Applecentric

ApplePC1_SN

This post has been a long time coming, and at this point I think it is somewhat appropriate. I have been a Windows user for a very long time, some Linux and Solaris thrown into the mix for a little while but never really Apple. So over the past few years I got introduced to Apple, the first one being the Mac Mini from last year which was an impressive little guy. If you asked me back in 2006 if I would be using a Mac I would say that is blasphemy but now I will happily admit it. Over the years I think that Apple’s hardware has improved drastically and you get the better hardware for a better price unlike before, and OS X and higher is much better then its previous versions with better compatibility. Still I’m really annoyed that they don’t have NTFS built into OS X but I think its just Apple being their usual stubborn self so people can’t use the same external USB/Hard Drive between Apple & Windows Machines. I have been using my iPod for a while now, pretty much since the iPod Touch came out and the useful applications and games. So a few years later I got into my first apple, and it was as if I was walking into an unknown zone. Overall I think Apple does have a winning product but you can’t knock Windows just yet, it does have its good uses and I know you Apple fans do get crazy but it wouldn’t be dominating in the market if it didn’t do something right. A lot of you know how much I love Android products but I do love my iPad, I will admit which platform is better for which application, and Apple knows how to integrate all their products but its annoying how much they lock out other companies from innovating on their platforms. I prefer my Android over iOS by far but I wouldn’t mind it syncing with iTunes so I can get my music, of course there are ways to get around it but I’m too lazy to go through the hassle. Luckily for me I started using Spotify to a large extent and so I depended less on iTunes but still on an Apple device iTunes is worlds better then on Windows, for one thing it works.

ApplePC2_SN

What I really think which is better in which:

Mac:

  • Graphical Items
  • Doesn’t Crash As Much, And Yes It Does Crash Under My Abuse
  • Very Smooth Interface, Very Nice Design Of Their Machines

Windows:

  • Network Management
  • Larger Software Compatibility
  • More Games, Alot More Games
  • Larger Variety of Manufacturers to Choose From

I haven’t really jumped into any video editing yet so I can’t compare between the machines, but most probably I will be trying it out on the Mac for sure. If you ask me which do I use more I would say its 70% Windows 30% Apple, and for work I can only use Windows. Apple can be used in Advertising or Media companies but everything else its Windows, too many work applications just aren’t compatible with Macs.

Google Reader – Officially Being Killed Off By Google

GoogleReader

I know that Google tends to shut down services that aren’t used by people much, but Google Reader! Seriously, I live off of that, and so many apps depend on that, we have until July 1st to use Google Take Out and import our RSS Feeds to other RSS Readers. But at least there are options, cloud based would help if you tend to use your RSS Reader from multiple locations like myself, and Desktop based if only from one or two machines, but then comes the problem of syncing for Desktop Feeders, they are still all linked to Google Reader, so how will they sync between each other. I know the desktop based solutions below sync with Google Reader, I’m not sure how they will sync across from each other.

Your options:

  • CLOUD BASED
  • Feedly
  • NetVibes
  • NewsBlur
  • DESKTOP BASED
  • Android – GReader – The Best For Android
  • Mac – Reeder – Very Clean
  • Winwdows 8 & Windows 8 Phone – NextGen Reader – The Best for that Platform

No matter what other options there are I can’t believe they are doing this, it’s such a good and simple product, to me I depend on it to get through all my feeds and keep tabs on all the websites I follow and there are a lot and to sync between all my feeds is going to be very annoying.

I remember when they cancelled Google Buzz, fine I can understand that, and that collaboration tool that people didn’t know how to use. But Google Reader! Come on Google, just give us this one and let us keep it. Any thoughts people on this? How dependent are you on Google Reader, I know a lot of people don’t read blogs or certain websites as much as they used to but I didn’t think they stopped using Google Reader! Opinions people!

Browser Hacked – Yandex.RU Hack

YANRUSSIA

I am very careful with my machines, I update them constantly and I do regular scans. Sometimes some software crashes or a machine crashes, that happens every once in a while. But I am very careful of what I install or download, so when something weird starts happening I go into lock down mode. The day before my machine was acting fine when the next day any website I enter gets redirect to “Yandex.ru/blahblahblah” I didn’t know why. Some websites would stay but regular websites get redirected.

Googling it on the infected machine was useless because it kept getting redirected so I used a different machine to Google if this happened to anyone. Turns out there is a hostile bot that hijacks websites and automatically redirects them to Yandex.ru which is a Russian search engine/mail provider.

First Step:

  • Turn Off All Add-Ons on Firefox and Chrome
  • Run AVG Virus Scanner & Windows Maleware Defender

Result:

  • The scanners didn’t find anything and the websites didn’t find anything

Next Step:

  • Update Windows, Firefox, Chrome, AVG Definitions, Windows Defender, Chrome & Firefox Add-Ons, Flash, & Java

Result:

  • Still getting redirected

Next Step:

  • Deleted All Cookies, Cleared All Forms, All History from Chrome, Firefox, & Internet Explorer

Result:

  • Thing went back to normal

I won’t lie I was a bit freaked out after each step and I was getting pissed, I thought some random Russian was messing with me and I wanted to punch him. So these are the automatic steps that I took and luckily things cleared up. And usually if worse comes to worse, I would format the machine after trying everything, I would have gotten paranoid that somebody really got into it, but it didn’t reach that point.

One Thing

It just takes one thing for a domino effect to take place when it comes to hardware, I had a failure with one of the tower raids so only half of it was working. So four drives were missing from the WHS and it was issuing warnings left right and center to my computers. I wasn’t sure what was going on but luckily I was able to isolate the location of the drives because that’s another issue and I transferred them to the new TowerRaid, but only three out of the four available were working so one drive was still out. Luckily I had duplication running and everything was safe and dandy in the WHS, at least I didn’t lose any data with a port multiplier failure resulting in four hard drives going missing. That took a little time but I managed to unravel the issue but coming to a full solution is a little bit a head when I butcher the Bunker Server, and that deadline is coming closer and closer.

NetworkCables

After that I went ahead and trying to configure my APC 5000 XLI UPS with a network address but turns out it was having issues. But luckily at the end I managed to configure it correctly and access the wed control panel to see what makes it tick, and it has so many features to mess around with but I will make full use of that when I install the servers over the next two weeks.

Computer Routine

Some people tend to sit on their computer before sleeping or using it as soon as they wake up, I do both. I think I’m addicted to my machines, its a funny routine I go through before regular browsing. Every person has a routine, I tend to have mine, I check torrents being downloaded to the server, then checking my downloads and whats left to be downloaded. As soon as I’m done checking my emails, posts, and regular surfing, I start to organize my downloads. I extract multiple files, and start moving the extracted files to the server and during this period the resources of the PC are pretty much fully used. I leave the PC for about 1.5 hours to finish up all that I’m moving. Its very satisfying to get everything organized, feels like your day is productive and I like  to make sure my connection is fully utilized.

Slight Disconnection

Over the weekend I didn’t touch my laptop, I might have surfed on my N800 but that was about it. I didn’t check my email for a few days or anything else, it was just checking a few things out and getting some rest. Event though I know that there were a few pending emails, my Google reader was going to pile up with things and I knew I had to read all of them, I don’t like marking read without reading through it. It was just one of those things, but it did feel nice to be away from it for a bit.

No More Gaming for Dell XPS

Dell bought out Alienware in 2006 but nothing really changed with the Dell line up or the Alienware line up. Dell XPS gaming line was somewhat in direct competition with Alienware desktop PCs over the past two years, but now Dell has cut their Dell XPS gaming line up, it will continue as a high end line but they will dedicate for the first time the Dell R&D to work with Alienware to make better machines. The result of this work will most probably be showing up next year, it will be interesting for sure.

Link: Crave