Free CD Burning Software for Windows

February 27, 2006

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If you have a CD or DVD burner, but don't have software with it you can use CDBurnerXP Pro. It's free and doesn't contain any spyware. Another alternative is Deep Burner. Also, free and devoid of spyware. Personally, I use CDBurnerXP Pro becuase it has a "verify" festure that checks a disk after it's burned to make sure everything copied over correctly.


Windows MD5 software

February 27, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Lots of times when you download something from the internet you might be given an "MD5" sum as well. It's a string of 32 characters that can be letters or numbers and might looks something like this: 39b7b778a278b02be72b53e75c0225e2 The reason sites provide this is to allow you to verify that the file you downloaded came in properly and is complete and wasn't tampered with. If you have windows and you want to verify an MD5 hash sum, you can install WinMD5Sum This will add a new item when you right click on a file under the "Send To" menu. If you send a file to WinMD5Sum it'll show you the hash number. If it matches the one you got on the web site you originally downloaded from you can be sure the file downloaded exactly as expected.


Native Windows RAW Image Viewer

February 27, 2006

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

Microsoft has a download for viewing RAW files from some digital cameras without the need for an external application. RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP Just gave it a quick test and it seemed to work fine. I don't think it alters the RAW file in anyway so it should make it easy to sort images before running them thru PhotoShop. Of course, I use Breeze Browser most of the time anyway, but it's nice to have the option.


WordCount

February 26, 2006

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It would be interesting if you could do a word count on the everything you say. With voice analysis software getting better, this might actually be possible before too long. (Of course, this is where the paranois kicks in about having everything you say recorded…)


Medication Station

February 26, 2006

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Managing several prescriptions can be notoriously difficult. As we get older the general decrease in eye site and sharpness of memory can compound this to the point where it's beyond our ability to do it safely. It's at that point that a care provider should be called in, even if there is not another reason they would be necessary. With the inevitable arrival of RFID chips in basically everything there is a potential solution that can help us stay independent longer. The basic idea is to have a small medication station with a clock, a large display, several slots to hold medicine bottles, an embedded RFID reader and an optional internet connection (wireless and/or wired). Whenever a new prescription comes in, you would simply put the bottle in one of the storage slots in the station. Info about the number of pills in the bottle and the frequency with which they should be take would be automatically read into the station. Whenever it's time to take a dose the station would alert you with some type of alarm (flashing light, buzzer, radio coming on, whatever…). You would walk over to the station and it would illuminate the bottle you need with LEDs under its slot and tell you how many pills you need to take from it. Once you do, you would hit a button that lets the station know that you've taken them. If you have more pills to take from another prescription at the same time it would illuminate that bottle and give you the number of pills to take. Once you have had everything you need, it would give you a note saying you are finished. (There could also be a nice soothing voice that tells you what to do in addition to the screen.) If you have the optional internet connection, the medication station can send a request for a new prescription when you are running low. If you are out of refills it can send a request for a new script to you doctor's office. (If someone patents this all I ask is that you give me a fair cut for the idea.)


Laaaaaazer Printer

February 26, 2006

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Just got an HP LaserJet 1020 printer. A huge portion of the stuff I print is just for the text. Articles, receptings from online purchases, documentation, etc… I got fed up with how long it takes to print this stuff on my Epson Photo printer and the cost of ink. I'm very impressed with the HP. It is very fast, not horribly loud and the toner is considerably less expensive per printed page. I also like the actual output more as well. Text just looks crisper and I'm not worried about it fading. Newegg happend to have it on sale the day I went to buy it for $120 including shipping. I'm already pleased with the purchase and I'll probably save that much from the reduce opperating cost in the first year. Two thumbs up.


Buzzers

February 25, 2006

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Why do only cloths dryers have buzzers and not washing machines?


Old News/Propaganda

February 25, 2006

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The National Archives and Google have teamed up to provide some amazing videos. I just watched a United News clip from 1942. Makes me shake my head a little again at how cool the internet is. This got me thinking about modern day gov. propaganda and if we will see more of it as the War on Terror continues in perpetuity.


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