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Archive for July, 2006

What I’ve noticed in the world today is an increase of a double life. I don’t necessarily mean some sort of hypocrisy, but many people who use the internet frequently have an alias. It might be their email address, or chat name. No longer does anyone have an email name like johnanderson@mail.com; rather, it’s something like “itztheqooldude@mail.com”. Or maybe you play online games, like chess or starcraft, or everquest (aka ever-Crack b/c of its addictiveness), and you don’t even use your first name. You call yourself “masterofgames” or “sxabcguy”.

It used to be that people only had an alias if they were a secret spy or just a child playing out his fantasy like Calvin in “Calvin and Hobbes.” But now, everyone has an alias.

With an alias, what I’ve experienced is something quite interesting, and yet not surprising. People can be quite caustic, rude, and downright wicked under an alias.  Under an alias, people seem to turn into their most wicked self, because there is no accountability for their morality.  Curse words abound, with other profane statements.  It seems that with more privacy and anonymity, that people get less moral.  Increase in anonymity leads to decrease in morality?  

Leave a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.  Why do you think this is the case? (or not?)

Something for you to think about while I’m gone.

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and away from computers!  In a way, quite a relief!  I have early signs of carpal tunnel.  I’ll be back online perhaps sometime like second week of August.  Take care!

-the ungeek

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I’m starting to get some spam in my comments, but it’s good to know that the wordpress spam blocker tool is working well.  It caught all of them (yes, they were pretty obvious ones).  I hate spam!  But on the bright side, I guess this means my site is being noticed?

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Windows 2000 and XP (not sure about previous ones, maybe they do), have a built-in hard drive defraging tool. What does it mean to defragment your hard drive? Basically, over time, your hard drive gets cluttered. After deleting/installing files and/or programs, it can get a bit messy in how it stores all the data. Think about it as “spring cleaning”. The benefits are that you’ll have fewer times where Windows crashes and it will keep the speed of windows optimized.

Just do the following (the following screenshots are from windows 2000):

1. open windows explorer, right-click on your C drive, and choose properties.
c-properties.jpg

2. Select ‘Tools’ tab. Then click on “Defragment Now”

defrag.jpg

Then you will come to the default defraging program. Select Analyze first to see if you even need to. If the analysis says yes, go ahead and do it. Depending on your hard drive, time will vary. But please allot at least 20mins to an hour for this. You might want to just do it overnight before going to sleep. You can technically still use the computer while this is going on, but you might want to hold off so that the computer can do its defragging with no other activity going on to the hard drive.

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If you’re one of those people that like to try out new software, and download demos, freeware, etc, then your start menu might be pretty cluttered by now. Maybe you’re looking at 3 or 4 columns of programs when you click on Start > Programs.

I’ve seen people just being so inefficient, wasting time b/c they can’t find that one program that they’re looking for. Scroll up, down… where is that program?

You can take the following steps to regain control of your start menu (this applies to windows 95 to XP I believe):

1. Alphabetize them! Easy. Just go to Start > Programs, and while your mouse cursor is highlighting any of the programs, right-click. Then select “sort by name”. Voila! Now your whole menu is alphabetized and easier to find that one program!

2. Delete unnecessary stuff. Come on, you know there’s a lot of stuff you never use. Just do right-click again on any of the programs and select ‘delete’. This does not delete the program from your computer. It just removes it from the start menu. If you ever need that shortcut link again, just open your windows explorer, and go to C:\Program Files and search for your program there. The program name ends with .exe once you find the right folder. Just double click that. The program listing on the start menu is just a shortcut to that file anyways.

A faster way to delete unnecessary start menu items is to right-click on your Start button. Then choose ‘explore all users’. It will take you to the start menu folder. Click on ‘programs’. Then on the right side of your windows explorer, just delete stuff to your heart’s content (well, not everything, just the useless ones).

Now your start menu is all nice and trimmed down, and alphabetized! Your life is now more efficient.

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I found this site particularly useful during the 2004 election campaign.  I thought the site would die after the election was over, but it still does cover some stories, trying to filter through various lies to find the real truths.  It seems very impartial, and I highly recommend it!

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I ran across this problem when I bought a used LCD monitor. To be precise, it was:

17″ StarLogic LCD Monitor (11004988) / Model M17ANA

I just could not get this darn thing to display in the full 1280 x 1024 resolution that it was supposed to show at maximum (the greater the resolution size, the smaller the stuff you see on the screen, but in exchange, you can see more stuff at once!). Rather, I could only select at maximum, 1024 x 768. Kinda defeats the purpose of a 17″ monitor.

So I googled, and googled, thinking that I was missing some driver for it. Of course, I didn’t have the original CD. No success. I came across tons of driver download sites, but this monitor didn’t seem to exist! At least, I did find that they sold it at Office Depot at a discount awhile back for around $150, but still no driver to download anywhere.

Then I found a posting on a forum that stated that you don’t need a driver. His explanation was just rather a quick text only one, so I will put a picture-based comprehensive one here. This is on windows 2000, but should be similar for XP:

1. Go to your Control Panel, and click on Display.
2. Go to Settings tab, and click on Advanced button
disp_prop1.jpg

3. Click on Monitor tab, and uncheck “hide modes that this monitor cannot display”.
disp_prop2.jpg

4. Go to the Adapter tab, and click on “list all modes”
disp_prop3.jpg

5. Select the following – 1280 x 1024, 75hz.
disp_prop4.jpg

7. Click on OK

8. Lastly, click on the left-most button on the front of the monitor itself (auto-adjust; most monitors have this button) and your monitor should work! Worked for me!

This should work for any 17″ LCD in general with Windows 2000 or XP. Good luck!

edit on 2/23/08:

I’ve moved my site to blogspot here:   techtips4joe.blogspot.com

If you want more basic useful tech tips, follow me there.  Thank you.


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