Abbreviated Election Musing 
Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 19:00
Elections are hella fun. They have more suspense than M. Night Shyamalan's movies!

Other news ... my computer is still devoid of spyware. Looks like my hissy fit yesterday closed whatever gaps I had open on my computer.
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One Pissed Geek 
Monday, 1 November, 2004, 23:00
I am enraged.

The last program I installed on my computer was Blitz3D. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a program that lets me develop DirectX games in a very simple computer language that is very close to BASIC. I installed that program on 27 September 2004. Before that, I installed iTunes in late August. Do you see how often I install computer programs?

The last time I used Microsoft Internet Explorer on my computer was when I reloaded Windows, which again was in late August. I used it to do my Windows Updates and to download Mozilla Firefox. Since then, I have been installing my Windows Updates using Windows XP's Automatic Updates feature.

The last time anyone else used my computer was maybe three weeks ago, when Julie typed a paper using Microsoft Word. She also checked her email using Mozilla Firefox.

However, when I arrived home and turned on my monitor, I saw no less than four (that's 4, the number of arms plus the number of legs on the average human being) Internet Explorer pop-ups. This caused me great alarm due to the fact that I haven't used Internet Explorer since August, and haven't installed a new program since September.

Well, my track record for installed programs was broken because I had to install Spybot S&D and SpywareBlaster on my system. Luckily, I had Ad-Aware on my system already. In fact, I had just scanned last night before going to bed, and turned up with zero items as usual. This time, Ad-Aware came up with 350 items, and Spybot found 8 more. That, dear friends, is a problem. Spyware had come onto my computer through someone else's. I ran upstairs and did a scan on the other three computers.

The only other computer in the house that had spyware on it was my sister's. Do you see where this is going?

So now, I am paranoid about my computer. I have disallowed my sister from reaching my network shares by not only un-mapping them on her computer, but also by moving my shares to IPX/SPX and not installing that protocol on her machine. I have uninstalled everything from her computer that I don't think is necessary. Nevermind what she thinks is necessary ... apparently, downloading music and having extra Internet Explorer toolbars is necessary. Screw that. If that's necessary, Linux goes on. I don't care if I don't know much about Linux ... as long as none of that spyware bullcrap gets on any of the machines in the house, I'm happy.
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November 
Monday, 1 November, 2004, 15:00
It's November. Yay. Christmas started before Halloween, though, so I don't even think we need November anymore. I mean, seirously, who the hell needs Thanksgiving, right?

Last night was great. We scared people.

Short update, since it's the morning and nothing has happened yet today ...
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Halloween 
Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 15:00
Well well well, my intarwebnet access was down yesterday so I couldn't update. Someone stole the Bush/Cheney sign out of our front lawn. Coincidentally, someone stole the Kerry/Edwards sign out of our neighbor's front lawn. Hilarious. I found out about this when I was in a big ol' corn maze.

Carved some pumpkins with Julie last night. I haven't done that for years, and I know why ... that pumpkin goop really makes me gag. That's some nasty stuff.

The Aria box is working pretty well ... I'm putting the DVD burner to the test right now by backing up a DVD. My 2.8GHz Pentium 4 owns the Athlon 64 3000+ in encoding, though ... the margin by which it owns the Athlon is frightening. The Aria box has been working on a DVD for about 40 minutes, and my box is already burning. Interesting. I guess the deeper pipeline of the Pentium 4 processor is good for something after all.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I've got my zombie costume all ready to go ... found a turtleneck, and I'll be wearing my steel-toed boots. I mean, zombies don't wear New Balance walking shoes, right? ;-)

UPDATE: The neighbor actually took his Kerry/Edwards sign into his garage because it was windy. No word on where our Bush/Cheney sign is yet, though.
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Aria 
Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 02:00
So I finally fixed my ma's laptop, and I built a new computer for my dad. The laptop has been upgraded to 512MB of RAM (from 256MB) and a 30GB 5400RPM hard drive (from 20GB 4200RPM), but I doubt my ma would particularly care about that because she's getting the Shuttle box. My dad's computer is an Athlon 64 3000+ (Socket 754) with an MSI K8MM-ILSR motherboard, a Seagate 120GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive, a Pioneer DVR-A07 DVD burner, and 1GB of RAM, all wrapped up in an Antec Aria case. I chose the MSI K8MM-ILSR because it has integrated firewire, which allows me to use the Aria's front-panel firewire port. The Aria looks mighty spiffy, especially with that DVR-A07.

I will probably be spending the evening setting those two bad boys back up. I have to modify the Shuttle's software content a bit. It doesn't need Hungarian or Spanish keyboard support anymore, since it'll be used for Quickbooks, e-mail, and web access. It'll need all the media players and stuff because my parents are into watching video clips online.
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