reasonable, I don't have very complex income or deductions--so it takes me only an hour or two to complete. I really like being able to import most of my data from last years return data-file to speed the entry process. Last year I ponied up the extra $ to file on-line through their service instead of mailing my return in. It was easy and fast. Can't imagine dealing with these taxes any other way now.

Gadgets and Stuff

CX 200 Portable Director II Cell Phone Jammer [mobilemag.com]
Linksys Router WRT54GX2 [laptopmag.com]
Messages on the Mirror (Crayola window/mirror markers!) [jesser.org via Lifehacker]
Desitin as thermal compound [hackaday.com] (at very bottom of post)

That last one could have been helpful. After I RMA'ed my first Shuttle box and got it's replacement, the box shipped missing the thermal compound. I ran down to the local RadioShack and picked some up, but it just didn't do the job. I think their compound was too thin. So I tried a custom pc-shop on the other side of town and got some of their compound in a little squeeze tube. Much thicker and worked like a charm. I don't know, but it might be a good tip if you need some in an emergency. Desitin has zinc oxide which is used in many thermal compound products to conduct heat off the CPU to the heatsink. I wonder if the Dr. Smith's butt-creme we used on Alvis when she was a baby would work as well. That stuff is thick!

Software Tidbits

Linux distribution screenshots [osdir.com]
Microsoft releases Windows Defender (Beta2) (formerly Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta)
Neowin's Freeware Alternative List [compiled by Simon and sanctified at Neowin.net]
Google buys blog statistic company Measure Map [Google Blog]

While I choose Linux Live Cd's based on functionality, appearance is still important. Having a site like osdir.com that maintains screenshots, lets me see if a certain new distribution will fit my style or not. Even on broadband, it can take a long time to download a new Linux distribution. I really like the latest Microsoft Windows Defender build. It does away with the glaring event notifications that the previous version used. The interface is nice--though manual updates could be easier to locate (click the drop-arrow NEXT TO the "?" help icon on the top bar -- click "About Windows Defender" -- find and click the "Check for Updates" button at the bottom) and finally it is fast on the scan and seems to pick through the XP system-restore archives as well. I guess that is one benefit of using a MS product to scan an MS product. Lastly, I love to collect freeware and the list that Simon and sanctified made is really thorough. They seem to have worked hard to categorize the items. I'm going to spend more time on this in a future post. For now, it's a great resource to bookmark for you techies.

Consumer and Citizen Affairs

RIAA et al. says CD ripping, backups not fair use [ARStechnica.com]
Best Buy Dupes Customers into Worst Mag Subscriptions [consumerist.com]
Houston Police Chief Wants Cameras in Homes [slashdot.org]
NBC lawyers go after "Lazy Sunday" SNL-skit video distributors [Techblog]

Walk away Claus.....must fight the urge to rant....

Graphical Goodies

Flagrantdisregard's Flickr Toys [flagrantdisregard.com]
MyDeskCity wallpapers [mydeskcity.com] Note: site apears to be Chinese--sometimes slow.
Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest [Drawn.ca]

Flagrantdisregard's Flickr toys are really cool. I have link to the Scout app on my sidebar. Other fun ones are Motivator, Trading Card Maker, Stream, and Mosaic maker. His blog is very warm and personal as well. Definitely worth a look. I've added Houstonian Jim Thomson's blog [jimthompson.org] to my haunts as well. Good stuff Jim! So the Danes published some editorial cartoons that a large part of the Muslim world found offensive. In response protest for these cartoons, buildings and embassies are burning, rioters are loose in the streets, people are being killed, and an Iranian newspaper starts a contest to mock the Holocaust. What do you do if you are an Israeli? Figure no one can make fun of themselves better than themselves and host a self-mocking anti-semitic cartoon contest of their own!

Got to love it!

See you in the skies,
--Claus

2 comments:

acronymonious said...

Digger caught 2nd gig last night (and FMA and NGE for first times too)...gonna hafta get the DVD's of GIS2G...too cool to miss.

think of y'all often...take care

Claus said...

Yeah, I really like GIS2G also. I've been kinda hesitant to pick up GIS:Innocence (the movie), but think I may next month. I really like the deeper musings on how society and technology co-exist--or don't. The writing and dubs are pretty tight.

I've been holding off collecting the series (Alvis got me just the 6th DVD of GIS:SAC series by mistake--got a cool t-shirt with it anyway). I am hoping that they release it as a thinpack in the near future. No word yet if that is to happen. They have like 2-3 different DVD release editions for each one.

We got hooked on FMA way back when (52? episodes for entire series?) and are committed. I've heard some spoilers on the ending that (if true) may end up being a real *^&%*$^*%##%&*^%--but we are committed now.

NGE I'm just watching since it is such a groundbreaking series in anime-dom. I also hear it gets wonked out at the end. (sigh).