Sunday 28 October 2007

Playing with Multi-OS's

I took a friends (Keith Little) advice about playing with more Unix/Linux deployments. Last week I installed Ubuntu7, Fedora7, and SUSE Desktop on both my home and school computers. Tomorrow at school SUSE Server, and Fedora Core6, then both of them at home next week. I like the 'tour' utility in the SUSE one. All 3 work well in VMWare on my Vista machine at home and on XP at School.

I also have 2003 Server, 2K Server, 2K, XP Corporate, WInME, 98, 95, 3.11 Dam Small Linus and Dos 6 all running under Virtual PC. See this earlier note
Unleashing the Inner Geek about why I am playing with so many OS's.

The fun part about using VMWare and Virtual PC is that you do not have to reboot to switch which operating system you are working in, and with 4Gigs ram, and a terabyte of hard drive space, there is lots of room for 8-16Gig Virtual Hard drives.

I will admit to Tim A. That Mac OSX is not as bad as I thought. I doubt I will ever become converted, but I am getting better at using it, and am looking for an ISO of the OSX Server to play with also.

Alan, a friend has been a long time Linux\Unix user longer than I have know him. I'd be surprised if he doesn't release his own version some day. And Tim F writes a fair bit on his blog about Ubuntu so when I was offered a live disk of it today I grabbed it. And Davenport is just as geeky as me, if not more so so I will tag him in this not also, and see what he has to say about my new found inner geek. (Really just reemerging from the days back at Queen's. Running multiple versions of AutoCad, compressed so they would fit on a 20meg HD and not conflict and using a stacker card and software to double the hard drive size.)

Articles in this Series:

Mac VS PC an It Guys Perspective
Inner Geek - Updated June 2011
Inner Geek - Updated December 2011

Friday 26 October 2007

Microsoft Windows Vista Guide by: Jason W. Eckert

Microsoft Windows Vista Guide
Jason W. Eckert

Thompson Course Technology

ISBN 1418837571

There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft Windows Vista on campus and among my friends at this school and from other schools. Most of it is in the negative. People have tried it, hate it, and switch back to XP or Linux\Unix. Or they bought a new computer at Futureshop or Bestbuy and got stuck with Vista and they hate it. I myself have been running it on one of my machines since March and, to be honest, I have had few problems.

When I became aware of a book about Vista written by a University of Waterloo Grad, I wanted to check it out. This book or booklet is a great introduction to Vista. Jason W. Eckert writes in a very fluid and easily accessible manner. Unlike a lot of technical manuals I have read, this one is a pleasure to read. Eckert writes with a great passion for his subject and a desire to instill knowledge in others. In his introduction he is unbiased in his appreciation for both Mac- and Microsoft-based systems. He is a technophile who uses his skills as a wordsmith to draw the reader into the subject.

This book will take a user through a number of steps in installing, setting up and configuring Windows Vista. There are sections on how Vista is different from XP, the steps to install Vista, how to navigate the new interface, customizing Vista and how to maintain and troubleshoot problems with this new operating system. As Eckert states in the introduction to the book, Vista is here to stay, and most new technologies for years to come will be based upon this engine. Therefore, I state it is far better to at least learn how to use this new operating system from a master like Eckert, than to be frustrated by it when you must use it eventually.

There are a few key attributes of this book that make it a great tool for learning how to use Vista. First, Eckert's writing is so readily accessible and understandable. Second he makes extensive comparisons between Vista and XP, at many points in the book, showing us the differences and the similarities. Third is a comprehensive list of key terms, and definitions. Finally there is a set of review questions and hands-on projects at the end of the chapter. These projects will take you through a step-by-step processing of applying what was read about throughout the book.

This book is a great little guide if you already have Vista and want to go deeper with what it can do for you, or if you are thinking about switching over to Vista, it will reveal to you the many differences between XP and Vista. But if you are looking to go even deeper than that, Eckert has a full-length book coming out next year of which this is just the first chapter. This book is written as a tool to help you get going and learning the basics of Vista.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-10-26)

Sunday 14 October 2007

MOS Microsoft Office Specialist

Recently I had the opportunity to write my MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification exams. In preparing for them I used a number of different text books by different publishers. I wrote my certification exams for Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The three publishers I used for the course work were, Microsoft Press which produces the official MOAC (Microsoft Official Academic Course's), The Illustrated Series by Thompson Learning, and CCI Learning Solutions Inc. Each had strengths and each had weaknesses. All three publishers produced approved books to write the certification exams. My favorite was the Illustrated Series it's features and tools made it easiest to study at my own pace and quickly work through the programs. I took the programs at two different college, triOS College and Laurel College, again there were strengths and weaknesses to both schools methods. Over the next few weeks I plan on reviewing some of my books used, and highlighting both their strengths and weaknesses in each system of training. The books I am going to review are as follows:
  1. Microsoft Office Word 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Jennifer A. Duffy
  2. Microsoft Excel 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Reding & Wermers
  3. Microsoft Access 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - Lisa Friedrichsen
  4. Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 - Illustrated Series Introductory - David W. Beskeen
  5. Microsoft Outlook 2002 - CCI Learning Solutions
  6. Microsoft Office System 2003 Edition - Microsoft Official Academic Course
These may be a little drier than my reviews of fiction, Christian or specifically Catholic books. But this is what I am spending most of my time currently reading and working on in school. You can read more about my geek training in this post 'Unleashing the Inner Geek'!

(Note: some of you may be familiar with the MOUS Microsoft Office User Specialist it has been replaced with the MOS as of February 2007.)

Articles in this Series:

Unleashing the Inner Geek
MOS Microsoft Office Specialist
Playing with Multi-OS's
Inner Geek - Validated
Inner Geek - On My Way
Inner Geek - Validated February 2008
Inner Geek - Validated September 2008
The Changing face of BRAM
Inner Geek - Updated February 2009
Windows 7 Beta Review
Inner Geek - Updated April 2009

Inner Geek - Updated July 2009

Monday 8 October 2007

Catholic Carnival 140 - Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Thanks Giving. This is my third time hosting the carnival and I had such big plans for it. Unfortunately school, and life have taken their toll in the past few weeks (my wife's best friend passed away, and we scanned the pictures and made the powerpoint presentations for the the funeral home and service. School is taking upwards of 6 hours a day work outside the 4 hours a day in class and 2 hours a day labtime.) Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa, so this weeks Carnival will be short and sweet with not much commentary.

Christine the Soccer Mom at Domestic Vocation has a post called 'Homeschooling, Pudding, and Apologetics' she states about it: in this post, I discuss homeschooling apologetics and apologetics for the Faith and how they are related.

Kevin at HMS Blog writes a reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday 10/7, focusing on their application to the pro-life cause. In his post 'FAITH, LOVE, AND HUMAN LIFE'.

er at Deep Furrows we have a post 'What is Catholic sensibility?' Fred states Catholic sensibility is not conceptual but sensible.

Heidi at Streams of Mercy writes about a convert reflects on the hymn "Amazing Grace" ... and why Catholics can sing this "Protestant" hymn with gusto! (Well, with as much gusto as Catholics muster when they sing in public...) :-) In her post 'Amazing Grace" ... Is It Really?'

In the post 'Make a Gingerbread House! An Advent Tradition' Heidi at Mommy Monsters Inc. writes about a fun Advent family activity (especially appropriate for St. Nicholas' feast day!

Next in CatholicLand! SWP reflects on his vigil with the 40 Days for Life. in 'Thirst for Righteousness'.

Then onto a visit at Catholic Fire with a post 'BOOK
REVIEW: THE HARRY POTTER ALTERNATIVE' My review of FIDELIS' - the first book in a series of seven, written by A.R. Horvath. Similar in nature to the writings of C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkein, Fidelis bears a Christian theme, includes Scripture passages, and is rich in Christian symbolism. It is a fictitious fantasy and, in many ways, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings.

In a call to 'Help Get Bella into Theaters' Musings from a Catholic Bookstore puts out a call for some grass roots action.

"The Right Way to Die" from the blog just another day of Catholic
pondering writes that after a recent family funeral, Sarah finds herself reflecting on death, and in the process shares the anecdote of Grandma Georgia's peaceful dying.

At Play the Dad? No, be the Dad! we have a post 'Call me "The Great White Hunter"!' Matthew states about this post that it is something a little different this experiment.

We Belong to the Lord has a post 'Golden Compass Points the Way
to Hell'!

'The Far Green Country' is a post over at Ho Kai Paulos. Using some of Tolkien's words from the end of The Lord of the Rings, I talk about two perspectives on death - that of the person moving on and that of those left behind. We forget, so easily, that the journey doesn't end just because we lose sight of someone ahead of us.

Next at The Robinson Go Blog we have 'Reflections on Jeremiah' The Word of God still answers the questions of today.

Jay at Living Catholicism in a post 'How St. Therese' Family Helped Shape Her Unique Spirituality of "The Little Way"!' Explores the role of the family in developing a child's spirituality by looking at the story of St. Therese, the Little Flower.

Jay also has a submission for the Catholic Carnival from Deo Omnis Gloria called 'Ask Your Guardian Angel to Help You Against the Fallen Angels'. We all have a Guardian Angel for a reason! And they can help us defend ourselves from the attacks that demons (who are real) fire against us. Just some thoughts on how our Guardian Angels can help.

Then over at A Catholic Mom climbing the Pillars our final entry is 'The Nightmare of Television.....when is enough, enough'.

A late entry from A Third Way has an entry 'Have you called your Mother today?' Melissa shares her Rosary story and why you may want to find your beads and give Our Lady a call.

Finally while preparing this post I have been
reflection on thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, a bueatiful wife, a lovely 1 year old daughter, a son due in January. While preparing this book I have rewatched the film Molokai and I wrote a review of it a while ago. It is an amazing film about the life and death of Father Damien the Leper. It will inspire and challange. 'Molokai: The Story of Father Damien.'

So with that I bid you all a blessed and happy 'Canadian' thanksgiving!

(Most of the photo's are from my collection of church photographs. I tried posting the Carnival a half hour early and have had 5 items to add. That Will teach me for being a keener.)