DNS Change = Better interwebs

The other day I thought my Comcast internet connection was out… weird thing was my Vonage VoIP internet telephone service was still working… i just couldn’t browse the web. This led me to the conclusion it was the “Com-crap-stic” DNS servers that were out, not their entire network. Good news is you can change your DNS numbers on your computer or router… and sometimes it may even make your internet browsing faster!!!

In layman’s terms, One of the most important jobs for a DNS server is to point what you type in the web addresses of your internet browser to the the actual “intent address” known as an IP. So when you type “www.google.com” in… your computer talks to a DNS server that tells it your actually trying to get to… because google is easier to remember than those number, but try pasting those numbers in your web address and it will get to google all the same.

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iTunes 10 on Windows Server 2003 (or Home Server)

Have you been wondering how do I install itunes 10 on a Windows Home Server or Windows Server 2003?

My office recently bought an iPad and we wanted it to sync with our server, running windows server 2003. Problem was during the install of iTunes 10, i got an error… “apple mobile device support failed to install”… The install would complete and everything worked, except when i plugged in the iPad… it would not connect / sync with the server.

I searched the interweb’s and found a few solutions… the easiest (that worked for me) is below… we basically have to manipulate the install of itunes so it does not check the operating system and fail at installing the “apple mobile support”… it sounds tougher than it is, but its actually relatively easy if you are comfortable with installing a few small free programs… this should work with Windows Home Server as well, seeing as its built off of Windows Server 2k3… The steps to do this are Below

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What is Windows Media Center?

Ever wonder… “How do I get rid of my cable box” or get pissed off at how lousy the dvr interface from your cable company is… wish there was another option. Well, There is another solution… and its called Windows Media Center. For those of you that have windows 7, you have the software built into your computer already, and with a little, to no, start up cost, you can get your TV to communicate to this state of the art DVR built into your computer, as seamlessly as the interface on your Comcast box (AKA it will be wife & mom proof). This DVR however will have many, many, many more features, that I’ll get into later… I’ve switched over about 3 years ago, and I will never go back to renting Comcast’s crappy box, paying extra for their crappy HD box, or paying even more for their crappy DVR service…

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Ubuntu nOOb install

So my wife has an old laptop that she was given that was running like old balls… even with a clean install of windows XP. Now she primarily only uses the laptop for checking her gmail account as well as scouring the internet for various recipes and shopping sites, but the little POS could not even handle that. So I decided to install ubuntu for the first time ever and give it a try.

read about what it is and my experience with it after the break
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WTF is MS kin, and why u txting w/out all da letters? damn whipper snappers!!!

I know…. its been way to long since I last posted… been busy though… going to be a 1st time dad… have to catch up on those projects before I really have no time…

But I still peruse the web and thought this was interesting to share… you might have heard about the new Microsoft “smart phone” operating system… this post is about the opposite, that has not gotten so much press yet, but its an interesting idea from Micro$oft…

When you go to a cell phone store there used to me two major categories of phones. One is the “smart phone”, which includes the iPhone, blackberry, windows mobile, Palm treo’s and others. mostly these fancy pants phones surf the web, read corporate email, and have sync-able calenders with your computer.

Well the other category is everything else, and they usually call these “feature Phones”. They usually have bad interfaces to interact with (as they were designed as phones first, then features where plopped into them) but you can text with them, surf mobile websites on some, take pictures with others, and even listen to music…. This categories is what the Kin from Microsoft is targeting.

Its not a smart phone, but a Microsoft’s own phone hardware (from a company they bought out), and Microsoft’s own mobile OS. The phone seams to be geared towards teenagers and younger that are heavily geared towards social media experiences such as Facebook, texting, picture sharing, and others. Although the interface looks like i could get used to it after a while, i don’t think my mother (who is my layman technology bench marker) would have a chance.

For those that have heard of a new Microsoft phone, this is not to be confused with their upcoming (unreleased as of yet) Windows Phone 7 that will be running on various HTC and Motorolla phones. That is their “smart phone” ship. The Kin is more of Microsoft’s attempt to put a heavily developed fun interface that you get on these more expensive smart phones, but on a feature phone.

With that in mind, I would assume that they would strike up a deal with Verizon (who will be carrying the first phones) to target a younger crowd not looking to break the bank, with special data plan deals, and perhaps even a less expensive intro price??? But Verizon has be hush hush on any pricing information on the yet to be released phones.

So far MS will have two Kin phones for Verizon to exclusively sell… ingeniously named “Kin One” and Kin Two”. You can check out their specs, and take a sneak peak of their crazy texting whipper snapper interface at their office site.

Verizon Data Plan Confusion with ActiveSync

I set out this afternoon to ask… Can I use activesync with the Verizon $29.99 data plan

Long intro short… most companies that host their own email utilize Microsoft exchange services (a software that runs on your company server)… Verizon changed around their data plans, and made it a requirement to buy a data plan with any smart phone now… rather than pricing the plans on how much data one uses (like they did before) they now seam to price it on what you use it for. One data plan is $30 and the other $45… the difference… the $30 plan description says it will not access corporate email… does this mean exchange server via your phones active sync as well… how do they block this… no outlook work calender… i use my work email for my personal email as well… wtf..? These are some of the thousands of questions i came across.

Good news is after scouring the internet I was able to learn that I can change my obsolete 10MB plan @ 24.99 to the newly introduced “unlimited” web and email plan @ 29.99 from Verizon without extending my contract 🙂 Like AT&T, Big Red says you need their $44 corporate email plan to access exchange, but in fact you don’t… I just changed my plan and I can still access my exchange server, as indicated on the all-knowing interweb forums. Incase you were slacking err… procrastinating I mean, on this glorious Friday afternoon like I am, you’ll might want to know that exchange services/servers can be configured using up to 29 various security policies… from every post I read today…no one running exchange actually sets these up though… perhaps some, or one, of these policies uses a particular data protocol that Verizon can filter out… I don’t know for sure. Some people on various forums had 2nd hand knowledge that said so and so could not access their exchange email without upgrading to the $45 plan.. I think this is bull. For all the first hand accounts I read about, 99.9% of people running exchange services with their employers can utilize the cheaper $29.99 plan and still sync up with their contacts, calendars, and emails they use with their office computer outlook program with their personal phone.

For the most part Gearlog.com confirmed my thoughts on the topic… Verizon and AT&T are playing the stupid people card… if you say you are accessing your corporate email they can charge you as a business account, rather than the personal account you actually might have…. However, unless your phone bill is actually paid through your companies funds, there is no way they can find out, nor stop you from utilizing your phones built in active sync functionalities to communicate with exchange services at your work email system.

Microsoft Promotes Windows 7 with Thousands of Launch Parties


Microsoft thought they would try something new with the launch of their latest operating system, Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. After some people boo’d the release of Windows Vista and the various problems “they” had with Vista, Microsoft decided to get a large community behind the launch of the latest operating system… and what better way to do that than offer people free ultimate versions of windows 7 and gift bags / goodies for guests if they promise to throw a launch party to friends and families to go over some of the new and unique features Windows 7 brings to the table.

I must admit I am a huge windows media center fan and some of the features in this latest operating system are way awesome in my book. I also had no problem with Vista, and in fact find the features in Vista comendable over XP (which it should being the later operating system) I remember when XP came out there where the same bunch of people that boo’d that OS due to its incompatibility issues, in my opinion Vista got the brunt of a bad timing job combined with little pre-marketing… which gave developers a band wagon to jump onto and hence the negative energy towards Vista. OS change is inevitable, and with good reasons or we would all still be on command prompt with DOS still.

So Microsoft has decided with this Launch party campaign that they can get some hype for this OS before it gets out of the gate, which is a good idea in my mind. With that said I jumped on this band wagon to host a launch party at my house… simply for the fact that I get a free, fully licensed $500 O.S. out of the deal that I really want for my media center. I will however throw this party and show my family and friends that are interested how geeky I really am …err… i mean how neat Windows 7 can be.

Check out my launch party webpage, and other hosts, here at houseparty.com… also let me know if you’ll be in my area and would like an invite to my Windows 7 launch party…

how to wipe your windows computer clean… for real

I have a lot of people always asking me what do I think is wrong with their windows computer… my answer… who cares… just format the thing… well not many people know how to do this… here’s a quick 101 on how I set my computers back to what it is before I bought them…this works great if you think you have spyware, virus, or your registry is messed up… click the pic below to read my whole article.

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