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Sadly,  I knew the day would come for this post. After several years of Facebook the time has come to bail out. This decision has not come without much thought and consideration.

Let me begin by saying that for the most part, I enjoyed the early Facebook approach of social networking primarily for the purpose of keeping up with family and friends far and wide. I never played “Farmville” or the various other games available on FB. Perhaps if I was retired, I would feel better able to justify spending time in that way. Maybe its just a personal thing but I never liked using FB to share photos. It just felt too sloppy or frivolous compared to the Picasa Web Album approach. Now, since this post is about my personal decision to say goodbye to Facebook, I am REALLY GLAD  I stuck with Picasa Web Albums!

You may be wondering what has caused me to come to this decision. Actually, I have been leaning toward leaving FB for quite some time but two recent incidents have pushed me to the point that the time is now. I was looking through a FB friend’s info and saw he liked a few facebook pages. I clicked on one of those to see what it was about. There it was, a full fledged pornographic image. I doubt my FB friend even knew it was there and it might not be anymore since the owner of the page may have removed it by now. The second incident is the recent news report of a major spam attack. Click>  FB SPAM  If a friend’s FB account gets hijacked by a spammer, keep in mind that you don’t really have to click on anything to see the images. They will show in their normal status update.

To sum this up, I have basically come to the conclusion that the benefits of Facebook no longer outweigh the risk. Personally speaking, the risk factor has become too great.

 I plan to close down my FB account possibly as early as tomorrow. For now, I will do my “social networking” on Google+. A number of friends are already there. If you don’t already use Google+ it would be great to see you there too!

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The cloud revolution continues….

I had been hearing about the new music system by Google called “Music Beta”. I requested an invitation to sign up for it a few weeks ago. A few days ago I received my invitation to join and of course I did! All I can say is wow. At last a great home and solution for all of your music. Never worry about losing music to a crashed hard drive or MP3 player. Never need to re-purchase music due to a scratched or lost CD. Or a CD you loaned to someone and never got it back. The really great thing about the service is that it will play on any device with an internet connection. Just sign in to your Music Beta account on your smartphone or any PC with a broadband connection and all your albums appear and are ready to play. You can even create custom playlists.  Once again Google comes through with yet another awesome, technological wonder!

One of the things that is changing in technology is how videos are viewed. The old way involved using DVD’s. Putting footage on a DVD is soon going to be a thing of the past and that includes home created videos. Our niece got married in Alabama a month ago and she wanted the video I captured from the wedding using my Canon HG20 high def. camcorder.  I used windows live movie maker to create the video using footage as well as a few snapshots. The final video file size ended up being over 5 gigabytes since I used the high quality widescreen ratio! This will not fit on a standard blank DVD. The other problem was the fact that time was critical. She needed it for a reception they were having while in Ohio. I ended up getting her to download it over the internet using an FTP program. I set up a user ID and password that allowed her to access and download  it from my NAS (network attached storage) box here at home to the PC she was using in Ohio. I think it took all night to download! Download speeds depend on my upload speed and her download speed. She did tell me today that the file successfully came through.  I considered privately uploading the video to youtube but viewing it that way would require a fast and available internet connection. Someday I predict there will be a nationwide, blazing fast, wireless, broadband connection. This will make uploading, sharing, and viewing, high def. videos much simpler.

I had my new phone, the highly acclaimed “Droid”, for over a month before even trying out it’s music capabilities. To sum it up with one word I would have to say the word is “incredible”! I never saw anything so simple and easy to work with. Just plug it into your computer via it’s USB cable and copy MP3 music right on the phone. It automatically sorts your music by albums etc. I even bought and download the latest Doyle Lawson gospel album that I have wanted for over a year now. It was only $5.00 at Amazon to download the whole album directly to my Droid! I really believe cd’s, will become extinct soon. All music with be listened to on some sort of flash drive or other removable memory. Brendon got me a really comfortable ear bud set for Christmas that works great with this Droid. Thanks!

So far I have about 6 albums on my phone with plenty of room to spare on the 16gig card that came with the phone.  Click below for the album by DL&Q that I referred to above…

Click > Help Is On The Way

Somebody was about to throw a computer into a dumpster the other day but before they did, they asked if I had any use for it. I nearly told them to forget it since I could tell by first glance that it was at least 9 or 10 years old! For some reason, I decided to take it home and see if it could be salvaged to maybe use up at the school for minor tasks like typing etc. When I first plugged it in and powered it on, it slowly sputtered to life and began to boot into Windows XP. Now this old PC did not come with Win XP but apparently had been upgraded to it from Win98 or maybe Win ME. After a long time, perhaps 5 minutes, it finally managed to load the desktop. It seemed like trying to open anything after that was nearly impossible. Could barely get control panel to open or even to run a system tool like disk clean up or defrag. Then I suddenly noticed an AOL 9.0 icon among the others. The crazy thing is, and I am not making this up, somebody had renamed the AOL icon “Worst Internet”! I have been suspicious of AOL causing major performance issues with computers for quite some time now. What happened next once again confirmed my theory. I proceeded to go into add/remove programs and uninstall all the AOL stuff off of the computer. They included: the AOL 9.0 program, AOL connectivity services, port magic, and any other references to AOL. After these removals the PC prompted to be restarted. Wow you should have seen that old PC come back to life! The time to boot up into XP was a fraction of what it had been and suddenly, I could navigate in and out of stuff with decent speed.

Conclusion:

If you are one of the few that still use AOL, especially if you have broadband and even if you are on dial-up, there is a better, cleaner, (less ads) and faster way to navigate the internet and email. It will also give your computer a good boost to have all that AOL bloatware removed. I have a 5-6 year old Compaq desktop running Win XP that is still working reasonably well for basic email and internet use. Not having AOL on it has helped to make the difference I am sure.

To help get you through the switch, this site is very helpful>  Make The Switch