Episode 4 Online

February 21, 2006

Well, about an hour ago, the mp3 was done being exported. So you guys are hearing from me right after I finished listening to things and editing the feed. I think the podcast ended up ok, and I loved talking about open source software tonight. Also, I am pretty happy that we actually released an episode on the scheduled day of week, albeit quite late on Tuesday. I’m still glad we finally got it up on a Tuesday.

Also, the website should be updated sometime within the next day or so. I do have a paper to write yet tonight, so I’m not sure if I will have to get the site edited with links to the applications we listed. I realize there were quite a few applications that we could have talked about like other distros of Linux, Flock, and many, many other Open Source products. However, we are trying to keep the episodes around a half hour in length. So we had to limit the number of applications we talked about.

*Update* Looks like I found the time to get the website updated. So check it out, I added a description of the podcast and also links to websites that pertain to the applications mentioned in the podcast. You will also find a link to the GNU page on the philosophy of open source software, which is a good read if you want to know why open source advocates feel the way they do. And there is also a link to our delicious account. You will find similar links to the ones on the site, along with links I looked at for the podcast.

Link: http://www.simplytechlive.com/podcasts/episode004.mp3
Feed: http://www.simplytechlive.com/feed.xml

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Home Again & New Open Source Releases

February 19, 2006

Since I had a three day weekend, I’m back home to spend some time with the family, and get a new car. My ’93 Le Sabre broke down in Iowa, and now I’m getting a 2000 Impala. Not a bad tradeoff. It is nice to get away from school and the small dorm. It felt really nice to sleep in my comfortable bed the last few nights.

A few newsworthy item in the open source world. The article that really caught my eye was the release of the new version of Flock. If you haven’t heard of Flock before, it is an open source browser based off the popular Firefox. Flock integrates blogging, online picture galleries, online favorite sites like del.icio.us, and other features directly into the browser. I must say that I haven’t found too much use for anything but the blog editor, but the Flickr uploader is great for anyone that loves to post pictures online.

Flock is now up to version 0.5.11, just a few bugs short of 0.6. The work has come along nicely, and I am expecting great things from this open source project. It along with Firefox, continue to be my browsers of choice. Here is the official announcement of Flock version 0.5.11: "Announcing Flock 0.6 0.5.11. We have some new features, some refinements, and some rough edges (hence we decided to continue our fine tradition and not call this 0.6 after all). Read all about what’s new in this build in the release notes. Basically, we’ve got a rough draft of a browser that we hope you will be able to use for the next couple months while we add some more features and ponder a few important user interaction thingies." –source.

Also, the 4th Alpha version of Ubuntu 6.04 was released this past week. This version contains some updates to the graphical installer, a new version of GNOME, a simplifed start up menu, and added podcasting support to Rhythmbox. The podcast support was something that I had a hard time finding on my first run through Ubuntu 5.10. I’m glad to see it included in the upcoming April release. Find more information on 6.04 in the Ubuntu wiki.

Oh, and on a talk with Kaleb last night, he made two claims, at least one of which I hope he backs up. First, he said Apple will switch its processors again, this time switching to AMD. I find this claim pretty hard to believe and even understand. Switching processsors twice in one year doesn’t make sense in any regard. Second, he predicted that Apple will stop making its OS and focus solely on hardware. I can see this happening, and that claim makes switching to the Intel chip seem logical. Whether or not it happens, that’s another issue. If it does, won’t Apple be another dumbass grey box?

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Episode 3 Online

February 15, 2006

Episode 3 is online now. We covered big screen TV’s in this podcast. Zach carried most of the show, as you all know he is the home theater guy. I tried to ask some important questions where I was confused cause I figured if I was confused, most of the listeners would be too. Show notes are not up yet, but we hope to have them up later on
tonight. I know we promised some links to examples of the TVs, so I’ll get Zach working on that once he gets back from work. The feed should be updated soon as well.
 As always, thanks to Chris Johnson and the Bethany Studio. If it weren’t for Chris and the studio, we would not be able to record these podcasts. Sorry Chris, that we forgot to put the thank you in the podcast. We also want to thank our good friend Jesse Becker for being willing to record that introduction for this. At the end of the episode, we have some pretty hilarious outtakes. Enjoy.
Link: http://www.simplytechlive.com/podcasts/episode003.mp3
Feed: http://www.simplytechlive.com/feed.xml

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Quick Update on Ep. 3

February 15, 2006

Hey guys, just thought that I should write a quick update for Episode 3. Zach and I recorded Monday night, and we worked on getting our new introduction figured out for 1.5 hours tonight. When we had to leave the studio, we were exporting the mp3. I will go back in there early tomorrow and get the podcast online for you guys. Anyways, I’m happy we are keeping to our weekly schedule, though it seems Wednesday is now the release, instead of the planned-on Tuesday. We are hoping for find a free Saturday and crank out several episodes, that way we can create a backlog. Then we won’t miss a week if we happen to get really busy. So, that’s the news on Ep. 3; expect the feed and show notes to be updated sometime tomorrow afternoon. 

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Windows Updates for February

February 14, 2006

Being the 2nd Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released several patches for various issues within Windows on it regular patch cycle. I got 4 automatic updates. One for a security update to Media Player 10, another for a security update to a Media Player plug-in, a security update for XP, and the February edition of the Malicious Software Removal Tool.

There were also updates to  MS Office, but since I don’t use Office, I didnt get the update. So, just a heads up to all the readers. Go run Windows Update ASAP and keep safe.

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SimplyTech Episode 2 Online

February 9, 2006

Well, the 2nd episode has been out for a few hours, and I apologize for not posting here right away. But I got a little bit busy with all the other things I needed to do to get the podcast ready for your ears. There are few house-cleaning items I would like to get out of the way now.

One idea I had about a month ago for a different project that never surfaced was to set up a mailing list for everyone that is interested in receiving instant notification of new podcast releases. The plan would be to send out a mass email to the entire list the minute the new episode goes online. This would be an opt-in deal, and I would only use it to send notifications of the new episode. So if you need to know when the newest episode is out right away, send me an email at jon@simplytechlive.com and I’ll add you to the mailing list.

You can find the articles we used for our news stories about CES and the mp3 player debate online at SimplyTech. Also, Zach and I set up a del.icio.us account to share various articles we might want to use for the podcasts. Each article has a tag that relates to what episode we used it on, like EP1 or EP2. So if you want to see that, its online as well.

Like I said in the forums, we are always looking for feedback on the episodes. However, regarding this episode specifically, we are looking for feedback on the length of the episode, as Ep. 2 went quite a bit longer than the first. So do you think it was too long, tolerable, just right? So please share any thoughts on the length of the podcast, and also general comments on the podcast itself.

Also, in closing, I want to publically retract my comments about the Bethany Lutheran College IT Department. In the first episode, I said I hated the IT Dept, however that isn’t true or a fair thing to say. My main problem with the network here at school is that it doesn’t allow me to use Linux. So it was wrong for me to say I hate the IT Dept. I just really wish I could use Linux on campus.

Link: http://simplytechlive.com/podcasts/episode002.mp3
Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/simplytechlive

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Computer Security Thoughts Part Two

February 8, 2006

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday writing and chatting about Computer Security Thoughts Part One. If you happened to look at the comments for that post, you will notice that both Tom and Kaleb said some valuable pieces of information for what I would call good computer practices, not necessarily in regards to computer security. However, now that I step back and think about it, practicing good computer security is one part of good computing principles. Today’s post may be more venting on my part than constructive analysis, but people have to vent somehow.

Zach and I have started to help more and more people with their computer-related problems this school year. And I have become more and more frustrated with the general computer user. Computers and the internet are such great tools for people to do work, have fun, research topics, etc. But the vast minority are actually using these tools to even half their potential. It actually pains me when I see a $2,000 computer in the hands of a computer novice. The spyware and viruses that they have managed to get on their computer in one semester of college is unbelievable. While I understand that most people are not computer enthusiasts like myself or Zach, I can’t understand the lack of basic computer administration knowledge, especially with college-aged students.

I was speaking with Tom, known in the forums as dooganking, last night over MSN, and we pretty much agreed with each other on every point we made. I can’t recall the conversation exactly, but we both did mention the lack of education in the school system about good computing practices. The entry level computer classes focus more on teaching the Microsoft Office Suite than giving general computing knowledge. I would like to see at least a portion of the entry level classes being devoted to teaching student the dangers of unsolicited e-mail attachments, visiting the wrong websites, and opening random IM links (LOL, look at Paris Hilton). In addition, I propose that colleges/high schools teach good, general computing practices, not just warn about what to look out for. Practices such as running Windows Update frequently, keeping up-to-date with anti-virus definitions, using some sort of anti-spyware and firewall solution, and keeping your password secure.

Maybe I out in left field on this issue, but I would love not having a phone call at least a few times a week about another issue with spyware, a Trojan or three. Just another thing to throw out there, self-education is so easy with the Internet. My motto has become “Google is your friend.” With so much information right at your fingertips, any question you have is just a search away. Where do you think I find the answers to your questions when I don’t know them off the top of my head?