Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

I’m #1 in Google. No Googlebombs here.

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Ok, so maybe ‘Joel Tanner’ isn’t the most searched for phrase, but for someone that spends a lot of time on SEO it’s pretty damn exciting to get their own name up in lights. Now normally this wouldn’t be a big deal for an SEO…
But I accomplished this without using any black hat, or even grey hat, methods of SEO. I’ve moved this site from being on the 4th page of resutls, to link #1, for the search ‘Joel Tanner‘ on Google. Let’s see how long it sticks…

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AES 256bit Encrypted DVDs (and HDs)

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Using Dekart’s PrivateDisk I’ve started encrypting all of the DVDs I burn with backup data (and contain information I wouldn’t want anyone else to have access to). The process is pretty simple, and Dekart has a tutorial. The process does take more time, than burning a DVD regularly, and especially if you’ll be writing multiple disks as you will need to create duplicates of *.dpd encrypted image file, as well as copy the backup data into it, and finally burn it all to DVD. Using PrivateDisk and your favourite burning software (Nero), all you need to do is this:

  1. Create a virtual encrypted disk (dpd file) with 4400mb (if you’re using single layer DVDs) named dvd.dpd
    • Choose a password that contains a combination of lowercase and
      uppercase letters, and digits. The encryption will take around 4000
      years (using current technology) to break via brute force.
  2. Fill the image with your files
  3. Open up your DVD burning app:
    • Take into consideration that an ISO DVD can’t have a single file larger
      than 2GB, so you’ll want to use the UDF format when you create your DVD.
  4. Copy the encrypted dvd.dpd image to the DVD root
  5. Copy all of the files from “c:\Program Files\Dekart\Private Disk\” to the DVD root
  6. Copy versnum.dll and dkar.dll from “c:\Windows\system32\” to the DVD root
  7. Create a text file named autorun.inf, that contains:
    [Autorun]
    Open=PrvDisk.exe /minimize /path:dvd.dpd
  8. Copy autorun.inf to the DVD root
  9. Burn it!

I also encrypt ‘chunks’ of my HDs to store the more sensitive data such as ‘My Documents’ and I fully encrypt backup HDs, internal or external. PrivateDisk doesn’t seem cause any loss of performance, if you’re wondering. Obviously, with regard to HDs, you need not go beyond step 2.

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Microsoft’s Napster

Friday, June 16th, 2006

From Reuters: “They have been developing technologies that have really
good music discovery and community,” another source said.
“iTunes is the 7-11 (of music stores). You don’t hang out
there.”

Microsoft is apparently working on an iPod/iTunes ‘killer’, and apparently hoping that ‘community’ will give them the leverage they need to shift market share away from Apple. Right! All Microsoft is doing, from my speculation, is copying what was once Napster chat rooms/forums based on music. Unless they’ve got some other ‘killer-app’, I would place a wager on MS gaining any ground with this. Apple could easily update iTunes to include this ‘feature’.

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Planet RIAA

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

Mitch Bainwol, CEO of the RIAA is muttering non-sense just like the MPAA did when it claimed it sank The Pirate Bay last month. In this article he claims that “we believe digital downloads have emerged into a growing, thriving business, and file-trading is flat” and that file sharing is “contained”. Pretty funny if you ask me. From my observations, and conversations with even the most non-tech people, file sharing has become even more widespread and publically acceptable than it was a year ago, two years ago, etc. I believe TPB tripled its members/usage after the ’sinking’ incident.

A note to the RIAA and MPAA;
Adding press, good or bad, to anything only makes it more well known. If you want to ‘contain’ file sharing you’re going to need to drop prices and your stupid constricting DRM models. Enthusiats/hackers/coders/pirates will always be two steps ahead of you.

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It’s About Time

Monday, June 12th, 2006

I’ve been stuck in the stone age by my own choice, and I’ve been using a Nokia 3650 while I’ve been there. The phone has treated me well, although I’m on the 3rd one, but it’s just a heavy brick and most importantly lacks the features I really need.

My requirements for a new phone were as follows:

  1. Windows Mobile 5
  2. Stylus
  3. ‘Keyboard’
  4. Large screen
  5. Camera
  6. Bluetooth
  7. Easy to sync with Outlook, locally and remotely
  8. IMAP support
  9. Ability to install/use a SSH client
  10. Ability to install/use a Citrix Presentation Server client
  11. Ability to install/use a Terminal Services/Remote Desktop client
  12. and most importantly… EDGE or EV-DO

The primary objective is to be able to access servers, both personal and work related, regardless of where I am without having to run and find a computer with Internet access. Secondary is Email, Web, and IM.

I’ve been on the prowl for well over a year to find the right solution, and I’ve had friends go through several phones that I considered, but they all seemed to switch to another within a short amount of time, which didnt really give me a great impression of any of them. So I just sat right. I’ve been a T-Mobile customer since 2002 and I have an insane rate plan and options and although I considered switching to Verizon or Sprint (for EV-DO) I just couldn’t get the same kind of pricing I’m used to. I held out hope that T-Mobile would eventually offer a phone that met my requirements. They FINALLY came through. On Saturday, after visiting the local T-Mobile store, I ordered the T-Mobile MDA (w/Windows Mobile 5) made by HTC. It should arrive this week, so I’ll follow-up with my review soon after.

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Google Torrent Search

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Ethan was apparently playing with Google which reminded me of Google’s ‘Vertical’ searches. If the MPAA or RIAA ever manage to completely shutdown all the Torrent search engines out there… you’ll have to go no farther than Google for a replacement. Just use “filetype:torrent” in your search query to find your favorite TV shows, or anything else, such as The Simpsons. In a quick check, I noticed that Google currently has more than 400,000 Torrents indexed. So why haven’t the RIAA and MPAA gone after Google? My guess… they’d probably lose a major battle, set precedence, and lose the war.

Minisize Me

Thursday, February 3rd, 2005

Music: Radiohead – Talk Show Host

I’ve wanted a small lil ‘mini’ digital camera for awhile now, something I could put in my pocket and have with me w/o the hassle of a ‘normal’ size camera. A few nights ago when I was out for dinner for Aaron’s birthday Jaclyn had gotten a new camera. She was snapping away, the photos on the 2 inch LCD looked great, and it looked very easy to use. I immediately began questioning her on the price, information, make, model, etc – you’d almost have thought I was seeking out a murder suspect the way I was interrogating her. The Canon Digital Elph SD200 was in my sites now, and after pricing it out later that night as well as reading all the reviews and documentation I could find, as well as looking at sample photos, I decided this was going to be an impulse buy. Ship it to me 2nd day I told Amazon, and today it appeared on my doorstep. Already charged it up, changed some of the settings to my liking, and read a good portion of the manual… not to mention I’ve taken some test shots which I’ve been please with. I’ll be toting this lil Elph around with me from now on. Should be fun as Anne will be here soon, then off to Vegas, and then of course… _the move_.

Miracle Drug

Sunday, November 28th, 2004

Music: Enya – Tempus Vernum

I have a new Dell server I’ve been slowly working on. Of course, I picked it up from Dell while they had an error on their site for an incredibly low price, and while it came with the bare bones… it’s anything but that now. As of tonight: Dell PowerEdge 400SC,2.8GHZ/512K Cache, P4, 800FSB, 1.12GB RAM, 660GB, CD-ROM, DVD DualLayer Writer, Windows Media Center. While I still need to upgrade the video card and add-in a tuner/PVR card, I’ve appropriately named the machine ‘Miracle Drug’. All my machines, networked attached devices, etc are all named after something relating to U2. Dorky, I know, but it works.

Rebates from hell

Friday, November 26th, 2004

So I was at BestBuy at 4:45am. Doors opened somewhere between 5:45-6:00am… what a mad house. I ended up getting some of the limited sale items I was after (won’t mention this since some are gifts for people). The one thing I realized during the process is while they have these great prices, they are only great because of the rebates for the most part. Now _most_ rebates require you to have the original UPC to send in *DING DING DING*. If you’re giving something as a gift, how the hell do they expect you to send in the rebate? They don’t (unless the person you’re giving it to doesn’t want to return or exchange it and wants a hole in their box), I think they plan on people thinking they’re getting such an amazing bargain, but never turning the rebates in…. of course, isn’t that the idea behind rebates anyway? Three hours of sleep. Need to catch up. More shopping later… I dunno.