Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why use 2 browsers?

My issue is that my wife and I like to use the same computer, use our own email accounts, bookmarks and other settings and not be stuck switching users in Vista all the time. If we both used IE7 then we'd have to log off and on to our web-mail accounts all the time....what a pain! The answer was very simple, but I've never heard anyone ever talk about this. We use 2 different web browsers.

On our computer we leave 2 web browsers open all the time. I use Firefox and Lara uses IE7. I don't really have a preference since both browsers to everything we ask. The beauty is that we can both be logged into gmail on the same computer at the same time. When I was up to our computer it's already logged on an ready to go, no fuss no muss.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yahoo mail has me stuck

I've been loyal yahoo mail subscriber since about 2000 but I am considering giving it the boot. But it's not that easy. On one hand the gmail is so good and the new yahoo mail web-client is so, so bad...on the the other hand I am completely investing in my yahoo email address to the point where switching sounds as bad as changing my name.

The web client that yahoo mail released about a year ago has been a horrible experience for me. I like the idea of updating the look and feel to a more rich and interactive interface. What I hate is the FLASHY ads, inability to change my home page, no POP3/IMAP support and the poor reliability of the client itself. I also refuse to pay the $20/year for the yahoo mail plus service. Yahoo mail plus eliminates the adds, home page and POP3 but 20 bucks is 20 bucks. The reliability is something that suprises me. Many times a week when I attempt to view an email message I get "unable to retrieve message" error and I have to come back after a while just to read email. I wonder if it's because I have 3,000 emails in my inbox?

So why not change? 8 years worth of signing up for email alerts and educating the family on my new address doesn't seem worth it. I still have some family members trying to send email to my account from 1999. What are the chances they'll buy into my new email.

Maybe some day I'll switch cold turkey, but until then I'll continue to use and complain about yahoo mail.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bizarre Part 2

To follow up on last night's post. Things seem all fixed without me doing anything.

When I got home from work I noticed that the computer had rebooted itself during the day. When I logged in again the iTunes database was there so iTunes loaded everything just fine, the start menu shortcuts worked and all was well.

It's as if when I rebooted the laptop in an attempt to clear up the internet connection problem Vista didn't load or find my user profile properly. It makes some sense to me that the start menu shortcuts might take a bit flip and not work 1 time, but the vanishing iTunes database is something else. Somehow the entire "Music" folder was different for just that 1 logon session.

It's not to often you get a second chance. I have now backed up the music folder and I'll continue to investigate.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bizarre Computer Behavior

Weird things happened to our computers. 1 is the inability to browse the web and the other is some missing data.

  1. 0745 3/11/08 - downloaded and installed "isitup"
  2. ~0750 3/11/08 - lost ability to browse the web. I could ping the Google ip address but not the Google URL.
  3. I left it alone and went to work. With isitup set to monitor the Google ip and the Google URL.
  4. 1945 3/11/08 - Google ip was good all day but the Google URL was out all day.
  5. Lara plugged in to sync her iPhone but it wouldn't sync since itunes was "empty." The itunes database is gone from the My Music folder so itunes had to start fresh. The music file are still on the server the but the itunes data is gone.
  6. The Documents and Pictures buttons on the start menu do not open anything. The larson, Music and Games buttons do open to the proper folder. The properties of Documents and Pictures are empty as if there are corrupted or something.
  7. Since things are weird I'll start a Mcafee virus scan just in case.
  8. I couldn't browse the web from any computer in the house but I could ping the Google URL and the Verizon DNS ip addresses.
  9. I hard rebooted the Netgear router, but that didn't change anything.
  10. I then reconnected Gateway laptop to the Actiontec router and did an nslookup This didn't work the first time, but after a few seconds I tried and again and it worked.
  11. It's as if this kick started things since now I can browse the web from any computer in the house again. Maybe I need a firmware update to the Actiontec.
  12. 2245 3/11/08 - Opening FireFox (v2.0.0.12) asked me if I wanted to import settings from IE as if this was the first time I'd used FireFox on this computer (ekalaka). I answered no to importing anything. Yet, after opening FireFox I see that my bookmarks are still there.
  13. 1115 3/11/08 - Mcafee finished and it found 18 cookies which Mcafee removed. This doesn't see like a big issue.

Monday, March 3, 2008

editing exif data

I'm liking the geosetter tool ( for updating the date and other metadata "EXIF" information on jpegs. With all these scans of photos it is invaluable to be able to put the correct date on pictures. Geosetter also allow me to put comments, aka "captions," in the jpeg file that is displayed be Windows and Picasa as a caption. The tool helps me put in latitude and longitude and a ton of other metadata.

iPhone 1602 error

When syncing Lara's iPhone I received this error "iPhone could not be updated. An unkown error occurred (1602)" and iTunes wouldn't sync the phone.

A quick google brought up this article on the apple web page (link). This page directed me to completely remove and re-install iTunes. I didn't like the sound of that. So, another google search found this page (link) . This blog gives much better news. All I had to do was connect the phone to a different USB port. This worked like a champ. I then switched back to the original USB port and it still worked, no fuss no muss.

So much for apple's guidance. The lesson learned is to research of a couple different sources before doing anything drastic.