Friday, November 28, 2008

When Black Friday goes bad...

Tragedy struck today at the Wal-Mart in Long Island - as they opened at 5:00 am, the worker who opened the door was trampled to death by a crowd of people who were eager to get in and get to the door busters.


It's kind of interesting that as the economy gets worse, people have become a little more desperate, and it just reminds me of when I visited a friend's family in the Dominican Republic. There wasn't this need for "stuff" that we have here. I do wonder why we have such a need for "stuff" in this country.

That doesn't mean I didn't get a few decent deals this year, but I ended up deciding I didn't need the big HD TV yet.

Web Link:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Child porn in our library!

One of the great parts about our community college is that it is a relatively open environment. In other words, someone doesn't have to be a student to come on campus. This is a great way to serve the community, as a community college should do.

Of course, problem arise when someone decides to use those resources to do something stupid.

Someone (who was not a student by the way) was recently arrested in our school's library for downloading pornography in our library...and not only just pornography, but the most vile (and also illegal) kind, child pornography. He's apparently been doing this for five years. What I wonder the most is this - HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE THIS? Forgive the capital letters, but come on. The thing that should be done in this situation is that someone needs to say something. Just remember this - you have the right to not be subjected to this. People miss this idea - you have more of a right not to be offended than someone does to get their kicks looking at objectionable material in our public labs. Don't ever be afraid to say something.

What people do in their own homes, on the other hands, is another thing entirely.

Web Link:
Thanks to Sue for the heads up!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gravitational Constant

In one of the more bizarre things I've heard of, a Florida teen committed suicide this evening live, via Webcam.

As someone who grew up in a less than supportive family environment, I can relate to the desire to escape, but it always pains me to see people choose suicide as an answer. A friend of mine, Rick Cook, committed suicide in high school, and I remember how it affected people who weren't even close to him. I suppose we don't realize in our teenage years how much we affect the world...or maybe we do. The sad part is that this teenager probably had people who would have dropped things to prevent the loss of life.

In this life, folks, there are some things we can undo, but suicide is never anything we can undo, and I hope Abraham has found peace in whatever afterlife exists, if any.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spring 2009 - My Schedule

As always, when I know my schedule, I post it for you. I have my Spring 2009 schedule in hand:

Section Name and Title Meeting Information
CIS-101-IW COMPUTER CONCEPTS/APPLIC Tuesday, Thursday 11:45AM - 01:00PM, Paterson
CIS-125-A1 MICROCOMPUTER SOFTWARE I Monday, Wednesday 11:45AM - 01:00PM, WANAQUE
CIS-152-01 INTERNET/E-COMMERCE TECH. Tuesday, Thursday 10:20AM - 11:35AM, Paterson
CIS-273-E1 WEB GRAPHICS Thursday 07:05PM - 09:35PM, HAMILTON HALL, Paterson
CIS-294-01 CIS INTERNSHIP Days to be Announced, Times to be Announced, Room to be Announced
CIS-295-04 Capstone Course Days to be Announced, Times to be Announced, Room to be Announced

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Friday 2008 - feel the excitement!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My favorite holiday of the year is almost upon us. No, it's not one of the ones you are thinking, it's Black Friday.

Black Friday is, of course, the day after Thanksgiving, where stores have crazy deals and lines at 5:00 in the morning. With the economy where it is, some companies seem to have put together some deals that are really exciting.

There are so many places with so many deals, and even in better economic times, it has always been fun to go out and get some of them.

You'll notice many stores have two types of sales - "early bird" specials (show up before a certain time), and all day specials.

One of the beautiful things about the Internet is that a lot of this information gets posted early. I've been so busy lately that I haven't gotten the chance to really plan out what I want to do, but there are a ton of deals to be had. For example, I've been visiting for years, and they post the deals that are out there, and trust me, there are pages of them. Kohl's, for example, has over 500 sale items this year.

It's worth the one day of getting up early for me to get deals on stuff I want to buy anyway. I am considering an iPhone, but I haven't seen any Black Friday deals for that yet...and I have a few other things that I would get for the right price (for example, a Blu-Ray DVD player).

Plan now, and save!

Web Link:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Scheduling Disk Defragmenter

I've discussed the Windows disk defragmenter in class recently, and some students asked if there is a way to automate this so that it runs for you. I've done a little researching on it, and it turns out that it's not as simple as one might hope. They've made it easier in Vista, but in the XP version of the operating system, it's a little bit more of a task. I've taken steps from the Microsoft Web site and made them a little clearer, I hope.
  1. Click on the Start Menu
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Double-click Scheduled Tasks (or, if you are using the "Category" view, click on "Performance and Maintenance", and then click Scheduled Tasks)
  4. Double-click Add Scheduled Task
  5. On the Scheduled Task Wizard dialog, click Next
  6. Click Browse
  7. Copy and paste the following line in to the dialog box:
  8. Click Open
  9. Click Next
  10. Select how often you wish Disk Defragmenter to run (recommended: once a month)
  11. Click Next
  12. Pick a time to run (a time the machine is on but a time you are not using it)
  13. Click Next
  14. Click Next
  15. Enter a user name under which the Disk Defragmenter scheduled task will run. Note: This user must be an administrator on the local machine.
  16. Enter the password for the user you entered in the previous step
  17. Confirm the password for the user
  18. Click Next
  19. Check "Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish"
  20. Click Finish
  21. In the Run text box, you should see the full path and command for defrag.exe. By default, this path is C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\defrag.exe
  22. Copy and paste the following line in to the box, or simply add the C: at the end
    C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\defrag.exe C: /noprompt
  23. Click OK
  24. In the Set Account Information dialog, re-enter and confirm the password for the user listed in Run as
  25. Click OK
Oddly enough, most other programs (backup, disk cleanup) can be scheduled there easily...seems like the disk defragmenter was just overlooked.

The original article can be found here:

Monday, November 10, 2008


As you may have noticed, Barack Obama handily won the election last week. Though not as much of a landslide as the 1984 election, it was still a strong victory for Obama.

One of the first things that has already come down is that Obama has arranged for a Web site,, where people can share their concerns and visions for America's future. It's an excellent idea, and though there are sure to be many silly things sent in and posted, it also provides an open door that the American people, and that's an admirable thing.

President Obama's first act may be to anoint himself closer for the Chicago White Sox.

Web Link:

Thanks to Chris B. for the heads up!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Microsoft Free Second Shot on Certification Exams

Microsoft is giving students a free "second shot" on selected computer certification exams. What this means is that if you fail a certification test, you can get a second chance for free. This is an excellent opportunity if you are going for a first certification.

Note that this offer only applies to the "72" series exams, so this does NOT apply to the Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access exams (MCAP, formerly MOS).

You can sign up on Microsoft's Web site:

If you are planning on getting a certification exam, this is a nice, cost effective option in case you make a mistake or two your first time around. Just remember - if you combine a degree with some certifications, it shows an employer a lot, and can help your resume to float towards the top of a pile.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

You're no longer being followed

So, you think you are safe, and you are a Verizon home Internet user. If Verizon wanted to, they technically had the right until recently to watch and record your Internet usage - what sites you are visiting, what you are downloading, etc.

The article I've linked below points out that many people tend to overestimate how secure they are in terms of their Internet Service Providers. At least some of the ISPs have agreed that they should not be tracking their users without their consent. (Now, if they bury that on page 415 of their contract, I am sure they would consider that "consent", but that's a different story altogether)

The next target for the government should be some of the companies that track you via cookies. There are many programs (such as Lavasoft's Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy) that will get rid of the bad cookies...but if we take a step back, why should we have bad cookies on our machines at all? The problem is that the government is a few steps behind.

They seem to be catching up at least.

Web Links:

Thanks to Sue for the heads up!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Tomorrow, November 4th, is of course Election Day. I've personally already voted, through the magic of absentee ballots in NJ. Why? Well, the state of New Jersey allows anyone to vote through an absentee ballot, and I figure my Tuesdays are busy, so I decided to go that route. It would be too late to do it for this election, but if you want to do that in the future, I'll provide a link below.

In terms of who you should vote for, well that is your personal decision, and I respect it. Even in an election where you don't like either candidate, it's always good to vote for SOMEONE - even if it is a third party candidate. The reason? Democrats and Republicans will spend tons of money trying to figure out how to convert you to vote for them next time.

In the latest NJ Governor election, for example, I decided not to vote for either major party candidate - not because I didn't have a favorite, but because both Corzine and Forrester campaigned negatively. I decided that neither of them deserved my vote, so I voted for Hector Castillo, a third party candidate who was running on a campaign of education reform.

If someone wants to represent me, they should stick to what is positive about them and not post campaign ads. If I hadn't already voted, one of the local candidates I already voted for would have lost my vote - there is some "mudslinging" going on all over the place.

If you want unbiased facts about someone, I always find to have good information. They take Barack Obama and John McCain as impartially as they treat Jeffrey Boss, a third party candidate who is running on the campaign that he saw the US Government plan the September 11th attacks and writes IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS on his campaign Web site, and that's the way it should be.

Vote, for whoever you think would be the best president, not for who you think is going to win, as my friend Emma said.

Web Links: