February 07, 2006

Renewal of the blood feud

Duke travels to Chapel Hill tonight in the first of two face-offs between bitter, geographically close hated enemies rivals, with the second meeting to occur on March 4.

Quick question for all you supposed college basketball experts: what made you think that "UNC won't be very competitive this year"? Are you all on crack, or do you simply like to spout nonsensical statements in the hopes that people won't notice? I freaking hate UNC's basketball team(my blood runs Duke blue), but I certainly respect them. Oh, and that Roy Williams guy? He's a pretty good coach. You might have heard of him; he won the national championship last year.

So UNC lost their 7 best players from last year. Boo-effing-hoo. Anyone who thinks that Williams couldn't coach some even some high school also-rans to about 20 wins is dreaming. And the guys he brought in this year are a lot better than that.

What were some of the "informed" comments I heard? Here's a sample:

They'll play hard, but they won't come close to cracking the top 25.

Williams needs another recruiting class or two to become competitive in the ACC.

And Sports Illustrated ranked their top 50 teams in the preseason. UNC didn't make that list. I was reading the article whilst sitting on the john, which seemed appropriate because I called BULLSHIT then.

Anyway, if you want to see the best rivalry in college basketball, bar none, you should tune in to watch. I know that I will.

Update: This year's Duke team is going to give me a freaking aneurysm before the season is over. My head hurts and I'm shaking. And Duke won. Eesh.

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Important announcement

Just to let everyone know that I will be hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Please send those recipes to Recipe (dot) Carnival (at) Gmail (dot) com .

Update: Well of course I'm behind the times. Again. Anyway, Prochein Amy is the hostess with the mostess for Carnival #77. It has a pretty yummy chocolate theme going on.

Ugh. That means that I have to think of something for this week. Double ugh.

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Replacing Windows

When you've tired of fixing broken Windows, and are ready to move on to Linux, you're probably confused as to which Linux you should try. After all, there are hundreds of competing Linux distros out there, which is probably one of the bigger reasons why Linux has such a hard time taking on Microsoft. However, you as a typical user can reduce the number of choices dramatically. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has the scoop. Excerpt:

I think the best Linux desktop is the one that's best for a particular person based on their needs and level of Linux expertise. So, the next time someone asks you that question, I suggest you reply with a couple of questions of your own.

For example, you could ask, "Do you want to replace Windows? For home? For work? Are you interested in Linux because you want to get some new life out of an old system? Do you just want to mess around with Linux?" And so on...

Then, once you know where they're coming from, you can give the best possible answer.

For what it's worth, here's what I'd tell someone today based on some of the more common answers I get to my questions.

I want a home Windows replacement.

For these folks, I have an additional question: "Do you want just the software basics, or do you want to shop around for other open-source software?"

If they just want the basics, I recommend Xandros Inc.'s eponymous Xandros 3 Desktop. The Xandros line has been meant from the start to persuade Windows users to give Linux a try.

In my experience, Xandros is the closest to Windows XP you're going to get with a Linux system. Now, for some of you, I know that's the last thing you want, but for someone who knows Windows well, it may be exactly what they want and need.

On the other hand, Xandros doesn't have a lot of ready-to-use software outside of the basic package. If your friend really wants to try out a lot of Linux software but couldn't tell apt-get from an RPM, then Linspire Inc.'s Linspire Five-0 is the Linux for you.

I know it's fashionable in some Linux purist circles to make fun of Linspire, but it's well past time to get over that nonsense. Linspire is a good, solid Debian-based Linux, and like Xandros, it goes out of its way to be new-user friendly.

Linspire also far out-does Xandros with its easy-to-use CNR (click and run) new software installation system. With CNR, even your grandma can install Linux programs.

If your friend wants more than just something that looks like XP, but looks like a particular Windows set up, they should also check out the combination of Versora's Progression Desktop and Win4Lin's Win4Lin Pro.

Progression Desktop migrates Windows and Windows programs' settings and data from Windows to many Linuxes, including Xandros and Linspire. For example, you can use it to transfer Outlook on Windows messages to Thunderbird on Linux. Win4Lin enables you to run Windows 2000 or XP as a virtual machine in Linux. The companies have bundled these together to make a single package.

While I haven't had a chance to really review this combo, I have tried it out with Xandros and an XP set up, and it does seem to deliver the goods. Look for a real review of the pairing soon, here at DesktopLinux.com

As it is, I've tested about 13 separate livd CD Linux distros, but still haven't come to a decision, although I'm leaning towards Slackware Linux. Eventually I'll choose. When I do, I'll post a report here.

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How do you fix Windows?

In my opinion, a crowbar and/or an incendiary device will work just fine. However, if, unlike me, you're not in the mood to chuck your Microsoft driven PC out a second floor window yet, you might want to check out this article, which gives some great information on how to fix Windows' error. Recovering data when your operating system goes BOOM! is also covered. The solution is, not surprisingly, to use a bootable Knoppix CD.

If your Windows system crashes completely and cannot be recovered using the registry editor or the boot.ini, you may face some serious problems if important data on the system wasn't backed up. Knoppix can come to your rescue by enabling you to access your Windows partition and save your important data to multiple devices for restoration later. These devices include USB jump drives (also called flash drives or key drives), CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, and copying data over the network. This section explains how to recover and save the data that you'll restore after you have re-installed Windows following a crash.

Preparing for Data Recovery The most common mistake when recovering data from a system is failing to retrieve all of it because of haste. What you leave behind is typically the data you end up needing the most, so take your time and ensure you are capturing everything valuable. The most common area for data storage is in the Documents and Settings folder (usually /mnt/hda1/Documents and Settings), which is Windows' default for saving most of all users documents, music, pictures, and so on. If there are any non-standard directories into which you or your users save data, consider those as well.

Look, I understand why most people don't want to switch from Linux to Windows. It's still a geeky, not quite ready for primetime operating system. I'm an enormous nerd and I have issues getting a printer installed. However, the advantages of using a fully functional OS, with all of the associated bells and whistles, for data recovery purposes cannot be overlooked. Trust me when I tell you that the Microsoft recovery floppy disk that I've used in the past does not give you much beyond the ability to use your CD-ROM drive. If nothing else, having a bootable Linux CD around provides some piece of mind. Unless your PC catches fire and the hard drive slags down and stops spinning, you'll be able to recover most of your data in the event of a Windows crash.

Don't live Knoppix? Fine. Use Damn Small Linux , which comes in around a whopping 50Mb.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 09:43 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 06, 2006

Superbowl commercials

Ads aired during the Extra Large Superbowl can be found here. Go Daddy.com ads deemed to risque to air can be viewed here.(Scroll down)

And now a gratuitous Go Daddy girl images found here.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 04:33 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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I question the validity

Via Bane comes the quiz whose results are listed below:

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...

But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Only 40%? Umm, no. Not even freakin' close.

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February 02, 2006

I'm not a coffee drinker...

But there is one Starbuck that I like. Here's an interview with Katie Sackhoff, figther pilot extraordinaire on BSG.

Thank Dean for the link.

Question: does Katie look like she's in better shape this year? Maybe it's just me, but she sure is looking good this season.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 10:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 01, 2006

Recovering data

Do you use a USB flash drive? Do you want to know if it's possible to recover deleted/lost data? It is. Excerpt:

If you need help recovering data which you have accidentally deleted, you are in luck. This is the problem with the most simple solution and the highest chance of success, so long as the deleted data has not been overwritten. In order to recover the deleted information you simply need to employ a program which can read the drive for you information and restore it. Some freeware options for task can be found here.

If you have written over your deleted data or even formatted the drive the chance of recovering your data is less than before but there is still hope. Your best bet is to try Photo Rec, a free program which works with almost any OS, including Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and even Solaris. Downloads are available here. The program may see strange at first, but with some time is has proven to work well.

Posted by: Physics Geek at 03:56 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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