Messing with Computers and Other Stuff

December 29, 2013

End of 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — caytin @ 3:03 PM

It has been almost a year since I’ve last posted on this blog. The year has seen several positive changes in my life. I met a wonderful guy, got a job that I enjoy, and finished my Accounting degree. Things are finally starting to settle for now. Today marks the day I get to work on projects for myself. Things that I have been putting off due to circumstances of more import. For once I am looking at the New Year with hope in my heart and determination of the mind and spirit.

December 31, 2012

End of 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — caytin @ 9:16 PM
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This year has certainly been one that I never would have expected. It seems to have become the year of stress for many people that I know and love. Myself, included in that list. I lost loved ones this year, quit a job that was eating me alive, and decided to go back to school. I already have a BBA, Economics, and am going back to school for a BS, Accounting. I am going to school through WGU, which due to the ability to accelerate through the program, I might be able to cram 18 months of study into a year. I have already finished 6 months of the program. I was engaged, and now am not. 2013 will be a year of new starts for me. 

October 4, 2011

Basic Maintenance for a Healthy Windows Computer

Filed under: How To: Windows,Program of Interest,Tip — caytin @ 12:00 AM

Basic Maintenance for a Healthy Windows Computer

Most of the computers I work on outside my normal job have issues that are easily preventable with normal maintenance. I like to tell my customers that your computer is like your car, if you take care of it the computer will last you a long time and not give you many issues. You don’t even need to download many third party programs either.

Basic maintenance consists of three steps.

1. Disk Cleanup
2. Disk Defragmenter
3. Virus Scan

I recommend doing this once a month, with your antivirus set to scan everyday or at least have it set to active protection.

Disk Cleanup

The reason for disk cleanup is very simple: It removes temporary files that are cluttering up your hard drive.

To run Disk Cleanup navigate to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and click Disk Cleanup.

Normally the drive you use is C:, so click the drive that is your hard drive and click okay. The program will search your drives for files that are safe to remove. 

Be cautious when selecting the categories for deletion on the summary page.

Normal selections for maintenance are:  Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary Files.

Disk Defragmenter
Not to be used on a Solid State Hard Drive

The files on your hard drive get moved around much like paper files on your desk and file cabinet. The more you use your computer the more fragmented it becomes. Disk Defragmenter re-arranges your files on the computer in a more friendly way so that your Operating System  (Windows) can find them faster.

Note: Even though Windows Vista/7 say they automatically defragment your hard drive they only do a small amount of most commonly accessed files. This is not a full defragmentation though, which is recommended as long as you do not have a Solid State Hard Drive.

To run Disk Defragmenter navigate to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and click Disk Defragmenter. Select the drive you want defragmented and click Defragment Disk.

Virus Scan

To scan for viruses you need an Antivirus software. You do not need to pay for this software as there are many great options available for free. Two I recommend are:

Microsoft Security Essentials
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx

Malwarebytes Antivirus Free
http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

First make sure your antivirus software is up to date, and then do a full scan. That is it. Just let it scan. If it comes across anything it will let you know and you can choose to delete it, quarantine it, or do nothing. If it does come across something, please double check online to see if it actually a virus if it looks like it might not be.

July 24, 2011

Virtual Web Server for Testing

Filed under: Program of Interest — caytin @ 5:13 PM

I am a freelance web-developer and content manager (in my little spare time). Lately I have gotten tired on testing of my production websites and found a wonderful group that has virtual server stacks for download.

http://bitnami.org

I am using their Joomla VBox image.

There were several things I had to do, such as:

1. Give it a static IP on a bridged network.
2. Install nano, dkms, build-essentials, linux-headers
3. VB Guest Additions

I think it will do just nicely for my testing. If you are also playing with web design or development you might want to give the site a good look.

June 27, 2011

Update on Myself

Filed under: Uncategorized — caytin @ 9:57 AM

Guys and Gals,

I am now A+ and MCDST certified. W00t!

 

Wow just realised I typed not instead of now. Boy, do I feel dumb… Too much studying.

February 28, 2011

Network Issue with Ubuntu and Router

Filed under: How To: Ubuntu — caytin @ 11:06 PM

Now for some time I have had the issue of my router basically stopping my internet connection if my Ubuntu machine was plugged in to it and not on.  I have finally found a solution.  Before turning off the computer, I have to turn off the ethernet card using sudo ifconfig eth0 down. eth0 (eth zero) of course being my wired connection.

Side note: read if your router is restarting with ubuntu while on wireless, turn off network manager before you shutdown the computer.

January 11, 2011

FUBAR’ed My Internet

Filed under: Non-Review/Non-Tip — caytin @ 12:25 PM

Well distinguished audience, after spending several hours fixing my grandparents’ computers for the New Year and marketing myself to people in the local electronics store, I went home and FUBAR’ed my own internet equipment.

Which really, really sucks.  I was out of internet from Saturday on.  The tech came to the house yesterday and supposedly fixed it.  It wasn’t, got a DNS error.  Turns out there was a breach of contract on my part and now I have to pay $135 to get it reactivated.  Thank heaven I started budgeting and saving last year, otherwise I would have been screwed.  All this cause the company only has one person that handles port forwarding, AND he is never in the office.  Boo!  Well I have paid it, so hopefully I will have my internet connection back tonight.

I have been working on two computer related projects: getting Netflix to work and testing a VNC program called Team Viewer that was recommended at Lifehacker.com.  I have not been able to get far on either due to lack of internet.  I believe that the Netflix streaming was my old 10/100 Mbps Wireless G router, as I was trying to stream to my not so shiny, not so new, XBOX 360 and my Wii.  I can stream on the computer just fine, so it had to be the router (in my humble opinion.)

So hopefully when I get home tonight I can test the Netflix.  Team Viewer will have to wait until my schedule co-insides with my test partner.

I hope everyone is having a good week!  I’ve had better, but its not that bad.  ^_^

January 6, 2011

Checkpoint End Point Security

Filed under: How To: Windows,Tip — caytin @ 1:06 PM

As many corporate employees that have vpn access know, sometime the vpn client causes problems.  At least that has been my case.  Up until the end of last year the software we used only supported Windows XP.  This was not so good for me, as I owned a Windows 7 and an Ubuntu machine.  The software in question is the Checkpoint Secure Client.

At the end of last year they made a successor that supports all current Windows systems, XP, Vista/7, as well as 32 bit and 64 bit.  That new client is the Checkpoint End Point Security Client.  This client has less configuration options on the client side, and comes with a built in firewall.

If your company is good about updating both ends of the system, then that is not a problem.  The server side dashboard handles all of the configuration features for the client now, except encrypt and tunnel all traffic to VPN Network.  That feature is easy to access, just go to the VPN options, select the VPN and check the box.  Though the box only become available after you have connected once.

The problem that I have faced is the built in firewall. Some of the software that we use does not function if a firewall is in place.  I know, I know, bad move.  I am not in charge of what we use and buy, so I have to work around it.

After scouring the internet for a few days, I was able to find a way to install the new client without the firewall.  You have to start the installer from the command line with a tag added to it.

HOW TO:

1. Place the file in a folder you can easily access from the command line.  I usually just move it to the Desktop.

2. Open your command prompt, and navigate to the file.

3. The command is “name of file” FW_INSTALL=NO

4.  The GUI will pop up, and you run through the wizard as normal.

Now Checkpoint is installed without the firewall.  I was annoyed that it took so long to find such a simple solution.  ~_~;  Though I do prefer this client to the older one, simply because I don’t have to install all the other weird stuff to make it work.  It just works out of the box.  (Without the firewall that is.)

January 4, 2011

A Brand New Day! um… Year!

Filed under: Non-Review/Non-Tip — caytin @ 7:25 PM
Tags:

As my friends and family know, I am both a slow adopter and front line buyer when it comes to technology.  A bit contradicting?  Yes, but very doable in my situation.  I work as a Desktop Support Specialist for a call center.  I have hobbies that immerse me deeply in new and old tech day in and day out.

I am a front line consumer for tech, as I can get my hands on most new tech through friends.  Not to keep mind you, but enough to play around and get a feel if it is worth  my money or time.  (Usually, I am in the spot of having to fix said new tech and not just playing with it.  ~_~)  I am a slow adopter because I do not believe in spending money on tech unless it will last a long time, keep my attention, and do what I need it to do.  Hence why I own a Playstation 2 and not a Playstation 3.  All my favorite games are on 2, but if I want to play a 3 I have at least 4 friends I can go visit at any given time and use theirs.

Lately, I have been playing around with all kinds of open source goodies for Windows and Linux.  I will start reviewing them this year and letting you guys and gals know how they fare up to my exacting standards.  ^_~

On the Linux front, I am staying with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS for the time being.  It does mostly what I want it to do.  My only issue is with dual screens and you tube….  I will get it fixed and post how to fix it when I get a chance.

I have also been working with Joomla for a site I’m in charge of.  I will post the tips and tricks I have found for it as well as I come across them.  (More to keep a record for myself, but its nice for others to benefit!)

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2011!

May 20, 2010

Get Aero Snap in Ubuntu | OMG! Ubuntu!

Filed under: How To: Ubuntu,Program of Interest — caytin @ 12:23 AM

Get Aero Snap in Ubuntu | OMG! Ubuntu!.

The tutorial doesn’t cover that when you reset the edge bindings that it will ask you to disable flip to do it.  I disabled flip, and it works.  Just thought I would share the finding!

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