Experience the Power of 2 Million: If you had enough gasoline in your amphibious Hydra Spyder to travel 2,000,000 miles, you could travel around the world 80 times along the equator. If you were a musician and sold 2,000,000 copies of your latest album, you would be known as a Multi-Platinum artist. If you had a 2,000,000 pound bag of bricks, it still wouldn't be any heavier than a 2,000,000 pound bag of feathers.
Whether its 2,000,000 miles, records, or pounds, 2,000,000 is a big deal. Help Experts Exchange countdown to the 2,000,000th solution! There are some entertaining ways to help us countdown including your chance to win a new laptop! We will be rewarding a laptop to the asker of the 2,000,000th solution, the Expert answering the 2,000,000th solution and the member who guesses the closest to the date and time of the 2,000,000th solution. Here are some more details on how to uncork some champagne with Experts Exchange:
Win a laptop!
Answer the weekly Power question - Each week, we will be asking some special Power questions. Answer correctly and Experts Exchange will send you a limited edition 2,000,000th solution shirt and add your name to the 2,000,000th solution countdown page.
Wait in the Waiting Room - If we found out that you were giving away laptops, we'd be stalking you too. At least we've got some stuff for you to do while you're watching our every move.
Once we've hit 2,000,000, we'll be fighting through reporters from other networks to get you interviews with the asker and answerer of number 2,000,000. They'll be published in an upcoming newsletter and on the site for all the community to see. There's plenty at stake, so get to asking, answering and guessing now!
Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) and Mono Zones: Mono is an open source project providing software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows and Unix. Mac OS X v10.5, "Leopard," is the Mac operating system successor to version 10.4, "Tiger." inthedark kindly identified the need for a Mono Zone with his request in the New Topics Zone just last week.
The new Mono Zone and Mac OS 10.5 Zone give the community a place to ask their Leopard and "monkey" questions as Experts compete for the coveted Top Expert spot in a "still has that new car smell" Zone. Thanks again, inthedark!
Remember, Experts Exchange adds new Zones based on your requests. Ask for the Zone you want or need by hollering in the New Topics Zone or dropping a digital line to email@example.com
Welcome: MSE-dwells joined Experts Exchange about three months ago, and is already making his mark in the Windows Active Directory zones; we mention him here because he is another in the long list of Microsoft MVPs who contribute regularly.
Kudos: rkorts joined Experts Exchange back in 2002, but has only been asking questions with any regularity over the last year or two. Still, the responses he has received from Experts prompted him to post:
I use Experts Exchange a lot & I think it is an extremely valuable resource. I am not an expert myself so I pay the minimal monthly fee to use the site.
I am most of the time VERY SATISFIED with Experts Exchange responses. The quality of the technical solutions is almost always top rate. I would guess that I get my problem resolved 85% or more of the time by using Experts Exchange.
I'm writing this to indicate that if necessary to keep this service going, I would be willing to pay a higher fee. I don't want to see Experts Exchange go away.
Don't worry, rkorts. We're not planning on going anywhere -- and thanks for your kind words.
Top 5 Reasons for Your Business to have an EE Corporate Account | Reason #2
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With technology, the only constant is change. Even the best solutions from just months ago may now be outdated. New technologies emerge and new software versions are released, sometimes making solutions easier, but always making them different than before. In light of this truth and because of feedback from the community, Experts Exchange now allows you to comment on all existing solutions, dubbing them "Open for Discussion." At the bottom of all solution pages, a comment box labeled "Open for Discussion" will allow you to add your solution-enhancing two cents after a solution has already been accepted.
As any conscientious super hero will tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. There are right ways to wield the power of "Open for Discussion," resulting in the defeat of evil, and there are wrong ways, ending with Lex Luthor taking over the world.
The "Open for Discussion" feature should be used to update or clarify a solution, or to provide an alternate solution. If you think your comments will benefit someone visiting this solution in the future, comment at will.
The "Open for Discussion" feature should not be used to ask new questions. If you have a question that relates to an existing solution, please ask a new question and include a link to the existing solution. No more points can be awarded to Experts for help provided in the "Open for Discussion" context, so it is unlikely that anyone will respond to questions posted there.
Enjoy the new, improved functionality, and as always, if you've got ideas on how to make it better let us know with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PeteLong has a whole string of letters after his name, including those of a Microsoft MVP. This article, which is something of a treat for us because it includes artwork, is republished from his website.
Windows Deployment Services (For the Ghost Generation)
This is aimed at people who want to capture a pre-built machine and roll that image out to many PC's. The client machine can either be Vista or XP; at the time of writing most corporates are still using XP so I'll use XP for this example.
The whole procedure was done on the workbench in Virtual Server, which is how I recommend you try doing this before trying it live. I wrote this because I struggled to find a good walk-through on the Internet that was shorter than a squillion pages; I'd rather spend two weeks working out how to do it myself rather than RTFM, so I'll save you good folks the trouble.
Here's a two page Aide Memoir to print off.
To do the whole thing you need to do three things: 1) Set up and configure WDS. 2) Image a reference PC and 3) Deploy that image to other PC's.
skirklan is an award-winning freelance designer and author, and because of her affection for the Macintosh is the Zone Advisor for the Apple zones. Excerpts of her book are available at her website; the column below is republished from her blog.
My friend, the hoity-toity designer, bought several houses the last time the economic wheel hit dirt. He rented them out and had quite a nice piece of pocket change. When property values plummeted, unemployment rose and tenants decamped, he couldn't pay the mortgage on some of those empty houses. He walked away. I was at his house one day when the phone rang. "Hello?" he answered, "yeah, just a minute, I'll get him." Then he set the phone down and continued our conversation on the dying art of marker comps. After about ten minutes, I reminded him about the caller on hold. "No worries, it's just a collection agent. I like to tie up their line and let them sweat it out. After a few times, they just give up." No fear here.
The Consumer Credit Protection Act lays out the rules for collection agents. One thing you can do to end those calls is send a certified letter telling them to stop calling you. They are obligated by law to stop and if they don't, you can sue them for three times the amount of money you owe them plus any punitive damages the court will allow.
Suits in ivory towers who purport to know all the answers about the world used to mystify me. You don't have to be in a think tank or institution of higher learning to know that when the price of fuel goes up, everything that uses fuel in it's production, transportation or storage will go up. Add Wall Street's pressure on corporations to minimize operation costs (a.k.a. the cost of doing business) and the price of everything will double overnight. All those monthly reports of negative inflation were jolly juice to keep the masses happy. How robust is our economy when growth is one tenth of one percent (that's one tenth of one one-hundredth for the math impaired)?
Almost everyone who is self-employed will face a time when they can't pay the bills. (Don't pat yourself on the back if you haven't taken any risks.) The hard part is to avoid wasting time debasing yourself over what you should have done or could've done to avoid the trauma of empty bank account syndrome. Hard times show what you're made of; so use your creative advantage when dealing with the shortfall. One of the first freelance assignments I had was an illustration for a designer who was pressed to pay. See that guy standing in the clearing in the woods? He included it with his regular, small payments to remind them he was making an effort.
People in the collection industry are not above tricking you either. I know a guy who bought a new car, returned it to the dealer two years later because he couldn't sell it to keep from losing it. The car company had given away so many incentives, he owed more than the car was worth. Seven years later, the car company is still plaguing him with collection efforts even though the statute of limitations has long expired. Why? Well, if they can get him to feel responsible and agree he owes the money, the statute restarts as if he bought the car yesterday. Don't fall for it. No one can legally collect a debt after the statute of limitations runs out; that varies from state to state, so google it. And guess what -- anything older than six months on your credit record (except for bankruptcy) must be removed at your written request because it's no longer accurate.
Remember the throng of ads for cashing in on the equity in your house? That was right before the Credit card lobby got Congress to rewrite the bankruptcy law in their favor. Credit cards are unsecured, making them pretty much uncollectable; but if they can convince you to shift that debt into the equity of your house, hey, why not! They prefer you to be homeless to their taking a loss on a profit bigger than the national deficit. Oh, yes, I know, you owe the money and it's your duty to pay it back -- do the right thing. Are those interest rates right (fair and equitable compounded daily)? Until the common man has the same power the lobbyists yield when legislation is written, right and wrong won't apply. If you are making the minimum monthly payment on all those credit cards, you are already in deep doo-doo.
One final note; don't lose hope. Everybody has ups and downs, but not everybody shows it. That competitor who drives the Jag that you find so intimidating might still live at home. Make those cold calls, stay in touch with your industry connections, and business will reappear. The worst thing you can do is dig a hole and crawl into it -- though that may be your gut reaction. Call your suppliers and see if you can work out an arrangement. Sometimes, they need design work or have clients who do. Big printers are usually willing to work out a trade when a regular customer gets in over his head. If worse comes to worse, remember that many successful people including Mark Twain, Walt Disney, Francis Ford Coppola, Frank Lloyd Wright and even the "you're fired" guy all filed bankruptcy; so what. I know it's hard when you're a designer, art directing the perfection of your life; but remember that you're not here to get by unscathed. You're here to learn, grow, get beat up a little and see what kind of fabulous lines you can sculpt into that face to show where you've been and what you've learned. Rock on.
An editor by trade, a writer by avocation and an Expert by happenstance, ericpete puts together the newsletter for Experts Exchange.
"Net neutrality" is one of those buzzwordy kinds of issues -- kind of like "family values" -- that pops up every now and again. The real issue, as most people who pay attention to this kind of thing know, is money (isn't it always?); the big broadband providers want to be able to charge companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft because their services use a lot of bandwidth, and then charge people like you and me, who have cable and DSL services (and even the folks who have dialup) money for using any bandwidth at all.
For whatever reason, there are people in regulatory agencies and legislative bodies who do not see a problem there and are seriously entertaining the idea that AT&T and Comcast (among others -- they just happen to be the ones who we get to select from in our neck of the woods) should be getting money coming and going for doing nothing more than what they are already soaking us for. However, we mind that both of them are advertising services to us that they cannot deliver in our area -- Comcast says we can have VoIP, until we ask for it, and AT&T says we can get both DSL and television, but only if we buy a satellite Internet connection (at a higher price than Comcast) and a dish system (at a higher price than cable, which is more expensive than a dish system but which we have to have in order to get Internet access). Such is the price for not wanting to live in a city, but it's also annoying to have it shoved down your throat during half of the commercial breaks.
Comcast has already thrown down the gauntlet to peer-to-peer users of its services, although it coyly says officially that it doesn't deny "access", which is technically true. What it does is impede the level of service that selected customers are paying for -- and since we all know that people who upload and download large quantities of data are stealing it anyway (they're all just clips of The Daily Show anyway, right?) -- what's the harm in closing down the pipes a bit on those punks anyway?
For its part, MaBell (for you youngsters, that's what everyone called AT&T before the break-up of the company) is testing the waters of corporate chutzpah by incorporating into its user agreement a little clause that says it can terminate your service if you say or send anything that will harm its "name or reputation". Does that mean they're listening to the grumbling I do every time I get a busy signal?
What one can find entertaining -- if one finds the duplicitous hypocrisy of big companies something to chuckle at -- is that while both Comcast, MaBell and their brethren are spending tons of money lobbying Congress and the various state and federal regulators to give them carte blanche over rates and multi-tiered services (that's a euphemism for "sticking it royally to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and anyone else who can pass the costs on to consumers"), they're not exactly playing nice with each other. And you shouldn't be surprised to find out that while they aren't necessarily playing nice with you either, they're going to probably get away with it.
Over the years, there have been a number of member-built tools used to do various things at Experts Exchange, notably ameba's QuickPost and webtubb's QuickEE, but others as well; the Moderators use tools developed by BooMod, Lunchy and GhostMod to manage the site.
The concern we have always had about the use of tools is that they don't get misused. Most of the time, a tool gets used to more rapidly go through questions in order to respond to them -- which is great as long as the responses actually help the person who asks the question. Most of the time, a list of search results is a pretty poor response, because we think that anyone who can figure out asking a question about a problem has already done a bit of searching himself. In some ways, such posts are a lot like making spaghetti -- you boil it and then throw a few strands against a wall to see if any of it sticks; when it does, the pasta is done.
If you're going to use one of these tools, you can be successful if your posts are relevant. In other words, posting links to eight antivirus sites is not nearly as good an answer as posting a link to one site's page that specifically addresses the symptoms the Asker's computer has -- and an even better link is the one which also gives the Asker the steps he has to take to resolve the problem.
There's an old fable about a scorpion and a frog: No one had any illusions about why Google, Yahoo and everyone else wanted to do business in China, nor why they fudged a little on some normally closely held ideals like "do no evil" in the process, but sooner or later, it's going to come back and bite you, after they strangle you first.
Microsoft to donate today's profits to charity: Microsoft has agreed to not appeal the antitrust ruling by the European Union, and will pay the fines of 497 Euros.
Free backstage passes makes strange bedfellows: If anyone ever needed evidence that politicians get ... ummm ... consideration from the recording industry when it comes to contributions and Christmas presents for staffers, one need only read the final paragraph of a story about the RIAA's latest round of letters to college students. Why else would Congressmen associate themselves, in an election year, with a group that has received so much bad publicity? Meanwhile, across the hall in the Senate, the same people blocking a ban on a tax were trying to figure out a way to require wireless carriers to do something that is apparently not profitable for them to do. Go figure.
And while we're relinking to our favorite website about the movie and recording industry, it seems appropriate to note that a lawsuit against Microsoft and Best Buy, brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act -- the one the Justice department usually invokes when it is going after people like Tony Soprano -- was allowed to proceed by the US Supreme Court.
Maybe now we can actually get Jimmy Buffett tickets: We get a note from Ticketmaster almost every week, telling us about events we might be interested in. A few weeks ago, we got one that said "on sale at 10 am" for a couple of concerts nearby, and since we'd been talking about going, we clicked on it -- only to find out they were sold out. Frustrating, but not uncommon -- except that we knew the tickets would be showing up on StubHub the next day, if not sooner. Sure enough, when we checked a few hours later, there they were -- priced at double their face value. Well, Ticketmaster is kind of taking the consumers' side, which will take away those guaranteed sellouts.
Read my lips: No New Taxes... for a little while anyway: The House of Representatives committee that is responsible for extending a law that prohibits the states from levying taxes on Internet access decided it isn't ready to make the ban permanent.
Timewasters department: It's American-centric, but what the heck: AmeriQuiz. The ten most frequently missed questions are downright scary. Or you can wait in line for Leopard, the latest version of the Mac operating system, which goes on sale Friday after work.
I'm not your friend, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night: Okay, so maybe we're old-fashioned (or just old), but we remember when a friend was someone you would have a beer with, or who you would call up when you were in town, or something like that -- but sites like FaceBook have redefined the concept, though we're not sure they have done so for the better. We have even joined one of the networking sites -- we like Linked In because it allows you to not get linked to someone you don't know with a polite but firm "I have no idea who you are" kind of statement. Now, there's an Anti-Facebook.
So you want to be the next James Bond?: Then get your hands on an XBox.
Still cleaning up the mess: Back in February, TJMaxx reported a security breach that allowed the theft of about 45 million credit and debit card numbers. As is par for the political course, not a month went by before the California legislature had a bill in the works to stick retailers with more of the costs that the credit card companies had to pay in order to issue new cards and such. That bill was vetoed last week by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said that while it is clear that TJMaxx hadn't complied with the standards for the payment card industry, it is also clear that those standards, which were developed by the card issuers (VISA, Mastercard and the rest), are a bit extreme for most retailers, which is why about half haven't complied yet.
Finally, something from the Nobel committee we can actually use: The Nobel prize for physics was won by Albert Fert and Peter Gruenberg, who independently discovered giant magnetoresistance -- the goop that has led to smaller and faster hard drives with more capacity and stability. Thanks, guys! Now we can store all of EE's 2 million solutions on our laptop.
Sign of the Apocalypse: The American Nuclear Society has an Ask An Expert page. No points, though (thanks, Susan!).
It's not even Halloween yet, and already the stores are putting stuff on the shelves for Christmas -- and even putting some stuff on sale. One thing I bet won't be on sale this winter will be new computers, because it turns out that people -- at least in the US -- want those more than they want big screen TVs, new clothes (!), money (!!), or even peace and happiness. I don't suppose anyone should be surprised; it's a lot easier to market a computer than it is peace and happiness.
There was a story out of Washington last week about the threat that anyone who uses a PC has known about for years: viruses. But it isn't attacks on people's machines, or the botnets that send out a gazillion spam emails every day that has people worried; it's the possibility of attacks on the computers that monitor and control the nation's power generating facilities and transmission grid. Those of us who live in California deal with it every summer; the "pipelines" that go from the southern part of the state aren't big enough to handle the demands of the northern part, so we go through occasional "brown-outs" and get warned to not use air conditioners. If those systems were compromised, then it could cause some ugly situations. When you consider that some estimates say that as many as 50 million computers are infected with the Storm virus, it seems like problems are more a matter of "when", not "if".
I found a handy little tool the other day. Like many of us, I get emails every once in a while that have a name that is the same as someone I might actually get mail from, but the subject is a little strange, so I don't want to open the email. There's no really easy way to verify that the email comes from the person I think it is, or at least, I've never found one. Now, I can use a tool at Verify Email. If you want to post the script on your own website, they sell it for about $25, but you can use it at their site for free. And it works.
Finally, every once in a while, the Internet gets used for something that is really pretty cool. My other half was reading ESPN the other day -- probably trying to find a wide receiver for his fantasy football team or some other silly thing -- when he came across a story about some high school football players who did something truly special for their homecoming celebration. It seems like to some people, there are some things more important than computers after all.
P.S.: Daylight savings time, at least in the US, ends on November 4, before our next newsletter comes out -- so don't forget to reset the time on your PC!