Monday, November 30, 2009

Let's Say Thanks -- Thanks to Xerox

Let's Say Thanks

If you go to you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.

You cannot pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one! It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.

This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's.

Thanks for taking to time to support our military!

Let's Say Thanks

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Windows 7 & GNU/Linux -- Part 2

Wouldn't you know it? The adventures in Windows 7 and Linux continued today. The system I thought would be a cinch to upgrade turned out to be just as interesting as the two older machines. But it really was not all that bad. Windows 7 installed flawlessly except it would not allow me to set the partition size to the desired amount from the installer. No big deal, as I just did it later on through Drive Manager. However, I could never get it to go to the 60 Gb that i had originally planned. I may be able to force the issue later. However, I do not have the same document sharing issues that my kids have. First, I intend to work mostly out of my Linux partition. Windows 7 will be used for work-related activities. Second, I have access to two large external drives that I use for storage and backups.

Linux installed OK except for a temporary problem with the video driver. By default Ubuntu does not use the Nvidia proprietary drivers needed to drive the GeForce 6150 LE that came built-in with this machine. I also ran into a bad wireless dongle that was making things difficult. Fortunately I had a spare and that seems to be working fine. Once I ran all the updates I was able to (rather easily) install the correct drivers for my video card. I have been working in Linux for several hours now. All is good. So far it appears that Ubuntu is considerably faster than Windows in most things I have done, but that is a subjective assessment. I am definitely glad not to have to worry about viruses and miscellaneous malware that affects Windows users. And you cannot beat the price for Linux and all the fantastic software out there. And speaking of such, I love the fact that I can use WINE to run some of the Windows applications that I love and depend on (and for which I have not found a Linux alternative). It is the best of both worlds.

Journey into WIndows 7 & GNU/Linux Dual-Boot

During the last three days I have spent a few hours upgrading the kids computers, something I had promised them a long time ago. Poor MacK has been SO very patient! She has been struggling with an older PIII-1 GHz machine that was truly on its last leg. For months, almost weekly, she would come to me and ask: "When are you going to do my computer?" Finally, Thursday it was her day. She did not get a "new" computer; she inherited my 5-year-old 2 GHz AMD sytem with 2 Gb of RAM. I installed a 250Gb hard drive to replace the two smaller drives that were in the machine originally. As luck would have it, this older machine would not boot from a DVD — it is a limitation of the BIOS. So I tried to update the BIOS but could not find the correct updater for it. Fortunately I did not damage the BIOS in the process. I searched the Net for a solution and, of course, many people had faced a similar scenario. But, in order to boot the machine, I had to have a 4Gb or larger USB pen drive. We had to wait until Friday morning to get one from Wal-Mart (for the great price of $8). The SanDisk Cruiser device came with the annoying U3 software pre-installed, and I was unable to remove it for several days (more on that later).

Here is the page that guided me to the preparation of the USB pen to install Windows 7 on MacK's machine:

I did a manual installation of Windows 7 allowing it to use half of the drive. The other half, of course, would be for GNU/Linux (Ubuntu 9.10). Everything went well and Windows recognized all the built-in hardware. It did not recognize an add-on NIC and modem, which I then removed from the machine since they were not needed anyway. After installing Office 2007, ClamWin, Firefox, and all the needed patches and service packs, I began the installation of Ubuntu. As expected, all went well. I allowed it to use the remainder of the drive.

I was very lucky because one of the big question marks I had was the wireless card. The existing wireless card (USB based from Linksys) is not supported under Windows 7 or Linux. About two years ago I had purchased five RALink (RT73) USB dongles from one of my favorite vendors (3BTech) specifically because they were compatible with Windows and Linux. They had been sitting around in a bag unused and (mostly) untested. I had used one on my PC and one on an old laptop, and they had worked well. The dongle worked flawlessly under Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10. They were automatically recognized by both systems. Setting up the network connection was fairly easy and straight forward. Notably, the card works better under Linux than under Windows: better signal strength for extended periods of time.

The final step was to create a "Data" partition that would hold MacK's files so that they could be accessed from both Windows and Linux. I went into Windows 7 and shrank the C: drive to half its original size. I formatted it with the exFAT format, but that was not recognized by Linux, so I reformatted in Linux with straight FAT32. I then restored all her files and that was it. Friday ended with MacK's machine being done.

Saturday was the day for Noah's machine. I thought that, since it was identical to MacK's PC, I would get through it in no time. But that was not the case. For about an hour I could not get the machine to boot using the USB pen. I even re-did the installation steps on the pen thinking maybe something had gotten corrupted. Nothing. Regardless of which port I used the machine would not boot up. I re-checked all cables inside (thinking maybe something had gotten unplugged when I removed the old drives and installed the new 250 Gb disk). Everything was OK. After fighting with it (and using a few choice words) I went to the BIOS set-up one more time and reviewed every choice possible. And there it was! Somehow, "USB Legacy Support" had been set to Disabled. Once I enabled that setting, I was able to boot to the USB pen and repeated the process I had followed with MacK's PC. Saturday ended with Noah's machine being done. He had already backed-up his data, and he had unplugged his machine and then re-plugged it. That was great help!

About the U3 pre-installed software. On this Compaq Presario machine, I had to "eject" all the card reader and other USB drives before the U3 un-installation process would work. Once that was done, the complete process of having just a plain USB pen drive took almost no time. See these pages if you need more information on the U3 uninstallation process:

Today I will begin the process of converting my new machine (which was Tracey's new machine three years ago). My setup will be similar to the kids' (three partitions, etc.) with Windows 7 and GNU/Linux (Ubuntu 9.10). I intend to run mostly out of the Linux partition. So far, MacK is more into Windows (although she loves Linux) and Noah more into Linux. That does not surprise me. At least they will both be exposed to the two different operating systems and not be "boxed in" into one or the other.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Abundance Challenge - Lesson 2

If you are tired of cruising along this journey called life, then you owe it to yourself to take control and set things in motion for a better experience. Here is lesson #2:

Abundance Transformation in 15 Days | Lesson 2 - Create instant shift by clearing limiting "Money Beliefs"

If you wish to experience greater flow of abundance & prosperity, you would be wise to first examine your beliefs about money and see if any of them might be hindering your objective. Beliefs don’t usually work alone, but rather determine the ACTIONS you take, which affects the result you receive.

This lesson has a great video clip from Tony Robbins as well as a powerful exercise to discover those beliefs that may be limiting you in your quest for abundance.

I wish you an enjoyable journey!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Abundance Challenge -- Lesson 1

I mentioned the challenge of gathering one million people to bring increased abundance to everyone on Earth. Here is lesson 1:

Abundance Transformation in 15 Days | Lesson 1 - Realizing Your True Nature of Limitless Abundance!

Abundance is a state that includes wealth but means more than that. True abundance is the state of being connected to the primary source of everything that is, of manifesting a steady flow of positive energy to nourish and expand life, love, and creativity. Abundance is unlimited and effortless; it is experiencing joy. Abundance is not something that exists outside yourself; rather, it is a state of being that is experienced in your mind. You have the innate ability of attracting abundance.


A Worthwhile Website

As you know, cancer touched our family in big ways. Here is a way to give that is free: a simple click of the mouse everyday can generate revenue to help raise funds for breast-cancer research and prevention:

Click to Give @ The Breast Cancer Site

In addition to benefiting breast cancer, this site also has areas for fighting hunger, promoting child health, literacy, the environment and animal rescue.

What a great website!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Abundance Challenge

Every January most of us make resolutions to improve one or more aspects of our lives. For some, it is weight loss, or better fitness, or getting organized. I recently received a challenge: to join the Abundance effort:

The Abundance Challenge — Manifest New Level of Abundance, Prosperity & Success

The challenge is, in essence, to join at least one million people world-wide for a moment of meditation so that we can bring abundance to everyone in the world. That is a cause I can definitely join!

A few disclaimers and notes:
  1. I have already joined. :-)
  2. I have no commercial interest in whether you join or not. The challenge is free to join. There are some links to commercial products, but you are not obligated to buy in order to join or be a part of the challenge.
  3. The community website is much like LinkedIn or Facebook: a nice, social networking site that could prove to be very interesting as long as the purpose remains to bring abundance to everyone on Earth.
  4. It appears to be a spin-off of "The Secret," including use of such visualization techniques as that shown below:

I look forward to starting the new year knowing maybe I have contributed to everyone's abundance.