Saturday, October 24, 2009

Now Linux Can Get Viruses, Via Wine

I always knew this would happen.

I warned you. Wine leads to all things that cause viruses!

Via Slashdot.org.

Now Linux Can Get Viruses, Via Wine: "fsufitch writes "Wine has advanced enough to make Linux not immune to Windows viruses. However, just like many Wine applications, it takes a bit of effort to get the program off the ground. Also, just like some Windows programs running via Wine, not all features may work — in this case, the crippling of the system, immunity to the task manager, identity theft, etc."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Case Closed, Recovery, and the Future.

Well, it has been a while since I told you what’s really going on in my life, so here’s an update.

First, FragMom’s Frag box is operational. I installed the 32bit version of Windows 7 RC, and it’s off and flying. I’m jealous, sort of. If we both boot at the same time, she’s up, logged in, and logged into WoW before I’m completely logged in. Yes, the stories are true, Windows 7 IS really faster.

Now that it’s running well, I put the case back together, and it looks like a normal computer again, not something that should be on an operating room table or a slab in the morgue.

On a personal note, I’ve not really been feeling good for quite some time now. Initially it was adjusting to the new medication, Gabapentin. “Gabapentin was initially synthesized to mimic the chemical structure of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), but is not believed to act on the same brain receptors.” I really don’t understand all of what it does, but part of that is because of the medication itself!

The therapeutic dose of Gabapentin is 1800mg a day, but it’s not something you can just jump right into. The doctor started me on 300mg at bedtime for a week. Then we added in another 300mg at 2:00PM for a week, then 300mg at 6:00AM for a week. During the first week, I didn’t notice any effects at all (since I was sleeping!). However, when I started the 2:00PM dose, I was loopy and felt like I was drunk for several hours after the dose. These effects lasted for the first few days or so, and I adjusted to them by day three or four. When I added the 6:00AM dose, I had the same issues; 2 days of lost productivity due to feeling drunk / stoned for about 6 hours.

The “ramp up” for the next set of doses went about the same; replaced the 300mg at bedtime with 600mg, then the 2:00PM dose to 600mg and the morning dose to 600mg. Same side-effects; dizzy, loopy, feeling drunk or stoned. Basically, I was brainless for 2 days after each dose increase. The entire process took about 6 weeks.

A few weeks after the dose increase, I went in for a follow up with my pain management doctor. He was pleased with the progress using the Gabapentin, and did trigger point injections or TPI to relax the muscles in my back.That was on a Wednesday. Thursday I went in to work and felt the best I had in months.

Here’s the fun part, though. It’s been almost two weeks since the TPI. My back is feeling good, my left leg doesn’t hurt, but feels “tingly” quite a lot, and I don’t really trust it. But, (and here’s the point) soon after that I developed a dry cough, congestion, and I guess achy joints and muscles. It seems that I have a fever of about +2 degrees. Let me explain that comment; my normal body temp is 96.8 (I’ve always been a cold fish!), so when I have a temp of 98.7, that’s a fever for me, and equivalent to 100.5 for most people. So, on top of the meds and everything, I think I have a flu. It may be THE flu, but I don’t know for sure, and I don’t think I want to find out.

 

Right now, I just feel all rung out. I feel like I can’t get out of my own way. It’s really aggravating because I have two big projects planned for my geekieness.

 

First, I’ve put an older XP Media Center PC in the bedroom with a wireless card and hooked it to the TV in the bedroom. I need to find an older Toshiba USB Media Center Hub that we got a few years ago and hook that up so I can use a remote for it rather than a keyboard (that requires finding the Hub somewhere in the closet).

The second project is a little more software oriented. The old Dell that was the FragBox for FragMom may be a viable Linux server. If I can get a stable version of Linux running on it, I’ll start building virtual servers on it and see how much it can handle. If it’s good enough, I’ll move the Windows Home Server to a virtual server on the Dell, then move the drives over to it. That way I can have a variable size drive for the media content, and use the open space for other things.

With Windows 7 on the market now, I’m thinking of upgrading all my Vista systems to Windows 7, but there is no real cost effective way of doing that. Sure, you can get the Win7 Home Premium for 3 computers for $149.99 at the Microsoft Store, but I’d need 2 of those. Not the best solution. What I may do is finally get my business incorporated and get the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS). I still need to decide if that’s the right way to go, but I’m leaning that way. More to follow on those three things, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Physical easter eggs: hidden drawer cabinetry

Like the President's and the Queen's desk in National Treasure, Book of Secrets, this cool desk has a hidden drawer! Personally, I would have made the hidden drawer a little bigger, but that's just me. This is a really cool, yet complicated design. Almost a Rube Goldberg! Click the link for the video of how it works.

Physical easter eggs: hidden drawer cabinetry: "



MAKE subscriber Tyler writes in to share this ├╝ber-complicated hidden drawer, by carpenter Brian Grabski. To get the hidden compartment to open, one first has to open each of the other drawers, which then release a pin that is pressed to open the hidden drawer. Nice work! I think it would be the perfect place to stash some trick puzzles.



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Thursday, October 01, 2009

BumpTop Goes Multi-Touch. Um, Awesome.

BumpTop, in my opinion, is probably the most intuative, well designed desktop interface I have seen.

I talked about BumpTop about a year ago. I was impressed with it then, now I think I'm ready to try it.

Take a look at this article from TechCrunch:

BumpTop Goes Multi-Touch. Um, Awesome.: "

Screen shot 2009-09-30 at 6.47.36 PMWhat if the desktop on your computer was just like your actual desktop? That’s the core idea behind BumpTop, a really nice looking graphical overlay for Windows-based operating systems. But as cool as BumpTop looked, you still had to use your mouse and keyboard to manipulate it. As I made clear yesterday, I want those to die. So good news for me today: BumpTop is adding multi-touch support. And the result is awesome.


When we think of multi-touch right now, most of us think of the iPhone. But really, with such a small screen, there are only so many gestures you can do. Multi-touch BumpTop greatly expands that roster, and includes several gestures that it claims to have patents for. Basically, they have gestures that use all of you fingers, and both hands, and even the side of hands. You can “lasso” things, “shove” them, “scrunch” them, and “crop” them.


This graphic below shows a list of the gestures BumpTop offers that competitors don’t, including the ones that they apparently have patents on (labeled as “BT”).


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Naturally, for these multi-touch capacities to work, you’ll need a computer with a touch screen surface that supports multi-touch. Right now, those aren’t widely available. But all indications are that soon enough, there could be a range of devices on the market with such capabilities (sadly, this is Windows 7-only — so no, it won’t work on an Apple Tablet). If you don’t have one of those however, BumpTop will continue to work on a majority of Windows-based PCs just fine with more traditional input devices.


The most obvious use of Mutli-touch BumpTop is with media, as you can easily manipulate images (watch the video below). But the service also works with documents (dragging them around, bunching them together, Google Gadgets, and even webpages as widgets. Also, there is social networking support, so if you edit an image in BumpTop, you can easily upload it immediately to Facebook or send it to Twitter.


I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that as soon as I have a computer that can run this, I want this. If not, you’re crazy, just watch it in action below. And below that find more examples of its multi-touch gesture support.



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