Another old Lightfrog/Hiwired post with tech advice that stands up to the test of time:


Tis the season to choose wisely

An awful lot of money is going to be spent on new computers in the next 25 days or so.

My basic advice is simple:

Figure out what you want your system to do.Figure out what hardware is necessary to do it.

Splurge on the ram since it is the thing that will extend the useful life of the computer the most.

That’s basically it. For example all my next Desktop needs to be able to do is to:

Run the office suite (every one out there does)Play DVD’s (any DVD drive will do)

Play CIV IV with more than the min specs

Thats basically all I’m looking for so other than a good video card I’ll be easy to please.

If you want more detailed advice PC WORLD and CNET both have useful buying guides.

Posted by Peter at November 29, 2005 07:40 PMT

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Bit of Irony,  a new laptop is on my Christmas list and while the DVD drive is not as important (I’m thinking of using this one as a dedicated iTunes machine and importing my Big Finish Dr. Who CD’s here) however one of my requirements is a machine that can pay Civilization six beyond the min requirements.

Back in 2005 when I worked for HiWired we started a tech blog that was unique at the time, providing some free tech advice to customers and non customers alike who needed it. Today I found myself looking at some old posts from the HiWired Blog and wondered how many of those posts stood the test of time. I think this one on trusting what you see on the net, particularly given the whole “fake news” debate, does, although some of the links are a tad dead.


Where are all the Moon Maidens?

For the fun of it I did a google search for “wireless network security” this is the result of the search.

You might notice that the #1 link is from a site called practically networked which is an excellent reference site, however when you read the article you will note that quite a few of the pieces of advice are contrary to things we’ve said before.

There was a time when this article would have been good advice but it’s old,that hasn’t stopped it from being #1 on the google list. If you hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button and followed the advice your system would be hackable in minutes.

If you are old enough you might remember the old Beverly Hillbillies episode where Jethro decides to go to the moon because it’s full of moon maidens. When Elly asks how he know this he says:

They wouldn’t print it in a comic book if it wasn’t true

Don’t be Jethro on the net.

Posted by Peter at August 15, 2005 04:51 PM

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I think I might repost more of these over time, I forgot just how much tech blogging I used to do when I wasn’t doing it for me.

It’s an interesting contrast between events in the NY-23 and in Rome concerning the Anglicans. The first is happening quickly while the other has been happening over decades and centuries. Yet in the end it is the second that will be more important over the next century.

A lot of people on the left are grinning over their pseudo Palin book, but how much must it gall them deep inside to know they could never hope to have book sales of their content without her?

I was talking to a serving Military Friend of mine. He is really disappointed at the direction LGF has taken over the last few months. I suspect among other serving soldiers who follow this stuff that is not an unique thought.

Tangentially I think it is a huge mistake for both Rush (concerning the NFL) and Robert Stacy (concerning Charleston WV Gazette) to not promptly go with legal action, particularly for Robert Stacy who doesn’t have Rush’s millions. I don’t know what the statutes are concerning libel and defamation in terms of timing but I can’t see letting it go much beyond election day without action.

I got a bill from one of the medical providers I deal with, and called to pay it over the phone. In the sequence (for this for that business) there was the message:

“If you can’t speak English and need an interpreter press 4”

That struck me as very funny

I mentioned Beatles Rock Band that my kid got for his birthday. During that night when they were having their Jam my wife was sitting at the PC in the same room. She didn’t react. The moment I was handed the mike to sing she turned on her mp3 player and plugged in her earphones.

She used to turn on the radio whenever I would sing in the car when were dating too.

What would Doctor Who fans do without Rich’s comic blog? I know I say it a lot but it’s true every time I do.

Speaking of Dr. Who my son is a new series fanatic, on a history test he missed where Versailles was. He couldn’t believe he missed it and forgot about “The Girl in the Fireplace“.

And Yes I hit publish before I meant to.

I started this blog 8 days after Hiwired went under. The blog is now 5 weeks away from it’s 1 year anniversary. If you told me I would still be unemployed at this point I wouldn’t have believed you.

The fact that I’m still not working is a source of great embarrassment and shame to me. It has been one of the most depressing things I’ve ever gone through.

The fact that my pal Dave has been out of work almost as long as me is even more surprising.

You know I never much cared for Glenn Beck but I find myself watching it once in a while, I still think he’s too over the top for me but if it wasn’t for the idiots at the White House I wouldn’t watch it at all. I’ll wager that there are thousands like me.

I’ve been coughing for over 3 weeks now. I finished my Z-pack on Sunday and when the cough didn’t go away the family got on my case to call the doc. I did that Tuesday and they said it still takes the full 10 days for the drugs to work. The only reason they use the Z-Pack is because people who seem to feel better by day 7 tend to stop taking the drugs and then get worse. They’d rather deal with people angry that they are still sick on day 8 because they know they will get better, I hope so.

Considering the lack of sales I’ve managed for support you would think I’d feel like a sucker for my 18 month Log-me-in subscription but every time I help a friend and don’t have to spend hours there it pays for itself.

Burger king finally figured out that the customers didn’t like paying $2 for a double cheeseburger that McDonalds charges $1 for. I was wondering how long that would take.

I made a joke concerning a walking stick to a friend of my son, when he told his friend a silly story concerning said walking stick, a meat clever and an elf hat. I started questioning said friend of my son who else they would associate said story with. Every person she listed is a member of my gaming group. That was kinda sad.

What was sadder is she is absolutely right.

The more I see of the new Robin Hood series the more I appreciate the 1950’s Richard Greene series Communist writers not withstanding.

Speaking of Robin Hood, the best adaption is still the 1938 movie. One of the greatest movies ever made.

Olivia de Havilland who played Maid Marion is still alive and still has more class than anyone anyone I can think of in Hollywood.

Speaking of class considering the egg on their faces over Acorn Philly its a wonder that media matters, Bertha Lewis or the MSM can show their faces. Whatever Soros is paying these guys it isn’t enough.

And you can’t control a message when a youtube video is only an e-mail away.

Acorn should thank it’s lucky starts that the Phillies are going to the series.

I’ve been seeing more of the 1-20-2013. I still don’t like them, like the 1-20-09 stickers I think they are whiney.

You know I like Sarah Palin, I am looking forward to supporting her in 2012 or 2016 or 2020, but I do worry about going all obamacult over her. I see it in others and don’t want it for myself.

And her hips are STILL all wrong.

Have you noticed that whenever Liberals decide to fight for something they are encouraged by the media but whenever conservatives fight they are told to moderate?

I remember from Tip O’Neil’s Autobiography his frustration that Jimmy Carter wasn’t big on following up to push his agenda, every time I read that I feel so relieved.

Tip was right though you have to keep pushing things, that’s why I still write about media bias etc, because you would be surprised how quickly people manage to forget things in front of them.

For all the crazy political stuff going on in Massachusetts you still can’t beat the foliage.

And it is home.

It never ceases to amaze me that people still make the same mistakes that infect systems.

And the longer I live the less surprised I am about various outrageous things people do.

The Amazon vine general newsletter is due today, I have two books already on the way from the Vine that I ordered last week therefore I might not be able to order this week when all the stuff goes up. I haven’t decided if that is a good or a bad thing.

I suspect the Palin book won’t be there.

Once I get a job I wonder how much less I will be blogging?

And will anyone care?

Still no idea why I can’t get trackbacks from Hotair or Michelle.

But on the plus side I’ve been much more regular on my Rosary.

Considering my situation I’ve been very lazy on my prayers, I should really know better.

And on that note back to real life.

…so that means light blogging but it also gives me a chance to tell a funny HiWired story.

Just under 75% of the time we would telecommute. That saved a lot of time and money but also had an odd side effect. If you are sick and have an hour drive it is a lot easier to call out than if you are just going down stairs. Even if you are very sick if you are going to be home anyway it just doesn’t feel right to take the day particularly when you know someone else will have to take up the slack.

I was feeling very sick one day (I had a 11-10 shift that day) but I didn’t want to take the day so I took the laptops to my bedroom and literally worked from the bed I’m lying down on now. On chats it wasn’t a problem but on calls people could clearly hear I wasn’t right.

I was working on my last call of the day and my wife had just come upstairs. As quietly as I could I moved the laptops to my side of the bed and continued on the call and the screen share. The customer bless her seemed more interested in my sickness than in her errant printer. As I finished up the call and had her printer humming again we had this exchange:

Customer: Thank you very much for your help, now I want you to head home and get right to bed!

Me: Mamm I promise you that once this call is done I’ll get to bed so fast that you’d think I was already there.

I almost had to mute my mike as the wife nearly broke out laughing at that point.

I’m a big believer in bed rest. I’ve always found that if you actually take to bed when you start to get sick your body gets a head start on taking care of whatever ails you.

So it’s bed rest today and the Latin Mass tomorrow and as I had a couple of calls on the job front this week, hopefully an interview or two next week.

Back in my HiWired days I ran the blog there and did most of the posting. I was doing some cleaning up of my system and found this old post from October of last year that is worth re-posting:

I like computer games, I’ve been playing Civ IV Colonization quite a bit lately but some people who use their games to escape real life take it way to far:

“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,” the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged, but if convicted could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

Players in “Maple Story” raise and manipulate digital images called “avatars” that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.

Well there is only one thing that can be done in justice. I think her virtual character should be taken to a virtual court, tried by a jury of her virtual peers and if convicted jailed in a virtual prison to make sure that the virtual society is protected from this virtual threat!

The words “Get a life” doesn’t to this story justice.

Via Ann Althouse who as a lawyer has a little fun with it.

Considering how things are going these days I suspect that a lot more people are retreating to these virtual worlds. Expect a lot more of htis stuff.

…but if you read only one thing today read Michael Yon’s letter exclusively on Instapundit. Key Excerpt:

The idea of a two-state solution, once popular with many Israelis, is evaporating. More and more Israelis are coming to believe that any appeasement with the Palestinians is merely a reward for terrorism. And so it is. The Palestinians have become prisoners by their own hand. The hand that builds the bombs, wields the guns, and welds the rockets, has caused a fence to be built around them.

They are isolated and imprisoned. But it’s not only Israel who’s done this. The Gaza Strip borders Egypt, and Egypt has done the same. The terrorists are tunneling like rats and the Egyptians and Israelis are trying to locate and destroy the tunnels under their respective fence lines. Who wants the Palestinians? If the Palestinians truly were a peaceful lot, victims only of Israel, one might think that they would have free entry into Egypt. But they do not.

Yon is the best single reporter in the world on the war on terror.

UPDATE: His bottom line is unfortunately correct at least at this time.

It simply does not make sense for us to support a Palestinian state, when at every turn they demonstrate that they will simply become more powerful, richer terrorists, with longer range rockets.

My greatest regret with HiWired is we were unable to pull off the podcast with Yon. We traded e-mails kept missing each other. It was before he was well known and would have been a solid exclusive.

Had to run to Office Max to get some ink for my Brother MFC 665CW since I have an interview on Thursday and need to print some items.

It was the first time I’d been in an OfficeMax since HiWired went under and was later bought out. Considering that Plum Choice picked them up I was a little taken aback to see the old Ctrl-Center packaging and the old boxes sitting there. Same products same offers and the same price points.

Very little promotion other than the small display and nothing on the web site.

Can’t vouch for the quality of the services, as they are US based I suspect they are likely ok.

Kind of sad to see it all and think back to the old place and what could have been. Of course HiWired exists now as a part of Radialpoint with some good people there. If you have to get service and you don’t use DaTechGuy I’d go there first myself.

Park’s Associates blog picked up on our story concerning the fate of HiWired and added some new news for me.

I didn’t know Singu ended up at Radialpoint, he’s a good pickup for them.

It also hit me this morning that if HiWired was picked up then the Remote backup that we offered is still functioning, so if you had databackup through HiWired, (And you should have) it will not only continue to function but will be renewable (and you should renew it).

I don’t know if Plum Choice will be keeping the same backup through Ctrl-Center but I would strongly suggest they do. I’ve seen too many systems that were not backed up to the grief of their owners.

Remember THE DATA IS THE REASON FOR THE SYSTEM! If you don’t back it up, and the current HiWired is offering backup for as low as $8 a month. People feel really foolish when they don’t backup and your system crashes. Don’t make that mistake.

Update: Missed linkback now included.

There is an interesting development in the HiWired situation.

According to the main HiWired site it is now a part of RadialPoint.

I checked the Radialpoint site and there is no press release confirming this but it is plain as the nose on your face on the HiWired page.

As for Ctrl-center that has apparently gone to PlumChoice. If you go to the ctrl-center page you see the re-directed address it goes to is www.ctrl-center.plumchoice.com

So the bottom line at the moment is this:

HiWired have been acquired by Radialpoint

Ctrl-Center has been acquired by PlumChoice

I’ve been acquired by nobody, but I am available.