Werbick's World
Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit. ~ He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow.----Ovid

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Windows 8 First Impressions

09/20/2011

The Windows 8 Developer Preview is out. After trying it on my touch enabled netbook, my first impression is mixed…

The good- the ‘Metro’ style tiles on the start menu are very touch friendly.
The bad- The ‘Metro’ style tiles are VERY mouse unfriendly.
My take-away is- Touch and mouse deserve two different interfaces. The same large tiles that make for easy touch-screen navigation mean that one must drag the mouse that much further to get the same job done. In my opinion. it is a mistake for Microsoft to push this UI on everyone. Honestly, ‘Metro’ should not even be enabled unless a touch screen is detected. On a tablet I might like that the start menu takes up the entire screen. But for mouse users it’s a real pain.

In addition the ‘Metro’ web browser not supporting plug-ins (not even Silverlight?!) is a mistake. The web is moving towards HTML 5 anyway. Why force it? Do I really want to lose the touch friendly interface just because the website I’m browsing requires a plug-in? (No!)

Microsoft has been on an every other release rocks(or sucks for the pessimists) cycle for a while now. Windows 7 (Rocks!), Vista (Sucks!), XP, (Rocks!), Millenium (Sucks!), etc. They appear to be right on track. If they aren’t careful Windows 8 will be another iteration to skip.

Other impressions-
They’ve added another layer of abstraction for administrators to wade through. It took me 15 minutes to find the control panel. For users this may not be huge. But for sysadmins it’s a definite minus. I understand that the settings can be administered via Active Directory/Group Policy. But what about small businesses without a domain server? Microsoft is very close to making Linux more viable for the many busines workstations than Windows. Are they snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? Only time will tell.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to like in WIndows 8. The lock screen is beautiful. Boot time is impressive. Hover overs on the desktop are instinctive and nice. However presuming that one UI can be optimized for both mouse and touch input is a serious mistake. A mistake that there’s time to rectify. But unless they listen carefully to the feedback they receive, I’ll be waiting for Windows 9…

Another pet peeve- Why can’t I install this in a Hyper-V virtual machine on Windows 7??? It’s a developer preview for heaven’s sake. Do I really need to sacrifice a real box to try it? (That was a WTF moment for me! Especially since it installs fine on third party virtual solutions like VirtualBox and VMWare. But I did get to see the pretty new ‘blue screen of death’.)

Just my two cents. (more than I’d pay for Windows 8 right now unfortunately.)

 
Friday, September 16, 2011

Reno Air Crash

09/16/2011

I just got home and saw this… I am in shock.

My heart goes out to all the injured and dead, Jimmy Leeward you are a hero! All eye-witness accounts report your bravery. You piloted your craft away from the grandstands as best you could. To those in the box seats who were injured or worse, all of our prayers are with you. This is a horrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this crash. But to the loved ones of Jim Leeward- Know that he saved lives, a lot of them. Take comfort in the fact that he was a great pilot who did everything he could to save the lives of the spectators who were there when his 65 year old plane failed him… He will be remembered.

 
Sunday, July 24, 2011

On Psuedonimity Online

07/24/2011

Recently, Google+ has made the news (and not in a good way) for disabling or deleting accounts which violate their ‘name policy’. In short the policy is ‘Use your real name or face deletion.’ They have taken heat for doing this in an automated fashion, for not providing prior notice to users or giving them a chance to correct the ‘violation’ a priori and for providing little recourse or redress to those affected. While I agree that all of this is an appalling gaffe on their part, for me the failure to enforce the policy in a fair and consistent manner is not the issue. For me the issue is the policy itself.

Google will of course claim that the TOS is designed to prevent spam and malicious behavior. Never mind that being able to link web-tracking data to real names greatly increases the monetary value of that data to advertisers. Never mind that Google now owns Doubleclick. It’s one thing to know that the person @ IP address 74.132.34.251 reads entertainment news or shops at Macy’s or is looking for a new car and mostly looking at Audis. It is another thing entirely to know that Charles Werbick is doing this, to have all of his personal contact info, his entire Android phone book, to know who his friends are, and how close (thanks to Circles). The truth is that linking browsing history to real names does instantly make the data they already collect far more valuable. For Google to say that this is in for our benefit is disingenuous at best. Creeped out yet?  

I am and I reject Google’s premise that pseudonyms online are bad.

Google should allow pseudonyms.  Note- I haven’t had my Google+ account deleted (yet). It is under my real name and links to this site. But I take issue with Google’s name policy on moral grounds.  Pseudonyms protect free speech on the Internet and allow those who might not otherwise have a voice to speak freely or even seek critically needed help. People like-

·         Those in or recently out of domestic abuse situations who fear reprisal

·         People who live in repressive regimes who could be jailed for only their words

·         People who have jobs that tend to make them enemies (police, judges, etc.)

·         Whistleblowers exposing corporate or government corruption.

·         People with disabilities that hold societal taboo/stigma like mental illness

Do we really want Google+ to be the tool that the abusive spouse uses to find his ex? Or the convicted felon uses to find the judge that put him away? And like it or not, there IS a taboo against the mentally ill in our society. Right now there are a lot of resources online where people who are suffering depression or other illness can get help relatively anonymously. Would you like google to know that you’re seeking treatment or help for bipolar disorder (or even hemorrhoids for that matter)?

What about writers and celebrities who are known by their pseudonyms? Must Eminem’s profile say ‘Marshall Mathers’?

C’mon Google. Time to follow your own policy- DON’T BE EVIL.

Charles Werbick

 

 

 

 
Saturday, June 04, 2011

Review: Allen & Heath Zed 10FX Mixer with USB

06/04/2011

Pros:

  • USB Connectivity
  • Nice hot microphone pre-amps!
  • Onboard Effects
  • Best mixer I’ve seen at this price point (Available new for $299.95 got mine refurbed for $220)
  • Highly configurable
  • Rugged construction. (Modular, each channel is on a separate circuit board making repair cheaper.)
  • USB is PC/Mac/Linux compatible. I’m running Ubuntu Studio on an Asus netbook with Ardour/Audacity/Hydrogen/etc.
  • Would be great for podcasting!

Cons:

  • No sliders (If you like that kind of thing…)
  • Only one stereo channel in and one out via USB
  • Easy to overdrive so beginners may have problems with noise until it’s dialed in

Overview:

Let me start by saying the Allen & Heath Zed-10FX mixer is an excellent live mixer with USB capabilities. It is not an excellent recording board that can be used live. Don’t get me wrong. I use it as my home recording studio and it’s great! But where it really shines is live mixing and recording. This board is a trooper. It has 4 microphone pre-amps, 2 Hi-Z channels so it can accept a guitar instead of line-level input. So it can sit in between your instruments and your amp/PA. USB out means you can record off the board. (Or use software to loop or add effects depending on latency.) In addition it has 2 stereo line inputs and the playback/USB input for a total of 10 channels. Besides the mains out, you get an effects and an aux. bus out. Monitor and headphone outs add to the fun.

Live:

Live performance is a breeze with this mixer. Beware the mains out are XLR so you need an impedance matching 1/4” adapter to plug this into a guitar amp. Also if your not using USB kill the playback channel. The adapter canb generate noise when not in use. (When you’re using it it’s fine.) I use the USB bus to record or to loop/generate effects. As mentioned earlier I’ve an Asus netbook running Ubuntu Studio and I see less than 10ms latency, fine for effects. Disclaimer- It does have 2Gb RAM and a Runcore SSD. ) Also the headphone bus accepts different inputs. So it can be used to check effects, tracks or record out prior to adding to the mains.

Home Recording:

I say this isn’t a ‘recording board’. That’s not enrirely true. What I mean is that you only get one stereo out to USB. So you can record one stereo track or two mono tracks at a time. For me this is fine. I’m not limited in software so I can keep recording tracks forever and pot-process to my heart’s content. (If you want to record multitracks look @ Tascam mixers and recorders.) I don’t use the onboard effects when recording. I do use the USB playback to loop sometimes. Or I’ll use Hydrogen to add a beat.

Podcasting:

I’m a musician not a ‘podcaster’ but this would be a great board for those who create web audio content. Onboard effects, 4 microphone pre-amps, 3 additional stereo inputs and compatibility with Mac/Linux make this board a win.

All in all this is a great little board! It has everything I need. It might not have everything I want. But at this price point, I don’t care.

 

All in all this mixer is a great purchase for live gigs, podcasting, DJ’s or a small home studio. For the price it really can’t be beat. USB is quieter than the Behringer models I’ve used. If you need something more check out the higher end Allen & Heath Boards. If you don’t need USB or effects, look for a Mackey 1202. They’ve got 12 tracks and are very quiet noise-wise.  If you need USB but only have one or two mic’s look at Alesis. 

 

 
Monday, October 11, 2010

Samsung phone touchscreens hate Airplanes!

10/11/2010

Got a Samsung smartphone that the touchscreen mysteriously stopped working on? Just take a plane trip? Read on…

Here’s one for the books. About two months ago after flying on business my Samsung Omnia’s touchscreen stopped working. Since the handset has no physical keyboard, I had to switch phones. About a week later I turned it on and it worked fine. I chalked it up to a software problem and reactivated the phone.

Two weeks later and another business trip… As soon as the plane takes off, blam! No touchscreen. I turn to my boss to show him as I’ve just had an epiphany- It’s the pressure change! He pulls out his Samsung Epix and it’s doing the exact same thing! His touchscreen is useless. Mine started working once the plane landed at sea level. But his didn’t work again until we were home (which is 6000ft elevation).

Since then I’ve run into 3 other Samsung smartphone users who are having this issue. All travel on business and all are used to losing the use of their touchscreen once the pressure changes…

So if you’ve got a Samsung Smartphone and the touchscreen just quit working after that plane trip, don’t throw it in the trash.Turn it off for a few days and wait for the pressure to equalize and you might get your phone back.

Note also- This didn’t happen when the phone was new. Part of me thinks there’s a vent hole that gets clogged with crud as time goes by. But it only seems to happen with the older Windows Mobile Handsets… More of a phone wearing out thing than a design flaw…

Hope this helps someone out there!
Charles

 
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fix Your Asus EEE PC Power Supply !

03/14/2010

I own a (highly modified) Asus EEE PC 901. I noticed that every once in a while the Power brick would stop working for no apparent reason. It was plugged in. But the blue light wouldn’t come on and the netbook would not charge. The first time it happened was not fun. I was plugging in because the battery was dead and I had work to finish. When it didn’t charge the netbook, I had to scramble to copy my data to a thumb drive before the computer died…

If you’ve had this problem as well, here’s how to fix it and how to prevent it from happening again-

The Fix- Unplug the adapter from the wall for a few minutes. If that doesn’t work or you are in a hurry stick the brick in a freezer for 5-10 minutes. (See explanation below.)

Prevention- Asus EEE power supplies are meant to be cheap and lightweight just like the computers they power. However, in reducing the cost/weight of the device they seem to have introduced a problem. If the power supply is plugged into AC (the wall) but not plugged into the netbook, then the power supply overheats internally. To prevent this- Always plug the power supply into the EEE PC before plugging it into the wall!

Note- Don’t leave the power adapter in the freezer for long periods of time. If you do, moisture may condense inside the brick and damage the electronics. 5 to 10 minutes is sufficient. If your power supply still doesn’t work, plug it in to the wall, put your ear up to the brick and listen. If you hear a ‘click-click-click’ then the wire from the brick to the netbook is likely shorted. If you hear nothing either the cable from the brick to the wall is bad, or the brick itself is toast…

 

 
Sunday, February 28, 2010

My New Application

02/28/2010

An application I wrote for mobile phones has made it through certification to the Windows Mobile Marketplace.

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve just finished an application called the Handset Recovery Utility and it has now passed certification and is available through the Marketplace for Windows Mobile for any handset running Windows Mobile Professional 6.0 or better.
The application uses SMS to locate a mobile phone remotely should it become lost or stolen. It’s P2P so there’s no server or subscription required. It can use GPS as well as Wifi/cell tower data (via the Skyhook Wireless API) to determine the mobile’s location. Using the Handset Recovery Utility you can- unmute the device and sound an alert, have your phone call you if the alert is canceled, find your phone’s location via text message/email, retrieve contacts from the phone remotely as a vcard and even remotely hard-reset your handset to delete sensitive data should the device be stolen!

I’m very excited to have gotten it to market. It took 4 months to write, debug and certify. Whether it sells thousands or not, the knowledge I’ve gained in the process makes it time and money well spent. I’m continuing to develop more applications for Windows Mobile. Some of these apps may also make it to Android or Maemo. (Got a soft spot in my heart for Linux. What can I say?)

Anyway if you’re running Windows Mobile and tend to misplace your phone, check out the Handset Recovery Utility in the Marketplace.- $6.99 For more info about the Handset Recovery Utility, see the support page.

Cheers,
Charles

 
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Windows 7 on the Asus EEE PC901 Micro-Tutorial

11/03/2009

Hello all. I’ve been running the Windows 7 RC on my Asus EEE PC901 for some months now and have been extremely happy with how it runs. Microsoft has done a great job making the RAM footprint smaller for netbooks. The result is an OS that has the features of Vista with the stability and speed of XP. Of course I know I’m echoing the pundits here. But now that Windows 7 is out for real, I thought I’d pass on some tips for how to get it running on your EEE PC901(or other atom based EEE).

Installing Windows

In order to install Windows 7 you’ll need either an external USB DVD drive, or a USB stick and a second computer. I have an external DVD. So I just booted to the Windows DVD and installed. If you don’t have a DVD but you do have a second computer, you might try installing from a USB stick. Instructions for making it a bootable install medium are here. (Alternate instructions here.)

Additional Drivers

Once the install is completed most things work. Even the touchscreen mod I did right after I bought the PC was recognized immediately and required only calibration. Most importantly, ethernet and wi-fi work. This allows us to download the rest of the drivers we need. What doesn’t work is- ACPI and multitouch on the trackpad. Don’t worry, we just need the right drivers.

To get ACPI and hotkeys running two things must be installed. First is the updated Intel graphics driver available from Intel. Once that’s installed, get the Asus ACPI driver here Once both drivers are installed, ACPI and hotkeys should be fully functional.

Now go get the newest Elantech Windows 7 multitouch trackpad driver and install it. This gives you all those neat iPhone multitouch gestures like zoom and rotate, as well as a bunch of other cool stuff. Once it’s installed the settings are in the control panel.

At this point all your hardware should be up and running. But there are still improvements and tweaks to make.
For one, I’d like bluetooth to actually do stuff, so we’ll upgrade the bluetooth to the Widcomm stack.(Totally optional. But worth it. So do it anyway…) the download is available here. Execute it and follow the instructions for a bunch of additional bluetooth profiles.

Other Tweaks

Oh, did I mention I’m running on a Runcore 32G SSD? So to minimize drive writes and save space, I disable system restore. I also use the Advanced system options in the ‘System’ settings of the control panel to disable virtual memory. I also did a couple other things (like move my temp files to c:\\temp so I can clean them easily) which are not at all required to get things running and are probably just a manifestation of my wanting to know- ‘What’s going on in there?’

The result? A small lightweight computer that operates flawlessly for 5 hours on battery. If you decide to install Windows 7 on your netbook, you’ll likely be pleased. I know that I am…

 
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5- If it’s done, why are the buttons moving around?

08/26/2009

Is Windows Mobile 6.5 Schizophrenic?

Back in mid-May, Microsoft’s WinMo dev team, via twitter, offered us the following-

"For the record, Windows Mobile 6.5 is DONE . . . complete . . . looks really good."

 The tweet was quickly removed, but it’s true. Windows Mobile 6.5 does indeed look really good. Each new build that has leaked out onto the Internet seems faster and more stable than the last.

But for an Operating System that is "DONE", it’s sure changing a lot still. Specifically, the newer (>23017ish) builds, have moved the Start and OK buttons to the bottom of the screen. Now there’s a clock in the taskbar and if one taps on it a larger ‘finger-friendly’ bar appears-

New-

  Old-

 

Honestly, I’m not sure whether I like this change or not. I do seem to lose screen real-estate in some apps, but the ‘OK’ button on the bottom is faster and more convenient. Having the ‘Start’ button on the bottom is proving annoying so far, mostly because I’m used to having it on the top. The one thing I will say is- It doesn’t bode well though that an OS that was ‘DONE’ 3 months ago is still undergoing such drastic changes. It really does seem to be shifting about like a chameleon from build to build. For all we know next week the buttons will be back at the top.

Why is this happening? Only Gates knows. Best Guess: Microsoft is leaking these builds intentionally and monitoring online response to see what people want. It’s the shotgun approach applied to development. Build every possible version, give them all to the marketing team and let them sort it out. This method works, but has the downside of making the dev team look like they don’t have a clue.

In the end though, it is kind of fun to watch the OS evolve from build to build…

 
Sunday, August 16, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 Preview

08/16/2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 is a pleasant surprise! But it’s likely to be overlooked…

Well, I don’t know about you. But I seem to be surrounded by iPhones lately. Not that my handset is inadequate. It’s a Samsung Omnia i910 on Verizon. (Quick specs- CPU 533Mhz, Camera 5.0MP, Display 400x240 WQVGA, includes haptic feedback, accelerometer, GPS, & resistive touch screen.) On paper, it’s in the same neighborhood as the iPhone with the notable exception of multi-point touch capability. So why does it feel so clunky? In a word-

WinMo 6.1

I’ve got nothing against Windows on my computer. I’m actually very pleased so far with Windows 7 on my netbook. (Next blog perhaps?) But to be completely honest, the last thing I want to see when I look at my handset is a Windows desktop. Looking at my Omnia screen was very much like looking back into the past at Windows 98. In fact my 533 MHZ handset could probably actually run Windows 98…

Obviously I’m not alone in this feeling. HTC developed touch-flo hide the clunk. And winmo users by the thousands have installed Touch-Flo onto their non-HTC handsets to get a usable phone. Microsoft has been working hard on their answer as well- Titanium is part of the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5.

So I knuckled down and stepped out onto the bleeding edge. I flashed my Omnia with a cooked winmo 6.5 ROM. Actually I tried several and finally settled on one after flashing 4 times.

 

The Good-

  • Titanium- The new UI is much better than anything Microsoft has done previously for WinMo. Touch input is smooth and instinctive. Objects have inertia and can be ‘flicked’ easily. The home screen has transparency. But best of all the widgets are actually useful. In minutes I had weather, email, media, favorite contacts, all set up. Also I was able to use a utility called CHomeEditor to customize what my home screen actually displays, and in what order.

  • File Explorer- The file explorer in Windows Mobile basically sucked. It was a pain to navigate around, copy/paste, etc. The new file explorer is much better. The location bar at the top expands to a tree-view, allowing for much faster navigation.

  • Start Menu- The transparent honeycomb style start menu is a welcome change as well. It is definitely easier to hit the right icon on a small screen with staggered rows. Scrolling is also much improved.

  • Speed- Even using a ‘stock’ 6.5 ROM. Windows Mobile 6.5 is faster and seems more stable than 6.1. On 6.1 I would experience occasional lock-ups when recieiving texts or calls. That has not happened yet on 6.5. (crosses fingers)

  • Phone- Phone functions are better integrated into the OS. By that I mean that the screen lock or apps running no longer interferes with answering a call. This is huge as I previously missed around 1 in 5 calls even though I was wildly hammering on the ‘answer’ key.

  • Usability- The upshot of all of the above is this: My Omnia is now usable! I’m loathe to flash back to Verizon’s firmware. But I’m not sure I’m brave enough to rely on a ‘beta’ handset… Alas.

The Bad-

  • You’re never gonna get it. Let me explain. Windows Mobile comes out next month. But very few current handsets will get official firmware upgrades. To get Windows Mobile 6.5 from your carrier, you’ll likely have to purchase a new handset. Is that fair? (Can I get a ‘Hell No!’?) Windows Mobile has been clunky and broken forever. Windows Mobile 6.5 is the first version that’s not. Microsoft’s development team has done a very good job. In a perfect world, they would push the 6.5 OS to all existing Windows Mobile 6.1 devices. Unfortunately, handset manufacturers rely on OS upgrades to pump up sales. Where does this leave the average user? My best guess is- Shopping for an iPhone.

The Ugly-

  • If you’re not the ‘average user’, then you may wish to explore the seedy, scary, weird world of embedded hacking, cooked ROMs and the like. It’s a magical world where in just a few minutes you can turn you phone into almost anything, even a brick. (Who am I kidding? Especially a brick.wink ) But if one wants to try Windows Mobile 6.5, this may be the only game in town.

Conclusion- Windows Mobile 6.5 Rocks! Microsoft has finally made a mobile OS that works. But it is not going to see as many handsets as it should. Current WinMo users will either flash a cooked ROM or wait for WinMo 7. Most people who are on the fence will likely buy an iPhone or Blackberry. If Microsoft wants to compete with RIM and Apple, they should push the carriers to allow upgrades to 6.5 to most (if not all) 6.1 capable devices. All of the improvements are long overdue. It’s just too bad that tens of thousands of Windows Mobile users will never see them.

Disclaimer- Flashing one’s handset with a cooked ROM is RISKY. At the very least you will void your warranty. At worst you can brick your phone completely. In addition, I do not advocate breaking the law. This is not a how-to. If you’re interested in learning about such things hit the resources links below. I’ll not post direct links to firmware or tools here. Don’t ask, UTFSE and as always-Hack at your own risk!

Resources-

http://modaco.com/

htttp://howardforums.com

http://xda-developers.org

http://ppcgeeks.com

 

 

Cheers,

Charles

 

 
Sunday, May 10, 2009

1 watt Handheld IR laser - Part I

05/10/2009

This article details my 1 watt IR laser build. Originally I wanted to build a 2 Watt handheld infrared LASER from a flashlight and a diode I purchased. However the flashlight runs 3xAAA batteries. The best AAA batteries I could find (lithium) are only rated to 1500mA. That only gets me around 1 1/4 Watts. That’s close to the maximum a 9mm can diode can dissipate anyway. So I decided to build a 1 Watt IR laser as an exercise in whimsy… (I have absolutely no use for it, just playing around.)

Parts List
1 Flashlight (SKU 13806 from dealextreme.com)
1 4 Watt 9mm 904-914nm laser diode
1 13806 heatsink (from user jayrob at laserpointerforums.com)
1 Meredith brass module with glass lens (mi-lasers.com)
1 LM2904 Op-Amp (single rail)
1 IRLZ14 mosfet
1 1k 15 turn trimmer
1 2.2k 1/4W resistor
1 1N4001 diode
1 0.1 Ohm 3 watt resistor
1 predrilled PCB from radio shack
wire
solder

Step 1 coming soon…

 
Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Something from Nothing (Beating Moore’s Law)

05/05/2009

Something from nothing, while an attractive title is disingenuous. The honest way to say it would be ‘Working with what one has.’ This article addresses IT concerns. But the same ideas are widely applicable elsewhere.

Moore’s Law is simple. It states that cumputers double in power(for the same cost) every 18 months. This Law has held steady despite ever shrinking transistors, and ever increasing heat dissipation problems. Even as components shrink to a point where the size of electrons becomes a problem, Quantum Computing looks to take the reins and keep Moore’s Law going just a while longer.

So Businesses have been replacing computers every 18-36 months to keep up. But why?. I recently asked myself this question. I was called to troubleshoot an email problem for a small business I work with. Exchange had crashed. The drive holding the mail database had filled. Keep in mind, I installed this server in 2000, upgraded it to SBS 2003 in 2006. At the time the drive finally filled it had been in service over 9 years! I was able to free up 15 gigabytes in unused apps and old data. That’ll probably get them another 2 years. Moore’s Law did not come into play. The server isn’t that busy. The firewall protecting the SBS server is an old workstation from 1999 that originally came with Windows 98. It now runs Gentoo Linux. It hasn’t been rebooted in almost a year. What can I say? IPTables just doesn’t take that much CPU, neither does Apache.

What I’m getting at here is this- To minimize cost, Companies should base IT costs and plans around what they NEED, then try to fulfill those needs with what they HAVE before pulling out the checkbook. Most small to medium sized business don’t see tons of traffic. That old workstation sitting in the closet could be a first class Firewall or a Proxy or Email Server. One need not even purchase software. If you need a server, Linux was designed for that. Openoffice is a full featured office suite that is open-source and free. Switching to that could save- Number of workstations x Price of MS Office.

Two factors are working together to help businesses. First, Processing power and storage now far exceeds needs. So the server that can do the job most need is really quite minimal compared to the average gaming desktop. Second, A large variety of open source software is now available to handle most business needs. The end result (all kidding aside) is that when your workstation gets to slow to run Windows, you can install Linux on it and make it your server. Kinda weird huh?

So if you’re looking at how to make your network do what it needs, don’t close your eyes to open source! Also, ask yourself, how busy will this server be? Do I really need to spend $7000 on that pretty black box I was drooling over? If your website gets 50000 hits a day, even an old Pentium II could manage it. When you do buy something, base it on your business needs over the next three years. Don’t think- what do I need? Think- What will I need in 3 years? Chances are that still leaves you in the budget server market. (Really most servers don’t do that much.)

There are plenty who will disagree with me I’m sure, and I’m really not trying to be a fanatic. All I’m trying to say is that most businesses have more in their closet than they think they have. Free software can breath new life into old hardware. You might be surprised how much!

Cheers!
Charles

 
Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome!

04/24/2009

Hello Everybody! My name is Charles Werbick. Welcome to my site.
Eventually there will be links to hacks, how-to’s, reviews, and commentary on things that interest me. These things include- Linux, Cellular Handsets and other Embedded Systems, HAM Radio, Lasers, Music, Electronics. (Among other stuff…)

Previously, projects I’ve done have been scattered around the Internet, usually on associated forums. So cellphone hacks ended up on howardforums.com. Maemo programs were at maemo.org or internettablettalk.com. Laser circuits and builds are up on laserpointerforums.com, and so on… Over the course of the next month I’ll be collecting as much as I can from these disparate sources and adding the content to this site. I’m hoping this will allow me keep better track of things. Like many techno-geeks I’ve got terminal ADHD. Having a centralized online journal for these things will allow me to track my projects better. More importantly it should allow me to SHOW OFF. wink

So Check Back Soon!

 
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