Save Our Dogs, a grassroots effort to save working dogs from CA AB 1634/Now SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter
Visit Save Our Dogs
Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 SB 250 ~ ROUND 18plus!
See SB250.org for FACTS on SB 250
Love your Pets? Read my files on Label Animal_Control.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Puppies, Puppies, Fun and Freebies!

Isn't he gorgeous!
This is Giant Dog Ranch Polar.
OFA Good. UKC registered.
He currently has a litter of puppies available born March 11, 2009.

If you want info on these dogs, here's a quick page with pedigree and contact information details.

Playing the 'my mouth is bigger than yours' game. :o

Lucky Carolyn gets to enjoy the puppy breath. I just get to see the pics. :)
The pups are gorgeous. Now you know when averages are supposed to be half girls and half boys, and the color genetics are thrown in, you sorta have a guess on what to expect. Well, in this case, the average distribution in the litter didn't happen! It's mostly boys, and most are white like their dad (one white girl), and one pinto (a boy) colored like their mom. Funny! So much for random chance, math, science and Punnett squares!

Mom is Semavi Kale Shadow from my bloodline and is a pinto full sister to Ruya (the pretty girl at the bottom left of the screen).
This is a repeat litter between Shadow and Polar producing tall dogs with nice bone and one of their older boys now works for Boone's Animals for Hollywood. For Helmut fans, Helmut's an uncle to this litter.

Now... on to things going on over here... I finally got my video card upgraded and added a new power supply. The power supply is pretty cool. It has a plexiglass case and lights up in a pretty blue. Since I have case with a see through side, the arrangement makes a nice night light to blog by. The reddish light below is for an auxillary fan.
The video card installation (NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+) went well but the semi-compact motherboard and its architecture (various slots) resulted in a very tight fit of some things jammed against each other, agh. The wide load video card takes up two slots as well as most of the length of the semi-compact case--thereby abutting the hard drives so tightly, stuff was hard to plug in without rearranging things. I will need longer cables (cheaper solution), among other things. Actually a NEW full sized mainboard (ugh $$$) might be the way to go as well since the video card majorly crowds the SATA hard drive connections. Bah. I think I'll wait on that.

On to fun things and freebies!

Here is a blog entry which has a cool historic computer chat dialog which (most probably) lead up to the establishment and purpose of the first ever internet smilie. Yuk yuk, trivia we don't usually think about. ;)

I ran into an interesting page which shares brief commentary with a "Favorite Food" recipe box featuring celebrities. See the entry for Dave Berry, and isn't it just like him! :D

A list of the most heartbreaking songs of all time--fun read that both James and I got a kick out of.

What's in a name??? I want a Foof!
And speaking of foof, that takes me back a bit another bit of foofish history, ---waaaaay back to TinyTim MUSH, a MUD that's still around today.


And FREEBIES!!

Free Magazine subscription. Go to Costco.com then in the search box at the top, enter FREEMAG and you'll be taken to a page where you can browse, preview within, and select ONE free digital magazine subscription via Zinio.com. I'm a big fan of Zinio! If reading from your monitor doesn't drive you nuts, you'll probably enjoy digital magazines too.

Give Away of the Day features free software, every day. If you visit the site every day, sooner or later you'll see something you want or you could go crazy and download the free stuff every day and fill up your hard drive. If you go for any of the freebies--download it right away and install it. There will be an unlock code or key that allows you to use the software without having to pay for it. As a freebie user, you don't get support from the vendor, but it's still a great deal. You must install and unlock the download before the 24 hour offer expires. You snooze; you lose! They also offer a free game with the same general download/install protocols at intervals (#update: usually Saturday and Sunday) per week. I've added their software link box to the left panel of my blog.

Okay, that's it for now!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/22/2009 03:07:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pegasus Mail, Comcast and funny vid on ... well, you look. :)

My favorite email program for over a dozen years... Pegasus mail, now has a Wiki. :)

We had an interesting evening Monday night. Apparently Comcast, our broadband company had local connectivity taken out due to the local storms. Well, I could have used dial up if I felt hard-up to connect, but pages load soooooo slow that way. The thing that really got hubby was the fact that our Comcast service for TV connection was taken out. I was watching him listen to TV -- although video reception was a joke, he could still listen to some of his favorite shows. Later, he was watching one of our smaller old TVs with the rabbit ears, which did a reasonable job picking up TV video and captions. I've worried about how so much of our lifestyles depend on electricity, and typically in my area, there are usually about 3-5 days a year where we might not have any power at all for half a day or more. Just one night of not having Comcast connectivity was interesting in its own way. And speaking of wikis, I noted that there is a section regarding customer satisfaction on a Wiki, about Comcast.
In 2004 and 2007, the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Comcast had the worst customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency in the country, including the Internal Revenue Service.
Believeable. There were entire weeks last year when we had little to no reliable internet connectivity at all. (We buy local TV channels and the TV service was fine during that period.) I won't even get into some of the strange mis-aliasing that I've seen taking place on Comcast for their email customers who were subscribed to any of the forums I administrate. :p

Now something a little bit different.
I keep laughing every time I see this captioned video. :D

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/24/2009 04:47:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Crufts 2009 goes online.

Crufts online! The biggest dog show in the world will now have an online presence. I think this is a great step for Crufts! Their website will be the place to visit.
From an announcement:
The live webcast will follow all of the events in the Arena program, from Heelwork to Music and Agility to the Best in Group and Best in Show judging and the ever popular Friends for Life competition that rewards our dog heroes. There will also be a new element to the Arena program where the winners of the We Love Our Dogs competition - which invited all dog owners to send in video clips and photographs of their happy, healthy dogs - will be announced. Peter Purves and Frank Kane will provide commentary for the live web stream, which will be interspersed with features showing the interviews and action from outside the Arena.
This is a great thing for them to do as they in UK (especially recently) are awash with so much anti-animal, anti-purebred dog extremism. I'm finding that the public seems to be too often presented without 'balance' on issues of extreme breeding, puppy mills and attitudes of elitism about purebreds, that more in the way of balance in media is needed to help show the positive side of the world of dogs.

If the only vids, news and tv shows we saw about teenagers, showed only gangsters, druggies, teenage pregnancy, clique snobbishness, risky behavior, vehicle accident deaths, alcohol abuse, suicide and other low-lights of teenage life -- we do (I hope) still have yet enough common sense in the general population -- that any such flooding of bad news about teens doesn't create campaigns, websites, haters, and legislation to destroy ALL teenagers at birth, lol. ;)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/24/2009 11:37:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blogrolling news, etc

Blogrolling is still not quite ready to roll. I know it's been frustrating for many that were using the rolling updater. A few of the blogs that were on the Anatolian Blogroll have changed or discontinued, and some need to be added.

According to Blogrolling which currently still redirects to their status page - they are still broken (it's been a couple years now due to massive overload of auto-pings by spam sites). There's hope. See a recent post dated mid January...
Hardware was installed and tested the week of January 5th as promised, now we’re just waiting on delivery of the final code. We ran into some UI issues and made a decision earlier this week to simply go with the old UI rather than try to jazz things up and protract the outage.

Our developers are working on the migration tools now to get your old data into the new system. With some luck, I’ll have a concrete relaunch date Friday coming, or possibly Monday at the latest.

Keep your fingers crossed with me, I will post more as soon as I get word back from the team.
On to other network related things, I started logging onto my neglected Facebook account. Daily. Simple enough. Whenever my browser is up, one browser tab is usually active on FB even if I'm ignoring it, lol.

Like other networks, I initially joined Facebook just to have access to some material which this or that member invited me to see.

Since revisiting it mid January, and actually poking around within, instead of logging in and zipping out as soon as "mission accomplished" -- I have found the interface more immediately interactive, integrated, simple and appealing to me than the interfaces found on places like MySpace, LiveJournal, Multiply, MSN, Dogster, 360Yahoo, -- places where I never really 'hang out'. For grins, I recently found what seems to be an application that allows pets and human babies to have their own Facebook networks. Amusing. :)


My main computer is pretty well behaved these days, now that I've got tons of diskspace again. Yay. I'm still stalling on putting in a new graphics card due to some upgrade I think I'd rather have. And, oh bother... my Vista notebook has turned into a slug and is driving me batty. Bleah. Anyway, that's all for now.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/02/2009 11:36:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger jan sent us a woof // February 03, 2009

I've been wondering where you were, but I knew it was busy.   

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

First week of the year...

I got some fun pics of Helmut, the Beachboy in SoCal, enjoying the beach. I always get a kick out of these blackberry pics from Geno! This is one Anatolian boy that is sure getting a lot of socialization. :)

And here's one a bit so close, he didn't fit into the frame. Looks like he's having fun with a cute golden retriever.

Late at night, trying to sleep, I can't sleep and trying to keep out of range of hubby who is coughing up a storm (he's the one that got the flu shot!), I ran into a cool logic and problem solving game called World of Goo. Intrigued, I downloaded the demo to my bedside notebook and get a kick of it so far. The opening screens, the humor and some of the graphics are so weird! The game is designed primarily by two guys rather than a whole army of programmers. If you like what Wiki has to say about it in the first link, check out its homepage at http://2dboy.com/ and download the free demo there.

Must be the doggie person in me but when I saw these rugs over at Weburbanist, I was sure some of them would make great beds for a snoozy Anatolian shepherd. I just don't get the one that looks like the aftermath of a sheep shearing event but there's plenty of oddness to be had there.

Hat tip to Diane who shared a very interesting blog post about service animals, particularly the alternative ones. The movie showing Panda the minihorse being clicker trained is amazing! No captions but if you have some familiarity with clicker training, it's easy to see what is being targeted and how well Panda is doing in this training. The NYT article linked in post is a long and interesting read that might annoy some of my service animal associates but the whole matter is probably a 'do not miss' for most!

Not the least of it all, tonight while resetting a license for some publications I get from Zinio, I ran into Arabian Horse World! Check it out. If you like horsey eye candy, take a look at what is available. You can get the sample copy for only 99c (Nov 08). I was a long time subscriber of the paper version which was a very heavy, glossy paged quality publication that would fill up a rural mailbox in its cardboard box back in the mid eighties. Well, now you can see the stunning photography and beautiful horses but in lighter-than-air digital format. What's not to like? Check out the link.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/06/2009 05:47:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! :) :D



Over the past couple days, I installed my new hard drives. My goal was to clone/remove my old IDE hard drive and end up with two SATA hard drives and two optical IDE drives.

My newest hard drive is a Seagate SATA internal, 750 Gig Barracuda (refurbished), whose namesake is a ferocious fish. Something like the fish in the picture. I figured, since SATA drives aren't jumpered and would default to the order that they are plugged into the mainboard, I didn't expect a problem connecting them. According to the plan, the Barracuda was going to rip all the files out of the old Caviar IDE and become my main drive. The Barracuda would then run with a SATA Caviar drive which would provide additional storage. Theoretically my SATA system could be 4 or 5 times faster than with the old style IDE hard drive. Sounds good to me!

Well my Caviar drives are made by Western Digital (WD), a different brand than the Barracuda, and the WD models are named something delicious, Caviar. Mmm, yummy. Supposedly the two SATA's, the WD Caviar and the Seagate Barracuda could share the same tank!

Erg... With the three drives plugged in, installing the new Barracuda created some odd glitches. The two Caviars were conspiring!

When I used the WD software to find the Barracuda in order to clone my soon-to-be-retired IDE working drive, the software never recognized that the unformatted Barracuda was attached. Bleh... When you don't stick with a brand loyalty, sometimes it gets weird, at least until the drives are all formatted. It was the Barracuda that needed formatting. The pair of Caviar drives together didn't want to talk to the Barracuda, even with all sorts of BIOS settings and with me wearily changing the mainboard cable connections. It took me a while to work through my list of ideas and I finally found the trick that would work. I temporarily disconnected the SATA Caviar then booted only with the old IDE Caviar and the new unformatted SATA Barracuda. Finally the software realized I had an unformatted Barracuda to install. I was able to format the Barracuda and clone the old IDE Caviar over to it.

Now that old Caviar is retired from my system and will gain a loving home in another of our machines.

If I sound like I'm babbling, chalk it up as a weird techy fishing story and the late hour! ;) (In the meantime, I had also discovered the old versions of DOS I had, could not cope with the chipset of such a huge drive. Remember when HUGE was something like 3 Gig?)

Anyway, I used MaxBlast (which is Seagate compatible now) to do the cloning. My goodness, it took about a day to clone the old drive over to the Barracuda. It seems to have gone very well despite the quirky fishy start. Now in place of the old IDE hard drive, the old IDE cable is now attached to a DVD and also to one CD drive (master/slave). My SATA Caviar and Barracuda hard drives are sharing the same tank and sharing files. However, I'm not yet sure if I'm all that much faster yet!

I still have to deal with some registry issues that happened when my main board died in December, but I feel pretty good about this machine so far. Hopefully I can get by without doing a fresh install of XP Pro.

TADA!!!
Together, they can make a difference. Caviar & Barracuda sushi anyone? ;)
(it's a generic picture; not barracuda sushi. most likely salmon with salmon eggs)
For some reason, I have a hankering for sushi.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/01/2009 12:21:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays!

A pic from Geno!
Dom with a NICE whopper of a Christmas present -- and Helmut, the Anatolian, up close in a sweet holiday blackberry picture.

Here's a Christmas pic from Rebecca showing Helmut's sister, Jasmine. Jasmine has happily adopted Rebecca's daughter's pug puppy for a bud. :)

Holidays and the end of the year can be such a mix of celebrations and losses. We've had great sadness over the untimely passing of several Anatolians and of other dogs belonging to friends and acquaintances in recent months. Two of these Anatolians were littermates to Ruya. One died after spay surgery and the other appears to have died in her sleep, cause unknown. :(

I also finally discovered the reason for the recent weird computer behavior and keyboard malfunctions when my motherboard suddenly failed in the middle of December. So apparently it had been gimping along and causing illogical patterns of malfunction. The good news is that despite the fact we couldn't plan a budget for this unfortunate event, the rebuild of this desktop machine is coming along nicely, albeit, a bit slowly. But it will be a pretty nice machine soon enough. Here's a useful page that was very helpful when I discovered a crash and a bad driver install had corrupted networking services in my registry.

Sending belated Christmas and holiday wishes for all. May the new year be brimming with the good things; with happiness, health, good luck, prosperity and success for us all. :) There is so much for which to be thankful.

Couldn't resist posting a fun video of Lucy tackling a job at a chocolate factory. Captioned, of course!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 12/28/2008 04:16:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, December 05, 2008

One thing after another...

I love my doctor. Which is saying a lot when one is deaf and one is usually used to short notice appointment doctors that seem to be a little clueless with communicating with the deaf (duh, write it down Doc). My regular doc (no random one for me, thank you) made time for me this week and the short of it is that I'm on a round of antibiotics and have a thousands of bucks worth of scans and tests to come once a referral goes through. (sigh)

Computerwise, I've accumulated some hardware over the past year from various sales that I need to plug into this main machine. For the most part I'm just running out of drive space (blame it mostly on digital cameras, archiving digital pedigrees, also some movie clips and lots of music that hubby wants on the main network drive). Sometimes when space gets tight, weird annoying things happen. I'm still quite comfortably up to specifications for use of my various high resource, hardware hungry programs, and so nothing needs upgrades in that direction for at least another year or so.

I am however, still using IDE hard disk drives and am finally going to go all SATA when this update is done. Unfortunately I don't have all the cables I need yet. Plus, for the past several days or so, my cordless USB keyboard has suddenly started behaving oddly (again). It'll quit working (like totally dead, requiring reboot sometimes within minutes of a reboot) or will lag in bursts, sometimes skipping some keys as I type, or inserting some in multiples (ittttttt likeeeethiii) and function keys going bonkers at any time. argh. That is really irritating when trying to answer emails - makes the replies incoherent so I have a bunch in my draft boxes to get to. Without a keyboard it's difficult to do anything else! (the built in MS keyboard is just too slow for the amount of typing I have to do) I've tried different driver rollbacks and upgrades. Most of the keyboard errors reported online seem to have no fixes. I'm using an old fashioned, newish wired keyboard (PS2) for now but this may or may not be the fix since I had this problem with a favorite PS2 wired keyboard earlier this year - and NOW this kb is occasionally randomly inserting numbers into some w4ords as I type. BUT I need to be able to type to get any computer/internet stuff done!

One of the hard drives I'm installing is a refurbished (like NEW! lol) 750 gig Seagate Barracuda for which the right serial cable doesn't exist in my home, yet... So another delay in the making. But while looking for info on the cable to order or buy, I ran into this picture on google images ---
You can find the rest of the story at this link. If you just want to see the pictures scroll around the whole thread. I always enjoy seeing cool systems people put together and the stories behind them! As it provides useful information that can come in handy. Actually it's a great thread, if you start on page one where the computer-to-be is still in 20 zillion brand new exciting boxes. If you're like me or any of us nutters who need a machine customized to fit specific needs, and like to save money (and get premature grays) by 'rolling our own' computers -- the whole thread will remind you of the gamut of the silly mistakes, the bigger ones, the angst and gnashing of teeth that one might be able to relate to. ;) (btw, the photos of xipotec's new system are really cool... my main machine is not near as 'pretty' any more and I just removed enough dog hair from the bottom of the case to build a small rodent -- :p And notebook computers are just plain boring, I won't even mention them.)

Speaking of dog hair, why is it that two of my Anatolians (Boone and Ruya, born a month apart, January/February 2003) are fully molting their undercoat when the temperatures here are turning so chill!? (Night temps are in the mid-thirties fahrenheit, which converts metrically to about 195 kilometers -- thank you Bintie!) Bella, Coco (both the same age, Oct 2006) and Molly (rescue) are all in full coat with their winter insulation fully installed.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 12/05/2008 09:45:00 AM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Diane sent us a woof // December 06, 2008

lol re: kilometers!

We just rebuilt my desktop pc over the last couple of weeks so I can relate to tales of construction and crisis. A nice feature my new case has is washable air filters - I just have to remember to do it once in a while :/   

Friday, November 28, 2008

Text tricks... and some Bill Cosby

Silly stuff - Making my own picture font....

How to make your own font character in XP. The link gives the basic instructions.

I tried it out a couple months ago. The doggie image is based on an old gif I made when I first created my Semavi dog, Anatolian icon. Actually, it was in PCX format back when and the original didn't have a spike collar -- I just added the collar for this exercise. The dog is not a very good likeness of any of my dogs, but at the time it was all done dot by dot twenty years ago on an old XT computer with an old DOS computer, no Windows! I just hang on to the pic, never sure how I'll torture the thing next time I run into it. The odd thing about it is that over the years with different base image rendering programs, the proportions of the leg and body length changes depending on the program and font that renders it. Sometimes the image is very square and other times it is stretched left to right. I haven't tried to figure that out.

In this image for this font creating exercise, below, you can see what I mean about the changing proportions. :)
You can see it rendered above in Wordpad, along side other decorative fonts for fun. Real useful, ha, I know!

Give it a try if you've got a logo or evil little icon you want to mess with.


Now for ---
Something less intensive...

How to type upside down. (- go to the link which requires javascript)
I'd put a sample of what this ɯɐɹƃoɹd can do, it's so ʎןןıs, but you can go ʇno ʇı ʎɹʇ for yourself!


I found a wonderful captioned Bill Cosby video. Enjoy!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/28/2008 11:05:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger yetipaw sent us a woof // February 09, 2009

Love your site.
Please check out my Anatolian site here...

http://utahpaw.blogspot.com/

I'd love to be added to your blogroll.
thanks   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // February 09, 2009

Oh, your blog has a really cool header. Sure, will add you to the blog roll. It's still 'broken' as I write but soon as it's fixed, you're on!   

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bookmark & Password Sync (Firefox) and HS Girls in Trouble

Discovered some very useful (free) tools for maintaining my bookmarks across several computers. I also needed a temporary solution for password storage. Found it all here.

I was amused to learn that Denofrio [sic?] "retired his license to practice law to become a professional poker player".

In something that sounds a bit completely different in a casual game, there is "Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!" which you can read about at the link. What an intriguing name for a game. As is typical of most casual games, you can try before you buy. You get the first 60 minutes of gameplay for free, then you can choose whether or not to buy the game so you can have more time to complete it and replay as desired. :)

A bit from the description given in the review at Gamezebo:
As it turns out, high school girls in the 1920s got into about as much trouble as they do nowadays - they just do it with flapper-style flair and scratchy swing music playing in the background. The game does a superb job of immersing you in the Roaring '20s, and the biggest treat of all is the irreverent dialogue. This isn't one of those games that you can just click through on your way to the next puzzle. Each sentence is dripping with wit, and – parents be warned – healthy doses of innuendo. ("I lost my cigarette lighter. If I don't find it, I'll have to ask a boy for a match. Who knows what he'll want in return!" or "Myrtle is an ignorant amateur at the art of passion. Why, last summer in India, I satisfied a Raja, while remaining full flowered.")
That's all for now...

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/22/2008 05:42:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, November 17, 2008

CaptionsON - advocate & Captioned Bolt Trailer

CaptionsON.com's video (clicky!) has a very nice video, briefly discussing and demonstrating the benefits that can be had with captioned video for the diverse population of people (many who are not deaf) that are inadvertently forgotten, when people create online video without captions. Click the movie above to see!

Below are some of the points that make captioning so important, as listed on CaptionsON.

Captions matter because captions are.

  • Free to viewers of television and the Internet.
  • Accessible to individuals living in nearly every household in the United States.
  • Professionally produced in the US by highly skilled stenographers and offline captioners. Stenographers transcribe the audio portion of a live program as it is being aired and send the captions across the country in seconds. Offline captioners transcribe prerecorded programming with 100% accuracy before it airs.
  • An essential service for the over 31 million individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, giving them access to the audio portion of programming on TV and the Internet.
  • A tool that improves reading and listening skills of children and adults by visually tying words with sound.
  • A way to strengthen language and comprehension skills for those learning English as a second language, marrying the spoken word with the written word as well as reinforcing grammar and sentence structure.
  • A great way to engage and exercise the mind by challenging the viewer to focus on reading, listening and comprehending in real time
  • Able to enhance family time by not only allowing all members of the household to enjoy programming at lower volume levels but also knowing the added benefits captions are bringing to everyone – regardless of age.


Pixar began working on an animated movie about an German Shepherd a few years ago. Disney wanted it and but not in the four years that Pixar would normally take. Disney has changed the story a bit, and the doggie hero is called Bolt. Bolt will be coming out this Thanksgiving holiday. I initially thought it was a Pixar movie, but in its current form, it is not. It is a Disney movie. I won't be able to watch it in theaters but look forward to seeing it when it's out on DVD. Here is a trailer that was captioned by Bill Creswell. Yay Bill! :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/17/2008 08:29:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ad Age's Marketer of the Year - Obama Wins 2008!

Resistance is futile.
LOL, pic. Funny geeky stuff.

Marketing --
On techy stuff... Popular media is always changing. Newspapers in printed form aren't doing so hot any more. Live video or TV seems to do much better. There's a lot of good to be said for finding ways to get citizens involved with their choices in government although it is sometimes an analyst's minefield, and all resort to some amount of flakey propaganda. The goal, of course, is to successfully sell the strategist's candidate. Presidential debates (see link for history) for example, are somewhat like today's real time reality shows. How much longer will be before you can pick up a cell phone and vote on such performances? It could be a cool thing because it keeps the heat going because people can be interactive in the selection of candidates for their strengths.

In light of that, I found the following very interesting...

Obama Wins! Ad Age's Marketer of the Year - 2008
From unknown to presidential nominee
"I think he did a great job of going from a relative unknown to a household name to being a candidate for president," said Linda Clarizio, president of AOL's Platform A, the sponsor of the opening-night dinner attended by 750 where the votes were cast.
For another look at how technology enhanced this election and how the times, they are a changin' <-- check out the link.


Not entirely a total non sequitur to above material on marketing a candidate, the following Google video is an interesting lecture which has concepts which tie into marketing strategy, technology and choices. Certainly contains material for reflection for analysts, or those that are involved with developing and understanding stratagem. It is 64 minutes long.

The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less, by Barry Schwartz.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/16/2008 11:11:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anatolian Rescue Blog and some MMORPG video fun!

A couple days ago I discovered NASRN's blog. (National Anatolian Shepherd Rescue Network.)
I'll be adding their blog link to the Anatolian Blogroll whenever Blogrolling is back up again. Blogrolling is reportedly undergoing a rewrite so it might take a little time. Anyway, I'm linking to it here for now.

Unrelated: Note to self... get a replacement box of baking soda next to the stove to quickly put out cooking fires.


Okay, I ran into some really funny video a few days ago and the best part is that not only is it really hilarious stuff, but it is captioned!! :D

The Youtube homepage for this series of movies is WatchTheGuild, and they have Season 1 available here. I will embed the first clip of Season 1 below so you can get an idea what it's about. It really is hilarious. I haven't played any of these massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) but I know dozens and dozens of people that do, -- some with almost entire families in different locations around the world meeting and playing a game periodically. Some people really get into it (maybe too much!) and others play off and on. Being reliable with your group is important to the gaming and social success of a guild or group. For example, it may take a team of players with a wide variety of skills to kill a virtual dragon. This sort of game play isn't my thing, but the fun thing about these clips is how realistically they depict or parody real time social network individuals. If you like this clip below, head over to the homepage linked above and watch more as you find time. :) Fun!



A week ago, I mentioned a couple free anime styled MMORPGs. If you just want to check them out, go here for "Winterland Online" and also check out the drop down menu for a list of their other virtual worlds at the topmost right.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/13/2008 01:34:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, November 07, 2008

Surfing add on - Snap Shots

Weather changes sometimes bring me migraines. ugh... I decided to explore Snap Shots and try to figure out how to implement it in different parts of a domain including on this blog. I've admired Snap Shots on some blog pages for the past year or so but never got around to checking it out. I actually installed in this blog template then realized how annoying it got in nothing flat due to all the exploding links... unless I found time to do more tweaks to the blog template. But whoa and YAY... I discovered that some tweaks can be made within the settings of the Snap Shot tool without doing anything else to a page template.

I like the changes so far on my long standing test page, the Anatolian Blogroll page which I occasionally torture with various javascript and dilapidated nonsense. If you're not familiar with Snap Shots, that would be a place to go to see what tweaks I have done with my version of Snap Shots.

So....... what to look for -- See the blogroll page above. If you are not blocking javascript (which this depends on) there will be a little box icon next to a link... you put your cursor over the box and it will give a little popup snapshot of the link to which it is pointed. You can preview the link before you go there. I've also customized it on my test page with a little icon of an Anatolian and the words "Semavi Dogs". (pats self on back) :) Pretty cool if you want to see if a blog was updated before clicking the blog links.

Btw if you like seeing those sort of previews to links, you can install an add-on for most browsers. This little tool will let you customize what you see on your own browser. Go to this page and choose the link for the End Users.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/07/2008 07:06:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote 2008! and this and that... (UFOs and Anime Pirates?)

Hope you all get out there and vote if you already haven't!

I've started playing around with Google adsense and other ads on this blog. The pages drawing the most visits are usually the game pages or special interests posts (like the python that swallowed a sheep, erk) or random stuff I have on science and genetics. Will be kind of fun to see what clicks generate for the site.


A really popular image on my site is this Sims 2 Space Port by SimMaster Ralph.

It's just too cool looking. Has UFOs hovering above the house, one of which UFOs is actually the main entry into this Sim household. There is a transporterlike 'stair' into the UFO from which your sim can then enter the house proper. I'm going on memory. I don't think I have taken a sim to that house in a couple of years now and other than a short visit to observe its coolness, I haven't actually played it! It might be interesting to see how Seasons affects it with the snow, ice and thunder storms... hrm.

I like to collect oddball Sims creations, sort of like the way we all used to collect hundreds of fonts for computer word processors. I generally end up keeping all the fonts (lol) but some of the Sim 2 creations are just a brief curiousity and then they go byebye. If you have the game and want to check out the Space Port -- the link to it is on an old post here. The image on that page is scrunched. I don't know why I never fixed it. Oh well. The Space Port is suitable for all base Sims 2 (computer) games. You do not need to own hundreds of dollars in expansion packs to use it. :p You do need to have a registered Sims 2 game in order to download the house at the official EA Sims 2 homepage.

Much newer oddness, and FREE -- that I ran into a few days ago are a some online games where your character is in the form of a stylized Japanese cartoon art form called anime. The games are MMORPG - which is a multiplayer online format. Flexible, it can be a sort of interactive 'chat room' if that's all you want. Or you can go exploring or play it as a skill game -- be a warrior or whatever. You need to be able to download the main program tho. So if you're on dialup, that could be rather piggish since I think the file sizes are close to a half or 1 gig (I forget) but it comes with a pausable, resumable downloader if you are determined to try for it on a slow connection. The homepage screens are beautiful. See "Wonderland Online" or "Tales of Pirates" for examples. Or after landing on either page, just click on the Free Online Games menu at the far top right corner of the page where you can select other choices. The software is free and so is playing the free versions, but some of the more enhanced games in the menu require a paid membership if you decide to keep playing.

I keep feeling vaguely confused... daylight savings time changes sometimes do that to me. When I'm feeling really tired, I can't remember if we're supposed to "Fall forward and Spring back", or is it "Spring forward and Fall back"? I'm still looking forward to seeing Apple Hill and getting a bushel of fresh apples (I love Fuji, Braeburns and Winesaps!)... we haven't found time to do that yet. But soon... yes! Anyway, adios for now.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/04/2008 01:55:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, September 19, 2008

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet! I'm Bork, bork, borking!

Okay, this is short.
I originally started posting this on "Talk Like a Pirate Day" (Sept 19th, Friday). While trying to tweak a Google setting for languages and while looking at Google filters, I ran into the screen above - click it to make bigger and see the language choices.
Surprise eh? but humor can be a welcome thing. :) -- and makes for interesting searches!

I do have a link to Rinkwork's dialectizer, to see this page dialectized in redneck speak, just click this link. :)

To dialectize another page, just go here and have fun! (or play with your google language setting options, there are several surprise languages which don't change the pages you find, but change the google search interface!) LOL B)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/19/2008 12:07:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zinio!

UPDATED: 17Sep2008- see at the bottom.
If you're not already familiar with it, there is way to get some popular magazines in digital form downloaded to your computer, which can then be read without an internet connection, or if you are roaming, you can use your internet connection to log into your account and read your stuff in online mode.

Above is a browser enabled peek at a beautiful magazine, click image to read the teaser while it is still available, and check out some of the recipes and glorious pics! (TIP: maximize the window that opens, click to toggle an individual page to maximize. Click and drag around pages & check out the hyperlinks that jump to articles/recipes or that hyperlink to a website).

Zinio's free proprietary software has more bells and whistles, requires a download, but you don't have to buy anything to check out complete issues of free sample magazines on your computer - and the freebies do change from time to time. Fun for grazing in foreign magazines and checking out book samples! The only fees you pay are just the subscriptions to the magazines you want and payment for ebooks that you download. I know, this is sounding a lot like an ad!! But honestly, I love this service because I get magazines and other stuff I want to read while reducing bookshelf and table clutter. The software remembers your last open page in each magazine, and by using a built in virtual highlighter and virtual sticky notes, it is that much easier to find that 7 month old Reader's Digest article or re-find a bunch of recipes that I thought I might adapt. Some people think using digital magazines is 'green' (is it?) but it certainly reduces some waste of trees.

A drawback in using digital literature include some aspects of computer portability -- like you probably won't be taking a digital magazine with you for a relaxing bubble bath (but you can print out most articles, oops- goodbye trees!). Also, occasionally there is a software security glitch and you can't open your stash of literature, so you have to go online and get another certificate. This doesn't happen often. I had more trouble with it when I was switching between computers, upgrading and setting up new ones -- and first learning the ins and outs of this kind of media. Of course it takes a bit of hard drive space. I have a few books downloaded and about 70 some magazines, so far it is taking about 2 gigs of space. But it's still cheaper than doing a room addition and battling with the local government for a building permit! Plus, you can always delete stuff, redownload and as of now, just read your stuff online.

If you scroll around some of the Zinio pages, you'll also find a link to textbooks. One fantastic freebie that as of this posting is still available, is a free genetics textbook download. The license allows you to have only one machine with a copy, but you can read it online if you are roaming.

Given my current budget
...anyone that feels awesomely generous is allowed to buy me a subscription to what looks like a fabulous New Zealand foodie magazine called Foodtown. Gosh the previews look fantastic, packed with eye candy and lots of ideas!


UPDATED: 17Sep2008 - WOW update!!!
YAY, Whee!! I am now getting Foodtown! Thank you!

Here are a couple more FREEBIES! VIV Magazine and classic literature!

1. There's a free subscription to an amazing digital magazine for women called VIV available at the time of this posting. It runs on the Zinio reader (older versions of software may need to be updated). You can sign up for for a free subscription at the magazine's homesite VIVMag.com. This magazine is quite a unique experience for the magazine lover. There are slideshows, animations and even short movie clips included as part of its medium. It covers topics of women's interest, health, exercise (with animated demos!) and there's cooking, recipes and fashions among other things. It seems to have a little bit something for everyone. It's free, so check it out.

2. The final Freebie that I want to add for this Zinio posting regards a least a hundred classics that can be found here. Some of you might remember Project Gutenberg, which is an ongoing effort to textify classics that are not copyrighted so anyone can read them online or download them. Zinio has "over 100 literary masterpieces, digitized and bound in the finiest electronic leather" hosted on their site for people to read in their browsers. Zinio customers can store the books in their online library (for roaming) or download these books to their own Zinio Library. Using the Zinio reader software will allow one to annotate and sticky note the classics. That is just so cool! I downloaded Edgar Alan Poe and also The Picture of Dorian Gray. Woohoo! :)

Thank you to Zinio's Adam Kadleck who answered some of my questions and was helpful to me in locating the Classics.
He mentions in comments to this post that Zinio has a facebook group. Check the comments!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/16/2008 02:53:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Blogger akadleck sent us a woof // September 17, 2008

Thanks for the great article about Zinio - we share your enthusiasm. I'd like to invite you and your readers to visit us at www.zinio.com to try a free sample magazine or check out our library of Digital Classics. Feedback from our customers is critical to optimizing the Zinio experience. I also invite you to join our Facebook group, "I read, therefore I Zinio."

Read on,

Adam Kadleck
Director of Customer Service
Zinio, LLC   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // September 17, 2008

Haha! I love the catchy tagline, "I read, therefore I Zinio."
And for me, this is so true!

Thank you, Adam! :)   

Thursday, August 28, 2008

YouTube gets closed captioning support

Woo HOO!!!!!!!
YouTube gets closed captioning support




YAY!! OMG, yes!!

In a move to make videos easier to understand without volume or for the hard of hearing, YouTube has given users the option of embedding closed captions that show up as semitransparent overlays.
The news link above has a link to a Closed Caption (in English) Japanese clip. It looks pretty awesome so if you want to see an example, go there and look.

Here's what the controls on a real Closed Captioned video on YouTube looks like note the far RIGHT hand side:

There are volume control, the control to expand to full window, and finally the NEWest control! The Closed Caption control is on the far right hand side and expands on mouseover to gives you the option to hide or show REAL Closed captions!!


Well...
I did search on YouTube on the keywords "closed captioned" but just end up with all the usual clips that don't actually have captioning at all, or are at least, OPEN captioned, by having text inserted into the images in the clips (which I do appreciate!).



Above video is linked to Harkle.com. See Harkle.com for their collection of found CC online videos - Chad Vader is pretty funny. :D

Well it is NEW, and I hope people using Youtube will take advantage of the CC tool.
For example: I hope some of the National Geographic clips will start to utilize them too! (you can lead a horse to water but... )





And on other news......
Comcast to cap monthly consumer broadband
... hrm

Surprisingly the company is not providing any tools to help users monitor their current usage. An FAQ on Comcast's support site simply suggests that customers do a "Web search" for bandwidth metering software that will track this amount for them. Going forward there may be plans to set up alerts over certain thresholds, or bundle some official tool as part of the company's starter software.


Very likely, a sign of the times.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 8/28/2008 07:29:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // August 31, 2008

Oh no. That means you will understand more of these? Eep. Now how can we hide the cool stuff?

*ducks*

Mark   

Friday, July 11, 2008

This and that...

Zonealarm is brokenOn the date in the image, a routine Windows Update presented some ZoneAlarm users with a present... OUCH. James had some choice words about this sudden mysterious inability to get onto any accounts he was working on. ZA homepage had the above yellow alert, and contained a clickable link to get the new ZA fix.

Our internet service with Comcast was pretty unstable back in June, with some days for at least a week, where there was no internet connection at all and weeks around that period when it was too much a bother to try to do anything on line at all. Things have improved although there are some of the usual bouts of disconnects throughout the day. I did find out that Comcast had apparently been attacked successfully by hackers, which might have been early in May and likely may have little to do with the problems we had in June. In June, even ICANN had been hacked.

Mary Landesman over at antivirus.about.com mentioned Secunia as a useful tool to help with security issues on Windows PCs. I'll be giving my machines a run with that when I get a chance.



Every once in a while I see a photo that just blows me away.
This tornado pic is a recent one.
Tornado, too close for comfort
Saw this on Yahoo photos early in July (a month late!) during attempts to catch up on internet related things.

The caption on the image:

A huge tornado funnel cloud touches down in Orchard, Iowa, Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:04 p.m. The Globe Gazette and Mitchell County Press News reported that Lori Mehmen of Orchard, took the photo from outside her front door. Mehmen said the funnel cloud came near the ground and then went back up into the clouds. Besides tree and crop damage, no human injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Lori Mehmen)

Awesome image from ExtremeInstability.com
My current mesmerizing wallpaper is from my favorite storm chaser site, ExtremeInstability.com.
These massive swirling clouds are scary and facinating. I tend to hold my breath when looking at these pics!
If you visit the site, scroll down the homepage and check out the book where some of his storm pics are featured, "Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers". Awesome storms and photography, I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 7/11/2008 01:39:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Play a Game and Win a Nobel Peace Prize?

I read a NewsBlog on The-Scientist.com about a protein folding game called Fold It.
I thought that was mildly interesting at first and somewhat amusing, but particularly because it combines science, puzzles and games, I became intrigued had to check it out!

My first laugh... It was amusing to find that they chose a domain name of FOLD with the country code (IT) of Italy. But you know how geeks can be. :D

Proteins are complex molecules in long chains that spring themselves into curly folds... and look like messy jumbles of utter chaos. The thing though, is that proteins operate like hardware or software in the body, depending on what the protein is and how it is folded, as well being affected by its environment. It is this manner in which proteins are structured that gives them the ability to react variably in their environment and do such things as keep us healthy, to make us sick, or to cure us of something. :)

I haven't tried the game yet but the ideas behind it are intriguing - as you can see from the beta version of game and site icon at the left.
"Solve Puzzles for Science"
.
Hrm...
"We're hopefully going to change the way science is done, and who it's done by," said Popovic, who presented the project today at the Games for Health meeting in Baltimore. "Our ultimate goal is to have ordinary people play the game and eventually be candidates for winning the Nobel Prize."
Hey, that Nobel Prize sounds a little far fetched but there is truth in the fact that some of us are strong on various types of puzzles. Some people are pretty genius at recognizing abstract patterns immediately in bundles of chaos and others have different strengths in problem solving, which together can crystalize innovative approaches. I see that the game is online and free. Apparently they are keeping track of how the game and its puzzles are played by its players.

The homesite for Fold It is here and more about the science of the game can be read in a FAQ. Here's a question from part of the FAQ...

How does my game playing contribute to curing diseases?

With all the things proteins do to keep our bodies functioning and healthy, they can be involved in disease in many different ways. The more we know about how certain proteins fold, the better new proteins we can design to combat the disease-related proteins and cure the diseases.

A short YouTube movie showing the game in action.


Last minute add, a writer on Gamezebo mentions how games can be more directly helpful in healing and therapy.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/28/2008 12:11:00 AM | Permanent link | (3) Comments

Blogger euthymic sent us a woof // May 28, 2008

i think it is a nice idea to make games that also teach science in such an interesting way. i also like your 2 er... little? dogs   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // May 28, 2008

I agree about games that inspire and motivate.

Haha, about the little dogs. The pics of the dogs with Natalka are certainly impressive!   

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // May 30, 2008

Do you think they would send my Nobel Prize in a bubble gum wrapper?

Mark   

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Critical Thinking, Mandatory Spay/Neuter, & Computer Security

A little of everything in the above subject.

A few good articles that got my attention this week.
Thinking outside the box. Here's a read on that at Ishmael.org

After reading that; the concept of critical thinking and lucid comprehension of issues take focus again with the reader -- Yet, back to real life, we continue to witness the the most juvenile and fundamentalist/extreme thinking that is driving MSN proponents everywhere (mandatory spay & neuter). Including California's truly UNHealthy Pets Act. So focused on their own limited perception of reality that they do not see, for example, how this type of legislation adversely affects grassroots efforts at wildlife conservation, the production of food and natural fiber on the farm and issues of population genetics in our pets. Health issues in animals are simply written off as well with broad blanket assumptions, with these people blowing off the experts, as if they have degrees in veterinary science and realize the difference between long term prospective and short term retrospective data. Furthermore, these bills will NOT affect the popularly demonized, commercial mass pet producers, yet the MSN proponents continue to make disingenuous references in that direction. And the sheep continue to follow.

Somewhat related: Newsweek on PeTA and Euthanasia: http://www.newsweek.com/id/134549. Euthanization is actually the cop out of MSN proponents to address the shortcomings in their logic and both HSUS and PeTA encourage killing animals rather than rehoming them. Since they are so busy killing animals, analyzing the status of the problem as encouraged in the first link is simply beyond their acceptance. I highly recommend Nathan Winograd's book, Redemption - a good take on it is here. It does encourage facing the history and issues that have compounded the lack of progression on logical solutions.


Getting away from animals for a bit... and along the lines of perhaps encouraging a new way of thinking, see this article about some indigenous people of Mexico who "live forever", from which article I gained the idea that many of our modern foot and leg problems seen in our society could be benefited from taking some core ideas regarding letting our footwear be more natural, so that leg strength and flexibility are natural benefits.


And tonight, I just discovered a new blog which covers issues that affect everyone using the internet - see Spyware Sucks. I've found that many people continue ignore the serious implications of HTML in email - especially as malware gets more sophisticated and do not understand that surfing and reading web pages results in thousands of downloads to their computer. From another source, Scott Dunn writes about security, "Visitors to USAToday.com last Thursday got more than they bargained for. A hacked Flash advertisement meant that merely viewing a page in your browser was capable of triggering a malware attack on your PC. According to an alert on the security site Websense, the ad can take control of the browser without any user interaction at all."

I'm using Firefox as my principal browser with "NoScript" which stops scripts in their tracks and another extension "AdBlock" that blocks ads which can sometimes be malicious. The combination makes some busy pages download for reading quicker since I am not getting all that garbage and it makes pages look a little different too. For example, ubiquitous links such as 'google ads' just do not show up on my Firefox browsing. NoScript does allow me to choose which sites I trust as does AdBlock.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/08/2008 01:23:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ah, Stress Relief!

A Paint Shop Pro creation featuring two of my favorite games. (yeah, I did that PSP in a hurry and you can tell although I might just get around to fixing that)

Above, a Sims 2 family guy, playing Big Kahuna Reef 2 - Chain Reaction on his free gaming computer. (Sims 2 Free Time features new hobbies that Sims can have, including gaming! ...a sort of "infinite picture", game creations playing a game)

Recent days without much internet access, various stressy issues and an ailing family member have me turning to my very useful and portable laptop for communication aid (nextalk.net deaf relay), ways of keeping myself from going nuts or being utterly bored in quiet moments, and if I have a space of time with no interruptions, some momentary stress relief in the form of DVD movies or casual games. Beats TV to death, as I have never been one to just turn it on and veg.

Tonight, I learned of a study documenting that computer games give stress relief ...and it even comes with a slide show. Check out the title, I love it! "Study: Casual Video Games Demonstrate Ability to Relieve Stress, Improve Mood: Potential Clinical Significance Highlighted. First-of-Its-Kind 6-month Research Project Establishes Effects of Puzzle and Word Games on the Human Body and Mind" :)
Methodology

The study was conducted between October 2007 and April 2008 and included a total of 134 subjects. Thirty-one subjects served as members of the control group, tasked with surfing the Internet looking for journal articles. The experimental groups consisted of 31 subjects who played Bejeweled 2, 29 subjects who played Bookworm Adventures, and 36 subjects who played Peggle. The study included the collection of physical data (based on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measurements) and psychological data (based on POMS (a profile of mood states pre- and post-activity) and electroencephalography (EEG) measurements) during a 5-minute baseline period and 15 minutes of game playing or (in the case of the control group) Internet surfing.
I haven't played the three games featured in the study but anyone that is curious can get them as free downloads from any number of places including the creators site, Pop Cap games. Once you have them, you can play them offline. The trials are usually for an hour but if you like to play longer, offline and not buy the game, you can try the Wild Coins method of game trialing and playing. The way it seems to work is that Wild Games gives you any game you want as a freebie game which you can play for up to a 24 hour period with periodic 20 minute breaks. If your break gets too long, then if you want to resume the game, you will need to insert virtual coins, called Wild Coins. Depending on the complexity of the game, the number of coins varies and can be four to six coins for the fancier games. The coins can be bought in different plans or even acquired by purchasing other goods from magazines to coffee and fashions and other things. Some games are completely free however, and I get a kick out of Crickler which you must be online to play.

I didn't know anything about Wild Coins until I got my "new to me" refurb Gateway notebook which included a download for games, "Gateway Games". My nephew clicked on it (after asking of course) and I was so impressed with the graphics in the game of Fate he was playing and how quickly he learned the game, I had to learn about the game system that Fate was offered on. It's cute. The little guy battles bad guys and has a little dog that reminds me of a small spotted Terrier. I haven't played it yet but it might be the first game of its genre that I try.... eventually.

Had to stick this Sims 2 video on. I wish I could hear Natasha Bedingfield sing in "Simlish" but the video is beautiful (a nicer high res version is on youtube and you have to select it on the rating meter that has the stars).

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/02/2008 09:39:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // May 03, 2008

That was fun! And the music in SIMlish was cute.

Mark   

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Software Telephone for the Deaf

My old copy of NexTalk has been getting a lot of use in the past few weeks and suddenly it kept crashing or just truncating my phone sessions - requiring a reboot to resume a call. Ugh! So I decided to uninstall and clean out the registry and file folders of the program and then reinstall an upgrade. I went to download the program again and was happy to find that the newest version is designed so that it also works on Vista now and has a FAX option. Interesting. Anyway, with Vista capability, now I can install it on my (new to me) Gateway notebook which has Vista installed. :)

The link for NexTalk is here. This is a free program that enables a deaf person (who wants to use the computer interface) to call a person who can hear. An operator types text messages back to the deaf person, typing out whatever is being said at the hearing end. It works a lot like using a real time instant messenger. Thanks to all those wonderful relay operators out there that make these services possible. :D

Now here's a wonderful video with text, showing a sweet dog named Cowboy learning something new. :)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/06/2008 05:44:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // April 07, 2008

Oh. So the deaf can call someone that hears. I thought it would help the deaf hear. ;)

(((Hugs)))

I am so glad that technology is at least helping you remain part of the world at large, kiddo!

Mark   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // April 12, 2008

You're too funny, Mark! I wish it could help me hear tho. I'd probably want the person on the other end to play me music that I miss so much.

SHUDDUP, just play music for me!!! heehee ;)   

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's the Age of Discovery (or something)

. . . Because people who love you sometimes want to use your laptop computer to make use of real or imagined, undocumented but desirable features. Two videos below with the second one being loosely applied to laptop computer technology that doesn't exist (yet) -

Tech Support in the Middle Ages
(things haven't changed much!)
Video with English subtitles.
If you haven't seen this one before, be sure to watch it to the end. ;)


A Cell Phone that does everything!
(ewwwww...)
No captions on this one but it's pretty self-explanatory.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 2/19/2008 04:46:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, January 11, 2008

Success! Getting the Laptop Back Up To Speed

Eureka!!!

My goodness. Months of frustration since October 2007 -- finally I've resolved the problem.

Back in October, James was using my MX7118 Gateway notebook to do some computing tasks while his desktop machine was shot (crashing hard drive); getting rebuilt by moi. This Gateway's got a dual core processor (more up to date than our desktops at the time) and was adequately speedy even with the factory level of 512MB of RAM. At least more than adequate for the rare use it got for the previous two years. (It even did an admirable job introducing the resource intensive game The Sims 2 with a few expansion packs =with no custom content= for visiting friends. -the key was, no custom content!)

Cave people that we are in computer gadgetry, once we obtained a wireless router and networked all our machines, at last using the Gateway to access the network became practical because now it was easy to move files between the machines and go online without miles of cables. :)

How slow did the Gateway get in October?! I'm not talking about a five or ten minute boot up time start to finish, but it was taking 20 minutes from boot to the login window, and by December, after login, another 10 to 15 minutes for the few things on it to finish loading at Startup. CPU usage was 80 to 100% almost constantly. Frankly, if you need to wait half an hour just for a machine to boot up, there isn't much point in using it any more.

It had great security and was clean, no viruses or spyware. Using hibernate to speed up its readiness for use, still took about ten minutes in loading time. But no matter what, every time a new program was started (a browser window for example), it took three or four minutes before the window loaded on screen. Windows Media player kept crashing. Typing into form boxes like the location bar on a browser sometimes delayed more than 10 seconds between keystrokes. No duh, something was wrong! Since the machine was clean, I was convinced that some of the hardware was dying.

Tweaking and disabling some Windows Services and slogging through the Event Viewer was interesting but provided no joy and is how I ended up discovering Wiki-How and posting about it. ;)

Then insight finally arrived! A few days ago (yep, January 2008 already), I discovered something called Process Explorer, free, made by Microsoft, which showed me more detail on running processes than is usually seen on Windows Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del). I discovered that hardware interrupts on the machine were the source of bottlenecks. So something was indeed wrong with the hardware, but it turns out, easily fixable! Yay!

I found a forum which presented the solution. Apparently due to some glitch that occurred in October, the hard drive converted from DMA mode to PIO. Having some clues now, examining hardware configuration in Device Manager for the primary IDE revealed that even though "DMA if Available" was in the "Transfer Mode" settings for the hard drive, my laptop was actually in PIO mode for the drive and it was this that was creating all the bottlenecks. Apparently this is a known bug in some setups according to Microsoft.

So the solution was -- uninstall driver for the primary IDE, reboot (Windows then self reinstalls the driver in the correct configuration), reboot again, and voila, the notebook was booting up in less than five minutes again as of last night!

Whee, happy happy! Dancing Banana Dancing Banana

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/11/2008 02:56:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments