CoreyH Founder and CTO: RecordSetter. Dad to 6yr old boy, 3yr girl. Husband to @ewphoto

16Oct/065

boost ready Vista

This is one of those store it on the intarweb so someone else can benefit deals. Nothing but tech follows.

I upgraded my primary work PC to Vista (RC2).

Notes:

  • My upgrade from XP failed twice before I uninstalled enough stuff to get it working. I believe the culprit was Virtual PC, but I can't confirm this.
  • I really really didn't want to have to reformat, but I was going down that road, fortunately I didn't have to (this time). Here's where syncronization tools can really help. 1) Foldershare 2) Google Browser Sync 3) Exchange/Outlook
  • SocksCap is an effective workaround on Vista for Winsock Proxy Client or Windows Firewall Client.
  • My attempt to keep the upgrade on the DL are being thwarted by the giant non-customizable (that I know of) Vista welcome screen.
  • The nVidia "pro-workstation" Quadra 550 video card actually sucks. I get a 2.6 rating and Aero performance is not very good. I'm leaving it on though because I'm stubborn like that.
  • Ad Muncher is having problems with the proxy client, so I switched to FireFox specific AdBlock Plus + Adblock Filterset.G Updater
  • I bought a SanDisk Cruzer Titanium 2.0 GB flash drive to be able to run ReadyBoost. I've struggled with this all day today. Everything works when I enable it, but about 45 seconds after the cache file is created it disappears. I've messed and tinkerered, formatted and reset fifty times, and now it seems to be working -- touch wood as they say. Since not all USB memory is created equally, be sure to check the compatiblility chart here first: http://www.grantgibson.co.uk/misc/readyboost/ Also, if you are so inclined, there's a great ReadyBoost FAQ here: http://blogs.msdn.com/tomarcher/archive/2006/06/02/615199.aspx 
  • Oh, and I am loving ReadyBoost now that I have it working. I can absolutely tell the difference, especially since my HDD is quite loud on access and I can hear the huge reduction in drive reads/writes when programs load.

 

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16Oct/060

Erin and her Cello

Here are four songs from Erin and her Cello. I mentioned Erin once before here on CoreyH, but it deserves to be repeated.

Erin is a new friend from the neighborhood and it just so happens, she is really talented and put on a fantastically entertaining show. She sang and played the cello (mostly picking/plucking whatever it’s called), while a xylophone player, percussionist (bongo + shakers and clackers n’stuff) and beat-boxer/mouth hornist backed her up.

The songs are: Breakdancin' Man (about the breakdancing guys on the subway), Tiny Buns (about Chinese food, specifically tiny pork buns), Subway Crush (about a 2/3 train crush) and Bitten Me Bad (just listen). This was recorded at Ars Nova this summer in NYC.

Erin is playing quite a bit around town, I strongly suggest you check out a show at your earliest convenience. http://ErinandherCello.com

<technical section>
This was my first attempt at uploading video to YouTube. I ripped these from a DVD Erin gave me and edited the clips using Adobe's Premiere Elements. The original DVD was really really dark and the tools for adjusting it within Premiere worked great in the live preview, but it was not WYSIWYG and the final product in MPEG-1 was never close to what I was seeing in the preview. So I had to do it by trial and error, which at a fifteen minute rendering time meant slow going.

Uploading to YouTube was definitely easy, I don't know about 1.65 billion easy, but it was definitely easy. I will say that for my money, the absolute #1 thing YouTube did right was enable the embedding of the video. I mean, imagine the board meeting where they told the investors that you could put the video anywhere, with no advertising other than the watermarked logo in the corner. Took guts, and they made good on it -- good for them.
</technical section>

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9Oct/061

longboard

Emily was out of town on this beautiful New York Sunday; I had a host of neighborhood errands to run, so I decided to borrow her longboard skateboard to make them on. I had ridden it once or twice in the last year, but only up to the park, which is a short trip. Before that I hadn't really ridden since I lived in California and would ride to third grade from our house.

According to Map My Run, I traveled 9.73 miles today. It really is like riding a bike I guess, I was pretty comfortable most of the time. Riding down major avenues is tricky of course, turns out that cars don't really like 'boarders very much. I exchanged middle fingers a couple of times, but otherwise I managed to steer clear of trouble. Oh, except on the way home I went through Central park -- I hit a fairly large rock in the road and decided to bail rather than risk getting thrown -- the board went flying in front of me and under a horse carriage. I couldn't really see under the carriage and for a split second there, I had the horrifying realization that horses probably don't do well on skateboards and imagined the horse's rear leg landing square on the middle of the board, sliding uncontrollably, breaking the leg and the driver having to put it down right there on the spot and ruining the childhoods of many, many onlooking kiddies. Thankfully it came back from under the carriage and I scooted on my way without incident.

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8Oct/062

antivirus software as a virus

 I was not-at-all surprised by this report by The PC Spy called "What Really Slows Windows Down" that chronicles common applications and the performance impact they have in Windows. The top offender is Norton Internet Security 2006, with a whopping 46% boot delay and 20% cpu delay and 2369% File IO delay. The top thirteen (worst) are all antivirus packages. A developer I used to work with always said that the McAfee enterprise AntiVirus software was in itself a virus.

I'm turning off my realtime virus scanner. Permanently.

I haven't had a legitimate virus blocked or alerted in this century. My email client, Outlook 2007, blocks executables. I can configure Winzip to scan archives before I extract them. I have a hardware router with NAT and stateful packet inspection. I use the OS firewall. I am clinically obsessive when it comes to patches and updates. I've got phishing blockers in FireFox (Google's) and IE. I have backups of my important data. I'll keep virus scan installed and run it Sunday nights, using the scheduler, but I am done letting software scan every single read and write on my system tying up resources. I'm tired of hearing from OSX people about how they don't need antivirus installed.

Now, let me be clear, I do not recommend that anyone else do this unless you understand exactly what you are doing and where your vulnerabilities are.

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2Oct/060

Corey’s Kyoto

http://www.personal-kyoto.org/energy_usage/share/61 

You enter your ConEd account number and they go grab your power usage history and map it to your own Kyoto Goal, plus compare you with people in your zip code. In my case Manhattan vs Queens, Brooklyn, and the national average.

It is pretty clear that big spike is the air conditioner and that in the winter time I'm doing pretty well. I bet I could knock a 100 kWh off if I had a more efficient PC and fewer harddrives. At what point does it make sense to dump my P4 3.4 Ghz power-hog, spend $600 on a Core 2 Duo, a new motherboard (& RAM?) and a 750 GB perpendicular drive?

Try yours, see what you get: Personal-Kyoto.org

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2Oct/061

heart of glass cover

I listen to about three hours of radio per year, so while driving around around trying to find a parking spot the other night we heard this song on 90.7, which aparently is WFUV, a public radio station from Fordham U.  

Nouvelle Vague doing Blondie's Heart of Glass. I had a "blink" moment and liked it just by the beat alone, before I had heard any lyrics. It has a nice, complex sound, including some non-real-instruments from the sound of it (bird chirps, something being crunched, etc). A pop version of something Matthew Herbert did to extremes on Plat du Jour.

I had a previous Nouvelle Vague album, but I'm embarrased to say I didn't realize all the songs were covers. From Allumusic.com:

With a name that means "new wave" in English and "bossa nova" in Portuguese, Nouvelle Vague's moniker neatly sums up the group's concept: remaking classic new wave singles with a Brazilian pop twist.

The latest album is Bande à Part.

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