Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Monday

It continued to rain thru the night and still is this morning in LaFayette. Has come down heavy at times during night and on my drive to work this morning. Low lying areas are covered in water, but they do seem to have it moving now.

Apparently Georgia Northwestern Technical College is closed due to it today as I got to college 1 hour late and the doors are locked. Did get a few pictures of flooding on campus.


Rain in NW Georgia (or Rainy night in Georgia)

I made it back to LaFayette safely tonight but took longer than normally due to rain and flooding. My apt is fine. On the 30 miles on the Hwy 136 from the interstate to my house it rained all the way. Normally takes me about 35 minutes to 40 minutes. There were a number of paces where dirt had washed over road. About 5 miles from my apt I had to stop as road was under water, it was up to window air units in houses there. Fire truck was sitting in road (if you know LaFayette it was by skating rink). A truck came thru and told us it was passable but about 6 inches deep. my car made it thru safely. They at intersection with bypass it was deep under water on side but made it thru on shallower side. It is raining again now.

I had done the devotion at church tonight after tutoring a lady on java this afternoon and did not leave until about 6:45 and with stop to eat supper should have been here about 12:15 but it was almost 1AM.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Computer oddities (power supply and Windows backup)

Last night I discovered two things about my computer. One was where the keyboard ceased working and the monitor got no signal after the blue screen of death (bsod). Second was a backup I had done using Vista backup would not work with restore.

First was where my 64 bit quad core machine had seemed to blowout a video card three times and a keyboard once in the five months I have owned it (built from a kit). I knew the last time I had realized that one of the "bad" video cards had worked when I put back in when the PC had crashed and lost signal to the monitor. Likewise I discovered then that the keyboard that had been replaced one of the times when the keyboard and video signal went dead after crash (blue screen with full memory dump) worked on my laptop. At 5 this morning when I discovered the crash I got the two "bad" cards and the "bad" keyboard out. I then replaced both with no effect. No signal to the keyboard or monitor but there was disk activity. I then pulled the power cord going to the power supply from the outlet for some reason and plugged it back in. Hit power switch and PC was happy again. Now I know what the problem has been the whole time is power supply is flaky and that I had not realized I was unplugging the power supply before putting in a new card was resetting in the power supply. I will cure that later today by stopping by the computer store in Marietta and getting a power supply.

Second was trying to get some pictures back from a backup I did using the backup program in Vista. I had backed up a student's pictures from her laptop that she was sending back to Acer (would not turn on) and she had no backup. (the disk ran fine in my machine but Acer claimed when they sent it back that she had a bad disk.) The backup ran fine. Then went to restore the pictures last week, I am on Windows 7 now, and got a message about a bad mediaid.bin file. Found that it is a separate file stored in the root and that Restore needs it. I had not deleted it. I looked at the backup and noticed it was lots of folders and they had sub-folders inside and I did not look further. After trying several methods to fix the mediaid.bin file I realized backup was on the external hard drive so I put it in my laptop that runs Vista. Tried it there and got the same error and then access denied. Decided to look at the backup a little further as I was convinced it was good. Realized they were all zip folders and when going in them discovered the pictures were in there fine (showed in show thumbnails) and they were just zipped. Thought they can't be just plain zips but tried the extract on the Windows Explorer view of the folder and they extracted to my new location fine and the pictures are all there. Just they are in 15 zip folders and were in about 5 folders originally and after extracts back to about five folders as originally. So time to go in each and un-zip. However I now have her pictures back and I can burn then on CD for her. Moral of story is that the Windows backup program is no longer a special compressed file, but is just a set of zip files that has been split in several zip files and if the Restore does not work, (the easier way) then you can unzip each of the backup folders manually.


So much for trying to slow down

Last weekend has led me to the conclusion that it is fruitless to do try to do what I have tried to do for about 5 months and that is slow down.

Agreed it was a 3 day weekend, but just thinking about what I did tires me now. Friday evening I drove from LaFayette GA to Swainsboro GA for about 5.5 hours and 300 miles.

Saturday morning it was leave just after 8 am and head for St. Simon's to the King and Price to attend a friend's wedding. I had not been to King and Prince before and it is nice. They had a fabulous breakfast and lunch buffet for the reception. Eli and Ann's wedding was on the lawn on the lawn by the ocean and nice. Then I headed to Savannah to the bike shop to use a gift card I had been given and picked up several items and registration for Sunday. Then on to Statesboro GA for the Georgia Southern football game at 6PM. GSU won with 40 seconds to go in the game. Back to Swainsboro for the night.

Sunday morning I was on the road at 6:30 am headed to Savannah to ride my bicycle in the Savannah Century. The ride starts going over the Savannah River bridge and then stays flat. It got hotter on Sunday so part way on the ride I decided I would just do the 50 mile route which turned out to be 55 miles, but I did it. Then drove back to Swainsboro. Took a nap (that is slowing down).

Monday I went to the duplex I rent out and cut grass for just over an hour and then that afternoon drove back to LaFatyette getting in at 9:30pm, a little earlier than normal.

So for the weekend I drove my car about 1100 miles and rode my bike 55 miles (and it was on the car for about 800 miles).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More on schools wanting passwords to social sites

In this case they are wanting the students passwords to MySpace and Facebook even if they do not use at school. Getting the password means the school can then pose as the students and post as them and you could not prove students did not post. I understand the school and workplace has legal basis for saying what you can or cannot do when using a computer or network owned by the school or business, but they do not need passwords to see what people posted. Google and other search engines can get them to it. (as a warning that I tell my students, employers HR offices, and colleges admission offices will search and see what you have posted and turn down people for jobs and admission for information that is not a good reflection on them.

If I give you my Facebook password then no one can tell (including Facebook) that what you post to my account was not posted by me. If someone wanted to smear or libel someone and damage someone else, they would be to get the second person's Facebook/MySpace password and post the smear on the second person's MySpace/Facebook page and there is no trail to the real poster except thru some detailed computer forensics that may or may not lead to the true poster.

Would the school require all students who drive to give the school a copy of their car keys? Do they expect to have a key to every students home? Those are similar situations.


School wanting students Facebook/MySpace passwords

I have a problem with schools or businesses wanting students or employee passwords for something not used at work or school and/or not part of the business or school. Sounds like Big Brother. The schools can find ways that are legal and ethical to see what is posted ion MySpace/Facebook. Check with HR and admission offices as they know how to look and see what people post.

This story which is video at CNN also has a glaring error. They place North Augusta in GA, not in SC, and even say in story the school is following a SC group's guidelines.