Poppy Payne IS The Sexy Techie!

Technical Help and Opinions on Just About Everything Else!

Go Dual And You’ll Never Go Back!

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Hmmmm… Maybe if we moved the couch out to the garage….

Wall-o-Monitors Yeah, maybe 24 monitors is a bit of overkill for most people, but the geek in me just loves this pic! But you really should consider a dual monitor set up for your rig. With the price of LCD monitors being what they are, your next PC related purchase should most definitely be a second monitor for your desktop. You cannot imagine the difference it will make in how you work and play. Gone will be the days of constantly switching between windows when using multiple applications. Gone will be the frustration of shrinking windows down to a small enough size to have them all visible at the same time, which is not much of an improvement as you’ll have to scroll up/down and left/right to view what you need. You can have a full sized spreadsheet/document open on one monitor with your favorite browser up on the other or any combination of applications allowing you to drag and drop sections without using cut/paste and switching between windows. If you’re moving up from a single 19″ display, wait until you experience gaming across 48 inches of video real estate! It is absolutely incredible!

Then there’s being able to stream a video or movie on one screen while you work on the other (which is what I’m doing right now!). I have two 24″ widescreen ASUS monitors ($169.99 each) currently running off an EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti dual DVI card. This is a fine video card, but like all things in life you get what you pay for. It handles games and graphics very nicely and is fairly reasonably priced at $245. It isn’t the cheapest card on the market, but if you’re into high end graphics gaming or video processing, there is no way a sub-$100 video card is going to keep up. If you have an extra $750, you can go with the NVidia GTX 590, but the point is, you don’t HAVE to spend your last dime on a video card. Of course, if you have the inclination to throw your money around, you can easily part with $5000 on a video setup…. It’s like anything else… I would love to have George Clooney as a sex toy, but “The Boyfriend” will just have to do. (Sorry, hun!) Just read the reviews and specifications and get the one that best fits what you’re going to be doing with it…

Next time, I’ll go through the steps to configure your setup to use dual monitors.

Love you all!

Poppy xxxxxx

Holy Jaws, Batman!

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I love this video… A photographer from the Orlando Sentinel was videoing surfers off New Smyrna Beach when somebody yelled “Hey, did you see that?” He hadn’t but his video cam did! Take a look! I can’t even imagine what went through the surfer’s mind when a 4 foot spinner shark jumped over him!

Love ya! Poppy xxxxxx

Are You Ready For Windows 8?

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In early June, Microsoft showed the world the first official demo of Windows 8 with the first real re-engineered GUI since Windows 3.0…. And different it is! But while the new interface is what you get to see and interact with, the real news is that this will be the first multiplatform O/S to come out of Redmond. Sure, Windows, since the days of NT, could run on Intel based machines, DEC Alphas and so on, but they were all computers. Windows 8 is designed to present you with the exact same interface and functionality across computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, toaster ovens, microwave ovens…. Ooops! I got a little carried away. Strike the ovens, at least for now.

Windows 8

The start screen looks very similar to the tiled-based interface used in the Microsoft Phone 7 Operating System, but don’t fret…. You won’t need to buy a touch screen monitor and lean in over your desk to post on Facebook! You will be able to use a traditional keyboard and mouse to navigate your way on your desktop. You can even opt for the more traditional GUI that looks and functions much like Windows 7. That’s a good thing because let’s face it. People are creatures of habit and will tend to opt for the comfort of a familiar environment while they become familiar with the new system. Let’s see a show of hands…  Immediately after the first time you logged into your brand new install of XP, how many of you changed the desktop from that cartoonish cloud scene to one that looked like your old, familiar-as-an-old-pair-of-socks Windows 2000 desktop? Hmmm? Ah ha… That’s what I thought.

Take a couple of minutes and watch the video of the demonstration and let me know what you think.

Can they pull it off? Absolutely…      Will they pull it off? Only time will tell!

Love from yer favorite Girl-Geek!

Poppy xxxxx

“…And the Big Man Joined The Band…”

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On Saturday, June 18th, after having suffered a stroke at his home the Sunday before, Clarence Clemons passed away in a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida. An awesome talent, a gentle man and one of the best saxophone players to have walked this world, Clarence was, and will always be, The Big Man. Rest in peace, Clarence. You will be missed… Your music will live on forever.

 

Dude! Epic Fail!

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Spell check, anyone?Oh, come on! Here’s a lesson from Getting A Tattoo 101: Unless you KNOW how to spell what you want to have on your skin FOREVER, stick with getting images! It also helps if both you AND the artist are sober!

ASP.NET versus PHP… That Is The Question!

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Techie Time!

I got a question from a reader about website technology, asking about the pros and cons involved in migrating from PHP code to an ASP.NET platform. Seems like a simple question, but like most things in life, this is a bit of a) pick up can of worms, and b) pop off lid.

First off, each platform has its benefits and drawbacks. It really depends on what your needs are. To get the heated argument of security out of the way, both ASP.NET and PHP are secure. Yes they are. Most issues arise because a fair percentage of guys doing the coding have no concept of how to write secure code.

Which takes me to my next point. ASP.NET is a relatively immature platform. It is VERY good, but nowhere, no how, near mature. You can be an ace coder in ASP.NET, but if you go off and do something else for 6 months, the number and degree of changes will make it seem like alien code when you come back to it. It is Revolutionary as opposed to Evolutionary. ASP.NET will reach the point where it’s (mostly) complete and static, but PHP is already at this point and future mods will be fairly minor, such as security improvements and performance enhancements. What’s the big squid? Money. For every one competent ASP.NET coder you find, you’ll find dozens of PHP coders. Supply and demand being what it is, that translates directly into money. Downside of having so many PHP coders available? Some of them know not what they do. A ‘PHP For Dummies’ book and a single page website for Aunt Tillie’s Tomato Sauce recipe do not a competent coder make! No matter what the platform, vet your prospective code whackers carefully!

ASP.NET is compiled into an executable while PHP is interpretive code meaning, in most cases, ASP.NET will run faster. If you have lots and lots of data to shovel around and intense graphics to render, ASP.NET has the performance edge. Today. PHP is platform independent while ASP.NET means locking yourself into a Microsoft platform. This bothers some people and not others, but it needs to be pointed out.

There are tools (although not many) for migrating from a WordPress blog to a BlogEngine.net blog and site owners have been successful doing so. But it is not for the faint of heart. The most popular tool (script) available is WordPress BlogML Export  that you download and run to export your WordPress blog into a format that can be imported into BlogEngine.NET. Backup the EXPORT.PHP file in your WordPress ‘wp-admin’ folder, unzip the file you just downloaded and replace the WordPress EXPORT.PHP file with the newly unzipped one. Next, run the WordPress export from the admin panel to create a BlogML export. From what I can gather, this process is by no means a simple task; there will be tweaking you will need to do in the resultant file to end up with a functional import file. It is doable, but it is definitely not novice territory.

Here’s an excellent write up from Particle Wave that is a little dated (2009-ish) but explains one person’s adventure in migrating from WordPress to BlogEngine.net quite clearly.

The final answer? I hate to do this, but picking one technology over another is up to you and your circumstances. Is it worth the cost? Perhaps, if you’re looking for increased performance. One last comment. If you use WordPress, you will write blogs. If you use BlogEngine.net, you will write ASP code.

I hope I did more than add to the confusion over this topic. Let me know what you think. Gotta run…

Love to all, Poppy xxxxxx

This kid is FEARLESS!!

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I was online last night scanning through a bunch of news outlets (Sad, isn’t it? That’s my idea of having fun on a hot muggy night!) when a friend of mine sent me a link and said that I HAD to watch this video…  Normally, knowing my friends as I do, I would put it on the list of “Things To Do When I Have Absolutely Nothing Else To Do To Save Myself From Terminal Boredom”, but for some strange reason, I clicked on the link and am I ever glad I did! I laughed so much watching the lioness and the little boy that (now, don’t tell anybody!) I peed myself a little!…  C’mon ladies, like you’ve never done that? Yeah, right!…

Well, anyway, check out this article in The SUN . You’ll love it! I promise!

Love you all!!

Poppy xxxxxx

First Thing I Thought: “This HAS To Be A Joke!”

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Tyell MortonAn 18 year old high school senior, Tyell Morton, in Rushville, Indiana has been arrested and is facing 8 years in a state prison on felony charges….  What did he do? He brought an inflatable sex doll to school and snuck it into a girl’s bathroom as a senior prank. That’s right, a blow up sex doll…  School administrators saw a hooded figure on a security camera carrying a package into the bathroom and leaving a few minutes later without the package. Now…  Did they send someone to ask Tyell what was in the package? Noooo…  They severely overreacted and called the police… Next we have the police, the bomb squad, the SWAT team, Navy Seal Team 6, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis and the entire cast and crew from every incarnation of Law & Order descending on the school.

Well, you might think, a bomb threat must have been called in, but you would be wrong….  Officials claim that since the Columbine incident, they do not take chances with this sort of thing, so Tyell Morton is looking at 8 years.

Now get this…  If he had brought a loaded gun to the school, the maximum penalty under Indiana law would be…  Ready for this? Wait for it….  3 years! Yes, 3! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be threatened with an anatomically correct blow up doll than a loaded gun!

Seems to me to be a case of severe overreaction. You can read the story on the  Channel 6 News website. Good luck, Tyell…  I hope your attorney gets the charges dismissed… You don’t deserve what those mental morons are trying to do to you for what I think would have been a very funny prank.

Love to all, Poppy xxxxx

AV Software Only Works If You Use It!

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Happy Sunday, all!

Let’s talk a little about Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware apps….  It used to be that the only people who ended up with nasties on their computers where those who went to rogue websites. And rogue sites are not limited to porn sites. It includes software download sites, driver update sites, seemingly charitable sites; the list goes on.

Whenever someone buys a PC, it always includes what is called bloatware… Dozens of unneeded and unwanted applications that help the vendor defray the cost of the PC, but frustrates the buyer. One of those packages included is always a commercial Anti-Virus trial. Usually, it has a 30, 60 or 90 day “free” evaluation period and it will be fully functional for that time period. Once the time expires, it will frequently prod you to buy the package for anywhere from $29.99 to $69.99 a year. The vast majority of users decide they don’t want to spend the money and besides, the application still runs and catches nasties. True. However, it stops updating it’s database. The info in the database is how the software knows what is a virus and what isn’t. The bad guys out there are constantly creating new and more inventive ways to infect you. If the database isn’t updated (sometimes updates come out on a daily basis) your Anti-Virus software will not know about them! I had a relative who was hit by a virus and it turns out their Anti-Virus software hadn’t been updated in over 2 years! But they saved the $39.99!

I know. These days money is tight. Believe me, I know that! BUT, there are excellent free alternatives! For example, Microsoft Security Essentials is free and very effective! You can find it at the  Microsoft Security Essentials page.

Before the flames begin, I’ll be the first to say that no one package will provide you complete protection. Things will slip though. You need what we geeks refer to as a ‘toolkit’. After all, you wouldn’t think of trying to fix your car armed with only a screwdriver… There is an fantastic application to detect and remove Adware (unwanted advertisement apps that can redirect your browser to sites you never intended to visit) and Malware (Malicious software that can steal private info like passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) called Malwarebytes. It has a free download that you have to run manually and is intended for a one time use as it doesn’t receive updates. So you will have to download it every time you need it. But they do have a self updating version that runs automatically for $24.95. That is a onetime charge entitling you to free updates for life. You can find it at the Malwarebytes page.

So there you go! Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.

I’ve got some girly stuff to do before I can, ahem, look good in the bikini…  😉 ‘Nuff said! Tee-hee….

Till next time, Love and Kisses,

Poppy

Now this law offends me!

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What's the first thing you thought of? Hmmm?The other day, the Tennessee Legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill that makes it punishable by a $2500 fine and up to a year in prison to publish a photograph or image that anyone may find offensive or threatening. How ludicrous is that? Now we all have a right not to be offended? The law, as written, appears to be overly broad and vague, leaving it up to the Prosecutor’s Office to decide if the photo was ‘legitimately used” as in a straight news story.  Opinion pieces and editorials are not automatically considered legitimate. Can you say ‘Unconstitutional”?

Let’s look at this with a bit of Poppy’s Sarcastic Logic: First off, I don’t live in Tennessee, nor have I ever been there. If I were to publish a photo in my blog from a US Civil War history book depicting slavery, (I think I can safely say most rational people find slavery to be offensive), and someone from Tennessee was offended, would I be subject to arrest? What about the original author and publishers of the book?

I find intolerance to be offensive. So if I were sitting in an airport in Tennessee checking out the news online and happened upon a photograph of a funeral protest by the Westboro Baptist Church yahoos, could I call the police and have the webmaster of CNN Online arrested? Or the author of the news article? Or the CEO of the ISP used by CNN?

Some folks find religious depictions offensive…  So how about a picture of a manger scene at Christmas time? After all, not everyone is a Christian! Or a half-naked dying man wearing a crown of thorns nailed to a wooden post? Or Newt Gringrich?

If I have to look at one more photo of NY Representative Anthony Wiener’s wiener, I’m going to be offended.  Well, actually, I’ll be bored and might yawn… But I’ll pretend to be offended! Does that count? Wait a minute…  I just said “If I HAVE to look…” And that is my point. We don’t HAVE to look at anything. We CHOOSE to look at things…  No one is holding a gun to my head telling me what to click on. If you don’t like it, don’t look. But now we’re going to have people appointing themselves as some sort of Morality Police, going online and intentionally looking for things to find offensive. Where does this crap end?

What do you think?

Love ya all! xxxxxx

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