Tuesday, May 26, 2009

URLs from 5/26/09

Listen for today's show as a podcast and on UStream.tv
UPDATE: today's show is http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1562876


Lenovo gets real with new lineup


Drive-By "Gumblar" Download Poisons Google Search Results


Safari Beta 4 Security questions

Iphone 3.0


WMUB.org live stream on a Mac
--As of 3/1/09, Miami University no longer programs WMUB or operates the web site http://wmub.org. It's now operated by Cincinnati Public Radio. Mike had reported he was unable to get the stream to air on his Mac. We experienced the same problem. CPR will need to solve it, and we have contacted them.

Audio quality of podcasts
--Joe reported problems when burning our podcasts to CDs. It's true that we keep the specs on these low so that the files aren't large; with the ubiquity of broadband connections, perhaps it's time to revisit that. We don't have an answer as to why Joe's Toast 7 software on his Mac treats these files as .aif; they should be .mp3. We recommended to Joe that he use iTunes to handle the podcasts, and burn from that.

How to change your icon in OS X
--Joe also asked why his SENT folder in Apple Mail shows a picture of him as a gingerbread man. Joe needs to update his listing in his Address Book. The gingerbread man is one of the defaults, but you can sub a picture in any of several graphic formats.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

URLs from 5/19/09

Note: the podcast of today's show was a little late getting on the air; we did not get a recording as we normally do and had to take other measures to recover the audio. You can listen to the Archive recording on UStream.tv -- search for "mub help desk".


Palm PRE to launch in June:

Virtual climb of Mt. Everest:


HP printing in landscape mode takes a very long time:
--We didn't find a definitive answer for this. Suggested she check HP for new drivers for her model (an all-in-one, C5280). Lee suggested that "The reason for slow in landscape may be that it is converting the text to graphics in that mode." Other suggestions: convert to PDF, then print from that (but this may take longer); print a master copy and take to a print shop.

Can't listen to the "new" WMUB online (Mike):
--Cincinnati Public Radio (WVXU), which has operated WMUB since March 1, does not use mp3 streaming as we used to do. At the WVXU.org site, you can download the Mac version of Windows Media Player (version 9.0).

Ants infesting a UPS:
--No guarantees on this, but an old friend of Cleve's suggested using crumbled-up tansy around what you want to protect. Let us know the results!

Can we check our bank account securely using Wi-Fi in a campground?
--Yes. Just make sure:
  • Don't visit a site by clicking a link in an email
  • Type, all by yourself, the URL you need
  • Double-check the spelling
  • Use a secure password
Can get a wireless card for an old Compaq Presario 7594?
--We think so, but if you're trying to save money you might want to check out the new lower-priced netbooks. The Compaq would probably run slow with a wireless.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Poll results: Computer buying 5/18/09

This week's question was "Are you planning to buy a computer in the next 12 months? (multiple answers OK)"
  • Desktop PC (8, 40%)
  • Desktop Mac (3, 15%)
  • Laptop PC (3, 15%)
  • Laptop Mac (3, 15%)
  • Notebook PC (1, 5%)
  • Not planning to buy (5, 25%)
Note: the category "Notebook PC" really should have read "Netbook PC." But once poll answers start coming in, it's impossible to change the questions. As of today there are no Netbook Macs on the market.

Thank you! We'll discuss on the show for 5/19/09.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

URLs from 5/12/09

In addition to the podcast of today's show, we were able to get a UStream.tv recording going today. Go to UStream and search for "help desk".


NVIDEA Law Suite Apple, Dell & HP

Ibook G4 Graphics chip problem

MIT Engineers create Cone of Silence

Chip decline eases; AMD gains on Intel


Should I build my own computer? (Rich)
--Jim Keen and Wayne Stone have done this. You can get the exact model you want but it's time-consuming and takes some expertise. SW Ohio users can check MicroCenter. Another good source is this weekend's Dayton Hamvention.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

URLs from 5/5/09

Today's show was broadcast live on UStream.tv, but for some reason the archive does not seem to be available. Even though it was audio-only, we think this should be possible. If you have an idea about what to do, send us an email to
  • helpradio(AT)wmub.org
News and views:

Blogging: Blogger vs. WordPress
--Comments from HelpDesk listener Rich

Waldo Spotted on Google street view

Rumors of Apple Netbook


Low sound volume even though it is turned up (Thomas)

Alphabetizing folders and Applications in Start folder (Liz)
--Liz asked why applications always followed folders, rather than a mixed alpha short. We had said last week that we didn't think the order could be changed. Bob from Madeira wrote:
--Re the question last week about the Windows Start menu, with its folders and files in random order -- The Start menu is a special case of a folder. If you right-click on the Start button, then select Explore, you can manage the Start menu with Windows Explorer, the same as any other hierarchy of folders. You should be able to re-sort the folders and files as you wish. (List view is probably more useful than the Icon views for this purpose).

The sort order of the Start menu is, I believe, affected by any global changes you make to the sort order in Explorer. So if, like me, you have Explorer set to show all folders first before individual files, then then the folders should show up in the Start menu before individual item shortcuts.

This is made more complicated by the fact that there is a separate list of Start Menu items for All Users, and a separate one for each individual user. The items in the All Users list appear first, then the items for the currently-logged-in user are appended. So there will usually be two sections in the Start menu. You can administer the start menu items for All Users by clicking the Start button, then select Explore All Users.

There may be ways to reconfigure the Start menu, either through Registry hacks or through the TweakUI power toy, which is a free download from Microsoft.

Thanks for the podcast, and for the MUBsters update. Good luck to you all!

More on blogging: Blogger vs. WordPress

On today’s show, listener Rich offered the following Top Ten Tips about blogging:

Although I'm far from an expert in blogging, I've learned a few things over the past 4 years of keeping a personal blog and contributing to several others. I've been thinking about offering up a Top Ten list of advice that has worked for me.
  1. Platform: To basic types - online blogging service or private server install. This is where Wordpress shines in my opinion since you can start using Wordpress.com free and move it to a private server install -- keeping the look and feel very similar. There are thousands of premade/designed themes available or you can create/modify your own with minimal programing skills. Plug-ins extend the power of Wordpress and make it the prefer platform for most growing blogs. Content Management Systems (CMS) like Joomla and Drupal are probably better for multiple user and business use, as most of them include full website development along with the blogging components. (all mentioned above are open source and free -- unless you use the extended services available through Wordpress.com)
  2. Use a theme with a masthead and fixed items that don't take up all that much screen real estate (particularly vertical pixels). With wide screens and netbooks becoming popular, scrolling down every visit -- especially past ads -- is frustrating for readers. Blogs are a dime a dozen so you want to keep readers not send them to other services. (personally speaking I think that may have been one of the reasons Facebook is moving past MySpace in Social Networking)
  3. Include reduced sized graphics and photo thumbnails so pages don't contain huge image files that need to be downloaded every time the url is accessed, then use the "click on feature" for a larger view. (plug in for Wordpress is called Lightbox 2)
  4. Extend the power of the web by hyperlinking where you can. Think of it as if you were footnoting a paper. Another great plug-in that might help with this on Wordpress is Cross-linker.
  5. Keep posts short, but post often IF you audience is the normal web surfer. Be sure to set up an RSS feed and read up on Google syndication -- have your pages crawled by search engines so content is publicized.
  6. Most blogs are topical, so work to promote you blog by referencing it when you visit other sites that discuss the same subjects -- linking to particular posts is better than linking to just you home page.
  7. Consider using Twitter or other social networking sites to connect with people interested so they know when you post new information.
  8. Credit other people (bloggers, authors, etc) and link to them ... many will do the same for you.
  9. Consider moderate use of Google Adsense or the like as money can be earned to support your site.
  10. Moderate comments and use a spam comment blocker like Akismet. Comment spam can be a bigger problem that even email spam.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Poll results: Blogging 5/3/09

Not too many took part in our recent blog poll. The question was "For bloggers: which of these do you use? You may choose more than one answer."
  • Blogger (1, 16%)
  • WordPress (5, 83%)
  • Other software (0, 0%)
  • I host the blog (1, 16%)
  • I use a hosting service (0, 0%).
Thank you! We'll discuss on the show for 5/5/09.