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Dec 31, 2007

60 Minutes Shows Some Geek Love

I was watching TV last night when 60 minutes came on. I usually don't watch 60 minutes too often but something caught my eye. They did a segment on geeks and the importance of us geeks to get the average person through their tech filled day.

The premise is simple. Technology is almost unavoidable now-a-days. Everywhere you turn there is something with a computer chip in it from your laptop to your iPod, from your car to your toaster. The funny thing is that with all of this technology, not everyone is interested in figuring out how it all works. That is where your friendly neighborhood geek comes in.

The video starts off following around the founder of the Geek Squad, and they go on to take you through call centers and other places geeks can be found. They really give you a good visual of what us geeks encounter on a daily basis, and the frustrations of users who just can't figure out the manual.

Here is the segment from CBS's 60 Minutes (Don't you love Tivo?):



This video really stuck a cord with me because every frustrated person, or non tech savvy person they mentioned reminded me of almost every user at my company. Especially in our smaller offices across the country. Many of those people have never used a computer in their lives. Good thing there are sites like Bauer-Power, or my buddy Karl's site Ask The Admin to get people through it.

Did you identify with this story in a certain way? Maybe you work at a tech support call center, or you are a home computer repair tech. Maybe you setup audio visual equipment for a living. Let me know in the comments.

Dec 30, 2007

3 High-Tech Features Of The Apple Iphone

What's the big deal behind the Apple iPhone? It's expensive. It's revolutionary. But are its features worth the money?

With all the popularity, you can assume everyone's at least heard about it. What does the Apple iPhone feature and what can it do?

1) Multi-Touch Technology

The most outstanding feature is the iPhone's radical multi-touch screen. The MT screen allows any mechanical button to appear on this high tech toy. It simply allows you to use your fingers to operate it. This is contrary to any other phone today, which either have mechanical keyboards or a stylus.

By tapping the screen with your finger, you can navigate menus, dial phone numbers, write e-mail messages and likewise use the whole functionality of the popular gadget. The three-point-five-inch screen displays a keyboard for inputting text via multi-touch. Most consumers are seemingly skeptical about typing with the virtual keyboard, but Apple has predicted the common problems and has made sure the iPhone was constructed with features like automatic spell check and word prediction, not to mention an enhanced customizable dictionary. More so, the iPhone addresses the problems of typos commonly known to multi-touch usage by adding self-correction capabilities.

When scrolling, the usual wheel is not found at the side of the gadget. The multi-touch screen functionality allows its owner to scroll by dragging a finger in the desired direction. The speed of scrolling is designed to be proportional to the speed at which you drag your finger.

The multi-touch feature furthermore enables several more functions like multi-touch sensing for magnifying or reducing photos and even web pages. Using this feature, you can regulate object size simply by placing two fingers at the side of the object and then moving them, by dragging, either further apart or closer to one another. This feature does not distort images because images are initially scaled according to its original dimensions in the first place.

Hands down, the iPhone is more intelligent than any other phone today.

2) Revolutionary Sensors

The gadget's sensors have the ability to detect changes to the iPhone's environment. The sensors are minuscule yet absurdly powerful. The three major sensors include an accelerometer, sensor for ambient light, and a proximity sensor.

The accelerometer sensor conveys the ability to detect any changes in the iPhones positioning. ...The iPhone's screen display will actually rotate to portrait or landscape, while still packing its contents into the 3.5-inch screen. Because it changes the view according to ratio, images are not distorted among web pages, videos, or photos.

The proximity sensors.


These high-tech features detect the location of the iPhone with regard to the skin. When you make a call and hold the iPhone up against your ear, the display will automatically set to standby. This is important in that it serves two basic functions.

One, by shutting off the display when not necessarily needed, this saves your battery's life. More so, this avoids accidental touches to the screen, which would otherwise be sensitive. As soon as the cell is moved away from your face, the proximity sensors react in this way.

Ambient light sensor.

Through the AL sensor, changes in the phone's environment are detected and instantaneously adjust the display's brightness. Your iPhone's display will always be well adjusted in regard to lighting.

3) Mac OS X Operating System

The hype behind the Apple iPhone increased when Mac fans found out the Mac OS X would be included. The Mac OS X is the operating system inside the latest Apple computers. On the other hand, the electronic doesn't have the complete functionality of the operating system. The entire OS X is too large to fit within the 4GB or 8GB internal memory. The iPhone contains a 500 MB version of the operating system.


Author: Jason Parker

About the Author:
Visit electronics lover Jason Parker at What Features the iPhone Has Dot Com to read more about Apple iPhone features. Article Source: Articlesbase.com

Online Expectations Change With Faster Internet

In the not-too-distant past, the Internet was, for many people, a thing of clunky Web sites, awkward search engines and slow loading times.

But more recently, ongoing development of Internet technology has provided increasingly faster connections. In a report by Pew Internet Research, for example, it's estimated that 84 million Americans have broadband Internet access in their homes. And, just as the speed at which consumers receive online material has changed, so have expectations of what the Internet can offer.

Streaming video may be the most significant feature that consumers now expect from their high-speed Internet connections. With faster downloading times and the development of sophisticated online media players, more Americans are getting their news and entertainment via streaming online videos.

"In today's fast-paced environment, consumers want to be able to access entertainment any time," said Greg Demetriades, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteBlox, a Houston-based provider of Internet broadcasting technology. "Providing on-demand Internet broadcasts gives audiences the freedom to tailor their viewing habits to their own schedules."

Consumers have also come to expect a greater extent of online interaction with other users. Bearing this in mind, some companies have developed technology that plays streaming video and simultaneously incorporates interactive features that allow consumers to participate with whatever content they're viewing.

WhiteBlox's technology, for instance, consists of several customizable features, or "building blox" as the company calls them, with which Web content providers can build media players that integrate chat rooms, surveys and polls.

This combination of video and viewer interactivity is one of the greatest benefits of the broadband boom, Demetriades says.

"As customer demand for online entertainment increases, more and more we are seeing the movement of videos, television and music to the Internet. This trend and the added functionality available to consumers online are quickly pushing the Internet to become the dominant source of entertainment."

For information, visit www.whiteblox.com or call 281-210-5211. - (NewsUSA)

A Simple Method To Increase Performance in Windows

One of the main things that determines computer speed is the amount of memory your computer has. By the way, I was hanging around with my wife's cousin this week and he thought computer memory was referring to the amount of storage on a hard drive. So lets get one thing straight, when referring to memory you are talking about RAM (Random Access Memory), not hard drive storage. Back to what I was saying, RAM corresponds to computer speed and that is why people always tell you to upgrade your RAM when your computer is getting old and slow.

When your computer starts to run out of RAM to run programs, it borrows a designated area on your hard drive to swap stuff in and out of memory. This place is called the page file in Windows (Swap partition in Linux). The whole idea is aptly called virtual memory.

Wikipedia says this about Virtual Memory:

Virtual memory is a computer system technique which gives an application program the impression that it has contiguous working memory, while in fact it is physically fragmented and may even overflow on to disk storage. Systems which use this technique make programming of large applications easier and use real physical memory (e.g. RAM) more efficiently than those without virtual memory.


Before running out and dropping a couple of hundo on more RAM to increase performance on your computer, you could try to increase the size of your page file. Here is a video I found on Youtube that tells you how to increase you pagefile size in Windows Vista:



Along with the increase in page file size, you should also regularly defrag your computer, and clean up all of the spyware on it. Doing these things could postpone upgrading your hardware...at least of a little while.

Dec 29, 2007

Alternative Video Player To End All Video Players

I don't know about you but I am not a big fan of the built in media player that comes with Windows. It just doesn't play the stuff I want it to play 99% of the time. Mostly because of it's limited library of codecs or format support.

For a while I have been using Media Player Classic as a part of the K-Lite Codec pack which works pretty well for most things, but it will not play Quicktime files. For that I still need to download Quicktime.

I needed something that would play everything and just simply work. Luckily I found it in Miro Video Player. Miro plays every video and audio format known to man including Quicktime, and Linux based formats like OGG. Another cool thing about Miro is it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac users.

Here is a list of features from their website:

Play Almost Anything
Forget about the format wars. Miro can play MPEG, Quicktime, AVI, H.264, Divx, Windows Media, Flash Video, and almost every other major video format.


One After Another
Set your Miro preferences to either play videos one after another (in the order they appear) or to play a video then stop. If you have Miro set to play videos one after another, you can always right-click on an individual video and have it play then stop.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts for all the key playback commands makes it easy to configure a remote control.

Video Playlists
Bring together your favorite videos into a playlist. You can drag them one by one or select a few and right-click to add to a playlist or odd create a new playlist that they will be added to.

Thumbnail Creation
Miro will create a thumbnail for any video that doesn't have one.

Channel and Playlist Folders
Group your channels by topic by creating folders. Do the same for playlists.

Watch Any Folder
Videos can come in from lots of places-- a web browser, email, a p2p application, or Miro. Miro can watch any folder on your computer and include those videos in your collection. So when you save something to your desktop, for instance, it will show up in Miro without needing to be added manually.

Move Your Library
Running out of space? Miro can move your video collection to any location on your system, such as an external hard drive.

Bring Your Videos Together
When you install Miro, you can search you computer to find all your video files and list them in your Miro Library.

For a complete list of features click here (Miro Features)



Take a look at this demo video:





So the choice really comes down to what you prefer. Do you like having multiple applications installed that basically do the same thing, but can only support certain formats, or do you want to cut out all the bull crap and install something that plays everything? I knew you would do the right thing.

Dec 28, 2007

Want to Change The Apple Color at Boot Up On Your MAC?

I am primarily a Windows and Linux user. I have never really messed with MAC's too much. Not that I have anything against MAC's it's just not something I have bought into too much. I think it goes back to your first computer. For me it was a Packard Bell running Windows 95.

Enough about that though. As I have mentioned before, on my Windows boxes I use StyleXP to change the boot screen from the standard Windows splash screen to something more custom. On my Ubuntu laptop, I have found plenty of USplash screens at Gnome-Look.org. For MAC's, I have never really though about it.

That is until now. I found an application for MAC called BootXChanger that will allow you to change the Apple logo at boot up to the color or image of your choice.

There are some limitations of BootXChanger though. This is from their website:

BootXChanger will not change the background colour of the boot screen, so the background of your images must be the same (#BFBFBF). This is done so it won't spoil the spinner animation. For the same reason, there is a limited number of colours your image can use. If your image has too many, it will be reduced and probably look ugly. If this happens, you can try saving the image in GIF or PNG-8 with Photoshop, and making sure it uses 100 colours or less. On Intel Macs, it's even worse: images have to be compressed to fit in the boot file. If your image is too complex and doesn't fit, BootXChanger will show a message and you won't be able to apply it. Simply put:
  • You can't change the background colour, it's #BFBFBF
  • Use an image with less than 100 colours
  • On Intel Macs, use simpler shapes or smaller images


Granted, it isn't quite the same as StyleXP or a new USplash theme, but it does allow for some customization on your MAC. Do you know of a better application for MAC's that allow you to make similar customizations as StyleXP? Let me know in the comments.

Dec 27, 2007

Turn Windows XP Into Vista: Part Deux

A few months ago I wrote about a skin package to make Windows XP look just like Vista. That package changed everything from the boot screen to the gadget bar to give Windows XP just as much eye candy as Windows Vista. Well, almost. It still didn't offer the 3-D desktop that Vista offers.

No problemo, there is a utility that will give you the Vista 3D desktop option in Windows XP. It is called Winflip, and is absolutely free (Hey that rhymes). It allows you to display all of your open windows in a 3D way that looks just like the way Windows Vista does it.



There have been lots of articles written about it lately. This comment is taken from Free Download A Day:

WinFlip adds an interesting dimension to task switching. Rather than just using Alt + Tab to move through your open windows, it displays all your currently open application windows in a 3-D stack on your desktop. To change to a different window, you can use your mouse or keyboard to choose the desired application window. You can configure the look to use large or small images for your windows, and its relatively small footprint means that you won't bog your system down for just the aesthetics.


If you are still on a quest to have the Vista experience without the Vista crapiness, then Winflip is another application you can add to your arsenal.

Dec 26, 2007

On The Subject of Free Online Storage

While setting up my wife's aunt's new Dell computer, I had to go through the process of backing up some of her old files in order to restore them on her new Dell. Her old computer was a Pentium II piece of junk running Windows 98, so some things just didn't want to work right for me.

My first idea was to use my USB drive to back up her stuff and move it to her new machine. The problem was that Windows 98 didn't know what a USB flash drive was. I tried downloading drivers from the manufacturer, but that didn't quite work either.

My next idea was to use Filezilla to FTP (over SSL) her stuff to my server at home. The only problem is that the Filezilla client only works on Windows 2000 or better. I had to scratch that idea and go with plan C. Plan C involved looking for a good, and more importantly free online storage option. I came across two. One that was really crappy, and one that I think I will go ahead and recommend.

The first one which I want to pretty much just warn you about. It is called Mediamax. Mediamax offers 25GB of free online storage (with a catch). This website does a shady thing which I will get into in a little bit. On top of the shadiness, their upload time is ridiculous. My wife's aunt didn't have too much to upload, only about 200MB worth of pictures, but the upload to this website took about 4 hours. I am friggin' serious, 4 hours! Once it was uploaded they wouldn't let me download it again on the new computer (Here is the shady catch!). With your free account, you do get 25GB of storage, and can upload just about any file size, but there is a download limitation of 10MB unless you upgrade to a premium account. Yes you heard me correctly, once you upload all of your important stuff, they hold it for ransom until you pay up. Screw that!

I found a better online storage solution instead. These guys are called A Drive. They offer twice as much as those shysters over at Mediamax. That's right, a whopping 50GB of free online storage! With that they don't limit you to a measly 10MB download limit either. They do have an upload limit of 2GB per file though, but for a free online storage program, I think that is pretty generous. They use a Java based tool to upload your files which worked pretty good in my opinion, and didn't take a ridiculous amount of time to do it either. Download was easy as well.

With A Drive, I was able to backup my wife's aunt's stuff easily from her old piece of junk, and download it back to her new computer. I might even take advantage of it to back up some of my wife's photos and stuff on my home computer. You know, to make room for my movies and MP3's.

Where is Add/Remove Programs in Vista?

Since I am visiting my wife's family for Christmas, I have of course been roped into doing computer service for them along with the rest of her family. That doesn't really bother me too much though because I love this stuff.

Well, on my wife's aunt's new computer she has Windows Vista Home Basic. I haven't upgraded myself, because lets face it, Vista sucks. Unfortunately it is a reality, and people are upgrading so we had better start learning it.

For the most part, there are a lot of similarities with Vista and the the previous two versions of Windows, but they did make some subtle changes for the sake of change. One of those changes is where they put Add/Remove Programs. The new computer I was setting up for 'aunty' came from Dell so of course it was loaded with bloatware, and trial crap that she didn't need. I had to get rid of it, but when I went into control panel, Add/Remove Programs wasn't there. It didn't magically appear when I changed my view to classic mode either.

No, they stuck it in a weird place in my opinion. Now if you want to remove an application you have to open up 'My Computer' and in the top bar there is a button that says, "Uninstall or change a program."

New name, new location, same thing.

What computer related stuff did you get roped into this Christmas? Got any horror stories or success stories? Hit me up in the comments!

Happy Holidays From Bauer-Power

I will be out of town for the next week and a half with limited access to the computer. Therefore it is more likely than not that I will not be back to update the blog everyday like I normally do. In fact, my wife was very adamant about me not blogging while we are at her aunt's house for Christmas.

I know I said the same thing during Thanksgiving, but this time I mean it. Sure I may throw a post or two up, but it certainly will not be everyday.

To keep everyone mildly happy though, I will post this Youtube widget that will play random technology videos while I am gone. Please check back everyday for a new video.



I hope everyone has a very Happy Holiday, and a wonderful New Year! Thanks for reading, and for staying loyal all year! We hope to see all of you (and your friends) back again in 2008!

Dec 25, 2007

Bauer-Power is Ranked 8 In The Top 100 Tech Blogs

Merry Christmas everyone! I woke up this morning, and after watching my little girl unwrap her presents I decided to sneak away and check my stats on Bauer-Power.

I came to find out the Bauer-Power has been ranked number 8 in PopWeblogs.com's list of the top 100 tech blogs. We are right up there with TechCrunch among others (though our numbers aren't even as close to being good as theirs).



From what I can tell, the rankings are based on a combination of Page rank, Technorati rank, Alexa Rank, and Feedburner rank.

Tell all of your friends, and let them know about us so we can move on up!

Dec 24, 2007

An Admin's Night Before Christmas

Since it is in fact, The Night Before Christmas, I thought I would bring this to the top!

Please bear with me. I am not a poet at all which you will soon be able to tell, but I thought this would be fun none the less. I know that it sometimes lacks in Iambic Pentameter, but like I said, I am not a poet.

Anyway, I was in my Advanced TCP/IP class in college, bored out of my mind when I decided to write this. I hope you like it, and it gives you a good chuckle! -EDP




An Admin's Night Before Christmas
By Paul Bauer
(AKA: El Di Pablo)


'Twas the night before Christmas

and all through the LAN.

Not a problem apparent.

All is right with the SAN.


I in my P.J.'s
and XBox in front of me
had just settled down
to play Halo 3.


Then my Blackberry
with buzzing and clatter

signaled via SMS
that
something was the matter.


A server is down.
Not responding, can't ping.

Can't RDP, SSH, iLO or VNC.



After acknowledging the alert

I hopped in my car.
With only a quick stop

for some Jolt and a Snickers bar.



Minutes later at the data center

I arrived out of breath.

Soon to find my server

with a blue screen of death.



An automatic update
which my server did not agree,

was the cause of my
shiny, new blue screen.


A system restore
brought
the server online.
I logged in and
disabled
updates this time.



After closing the ticket

and feeling thrown under a bus,
I made plans for after Christmas

to configure WSUS.



2:00AM, back at home

I checked once more
for alerts on my phone.


All appears well

I drank a cap full of Maalox.
I laid my head down

and dreamed of Linux.


Merry Christmas!

12 Days of Tech Christmas

I spent most of the day today setting up my wife's aunt's new computer that she just got from Dell. She ordered it just in time for me to come out and set it up for her. How convenient. When that was finished, my wife's cousin had me install a new hard drive and a DVD burner in his computer.

You know what that all means right? That means that since I'm already on these computers, I get to squeeze in a quick post for you Bauer-Power readers so you know I haven't forgotten you :-)

I found this video on Youtube and thought it was pretty funny. It is the 12 Days of Tech Christmas. I hope it gives you a little chuckle. It was created from the guys over at ChuckChat.com:

Dec 21, 2007

Know More About Load Balancing

Load balancing, by definition, is the process of spreading the amount of work that is conducted by a computer system between a number of different computer systems to increase the speed that the work is completed in. There are several different methods in which load balancing can be accomplished by and the technique can use many different types of computer components, including both hardware and software applications. Load balancing is typically completed using a cluster of computer servers that may or may not be located in the same location. Some load balancers provide a mechanism for doing something special in the event that all backend servers are unavailable. This might include forwarding to a backup load balancer, or displaying a message regarding the outage. Load balancing can be useful when dealing with redundant communications links.


There are many different companies that see the benefits of using load balancing and implement the procedure for their companies. Companies that conduct business transactions in large numbers using the internet are prime candidates to use load balancing to ensure that all of their clients and customers will be able to conduct their transactions in a quickly and accurately manner. Companies that need to network a great deal of computers for individual users also typically use load balancing to ensure that all computers will work properly and have the right amount of power to be able to perform the functions that they are intended to perform. It also ensures that the company will still be able to do business if one server becomes corrupted or goes down for an extended period of time.


There are several different methods that are widely used for load balancing. One of the most popular methods of load balancing is Global Server Load Balancing. This technique distributes the incoming tasks to a group of servers in a particular geographic location. This technique is widely used by companies that have a global presence and have a need to satisfy customers or employees in many different geographical locations. Using Global Server Load Balancing ensures that the work load is distributed throughout the entire server system in an easy to manage manner and ensures that all geographical locations are obtaining the correct information from the correct set of servers.


Another load balancing technique that is commonly used is called Persistence Load Balancing. This technique assigns each new client to a different server in a round robin (distributed page requests evenly to one of three Squid cache servers) type of allocation. This client is then assigned to this specific server for the future of their relationship with the business. This ensures that no one server is overloaded with a particular type of client, such as those in a certain geographical area or use a specific type of service and ensures that the clients are distributed evenly through out all of the servers that the business possesses. These server assignments are typically monitored by using the customers IP address as the customer's unique identification code.



By Amy Nutt

About the Author:

Managed IT services can include: Managed Hosting and Infrastructure, Application Services, Disaster Recovery and Professional Services. See the benefits of using load balancing and implement the procedure for your clients.

Article Source: www.articlesbase.com

Linux + iPod = Friggin Awesome!

Some may say that there are two very distinctive geeks in this world. The iPod geeks, and the Linux geeks. Now the two have merged ceremonially in a really awesome way!

What if I told you that there is a Linux operating system that you can install on your iPod? Don't laugh, I am dead serious. I just found out about it today. This open source bad boy is called Podzilla and is a part of the iPod Linux project.

Fom the iPod Linux Project:

iPodLinux is an open source venture into porting Linux onto the iPod (http://www.apple.com/ipod/). So far, we have successfully ported a customized uClinux (http://www.uclinux.org) kernel to the iPod, and written a simple user interface for it dubbed podzilla. Additional applications and modules have been written, adding many capabilities not found in Apple's firmware.

Here is a video I found on Youtube to give you an example of what Podzilla looks like on an iPod nano:




Don't run off and get your double geek on just yet. Not all versions of the iPod are supported yet. To find out if yours is supported click here: (Supported iPods)

How Do You Like The New Digs? Does Your Site Need a Face Lift?

I finally finished re-modeling Bauer-Power yesterday. I might be tweaking a few things here and there, but for the most part it is done. I hope everyone likes it, and it is a lot easier to read for everybody. One of the big motivations for me to change it was my wife complaining that it was too hard to read with the solid black background. I'm sure some of you agree with that.

With that in mind, and since I have spent a lot of time searching for free blogger templates, I thought I would give you a quick top ten list of places where you can find free blogger templates so you can give your blog a face lift:

  1. Freetemplates.blogspot.com (Where I found my template)
  2. Pyzam.com
  3. Finalsense.com (Some really unique looking templates)
  4. GeckoandFly.com
  5. Blogger-Templates.blogspot.com (Some really cool, and hi-res templates)
  6. FreeBlogger-Templates.blogspot.com
  7. SuckMyLolly.com
  8. TemplatePanic.com
  9. IDWebTemplate.com
  10. FreeBlogspotTemplates.blogspot.com

Do you know of some other places where people can find cool free blog templates? What about for our Wordpress readers? Does anyone know of some places where they can find templates for Wordpress? Let us know in the comments!

Dec 20, 2007

No, we didn't get hacked

I'm sorry if you browsed on over to Bauer-Power this morning and had to do a spit take when you saw that everything has changed. I just want to make it clear that we didn't get hacked.

Actually, I was getting a little tired of the all black theme and thought I would change things up a bit. You might see some other changes in the next few days while I iron things out. If you don't want to sit through the remodeling, then please subscribe to my RSS Feed because that hasn't changed.

By the way, if you know of some cool places where I can get some free templates, let me know in the comments.

Dec 19, 2007

Ripping DVD's on a MAC

A week or so ago I got an IM from my buddy Carnell. He told me that he is trying to go completely Microsoft free. He has sold all of his computers, and replaced them with MACs, and on his home server he replaced Windows 2003 server with Ubuntu (Did I get that all right Carnell?). Anyway, back to the IM. He wanted to know if I knew of a program that he could use on MAC to rip DVDs.

I found a tool called MAC The Ripper that does just that. Here is a brief description from their website:

MacTheRipper is a free DVD ripper (extractor) for Mac OS X. It can extract commercial DVD movies to your hard drive, minus all the copy protections and region controls put in place by DVD publishers. You can then use various tools to burn the movie back to DVD-R for use in DVD players, or convert the movie to different formats for playback with a variety of devices. MacTheRipper is intended to backup DVDs you have legally purchased for personal use. Any copyright-infringing activity you choose to perpetrate using this application is illegal, immoral, and beyond our control.



I happened upon a video at 5min.com that shows you how to use MAC The Ripper to rip DVD movies to your hard drive so you can turn around and burn them to DVD-Rs. So you don't have to search for it at 5Min.com, here it is:



Do you know of any other DVD rippers for MAC or Linux that work as well as RipIt4Me for Windows? Let us know in the comments. I really want to know.

Dec 18, 2007

Remove The Blogger Nav Bar

So you are a new blogger. You run on over to Go-Daddy and buy a really cool domain name because you want your blog to be taken seriously. You are a little thrifty so you decide to get yourself a blogspot/blogger blog because they will host you for free. You go out and get the latest and best blog template you can find, and get your blog looking great. That is everything looks great with the small exception of the annoying blogger logos all over the place.

Remove Nav BarFor argument sake, lets say you already read my post on creating a custom favicon next to your website address. What about the annoying blogspot/blogger navbar at the top of the screen though? Thats when you come and visit Bauer-Power.

To remove the navbar, all you have to do is this:

  1. Go into blogger settings and click on the Template tab
  2. Click on Edit HTML
  3. Check the box to expand widgets
  4. Make sure you save a copy of your current template to you desktop (Just in case)
  5. Copy and paste the following code right after the <HEAD> tag:
  6. Click the Preview button to make sure everything works.
  7. If everything looks right in the preview save your template.
  8. You are done!
You should now be blogger navbar free. In the words of Nick Burns...You're Welcome!

Dec 17, 2007

Free Screen Recording For WIndows

Have you been on Youtube, Metacafe or any of the dozens of other video sites and saw a video taken from someone's desktop? If you have been reading Bauer-Power for a while you have, as I post a lot of these types of videos.

I have even posted one myself from my Ubuntu laptop a little while back. Have you ever wanted to do that yourself? Maybe you are in the IT field and you constantly have to show users how to do stuff. Wouldn't it be real cool if you just recorded a short video from your desktop and sent it to them? Wouldn't that be a quick ticket closer?

The utility I was using to create my Ubuntu recording was RecordMyDesktop, but what about on Windows machines? I found FREE a utility that will record on Windows, and it is called CamStudio. Here is a small list of a few ways you can use it from their website:

  • You can use it to create demonstration videos for any software program
  • Or how about creating a set of videos answering your most frequently asked questions?
  • You can create video tutorials for school or college class
  • You can use it to record a recurring problem with your computer so you can show technical support people
  • You can use it to create video-based information products you can sell
  • You can even use it to record new tricks and techniques you discover on your favorite software program, before you forget them
Here is a video I made using CamStudio this morning (With only minor editing using Windows Movie Maker):



What desktop recording software do you use? What other suggested uses do you have for this type of software? Let me know in the comments.

Funny Digg Cartoon, Courtesy of The Joy of Tech

I love Digg! I guess you can say that I Digg Digg. One of the reasons I love Digg is that it brings a fairly steady flow of traffic to Bauer-Power. I also like it because it is a great place to discover new things and stay current. Finally I like it for the community. Sure, many Digger's are flippin' a-holes, but for the most part I enjoy reading comments because there are some really funny people on Digg.

This morning I was on Digg, and I saw a really funny cartoon from The Joy of Tech that pokes a little fun at the web 2.0 giant. I thought I would re-post it here for your enjoyment:

Dec 16, 2007

It's Official. You Just Prefer To Build It Yourself

I just closed the last poll which asked the question, "Who is your favorite computer manufacturer." Al lot of you answered this one. I guess this particular topic struck a cord.

Not surprising though, the results leaned more towards building computers yourself. Why is that? Is it because most of you are gamers? Maybe. Is it because most of you just don't like some of the proprietary bull crap you find on the major manufacturers. I suppose that could be true too. I think it is because if you build it yourself, you know exactly what it can do, oh, and you can over clock the shit out of it too!

Personally, I don't like building computers myself. I have done it, sure. In fact my main computer at home is one I build myself. I understand the whole Doctor Frankenstein feeling when you put it all together, and power it on for the first time and scream, "It's alive! It's alive!"

No, I am done with building my own computers. Too much of a hassle for me. I am not much of a computer gamer either, so the stock systems from HP or Dell work for me. I guess I am a minority though. At least that is according the the recent Bauer-Power poll. 64 people responded, and here is a pie chart breakdown of the results:



As you can see, 38% of you said you prefer to build your own computer. Dell came in a close second with 20% of the vote. Apple came in a tight 3rd place with 19%.

Don't forget to vote in my new poll on which asks what is your favorite PDA?

Have You Seen My Entre Card?

If you are a blogger like me, you are constantly looking for new ways to get your blog out there. You are always looking for the next way to promote your blog and get people to read what you have written. It is the natural order of things in the blogosphere.

I have tried tons of stuff. Like most of you, I am sure you jumped on the Blogrush bandwagon like I did, only to be solely disappointed. If I learned anything in this blogging realm it is that blogrush is a worthless pile of crap.

One advertising tool I found is good though. It is called Entre Card. You may have seen my Entre Card widget already on my blog in the right bar (hint, it is the one with the E and the yellow bar under it). This program is really great if you ask me.

The idea is that you create an Entre Card which is sort of like your own cyber business card. You then browse around on other fellow Entre Card users blogs and "drop" your card on their site to earn points. Then you take those points and buy advertising on other Entre Card users sites. When you buy an ad, they display your Entre Card for 24 hours. Likewise, other bloggers buy ads from you which lets you earn more points to buy more ads.



One member, JoeTech.com is currently holding a contest to win 1000 Entre Card credits. If you are an Entre Card user that is an invaluable deal! Imagine being able to advertise on John Chow's blog 4 times in a row for free! If you haven't heard of John Chow, his blog gets a ridiculous amount of traffic daily. If you want to check out Joe Tech's contest, just click here: (Joe Tech Entre Contest).

What blog advertising methods have you found to be affective?

Dec 15, 2007

Christmas MAC Commercial

Have you seen the latest commercial from Apple for the MAC? It is the same PC versus MAC concept except the characters look like they are straight out of the "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" animated classic.

I am not a MAC user, but I know a lot of you are out there are. Either way, these commercials are really funny, and I am always down with spreading some Holiday cheer. (Did you read my Sys Admin Night Before Christmas Poem yet?)

Well, without any further interruption, here is the commercial straight from Apple:



You know I realize that I am falling into the evil Apple trap by propagating their commercial more across the internet, but I really don't care. I love these commercials, and think they are hilarious! Which Mac versus PC commercial is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Do You Fancy Yourself a Pirate?

Nobody can argue that there is a unique fascination lately about pirates. No doubt this fascination is propagated by the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Of course there are no more swashbucklers out there, but there are still pirates. These bad boys sail on the high seas of the internet, and hoist their jolly rogers over their computer monitors.

So how does one join these new cyber-buckineers? Is the process hard? Where does one turn for the latest software to wield like their shiny cutlass? You can turn here of course ;-)

I'm going to specifically write about software for copying DVD's. I want to make it clear that I do not condone video piracy, and I only recommend the use of these tools for legitimate purposes such as to make legal copies of your family reunion video. I personally have only tested this software and do not regularly use it. However, these tools can and are often used for video, or more specifically DVD piracy.

The tool I'm talking about is called RipIt4Me. It uses DVD Decrypter as it's DVD ripping engine, then goes through and cleans up any DVD encryption that DVD Decrypter couldn't take care of itself (After all DVD Decrypter is no longer being updated since the developer who wrote the program got busted.) Once the files are clean, the DVD is ready to be shrunk. You see, many DVD's that you buy are pressed onto a dual layer DVD, which means the DVD can hold about 9GB of data. The problem is, that DVD-R's or DVD+R's out there only hold 4.5GB of data. In order to fit it in, you need a tool like DVD Shrink to shrink it down. RipIt4Me automatically hands off the cleaned files to DVD Shrink to be shrunk down to fit on a 4.5GB disk.

Most people worry about loss of quality when performing this process. That is a legitimate concern. Anytime you shrink the data, there will be some loss in quality, but there are options in DVD Shrink to minimize the loss.

In order for it to work, you will need all three programs installed. Infact, DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter must be installed first before you install RipIt4Me. You can do the process yourself with just DVD Decrypter, and DVD Shrink, but the problem is that since DVD Decrypter isn't updated anymore, it has a problem breaking the encryption on the new DVD's. Also, RipIt4Me provides a "one-click" process that you won't be able to get by manually running the programs yourself.

If you want to wave your DVD Copying sabre, and shoot a cannonball at copyright laws, then check out RipIt4Me. Parrot not included.

Dec 14, 2007

Dateline Reporter Punked at Defcon

In my daily web browsing I found this interesting video. It is taken from one of the largest, if not THE largest hacker conventions in the United States called DEFCON.

Before watching this video, there is something you may want to know. Hackers usually aren't too keen on two different types of people:

  1. Federal Agents
  2. Undercover Reporters

As you will see in this video, what happened was a reporter from NBC's Dateline snuck into the convention without a press pass pretending to be one of the hackers so she could get a scoop. The hackers found out about it and decided to play a little game called "Find The Undercover Reporter." When they did, they escorted her off the premises in complete humiliation. Pretty funny if you ask me. Check it out:

Bauer-Power is On The First Page of BlogCatalog!

If you go to BlogCatolog.com and click on Directory, then you click on Computers, Bauer-Power is on the first page! This is really great because they list the order of blogs by rank, not alphabetically. The ranking scale is out of 100! Some of the ranking is done by people writing reviews of your blog as well.


If you want to check it out for yourself, along with some of the other top Computer blogs you can go here: (BlogCatalog Computers)



The picture above is not entirely accurate, Bauer-Power is not number two on the page, actually we are near the bottom, but still on the front page! You can help me out though by joining my BlogCatalog Neighborhood, and leaving a review at the bottom (Preferably a good one) .

Cool Little Password Manager

This one is by request. I don't really use password managers myself. I do see the use for them, I just tend to remember my passwords. I make them complicated, yet easy for me to remember. Well, a classmate from school sent me a Myspace message saying I should blog about password managers. I asked him why, and he said because he wanted to know which ones are the best to use. So basically it boils down to he doesn't want to do any research for himself... I get it.


Honestly, I am not sure which is the best, but since I just wrote about a free Comodo software backup utility yesterday. I figured why not keep with the Comodo theme. You see, Comodo also offers a really cool free password manager. Their password manager is called iVault.

From Comodo:

Sick of your desktop being cluttered with scraps of paper? Need a secure location to store ALL your confidential information. Comodo i-Vault is the automated password manager that will revolutionize the way you surf the web and organize your vital data.


Here are some of iVault's key features:

  • Bauer-Power PadlockInstantly login to your favorite websites and applications
  • Speed up surfing - No more forgotten passwords
  • Single point of storage for all your confidential information
  • 256 bit encryption of credit card and bank account details
  • Secure Password Generator instantly creates complex passwords
  • Supports multiple users on a single machine
  • Anti Keylogging feature- stop hackers monitoring your personal data
  • 'Drag 'n' drop' interface -Windows ease of use
Do you use any password managers besides iVault that you can recommend for my classmate? Let me know in the comments!

[EDIT BY El Di Pablo: iVault Only Works With IE. If you are a Firefox user, this will not work.]

Dec 13, 2007

Divx is Feeling The Holiday Spirit: Free Divx Pro

I got an Instant Message this morning from my buddy Carnell telling me about this great offer. Apparently Divx is feeling the holiday spirit, and are giving away free copies of Divx pro for a limited time. My buddy Karl over at Ask The Admin already covered it this morning, and this is what he had to say:

We just heard from our friends at Walyou that Divx is feeling the holiday cheer a little early and giving away free copies of Divx Pro. Now you too can compress your home movies, recorded TV shows and anything else just like the professional bootleggers!

I love Divx Pro and bought mine eons ago. Divx makes no mention to this offer ANYWHERE so take advantage of the free offer while you can right over here.

Why not save a little money this holiday season with a free download of Divx Pro?

Convert and compress your home movies, TV shows, and films library into Divx format easily with Divx Pro. Although this software usually costs only $20, it is always nice getting something for free.

For a limited time, Divx is offering a complimentary download of their Divx Pro software, which consists of both a converter and the Codec. The converter includes an easy to use drag-and-drop feature to make your conversion time simpler. This software is definitely a useful one to have available.

It is currently not mentioned when this free download ends, so if you are interested, make it quick. [Via WalYou via Zichi]


So even if you aren't going to use it NOW go and cop yours for the low low price of free and put it away for a rainy day. You never know when you need to do some compressing with a quickness!

Originally Posted on Ask The Admin By Karl Gechlik

He Who Laughs Last, Recently Made a Backup

I am doing disaster recovery testing at my work. One of the senior systems administrators wrote a document on how to fully restore our major financial system from the ground up, and I am going through and validating it. During the validation process there are a couple of times in there where I have to restore data from backup.

Now, in a large company like the one I work for, you aren't using the built in backup, and saving stuff to CDs or DVDs. No you are using a major backup software like Veritas, or in our case, CA Arcserve, and are backing up your data to large capacity tapes.

What about for home use though? If you ask anyone in the business, they will tell you that the built in NT backup that comes with Windows is pretty basic, and certainly has its limits. Aren't your family photos, banking info, tax information, and the like important to you? When was the last time your backed things up?

I mentioned months ago, probably one of my first posts actually, about free software from Comodo. Comodo is a large security certificate company like Verisign, or Thawte, and to get their name out there, they decided to engineer and put out a bunch of free security software solutions. The items I wrote about months ago were their free firewall, and anti-virus solutions which work really great by the way.

I didn't mention that they offer a really good backup program that is easy to use. Here is a small list of some of Comodo Backup's key features:

  • Easily backup files or folders anywhere on your computer, network, DVD-RW, CD-RW or FTP server
  • Files can be written to a multi-session DVD if it already contains a file with the same name
  • Email, FTP, zip and configuration passwords are stored in the registry with encryption
  • Protect yourself against ever losing those critical files that took hours to create
  • Quickly recover your data in the event of data loss
  • Schedule backups to run automatically at a time that suits you
  • Synchronized backup feature - save a file and it gets copied instantly
  • Send E-mail notifications to team members about the status of a backup job
  • Save Disk space by compressing your backups as ZIP files
  • Configure in minutes with our intuitive interface


I have been using Comodo backup at home for a while now, and I think it is just great! It is very easy to use, and so far for me has been very reliable. You should totally check it out. Seriously, before it is too late.

Dec 11, 2007

Let's Talk About Free Image Hosting

I have been using File Den for months with no problems for a lot of my image hosting needs. Sure, I upload directly to blogger a lot too, but for some things, it is best to host images on a different server and hot link them. One reason for this is transparency. Like my Bauer-Power Gear girl to the right for instance. I made the background transparent, so no matter where I put her the background shows through. For some reason, uploading to blogger jacks that up.


Well last night I started to notice all of my pictures were missing. Instead of my images, I started seeing the annoying picture saying:

"Bandwidth Exceeded. Sorry, this user has ran out of bandwidth. Please try again later."


When I go to their site it says that I have exceeded my puny 5GB bandwidth limit, and my pictures will be available again in 8 days! That is of course unless I upgrade. Screw that!

You mean to tell me that for the last 8 months while using this service, and being forced to wade through all the ridiculous pop-ups, and full page ads, you now want me to pay extra for mediocre service? Service I can get else ware for free? Forget you guys!

I decided last night to sign up for a free account over at Photo Bucket. With their free account I get 25GB of bandwidth per month. Even at their best plan, File Den will not offer that kind of bandwidth. In fact, their top of the line account only offers a measly 15GB a month. Pathetic!

So the moral of the story is File Den sucks! If you need free image or video hosting, go to Photo Bucket, or do some Googling to find the right service for you. Whatever you do though, stay far away from File Den.

Holiday Deals With Geeks.com!

Support Bauer-Power, and get your Holiday shopping done for your Geek! ComputerGeeks has all of the cool electronic goodness you or your loved one’s want, and way better prices than anywhere else online!

They have HD TV’s, computers, MP3 players, gadgets, do-dads and even some really awesome what-nots!

To see what kind of Holiday discounts, and specials they have, please click the ad below to support Bauer-Power, and get your Holiday shopping done!




Big holiday savings @ Geeks.com

Did You See Me On The Cover of PC Gamer?

Don't believe me? Check it out! A picture is worth a thousand words! There I am in all my glory on the cover of PC Gamer magazine.

If you think the cover is impressive, you should see my centerfold. Just open it on up to page 69!


Okay, so you all know I am full of it. I got this at Mag My Pic. It is sort of fun to do, and I thought you Myspacers would get a kick out of it.

Dec 10, 2007

How to Spot Spyware Without your Glasses

If you know anything about spyware and the problems it can cause for the average computer user, you've got a head start. But once you understand the dangers that spyware and adware programs pose to your computer and your personal information, what can you do to prevent it from interfering with your life?

The best thing anyone can do to adequately deal with spyware and adware is to be informed about the issue and proactive in dealing with it. For instance, knowing how to recognize a program as spyware, avoiding certain websites and guarding against malicious software from infesting your hard drive can take you a long way. When armed with the right knowledge you will be able to face the problem without so much worry and fear.


Nobody wants spyware tracking their every computer move, which is why individuals and companies that desire to do so are resorting to more underhanded and covert methods of spyware infection. And as the general computer user becomes more aware of the existence of spyware and adware, they have even more reason to use hidden tactics to achieve their objective and invade your privacy.


In the best case scenario spyware simply archives information related to your browsing habits while you're online and sends it back to a company that uses the information for advertising research. This type of spyware is commonly referred to as adware. It is not the most harmful form of spyware but can be a nuisance to eliminate and slows down even the fastest of computers.


In the worst case scenario, a keylogging program is installed on your personal computer to collect private information you don't want falling into the wrong hands passwords, online banking information, and anything else that you might type into your computer during the normal course of a day. This type of spyware can also track other aspects of computer usage including applications used, instant messenger conversations, hidden windows and mouse clicks.


These programs can infect your computer when you download free programs, so one effective way to avoid spyware is by keeping your system clear of excess junk. If you really don't need that free fishbowl screensaver, restrain yourself and stick with the ones you already have. Or opt for a high-quality screensaver that costs a little money but will save you a whole lot of frustration. In addition, staying away from freeware sites altogether is recommended because even if you don't download anything, many sites attach a cookie to your browser after you visit the website that will be used to track your movements online. Avoid questionable websites and you'll avoid this type of spyware.


Refrain from downloading files from other sources as well. For example, a spyware program can be downloaded through an e-greeting, email, by clicking on a pop-up, or through other sources. To avoid getting infected through a pop-up ad, do not click anywhere on the pop-up window. Instead, click the "X" located in the top right hand corner of the window to close the pop-up entirely. If there is no way to close the window, disconnect from the Internet and close your browser.


Another possible source of spyware infection is a browser toolbar. Many toolbars are set up to track your browsing habits and search queries in order to create targeted advertising. Toolbars can generate pop-ups and even display dynamic ads in the toolbar itself that are based on your interests, as suggested by your online activity. In fact, it may seem as if the websites you visit generate the pop-ups you see, but often these ads are actually produced by the hidden spyware and adware already present on your computer.


Unfortunately, you don't always have to make the first move to get spyware on your computer. Many people are careful to avoid downloading strange email attachments and stay away from questionable downloads altogether, but this is not enough. There are a growing number of spyware and adware programs on the Internet that specifically take advantage of Windows vulnerabilities to infect your system without your knowledge or consent. Known as a drive-by-download, this type of infection latches onto your computer while you're online. In this situation, a downloader Trojan is installed on your computer this program then downloads and executes files from certain locations online whenever your computer is connected to the Internet, all without your help. The downloaded files then display pop-up ads on your computer. The surefire way to avoid most of these programs is by keeping up with Windows security updates. Always install the updates when they are made available and you will be able to circumvent most adware problems that exploit the security holes in Windows.


In particular, rogue anti-spyware and registry cleaner programs are utilizing this type of technology to illicitly promote their products. Once the adware has been secretly installed on your computer, pop-up windows start appearing that are designed to scare you into downloading an anti-spyware or registry cleaner product. Specifically, a window might say you have a spyware threat on your computer and tries to convince you to download the company's anti-spyware software to rid your computer of the infection. As you might have already guessed, these claims are false most likely your computer is not infected with spyware (or only infected with the adware originating from the company attempting to sell you the anti-spyware product). Rogue anti-spyware programs are disguised as legitimate solutions for spyware dilemmas but are actually set up to deceive victims into purchasing a product to fix a problem that doesn't exist. If you don't want to be conned into buying a fake anti-spyware product, do not respond to this type of pop-up ad.

Signs of Infection


If you do have spyware on your PC you can usually recognize the signs without the "help" of a rogue anti-spyware program. For instance, too much spyware will bog down your system and cause your computer to run slowly. You will probably be overrun by an excess of pop-ups and fake alert messages. In addition, your homepage and list of favorites might suddenly change and reappear even after restoring the default. Other things to look out for:


  • A new browser toolbar emerges without your consent, which is impossible to remove
  • Every time you conduct an online search the results are redirected to an unfamiliar search engine
  • Unexplained calls to 900 numbers begin appearing on your phone bill
  • Any anti-spyware or security programs you do have installed stop working
  • Your modems send and receive lights blink continually even when you are not doing anything online


If you think you do have spyware on your system, the best way to avoid scam artists is to stick with well-known, expert-recommended anti-spyware/adware removal products. Some quick research will give you all the information you need to know about the subject. If you've never heard of the company before or suspect suspicious and overblown advertising techniques, stay away. And follow your instincts if you think a company doesn't appear professional or trustworthy walk away from the offer. There are several excellent anti-spyware programs available on the market that can help you elude the troubles associated with spyware.


By Katerina Mitrou

Dec 9, 2007

You Might Be Sharing More Than Music on Limewire

I found this video on Youtube put out by a local Fox news station on one of the dangers of Limewire, or other Gnutella network file sharing programs (I like Frostwire the best). This danger is not just corrupt files, and malicious software.

You see, when you first download and install these programs, many of you select your My Documents folder to share out. Why is that? Because that is where you keep everything else on your computer. Your pictures, your tax records, your secret passwords that you can't remember so you put them in a text file. You know, everything there is to know about you!

As this video shows, if you have your My Documents shared out on the Gnutella network, you need to remedy that quickly. Move all of your music, videos, pictures and anything else you want to share in a separate folder. For instance, I share everything out from a folder on my desktop called Frostwire. Another thing, which the video doesn't mention, is when you first setup the program, and it asks if you want it to scan your computer for files, always select no on that.

Take a look at some of the stuff they found:



Do you have any other important tips in regards to file sharing programs? Let us know in the comments.

Ripping DVD's to iPod or PSP

Well, last night I finally removed my self from the no iPodder's club at my company Christmas party. That is right, I won an 80GB iPod classic. In honor of such an event, I thought I would bring this post back to the top:


I want to revisit a post I wrote about copying DVD’s. Since the new Pirate’s movie is out, of course there is increasing interest in the world of pirating again. In fact, about 15% of my blogs' traffic comes from people looking for pictures of Jolly Rogers. Anyway, that is not the point of this post, or of this blog, but software, movie, and maybe even music piracy occasionally is. (Please let me re-iterate that I do not condone such behavior, and I have no control over what people do with the information I provide).


Anyway, in my post about copying DVD’s, I did not touch on the subject of mini portable movie players such as iPod’s or PSP’s. What if you purchased your new DVD and want to be able to watch it on your lunch break at work on your iPod? I have a solution for you.


There is a DVD ripping software that will convert your standard DVD into iPod or PSP format. Like everything else I suggest it is free. This little miracle is called Handbrake, and there is a version for MAC, Windows, and Linux. It will shrink the DVD down to an Mpeg-4 or H.264 format for use with PSP, iPod or similar device. It now even has support for AppleTV and PS3.


So don’t just “back-up” your movies for use on your DVD player, ‘back them up” and take them with you on your iPod or PSP.



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