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This page documents random thoughts, observations, reviews, criticisms, rants, anecdotes, tips, tricks, and discoveries by Blake Nancarrow. The notes here pertain specifically to information technology. They are dated and arranged in reverse-order, the newest items at the top.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | the '90s


Index of Postings

17 Dec - word watch (texting)
16 Dec - have bookmarks will travel
9 Dec - on IRC now (instant messaging)
5 Nov - free virus check
26 Sep - nanites in my pants?!
8 Jul - high speed Canadians
18 Jun - $1/GB
15 Jun - mobile phone viri
20 Apr - Sympatico's little secret
10 Feb - wrong message (viri)
28 Jan - rich ink
11 Jan - on ICQ (instant messaging)
6 Jan - ramping up on MSFP and MSP 2003
3 Jan - found geek-shirt
1 Jan - private in Canada

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17 Dec 2004 - word watch

Saw the following "word" on a lizard-sanctioned Telus Mobility poster in the subway, flogging the latest mobile fone in their fleet, a flip-top that let's the user easily communicate by:


I hadn't known Telus to be so hip...

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16 Dec 2004 - have bookmarks will travel

As good as bookmark shareware like Compass is, I realised I need a solution above or beyond what was offered on an individual computer. Since I'm very mobile, working from client locations, at a friend's house, from a hotel room, using my palmtop, I need access to my bookmarked or favourite web sites no matter where I am. The simple fact that I might be using one of 3 or 4 different computers at my home office, I want bookmarks in a "common" or universal location...

On the net! Of course.

I have begun using linkaGoGo, an online bookmark manager, and it looks great!

It has a very good (keyword) search system. Supports custom folders. Tracks first- and last-used dates. You can do mass-operations, such as moving several bookmarks into a new folder. Export any time you want. Sharing or providing public access is possible. And they provide a link so to quickly add new sites.

I easily uploaded my bookmarks from my 2 main Windows computers, from the 2 or 3 browsers or lists I was using on each computer (totalling some 1200!).

Now, I'll be able to access all my needed web sites now matter where I'm surfing, no matter which computer I'm using. One list. One place.

Linkagogo is "donate" ware.

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9 Dec 2004 - on IRC now

It is with some irony that I announce I am on IRC, Internet Relay Chat, the oldest of the internet instant messaging services (before it was called instant messaging).

So this means now that I can be reached instantly on:

  • ICQ
  • IRC
  • MSN
  • Yahoo!

Specific IDs or channels provided upon request. As I continue to use Trillian Pro, when logged on, I'm able to monitor and operate on all 5 of these services simultaneously.

As an aside, I "registered" my IRC id on a DALnet server so hopefully you'll be able to find me with relative ease.

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5 Nov 2004 - free virus check

My main Windows computer's been acting a little strange lately...

And a colleague reported a virus-infected email that appeared to be from me.

So I popped into McAfee (with Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, with ActiveX loaded!) and used their online Freescan. Everything was clean.

McAfee made the following statement: there are "500 new computer viruses discovered each month."

Nasty. Stay frosty!

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26 Sep 2004 - nanites in my pants?!

I bought some Denver Hayes khaki pants. Read the label closely when I got home and saw a reference to "nano-care." Are there nanites in my pants? What the heck is going on down there?!

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8 Jul 2004 - high speed Canadians

Heard on CTV news that 60% of Canadian homes have a high speed internet connection! Heard this again a couple of days later on a different news program. They said the source was Stats Can.

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18 Jun 2004 - $1/GB

Bought a new hard disk today at Future Shop to replace a drive that was starting to falter. I paid $88 for 80 gigabytes (GBs). That's about one dollar per gigabyte!

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15 Jun 2004 - mobile phone viri

It was announced yesterday that a worm—called Cabir—has been developed to attack Symbian OS smartphones (and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, no matter the type). This is the first EPOC-based virus. In fact, I'm surprised that an EPOC virus didn't appear sooner! Particularly because Psion portable and palmtop computers have always had built-in programming language capabilities. It is easy to do!

See Symantec's security response pages for more info, removal instructions, and to update your virus definitions.

Which reminds me... I've said, for many years, that the computer virus "problem" is going to get worse. Not to be negative. Don't be fearful. Prepare yourself accordingly.

It was only a matter of time...

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20 Apr 2004 - Sympatico's little secret

It was an article in one of the Toronto newspapers I think that tipped me off that Bell Sympatico was upgrading their High Speed DSL service and that members could benefit from a speed improvement at no additional charge. But you'd have to ask. Later, I saw specific advertisements... Still, the tone of the article is that you wouldn't know that you'd get faster service for free unless you asked.

I called Sympatico in early April to ask which service I was paying for: Basic DSL, High Speed, or Ultra: I was paying for the middle tier. I then asked what the maximum download speed was for that tier: 4MB. I then asked if I had the correct "modem" to exploit this service: I had the Nortel 1-Meg modem... Nope, I would need an upgrade. Since local switch had been upgraded I, and others in the High Park neighbourhood, could take advantage of this. My friendly Sympatico rep said they'd send it out the new modem right away (no questions asked).

I contacted several of my friends using Sympatico to let them know the good news. My buddy Malcolm called in right away asking similar questions plus some pointed ones. When was the local switch upgraded to the faster service? A month or so ago. When were you going to notify your existing customers of this? Oh, ah, soon... At the end of his discussion with his rep, they said that once he got the modem, he could swap it, but it wouldn't work until Sympatico altered a setting at their side of the client's connection. Really? My rep hadn't said anything about that...

The modem arrived in short order on April 15 and I hooked it up: it didn't work. I put the old modem back in service. I called Sympatico and confirmed what Malcolm's rep had said. I waited until my High Speed service stopped functioning, hooked up the new Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5200 modem, and everything was good (and noticeable faster, despite my older computers).

Malcolm did not fair so well. They "turned off" his old service before his new modem arrived! He was steamed. It took a few days for the new modem to arrive... This made Malcolm and I question the Sympatico process. Perhaps it would be better if they sent the modem out with instructions to call. Then when the customer called, they'd know to change the service at their end. The customer could continue to use the old modem until it stopped working then swap in the new modem.

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10 Feb 2004 - wrong message

Computer viri and worms are nasty. The last thing we need is for the media to make them seem cute and cuddly...

Now every kid'll want one of their very own...

Image STOLEN from a local Toronto newspaper!

cute little MyDoom worm, with teeth

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28 Jan 2004 - rich ink

Was watching Disclosure on CBC television and learned that ink in ink jet printer cartridges is more expensive by volume than champagne or perfume! And that some ink jet printer manufacturers, when you fully use their cartridges, leave a little bit of ink behind (they say it's required to prevent damage to the printer head).

While I was somewhat suspicious of ink jet refillers, Disclosure revealed that these places are truly trying to help consumers. They specifically referred to a long-time Canadian shop Nomi Computer Sense. Now, I don't have an ink jet; but if I did, I'd buy my ink from her.

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11 Jan 2004 - on ICQ

Created my ICQ account. Getting ready to test it with Trillian...

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6 Jan 2004 - ramping up on MSFP and MSP 2003

As I wrote new quick reference material for Beezix Software Services for Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and Project 2003, I got a chance to shake down these new versions. I'll give a more detailed report shortly.

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3 Jan 2004 - found geek-shirt

Found my "No, I will not fix your computer!" t-shirt from which I had bought a year ago and misplaced. Yeh! Don't you hate it when you misfile a shirt? Wore it to a house party—all the other technogeeks loved it.

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1 Jan 2004 - private in Canada

The privacy laws in Canada are fully implemented. So don't misuse my private information. I will protect yours!

See the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's web site for more info.

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This page was last updated on 26 February 2013.
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