Digital Blue QX5 USB Microscope Forum Questions and Email Profiles in IT: Steven Paul Jobs Skype Explains and Explains and Explains Total Lunar Eclipse Will Occur on Tuesday Life in Martian Soil Advanced Google Searching (sometimes called Google Hacks) Computer History Department
Magnify and view objects on your PC at 10X, 60X, and 200X
LED lighting used for top and bottom illumination
Take snapshots, video, and time-lapse movies
Make shows with special effects and sound
Software includes drawing and painting tools
Connected and powered via USB
Created by Intel and Mattel
Priced around $100
Forum Questions and Email
I am running Vista and keep getting a certificate error when I access the company webmail system. I believe it has something to do with the IE setting within the Vista OS . To verify if the IE or Vista may cause the probem. I downloaded and tried the Firefox browser and it worked! Do you think there may be some other IE setting to be fixed in order to make it work. This does not happen on XP or with FoxFire. Ccwang01
Tech Talk answers: I think that your office does have a certificate error. It is not detected on earlier version of Internet Explorer or by Foxfire You can click on the Certificate Error notice on the right side of the address bar and it will provide the certificate dates. In all likelihood, the certificate has expired or it is not traceable to a reliable certificate source. Perhaps your company has not purchased a verifying certificate (like from Thawte). We had this same problem at Stratford.
Hi Dr. Shurtz, I am having a problem with the free zone alarm (ver 7.0.362.000). It is hogging up the cpu. I notice that the computer was slow and the disk drive was running, like something was scanning it. I opened the task manager and found the vsmon process using up to 100% of the cpu. I shut down zonealarm and the vsmon process stopped and everything was running normal. If I restart zone alarm sometimes it works normal but most of the time the cpu is bogged down by the vsmon process. I should also add that I have run an anti-virus scan, ad-adware scan and spybot search and destroy. Do you know what is causing zone alarm to use all the cpu? Thanks Dennis
Tech Talk answers: This has been a problem since 2003 and it has gotten worse with the latest releases as indicated by the latest blogs on the zonealarm site. Zone Alarm appears to have compatibility with P2P networks. This issue affects Azureus Java Bittorrent. BitTornado, ABC, Shad0w’s Experimental, Gnutella, Shareaza, and perhaps others. Usual symptoms of this issue include but are not limited to 100% CPU usage, slow transfer speeds, corrupted files, trouble establishing incoming and outgoing transfers, complete network outages, complete system freezes, random reboots, and blue screens of death. Disabling Zone Alarm’s firewall protection will not solve the problem as its filter will still be running in the background. A complete uninstallation is required.
Profiles in IT: Steven Paul Jobs
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 to an unmarried graduate student. One week after birth, Jobs was put up for adoption.
He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California. They gave him the name Steven Paul Jobs.
He attended Cupertino Middle School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California and frequented after-school lectures at HP any in Palo Alto. He was soon hired by HP and worked with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee.
During the 1960s, it had been discovered by phone phreaking which used a whistle (2600 Hz) to make long distance phone calls. Jobs and Steve Wozniak went into business briefly in 1974 to build "blue boxes" that allowed free long distance calls.
In 1972, Jobs graduated from high school and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and dropped out after one semester.
In 1974, Jobs began joined the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak.
Jobs backpacked around India in search of philosophical enlightenment. He came back with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.
When twenty-one-year-old Jobs saw a computer that Wozniak had, he convinced Wozniak to assist him and started a company to market the computer.
Apple Computer Co. was founded as a partnership on April 1, 1976.
The first personal computer Jobs and Wozniak introduced, the Apple I, sold for US$666.66. Wozniak liked repeating digits.
Its successor, the Apple II, was introduced the following year.
The Apple IPO was floated on December 1980.
In 1983, Jobs John Sculley (Pepsi Cola exec) to serve as Apple’s CEO.
In 1984, Jobs introduced the Macintosh, based on Xerox PARC.
In 1984, Sculley fired Jobs. Jobs sold all but one of his shares in Apple.
Jobs founded another computer company, NeXT Computer
The NeXT Cube was described by Jobs as an "interpersonal" computer, with integral networking.
The World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee developed the original World Wide Web system at CERN on a NeXT workstation.
NeXT computers were used in the development of the game Doom.
In 1996, Apple bought NeXT for US$402 million and re-hired Jobs
In 1997 he became Apple’s interim CEO.
NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X.
Sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac.
iPod, iTunes, and the iPhone all are profitable.
Jobs works at Apple for an annual salary of US$1 and this earned him a listing in Guinness World Records as the "Lowest Paid CEO."
In 1986 Steve Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for US$10 million.
The first film produced, Toy Story, was released in 1995.
In 2006, Disney purchased Pixar in an all-stock deal worth US$7.4 billion. Jobs became The Disney’s largest single shareholder with approximately 7% of the company’s stock.
Skype Explains and Explains and Explains
After blaming Microsoft’s recent patch Tuesday for causing so many simultaneous reboots that the Skype authentication system failed, Skype is now back pedaling.
According to the blog on their website: ?Are we blaming Microsoft for what happened? No, we don’t blame anyone but ourselves. The Microsoft Update patches were merely a catalyst ? a trigger ? for a series of events that led to the disruption of Skype, not the root cause of it.?
They went on to explain, ?The high number of post-update reboots affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources at the time, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.?
"In this instance, the day’s Skype traffic patterns, combined with the large number of reboots, revealed a previously unseen fault in the P2P network resource allocation algorithm Skype used. Our software’s P2P network management algorithm was not tuned to take into account a combination of high load and supernode rebooting.?
The problem has been fixed according to Skype. We will see on Microsoft’s next patch Tuesday.
Total Lunar Eclipse Will Occur on Tuesday
Early Tuesday morning, August 28th, there will a colorful lunar eclipse visible from five continents including most of North America.
The event begins 3:54 am (EST) on August 28th when the Moon enters Earth’s shadow.
During the total eclipse the color of the Moon changes from moondust-gray to sunset-red
Total eclipse will be from 5:52 am to 7:22 am. It may be too bright to see anything. It will last 90 minutes.
Life in Martian Soil
The soil on Mars may contain microbial life, according to a new interpretation of data first collected more than 30 years ago.
Scientists want to know whether or not Mars ever supported life.
The search for life on Mars appeared to hit a dead end in 1976 when Viking landers touched down on the red planet and failed to detect biological activity.
But Joop Houtkooper of the University of Giessen, Germany, said the spacecraft may in fact have found signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface.
His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin.
That is roughly comparable to biomass levels found in some Antarctic permafrost, home to a range of hardy bacteria and lichen.
Houtkooper is presenting his research to the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany.
Houtkooper believes Mars could be home to "extremophiles" — microbes whose cells are filled with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water, providing them with natural anti-freeze.
They would be quite capable of surviving a harsh Martian climate where temperatures rarely rise above freezing and can fall to minus 150 degrees Celsius.
He believes their presence would account for unexplained rises in oxygen and carbon dioxide when NASA’s Viking landers incubated Martian soil.
He bases his calculation of the biomass of Martian soil on the assumption that these gases were produced during the breakdown of organic material.
Scientists hope to gather further evidence on whether or not Mars ever supported life when NASA’s next-generation robotic spacecraft, the Phoenix Mars Lander, reaches the planet in May 2008 and probes the soil near its northern pole.
Advanced Google Searching (sometimes called Google Hacks)
Word order matters. Put the most pertinent search terms first.
Case does NOT matter.
Make use of quotes when searching for phrases.
Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard within a quoted phrase search. This is great for remembering famous quotes and finding song lyrics.
Use a period (.)instead of spaces. A period can symbolize space, underscore, dash. For instance, i.want.to hold.your.hand
You can use the tilda "~" character before terms to include results related to the terms synonyms as well as the term itself. (i.e. ~stupid laws). So called fuzzy search
Us the double dot (..) for a number range. For example 20..60 GB will match 20, 40, and 60GB (and any other number in between). Formerly could be used to locate credit card numbers. Now blocked by Google.
Google Boolean Logic
Google uses the AND operator on all non-quoted, multi-termed queries. If you enter cat dog into Google, it’ll return results that have both terms in them, not just one or the other.
You can search for one term or the other by joining the two terms with OR (capitals). You can also use the pipe character " | " as a replacement for OR. For instance, cat OR dog is the same as cat | dog.
Grouping special features is extremely powerful. It is done with the parenthesis. For instance: "pregnant women" (sick | illness) (cats | dogs)
Exclude terms with a minus sign. ?inurl(htm|html|php|jsp) would exclude these four types of pages.
Search scope terms
intitle: Google will return results only from the title portion of sites in its database. intitle:org california
inurl: Google will return results only from the urls of sites in its database. inurl:amazon
intext: Google will return results only from the body portion of sites in its database. intext:sleeping disorders
site: Google will return information on the site or domain given. site:slashdot.org
link: Google will return results that link to the site given. link:wired.com
cache: Google will return its cached version of the site given. cache:cnn.com
filetype: Google will return results that have certain extensions. You can use this to find powerpoints, word documents, or pdfs. filetype:ppt ipsec
phonebook: Google will search both residential and businesss phone books. You need name, city, and state.
Find webcams that you can control: inurl:"ViewerFrame?Mode=" This will give you web cams that you can control over the Internet.
Find music files: intitle:?index.of? mp3 artistname. This is better than Napster and not traceable.
Find no follow pages: inurl:robots.txt. This shows all the files at whitehouse.gov that have been marked as no follow.
Computer History Department
The IBM 1403 printer was noisy, but it could also be musical! Clever engineers figured out what line of characters to print to make a noise at a given pitch, and how many times to print that line repeatedly to sustain that pitch for a given duration. In other words, the printer could play musical notes.
All that was needed was a program for the IBM 1401 computer system that read in a deck of punched cards, each card containing a single note of melody, and then played the melody on the printer. The tempo could be adjusted using the sense switches on the computer console.
The songs here are from a performance recorded in about 1970 in the computer room of the Richmond (California) Unified School District. The computer operators (whose voices can be heard on the original tape recording) made the recording by holding the microphone in front of the printer.
Listen to a couple of printer songs: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head and Born Free.