Archive for October, 2007

I just cut $56.00 off of the $380.00 poor man’s computer.

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Helios eat your heart out.

Hello. Today a woman called me up and wanted two computers for about $100 – $200 each and she already had two monitors, keyboards, mice, etc. I decided that either the poor man’s computer mentioned on ZDnet would be the one I would build or maybe just maybe I could do one better?

The poor man’s computer has an LCD monitor, motherboard, CPU, HD, Power Supply, and RAM. All of this costs only $380.00.

Well when I went to work to find out what I could build the first two things I looked for were the lowest price AMD CPU and all in one motherboard. That was a mistake because the RAM was too much. So I looked back at the Poor Man’s computer. It had a good value for RAM. I selected the BIOSTAR K8M800 Micro AM2 Socket AM2 VIA K8M800 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard because it would support this RAM and it also supported a nice AM2 processor. It’s fully Linux Compatible. It also comes with a 4 pin power connector to an SATA power connector converter.

So now what? Well I needed a HD, CPU, and RAM. This motherboard uses old ATX 20 pin power supplies with an extra 4 pin connector. Not the 20+4 pin type. So now I can recycle an old computer case and power supply. If I wanted to stay true to the challenge of the Poor Man’s computer I could cut the motherboard mount out of the case and put it on the back of the monitor and weld the sheet metal from the case around it as well. But I’m living in the real world where my customer wants a nice shiny ATX case and not something I’ve concocted (no offense its very cool). I also have a few CD-ROM drives kicking around and maybe even some DVD-ROM drives that I can use from old computers I’ve retired from years of torture from M$ windows and fragmentation.

I’m thinking about customizing the cases since they have that DELL logo on the front. I’m wondering how hard this would be to achieve.

Since this is a farming community I’m even tempted to rebuild the case out of wood or chicken fence or whatever I can find in a scrap pile. These computers really catch people’s eye because they wonder what in the world they are and how they work.

My CPU is a AMD Sempron 64 3400+ Manila 1.8GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model SDA3400CWBOX , RAM is the same Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model KVR667D2N5K2/1G

And my monitor is Hanns·G JW-199DPB Black 19″ 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor

Complain if you want but this is not a bad drive EXCELSTOR Jupiter Series ESJ8080S 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

The price of one computer with the LCD monitor is $324.14.

The price without a monitor is $150.48.

Linux is Free and I prefer PCLinuxOS because well, it just rocks.

If you need me to build you or someone you know one of these computers just call me at 1-208-750-5628 or e-mail me at admin@mindblowingidea.com. I charge a fee of $100.00 for every computer I build, program, and ship out. Shipping is not included.

An Excellent Article by Azerthoth.

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Azerblog points out an amazing hole in security for computers running the various distributions of *nix out there.  Physical access is the most overlooked security hole of all.  If you’re an individual user who has your machine(s) behind a lock and key at home, this may not concern you so much.  If you run a multi-million dollar corporation on the other hand, you might want to pay attention to what he has to say on this.

URGENT! You, your relatives, and friends are in grave danger!

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

First of all if you don’t know what Piracy is or if it’s wrong take this quiz. 

Yes thats right: you are in grave danger of having 25% of your wages garnished for life or even a prison sentence. I (Justin Breithaupt) was listening to KMBI moody radio to what I thought was one of their usual radio talk shows about online piracy when I heard them saying that people, churches, and businesses have been getting viruses that turn their computer (without their knowledge) into a file sharing server that shares illegal copies of music, movies, etc to people all over the world. One of these entities who were prosecuted against was a lady for having downloaded 14 songs. She explained she had no idea what was going on but that did not stop the court from deciding to sue her -$25,000.00 for the music and because all piracy cases also charge the guilty party for the prosecuting lawyer fees she also owed -$250,000.00. The court decided they would garnish 25% of her paychecks for life. All of this because she was using the Windows operating system which is vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. The people who sent the virus out were not caught to my knowledge and most of them probably are not. So while your PC is being used by hackers as a server you get prosecuted and they get off Scott free! My question to you is after hearing this and understanding the consequences for using a vulnerable OS like Windows will you continue to?

This is just one case of many that have been and are going on. You could be next. Anti virus is not enough and you can’t trust your financial wellbeing and your freedom as a US citizen to a computer program that claims to protect you against all viruses that it knows exist, can you? Many people do without knowing it.

So who makes money from pirated software? Well the companies that sue you do and so do the people that pirated the software in the first place that don’t get caught. These pirates sell copies of CDs and DVDs that contain illegal software, music, and videos. So while you are getting busted Miro$oft, music companies, movie companies, and pirates profit. (this article here shows proof Micro$oft is helping software pirates) Does this sound familiar? It should. We allow illegal immigrants to come into our country. We give illegal immigrants social security. The hard working US citizens lose their social security. Steal from the hard working people and give to the criminals and big corporations. So are the big corporations and people that put these laws and practices in power criminals? I think so. So if Micro$oft, music companies, movie companies, and pirates profit why should they have any incentive at all to stop the viruses that cause you to become a victim of this type of piracy?

By this definition of legal procedures anyone who has received a virus that spreads to other computers should be in jail for spreading viruses.

I’m not saying switch to Mac; I’m saying switch to Linux for free. You don’t have to worry about identity theft, file sharing, zombie processes, slow computer performance, crashes, or lost information from Viruses when you use Linux. You do have to worry about giving your info out on the Internet when you should not but there are also tools for Firefox that will tell you when you are not on a secure site. Yes Firefox still gets cookies and once in a blue moon and I mean a very dark blue moon it gets a Trojan virus but this can be instantly fixed by clicking Tools, Clear all private data, and no more viruses. I’ve only had that problem once in my life in Linux. Porn filters work well in Linux too and even if you don’t look at porn it’s a good way of staying away from temptation. You can add these and more add-ons from www.firefox.com . My favorite is fasterfox which speeds up your Internet.

With all the money you will save from switching to Linux (not paying for software, updates, or computer maintenance) you will have an additional $1,500.00+ a year to spend on legal music CDs, Linux compatible hardware, or whatever you wish. After 183.33 years of savings one person could pay off the $275,000.00 debt this lady has to pay or 4 people could pay it off in 45.83 years or 8 people could pay it off in 22.92 years or 20 people could pay it off in just 9.17 years. A fund could be set up in this manner to help free software pirate victims from Micro$oft. But why pay Micro$oft anything? Micro$oft will just advertise more with the extra income. Why not use some of this money to advertise Linux? By advertising Linux people could free themselves from Piracy. It would be like a stop smoking campaign that the government gives money for. However the Government would not give any money for this.

Being addicted to Micro$oft products is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. I believe the Christian thing to do would be to help spread the truth and make people aware. If you are interested in helping me to start an organization to free those who are innocent software pirate victims and help spread Linux please leave a comment or send e-mail to admin@mindblowingidea.com . Thanks for your support. I’m thinking about using Micro$oft Addicts Anonymous (MAA), Software Pirate Victim Relief Fund (SPVRF), or The Campaign For Freedom (TCF) as a name. Suggestions are welcome.

Here is another example click here.

Project Penny Bag Update and More!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Well, I got a measly 8 pennies today……………………

…….along with 2 nickels, 5 dimes, and 2 dollars!

Last time: $1.33

Collected today: $2.68

Total: $4.11

Yes, I have given pennies and whatever isn’t a quarter to this effort whenever I could. However, a good majority of the donations are coming from other people. Yes, I get odd looks at first, but…. There are those who are quite generous out there, so….. Yeah. 😀

When they heard about Komputers4Kids, I kept hearing things like, “Oh, cool!” Now that’s what I find amazing in and of itself. I’ll keep trying for the rest of this week, though it will be challenging, seeing as how a three day weekend is coming up. Again, imagine if three others are doing this right now, and they even got the same amount that I do now. Imagine the impact it could have, especially if instead of three, it was 20 or more! So what do you say? Are you willing to do this? Why not give it a shot? All it takes is a cup that people can drop change into (and emphasize pennies, as they are easily parted with… but also accept other coinage as well). 😉

On another note, and this is kind of ironic (don’t ask why, I’m not getting into it here….), I do have plans on taking a look at this distribution. Why? I looked at a brief video tutorial, and it reminded me of Windows 95, and all under 100 MB too if memory serves. Why, this could bring a Pentium II desktop system back to life (have to pick it up). Why not my old Dell Optiplex GXi? If it could boot a CD, I’d be trying it on that right now. Oh well, what a way to end the night, eh? Remember, to overcome fear, the most irrational feeling of all….

  • Entertain yourself
  • Educate yourself
  • Empower yourself

More Pennies Just In!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

This is a progress update to Project Penny Bag.

Cache from last time: 69 Pennies!

Pennies collected today: 24!

I have a total of 93 pennies already.  Now, add a dime to that, and I already have $1.03!  In two days.  Oh yeah!  Things are progressing much more quickly than I originally thought.  Here is an addendum to those who want to duplicate this effort to help out Lobby4Linux or any other group for that matter: If someone offers a nickel, dime, quarter, or more willingly, go ahead and accept, as every little bit helps.  Keep in mind that you’ll primarily have pennies anyway.  I’ll add a few more to the pile from my own pocket as well.

93 Pennies

3 Dimes (one from another person today and two of my own)

2 Nickels

Total: $1.33

Add another penny to that, and I’d be able to give ’em an entire dollar right now, but… I want them to get a little more than that from me, so let’s keep things going.  😀

Is Windows Media Player 11 Watching You?

Monday, October 8th, 2007

I thought Microsoft stuck to monitoring Vista systems but XP could be under surveillance too. If you have read my previous articles this should come as no surprise.

I was working on one of my customer’s computers when I saw this http://usacomputertec.deviantart.com/art/WMP11-66831353

on their screen in their msconfig menu. I disabled it as it does not need to run at start up for normal operation.

If you want to disable this you can click start, run, type msconfig, press enter and choose selective startup. Do the same as shown here.

Further Clarification

Ok so what harm can this cause to my PC? Well others have documented this phenomenon on their computers here and here. Even though I’m not quite sure what all this Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service actually does, I do know some basic things about Windows Media Player.

1. You rip your CDs or Music to your PC.

2. WMP decides to encrypt your music with DRM so it can’t be played on any other device.

3. It reports back to Microsoft all the names of the songs you have on your PC and if they are legal or not.

All of this has been done in many versions of Windows Media Player. I like to ask people some times can your Windows Media Player play DVDs, MP4s, or .MOV video files? No it can only play Windows Media not that other junk that you would surly never use. Everyone should only play Windows Media. This is why Microsoft got sued about 300 billion dollars this last month for monopolizing the market with Windows Media Player.

What I don’t know is what else Microsoft is using Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service to monitor. All I know is if it’s anything like Vista it’s bad news. According to this review this process eats up 2 MB of your RAM and 3% of your processor speed. The stated use is so that it can exchange your media with other devices on the network and other players. Disabling this process disables others from being able to gain access to your music from outside your computer. Here we have another article about a Microsoft victim who has a Zune, Xbox360, and Windows Media Player 11. He noticed a speed decrease after he sinked his Zune with Windows Media Player. This process that shares media was at the heart of it all. Yet this Microsoft Partner has a site devoted to identifying the processes that run on your PC and letting you know what to do about them. He seems to recommend getting rid of it. According to Microsoft this process monitors your devices and network 24/7 to make sure everything is in sync. This must surly eat up some processing power. Others claimed it only did this when your system was dormant. Not so. People here notice long loading times when this zombie process is in use.

So is this a zombie process? Well you decide for yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I want to share media with all my devices in the world automatically or manually? By automatically I mean that every time you plug in a jump drive it will be scanned and all the media will be added, same with a CD, DVD, or whatever.

2. Do you want to devote 2 MB of RAM and 3% CPU to this process?

3. Do you trust Microsoft?

Project Penny Bag is a Go!

Monday, October 8th, 2007

A new project has begun. It has begun by myself, and if anyone wants to repeat this process, let me know. Anyway, here’s how it will work.

  1. Starting today, I myself will have a plastic cup for people to throw their pennies into. At the end of the day, I’ll throw them into a plastic bag, and save the cup for the next day.
  2. I will do the collection for 30 days, starting today. As a student in college, I may very well run into people who would be more than happy to give up their pennies (and others too… there are those out there who can’t stand pennies, especially since where a vending machine is concerned, they’re useless).
  3. On November 6, I’ll have the money deposited into a bank account, and the exact amount from those pennies will be immediately sent to Lobby4Linux for the purpose of boosting the Komputers4Kids project being done by helios and friends.

Yes, helios is an incredible person, who has had multiple bouts with illness and sickness etc, etc…. He has managed to battle his way through it all, and even survived a virtual scathing that was completely uncalled for. However, he won’t be around forever. Nobody ever is, so there needs to be more who can and will step up to the plate, or take the ball and run with it so to speak. I will have a cache of pennies already saved up, and I’ll give it to everyone at the end of the day.

So would you like to participate in this as well? It’s really quite simple, and you don’t have to tell me about it if you don’t want to. All you have to do is have a plastic cup of your own that can hold a decent amount of pennies (I’ll leave that up to your judgment) and collect them for a day. A couple of possible ways to get people donating exists of course:

  • Have a piece of paper that reads, “Hate pennies? Throw ’em in here!”
  • Have a piece of paper that reads, “Support Lobby4Linux today in their efforts of promoting FOSS!”

I’m sure there are other ways of doing it for now. On my end, I’ll give everyone a progress report, and we’ll see how far it goes. No matter what I have, on the 6th of November, I’ll donate what I have, unless it is less than two dollars (in which case, I’ll keep what I have and donate a larger amount later). Make sure it is more than two dollars to cover the PayPal Fee, and of course make sure they get at least one dollar. So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Start your engines!

 Update: I have obtained a cache of pennies over the weekend as well as a few of them today, so everything’s off to a decent start.  Here’s what I have thus far…

Cache: 57

Collected Thus Far Today: 12

I have a total of 69 pennies thus far.  I’ll keep everyone posted as to how many I have collected so far.  On November 6, I will donate what I have (as long as it is two dollars or more) to Lobby4Linux

My Advocacy is for Real!

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

 

$15 Donation to the ACCRC.

As you can see, I donated to the ACCRC. Why? A number of reasons of course:

  1. I would never advocate donating to a cause that without donating to said cause.
  2. I posted an angry entry without thinking of the consequences first. I acted just like another blogger who shall remain un-named (and take note: they caused quite a bit of damage), which reminded of the power of the Internet. In the words of Stan Lee, “With great power must also come great responsibility.”
  3. This person has done so much good by giving people another chance that are often shunned out of fear, bigotry, and misunderstanding. That is to be greatly commended.

I would also like to reverse any potential damage I may have caused by regurgitating here what has already been stated here:

  • Yes, the EFF sent James Burgett a nice letter. However, that does not mean the EFF is giving him legal defense. An appointment has been made, so please… don’t jump the gun like I did.
  • Adapting legislation involving re-use does not mean that the ACCRC has won just yet. Keep in mind that in California, there are enough rules, regulations, and loopholes (not to mention red tape) to render projects such as ACCRC more and more difficult to do.
  • There are no significant changes in their operations.
  • There was never an issue with filing in the first place.
  • There are no new permits involved.

The only issue pertains to material kept over a year. Hopefully, that’s cleared up any misconceptions that anyone else has had (including myself). With that being said, I still do take issue with government-run “environmental” organizations. Bureaucracy is never a good thing, especially when it is huge. I don’t care if it is state or federal at this point. By recycling usable components and equipment, we don’t have to scavenge for new resources, thus other forms of lives, such as say… gorillas… are put in less danger.

Moving on, I also did another charitable thing today, and I ask others to do the same… I also donated the same amount to Lobby4Linux, for their Komputers4Kids project as can be seen in this screenshot below:

$15 for Komputers4Kids.

Yes, I blacked out any information that can identify where I live, etc, etc…. but I digress. That’s $30 total for two good causes. Imagine if five more were to do that every month. 😀

I’m going to make an effort to donate to these causes twice a month if I can and for the same amount (if there’s a ton of extra money or something like that, I’ll give more). I want to issue a challenge to everyone reading this. I want you to match my donations for at least one of these causes. Whether it’s Lobby4Linux or ACCRC. Make your pick, and if you want to do both and/or another cause entirely, go for it! If more people set aside a small amount every two weeks to help such great causes out, they would be so much better off. You see, I’d love for there to be similar operations in other states. Can you imagine how amazing that would be? Just something to ponder about. Until next time:

  • Entertain yourself.
  • Educate yourself.
  • Empower yourself.

News For Today

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Why People Still Use Windows

CNN calles him a local Linux Hero but Government wants to shut him down.

Please Support Aftermath Technologies.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

James of of Aftermat Technologies who runs the ACCRC in California is an incredible person delivering an amazing gift… no, an absolutely awesome miracle to this country.  They still face some obstacles, so if you can, please go to their site, and give some support financially.  Also, you may feel free to comment on his blog as well, but please… be nice.  I made a mistake once of posting without thinking, and I offered an apology in one of his posts.  However, being rude and insulting towards an individual who is facing some tough times from state bureaucracy is not only petty, but completely uncalled for.

Also, I understand that James is a true human being who humbles himself often.   I understand wanting other living beings to live before oneself does.  However, if we as a people on this planet can not take care of ourselves, then what good are we to the rest of the world?  That is why I disagree with the assessment concerning CNN Heroes.  There is a minor caveat however: it should not take the likes of CNN, ABC, FOX, or any of the other mainstrean media outlets to determine who is heroic.  We already know that this person is a hero to those less fortunate.  It’s incredible really.  Either way, he does need all the positive support he can get right now, so again, whether it’s positive feedback on his blog, or a financial donation, any form of support will go a long way.