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Technology - 4. page

I love Twitter!

If you are not currently using Twitter, then you are probably thinking, who cares about my random thoughts or I don’t care about other people’s thoughts. Or maybe you’re thinking, who has time for another social networking site? Well, today I’m glad to be a twitter user.

Last week I posted a random tweet, something like, “Cindy is running out of disk space”, I don’t recall my exact words, but today my neighbor dropped of a brand new Seagate 250GB external USB hard drive! WOW! Thanks so much Jon! You are awesome!

I’ve been holding off on upgrading my computer because I’m hoping Window 7 will be better than Vista. This new drive will not only save me money, but will buy me some time and give my files some breathing room before I need to upgrade.

Seagate External hard drive

Follow me on Twitter


Twitter Etiquette

So, I’ve been using Twitter for a month or so and I’m enjoying the service. What I like most about Twitter is that my tweets are set up to automatically post to my Facebook profile page and also to this blog (See “Cindy’s Brain Farts” in the right column).

Now that I’ve been on Twitter for a while, I’m starting to get a fair amount of followers. So, what do I do, follow everyone who follows me? If I don’t follow someone who follows me, is that considered rude? I did a search for Twitter Etiquette and could not find a consensus on this. So what I’m doing now is if I get a follow notice, I’ll check out the users profile page to be sure they are not spammers. Then I take a look at some of their tweets and if I don’t find anything objectionable, I will follow them. Of course I don’t have time to follow every tweet and I don’t have tweets coming to my phone. I just have a twitter gadget on my portal page and I browse that frequently.

Anyway, while I was searching for Twitter Etiquette, I found this really cool photo and article. I love the way the avatars are pasted onto the people. I especially like the default avatar lady, LOL! The article also has some useful Twitter tips.

Writing My Twitter Etiquette Article: 14 Ways to Use Twitter Politely

If you are on twitter and would like to follow me, click here.


My New Friend

Here is a deal I couldn’t resist. I know, I’m weak when it comes to computers.

Netbooks are the hot new gadget started by ASUS with their Eee PC and now Dell, HP and others have jumped on board. Netbooks are not really new, but they are finally powerful enough and priced to sell. The average Netbook runs around $300 to $400, but I picked up a basic Dell Mini 9 for $189! Regular price is $249, but I hit a sale along with a discount and free shipping.

Here is the Inspiron Mini 9 next to my Inspiron 1525 for size comparison. The 1525 is a standard 15.4 inch notebook.
I’ll paste the full specs of the Mini 9 below.

I’ve just started playing with my new friend. The netbook only weighs about 2 lbs. and has a nice shiny black finish. It does come in other colors, but for this deal, a different color would have cost more and I was determined to keep the cost under $200. The netbook feels solid and well-made.

I haven’t used Linux much, so I’m excited to learn my way around the operating system. The initial setup was easy. Of course all the software and drivers are already installed by Dell. The first thing I noticed is how fast the machine boots (in less than 1 minute). This version of Linux is intuitive and windows-like, so no problem finding my way around so far. It also comes with many useful Linux programs and really no crapware that often comes with new computers. Nice!

An upgrade I did consider was to increase the memory from 512MB to 1GM, but after using Linux for a little while, it seems to run just fine on 512MG. It’s responsive and peppy. Another upgrade I considered was the hard drive. The netbook comes with a 4GB solid state drive (kind of like a cameras flash memory, so no moving parts). Again, this is fine for surfing the web, but I considered upgrading so that I would have some storage space for photos when I go on vacation. On my last vacation I took about 5GB of photos. The netbook also comes with a build-in card reader, but my Canon Rebel uses a CF card which can’t be read on the card reader. So, I’ll probably still bring my full-sized laptop on vacations.

It already has Firefox installed, which is my favorite browser, so when I’m on-line, I’d never even know I was using a Linux machine. And since the main job of a netbook is to surf the internet, there is really no reason to pay extra for Windows. From what I’ve read, installing new programs on Linux is not as easy as Windows, but so far I haven’t needed anything that didn’t already come pre-installed.

When connecting to my wireless network, I noticed that the Mini picked up dozens of other area networks, many more than my regular laptop and a nice strong signal. So, I assume it has a pretty good built-in antenna.

The sound is decent for such a small machine. It has two good size speakers just below the monitor. The sound is actually better than my full-sized Inspiron. It also has a built-in headphone and microphone jack.

The monitor is only 9 inches, but bigger than some other netbooks and it is sharp and bright.

This is a neat little tool for email, surfing the web and maybe some basic word processing. It runs Ubuntu very well with just 512MB RAM. It has a very small solid-state hard drive, so very little storage space, but storage is not really the purpose of a netbook. So far, I’m very please with the Mini 9. A super netbook for the price. I don’t think I’d be willing to spend more on a netbook.

Full Specs:

— Inspiron Mini 9n —
— Intel® Atom Processor® N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
— 512MB DDR2 at 533MHz
— LCD Panel —
— Glossy 8.9 inch LED display (1024X600)
— Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
— Hard Drive —
— 4GB Solid State Drive
— Ubuntu Linux version 8.04.1
— Sound —
— Base LCD Assembly
— Wireless —
— Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
— Camera Module —
— No Camera Option
— Battery —
— 32WHr Battery (4 cell)


Facebook Is for Old People

Illustration by John Cuneo for TIME


In this weeks Time Magazine there is an article called “Facebook Is for Old People”, by Lev Grossman. On the web, the same article is called “Facebook is for Old Fogies”. Hmmmm. Anyway, here is the full article: “Facebook Is for Old Fogies“.

The article starts with a brief intro:


    is five. Maybe you didn’t get it in your news feed, but it was in February 2004 that Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, along with some classmates, launched the social network that ate the world. Did he realize back then in his dorm that he was witnessing merely the larval stage of his creation? For what began with college students has found its fullest, richest expression with us, the middle-aged.

Here is a summary of Grossman’s 10 reasons old people have taken over Facebook (see original Time article for details) and my thoughts on each.

1. Facebook is about finding people you’ve lost track of.

I’d agree that this is probably one of the biggest reasons old fogies use Facebook and also a reason why kids don’t need it (yet).

2. We’re no longer bitter about high school.

True, I hardly remember high school and don’t even recognized some of my old high school friends.

3. We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions.

True, for most of us…

4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network.

True, although this can also be a reason to avoid Facebook.

5. We’re lazy.

I think “busy” is a better word. Life gets much more complicated after marriage, kids and jobs. Facebook gives users the ability to tie into many other online networks such as blogs, twitter, flickr; sort of like one-stop shopping.

6. We’re old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us.

Ya, so?

7. We have children. There is very little that old people enjoy more than forcing others to pay attention to pictures of their children.

He’s running out of reasons now. There are plenty of online ways to show off photos of our kids.

8. We’re too old to remember e-mail addresses.

I don’t think so and besides, we have address books. Who needs to remember email addresses that change all the time anyway.

9. We don’t understand Twitter.

I don’t understand this reason. Is it, “Cindy is eating a burger and fries” the part that we don’t understand or the twitter network itself? Twitter is much easier to use than Facebook. Anyone who can sent a text message, can twitter. In fact, I’d say that twitter has more to do with whether or not people use text messaging then one’s age.

10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care.

True, we are not cool and Facebook is no longer cool, it’s gone mainstream. Any hot new web site will lose it’s cool factor once it gets very popular. But true, we old people don’t care about being cool.

I think Grossman’s reason #1 is why so many older people use Facebook, to reconnect with old friends. This is a key feature to facebook which probably was not the intent of the creator Mark Zuckerberg, who just wanted to connect current students. But there is still a lot on facebook for people of all ages. With the privacy settings for friends, networks and groups, both young and old can socialize without being bothered much by each other, just like in real life.


NetworkedBlogs App on Facebook

This is a very smart move for Facebook. Although I’ve subscribed to Facebook since it was just a college network, I quickly lost interest once they started allowing all kinds of stupid games and useless applications. But now you can follow blogs from Facebook, which is a very useful and productive tool.

Blog reading on Facebook is becoming a popular activity. One of the top applications for following blogs through the social networking site is NetworkedBlogs, an app which launched last year bringing the blog community to the Facebook platform. Half MyBlogLog, half RSS reader, the application lets users add their blog, favorite the blogs of their friends, and click through the latest headlines. Most importantly, the app brings blogs to the more mainstream Facebook audience.