The Sitemeter World Map

The world map fascinates me. I look at the world map on my Sitemeter stats program and see the Earth stretched out before me. That map gives me a different perspective on things. I can see how we all are connected across the world by the Internet.

What caught my interest today was a band of green dots that went almost in a straight line across the map. It started in Northern California (San Leandro) and went through Sedona, Arizona. There was a break, and then Nashville appeared. The next green dot went to where I grew up (Buffalo, NY,) and moved on to New York City.

Then another green dot for Maine (Buxton) and next a jump across the Atlantic Ocean to London. I find London interesting. I get page views from the City of London. My dots appear to follow lines heading to London.

I also see another line of dots that appears on the Sitemeter map. It begins down around Bisbane, Autralia, and sometimes extends outward to New Zealand. These dots begin a line that travels through Gaza and France, and once again ends in London.

The lines were so obvious today and thats why I was staring at them. For a week that line from London to Australia had disappeared and it was forming again. Then Pop! The little red dot that shows you were your last visitor came from suddenly moved. I didn’t know it could do that.

Sitemeter StatiisticsThat Sitemeter red dot jumped from Nashville to Medicine Hat, Alberta. A moment ago it moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina. This is fun. This is watching your blog pulse with Life! Who would have thought that a stats program could provide real-time entertainment.

Statcounter also has a great world map they put stick pins in to show you where your visitors can from. I don’t think their comes alive the same way the Sitemeter world map does. Let me know if you have an answer to that question. Anyway, the Statcounter map has numerous ways you can view it, so it is far from being static.

There are a number of posts here on Uduzit comparing the features of Sitemeter and Statcounter. they both offer a free stat program, and perform exactly as claimed. The numbers each of these programs provide will help make the people who visit your blog a more real experience. You will know the towns your visitors are coming from, and those towns may well be scattered all over the world.

I’ll be putting up a page shortly with all the Uduzit stats posts. It has been a popular subject here. Please keep checking the right column on Uduzit for new pages. Each page comiles the posts on a particular subject. Look to the right.

Oops, darn if that little red dot didn’t just jump again. I need to go see if that is you.

Smiles. ET

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Free Software Does It

Loading up the R51

It has been fun to get the IBM R51 laptop working smoothly. This has involved installing a lot of free software on my IBM R51 laptop that I purchased on eBay recently.

On Windows XP I set up two user accounts. One account, I use regularly for most everything, including the Internet. The other user account is my “quiet account.”

I talked recently about setting up my Windows wall of protection. That wall covers both user accounts. I keep the one account empty beyond my basic programs.

The programs in my “quiet” user account have been loaded with passwords and personal preferences. This account is on stand-by, and I seldom use it.

I run more “risky” traffic, like Internet browsers and file sharing, through my active user account. My anti-virus and firewall software watch all this activity for problems.

The quiet account becomes my desktop back-up for now. I am moving to a dual boot system where I use Windows XP and Ubuntu (Hardy Heron) on the system. When the installation disk arrives, that will be a new adventure to share.

I have loaded the following software on both of my user accounts.

Remember, this is all free software, not shareware or free trials. Enjoy!

I am using Real Player, Winamp, and iTunes to play and manage my music collection.

Picasa 2 and Irfan View handle my basic graphics needs. Adobe Reader, Foxit, and PDF Creator handle my PDF and ebook needs.

Power DVD and InterVideo Win DVD allow me to avoid Windows Media Player for video. I also run Nero 7 Ultra Edition.

This software is all very simple to install, and it is all free software! Windows XP Pro as your operating system does cost, but mine came with my laptop.

Many Adobe Programs, and PDF Creator, work only on the Windows platform. These are great programs that I use regularly and must have Windows to enjoy them.

Soon Ubuntu with provide my gateway to the Internet, and Windows will do my music and graphics. Graphics design is an area Open Source is still behind the curve on. They are catching up, but Windows leads that area for now.

And that is how I meet my computing software needs on Windows XP with free software. These are great programs. Give them a try!

Smiles. ET

Published in: on June 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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Using Windows Live Writer with WordPress

Great free blog editor from Microsoft

This afternoon I have been playing with Windows Live Writer. I have seen that it integrates almost seamlessly with my WordPress blog. From the WLW side panel I can immediately connect to my blogs’ dashboard or manage pages. When I post, I see my draft first goes to the WordPress Editor before publishing.

In Windows Live Writer I can set categories, and insert links, pictures, and videos from the side panel controls. You can also set tags, maps, and tables in to your posts with WLW very simply.

Here is an example of how you can show a map for an event within your post. In this map you will find Guatemala right in the center, and that’s where this post was written.

Looking at Central America
Looking at Central America

The map insert is a fun feature. It can bring someone to your location quite simply with any map size you wish.

You can adjust the map size. Text adjust as you set the margins. You can choose to show the world, or the four street corners in your small town. You can even show a stickpin where you are standing. Try it and you will see how easy it is to get everything where you want it.

This gives you the ability to wrap text around pictures well. Simple insertion of pictures is another great feature of WLW. You can crop them as you post them, and then watch your text wrap neatly around the image. It is so easy.

Here is a link where you can see all the features of Windows Live Writer and download it for free. Yes, it is for free, and you can choose not to add all the extras Windows would like to install on your system along with Windows Live Writer.

It was a fast download and the program installed easily. I entered my WordPress blog name and it gathered all the information it needed. WLW now has a nice catalog of all my past posts and I will see how it organizes them. I am starting to accumulate a lot of published posts, and I would like to find a simple way to organize them.

Windows Live Writer will work seamlessly with Your WordPress blog, and many other blogging platforms as well.

WLW has one other feature that will surely charm you. It stores your WordPress theme information. When you go to the task bar and choose “View,” you can then choose “Web Layout.”

From the Web Layout window you can see your post appear on your blog theme as you write it. You can see what you have instantly. The feature saves me a lot of time. I don’t have to switch pages constantly while saving changes in the WordPress Editor.

Windows Live Writer can be a great add-on for your WordPress blogging experience. I hope you try it out.

Smiles. ET

Bringing the IBM R51 Up To Speed

Occasionally I find something in my life that just won’t work. It usually has to do with computers, or more precisely, computer software.

Sometimes the difficulties have had to do with hardware/software compatibility issues.

Three years ago I bought an iPod nano for my travels. My computer didn’t have USB 2.0, so I had to have someone else load my music. After I did this several times, my iPod became very confused.

When I upgraded to a laptop that could handle both the iPod and iTunes, Windows XP said someone else owned the computer. ITunes agreed, and wouldn’t recognize my iPod. I was foiled again.

Don’t dismay, I am having more success now. I have been installing new software on my R51 laptop. My new (used) laptop came with Windows XP and Office Pro, and that was about it.

To get up to speed I set up Windows Internet Explorer and Internet Download Manager. That is a great combination for fast downloads, and your downloads aren’t lost due to a broken connection.

The first software I downloaded was Sygate’s Personal Firewall Pro. Sygate’s basic screen allows you to monitor your download speeds, while you watch your computer’s traffic.

Your Internet security begins with closing the open ports on your computer, and there are many. Managing fewer open ports allows you to control what goes in and out of your computer. Your firewall does this very simply. It is your first wall of defense against hacker attack.

I next downloaded Avast anti-virus software. For managing cookies and spyware I installed Ad-ware. These programs completed my basic Windows wall of protection.

It takes awhile to put your wall of protection in place, and to learn to use it. When you do, you will feel much more comfortable using Windows as your operating system on the Internet.

With my downloads completed, I removed the Internet Explorer icon from my desktop. I use Internet Explorer for downloads only. It does seem most compatible with Internet Download Manager, though Firefox can use IDM as well.

For my main browser I use FireFox 3.0 beta. It is stable and fast. I don’t know what they did to it, but it excels at quick page loads.

I also use the Opera browser for fast access to pages I visit regularly. Their Speed Dial feature makes this a snap. Opera also works very well for reading ebooks. It seems to have a softer presentation that is easier on my eyes for reading.

I was able to cover every basic software requirement I described with free software. It is possible to manage in the Windows environment inexpensively, providing you at least have a copy of Windows XP.

And let me add in closing, that tonight I had success. I completed the synchronization of my iPod, with iTunes, on my own computer. I can now create playlists for my iPod. I have success after three years.

Smiles. ET

Open Source Software Works

There is free Open Source software available that rivals anything you can pay for. Open Source code is sleek and efficient. Older computers can keep on going, because Open Source doesn’t overload them with code.

Computers several years old, can again run neck to neck with the newer hardware needed to run current versions of Microsoft software. This is accomplished using an Open Source operating system like Ubuntu.

Open Source software is based on sharing. Code that is shared, becomes the foundation of newer code. New software programs are developed from this basic code. The process just keeps expanding. The Open Source Community believes their code should be free, and belongs to everyone once shared.

Open Source software has been around for many years. My first experience with it began when I used Mozilla Firefox on Windows. Now, my complete system runs on Open Source software.

Ubuntu is my complete operating system. All the software I need comes free with the program. Each new release of Ubuntu is easier to install. And the neatest part of all, there are no commercials. ET

Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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