Windows 7 RC vs. Ubuntu 9.04

This week’s meeting is not our normal presentation night, that would be the second week of the month. But your group president experienced a laptop loss due to his cat’s getting spooked and kicking it off a table. So after making a purchase from and finding the operating system was pirated I wiped it clean and installed the Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) to try it out and give my two cents to M$ about it.

Then, I made a new install CD for Ubuntu 9.04 and installed it to dual boot on this machine. Being able to compare the two systems on the same machine like this has been a lot of fun. If you join me at Monday, July the 13th’s 5:30 gathering at Aquilla & Priscilla’s Cafe (I had some *excellent* soup there last week!) I’ll be happy to demo these two ineresting systems on a new (used) $200 laptop. This is a Toshiba Satellite Celeron 1.6 with 1.3GigB RAM. Nothing too fancy so many of you may be able to get a reasonable comparison of what your own machines would be like with them.

Face to Face with Facebook

The plan is to share experiences with Facebook’s social networking site. Stats suggest 100 million folks log in to Facebook every day!


For those of us who still enjoy real time sharing, in person, LIVE, we’re going to look at this phenomenon and see what we can do to use it or not miss it.

Everyone is welcome. Come join with us at Aquilla’s and Pricilla’s Cafe Monday at 5:30-7:00pm.

Bing vs. Google

Bing & Google :: Add-ons for Firefox

Microsoft is now offering some competition to Google search with its new website. In the interest of studying them both I wanted to give Bing a try. My browser, Firefox, has a search field in its upper right which you can add search sites of your choice. But in looking for a Bing option I discovered this Bing vs. Google addon for Firefox and I like it.

Now when I type in a string to search I get a page split in half with one side Bing and the other Google. This allows comparing results of the two engines one on one (they scroll together) and you can change the view from side by side, upper lower, or one or the other with links in the pages header.

So far I have been surprised at how directed to Google feature sites Google is compared to Bing. The surprise is how many other good results Bing does show that are not YouTube, Blogger, and Google Sites hosted. To be expected I suppose but I had thought Google was more fairly weighted. Live and learn.

Dropbox – Easy Network file sharing

Dropbox: Now Effortlessly Syncing Files For 1 Million Members

Techcrunch now confirms the value of a program/service I have spoken about at our meetings. Dropbox just surpassed one million users this past month and is planning to offer peer to peer sharing for offices.

If you are looking for a simple way to share files on several computers in the home, office, wherever this is much easier that setting up home networking and is just as valuable. Give it a shot.

Dropbox – 2 gigs Useful sharing still free

Dropbox – Home – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy.

I’ve been missing our meetings while laying on my back recovering and one thing I found that made my time alone useful was this program , Dropbox.

This is a file sharing program that will install on Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. Then by logging into the service with the program each computer has a file directory where files may be accessed and synced.

For me this made it possible for me to access files on my desktop while using my laptop where I lay. In my case I used it with UltraVNC and could move files on the desktop also from my laptop.

I haven’t begun to use the other features, sub directories in the Dropbox may be shared with other Dropbox accounts recognized by their email addresses. Also they may be made public.

While I have tried many services of this genre, Adrive offering 50 gigs free, Google Docs with one gig, or Google Picasa with a gig for pictures, offers 1 gig, offers 2 gigs of backup space. But no other service works on all operation systems and offers syncing, sharing and storage combined.

Click the link at the start of this article to try it out.

Online DimDim meeting tonight?

Image via Wikipedia

Whether you can get to the Aquilla & Priscilla’s cafe tonight or not I will host an online meeting using’s conferencing service.

I would rather be with you at the cafe tonight but I am down with a back injury so I need o stay horizontal tonight. I still invite you to go enjoy the tasty refreshments at the Cafe, make me jealous, but whether you go or not open your browser to DimDim’s site at 5:30pm (pacific) and we’ll get together anyway.

Tonight I’m going to try the use of my microphone and have the feature turned on for anyone else with one. I believe it will require a push to talk button be used to speak so maybe we can talk in turn and actually be understood.

When you are at the DimDim site hit “Join a Meeting” and use my email address for meeting ID,

I have made this an open meeting so you won’t need a password but give yourself an ID that will help us know who you are.

See you there! -=Larry=- Conference

Dimdim: Web conferencing that just works!

We just finished a meeting both at the cafe and online, with DimDim 4.5

I hurt a nerve last week and still can’t walk very well so I logged into from home and started a meeting with this online conferencing site.

There are quite a few services like this but most require all users to download software before they can join in. DimDim has it all in the browser. (I did have to wait while a desktop sending program had to be installed in Firefox, but it didn’t make me leave the meeting or close Firefox) There are four tools in the meeting, a Whiteboard to draw whatever you like, a document viewer, (pps, ppt presentation files) a web page sharing window and I could show my desktop.

Like anything new we were a bit awkward getting started, but all in all it went pretty easily. We played with all the tools and found the included page sharing browser didn’t display the pages we wanted to share but we were able to just use the desktop sharing and my Firefox to share the site we wanted.

For a quickly setup meeting with folks close to the older generation we did pretty well. With more preparation we could have setup microphones and webcams and heard each other though the computer. As it was we used cell phones on speakerphone.

DimDim also has a recording ability we may use in the future to save the presentations.

Next time we’ll send out early notices so more folks could join in. DimDim is still free up to 20 users, but for a fee can handle hundreds. Let’s dream about a show where we need the paid service! Password Storage

I have long wanted to get my wife to quit using the old Gator (Clarion) password keeper that I (and others) consider spyware.

There are a number of Open Source products that just don’t seem as convenient as Gator and Roboform works great but costs $30.

So I came across Lastpass recently and have begun researching it. The major download sites give it good reviews and my own experience so far has been great.

The problem in my home has been finding a way to get all the passords my wife has created in Gator into Lastpass. I couldn’t import directly but found I could install Roboform, it will import from Gator and Lastpass will import from Roboform.

I think we have a keeper here. If you try it, please leave a comment here about your own experience maybe I’m all washed up.  🙂

March 9, 2009 Meeting

We have reserved the meeting room at Aquilla & Priscilla’s and will have the projector if there aren’t enough laptops to go around.

The topic is Facebook for beginners. If you use it a lot come tell us what you have learned, if it’s something you have wondered about, come learn from the others.

As always, the meeting is free, come one, come all!