One of the first things a tech support guy learns on the net is how to find solutions.

The became necessary when my Phillips DVX decided to fail about a week ago. When my wife bought it for me 2 years ago as a Christmas gift it stated quite clearly that it had a reputation for failing but since it was only $50 bucks I figured it wasn’t a bad price for one year.

Well it failed and with no job and 18 days before my first unemployment check $50 is suddenly a lot of money. So I checked online and found this link.

Borrowing a soldering iron from Eric I took the time to try the repair suggested there. I picked up a capacitor for $1.59 and went for it. The DVD player is now working fine but I think I didn’t anchor it enough I might have to re-open it and add some solder.

However in the end I didn’t have to pay for a new one with money I can’t afford and the internet is to blame.

So three cheers for the net and the solutions there. Keep an eye out a little time can save you some real money.

As a very cheap guy, (after all using free wordpress and a bare bones blog) I don’t like to spend money when I don’t have to (even before I lost my job), but there are two things that no person without a computer should be without.

#1. Thumb/Flash drive

When I saw my first thumb drive back when I worked for Telvista I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. It is a first rate way to move individual files from one machine to another, when traveling it is a great way to transport pictures and or documents to a friends house and when hung around the neck of a small child in a large public place with a cell phone number in a file it can be a great safety measure as the kid can give it to a policeman or a person of authority if lost so you can be contacted. They are so inexpensive that there is almost no reason not to own one.

#2 External hard drive

The reason you own your computer is the data on it unless you are using it strictly as a game platform. That data needs to be backed up. You can use a program such as Carbonite which is first rate but requires an active internet connection and can take days to restore if you lose everything. An external hard drive will give you a method to restore data quickly without such a connection. These days since most system come with restore partitions the need to back up drivers is less pronounced but that doesn’t save the pictures etc. You can restore from an external hard drives in a fraction of the time that an off site backup takes, and if you have an off site backup such as Carbonite it makes an excellent plan B. Take this next sentence to heart: You can NEVER have too many backups As system hard drives increase in bases size external hard drives will do so as well. so you might want a new one every few years.

Put these high on your Christmas list if you don’t have them already.

Back in the days when I was blogging for HiWired I tried to show a bit of restraint when talking about the acts of some people.

However one of the great advantages of a personal blog is the lack of said necessity, so lets say some things bluntly:

The people involved in the attacks in India are barbarians.

Those in Islam who support and finance such attacks are barbarians.

Those who excuse such attacks as justified are idiots and/or supporters of barbarians.

Those who try to equate our troops to the killers in India and those terrorists who target civilians in Iraq are either complete dupes of barbarians at best or at worst allies of murders are barbarians.

If someone tries to make such a comparison to you as a reasonable argument or attempts to justify and defend the attackers but will happily condemn President Bush as the greatest murderer since Hitler then; they are not serious people (although they will think themselves so), ignorant about history (though they will think themselves not) and disinterested in the lives of others (although they will say otherwise) and their opinions should be either ignored or Nelsoned like so:

This will likely enrage them more then any bloodshed.

If your value system justifies such attacks and actions then you need a new value system.

If your culture justifies such attacks then it is inferior and you need a new one too.

You have a perfect right to any of the above beliefs if you want to hold them, it doesn’t make you any less of an idiot.

If you don’t like my characterization of any of these things then let me paraphrase Truman and say, “Stop supporting barbarians and murders and I will stop characterizing your beliefs like that”.