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The Verizon MiFi: A Wi-Fi Hotspot for Everywhere

By Timothy R. Butler | Jun 01, 2009 at 10:08 PM

It always seems like one needs Internet access when it is least available. That’s why many of us have bought iPhones and Blackberries in recent times. But, that still doesn’t solve the problem if one has a couple of computers and needs them to be connected – right here and right now, wherever the here may be. Or, for that matter, not just computers, but an iPod touch, a Nintendo DS or any other sort of Wi-Fi enabled device. If only every place was a Wi-Fi hotspot! With the MiFi, “here” finally is a hotspot.

A Close Look at OakTreeā€™s Accordance, Part I: Basic Bible Study

By Timothy R. Butler | May 26, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Bible software is a funny category of software. It is the type of software that for many users is not exactly an obvious purchase. The Bible – even in modern translations – can be easily read online for free. Why would someone buy a program like Accordance in a world where the same content can be had for free? Is it worth paying for a Bible program if all one wants to do is participate in a Bible study or do a little personal Scripture meditation?

Linux Migration for the Home PC User, Part 3

By Ed Hurst | May 20, 2009 at 3:34 AM

At this point, after Part 1 and Part 2, if you have experienced help on hand, or you are willing to study the issues for yourself, you really don't need any more help from me. What follows are simply my personal suggestions which should allow you to get from here to there the quickest way possible.

Linux Migration for the Home PC User, Part 2

By Ed Hurst | Apr 30, 2009 at 3:10 AM

For most people, “easy” in computers means “familiar.” When I tell them and show them Linux is different — unfamiliar — that's usually the end of the discussion. If the price of change is too high, this is not for you. If the price of learning something new is just another of the costs of having a computer in your home, you'll accept the relatively small price you pay up front for something which gets a lot easier later. If you are still trying to find the “ANY” key, Linux is not for you, especially CentOS. If you have the time and inclination to learn enough to get by, you have come to the right place. The primary advantage of using CentOS in particular, among other types and brand of Linux, is you install it once, and it tends to work exceedingly well until the hardware breaks, as “stability and security” are the primary selling points.

Linux Migration for the Home PC User, Part 1

By Ed Hurst | Apr 22, 2009 at 5:33 AM

You use PCs, but don't particularly love them. They are just a basic convenience, on a par with telephones, washer and dryer, refrigerator, etc. You are easily the majority of Americans who own a PC, and perhaps a big part of the rest of the world. Or perhaps you are a small business owner who has workstations for pretty much the same reasons — an asset which improves the profit margin, may even be critical to operations, but is not the primary nature of the business. Could Linux on the desktop be right for you?

The View from Mudsock Heights: A Happy Computer Reverie is Interrupted by a Low-Tech Malfunction

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 10, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Yeow! Why is it that hot coffee defies gravity and manages to escape the spout of the coffee pot and — sometimes actually flowing uphill — find its way onto the hand holding the cup, or the tablecloth, or the early morning bare feet?

See, I Told You So (or, A Sad Tale of Satellite Radio)

By Timothy R. Butler | Feb 12, 2009 at 2:34 AM

Anyone who spends years of his or her life writing for public consumption, particularly when that writing is commentary, faces two distinct truths. First, you will get things wrong. Second, you will get things right. When a story from the back catalog beckons as being proven more and more right, it just must be pulled out again. The Sirius XM merger was a bad idea, I said in February 2007, and as the combined company allegedly teeters on bankruptcy, my point is being proven.

Creating a Linux Distribution for the Common User

By Ed Hurst | Feb 05, 2009 at 3:15 AM

If there were a Linux distribution which appealed to the most common type of computers users, they would be using it already. Some barriers to adoption we can't remove; the fix relates to things we can't control. Yet, in my rant on “rolling release” I tried to point out there is at least one thing we could do differently, if we would — make some effort to support fixing previous releases still in heavy use. That way we can offer something to the one part of the world's computer users we have neglected. T

XHTML Word Processing

By Ed Hurst | Jan 27, 2009 at 4:13 AM

The basic purpose of a word processor is to format text for printing. If you aren't going to put it on paper, you really have no need for a word processor. However, I find a huge portion of the computer using population don't make a distinction between documents for printing and webpages. That is, not consciously. They may know instinctively if they want to print the contents of a webpage the way they want it to print, they'll have to copy from the page, then paste into a word processor, format, then print. They focus on the presentation, and the information is a separate issue. Indeed, the former often takes precedence.

Fewer Bars in More Places: AT&T Network Upgrades Degrade Service for 2G Phones

By Timothy R. Butler | Jan 03, 2009 at 4:45 AM

In an act affecting owners of 2G cell phones on AT&T Mobility’s network, including the highly visible, and originally highly expensive first generation iPhone, Open for Business has learned that AT&T has been quietly sacrificing 2G signal strength in an effort to speed up the build out of its next generation 3G network. The first generation iPhone was trumpeted by the company as recently as seven months ago; many 2G phones continue to be sold by the Dallas-based company today.

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