Observations from the lighter side of tech…

July 15, 2007

www.atechdiva.wordpress.com

This is a new blog page dedicated to more or less dedicated to the lighter side of all things tech, written in layman’s terms, for those who are not as internet or technically educated, or informed, but who want to be. It should be fully up and posted by August 1st, 2007. In the meantime, keep an eye on it for the latest developments.

read more | digg story


The Tech Teen

July 14, 2007

At The Tech Teen, they have young adults from ages 15-19 speaking their minds about what products work, and what don’t. New products ranging from cell phones to laptops will be reviewed. Here, other teens can come to find out what they really should be saving up for. Here, parents can find out what their son or daughter would really like.

http://thetechteen.com/

My 16 year old son turned me on to this kid, then I ran into him on Pownce. Don’t let his age fool you into thinking he’s less than he his. He’s brilliant, tuned in, and turned on to what makes other “tech teens” tick. Give him a chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Meet Truman, The Tech Teen

Founder and Lead Reviewer at TTT, Truman is 15 years old and is going into his junior year of Highschool. Some of his hobbies include Computers, Digg, Technology in general, Rock Climbing, and MMA.read more | digg story


Twitter, Art, and Building Bridges

July 8, 2007

Are You a Twitter Ninja?

OK… so this is a first. I’m writing about a website. Well, a couple actually. This should be interesting.

So, I’m a Chris Pirillo fan. Yep, I’m a hard-core endorser of Pirillo’s Picks, and Chris Pirillo Live. Chris led me to check out www.Twitter.com, which, along with www.Twittermosaic.com, is what I’m writing about.

What is Twitter.com? You mean you don’t know? OMG! Where the hell have you been?

Twitter is: “A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?” You can answer on your phone, IM, or right here on the web!”

Yep, it’s that simple… what are you doing? right now? wherever you are …

It’s the craziest thing. It’s like “express blogging”. More than that, people will start following what you have to say. Now that REALLY blew me away. I’ve been on just a couple months, I’ve posted 1,800 lines of… “express blogs”, one-liners, comments, observations… you name it, I think I’ve probably touched on it. I’m up to 63 followers. People follow my meandering on the web, on their IM’s, on their phones. Of course, for the most part, I follow them back. The thing is, when someone adds me, I take a look at their profiles, and most of the time, they sound a lot like me… or at the very least, they sound like someone I would want to be freinds with. There are some very interesting individuals on there.

That would lead me to twittermosaic.com.

One day I get this new follower, named twitter_mosaics. I check out his bio and “twits”… seems interesting enough, so I add him. One day, he posts a link to a site called twittermosaic.com. I check it out, and am amazed to find the most amazing artistic renderings! Actual mosaics… not just plain mosaics, but beautiful artwork mosaics compiled of nothing but the icons of his twitter followers. I was really knocked over when I got to checking them out and found myself in one of the mosaics! (see Cactus followers)

This week, I was humbled and delighted to find myself in yet another of his fantastic renderings called “Blue Marble, Negative” ( See The Blue Marble, Negative)

It makes me feel like I’m part of history, in some way. Not only that, but as I scan through the icons, I find other Twitter friends there too. It’s almost like a snapshot in time. Twitter asks “what are you doing”, and http://www.twittermosaic.com answers with “these guys were twittering”. It’s a really, really cool thing to look at something that is outside, and larger, than yourself.

As for building bridges….

ok, so I mentioned “followers” and “following” in return. While I’m certainly not going to “name name’s” here, I have to say that I’m making some really good freinds on Twitter. Sure, they started out as “interesting folks”, but some of them are so much more than that. I’m making friends with people all over the globe. From housewives, to CEO’s…. we are all just people. Somehow, we find in each other that “one thing” that connects us. That’s all it takes… and the next thing you know, you find one more thing… then another, and another… and soon enough you aren’t just Twittering to the masses… you are sending direct messages… or you are looking forward to checking Twitter periodically just to see what your “freinds” had to say that day. Just like the things I write, some people make observations, some ask questions, some just say what they did for lunch, or what their dinner plans are. Some people make statements, some people make wishes, and some people make no sense whatsoever at times. The bottom line is, that eventually, you feel like you are part of something. You are part of that “global community” Twitter told you about on the welcome page. It’s a nice feeling.

I’m already making plans to see a new friend in person during my next trip to California. She ‘s a really cool lady, and then I found out she makes her own glass beads, which has been an interest of mine as well. I’m going to check out her studio, and take a lesson or two from her while there. Just another bridge I built… from Arkansas to California…. and I built it on Twitter.com.

So check it out. … and if you want to check me out, you’ll find me there as twila_zoned. Throw me a “Twit” sometime!

http://twitter.com/twila_zoned


101 Uses For Canned Air

April 25, 2007

1. USE ALONG WITH MILK TO CREATE A FAKE CAPPUCCINO.
2. ADDED INCENTIVE DURING “ROACH RACES.”
3. INSTANT METHANE REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OR CUBICLE.
4. CAN BE USED TO RE-CREATE THAT “GREAT NORTHEASTERN WIND A BLOWIN” WHEN CALLING CLIENTS.
5. A QUICK AND SOMETIMES EFFICIENT WAY TO GIVE YOURSELF THAT “HARRIED” LOOK AT THE OFFICE – TO BE AVOIDED BY TOUPEE WEARERS.
6. HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY? THEN SLAP SOME WATER ON YOUR HEAD, SMOOTH YOUR HAIR AND DRY IT WITHOUT HAVING TO BEND OVER TO GET TO THE HAND DRYER.
7. QUICK BURN RELIEF: USE SPARINGLY, OR YOU’LL END UP WITH FREEZER BURN, TOO.
8. DOG TRAINING – IT’S BETTER THAN WHISTLING.
9. CAT REMOVAL – A QUICK PSSSSSSSSSSSST IS GUARANTEED TO SCARE EVEN THE TOUGHEST ALLEY CAT.
10. CLEANING THE LINT BUILDUP OUT OF YOUR NAVEL ON REALLY SLOW DAYS. AND WHY IS THE LINT ALWAYS BLUE?
11. AIM AT THE TOP OF THE CUBICLE CABINET TOWARD THE PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE TO MOVE DUST AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS DEBRIS TO WHERE IT RIGHTLY BELONGS.
12. USE THE COOLING NATURE OF CANNED AIR TO HEAT UP YOUR OFFICE IN THE COLD WINTER MONTHS. JUST SPRAY THE THERMOSTAT WITH A HEALTHY SHOT OF CANNED AIR, AND WAIT FOR THE HEAT TO KICK IN!
13. WHILE CAN IS BEHIND YOUR BACK, FOLLOW SOMEONE INTO THE ELEVATOR AND A GOOD, LONG BLAST, THEN LOOK AROUND EXCITEDLY EXCLAIMING THAT YOU’RE TOO YOUNG TO DIE THIS WAY.
14. GIVE A WHISTLE THE ENERGY IT NEEDS TO CONVINCE YOUR BOSS THE EVACUATION ALARM SOUNDED.
15. CONSERVE TREES BY BLOWING THE SEEDS AND EXCREMENT FROM THE BOTTOM OF BIRD CAGES, THUS SAVING THE PAPER FOR FURTHER USAGE.
16. CLEAN THE CRUMBS FROM A BUCKET SEAT.
17. DON’T HANDLE THEM DIRECTLY – BLOW THE DUST OFF THOSE MOUSE BALLS!
18. EAR WAX REMOVAL. PLACE THREE DROPS OF WARM SALT WATER IN THE EAR CANAL. ALLOW TO SET FOR ONE MINUTE. HOLD AIR-STRAW TWO INCHES FROM EAR CANAL, BLOW… SEE IF YOU CAN HIT SOMEONE WITH THE FLYING WAX.
19. BLOWING LIQUID THROUGH A STRAW. WITH THE USE OF COMPRESSED AIR, THE LIQUID CAN BE BLOWN FURTHER. WITH THE USE OF 1/2″ DIAMETER PLASTIC TUBING, AND A MIDNIGHT TUBE-RUNNING OFFICE VISIT, IT CAN BE BLOWN ON UNSUSPECTING CO-WORKERS FROM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
20. REV UP THAT GRILL: STAND BACK ABOUT TWO FEET AND REV UP YOUR CHARCOAL GRILL FIRE WITH A FEW BLOWS!
21. BLOWING UP SKIRTS À LA MARILYN MONROE.
22. WART REMOVAL: INVERT CAN, SPRAY TO FREEZE WART.
23. FREEZE GUM THAT IS STUCK IN THE CARPET OR UPHOLSTERY AND THEN REMOVE WITH A PUTTY KNIFE.
24. REMOVING CATS FROM KEYBOARDS.
25. REMOVING ANNOYING NON-IT COWORKERS (THEY USUALLY THINK IT’S SOME SORT OF HARMFUL CHEMICAL).
26. REMOVING TOILET WATER FROM A CELL PHONE DROPPED THERE BY MY 16-YEAR-OLD.
27. PAPERWEIGHT – PARTICULARLY USEFUL WHILE USING ANOTHER CAN TO DUST DESK.
28. ON SLOW DAYS, DRAW A SHUFFLEBOARD DIAGRAM ON A TABLETOP; USE CANNED AIR TO SHOOT BOTTLE CAPS TO SCORE.
29. CANNED AIR IS PERFECT FOR CLEANING THE CUT WHISKERS OUT OF YOUR ELECTRIC RAZOR.
30. CLEANING RESIDUE FROM COFFEE GRINDER.
31. BLOWING EXCESS CHEESE OUT OF YOUR MAC ‘N CHEESE.
32. INFLATING UNDERSTUFFED RAVIOLI TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF OVERSTUFFED.
33. PUT A FROTH OF FOAM ON YOUR COFFEE, AND IT’S CHEAPER THAN STARBUCKS.
34. TURN THE CAN UPSIDE DOWN AND QUICKLY COOL YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF JELL-O AFTER BOILING IT IN THE MICROWAVE. PARTICULARLY EFFECTIVE FOR GREEN JELL-O.
35. ALSO GREAT FOR THAT HALF-BOTTLE OF MOUNTAIN DEW ON THE CORNER OF THE DESK WHEN YOU JUST WON’T DRINK IT WARM.
36. FILL CAN WITH MILDLY PRESSURIZED, PURIFIED AIR (NOTHING BUT 78% N2, 21% O2, 0.94% AR2, 0.03% CO2 AND A 0.03% MIX OF OTHER NATURAL ELEMENTAL GASES). THIS RESULTS IN A COLORLESS AND ODORLESS MIXTURE. THEN, WHENEVER YOU TIRE OF THE SMELL AND POISONS OF POLLUTION, JUST SPRAY THE PURE AIR IN YOUR FACE AND BREATHE DEEP!
37. INDOOR MODEL ROCKETRY: TAKE ONE OF THOSE HANDY LITTLE FILM CANISTERS NORMALLY USED FOR HOLDING CASE SCREWS – TAPE ROCKET STYLE FINS TO THE CANISTER. IMPORTANT: THE FAT END OF THE FINS MUST BE AT THE OPEN END OF THE CANISTER. WHILE HOLDING THE CANISTER OPEN END UP INVERT THE CANNED AIR AND SPRAY INTO THE CANISTER FOR SEVERAL SECONDS CREATING A 1/8 INCH DEEP POOL OF PROPELLANT. IMMEDIATELY PLACE THE CAP ON THE CANISTER AND PLACE CAP DOWN ON ANY LEVEL SURFACE. IN A MATTER OF MOMENTS THE “INDOOR ROCKET” IS LAUNCHED AT EXTREMELY HIGH SPEED INTO THE AIR / CEILING TILES / BOSS’S OFFICE.
38. SUPPORT THE WIND POWER INDUSTRY BY KEEPING THE TURBINES GOING WHENEVER THE WIND DROPS.
39. SPRAY LIBERALLY TO COOL THE AIR WHEN GLOBAL WARMING HEATS IT.
40. SPRAY LIBERALLY TO WARM THE AIR WHEN GLOBAL WARMING PRODUCES UNUSUALLY COLD WEATHER.
41. BLOWING BUBBLES; SIMPLY INSERT INTO THE LITTLE BOTTLE AND ZILLIONS OF BUBBLE APPEAR FROM NOWHERE.
42. EMERGENCY CAN OF AIR FOR FISH TANK, WHEN THE FISH TANK PUMP BREAKS DOWN.
43. HELP BLOW MILK OUT OF YOU NOSE.
44. SHOOT PAPER WADS OUT OF STRAW.
45. PLAY AIR HOCKEY AT MCDONALDS WITH TRIANGLE STRAW.
46. TURN PAGES IN YOUR SMART COMPUTING MAGAZINE.
47. CREATING DUST DEVILS – INSERT INTO BAG OF POWDERED SUGAR AND LET IT RIP.
48. EMERGENCY OUTBOARD MOTOR.
49. DEFEATHERING NOISY PARAKEETS.
50. CHOCOLATE MILK STIRRER.
51. BLOW IT IN THE FACE OF YOUR DOG TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF HANGING HEAD OUT OF WINDOW WHILE DRIVING.
52. BLOW IN YOUR CAT’S FACE SO SHE CAN PRETEND SHE IS BEING CHASED BY THE DOG IN THE CAR.
53. FORCING SAND FURTHER INTO SENSITIVE MACHINERY TO INCREASE WEAR FACTOR.
54. COOLING DOWN THE ARM PITS, ESPECIALLY WHEN HOT AND WET.
55. SINCE THE CANNED AIR DOESN’T CONTAIN AIR, BUT SOME HEAVIER THAN AIR GAS — IT CAN BE USED TO MAKE “HEAVY BALLOONS” THAT FALL TO THE GROUND LIKE BRICKS. SURE TO AMAZE YOUR COWORKERS!
56. IRRITATE NEXT DOOR’S PIT BULL.
57. SEE JUST HOW BIG YOU CAN INFLATE A BULL FROG BEFORE IT POPS.
58. TURN THE PAGES ON A CALENDAR ONCE A MONTH.
59. WIN EVERY TIME PLAYING BALLOON-KEEP-UP.
60. THERE ARE A LOT OF MACHINES IN THE LAB AND THE WHITE NOISE TENDS TO LULL TIRED TECHNICIANS TO SLEEP. A SQUIRT OF CANNED AIR TO THE EAR WAKES ‘EM RIGHT UP!
61. HUMANE FLY SWATTER.
62. A VERY SHORT SHOT OF AIR WILL FORCE INK INTO A REFILLED CARTRIDGE. INSERT IN FILL HOLE, COVER WITH PAPER TOWEL AND GIVE A BURST. INK WILL FLOW FROM THE JET NOZZLE OF THE CARTRIDGE. TOO MUCH AIR WILL MAKE A MESS!
63. USE TO BLOW OUT WINDSHIELD WIPER HOSE.
64. TAPE CAN TO MODEL BOAT, THEN TAPE DOWN NOZZLE AND PUT IN WATER.
65. USE A LOT OF CASES OF AIR TO BLOW OFF LEAVES FROM YARD.
66. BLOW OUT RAIN GUTTERS.
67. BLOW BUBBLES IN BATH WATER.
68. IRRITATE WASPS.
69. HELP GET KITES OFF THE GROUND.
70. BLOW SAND INTO YOUR BROTHER’S SHORTS.
71. INSERT INTO FRONT OF PANTS AND COOL DOWN.
72. AS A FISHING AID: USE THE CANNED AIR TO SAIL THE LINE OUT.
73. KEEPING THE CAT OFF OF THE SOFA.
74. CHILL A PITCHER OF TEA, PUT CAN INTO TEA AND PULL TRIGGER.
75. IF YOU HAVE NOTHING BUT A WARM CAN OF SODA AND THE ICE TRAY IS EMPTY, YOU CAN FREEZE THE WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF A PAPER CUP…INVERT THE CAN AND SPRAY INSIDE THE CUP.
76. FREEZING BODY PARTS OF UNWELCOME VISITORS IN YOUR OFFICE – INVERT THE CAN, AIM AT BODY PART AND SQUEEZE WHILE INFORMING THE USER THAT YOU DON’T TAKE WALK-IN REQUESTS. IF REPEATED WITH SUFFICIENT FREQUENCY AND CONSISTENCY THIS SHOULD ELICIT A PAVLOVIAN RESPONSE AND CREATE AN AVERSION TO NOT FOLLOWING THE CORRECTION PROCEDURE FOR SUBMITTING A HELP TICKET.
77. COOLING SOLDER.
78. REMOVING CHEWED OFF FINGERNAILS FROM KEYBOARD.
79. CLEANING PIERCINGS.
80. MAKING OBNOXIOUS ARMPIT NOISES – INSERT STRAW IN ARMPIT, SQUEEZE ARM TO SIDE OF BODY AND PRESS TRIGGER.
81. EXPELLING ANTS FROM YOUR WORK AREA.
82. COOLING YOUR COFFEE IN A CAFFEINE EMERGENCY.
83. REMOVING IRRITANTS FROM BRA WITHOUT HAVING TO DISROBE.
84. EJECTING THE FLUFF FROM BETWEEN TOES WHILE AVOIDING ACTUAL CONTACT.
85. COOLING SKIN WITHIN A CAST.
86. AS AN AIR-BRUSH PROPELLANT.
87. PLAYING THE ENGLISH GAME OF “BLOW FOOTBALL” – TRADITIONALLY PLAYED BY BLOWING THROUGH STRAWS, BUT EXPEDITIOUS USE OF CANNED AIR MAKES FOR LONGER AND MORE CHALLENGING GAMES WITH REDUCED RISK OF ASPHYXIATION.
88. RIDDING INFREQUENTLY USED POWER SUPPLIES OF BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS (THIS HAPPENED…).
89. COOLING YOUR FEET OFF WITHOUT HAVING TO REMOVE SOCKS OR SHOES – INSERT STRAW IN SOCK AND SQUEEZE TRIGGER. BE WARNED THAT THIS HAS THE ADDED BONUS OF LIBERALLY DISTRIBUTING BODY ODOR IF YOU SUFFER FROM THIS PROBLEM (THIS ALSO APPLIES TO 5).
90. ADDING FOAM TO HOT CHOCOLATE.
91. LOCATING PRECISELY WHICH TOOTH IT IS THAT HAS BECOME COLD SENSITIVE.
92. PAINTING WITH HOT AND COLD.
93. BLASTING THE CRUD OUT OF MICE.
94. THE INCREDIBLE GROWING PUTTY BALL.
95. FIRING SMALL MISSILES.
96. SURPRISING A NAPPING CAT.
97. CONFUSING TELEMARKETERS – NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS AN AIR HORN, BUT STILL QUITE ALARMING.
98. DRYING SKATE BEARINGS.
99. CLEARING SINUSES (DON’T TRY THIS).
100. INFLATING BALLOONS.
101. QUICK-DRYING PLAYDOH® SCULPTURES OF MINIATURE DONKEYS MADE AT DESK ON SLOW DAYS.


Some of My Favorite Freeware

February 16, 2007

Did someone say free? Oh wait! That was me!

I am always on the lookout for great freeware. I’m talking totally free, make my life easier, tweak my system, just for fun stuff. With all the free open source alternatives, I just can’t see paying for software in this day and age. The only thing worse is hearing a friend of mine tell me they just spent a STUPID amount of money on something they could have gotten for free (and often, better!) .

While I’m sure there are even better alternatives to the ones I’m gonna list, these are programs that I use almost daily. These are easy to install, work, and most programs are “set ’em and forget ’em”.

For free copyrighting of your material, try common creations at: http://www.commoncreations.com
or
my free copyright at:
http://www.myfreecopyright.com/

Want to add some new fonts?
Check out creamundo at:
http://www.creamundo.com/index.php?lang=en
(you can try out the font before you even download it!)
OR
Fontface
http://www.fontface.com/
OR
wanted fonts
http://www.wantedfonts.com/
OR
betterfonts
http://betterfonts.com/

How about photo tools?
For free brushes at brusheezy
http://www.brusheezy.com/brushes
OR
For the most kick-ass photo tips, DIY projects, and gear : photomojo at:
http://www.photojojo.com/
OR
For photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring: The GIMP at
http://www.download.com/The-GIMP/3003-2192_4-10635470.html?tag=lst-0-1

How about Licensed Software Free For the Taking LEGALLY!
FREE SOFTWARE at give away of the day:
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/
FREE GAMES at game give away of the day at:
http://game.giveawayoftheday.com/

How often have you carefully selected some text from a Web page and copied it to an email message? Snippy makes this a snap!
http://www.bhelpuri.net/Snippy/default.htm

The ULTIMATE Windows Media Player Plug-In resource:
http://www.wmplugins.com/

Protect your pc for free!
Against spyware:(SPYBOT:search and destroy)
http://www.spybot.info/en/download/index.html
OR
Against adware:(ADAWARE SE PERSONAL)
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/products/ad-aware_se_personal.php
OR
ANTI-VIRUS PROTECTION (I’ve been using this for years!) AVG personal edition:
http://www.download.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10320142.html
AND
All-in-One SECRETMAKER is designed for everybody who wants to avoid computer crashes and protect their privacy. IT combines several powerful tool and includes a Spam Fighter, Pop-Up Blocker, Cookie Eraser, History Cleaner, Privacy Protector, Banner Blocker and a Worm Hunter. Go to :
http://www.secretmaker.com/

How about free dvd burners/decrypters?
BURN 4 FREE at:
http://www.burn4free.com/
OR
DVD SHRINK at:
http://www.dvdshrink.org/what.html
OR
DVD DECRYPTER
http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/
AND FINALLY
IMGBURN is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application ((CATCH THAT? BLU_RAY BURNER!!!)) get it at:
http://www.imgburn.com/

For the ultimate guide to drivers and firmware go to the driver guide at:
http://driverguide.com/

Want a free auto-expiring telephone number?
CRAIGSNUMBER at:
http://craigsnumber.com/

If you wanna build a remote control lawnmower:
VIDEO

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
http://members.iinet.net.au/%7Etnpshow/RCLM/intro.htm

For wasting countless hours doing nothing I give you “PERPETUAL BUBBLEWRAP”. Yes, for the ultimate in time wasting, simply roll your mouse over the bubble wrap to see and hear a satisfying ‘pop’ as the bubble bursts and then reappear. Go to:
http://www.urban75.com/Mag/bubble.html

To send off for totally free crap:
(You wouldn’t BELIEVE the crap I’ve gotten for free from this site!)
http://www.totallyfreecrap.com/

If you have Firefox, these are ESSENTIAL add-ins!

Free long distance? Free mobile? (OMG! I LOVE THIS DAMN SERVICE!)
http://www.jajah.com/

Do you listen to music while surfing the Web?
FoxyTunes is a free browser add-on that allows you to control your favorite media players without ever leaving the browser and more…
FOXY TUNES at:
http://www.foxytunes.com/

Cooliris Previews is a free browser add-on that lets you preview links without clicking or leaving your current page. It is an AWESOME timesaver! Get COOLIRIS at:
http://www.cooliris.com

If your searching for particular types of programs, I highly suggest :
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/freeware/
OR
Chris Pirillo (My Hero!)
http://chris.pirillo.com/
(I love this guy!)
OR
http://www.download.com/
OR
GRC’s popular freeware
http://www.grc.com/freepopular.htm

I originally made this list for my freinds, but then I thought, hey…. someone else may need a freebie today. If you know of any super cool freeware you think I should know about…. tell a woman!!!

Enjoy!