Monthly Archives: May 2004

Skype Last night Patrick Ahern and I engaged in o…


Last night Patrick Ahern and I engaged in our first Skype phone call. It was a 9 minute conversation from here in Knoxville to his home in San Diego. I was using a headset by Plantronics, and he was using the mic and the speakers on his computer. The voice quality was amazingly good, but because he wasn’t using a headset, I could hear my own voice faintly picked up by his mic, since his speakers were a part of the ambient sound on his end. Although it isn’t necessary to speak and then say “over” so the other person knows to go ahead and speak, there is a tendency to overtalk one another, something most of us probably do when talking on a “normal” telephone. But I suspect that more practice in using it would help to overcome that tendency. If you should decide to join in the FREE experiment with Skype, my user name on the service is (surprise!, surprise!) perrynelson. Add me to your list of contacts and let’s talk.

Spring cleaning … of the electronic variety I t…

Spring cleaning … of the electronic variety

I try to keep my home clean, but often I fail. My dedication to keeping my electronic house in order is probably greater than is my dedication to my physical home, but even with the electronic one, I often fail. So every once in a while, it’s time to clean house. That has been this weekend’s project.

Since installing the new hard disk yesterday and setting up Win XP as the operating system (OS), I’ve realized how good it is to move out of one house into another. Many of the files and programs that have accumulated from downloads and experiments through the years can be discarded when going to the new location, and the freshness of the pristine territory prompts all kinds resolutions to do a better job of cleaning up after those experiments in the future.

One of the issues when moving to a new home, whether it’s a physical one or an electronic one, is how to arrange things in the new space. I wish knew of a course in the options for hard disk organization. On XP the issue of where to store things is more pressing and somewhat more confusing than it was on previous versions of Windows because of the possibility other users will want to have their own preferences when they are given access to the system. In my case, living alone is something of a blessing since I have to be less concerned than others might about making my computer “comfortable” for others. I’ll be the only regular user. Still, I’d like to use the operating system’s ability to segregate and separate multiple user’s settings and preferences intelligently. So I’m faced with those choices in the coming days as I migrate some of the older things to the new digs. I’ll try to keep you posted.

Making Changes Today I’m undertaking installing a…

Making Changes

Today I’m undertaking installing a new hard disk on my system, a 160 GB Maxtor hard disk, and installing a new operating system, Win XP Pro. Since one never knows what may happen when he undertakes such a project, I could be offline for a while. If you don’t receive a reply to a message you send me or otherwise find me uncommunicative, that could be the explanation. I’ll post another entry when I’ve completed the project and am back to operating normally.

Sasser Worm This article from the Toronto Star su…

Sasser Worm

This article from the Toronto Star suggests that the Sasser worm might infect the Internet for years to come. They say: “Unlike most previous Internet outbreaks, Sasser infects vulnerable PCs without any action by the user like opening attachments, allowing it to spread quickly. Computer worms tend to spread faster than the typical e-mail-borne virus since they are usually programmed to continuously scan the Internet’s global network to hunt for PCs to infect.

Experts said while corporate network technicians had by and large moved to block its further spread yesterday, infection among home users was spreading.”

Here’s a link to Symantec’s free removal tool, for those of you who haven’t already applied Microsoft’s recommended patch.