Friday, July 27, 2007


I don't know if it is the weather turning cloudy and dismal again here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Or maybe knowing I have to head back over to Austin again for another week away from home.  Could also be the emotional crash of finishing the Harry Potter series.

Either way, I'm feeling quite scatterbrained at the moment.

My usual focus and clarity of thought has been fuzzed and though I have a number of posts I want to make, my ability to address them seems lack-luster right now.


So here are a loose collection of links I've picked up with some brief context.

Maybe this is what I need to do to get the creative dam unstuck for the weekend.

Firefox & Google Browser Sync issue

I complained lately (Google Browser Sync - two months in...) that I was suddenly having issues with the quality of my Google Browser Sync events; duplications, redactions, separator bars galore.

I seem to have tracked it down to a conflict of sorts between the 2 Pane Bookmarks :: Firefox Add-on I had installed a bit earlier and Google Browser Sync.  (At least on my system.)

Just on a hunch, I disabled the 2 Pane Bookmarks extension on both my "sync'ed" systems and then cleaned up and re-enabled the Google Browser Sync.  All is working well again.

I'm not 100% sure yet that is the cause, but as it is behaving again after that removal...I'm left wondering.  I'll continue to use the 2 Pane Bookmarks extension on my non-sync'ed Firefox systems as it is great.

Just kinda weird as this appears to be the first time I've run into incompatible extensions in Firefox...though that's not unheard-of.

Cool Hardware

Retro Thing: Vacuum Tube PC Motherboard - Too cool!  I love vacuum tube gear (having none myself at the moment). But somehow the idea of dropping a vacuum-tubed sound card in a desktop system just sounds quite fun!  I'm not an audiology expert so I doubt I could weigh in on the merits of digital versus vacuum tube enhanced sound quality levels...but it does look neat and seem fun.  Wonder if heat would be an issue?  More: AOpen Netherlands - Tube Mainboards, Techware Labs - Reviews - AOpen AX4GE Tube-G

clarion driveeye - Since I've been in a few more (not my fault) accidents than I would like, I've always wondered if some type of visual pre-accident recording gadget could be rigged up.  Kinda like keeping the last 30sec or so of data/video on a loop so in the case of an accident, a more accurate visualization of what occurred could be obtained.  Memory is such a subjective thing...especially after an accident has just occurred.  This device might be a start.  Only it seems to record visuals in one direction only...would you need 4 to capture front/rear/left/right views?  At $400+ a pop each, that would be a very expensive proposition....

embotec magnet keyboard - Keyboard quality fascinates me.  (Clicky keyboards again!) So when I spotted this magnet-based keyboard solution it seemed to be a new approach.  Who hasn't played with putting two magnets same-pole-to-pole and felt the electromagnetic force try to repel them from each other?  So using an apparent variation of that technique on a keyboard does seem novel.

Interesting Software

Revo Uninstaller - (freeware) - This new product assists with the un-installation of programs from your Windows system.  What gives it an edge over Add/Remove programs is that it scans before and after an uninstall to find any remaining registry keys, files, folders, etc. left behind by a sloppy uninstall...then presents them to you for optional deletion.  A "hunter-mode" option lets you drag a tool over applications or icons that it may be difficult to find the source/un-installer for. It also contains some additional utilities to help with system cleaning.  I'll post more details after I have used it for a while.  (Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Server2003 compatible.)  More details and review: via Lifehacker.

Driveway - Online File Sharing - (free service) - This web-based file-sharing service is probably for those folks hitting barriers in Gmail or the like when they attempt to send very large file sizes.  They allow for "parking" of files up to 500 MB in size for each upload.  Unlimited downloads and no storage limits otherwise.  No registration required.  Upload (park) your file, enter the recipient's email, your email and a file description...if you want.  The target user then gets an email and can click the link to retrieve the file.  If you include your email address, you also get a link that allows you to later go back and delete the file from its "parked" location.  Not an everyday need, but nice to know it is available as an option in a pinch.

Personal Software Inspector - (free for personal use) - I've been a big fan of the The Secunia Software Inspector which is an on-line web-based Java-powered system scanner for Windows systems. It scans your system for vulnerable software versions and then provides information on how to update those programs. Now Secunia has beta-released Personal Software Inspector which is a (free for personal use) application that is downloaded locally to the pc. Then it runs a full system scan for over 4200 applications and reports if they need to be updated or are at "end-of-life" status. If you leave it running, it continues to monitor your system to catch any new information from Secunia as well as any potentially "outdated" software you may later install. I ran it on my home system at it provided a significantly more detailed report/results than the quick on-line version.

I'd like to see some more "configuration features" in the product (filtering/excludes).  For example, I keep copies of older versions of software in an "archive" folder on one of my other drive partitions.  This is in case I don't like a newer version and want to "roll-back."  When I ran the scanner, it found multiple versions of "vulnerable" applications in this folder. While it was helpful at the onset to know about them, I'd like the ability to filter out or exclude certain programs or folders locally.  Right now this version doesn't seem to offer that choice. 

A very cool program and worth checking out for all home users.

Spotted via heiseSecurity - Now reveal your missing patches!  Another look at it from CyberNet News: Free Secunia PSI: Monitor for Software Updates



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