Tuesday, December 25, 2007

X-mas present

I got a Roomba for Christmas.

If you've never seen a Roomba, it's one of those little vacuuming robots. Very cool! It does carpeted floors, tile, and hardwood floors.

Here's the model I got:

This is what the older one looks like - I knew someone who had one of these and being the technophile that I am, I have wanted one for a while:

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday break!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Spring 2008 schedule...

For those of you looking to avoid me or take another class with me, here are the courses I am scheduled to teach in Spring 2008:

Paterson Campus:
CIS 101 04: Computer Concepts and Applications
CIS 106 E1: Introduction to Windows
CIS 127 E1: Microcomputer Software III
CIS 152 01: Internet/E-Commerce Technologies
CIS 273 E1: Web Graphics
CIS 295 04: Capstone Project

Wanaque Campus:
CIS 101 A1: Computer Concepts and Applications
CIS 125 A1: Microcomputer Software I

I may also have CIS 106 01, but that is still up in the air.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Inexpensive Laptop at Staples this week

Staples has a very nice deal on a laptop this week. It's $429 after rebate, with a free inkjet printer.

Staples Ad

Laptop Deal

Monday, December 17, 2007

Regular Film...a thing of the past?

In local news...

All Stop & Shop supermarkets have stopped accepting "regular" film! I was kind of amused at this. I remember growing up that most shopping areas had little drive up photo booths, and they disappeared...now even supermarkets don't take film!

I wonder if there will be a day where you will have to work hard to get real film developed.


Thursday, December 13, 2007


If you've ever taken a look at your Task Manager program and said "Why are there 20 things running, I am not even doing anything", there could be a few reasons for it.

One reason is that even as it appears that nothing is happening, there are a lot of background jobs (or processes) being run - for example, there is a program keeping your Internet running, another likely monitoring for viruses, etc.

However, there are other times that you end up with processes that just take up RAM and are not necessary.

The site ProcessLibrary will tell you exactly what those processes are, if you put in the name, whether it is necessary, and perhaps most importantly, if it's spyware or a virus.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CompUSA gone...for good, this time

Back in March, CompUSA closed the doors to over half their stores (including Totowa, NJ).

It didn't save them. CompUSA has been sold to a liquidator, who is going to close the stores down and sell off their inventory.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Public Webcams...by accident

This was a bigger story a few years back, but it's still very applicable.

People buy Web cams that will allow them to put them on the Web. As with many computer issues, people want ease of use and ignore security.

On the second page of this article (click "Continue"), Scott Bradner shows you some of the Google search strings that can show Web cams. Some are surely left public for a reason...but others just show stuff you'd assume people didn't intend to leave public.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Scholarship Opportunity for PCCC students

I just received this over email:

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is open to any student who is currently attending a community college and planning to transfer to a four-year college/university in fall 2008. All candidates must be nominated by their community college. The foundation will not solicit or accept applications directly from students. Two (2) students can be nominated by their college.

At a minimum, to be eligible, students (candidates) must:

Be a current student at an accredited US community college or two year institution with sophomore status by December 31, 2007, or a recent graduate (since spring 2003).
Plan to enroll full-time in a baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2008.
Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).
Be nominated by his or her two-year institution.
Have unmet financial need.
Not previously nominated for a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Program scholarship.
The award amount will be variable up to a maximum of $30,000 annually to fund tuition, and fees for the remainder of the scholar’s undergraduate degree. The deadline for applying is January 25, 2008.

Please refer students to Professor Martin Bookbinder in room A109.

Thank you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Free fake phone number

Ever want to talk to someone on the phone, but not give out your phone number? Many people had the same thought when they were selling things online.

There is a place that lets you get a free "virtual phone number" - one that you can dispose of immediately...or after a week.

The Web site is www.numbr.com. It's a trustworthy service, and definitely a good idea if you have any need to remain anonymous.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Republicans go to YouTube

The Republicans are trying to reach a younger audience.

On November 28th, they had a televised debate on CNN. They also put it on YouTube.

I think this is an interesting way for politicians to try to reach a younger audience. This sort of reminds me of how Howard Dean went from being somewhat unknown to almost being the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 because he had a blog. People are tired of political ramblings, I think the time is coming where politicians will be more "real people" who admit mistakes, rather than hide them.

Ok, maybe not, but I can hope.

Anyway...Here is the YouTube link. It apparently got very ugly, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani faced some sharp questions from some of the other candidates.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Greening: PC Recycling

One of the terms that has been thrown out a lot this year is going green. Basically, this term implies being environmentally sound.

One thing that many people don't know is that most computer (and electronics, for that matter) should not simply be disposed of. There are some things that can cause contamination and all sorts of other bad things.

According to the Web site I will link you to, it's estimated that fewer than 1 in 4 Americans (less than 25%) recycle their computer components.

What can you do? Many towns locally (West Paterson, North Haledon) have free drop offs for technology. You can look these things up on Earth911 - a Web site devoted to recycling and "going green".

Earth911's computer recycling Web site:
(when you search, you want to find only "Municipal drop-offs" - those are the free ones)

Earth911's main Web site

Monday, November 26, 2007


I just received the phone call from my Vice President, Dr. Kineavy. The PCCC Board of Trustees has accepted the school's recommendation to grant me tenure.

What does this mean for me? Well, for one, job security. Secondly, the ability to really say what I feel in meetings without having to worry about angering this person or that person. Third, the satisfaction of a job well done so far.

Looks like I'll be at PCCC for a while, and I look forward to it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

To all of you and yours, I hope Thanksgiving 2007 is a day to remember!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Myspace hoax leads to a suicide

People can be mean sometimes.

Apparently, some people created a fake myspace account and contacted a young woman, who was prone to depression. The young woman apparently befriended the person, who eventually told her she was a bad person, and this was enough for her to commit suicide.

It's amazing a) how cruel people can be and b) how easily people will throw their lives away in this country sometimes.

It's kind of bizarre, because there was an adult in on this hoax, doing this to the young woman.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Black Friday

My favorite holiday of the year? Black Friday.

What is Black Friday? Basically, it's the day after Thanksgiving. Since many people have the day off, companies offer excellent deals. For example, I got a $400 brand new laptop last year, with a printer. The drawback? It sometimes requires being at a store at 5:00 am.

For more info, check out Wikipedia's entry on Black Friday.

Anyway, this year, Staples apparently has a color laser printer under $100, and a laptop for $350. Best Buy apparently has some DVDs as low as $2.50, a $35 MP3 player (2 GB), and many more things. Target has a 19" LCD television with a built in DVD player for $200.

How do I know? Well, you can get your Sunday paper next week to get a list...or you can find a site that has them.


I love this day.

Linking to Illegal Stuff - Illegal?

If you link your Web site to someone providing illegal stuff, is that necessarily illegal?

It's a gray area, to be sure, but one of the British sites that did that, TV-links, was recently shut down, EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOTHING ILLEGAL.

It's a scary precedent.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Finland Shooting - Foreshadowed on Youtube

A student in Finland posted a disturbing video and comments on YouTube hinting at killing people in high school...and then did it.

The video has been removed from YouTube, but at the moment, it's on this Web site.

Always sad to see this sort of thing happen.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vote Smarter

Project Vote Smart is a Web site devoted to giving you information about all candidates running for a position. You can find what they've voted on, what their education is, even what their parents did!


I personally have a tendency to boycott any candidate who negatively campaigns. You should sell yourself by saying "here's why you should pick me", not "this is why the other person is a piece of garbage". This is why, even though I liked Jon Corzine, I voted against him in the NJ Governor election. I didn't vote for Forrester, either for the record. I voted for one of the third party candidates.

Why bother? Well, Democrats and Republicans wonder, "why are all these people voting for this person". If you had one million people vote for a third party candidate, you can bet they would take note. This is my own personal little protest.

Anyway, if you are planning on voting, check out the Web site. They treat every candidate, from the Corzines of the world to the NJ Weedman the same, and that's what politics are about, right?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Paterson Garage is open...finally!

You may have received the email, but after about a year's worth of delays, the PCCC/Paterson Parking Garage is opening tomorrow (Monday, 10/29). They will be shutting down a few of the student lots gradually in an effort to consolidate security in to one general parking area, so keep your eyes open from email from the school on that.

For those of you who haven't noticed, it's the new parking garage located next to Wendy's, across from the Dunkin' Donuts and PCCC Bookstore. Make sure your hangtag is in place and you have your student ID, because I would bet the security is tight at first.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spring 2008 already?

It's that time.

The Spring 2008 semester is available in the portal. You can check what classes are available here:

PCCC Schedule of Classes

If you want to pick classes, you can meet with an advisor in your major starting Monday the 29th. See a faculty member you are comfortable with, and one who knows your field! For Information Technology and Computer Science majors, you can see myself or any of the other faculty members in the department, and we'll be glad to sit down and discuss classes with you.

Early registration starts October 29th for students with 24+ college level credits, and November 5th for all current students - this means you can get your scheduling done and get the sections of the classes you want, before other people register for them.

Even if you are unsure of how you are doing in some classes (for example, let's say you are having trouble in EN 101 and fear you might need to repeat it) - you can register for other classes and add another class later.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

File Sharing and You

I equate file sharing to speeding.

If you're doing 80 miles per hour on route 80, you're speeding. However, people will point to the fact that many other people are doing 80 miles per hour, so it's not like they are the only one breaking the law. It's true, but if a police officer pulls you over, it's not an excuse.

Same thing with file sharing.

Sharing and downloading music or movies on the Internet is illegal, if you don't have permission of the person who copyrighted that work. I'd guess that you probably don't have that permission.

Can you get sued? Yes. Can they catch you? Yes. Is it likely? Well, with all the people doing it, it's not likely, but it can happen.

Here's a partial list of people who have been sued:
A 12 year old girl from New York
A grandmother who doesn't know how to file share
Students at Arizona State U.; Marshall; North Carolina State; North Dakota State; Northern Illinois; Ohio U.; Syracuse; U. of Massachusetts, Amherst; U. of Nebraska, Lincoln; U. of South Florida; USC; U. of Tennessee, Knoxville; and U. of Texas, Austin.

Do they have the right to? Yes. When you go on the Internet, every computer is assigned a unique identifier called an IP address. You are assigned one when you connect to the Internet, so if you are online, you can be tracked. If they think you did it, they can get a court order and present that to your Internet service provider, such as Comcast, Optimum Online, or Verizon.

Example Comcast letter
Example Cox letter (another Internet service provider)

Keep in mind that your Internet service provider wants to protect you - after all, you are their customer, and if you broke, you won't be paying for Internet service.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hacking Online Gambling Sites

Cheating has always happened in cards. Be it as simple as someone seeing your cards or as complex as "counting cards", people have found ways to make real money gambling in person.

It seems to have happened online at the third biggest online gambling site in the world. I'm not shocked that he apparently won at least $400,000 illegally. He apparently was a former employee, and as we all know, once you've worked somewhere, you know the weaknesses of that company.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Myspace phishing

Click here to see a myspace phishing scheme I ran across today. Don't worry, I've disabled all links.

The key: look at the URL up top!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rate your Doctors, too!

Just like rating your professors, you can also rate your doctors online as well! It's an interesting idea, if you are considering finding a new doctor or just want to see what people think about yours. Certainly worth a look!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Strong passwords: my technique

My CIS 101 class and I had an interesting class today about the strength of passwords, and I revealed one of my secrets to creating a good password.

Do you remember mnemonic devices? These are the things like "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally", which helps you to remember the order of math operations (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction). You can use those to create a secure password.

Let's say there is a song you like. I've always been a fan of a song called "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you were looking for a random password, you could even choose a line from a song that you will remember, and take the first character of each word. For example, this song has the following line in it:
I'm as free as a bird now, and this bird you can not change.
If you took the first letters, you would get the following as a password:
That's certainly random!

The only problem is that it only uses regular characters. To mix it up even more, you can throw a random number at the beginning, and keep the comma in the middle, and this password becomes nearly unbreakable:

Notice that I put the comma exactly where it appears in the lyrics, to avoid confusion.

Just a tip, and it's certainly more secure than using your first name!

How Strong is your Password?

Microsoft has a safe Web site that will allow you to see how strong your password.

You put your password in, and it will rate how strong (or weak) it is. Give it a shot, you'd be surprised how weak it can be.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Advanced Ad-Blocking

There are a lot of ways you can block ads. You can install a firewall...you can run Ad-Aware...but for more advanced users, there is a way to block individual advertisers.

Basically, you can tell your computer "these sites don't really exist". The way to do that is to change a file on your computer, a file called hosts. To repeat, this is a more advanced feature.

Someone actually has provided a free site that blocks most of the major ad servers.

You can download it here:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

From the Archives...Rate Your Professors

This came up in one of my classes today...the ability to rate your professors, and read what other people think of the same professor, are available on ratemyprofessor.com.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Free PDF creator software

I was working on a project, and I had to create a PDF file out of a Microsoft Visio file. It's harder to do than you might think, especially for free.

I managed to find a program called CutePDF Writer - this will allow you to go to your File Menu and select Print, and instead of sending it to a printer, you write the contents to a PDF file. The effect? What you see is what you get - you won't have to worry if someone else doesn't have the fonts that you have on your screen, or the program that you created it in - be it Visio, Publisher, Word, Excel, or any non-Microsoft tool that can print.

To repeat the best part, it's also free. As one of my former students once said, "If it's free, it's for me".


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Transfer Events @ PCCC: Fall 2007

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college, PCCC invites many local Colleges and Universities to come on campus and meet with you. Caldwell College, Felician College, Rutgers University, New Jersey City University, NJIT, St. Peter's College, and William Paterson University will all be on campus at some point this semester.

Link to school visit calendar

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Chinese game bans men playing female characters

The world of online gaming is always interesting to me. I used to use online games in a text-based format many years ago (MUDs). There were a lot of people who would role-play very well. For example, a friend of mine named Nelson had a character who was evil, and even though he and I were friends, his character was a jerk to my character.

There were also people who would create a female character even if they were a male in real life, mainly for the purpose of playing a character.

A Chinese gaming company that runs a very large online game has banned men playing female characters. In fact, in order to create a female character, you are now expected to provide verification through a Webcam. This seems like something that won't last for long, but it's an interesting step for a company to take.

Link to article

Friday, September 28, 2007

Get rid of telemarketers...from the archives

I posted this last year, but it came up again today in class. The US Government set up a Web site where you can enter your phone number, and telemarketers (those people who call and annoy you with sales calls) are supposed to not call you.

Does it work? It has drastically decreased the number of unwanted calls I get.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

View Office 2007 files in earlier versions of Office

Typically, most software is backwards compatible - for example, Office 2003 would open files created in older versions of Office. However, most software is not forward compatible - for example, Office 2003 will not open Office 2007 format.

Microsoft has created a free compatibility pack that allows older versions of Office (2000, XP, or 2003) to open files created in Office 2007.

I find that students are starting to submit some files in this format, so I've installed this on all the machines I use.

Link to Microsoft's download for the Compatibility Pack

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Man Dies After 3 Day Gaming Session

A Chinese man apparently died after playing games for three straight days. I am constantly amazed that stories like this still exist, but here it is, from yesterday (9/17):

Link to Reuters article

Thursday, September 13, 2007

USB Drive for $9 - in Paterson

Microcenter (a nationwide chain of stores) recently opened up a store on Route 20 in Paterson. They've had some nice deals, and I think one of the best that they have been advertising is a 2 GB USB drive for the price of $9. A year ago, these were $50 or more! For school purposes, a 2 GB USB drive should last you forever - it would hold approximately 40,000 (yes, forty thousand) average sized term papers.

Definitely worth the ride over, it's right next to the new Lowe's. Here is a link to their Web site, where you can get driving directions:
Microcenter's Paterson location

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fall Schedule

I was setting up my calendar and went looking for the "Important Fall 2007 dates". If you're interested in when you can change your schedule, when classes are closed for Thanksgiving, when the last day of the semester is, etc - check out this Web site:

Check out the PCCC Fall calendar here

Friday, September 07, 2007

Microsoft Word Shortcuts...From the Archives

I posted this link last year to a Web site I found that has literally hundreds of keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word.


From the Archives posts

I am realizing that as time goes on, people are not going to read the entire archives and will miss some of the interesting things in the archives. At the suggestion of one of my students, I will do a "From the Archives" feature, where I redirect you to an older post once in a while that is still interesting.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ride free on NJ Transit

One a semester, NJ Transit sets up a "Ride for Free" week for college students - obviously, they are hoping to give you the chance to try out commuting.

Personally, I take the train in a few days a week, and it saves me the stress of driving (especially in bad weather) and also parking. I'll certainly be taking the train in tomorrow to avoid the typical "first day of the semester" traffic and parking jams!

If you register on the Web site below, you will have access to ride NJ Transit as often as you like for free from September 17 - 23 this year. Do you want to go in to the city? Take a bus to Atlantic City? Anywhere they go, you can go for free if you register on their Web site, and show the conductors your college ID and a form that you will print out after registering.

Register here

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Phishing Challenge

Phishing - those annoying emails claiming to be from your bank asking you to click here to verify your account.

Paypal (an online money transfer service - kind of like a bank) has a free "Phishing Challenge".

Are you someone that can be fooled? Try the challenge here:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Saving movies from YouTube

In the past, people wanting to save movies from sites such as YouTube would have to work hard to make it happen.

Not anymore. RealPlayer (who does streaming video) has apparently added the ability to save streaming video for free to the new version of their RealPlayer tool, version 11. It's currently in beta-testing right now, but you can bet that this is going to cause some people to be very unhappy with them.

Link to article

The Fall semester approaches

If you haven't registered yet, I found a time saver. Registering at the Wanaque campus is much easier. It's so quiet up there, as opposed to registering in Paterson and dealing with the gym registration.

The school is closed Friday and Monday of this week. The Fall semester starts September 6th, so get in ASAP to make sure some classes don't close out.

Some classes, (for example, the daytime CIS 107 and CIS 108 classes) are already filled, and some others (for example, some CIS 125 courses) are very close to their caps.

There are some new courses and programs as well - we have a program in American Sign Language (in addition to the Arabic courses we added last year), Graphic Design, Computer Forensics, International Business....it's an exciting year.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

iPhone unlocked

The iPhone, when developed, was set up so it could only be used on the AT&T network and could not be used with any other carrier (i.e. Verizon, etc).

Hackers, of course, viewed this as a challenge, and someone has released a piece of software that unlocks the iPhone to be used on any carrier's network.

Is it legal? Does it void warranties? Will Apple be sending out a fix to prevent this? Well...those are other questions.

Link to story

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My frequently asked questions

I think, as educators, we don't adapt to students enough.

For example, let's take the syllabus. At the beginning of the semester, students are handed a syllabus, which is then filed away somewhere.

With that in mind, I also noticed that I get a lot of questions from students about things that are clearly spelled out on the syllabus. This says to me that most people don't reference the syllabus for questions.

The way we do things in the online world is more of an "information on demand" presentation of information. You have a question, you find the answer.

For those of you who have sat in one of my classes, you know I often use the campus portal. I plan on introducing a section of "frequently asked questions" at the bottom of each page, so the information is readily available any time a student logs in to the portal, to supplement the syllabus.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to fire off an email - I am trying to be as student friendly as possible. Here are the questions I came up with:

What is your grading policy?
Do you take attendance? What happens if I miss class?
Do I have to be on time?
How am I doing in this class so far?
Do you accept late work?
I missed a test. Can I get a makeup test?
Where should I do my lab work?
Where is your office?
Can I get extra credit?
I think you made a mistake grading. Can we discuss it?
I have a question about an assignment, when can I reach you?
I have a question about the Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, or Graphic Design programs, when can I contact you?
Where can I get assistance with lab work or studying if I can't find you?
When is the CIS lab in H310 open?
What is the cheating policy?
Wait, I gave my work to someone else, how does that make it cheating?
How should I address you?
Can I text message during class?
Should I shut off my cell phone on during class?
Can I take bathroom breaks during exams?
Can I have side conversations during class?
Can I leave early?
Can I bring my child/children to class?
I have a disability. Can you accommodate it?
I think I am going to fail your class, should I drop?
I know I didn't hand in any lab assignments, but I know this stuff. Can't you just give me an "A" and let me go home?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Job Lead: Layout for School Paper

The school paper Visions is looking for someone with some Graphic Design expertise to do layout for them. This is a paid position. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I can direct you to the newpaper coordinator for more information.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Skype crash...hackers responsible?

Ebay's Skype computer to computer talk service was crashed the other day. Hackers from Russia claimed responsibility for this attack. Ebay of course blames a software glitch and denies hackers were involved.

Link to Washington Post story

Facebook Secrets Blog Shut Down

Google pulled the Facebook Secrets blog for violating terms of service.

I am sure that it will pop up somewhere else at some point.

Link to story

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Facebook Hacked?

Someone apparently has the entire source code for the Web site Facebook. By "source code", I mean the things that make the site run - how are searches done, how profile loads are done...all the back end programming (in this case, done in PHP).

For you programmers out there, it looks like they're not really using object oriented code, which many would look at as a "no-no" these days.

This opens Facebook up for all sorts of possible hacking attacks, and it also opens

Was it an insider? A hacker? Former employee? No one knows at this point.

The blog which is posting code

Article about it

Be careful what you type......

Another case of "Be Careful What You Type".

This is a little bit of an older story (March, 2006), but still interesting. Walgreens pharmacy apparently has a part of their order taking system for comments (probably intended for, let's say , "Customer wants order picked up after 2 PM Wednesday" or "Please bill secondary insurance").

Well, this customer apparently irked one of the Walgreens pharmacy techs, who typed some things in the comment area.

The woman picked up her order, and imagine her surprise to see this at the end of the medication information page:

"She's really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when"
(the page cut off here, so you can only imagine what else was there)

I am constantly amazed how this sort of thing catches up with people.


Sunday, August 12, 2007


eHow is a tremendous Web site for figuring out how to do things. If you can't find answers on Google, eHow has a ton of information in all realms. Look at some of the random topics I found answers to:

How do you tie a necktie?
How do you marinate meat for cooking?
How do I write a resume?
How do I check my car's oil?
How do I transfer to a four year college?
How do you change file associations in Windows?
How do I partition a hard drive?

...the list goes on....! A great site to bookmark.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cyberstalking hits close to home

Here's a story about a local woman from Lodi who found her ex was stalking her.

Apparently, he attached a GPS (global positioning system) sensor to her car!

This article from North Jersey's Web site also talks about other types of cyberstalking. It's a good read.

Link to article

Thanks to Soprano Sue for the heads up!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Free Bowling

Brunswick Bowling has a Web site available, and if you sign up, you will receive a free hour of bowling, and randomly receive coupons for $0.99 bowling. If you're in to bowling, it's not a bad way to pass the time.

They have one location in Fair Lawn, and another in Belleville.


Monday, August 06, 2007

The Top 100 Places to Work in Information Technology

Came across this article in Computer World magazine, the top 100 places to work in Information Technology.

New Jersey has 6 of the top 100 companies, as well as other companies that may have offices in New Jersey (such as USPS, BAE, Hess...).

Here's the link (note: you may have to click "SKIP AD" in the top right hand corner of the screen).

Computer World article

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Technology and Relationships

It is interesting how technology affects relationships. I ran across an article that got me thinking about this.

Can you remove you significant others ' shows without asking, if there isn't enough room for your shows? How about if you subscribe to a service like NetFlix? Who gets priority for their movies?

For example, I remember years ago, the woman I was dating liked a show that was on at the same time as a show I liked. The solution? A small TV/VCR that we had just for recording shows. As we get used to the convenience technology provides, we become a little more spoiled, I think. Instead of having to worry about TV shows airing at the same time, now what do you do about a full TiVo?

There's also the issue of things being electronically logged. If you've emailed something to someone, it's never really gone. You may have a sent mail folder, or the recipient can forward the email to someone. How about instant messaging? Some programs (such as Yahoo!) automatically log conversations. If your significant other is really paranoid, they could even use a keylogger on your computer, to record what you are doing. This happened to a friend of mine who was going through a divorce once.

As if the world needed relationships to be more complex, right?

Link to Wall Street Journal article

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Fall Classes

For those of you who have asked, here is a list of the courses I am currently scheduled to teach in the Fall 2007 semester. I may have one or two more, depending on how things happen, but these are the ones I am sure about.

CIS 101 07
CIS 101 LE
CIS 106 01
CIS 125 01
CIS 126 E1
CIS 290 01

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Web site colors saving power?

According to a recent study, it uses less power for a computer's monitor to display a anything (including a Web page) with a black background rather than a white background.

As a result, Google introduced Blackle, a black background based version of Google. It's the exact same thing as regular Google, except with the black background:

The Wall Street Journal did their own study and acknowledges savings, though not as much as the original study claims.

Does it really save power? Even if it saves a tiny bit, I will probably use the black Google page at home, if for no other reason than it looks pretty cool to me.

Link to story

Thursday, July 26, 2007


JourneyEd is a company that provides discounts (primarily, software) to students and faculty from schools that have an affiliation with them. PCCC is one of these schools.

For example, the Microsoft Office Professional Suite (this is a step up from the standard edition, which includes Publisher and Access) has a list price of $570.00. Even on Ebay, they are still going for around $300. JourneyEd has them for $199.98 for people who are students or teachers at member institutions. Note: it does require validating that you are a student, but this is a trustworthy site.

PCCC Students Home

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ebay: Only show negative feedback

If you use Ebay, read on.

Toolhaus.org has some useful tools for Ebay users. There is one tool that you can use to see only the negative feedback left for a person (impossible to do using Ebay's system, I've tried) and some other tools that might be of interest. I've added it to my bookmarks!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Cheap Stuff 7/22 - 7/28

Some stuff I noticed in the world of cheap stuff good 7/22 to 7/28:

Zebra® Cadoozles® mechanical pencils: Free after rebate
Esselte® 2-pocket paper folders, assorted: 1 cent each
Staples® cap erasers 5¢ 12 PACK: 5 cents each
Staples® 6" plastic protractor: 5 cents each
Dixon® #2 yellow pencils: 5 cents each
12" plastic ruler: 5 cents each

Office Depot:
BIC pens 12/box: 25 cents each
Pocket/prong folders: 5 cents each
B/W composition books: 25 cents

Rite Aid:
There are coupons for a free Pentel pencil in the circular!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rate your professors

In college, my friends and I used to discuss who was a good professor and who wasn't all the time.

I've always enjoyed visiting the site ratemyprofessors.com for that reason.

Visit the site for PCCC

Feel free to add your thoughts on me or any other professors, good or bad. It's anonymous!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

PRISM 2007 handouts

For those of you attending the workshops I am giving at Montclair (or, for those of you interested), I've published my handouts for last week's Google workshop and tomorrow's PowerPoint workshops using Google's free Docs and Spreadsheets service.

Google Tips and Tricks
PowerPoint Tips and Tricks

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Military Secrets posted online

As someone who worked for a defense contractor, I always worried that things that we knew might end up unprotected. Sounds like another government contractor wasn't as careful.

"Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq. Geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad. Plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The military calls it "need-to-know" information that would pose a direct threat to U.S. troops if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists. It's material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked. But it's already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection."

More information here...

I really hope people don't die because people are careless with secure information.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cheap stuff

This is the time of year many stores, including Staples and Office Depot start to make their "back to school" stuff available relatively cheaply.

Deals I noticed for next week (7/15)

Office Depot has the following good deals:
Crayola 24 count of Crayons: .09
Sharp Calculator: free after rebate

Staples has the following deal:
Staples filler paper 150 count: 15 cents

Penway Filler Sheets - 285 or 325 count: free after rebate
Penway 60 sheet wireless notebooks or 70 sheet wire bound wide/college ruled: four free after rebate

Rite Aid
Pentech pencils 8 pack: Free after in-ad coupon
poster and craft paint: Free after in-ad coupon
Krazy Glue: free after rebate

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sprint to Customers: YOU'RE FIRED!

Sprint has apparently decided some customers complain too much. They've told 1,000 customers that they are terminating their contracts. This is going to lead to all sorts of lawsuits, I bet.

Link to article

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Magic at PCCC

Earvin "Magic" Johnson, former NBA star, is coming to PCCC.

I remember hearing the news in 1991 that he got AIDS. A neighbor told me about it, and I was just floored. He was really the first person I knew of who contracted HIV. I rooted for him as he made a comeback, and he's really proved how much progress has been made in treating HIV. People used to think of it as a death sentence, but here's Magic, 16 years later, going strong, and promoting awareness of AIDS/HIV.

Magic's bio on Wikipedia

Anyway, here are the details!

Join Magic Johnson at the PCCC Gymnasium for the Stand With Magic program!

Tuesday, July 17
5:30 pm (doors open at 4:30)
PCCC Gymnasium, Ellison Street Entrance
Special appearance by Earvin Magic Johnson

Food and beverages will be served.

All PCCC students are invited. College ID required for entrance. No one under 16 allowed!

Come learn how you can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS in your community!

For more information call 800-401-4590.

Sponsored by PCCC and ISTANDWITHMAGIC.COM, part of the Campaign To End

Monday, July 09, 2007

What to do with those old ink cartridges

A lot of people simply throw out old ink cartridges after they are empty.

Aside from being environmentally unfriendly, it's also not cost effective! The three major office superstores will give you $3 per cartridge, typically, though each store has different requirements on brands, etc.

Staples accepts empty ink cartridges from Dell, HP, and Lexmark, and will give you a $3 coupon off any future purchase. You can use it towards anything, and can use up to 3 per transaction.
Staples Cartridge Recycling Program info on Wikipedia

Office Depot also accepts ink cartridges from some companies, and will give you a $3 coupon off future purchases:
Office Depot Cartridge Recycling Program info on Wikipedia

Office Max accepts ink cartridges as well. The last time I did it, it gave me the option of $3 off any future purchase OR a free ream (500 sheets) of printer paper. I went for the paper.
Office Max Recycling Program info on Wikipedia

New Playstation 3: August

Sony announced the struggling Playstation 3 with a larger storage capacity (80 GB) will be available in August, and will cut prices on the other models.


Of course, since the beginning, people have been buying the cheaper model, adding a larger hard drive, and reselling for big profits on Ebay. It's amazing how people will go through all the trouble of documenting exactly how to do it:

Friday, July 06, 2007

Stupid Technology

Technology giants Microsoft and Apple have both recently drawn negative publicity about areas that they are not experts in.

Apple's iPhone battery can not be replaced like most cell phones. If it dies (it "should" last 300 to 400 charging cycles), it will cost $86 to replace it. Oh, and that service doesn't back up your data on the phone either. If you don't back it up yourself, too bad!

Microsoft's XBox360 has been criticized for what gamers called "the red ring of death" - the console would start up and blink a few times. They've extended the warranty for users to three years and will even reimburse anyone who had to pay for repairs on the system during the first three years. The cost to Microsoft? Around one billion (yes, billion) dollars. At least we know they can afford it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Hey folks,

I hope you are enjoying the Fourth of July. If nothing else, some of you may have the day off.

Wikipedia has a lot of facts about Independence Day for your viewing pleasure.

Screensavers.com is a Web site that has free screensavers for download. They're featuring some Fourth of July ones today. Happy downloading, and happy Fourth!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Office Depot: Free After Rebate stuff this week

Office Depot has the following items free after rebate this week:

McAfee Internet Security Suite $69.99- 2 MIR

3M Scotch Glue with 2-Way applicator $2.99 - 2.99 MIR (limit 1)

3M Scotch Removable Tape Roller $5.99- 5.99 MIR (limit 1)

Swingline Durable stapler $9.99 - 9.99 MIR (only available in-store)

Pentel Energel Gel Pens 3-PK $3.99- 3.99 MIR (only available in-store)

Link to ad

Friday, June 29, 2007

The iPhone arrives...

After months of hype, Apple releases the iPhone today. It's a cell phone with camera and Web browser...that also includes a music and video player. Talk about "all-in-one" devices! People were apparently lined up as early as Monday (!!!) to buy it. All for "only" $500 to $600 with a two year contract!

More here:
iPhone story on CNN

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


As you may know, fireworks (not the software program) are illegal in NJ, but can be purchased legally in Pennsylvania.

NJ is planning to ask PA "to be a good neighbor" and not to sell fireworks to NJ residents. They've also removed fireworks related advertising on Routes 78 and 80.

This isn't at the top of Pennsylvania's "to do" list at this point.

Link to story

Chris Benoit

Wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child, and then hung himself.

It's a scary thing, because I used to watch wrestling, and Benoit wasn't one of the typical huge, lumbering wrestlers that you might think of. As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. His matches were interesting to watch because he wasn't just a kick and punch wrestler. He knew a variety of legitimate martial arts type holds, and he managed to make it all look real. Eventually, he overcame his lack of size to become one of the shortest champions in WWE history.

I was a fan.

And then you hear something like this. I just can't believe it happened, and it disgusts me. It just shows you never really know someone, be it an athlete or even someone you work with. Many of the wrestlers are stunned by this news, too.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Harry Potter ending, revealed a month early?

So, someone claims to have hacked in to the offices of the publishers of the successful Harry Potter series of books and found the ending to the book. The publishers of course deny it is the ending.

Wired.com has an interesting article - discussing how this demonstrates how vulnerable people really are.

The hacker has also posted a "spoiler" with what he/she claims is the ending to the series.

Link to Wired.Com story

Harry Potter ending, possibly revealed over a month early

I'm back

I'm back and catching up on email after "roughing it" for 10 days without using a computer! (A GameBoy Advance doesn't count, right?)

I have a few things to post, which I will do over the weekend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

AFK: Away from Keyboard

Hi folks!

I will be AFK for the next 10 days or so. I have a trip to the Dominican Republic planned, and I am looking forward to a little vacation. Will I actually avoid cyber cafes? We shall see.

For your reading pleasure, here is a list of common chat acronyms. Ever wonder what people mean when they say lol (laughing out loud)? Or ttyl (talk to you later)? How about roflpmp? Well, that one you'll just have to look up on the site below.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Free Schick Intuition Razor

iVillage is giving out a free Schick Intuition Plus razor (typically, a woman's razor) for free if you enter their sweepstakes by signing up on the Web site below:


Make sure you check off the box labeled "Yes. Please send me a free Schick® Intuition® Plus® razor."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Microphones, wiretaps, oh my!

I attended the NJ Infragard meeting last week. One of the speakers was a guy who runs a company called Murray Associates. That non-descript name hides what they really do - they are a group that will do an internal security audit for things like wiretaps, microphones, and other such devices. The demonstration was very impressive. Some of the equipment they had were able to pick up any electronic devices. It was kind of amazing to see what they could do in counter-spying.

Murray Associatesweb site

The speaker has an interesting blog up on his Web site, detailing some security topics and spy things that show up in the news, I've bookmarked him!

Kevin Murray's Blog

Free workshop tomorrow

I am giving a workshop to our lab staff tomorrow at noon. The topic is the software tool Fireworks (an image editing tool).

I figured that if anyone was interested in coming by, you could feel free to sit in. We'll be in the Hamilton building somewhere, probably in H306 or H311.

Come on by!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Download old versions of applications

When dealing with software upgrades as a network manager(or even as a home user), sometimes you will find that a new version of a program is too "buggy" or causes problems with your system. The only problem is you cannot find the old version of the software to download!

This Web site archives old versions of software packages just for this purpose:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Credit Card Theft hits close to home

I tried to log on to my credit card account today, and it refused to let me log in, saying I had to call the 1-800 number. When I spoke with the customer service rep, she told me that my credit card number was among those exposed by a vendor.

The vendor? TJX, the parent company to Marshall's, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Bob's Stores.

I had heard about the initial issue - they had been hacked in December 2006 - it's been called "the world's largest data breach". I assumed that since I hadn't heard anything, that I wasn't affected. (Read their February press release here)

Well, it turns out that even that wasn't a complete listing. They've found even more accounts that were at risk, and mine was apparently included.

The 1-800 number for TJX doesn't seem equipped to answer questions about this, either, or really, provide any help. I called, got poor customer service, and askedc for a supervisor. The answer was "they're on break for an hour or two". When I said "this seems like a bad day to take a two hour lunch break" they responded "Well, they are a supervisor, they can do that".

Way to make the customer feel unimportant!

They've lost me as a customer, regardless of how they fix this in the future.

For the record, MasterCard handled this properly, issuing me a new card as soon as they found out my card had been exposed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Site Updates

I removed the "Search My Blog" from the right hand side. Google added their own version at the top of the page, so use that from now on.

I also organized the links a little differently.

Free After Rebate at Office Depot 6/3 - 6/9

Office Depot has the following items FREE after mail-in rebate this week:

Targus CityLite 15" Notebook Case
OD Item ID# 578016
$15 in-store cost, free after rebate

Uni-Ball Vision Elite Pens 8-pack
OD Item ID# 718128
$16.99 in-store cost, free after rebate

Swingline Stapler
OD Item ID# 527721
$7.39 in-store cost, free after rebate

Post-It Notes
OD Item ID# 321529
$2.99 in-store cost, free after rebate

Link to Ad (free stuff is on page 12)

As with all rebates, read the forms carefully. Some require the original UPC to be cut from the packaging.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Graduate Writing Exam: Summer Dates

If you are a student who has passed EN 102 and completed 30 college level credits, it may be time to take the Graduate Writing Exam. All students seeking a degree must complete this before they graduate. Waiting until your last semester is not a good practice.

PCCC is offering this over the summer. As far as I know, this is the first time the school has done this.

You can find more information on the summer dates (and the exam in general) here:

If you're not taking summer classes, it might not be a bad time to get this over with.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free (legal) Music Download at Buy.Com

Buy.Com is offering a free music download if you visit and redeem this before 6/4/2007.

Note that you must be using Internet Explorer to do this download.


Dell changing their tune?

Dell has decided to start selling some of their personal computers at Wal-Mart.


It's an interesting departure for a company that made a name by selling directly to consumers and removing the "middle man".

This is done in response to Dell losing ground to Hewlett-Packard in the PC market...but perhaps they should focus on the low ratings people give their tech support. Reseller Ratings users give them a 2.4 out of 10 - click on "Show Category Ratings", versus a (still not good) 4.0 out of 10 for HP. It could also be lagging consumer trust - for example, New York's Attorney General is suing them for things like "bait and switch" marketing. Whoops.

For the record, I have a Dell and have no real complaints thus far.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Windows Shortcut Keys

I love hotkeys in programs. I actually had one student last semester point out that I rarely use the mouse, and it's true.

I ran across this list of keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) the other day:


(It's a PDF file - this means you need the free Adobe Reader to view the file)

Enjoy your memorial day!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Web Hoaxes

There's always some sort of garbage that ends up in my email inbox, and I am not only talking about spam.

There's always something like "forward this to 10 people and Bill Gates will send you $100"...or "Don't buy any gasoline from Exxon and Mobil and prices will drop" sitting in my mailbox.

For the record, if I get something I already haven't seen 20 times, I check it out on www.snopes.com - an excellent resource for this stuff.

Anyway, PC World put together a list of the 25 greatest Web hoaxes of all time. I found it amusing to revisit some of these.

Link to article

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PCCC Graduation 2007

Graduation 2007 is in the books.

Every year, I see more and more of my former students graduate, and that makes me proud. There was one student who took a class with me when I was a part-time faculty member in 2001...there was another student who took CIS 101 with me as a learning community while still taking English as a Second Language courses.

If you graduated, take a moment and be proud. As our president said last night, in the United States, only around 35% of people have any form of a college degree. That number rose slightly last evening. I looked through the list of graduates, and counted 58 of you who had at least one class with me at some point.

I took some pictures tonight, and they are available here, if anyone is interested:

Congrats, graduates, and keep in touch...!

List of PCCC Graduates (notice there are three sections: People who finished in Summer 06, Fall 06, and Spring 07).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Evaluating Web Sites

In many of the classes I teach, I point out how important it is to evaluate a Web site for things such as credibility, timeliness, authority, etc.

I just came across this article that points out that not only students have this problem.

A prominent Chinese newspaper got caught a few years ago publishing an article from theonion.com, which offers news parodies, and publishing it as fact.

Story on the mistake
The original Onion story that prompted the Chinese story

Monday, May 21, 2007

Free CFL bulb from Yahoo!

CFL bulbs are more energy efficient and can save you $30 in energy costs over the lifetime of the bulb. They are a small way people can also go about helping the environment.

Yahoo is offering a free one to anyone who signs up on their Web site and pledges to try to be more efficient.

The city who has the most people sign up will win 10 hybrid taxis!


File Sharing on College Campuses

I've discussed with various classes the stalemate (lack of a solution) with illegal file sharing. Congress has decided to get involved, sending 19 big universities, including UCLA, Columbia, Duke, and Vanderbilt, nasty letters saying that they need to stop illegal file sharing on college campuses.

Why is Congress getting involved? Well, that's another story. I always feel like they should have better things to do than this, but that's just my opinion.


Monday, May 14, 2007

New Jersey InfraGard

Who has the responsibility of educating the business world on security?

Well, there is an organization called InfraGard that does this sort of thing. It's a free organization. It's a joint effort between the FBI and some businesses, including PSE&G.

They have monthly meeting, some of which require you to be a member, some of which do not. They are having a May meeting which includes the following topics:

* Security Awareness (Ctrl-Alt-Delete before you leave your seat)
* Espionage and Counter Espionage Technology

This is a free meeting taking place in Edison, NJ on May 29 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. I plan on attending, and if anyone has questions or is interested in attending, feel free to email me.

NJ Infragard Web Site
May 29 meeting details

Friday, May 11, 2007

Free Microsoft Certification Exam (Networking/Support Only)

Pearson Vue is one of the companies that offers Microsoft Certification exams.

They are offering first time users the opportunity to try an exam for free!


This applies only to the 072 exams. In other words, not the Microsoft Office Specialist exams, but any of the Networking and User Support type exams found on this page:


Offer expires June 30th. Take advantage of this!

Free 2 cent stamps

As you may or may not know, the United States Postal Service is raising rates on Monday, May 14th. A regular stamp will now be 41 cents. However, this is what they call a "forever stamp". After this stamp comes out, there will be no need to buy 2 cent stamps the next time postage goes up.

However, for those of you like me that have a bunch of the 39-cent stamps sitting at home, that doesn't help now. Here's a solution. DYMO.com will mail you 10 2-cent stamps at the link below for free:


Free 2-liter of 7-Up Soda

7-Up will mail you a coupon for a free two-liter of soda if you fill out the form on their Web site.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Bookstore Buyback

The bookstore is currently buying books back. The sooner you sell your books back, the better the price. The last day to get the "best price" is May 18th. It can't hurt to go over and ask how much they are buying your books back for.

A lot of students wait to do this, and as a result get very low prices for the textbooks. Going in now will lead to you getting the best price - for example, the CIS 101 textbooks will apparently give you $48.25 back.

Of course, wait until after you finish your finals for a class before you sell the books back!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Staples Free Stuff: Week of May 6

This week at Staples, the following items are free after rebate:

* Staples 6-outlet surge protector
* ATS 2.4GHz Cordless Phone
* McAfee Total Protection 2007
* Peachtree Pro Accounting 2007
* Webroot Spy Sweeper with AntiVirus
* Zebra Z-Grip Max retractable ballpoint pens

Link to this week's ad

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free Guide: Preventing Identity Theft

The Federal Citizen Information Center is offering a free book "Preventing Identity Theft". They will mail it to your home.

Note this is a ".gov" site, so I trust it.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Big Money Majors?

What do the following majors have in common?

• Business
• Engineering
• Marketing
• Accounting
• Information Technology

According to this article, they are five "Big-Money" majors with plenty of room for advancement.

Big Money Majors

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wireless Networks and the Law

A Texas man who was convicted of possessing child pornography tried to use his open WiFi (wireless) network as a defense, saying that someone else could have used the same network to traffic in pornographic images.

Guess what? His wireless connection COULD have been used illegally by someone else to download child pornography, but it doesn't matter. It was his connection, and he's guilty.

Scary thing for those of you who might have wireless networks at home and no security.

Link to story

Friday, April 20, 2007

Knoppix Linux

Sometimes, the operating system Linux comes up in classes. The problem many students have is that they don't necessarily have an extra machine hanging around to install Linux on, so therefore, they never get the chance to experiment with it.

However, there is another way. One distribution (version) of Linux is called Knoppix, and it is specifically designed to fit on a CD. You burn it on to a CD and then boot off of it, and that's it. No installation of anything on your hard drive, and like most versions of Linux, it's free. It's a great way to test drive an operating system that we really don't do anything with in our IT program.

It can be downloaded below. Note that the ISO image is about 700 MB, so it may take a while to download.

Download Knoppix!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

School will be OPEN: Friday, April 20

According to an email I just received, PCCC WILL be open tomorrow, Friday, April 20th.

Massacre at Virginia Tech

The Massacre at Virginia Tech.


The latest news: The killer sent a video, pictures, and documents to NBC via US Postal Service mail. Apparently, it was mailed after the first shootings but before the second shootings. It's amazingly creepy.

Link to Videos and Pictures on NBC

I just don't know how to interpret something like this. People get picked on, people feel defenseless, people feel alone. These things I think we can all relate to. I just can't understand how it comes down to what he did. We live in a world that can certainly be cold sometimes, but to punish people randomly...that's the part that is scary. We can control how nice we are to people, things like that, but there is always a random element that we have no control over.

In this age of technology, we get a glimpse in to a killer's mind that we never got 100, or even 25 years ago. You can see he has his own video and digital cameras that he uses to make a permanent record of what was happening.

Between this, the flooding at our school, the whole Don Imus thing, and the Governor being in the hospital, it's been a truly sobering week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

School Closed Thursday, April 19

PCCC is closed again tomorrow. Here's the official email I received:

The College will be closed again tomorrow, April 19, due to the flooding conditions. Please continue to check the website for future updates about when normal operations will resume.

I was watching the news and saw that PCCC is being used as an emergency shelter for the hundreds of people who have been flooded out of their homes. Here's a link to the video on the Web.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

School Closing Early Tuesday 4/17/07 and closed 4/18/07

Just came across the email. Hope everyone is safe out there. Also - even though it says "Paterson" in the email, they have closed Wanaque as well.



Monday, April 16, 2007

School Closing Early Monday evening 4/16/07

This just came across the email:

Due to the weather conditions, the College will close today, April 16, 2007 at 5:30 p.m.

Free Stuff: PC Magazine

Mercury Magazines is giving away a free subscription to PC Magazine. If you ever wonder why there are all those free magazines outside H304/H306, Mercury Magazines is one of the reasons. I've gotten tons of free subscriptions from them.

I trust them, but as always, I use a secondary email account when I sign up for any free stuff.


White House: We Screwed Up!

So, incriminating emails "disappear" from the White House email system?

Somehow, I do doubt that. Most large companies, to protect themselves, run many backups. Information loss can cripple a company, so they take care that it doesn't happen. Just ask any of Professor Bamkole's Networking students, they will tell you all about backups and how critical they are. I just cannot believe that these things could disappear.

"This story is really now a two-part issue," CREW's Melanie Sloan told CNN. "First there's the use of the RNC e-mail server that's inappropriate by White House officials and secondly we've also learned that there were between March of 2003 and October of 2005 apparently over 5 million e-mail that were not preserved and these are e-mail on the regular White House server."


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Career Fair: Thursday April 12

Another Campus Announcement!

Career Services Presents

Thursday, April 12
11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


* Aramark * IKEA * Commerce Bank * The Record * State Farm
* UPS * FEDEX * Bank of NY * WAMU * Earthlink * METLIFE
* Sprint Nextel * KNTM * Hoffman-La Roche * WMBC TV
* Chilton Memorial Hospital * Cingular Wireless * Primerica * Comp USA

Job Fair Success Tips for Students
• Dress Professionally
• Bring lots of copies of your resume
• Have a pleasant attitude

For further information, please contact the Career Resource Center at (973) 684-6797.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Transfer Fair - Next Week

If you are looking to transfer to a four year college...it's never to early to talk to a representative from some schools.

Here's the scoop:

The Fourth Annual PCCC Transfer College Fair will take place on April 9, 10:30am-1:00pm and April 10, 4:30-6:30pm in the Paterson Room (in the back of the cafeteria).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

YouTube Awards

YouTube (the Web site that allows you to put up videos for the world to see) has put together their first annual YouTube Video Awards.


If you have some time, I recommend the "Ask a Ninja" series. Highly amusing!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Free PC Tune-up at Staples

I got a coupon in the mail for a free in-store PC tune-up at Staples. Bring your PC in with this coupon and they will perform a tune-up that typically would cost $39.95. This includes dust removal, hardware inspection, virus/security analysis, Windows maintenance and cleanup, and performance recommendations.

First person to email me will receive this. Coupon expires Saturday, so email me and be ready to get your PC to Staples!

EDIT: Claimed!! We'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Your Blood Alcohol Content

The manager of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa, was arrested for driving while impaired last evening.

He registered a .09 on the "Breathalyzer", which is over Florida's limit (and New Jersey's) .08 limit.

Ever wonder how many drinks make you unfit to drive? This web site has a form that you fill out to find out.

For example, a 110 lb female who has four beers in two hours would be legally drunk per our state laws and arrested!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Global Incidents

This is a Web site I found that is a list of all the creepy stuff happening in the world - bomb scares, acts of terrorism, etc.

I am surprised how many of these you don't hear about in the news. For example, in the last 24 hours, there have been 3 issues with bombs found...in the United States.

I was truly shocked at this site, but it is certainly interesting, though scary on some level.


Speaking with an actual human being!

Isn't it annoying to visit a Web site and not have a phone number to speak with an actual human being?

Someone had the same idea, so he's put together a list of phone numbers for all sorts of major companies. On top of that, he's also tells you how to get an actual human being, and get past the voice response systems (To do this, press 1. To do this other thing, press 2)


Friday, March 09, 2007

Daylight Savings bug?

Will this weekend prove to be a problem?

Since the Daylight Savings in the United States was changed, it sounds as if this might cause some problems with computer clocks.

Home users are unlikely to see an issue, but there are worries that things might happen.

I doubt it, but we shall see what happens.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Free after Rebate: Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 is free after rebate at Amazon.com. It costs $49.99 out of pocket, with free shipping. There are $50 worth of rebates. This must be purchased before 3/10 to qualify for both rebates.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 on Amazon

Friday, March 02, 2007

Goodbye, CompUSA

CompUSA is closing over half of their stores. It seems as if this includes the Totowa, NJ store (closest to our location).

I always feel like less competition is worse for the consumer, so it's a very sad farewell.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

A new computer virus outbreak

It's been a while since we've had a computer virus outbreak.

This one has a twist. You have a hacker with a vendetta against one of the anti-virus companies (in this case, Norton/Symantec), and he's modified an old virus to attack this anti-virus program.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

No Wikipedia, says Middlebury College

It had to happen eventually.

One college has banned students from using Wikipedia as a source in research papers. Is this a good idea? Who knows, but this decision has been made.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Free Stuff at Staples: 2/18 - 2/24

Staples has some things that are free after rebate this week:

McAfee Internet Security 2007
Panda Internet Security 2007
Peachtree Pro Accounting 2007
ATS 2.4ghz phone
Universal remote
Sterling 56K modem

If you don't have a Firewall and Virus Scanner installed on your machine, this is a good week to pick one up.

Staples Ad for this week

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Free Electronic Tutoring. Seriously.

The school entered in to an agreement with a group to allow all of you students to get free online tutoring in the following courses:
  • Writing
  • Math (from the developmental level through Calc II)
  • Accounting
  • Biology (including Anatomy & Physiology)
  • Chemistry
  • Information Literacy (and Research Methods)
  • Spanish
  • Statistics

    This is a very interesting step, and for free, it's a great thing to do.

    Your username is your PCCC user name and your initial password is the last 6 digits of your social security number.

    Try it out today!
  • Campus Events: Nets Tickets for $15

    Student Activities is hosting a trip to the Meadowlands for the Nets versus the Heat. Tickets for students are $15 - this is a good price - and the school is providing a bus from Ellison Street.

    Tickets go on sale in the Student Activities Office (near the Security office) on February 19th.

    Here are the game details:

    Thursday, March 15, 2007, 7:30 pm
    Bus Departs from Ellison street 5:15pm

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Free Campus Event: Mind Reader

    There is a mind reader coming to PCCC.

    His name is Robert Channing, and he will be here on February 15, 2007 at 1:00 PM (until 2:30 PM) in the Theater.

    From his Web site, RobertChanning.com, he looks very impressive.

    For free, it sounds like it's worth checking out!

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    School Stuff: Free Math Workshops

    Received via email. Thought some of you might have interest!

    MA 005, MA 006 and MA007

    Do you need extra help?

    Every Tuesday

    Room U 303 (Pruden Building)

    9:00- 10:00

    Conducted by Prof. Eshrat Sahafian

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    Blind patrons sue Target for site inaccessibility

    Do Web sites have to be usable for people who are blind?

    You might think no, but people are suing Target, saying that the Web site doesn't work with screen readers that they use to "read" Web pages.


    Should Web sites be required to set up their Web sites this way? This is an answer the courts will apparently decide.

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Free 2 GB USB flash drive after rebate

    Buy.com has the Connect 3D 2GB USB Drive for free after rebate. You buy it at the web site, select BUDGET SHIPPING on checkout (which is free), and then after it arrives, fill out the rebate form, and get your $50.00 back.

    Link to deal on buy.com

    Link to rebate form

    This offer is likely a very limited time offer.

    EDIT: As of Friday at 12:30, they are SOLD OUT. Nothing to do but wait for the next one, I suppose!

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Honorable Nicholas G. Mandak Memorial Scholarship

    The Passaic County Bar Association is pleased to sponsor the Honorable Nicholas G. Mandak Memorial Scholarship.
    The Honorable Nicholas G. Mandak Memorial Scholarship is open to any student residing in Passaic County, attending college to undertake a course of study in the law, criminal justice, paralegal education, and classes for Police or Sheriff's officers. In addition, eligible students may not have already been receiving or awarded a full tuition scholarship or waiver of tuition or fees from another source.
    The criteria for the scholarship is to complete an application demonstrating need, together with any additional information which addresses any special needs or circumstances which you believe should be brought to the attention of the Foundation, as well as two letters of recommendation. Official college transcripts, school activities and extracurricular activities will also be considered.
    Applications can be obtained from the Office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Office - A202A, (973) 684-6309 or from the Public Safety Academy (Wayne campus).
    The completed application with all accompanying information must be returned to the Passaic County Bar Foundation by February 28, 2007.

    Datatel Scholars Foundation Scholarship

    Posted this earlier, but the scholarship deadline is approaching!

    The Datatel Scholars Foundation is pleased to announce its 2007 - 2008 academic year scholarship competition. Four unique scholarships are being offered, ranging in value from $1000 to $2500.
    Datatel Scholarships Foundation scholarships - are awarded to outstanding students currently attending Datatel client institutions (PCCC is a Datatel client institution).
    Angelfire scholarships - is presented to outstanding students who served in the Asian theater (Vietnam, Laos, and/or Cambodia) between 1964 and 1975. Spouses and children of Vietnam veterans, and refugees of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are also eligible. In addition, scholarships are awarded to military personnel who have served in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Returning Student scholarships - provides assistance to current outstanding students who have returned to higher education after an absence of five years or more.
    Nancy Goodhue Lynch scholarships - are awarded to outstanding undergraduate students majoring in information technology related curriculum programs.
    Please encourage students to apply early and allow their recommenders enough time to write their letters of support.
    The online application will remain open for submissions until JANUARY 31, 2007 - 5:00 P.M. (EST). The website is http://www.datatel.com/global/scholarships/applicants.cfm

    Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ Scholarship

    The Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ has available multiple scholarships of up to $4000 each to be awarded to students attending college full-time during the 2007 - 2008 academic year.
    Eligibility Criteria
    Each applicant must be:
    * Hispanic (one parent must be fully Hispanic).
    * A U.S. Citizen or a legal permanent resident.
    * A permanent resident of New Jersey.
    * A full-time college freshman in the Fall 2007, carrying 15 credits per semester & have a GPA of 3.0.
    Applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2007.
    Ed Pagan, Business Faculty is a member of this organization. Students can be directed to his office H211, Hamilton Hall or call (973) 684-5324, or student can obtain an application from the Office of the Assitant Dean for Student Affairs, A202A.

    Saturday, January 20, 2007

    First Scholarship of the Spring semester

    Just received this via email...this seems like a good scholarship for our CIS majors, as well as Business majors.

    Accenture Junior & Community College Scholarship Program
    Program Guidelines
    Accenture has established a scholarship program to assist junior & community college students who plan to pursue a baccalaurete degree in high technology and business fields. Renewable scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited four-year college or university of the student's choice. If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $5,000 award.
    Applicants to the Accenture Junior & Community College Scholarship Program must be students who -
    * Are currently enrolled at an accredited two-year junior or community college.
    * Plan to transfer to an accredited four-year college or university in the fall 2007 as a full-time student majoring in
    high technology or business fields.
    * Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    * Possess required qualifications and work authorization which does not require sponsorship by Accenture for a
    Deadline for applying is February 15, 2007.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Site Updates

    Google's blogger.com service finally has come out of beta. What this means is that I now have some neat new features that I have to investigate. One of the interesting ones is the ability to use labels. For example, I will be able to label things related to hacking with the label hacking, and you would be able to click on that and get a list of all hacking related articles.

    Of course, that means going back and editing past posts, so we'll see how quickly I get around to that - but at least for future articles I will use this feature.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Hacking to Change Grades

    Pay someone to change your grades!

    It sounds like a great idea, doesn't it?

    Well, two people got caught in a plan very much like this one in Cherry Hill, NJ:


    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Felician College: Application Fee Waiver

    I received an application fee waiver form for Felician College. It says "Give this voucher to a friend or family member to waive the application fee."

    If anyone is planning on transferring there, please let me know, and I will give you the form. I have one available - first person to claim the form (by emailing me) gets it!

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Saving money on books...

    I had posted earlier in the year about how to save money on books for your classes. If you order now, you should be able to get your books online for prices cheaper than the bookstore.

    Here's the original post. Note that the coupon code mentioned there does not work now, but you do still get free shipping on orders over $25.