Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 Fluffy Wallpapers for Valentines Day

In the spirit of love and corporate holidays (does St. Valentine actually approve?) here are some cute wallpapers to get you in the mood. 
HUGS! ;)

A Reason to Avoid Kapersky

I haven't paid for security software in years. Not that I'm one of those guys that runs around stealing software I just find other ways either through rebates or use the multitude of free software on the net. I also don't open myself to attack either by clicking 'ok' or 'yes' on everything I see. I'm very careful where I browse and have multiple layers of security.
Last week Kapersky Labs was breached by Romanian hackers. Kapersky sells personal and business security software. If an anti-virus firm is hacked, it's customers data is exposed, and they don't know about it until the hackers actually tell them (yep, the hackers actually told them about it after 11 days). What does that say about the software? In their defense there are multiple divisions working on multiple projects. The 'web guys' are different than the 'software guys' but as a whole a company (any company) should live, breathe, and sweat security. This really has to be embarassing for them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Use Google instead of

411. Most 411 calls cost $1 or more yet a simple text either comes with your cell phones plan or might cost about $.20. Yes a phone book is free but I have a feeling they're going the way of the newspaper. Plus if I'm out and about I don't want to waste time looking for a phone book. Texting Google for information is easy and quick, not to mention you have your answer in text. You don't have to waste time or more money looking for a pen or paying for the extra text message your 411 carrier sends to you. You may even get a set of steak knives! 
The next time you're looking for something on the go follow these steps and get an answer from Google in about a minute.
If I'm looking for coffee while in Buffalo NY (yes, I can throw a nickel and hit a Starbucks but I personally don't like they're coffee......'gasp') I just send a text message to 466453 (google) with what I need and the zip code where I'm looking. For example: coffee, 14222. In less than a minute I get 2 texts informing me that Starbucks is ....... oh crap. Seriously, although Starbucks was one of the choices I had 2 more following it and I decided to check out Caffe Aroma instead. See the below map for the results I get if I do the same thing on Google Maps.

Friday, February 6, 2009

$108 PC?

Oh my, I believe I just built a $108 PC. It was a very simple upgrade with a processor (AMD 3400+), mother board, and 2 gigs of RAM. The customer already had a hard drive, OS (XP), and other periphreals (keyboard, mouse, monitor) but he's basically using a new PC. I suggested a 640gb hard drive which would've been around $75 but it just wasn't in the budget. Not a shabby deal if you ask me. 

Friday Afternoon Beats

Gettin' ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

MS AntiSpyware and AntiVirus

I was recently contacted by a friend who was having issues with his company laptop. He told me his support center (now in China) could not understand his plight. I asked him a few questions and it turns out he had been a victim of a drive-by install which is pretty odd since the company he works for constantly brags about it's security and technical expertise. Regardless I helped and solved his problem in under 20 minutes. 

Seen this?
Or maybe this?

These programs and ones similar to them are fraudulent anti-maleware and anti-virus programs designed to scare the user into buying a non-existent solution. They're so good in fact they fooled my test system into believing they were legit and needed an upgrade. (See below)

These two are linked to Russian sources just itching to take your credit card info and go nuts. How do you remove it? This is what I did on a Windows XP Service Pack 2 system.
Click the download button. Save it to your desktop. Once the download is complete run the setup and try to get the latest definitions (theres a tab called update). Once you're finished run a quick scan. You should see the following after it's complete.

It caught 15 results on the test system. Now click Show Results.

Make sure all of them are checked and click Remove Selected

I usually run the scan a second or third time before I'm 100% good to go.

Next up. Securing your system from this type of crap.

Hi-Res Macro Shots

I like to fool around with the macro setting on my camera and sometimes I get some very cool shots. I just snapped and sent out the berries this weekend and I already have people telling me they're using it for their desktop wallpaper. I may enter it, I'm very happy with the resolution and detail. The second is a cake made for my son's birthday. My wife is very good at these sort of things. The moth was a lucky shot. I think it was too cold too fly away when I got too close. Last but not least the lilly. I can't remember where I took it. Feel free to share, the links on each picture will go to the full version.


Frozen Berries

Big Cake Big Truck



That Chili Recipe

When making this make sure to have at least 4 hours of free time and 3 hours before dinner. It makes a lot so be sure to have a large stock pot for cooking. You may also need plenty of plastic containers for leftovers unless of course you make and eat it while you’re camping. A friend of mine and I used it for a staple on a weekend camping trip. Chili dogs (some of the best dogs you’ll ever taste!**), chili eggs, chili chili….you get the picture. Just be sure to stay away from fire after the second day. Did you know methane gas damages the atmosphere a lot more than CO2? Anyway, I can’t believe we wasted this on Busch Light, chalk it up to inexperience. 
Nowadays I like this with a porter or an IPA. Why a porter? I discovered that the dark chocolate in porters goes very well with the smokiness from the chili powder. It may sound weird but it’s definitely good.  Good examples of porters are "Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Road Dog Porter from Flying Dog Brewery". A very good example of an IPA would be without a doubt "Dogfish Head Brewery's 60 or 90 Minute IPA's". My favorite is "New Holland's Existential Hopwine" but that's another story. 


2lb ground Beef
1lb Italian sausage (medium, hot, mild……your choice)
4 cloves minced Garlic 
2 large onions chopped
½ large green pepper
3 stalks of chopped celery
112 oz of tomatoes (usually 4 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes will work)
1 large can of tomato juice
¼  cup sugar
3 tablespoons chili powder
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
 2 oz Franks hot sauce (I put that shit on everything) 
3 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1.5 oz Worcester sauce
4 28oz cans kidney beans ( I used dark and light red)

Start Cooking
Brown the sausage, beef and onions.
Dump them into a large stock pot with all the ingredients except the beans. Bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally (say, every time you get you get up to grab another beer stir the pot a little)
After 2 hours pour the beans in and bring it to boil. 
Turn the heat down to simmer and wait another hour*, stirring occasionally. 

*Note: When I want this a little hotter I take about 3 cups out of the pot after 2.5 hour and set it aside. I then add about 2 oz of hot sauce, chopped jalapeno, and one more clove of garlic. I bring it to a slow boil then let it simmer for about 30+ minutes. It’s not massively hot but you’ll sweat a little.  
**Note 2: The chili dogs. There’s this little place at a non-descript US Submarine base I used to visit when the boat I was on stopped for supplies. 
I dreamt of their chili dogs they were so good. A cold beer and a hot chili dog was the best after a bit at sea. After I introduced a slightly burnt (very slight) hot dog to this it was all she wrote. I would love to visit that bar again but the chili dog they had has been replaced indefinitely.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It is a good day to live.

Be at war with your vices, peace with your neighbors, and let every year find you a better man.