Sunday, August 31, 2008

Laundry Day & Karaoke Torture

Well, it's Sunday and that usually means Laundry Day for me. It's a good thing too. I was starting to reach that low level of clothing that I would probably have to choose between my Darth Vader or Bleach Shinigami costume if pressed to go out in public right at this minute.

Since I live with my parents, Sunday also means that I will also be tortured with Family Karaoke. It's been somewhat of an unofficial tradition that everyone in the house take turns singing a song from the Karaoke book. This tradition is in the same level as getting KFC to celebrate family events like birthdays, anniversaries, fathers/mothers' day, etc. (The only exceptions are Thanksgiving and Christmas where we usually go nuts with the cooking). My parents believe that singing your heart out is good for the lungs and soul. I don't know about that, but it's what they believe and I have to respect that.

So, imagine a Shinigami/Samurai or Darth Vader belting out Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind" and you should have a pretty good idea what I look like right now.

I hope everyone enjoys their Labor Day holiday tomorrow. I'm hoping that the weather here will be tolerable since Hurricane Gustave will probably be closer then.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bad Virus


I was cleaning up one of my friend's parents' computer and I encountered a nasty trojan that loaded up when you log into the user's account. Disguised as an anti-virus program, the trojan demanded your credit card details to register the product and make it fully functional. The horrible beast also disabled the ability to invoke TaskManager which meant there was no way to get around the program aside from hitting it from another user's profile.

What made me laugh with this thing was the use of the sexy silhoutte as part of the program's logo. It made me think of it as a computer STD. Something that was hard to get rid off and leaves a lot of nasty side effects.

The little bastard also corrupted certain user profile entries within the registry. This took some time to purge and clean up.

The lessson here is that if you're going to be dicking around on the web, please use some protection. You don't wouldn't to get an e-STD. Would you?

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Friday, August 29, 2008

320GB USB External Hard Drive for my Eee PC

Concerned that I would eventually run out of hard drive space on my Asus Eee PC 901XP, I decided to get a usb hard drive. Of all the drives out there, I went with the Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive.

I have used the Passport before and I like its compact size and high-capacity. It's powered through the usb port, so you don't have to carry an AC adaptor to use it.

The WD My Passport drives comes in various colors. I chose Arctic White to match my Eee PC.

Yeah, I can be very vain with my computers.

Finally...the Weekend

After spending most of the week preparing for Hurricane Gustave at work, I am thankful that it's the weekend. The storm isn't due to hit until next week, so the weather for this weekend is supposed to be pretty nice. I guess it's just the calm before the storm.

I'm supposed to spend part of tomorrow removing a computer virus from one of my friend's parent's computer. Hopefully, the exocism won't take all day long. I want to try to spend some time at the beach and try to wind down.

My boss told me that he might call me into the office during the weekend if the storm turns towards Pensacola. I might be spending my weekend securing computers. I'm crossing my fingers that this doesn't happen.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Using Blogger for Work

There's a mad dash happening in my office to get ready for a possible hurricane hit.
I've been working all morning trying to come up with a way to be able to get information online to our employees and to the public if and when a hurricane does strike.

As a person who hopes for the best and plans for the worst, I decided that I wasn't going to stake our company's online employee communication plan on something I didn't feel was completely reliable. So, I decided to make a hurricane information web site and host it with Blogger.

By hosting the site with Blogger, I won't have to rely on our local web hosting provider to have our web site up and running the storm. I'm pretty sure they'll be more concerned about saving themselves and their properties than be worried if one of their client's web site is down.

As much as I have faith in capabilities of the hosting provider for my work company and their supposed 98% uptime promise, I always try to have a back up plan or go with a sure thing.

At the moment, Blogger seems a better bet than the local guys.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Sony PCG - XG29 Lives On!

I have a soft spot for old computers. A while back, I inherited a Sony Vaio PCG-XG29 laptop that had obviously seen its share of travel and abuse. Recently, I've decided to work on the machine a little and try to see if I can bring it back from being a useless, unsecured Win98 block of circuits to something more useful using some flavor of Unix.

Well, I managed to install VectorLinux on it but it was obvious that the 128mb of RAM that it was pushing wasn't going to cut it. After scouring the Web, I found a cheap place to buy some old RAM and I manage to snag another stick of 128mb which would max out the system at 256mb of RAM. It's not a lot compared to today's machines, but it's all that this baby can handle. The

Today, this battle-scarred Vaio lives on. AbiWord and Firefox are now happy with the extra RAM and I am actually posting this entry using those applications.

YouTube is choppy but I think it will always be choppy since the processor is not fast enough to deal with online video. I tried Pandora Radio on it and that seemed to work pretty well.

The DVD drive works will with Xine, so I can also use the bugger as a DVD player.

The only thing left to do to is to make this system portable again. I'm going to need to replace the dead battery but I'll save that project for another day.

All in all, it's a good day to bring back old computers to life!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Last night, I learned that not all soaps are antibacterial. I had always thought otherwise, but a friend of mine told me I was wrong. Apparently, Antibacterial soap contains Triclosan which, according to various web sites, is a wide-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal agent. If it doesn't have Triclosan, it's probably not antibacterial.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Apple Bluetooth Mouse by Rocketfish

I wanted to free up the usb ports on my Asus Eee PC 901XP, so I decided to go shopping for a bluetooth mouse.

There wasn't much to choose from at the local BestBuy and neither Circuit City and Walmart carried any bluetooth mice locally in their stores. All of the bluetooth mice at BestBuy were about the same price of $50, give or take a dollar and a couple of pennies. Among the selections were some offerings from Microsoft, Targus, Apple, and Rocketfish.

After considering form factor, style, and price, I decided to go with the Rocketfish Apple Bluetooth Mouse. It was the cheapest of the bunch coming in at $47 plus the white color of the mouse matches the Eee PC. Despite being designed to be used with Mac products, the standard HID bluetooth protocls made this mouse work seamlessly with my system.

Now, I have more open usb ports to plug my flash drives into. For anyone who owns an Eee PC, having free usb ports is a blessing if you're one who has started to run out of hard drive space.

Tropical Storm Fay

I was expecting more from Tropical Storm Fay. So far, we have had only drizzling rain and light gusts of wind. I guess I should be thankful that it's not a full-blown hurricane.

Cordova Mall Food Court Sneak Preview

Many of you who frequent Cordova Mall know that the food court has been under construction for quite some time. Today, I managed to sneak my camera phone and snap some pictures of the construction progress.

From what I could see, there is still a lot of work to be done, but I think the final results will make everyone happy. I just hope they step up the construction work and they don't piss off too many people with having to deal with the current cramped eating area that they have been torturing people with.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Empire's Revenge

Lessons Learned from my Mini-Trip

Over the weekend, I spent some time catching up with an old friend in Mobile, AL and we decided that we would drive out to New Orleans to see the fish at the Aquarium and to Biloxi for some crab legs and gambling.

Here are the lessons learned from my short trip. They are in no particular order:

• No one in Mobile should ever starve. They have a lot of places to eat at compared to Pensacola, FL. I think they have as many food places (or more) as Pensacola has churches.

• My TomTom GPS will freak out when driving through the underwater tunnel in Mobile.

• The “Tuesday Morning” stores in Mobile seem to be better stocked than the ones in Pensacola.

• A Super Target is huge. They have 32 cash registers and a complete grocery store inside. It’s like a normal Target store ate a Winn-Dixie.

• Super Targets have store sections that are not red! They also have blue ones and green ones.

• The best Chinese food places look like dives, but their food is totally awesome.

• A machine that washes dogs and cats automatically does exists. It is in Mobile’s B&B Pet Shop

• If you’re not a fish, it very easy to find Nemo.

• Part of New Orleans smell like an unflushed urinal.

• Bourbon Street during the day smells like an unflushed urinal or a really nasty wet sock.

• There are clothes that you can only get away with wearing in public if you are in New Orleans. For example a shirt showing your fetish for bondage.

• Some bronze statues are actually painted street performers

• Some silver statues are actually painted street performers.

• It is not a good idea to wear jeans if you plan to walk all day around NOLA in the sun.

• Alcohol is available everywhere in NOLA.

• The Bubba Gump restaurant has music that will drive you insane.

• There is a full service bar inside the malls in New Orleans. Yes, they have Bushwhackers there.

• It’s a lot more fun to tour the Audobon Aquarium backwards!

• Jellyfish swim look like umbrellas opening and closing. They can also glow!

• Not all penguins are cute. Some are rather homely.

• All sea otters are cute and fun to watch

• Stingrays feel slimy to the touch.

• Hand sanitizer is available for your convenience.

• I am more afraid of sharks than albino alligators.

• I can be easily hypnotized by watching a gigantic aquarium full of sharks.

• You may think you are staring at the fish, but they are also staring at you.

• In Biloxi, signing up for the $10 power play points at a casino does not mean you will get the other free $10 points they advertised that you would get if you bought a buffet. You have to wait until the next day before you can do that.

• You can get a New York strip steak added to your buffet for only $3.99. But you shouldn't expect much from it.

• You can get crabs at the buffet in Biloxi casinos. The delicious kind. Not the itchy kind.

• You can tell it's time to leave the buffet when your melted butter sauce starts to congeal.

• Spending time and catching up with an old friend is priceless.

If you want to see pictures from my trip, please visit the PhotoBlog at

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Monkey Call [Voice Post]

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Heading out to New Orleans

After making my way to Mobile, AL to visit a friend, I'm heading out to New Orleans if the weather permits so I cross off one more thing of my "things to do before I turn 30" list. Yeah, I know I'm behind schedule, but I'm doing the best I can with the resources that I have.

I'm hoping that my digital camer doesn't die on me since I forgot to bring the battery charger for it. If that fails, I'll try use my camera phone but we all know the quality on those things aren't as good as a real digital camera. I'll be posting on the Photoblog as the day goes by. So, check it out if you're bored and see what I'm seeing.

Ol gur jnl, gur Xrffyre Nve Sbepr onfr cebwrpg jrag jryy. V'z abg tbvat gb chg nal qrgnvyf urer, ohg V whfg jnag gb yrg gubfr jub ner vagrerfgrq xabj gung vg jnf npghnyyl n arng rkcrevrapr.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

iGo Stowaway works with EEE PC

During my little trek out of town, I spotted the iGo Stowaway bluetooth keyboard for $39.99 at the Tuesday Morning in Mobile. So far, this portable keyboard is working well with my new EEE PC. This keyboard is a lot more comfortable to use when typing something lengthy. The only drawback is the fact that you'll be carry one more thing around in your pack which somewhat diminishes the portability of the EEE.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Psychedelic TV

I turned on my television last night and something funky was happening to the color on the screen. At first, I thought it was just the show, but this was happening to all the channels. I tried turning on and off the set but it didn't do anything. So, I decided to shut it down and read a book instead.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

MTV's 'Model Makers' reality show casting at beach today

An announcement for the ladies: MTV's "Model Makers" is holding auditions around the country to narrow down a list of 15 women of all shapes and sizes for a “transformation” makeover. They are casting today at Pensacola Beach, FL. Click here for the article from the PNJ for more details.

Missing the Beach

With today being my first day back from my vacation, it seemed so appropriate that it is raining outside my office window. The gloomy weather echoes how I feel at the moment -- depressed. Oh how I wish I was back laying on the beach, listening to the waves crash into the shoreline. Instead, I have to listen to MS Outlook’s bell going off every fifteen minutes about some impending deadline or meeting.

I miss the smell of the ocean air, the salty taste of the ocean water, and the feeling of sand between my toes. *heavy sigh*

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Winding Down the Party

As my vacation draws to an end, I decided to spend my last day at the beach with a few friends. Jen, Rodney, Mike, and I spent the afternoon baking in the sun and floating in the Gulf.

We ate lunch at Flounders and had dinner at Papa's Pizza on the Boardwalk. We ate and talked about the old times and the crazy experiences we had when we worked at the University.

The highlight of the day was the time we spent floating. We were in there for a couple of hours and I must say that my legs are very tired now.

I'm also dealing with a little sunburn which is something that I'm not really used to being that I am a Pacific Islander. I guess my skin isn't as young as it used to be, or maybe perhaps it's just way too frigging hot out there. So during my vacation, I had to quickly learn the proper use of sun screen.

When the sun set, we walked around the boardwalk at Casino Beach. We also found some stargazers out on the beach who showed us Jupiter and the Moon on their telescopes.

Now, as I blog this, I'm doing some late night laundry with my beach clothes. I want try to minimize any cleaning up that I might have to do tomorrow. Tomorrow, I think I'm going to sleep in and just chill out at home. Maybe I'll watch some dvds or play with my Eee PC some more.
All in all, I really had a blast during my birthday vacation. I think everyone who turns thirty needs to spend a week at the beach and get away from everything for a short while. so that you can celebrate the last 30 and then get ready for the next 30 ahead of you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Day by the Gulf

This is day five of my mini-vacation. I have decided to spend most of my remaining days on Pensacola Beach. I spent part of the afternoon here and I think I'll be returning tomorrow morning.

BTW, this post is being made on my EEE PC which arrived late Tuesday night. I am currently at the Gulf Breeze Whataburger grabbing some food and leeching off their WiFi to check my email and track some packages that I sent out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wish You Were Here!

I spent the better part of my birthday morning celebrating at the beach. The calm sounds of the beach makes me want to spend the rest of my vacation out here.

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On Your Birthdady, Call your Mum!

For anyone celebrating their birthday, try not forget the one who had suffered the most pain getting you into this world -- Your mom! So grab that phone and give her a call. Let her know how much she means to you.

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Where's my EEE PC?

It's my bloody birthday and I'm still waiting for my ASUS eee PC that I ordered. UPS tracking blows chunks for it's inaccurate and untimely reporting. I hope the bloody thing doesn't arrive while no one is at the house. That would really put a damper on what is supposed to be a happy day for me.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Busy and On Vacation

I apologize for not posting in a while. I've been busy trying to get my vacation off the ground.

Yes, this monkey is actually taking the whole week off to unplug my brain from the insanity of my workplace and also to celebrate my getting older.

Today, I'll be battling the laundry monster. I'm doing this now so that I won't have to worry about it for the rest of the week.

I'll try to post some highlights of my little break. Don't expect anything crazy at the moment. I'm strapped for cash so my adventures will most likely be on the budget/economy side of life.

Check back with you later! ~ByteMonkey