Stuff 102
Last updated 08/02/01

The stuff on here

Back to Stuff 101

Hey, all thoughts expressed here are still right cause they are mine.  Yes, sarcasm is used in here and No, I am not telling you everything you need to know about these subjects.   

If you find any of my links on here happen to die, let me know so I can fix them!  

Those darn Jewel Cases
With CD jewel cases cluttering up my computer center, I have them stacked and piled all over the place.  Problem is some of them are either do not come with a label on the side or came in an envelope with no jacket label.  There are a number of solutions.  
  1. A Brother Label maker and their 1/4" black on white tape.  These labels fit nicely on the sides of standard jewel cases.
  2. You can buy CD Labeling packages that include replacement inserts.  Make sure to buy extras as the 1st few you print off will be crooked or on the wrong side, but after some practice, they are nice to use.  The drawback is the jewel case inserts will not work on 2CD jewel cases.

If you have the slim line CD Cases, I doubt there will be any kind of label for the case.  If you find one, let me know.

Leave the PC On or Off 
Well, here is the greatest of questions.  Some people say leave them on, some say turn them off...  you know, there are all kinds of things that make this one tough to answer
Plus Minus
 +  Starting and stopping a computer can damage computer parts
 + Faster access to your computer not having to wait for the boot up
 +  Power saving has gotten better
 +  Quicker access to email
 +  You can share files 24/7
 - Power surges
 - Hackers thru the internet
 - Someone walking up to the PC and doing mischief
 -  With cooling fans, dust can blow inside the case
 -  Not using a screen saver can make burn in on your screen (ever see those old video games with the ghosts on the screens?)
 -  Monitors put out a lot of heat!  You can always turn them off while leaving the computer on

Well, there is no clear cut winner here.  If you plan to use your computer often in a day, leave it on.  Be careful when you are connected to the internet (see stuff101).   If you are a once a week on the computer kind of person (ya freak) then power it down and save on the electric bill. 

Me?  Pretty much what I do is turn my computers off for the night, and when I know I will not be using them for a long time.  Course I also used to think daytime running lights were dumb and now I turn on my lights when I drive... so what do I know (now at least)

Internet Browser Security Tips

MS IE 5.0 & NS Communicator 4.7 menus are used

Those crazy kids that write up your browser software are always adding security options to make your internet experience safer and pleasant.
Cache - A great little secret about what makes computers go faster.  Cache is just a storage of information.  Memory and hard drives are 2 devices that use Cache to work faster by keeping information in a faster accessible area for reuse.  Browsers also use this to store all the images and text from web pages, so that they load faster.  
A downside to browsers cache is that you have now left a trail of what and where you have been surfing the internet.  YEP, if you wanted to catch someone looking at those naughty sites, look in the cache file.  Different browsers keep them in different places.
MS IE 5.0 -  Tools --> Internet Options --> Temporary Internet Files --> Settings.  

NS 4.7 -   Edit --> Preferences --> Advanced --> cache.


Another downside is your browser might not load the latest web page.  For pages like mine where I make updates often, you might not be seeing the latest version.  You can always manually see the latest versions by clicking your Refresh or Reload button on your tool bar.  OR you can set your Cache settings to check for new versions every time you access the web page.  This is a trade off.  When you check for new versions, you download a new page so you will have to wait (slow connections) for the updated information.  Not good for someone who does not have patients with the internet. WHY?  If the browser has a copy of a web page, then it can display the page faster to you so you do not have to wait for it to download another copy.
Need to cover your tracks?  There is also that button that Deletes temporary internet files in these settings menus.  Click on that and the evidence is deleted.  You can also configure the amount of time or space the browser holds on to the files.  The browser has to be running to clean out files this way.

Security - Browsers are giving you the power to ward off attacks.  These measures can be a little taxing on you, the user, but no one ever said security is easy (you have to turn the locks on your door).  The browser will prompt you when it feels a security threat is coming thru.  You can be asked if you trust content, download a plug in, or block a java script.  Be careful when you run these.  When you are on a web site you trust, these tools can do some really cool things but have the power for evil when in the wrong hands.

WARNING - The Default settings are safe so do not feel obligated to change these.  Once you understand what the settings do, like blocking Java scripts or forcing you to approve requested content download, then you can adjust these to fit your security needs.  Changing these can real open your computer to viruses and hacker attacks.

Also, be careful with web pages that ask you to log in.  If your computer is shared by other people, you might not want to check the "remember my password" field as someone else can login to the web page with out knowing your password and can cause mischief your account will be responsible for.  If you are comfortable with who does use the computer (like friends over for a party) then the "remember my password" feature is nice so you do not have to remember passwords.

MS IE 5.0 -  Tools --> Internet Options --> Security

NS 4.7 -   Communicator --> Tools --> Security Info

DVD Technology
DVD is the generic name for the next generation compact disc. It uses the same 8 and 12cm diameter 1.2mm thick discs as current compact discs, but there the similarity ends.

Normal compact disc players use an infra-red laser to read the information stored on the disc. DVD players use red lasers, which allows the bits to be packed closer together. DVD also has a more efficient encoding, which helps to increase the capacity of the disc. By using red laser and "squashing" the other parameters it is possible to get 4.7G on a disc.

Another new feature of DVD is the ability to have two layers on each side of the disc. By changing the focus of the laser, it is possible to read data from either the bottom reflective layer, or the upper semi-transparent layer. This almost doubles the capacity of each side of the DVD to 8.5G.

Why do I keep mentioning "per side"? Well, DVD discs can be double sided. This is achieved by making two 0.6mm single sided discs and bonding them together. This means that all DVD discs have to have their reflective layers at a depth of 0.6mm, even if the disc is only a single sided disc.

All this gives a total maximum capacity of 17G on a single DVD disc, which is enough for about 8 hours of video.

One of the applications that DVD is being used for is DVD Video. DVD video stores Mpeg-2 compressed video (at full studio resolution - 4 times the resolution of Video CD) and 5.1 channel surround sound audio (left, center, right, surround right, surround left, subwoofer) encoded either using Dolby AC-3 or Mpeg audio compression.