This site functions as an archive of Conner's Blog, which was a blog from 2006-2014 located at http://connermccall.com. Images and links are likely to be broken.

15 Things Every Computer User Should Know (#2)

Backups

Of course you can find this advice on almost any technology website, but I don't think it can be reiterated enough. This doesn't mean you need to go out and spend $100 on a external hard drive, though that is one solution. Really it depends on what you need to save. If you have a ton of digital photos, back them up at flickr.com, this can even handle your videos now. Upload your important documents to Google Docs. If there is something you can't upload to those two sites, there are a multitude of online storage solutions out there, just do a search for "free online storage" and you should find something that suits you.

Of course having a storage solution that you control sometimes is best, but by using freely available onlines storage you can be assured that even if disaster was to strike, you wouldn't lose your precious documents and photos. I recommend a mixture of both, using an external hard drive solution such as Maxtor's One Touch, and additionaly uploading your photos and files to a online site gives you the knowledge that you have your data on a hard drive you control, yet if your computer and external drive were to be destroyed in a fire, you will still be protected.

Just remember keeping your data backed up is one of the most important things you can do.

Tiny microSD Adapter

I was wondering through Target today and saw some micro sd cards on sale. At first I didn't think much of it, I don't really have a need for one, I don't use my phone for mp3's, and though Sansa could use a micro SD for expansion I don't really see the point 4GB is more then suffecient for me on a daily basis.

Then I noticed that in addition to the normal SD card adapters, the cards came with a tiny usb adapter which was hardly bigger than a fingernail. Now once again I don't need this for my phone, but could there be a better solution for storing Linux on a usb drive. I'm currently installing Fedora 9 on it and hope that my laptop is willing to boot from it, if not it will just be a nice replacement for my sony usb drive which is larger than my chapstick.

In case your curious it's manufactured by this company. The website is horrible though so don't expect any success navigating it.

15 Things Every Computer User Should Know (#1)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn them for whatever system you are using, they can be a huge time saver. It's a lot quicker and more convenient to just press control and S to save your document instead of moving your mouse up to file, clicking and moving down to save. Learn the common shortcuts and amaze your friends and co-workers with the speed and efficiency you accomplish your tasks.

These keys should be pressed at the same time, I usually press and hold the control key and then press the corresponding letter, use it frequently and it will become second nature.

  • control and c - This is used to copy the selected text same as edit and then copy
  • control and v - Used to paste copied text, same as edit and then paste
  • control and s - used to save, use this frequently and you will never fear a power outage again
  • control and a - selects every thing on the screen, same as edit and then select all
  • control and p - Prints the current document same as file and then print
  • alt then tab - cycles through open windows and programs that are listed on the task bar

There are always more shortcuts to learn. Check out these links for even more.

Protected Status Reinstated for Gray Wolves

Gray wolves back in protected column - CNN.com.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, on one hand, 2,000 wolves is a very small number, and allowing the possibility of 500 wolves to be killed is 25% of that population, which is a ridiculous number. (note: I haven't looked at the actual hunting schedule so this could easily be an over estimate).

Of course as someone who grew up in a family who relied on livestock for it's income, I also understand that ranchers in those areas are going to be affected by this ruling by losing additional livestock.

I guess I fall on the side of the environmentalist more so than the government on this one. If only because seeing a wolf in the wild is honestly one of the most incredible experience you can have. I just hope that people realize that it is decisions like this that can help contribue to rising food costs. It's a price we all pay, and I feel that is is worth it.

Edit:

Here is a link to a more local story,

Helena Independent Record - Notes that Montana was looking at moving wolves from endangered to in need of management at time of this ruling.

eBay Q2 Profits Up 22 Percent

Twins hand Rangers first shutout of the season

172

I started the summer weighing185, and now weigh 172. Three simple steps that have made a big difference in how I feel.

  1. No processed sugar; no soda, no candy, no high fructose corn syrup.
  2. No white bread, only whole grain high fiber bread
  3. Eat Yogurt, stick with plain yogurt and add fresh or frozen fruit

Of course exercise is important to but those three things have definitely made a difference in my energy level.

Categories and Tagging

I pruned my categories this morning, I'm working on moving to a more tag based system of organization. I haven't updated my theme to include tags, but it's in the initial stages of testing. As my permalinks do not include my categegories the only thing this may effect is if someone had a link to a category page that no longer exists. I apologize for any inconvience this causes.

Shared Item Special Mention #1

I couldn't agree more/Small Business in Small Towns

Seth Godin wrote a post entitled should small business wine. I personally say heck no.

Growing up in small town America where the nearest McDonalds was almost 70 miles away, nearly all the businesses that I frequented and worked at were small businesses. Nearly every one of these businesses complained constantly that they couldn't compete with the big hardware stores, the chain grocery stores, or whatever store their competition was at the time.

Additionally there were those select people who complained that everyone would go shopping at Wal-mart and didn't spend money locally. As a high school student I thought this was true and that people who went down the road to spend money were kind of traitors to the community. Then I went to college and took an economics class.

It amazes me now when I look back, how these small local businesses felt entitled the the local person's dollar. They had high prices, were open for business when it was convenient for them, had a poor selection, and their service was by no means outstanding. In fact other than the fact they were close by, not one of these businesses were deserving of the local dollar.

Now this is not to say that all small local business were poorly run, in fact some of them did quite well, and were frequented by almost everyone. They competed at some other level other than price, usually it was convience, selection, or service. But to this day I still remember coming back from college, and discussing this with some local people. They would look at me like I was crazy for telling them they should be trying to compete with Wal-Mart. They were defeated before they opened their doors, yet they had by far one of the biggest advantages of any business. They didn't have to pay a dime for market research, they just walked down the local diner and could find out what nearly everyone in town wanted.

The hardware store should have been open 24 hours a day during the spring and fall planting and harvest seasons, the restauraunt or bar should have delveried meals to the workers in the field, and the grocery store just needed to stick with the basic necessities, and take special orders on occasion. Simple, a little inconvenient for the business owner, but if you can't compete on price do something else better.