Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Tales from the Windows Pit

PCLinuxOS screenshotPCLinuxOS was key to saving a Windows PC. Read how below!



Or perhaps I should say "Windows-less" pit? Yes, it is time once again for me to document some of the more recent issues I have been having with Windows. For those wondering, yes - I am referring to the Microsoft operating system that so many people seem stuck on.

The problems started just a few weeks ago (well, shortly after I got iTunes working - again). Perhaps the best sign of impending doom was my wife's ability to access her e-mail using Outlook, the Microsoft e-mail client (well, one of them). Every time she tried to pull down her e-mail, Outlook would choke on it about halfway through and throw an error. She had to resort to checking her mail via a web interface. We had used that in the past with this problem when there was a "bad" e-mail in the queue. In the past, deleting that e-mail usually restored Outlook to proper functioning. That was not occurring in this case, indicative of some deeper problem. I had started to do some research on it, but had not found a good solution yet.

My son was playing some game and as usual, Windows locked up. Upon trying to restart the computer, we discovered that it was stuck in a repeating loop of booting, but as soon as it reached the "Windows is starting up..." screen, it would reboot. I tried several solutions at that point, like booting into safe mode. Unfortunately, no luck.

PCLinuxOS screenshot

Screenshot of the desktop for PCLinuxOS

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Dog Hard at Work

Zeus Working HardI just got a kick out of our dog today. He is a mix of black Lab and Great Dane that we rescued from the pound. Needless to say, he is quite large and can be very intimidating to those not used to dogs. Having a dog is also a great deterrent to robbers. Our dog - Zeus - also tends to be a bit hyper when anyone comes over. Especially if they come into the yard. I think it has something to do with the electronic fence - makes dogs territorial in my opinion.

Anyway, today we had to get some work done on our air conditioning unit. As you can see from the picture, they pulled their van into our driveway. Zeus, after checking them out, decided they werek "ok" and it was time for a rest I suppose. As you can see, he is just laying around, wagging his tail (he really only started wagging his tail when he saw me standing in the doorway to take the picture).

Our Dog Hard at Work

Zeus Working HardI just got a kick out of our dog today. He is a mix of black Lab and Great Dane that we rescued from the pound. Needless to say, he is quite large and can be very intimidating to those not used to dogs. Having a dog is also a great deterrent to robbers. Our dog - Zeus - also tends to be a bit hyper when anyone comes over. Especially if they come into the yard. I think it has something to do with the electronic fence - makes dogs territorial in my opinion.

Anyway, today we had to get some work done on our air conditioning unit. As you can see from the picture, they pulled their van into our driveway. Zeus, after checking them out, decided they werek "ok" and it was time for a rest I suppose. As you can see, he is just laying around, wagging his tail (he really only started wagging his tail when he saw me standing in the doorway to take the picture).

Zeus Working Hard

Our dog Zeus works hard keeping an eye on things, especially when anyone comes over.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why is it I want a Mac?

I'm not really sure. Actually, the Mac would be for my wife's use, although it would help me in my effort to rid my local network of the scourge that is Windows. Ideally I would switch her over to Linux, but I'm not sure it could handle the games she always seems to want to play. In any case, I'm not sure why I'm leaning toward a Mac given the problems we have with iTunes and her iPod. Of course, the whole iPod stack is a poor choice in my opinion as you end up locked into Apple's file formats and proprietary DRM scheme. Yes, there are ways around it, but why bother (especially when you could do like I do, rip everything to .ogg format and use a normal mp3 player - a Samsung in my case - and not worry about losing your music to Apple's restrictions).

Anyway, I have always found iTunes to be an especially problematic application. Probably my biggest issue is that it seems like every time you want to do something with it, you have to install a new update. In the past I've had problems with iTunes not wanting to install and in one case, it caused the Windows PC to lock up and refuse to reboot. That was a lot of fun getting that fixed.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The More Things Change...

the more they stay the same? That seems like an appropriate bit of wisdom to keep in mind as I reflect on part of the message I received at church yesterday. But I should backtrack a bit.

As some may recall, I have recently been doing some searching for a new church home. This has included some research into what most would probably consider to be some pretty radical belief systems. For example, I dug pretty deeply into the Thomasine Church, although at this time I don't think it is right for me. Trying to keep somewhat in alignment with Judeo-Christian faiths, I also recently looked at some of the non-mainstream denominations like the Mennonites. Out of this, one that I found that was particularly interesting to me is the Quaker faith. I even went so far as to read A Living Faith by Wilmer A. Cooper which covered a lot of the history and belief system of the Quakers. As an aside, jmo, but it seems the Quaker faith is as diverse as any of the other mainstream Christian denominations (think of all the different forms of Baptist there are).