Background

I recently purchased a Seagate 1TB Gaming SSHD SATA 8GB NAND SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000LM014) (FYI:  this is an Amazon affiliate link) in hopes to provide my wife’s old Gateway NV79 laptop a new lease on life.

Here’s some background:

  1. The existing drive was still functional and served as the root drive (drive C).
  2. It had a capacity of 500GB but was short on space due to the massive amount of photos my wife was saving on her existing desktop.
  3. These photos are priceless.  I can’t imagine losing these pictures as they are irreplaceable.

Here’s what I planned in order to get the new drive to take over without having to redo everything (from re-installing the operating system and re-installing all her existing applications):

  1. Do a backup of her profile, along with all her files, create a recovery image of the system, and create a system repair disk
  2. Remove the old disk drive, then install the new larger disk drive
  3. Boot of the recovery/repair disk and restore the system image
  4. Done

Backing Up User Profile/Create System Image/Create System Repair disk

Using Windows 7’s built-in backup and restore utility, I proceeded to do three things:

  1. Backup my wife’s user files
  2. Create a System Image
  3. Create a System Repair Disk

Backup My Wife’s User Files

Of utmost importance is to first ensure my wife’s priceless photographs are safe.  To do this, I purchased a Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 (STEB5000100) (FYI:  This is an Amazon.com affiliate link).  This should serve me well for storing file backups as well as the system image I will be creating in the next section.

To launch Windows 7 Backup and Restore utility, click START, then in the search field enter “backup and restore” and this will show the Backup and Restore utility.  Select it to open.  You should see this simple utility interface pop up:

Backup and Restore Utility

Backup and Restore Utility

Now click Set up backup and follow the prompts.  You should see a screen just like below.  In the image, you see arrows pointing to potential backup destinations.  In this particular example, my 5TB USB drive isn’t connected, but if it was, it would show up as another disk drive with over 4.5 TB of free space.  That was the drive I actually selected for my backup destination.

Target Backup Destination Drive

Target Backup Destination Drive

In general, you will want to select the target drive with sufficient space to take on large backups.  After you select the destination drive, click Next and follow the prompts.  At a certain point, you will have the opportunity to change any default settings, but in general, unless you really know what you are doing, you can leave default settings as they are.  Then invoke the backup now.  Depending how much data you have, it could take anywhere from several minutes to a few hours.  Mine took a few hours (around 3 hours I think).

Create a System Image

During the backup process, you will have the option to select to have a system image made.  Make sure to set that.  I did this to save myself a lot of time doing software and driver re-installs.  Believe me, it is worth it.

Note that I had problems creating a system image.  I figured that this was due to not having enough disk space left on the root drive (drive C) as my wife’s photos used up most of the disk drive space.  Having backed up the photos, I proceeded to delete all her photo folders.  This was a scary thing because at this point, I am putting my trust in Microsoft’s backup utility to save me should something go south with this process.  After doing this, I was able to build a system image.

Create a System Repair Disk

When the system finishes creating both the user file backups and the system image, it will prompt you about creating a system repair disk.  I opted to do this.  I readied my DVD-R disc; it takes one.

Remove Old Disk Drive and Install New One

At this point in time, I turned off the computer and removed the old disk drive and placed the new one.

Use System Repair Disk to Restore the Saved System Image

This is where the actual recovery process begins.  Before I using the system repair disk, I configured the system BIOS to seek the DVD drive first as the boot device, then pressed F10 to save and exit the BIOS setup. I placed my system repair disk in the DVD drive my Gateway NV79, then restarted the computer by simply turning it OFF then turning it ON.

The laptop began to boot from the DVD and determined that I will be doing an image restore.  At this point, I still had my 5TB external USB drive connected to the laptop.  After the utility gets started, you will opt to restore from an image.

It was at this point that I encountered the error that the system could not restore the image because the system repair disk says “No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found.”  After seeing this, I thought perhaps I needed to match the partition configuration of the original drive, so I ran diskpart.exe and tried this.  It didn’t work.  After trying a few things that didn’t work, I finally gave in by doing a search on google.  I found the answer at answers.microsoft.com.  It turns out, all I needed to do on the disk drive was to run diskpart.exe, select the drive, and invoke CLEAR on it.

After I did this, the image restore process worked as it should have in the first place.

Everything that was on the original disk drive was restored, less the photos.

To fix this, I simply invoked the file/folder restore within the backup and restore utility and selected the photo folders to be restored.

Conclusion

What I thought was going to be a routine process turned out to be one heck of an effort.  What really screwed me up was Windows 7 image restore now working the way it should in the first place without having to execute the DISKPART utility’s CLEAR command on the new drive.

 

On July 29, 2015, Microsoft released the long awaited Windows 10.  Anyone who has Windows  7 or higher gets the upgrade for free.  This is a great move for Microsoft in order to quickly get the masses to move over to their supposedly last main Windows version.  From here on, Windows 10 users will get updates much like apps get updates.

Anyway, overall the update from Windows 7 to 10 on my computer went pretty smooth.  The main hiccup during the update was mainly to the process of switching to an online Microsoft account as the computer login.  I followed the steps as prompted, yet the process would just take me around in circles, always coming back to asking me for the my Microsoft account, my password and looking like it was going to work.

I got tired of trying to make it work, so I just cancelled out of it and restarted my computer. Then it happened.  It prompted me to login using my online Microsoft account.  I typed my password and was able to get into my desktop.

S0 far all the programs I use on it are working except for the PC version of Minecraft.  After the upgrade launching Minecraft causes the error “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000018).”

At first I thought that I needed to update my version of JAVA.  I did that but the error continued.  Then I did a search on the web for that error message and I found my answer at http://goo.gl/0iUKo2.  I asked that you delete the Windows registry entry APPINIT_DLLS located at:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\­Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windo­­ws

After I deleted that entry and restarted Windows, I was again able to run the PC version of Minecraft on my computer.  Note that I’m not 100% sure if this issue was caused by the update to Windows 10 because I installed the BETA version of Minecraft for Windows 10 before trying to run the PC version.  Regardless, if you happen to run into this issue, the solution requires the deletion of the APPINIT_DLLS parameter located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\­Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windo­­ws.

Thanks for reading.  Let me know by commenting below when you started experiencing this issue when launching the PC version of Minecraft.

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Cloud Storage (photo credit: Forlanda)

I’ve meant to write about this for some time.  Now is as good a time ever, especially with the recent release of Google Drive.

As of this writing, you can get several Gigabytes of cloud storage for free.  Yes “FREE”.  Everyone likes free, and this article will list several places where you can get anywhere from 2GB to 7GB of free space.

These sites offer free storage in the “cloud”:

There is another cloud storage solution called the Adrive  which provides 50GB free.  This is not a typo, it is 50GB of free storage, web interface only though with ads.  There is an app for it on Android OS, but it’s not free.

Each solution below supports the following platforms:
  • Dropbox:  Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Skydrive:  Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac
  • Google drive:    Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Amazon cloud drive:  Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Apple’s iCloud:  Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac
 Sign up for cloud storage now if you don’t have one.

Word of advice…only put files there that aren’t confidential in nature, or information you cannot afford to lose.  Also backup your cloud files to a separate external USB drive.  It will help ensure you aren’t caught unprepared if your cloud storage provider all of a sudden dissolves.

Are you using other cloud storage solution?  If so, please share.

This is it.  The last post that will complete the 101 websites that may be worth seeing before you die.  Here you go:

  1. http://savethewords.org/ – Yes.  An interesting site which looks like a massive board with thousands of words posted on it.  The idea is to save words that no longer are used by adopting a word and spreading the word.
  2. http://notpron.org/notpron/levelone.htm – No. This is just a remake of some adventure game or something similar using the power of the Internet.
  3. http://games.adultswim.com/robot-unicorn-attack-twitchy-online-game.html – No.  This is just another video game.  Video games generally can suck precious time from your life.  So, go on…skip this on.
  4. http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/play/index.html – No.  If you like playing checkers against a computer, then maybe “yes.”
  5. http://enigmasand.com/ – Yes.  Neat experiment on sand dynamics.
  6. http://inception.davepedu.com/ – No.  Useless.
  7. http://www.xrez.com/yose_proj/yose_deepzoom/index.html –  Yes.  A good way to check out Yosemite.
  8. http://www.dearjohn.com/generate.php – No.  Simplistic.  Don’t need it.
  9. http://www.phonespell.org/phonespell.html – No.  Don’t need this site to come up with words for your phone number.
  10. http://stereomood.com/ – Yes.  An easy way to find music to your mood.
  11. http://moodstream.gettyimages.com/ – Yes.  Another way to help find the right music and image mood.
  12. http://lab.wx3.com/defender/ – Yes.  Neat little game and good background music to boot.
  13. http://www.asdfjklsemicolon.com/ – No.  This is a totally useless site.  It is as good as the previous site–twocansandstring.com (also made by the same person.  I’m not sure how it even made it to the Maximum PC article.  Go figure.
  14. http://www.twocansandstring.com/ – No.  Looks boring.  It’s a way to chat anonymously.  You can ask questions and answer people’s questions.
  15. http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl – Yes, if you are into cats and Hitler.
  16. http://kevan.org/proce55ing/zombies/ – Yes.  You need to see this one so that you know that if we actually had a zombie infection, how fast that infection would spread.  Fortunately there is no such thing as “zombies.”
  17. http://www.dontevenreply.com/ – No.  If you are like me, you have enough emails to read.  This site has email thread archives of some communication exchange.  I suppose it is supposed to be humorous and entertaining, but not in this format.  It feels too much like reading email for work.
  18. http://alpha61.com/primenumbershittingbear/ – No.  Absolutely no.  Don’t even waste your time clicking the link.
  19. http://marriedtothesea.com/ – No.  It is somewhat entertaining, but you could probably live not even visiting this site.  They seem to be focusing in selling you their merchandise.
  20. http://theoatmeal.com/ – Yes.  Very entertaining.  Some pages are explicit, so it may not be good for kids to see.
  21. http://www.wordle.net/ – Yes.  You need this site to get the gist of the underlying message of any written communication.  This site will create a world cloud from an input of text.  Try doing this on President Obama’s job plan speech (last 9/8/2011) and you’ll see that what stands out are the following words:  right, now, tax, jobs, Americans.
  22. http://htwins.net/scale/ – Yes.  Absolutely yes.  This site gives you a good perspective on how insignificant we are in the universe, and how massive it is.  If this doesn’t prove there is a god, nothing will.  This site has a slider that allows you to zoom in or out to see various objects with their relative size and scale.
  23. http://www.sealandgov.org/ – No.  This is just a web site for Sea Land.  If you are into royalty, this may be the site for you, but definitely not me.
  24. http://graphjam.memebase.com/ – No.  No big deal.  The site seems a bit busy.  It does have some interesting graphs.
  25. http://bit.ly/eBk8rq – shows all of the above links.  If you wish to save time trying to find all the links, this is definitely a site to see before you die.
I’m not sure about you, but I think there are other sites out there worth looking at before you die.  If you have one to suggest, please comment below.

Best Websites

source: Salvatore Vuono, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is part 3 of a 4 part post regarding the February 2011 issue of Maximum PC which touts 101 websites you need to see before you die.  In this article, I will continue to post my opinion regarding another 25 websites.

  1. http://hatsproductions.com/organtrail.html – No.  I would only recommend this site if you have time to kill, because this website page is basically a video game using graphics and technology based on 1970’s technology.
  2. http://machinarium.net/demo – Yes.  Even if you aren’t a computer game aficionado, you’ll at least appreciate the artwork and interesting puzzles here.
  3. http://www.playauditorium.com – Yes.  Great eye and ear candy for a different angle on puzzle games.
  4. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/ – Yes.  This is a site which promotes data visualization, especially ones that look beautiful.
  5. http://tokyoplastic.com/dm.html – Yes.  Awesome animation and sound!
  6. http://experiments.instrum3nt.com/markmahoney/ball/# – Yes (just once though).  This is another Chrome experiment.  It illustrates how multiple browser windows can inter operate through the use of a bouncing ball.
  7. http://www.chromeexperiments.com – Yes.  You’ll need WebGL capable display card to view these visual array of artwork.
  8. http://www.kokogiak.com– Yes.  This guys has some interesting projects.  I won’t mention what they are.  Just go and check it out.
  9. http://seaquence.org  – Yes.  This is an interesting way of composing and presenting music.
  10. http://failblog.org – Yes.  This is one of the most well known sites (especially on YouTube).  It is very entertaining because it is so much like America’s Funniest Videos.
  11. http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements – Yes.  This ought to help you decide which vitamins to get at Costco.  The visual data representation and the ability to filter on areas of concern make it easy to determine which one really is snake-oil.
  12. http://www.verbatim.jp/senshuken/ – Yes.  Very addicting game!!! Be careful.
  13. http://virtual-bubblewrap.com – No.  Not quite as good as the real thing.
  14. http://www.youtube.com/trivialpursuit – No.  Unfortunately I don’t speak Spanish.  So, this site is a definite NO.
  15. http://www.kongregate.com/games/pastelgames/the-trader-of-stories – Yes.  This is like reading an interactive comic book.  The game is an adventure.  There is no real time graphics, but between the sound and the awesome artwork, it makes for an entertaining play.
  16. http://www.yourethemannowdog.com/ – No.  Useless.
  17. http://www.willitblend.com/ – Yes.  This is an interesting way to promote an awesome blender.  I could use a blender like that.
  18. http://www.icanhascheezburger.com – Maybe.  If you like cats and burgers, just maybe you’ll love this site.
  19. http://amzn.to/7whhld – No.  This link appears to be dead.
  20. http://armorgames.com/play/4309/this-is-the-only-level – Yes.  You’ll be entertained by the game at this site for a little bit, but you’ll soon realize there is only one level in this game.
  21. http://periodictable.com/ – Yes.  I wish they had this when I was taking chemistry during college.  It sure would have given me a better sense of what all these elements were.
  22. http://firstpersontetris.com/ – No.  This is just a tetris game where rotating the falling block isn’t what you do.  Instead, you rotate everything else to make the block or shape land the way it needs to be.  It makes you feel like you are in space doing tetris in zero gravity.  This is very disorienting.
  23. http://www.kongregate.com/games/icylime/multitask – No.  This is a waste of time.  If you like to torture yourself with useless multitasking activities, go for it.  At the end of the day, it changes nothing, except maybe that you may think how uncoordinated you might be.
  24. http://www.conveythis.com/translation.php – No.  This site is a translation site.  You don’t need this.  Google has its own translation function.
  25. http://www.amiblind.com/ – No.  Totally useless.
Please check out the last posting on this subject matter.  It is the last 25 websites.

 

This is a continuation of a posting (101 Websites worth seeing before you die.  Really? (part 1 of 4)) regarding an article I read on the February issue of Maximum PC.  In the article, it listed 101 websites that they say you ought to see before you die.  I beg to differ on some of the ones listed.  What do you think?

  1. http://demoscene.tv – No.  For some reason the videos on this site would not play.  I tried three different browsers.  If it actually worked for me, I might have a different opinion.
  2. http://www.pbfcomics.com – Yes.  Good entertaining short comic strips.  Look at a few and you’ll get a quick laugh.  A little laugh here and there is always a good thing.
  3. http://handdrawngames.com – Maybe.  If you like tower-defense like video games, you’ll like this.  WARNING!  This game can get addicting; you can end up wasting precious time playing this game.
  4. http://zombo.com – No, absolutely not.  A waste of time.  It seems just babble on and on about you being able to do anything at their site, when in fact, you can do nothing at their site.
  5. http://lparchive.org – No.  Seems to be an archive of old games, information about the, and some videos that show the look and feel of the game.
  6. http://tvtropes.org – Maybe.  If you are a fiction writer, this could be a good resource for you.  This is a wiki site, and it definitely has tons of information to spark writing ideas.
  7. http://autotopsy.ca – Yes.  Gives one a very good idea of circumstances anyone of us can be in before an unexpected collision.  The visuals and video are knit together to form a very cohesive presentation.
  8. http://web.mit.edu/~jmcmicha/www/globegenie – Yes.  You don’t have to physically travel to see the world.  This Google map-based web application allows you to virtually teleport and view the world.
  9. http://games.sticky.tv/cyrkam_airtos – No.  Lots of novelty here, but not enough to hold my attention.
  10. http://www.fasco-csc.com/works/crimson/crimson_e.php – Yes.  If you aren’t from the generation that was fortunate enough to see the birth of the personal computer age, this site will give you an appreciation for how that generation of programmers created mysteries, puzzle, and adventure games.
  11. http://www.tomscott.com/weather/starwars – Yes.  If you are a Star Wars fan, this is definitely where you will want to tune in for weather.  The site provides weather and temperature information that it tries to associate with the weather at a comparable location or planet.
  12. http://sketchup.google.com/3dwh/buildingmaker.html – Yes.  This allows you to see buildings from models created on Google maps by fellow browsers.
  13. http://maddox.xmission.com – Yes.  This is an entertaining blog of someone who claims he’s got the best web page in the universe.  If you are a sensitive or very politically correct, you can skip this site.
  14. http://www.angelfire.com/trek/caver – Yes.  This is an interesting blog by a caver.  If you read the logs and look at the pictures and images, you will almost feel claustrophobic.  If you don’t like tight places, I don’t recommend this.  The bad this about this log was that it was never finished.  Could it be that the caver perished?
  15. http://www.thefuckingweather.com – No.  I wouldn’t waste my time trying to get weather information from this site.
  16. http://www.ilovebees.com – NO.  The site is supposedly about some person who loves bees.  However, the site appears to be messed up. I hope it isn’t infected with some sort of mal-ware; and I hope my computer didn’t get infected.
  17. http://www.ugo.com/games/superhero-generator-heromachine-2-5 – Yes.  If you have ever thought of designing your own super hero, this site has templates and parts you can put together to create your very own super hero.
  18. http://www.photosynth.net/ – Yes.  This is actually a Microsoft site.  It allows you to get a 360 degree view of locations and objects.  The content are actually a synthesis of multiple photos to give one a panoramic view of the subject matter.  It is awesome, and it allows you the opportunity to contribute to the content.
  19.  http://recordtripping.com – No.  This site is a game.  I’m not quite sure what its objectives are, but the animation and audio sound pretty good.  Nevertheless, it felt like a waste of time.
  20. http://www.incredibox.fr – Yes.  This is an interesting way of composing a virtual church choir.
  21. http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com – Yes.  It is a good site to visit one time.  After the novelty wears out, you’ll just get tired watching the firm it automatically generated for your using the address you provided.
  22. http://balldroppings.com/js – Yes.  This is an interesting play on physics and sound.  Here you can control the rate at which the balls drop, the gravity, and the walls that the balls will encounter as they drop and bounce.
  23. http://doritoslatenight.com – This site is now closed.
  24. http://gettheglass.com – Yes.  It’s about milk.  The 3D animation board game can get addicting.  The kids will surely love playing this game.
  25. http://hotel626.com – Yes.  Check in to Hotel 626.  As the name implies, they are only open from 6pm to 6am.

best websites

credit: Salvatore Vuono

The February 2011 issue of Maximum PC has an article touting 101 websites you need to see before you die.  In this article, I will post the 101 links along with my opinion about whether it is really worth seeing.  This will be part 1 of 4 parts since there are 101 sites after all.

  1. http://ww.wechoosethemoon.org – Yes.  Make sure to see this site before you die.  The Apollo 11 mission to the moon is probably one of “the” greatest human accomplishments of the 20th century.  This site shows you the various stages Apollo 11 had to go through to land on the moon and return to earth.  The combination of animation and real footage gives you a good feel for that event.
  2. http://personas.media.mit.edu/ – Maybe.  It scours the Internet for information about the name you enter at the site.  When done it comes up with a graphical representation of your known persona.  You might as well see what kind of legacy online you will leave behind when you die.
  3.  http://www.wefeelfine.org – No.  It is a very visually luring site.  I’m not sure how it figures out the various information it is showing, but I imagine it has done some web searches on the web and has consolidated that information for visual representation.  Its content is definitely visually entertaining.
  4. http://soytuaire.labuat.com – No.  This site shows another way at listening to music…by doodling on the screen as various visual effects overlay on our doodle.  Interesting but not enough to waste your time on.
  5. http://false.jp – No.  Good eye candy, but could be just a waste of time.
  6. http://www.shapethehive.com – No.  It is one way to leave your mark on line; but I wouldn’t say it is really something to see before you die.  It is one interesting asynchronous collaboration site with visual effects, but I don’t see the point.
  7. http://us.akinator.com – Yes.  This is an amazing site.  I imagine it uses the power of the Internet to figure out who you are thinking of.  When I started playing it, I thought it would not guess who I was thinking of.  To my surprise, it guessed it and it even showed a picture of the character!
  8. http://www.dionaea-house.com – No.  This site is like reading other people’s email.  As with anything, it is hard to get interested in the site since it doesn’t give you a clue about what it is about, nor does it try to tell you what story it is trying to convey.  It’s like watching a movie from somewhere in the middle.  You don’t have a point of reference and can’t really tell where the story may be going.  So, I would skip this site, for sure.
  9. http://www.linerider.com – Maybe…if you like drawing and animation.  This site provides you with interesting drawing tools to create a path for the line rider.  In some of the sample works, some users have gone through some length to create the most elaborate line path for the line rider.  Interesting, but can be a time sink if you start tinkering with it.
  10. http://prettyloaded.com – No, absolutely no–unless maybe you like watching grass grow.  This site provides you a collection of “Loading” animations.  “Loading” animations are typically shown to show that something is loading.  This is typically what you watch, when you are waiting for something to load.
  11. http://anasomnia.com – Maybe.  Interesting animation of someone’s dream representation.  Turn off the light and see what happens.  It seems to just keep going on; but if you press the arrow on the top left, you’ll wake up the girl who is supposedly dreaming.   The images are basically line drawn images of some very abstract shapes and figures.
  12. http://www.stateoftheunion.onetwothree.net – Yes.  This site gives you a different perspective of the various state of the union speeches given by all presidents.  It can give insight into what the focus was of that time.  It even rates the president’s grade level for the speech given.
  13. http://hubblesite.org – Yes.  This site shows you some of the most amazing pictures of heavenly bodies as seen through the eyes of the Hubble telescope.  The pictures here will make you realize how seemingly insignificant we are in the big scheme of things.
  14. http://www.eyezmaze.com – No.  There are better things to do on the web than play games.  These games are time sinks.
  15. http://www.mcdlr.com/bsod – Yes.  You need to use this site to at least play a joke on someone at work.  If they are a techie and they happen to be running Windows 7, they’ll probably scratch their head.  Windows 7 doesn’t do BSOD!  If you play this trick on a non-techie, they won’t know any better regardless of which operating system they are using.  They will know, however, that something might have gone wrong.
  16. http://atom.smasher.org/error – Yes, if you like playing practical jokes on tech support, this site would be a good one to visit.
  17. http://mrdoob.com/lab/javascript/effects/ie6 – No.  Nothing seems to show–just white space.  What a waste.
  18. http://www.lmgtfy.com – No.  This is just an extra shell that will record what you typed and then transfer it to google’s search.
  19. http://blublu.org – Maybe.  This is an interesting site.  Viewing the site is like viewing someone’s scrap book.  The presentation is pretty easy to follow.
  20. http://www.mrwong.de/myhouse – Yes.  It’s probably a good idea to check out the world’s tallest virtual building before you die.  The author was pretty creative in creating such a site.  The project has since been closed, but apparently the site is still getting lots of visits.
  21. http://www.360cities.net/london-photo-en.html – Yes.  If you’ve never been to London, you can see a lot with this very high resolution (80 gigapixel) image!
  22. http://blueballfixed.ytmnd.com – No.  It is however a very interesting work of animated art.
  23. http://milliondollarhomepage.com – Yes, absolutely.  This is an example of how anyone can make it big on the Internet.  Just the right idea, and” BAM!!!” money rolls in.  The originator of this site made a million dollars selling pixels from his pixelated homepage.
  24. http://www.archive.org/web/web.php – Yes.  If you have time, you can see how the Internet has evolved through the web pages that have been archived here.
  25. http://www.cleverbot.com – No.  This is a site that looks like a search engine, but it is really an example of an online artificial intelligence (AI).  This reminds me of an old AI-like program, the name which escapes me, that existed way back in the late 1970s.  You can ask it questions, it responds.  It asks you questions, and you respond.  The program looks intelligent, but after a couple of exchanges, it isn’t.
  26. http://rulesformyunbornson.tumblr.com – Yes.  This has some over 500 snippets of wisdom.

Look for the next 25 on my next posting.

created by jscreationzs

created by jscreationzs

Since the emergence of the Internet in the 1990s, it has evolved from being a simple means to communicate via e-mail, chat (IRC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRC), and retrieve information.  It has since evolved into something that is now part of almost everybody’s lives.  Having lived through that evolution, how I use the Internet has evolved as well.  I went from simply using it as a tool for downloading device drivers (via FTP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ftp) to using it for my day to day activities!  Here’s a breakdown of how I use the Internet today:

  1. E-mail–for keeping in touch with people and receiving various notifications
  2. News–why subscribe when you can get them free on the Internet
  3. Social networking–I keep in touch with friends and family this way
  4. Watch TV shows–goodbye to cable TV
  5. Watch movies–goodbye to cable TV
  6. Pay bills–I save a lot of first class mail postage by paying online
  7. Download software–I try before I buy
  8. Banking–no more lines or waiting in lines, I bank online
  9. Investing–I buy and sell stocks and maintain my 401K this way
  10. Real Estate–look for and research properties at the comfort of your home office
  11. Dictionary–no more hard copy dictionaries, I just look up word meanings online
  12. People finder–find long lost friends or high school buddies
  13. Video/slideshow creation–create videos and slides shows with ease
  14. Picture/video storage–save and access pictures and videos
  15. Shopping–shop, compare, and buy stuff online
  16. Earn passive income–many ways and many places online to do this
  17. Personal blog–I express my opinion and interests through my personal blog
  18. Photo development–everything is digital, including the process of getting photos developed
  19. Business presence–people look to the Internet to find out about businesses
  20. Maintain professional connections–professionally network online
  21. Job search–I found my last job through an online search!
  22. Maps/directions–no need to buy maps; I get directions and maps online
  23. Navigation–the Internet, in conjunction with GPS technology gets me turn by turn directions
  24. Listen to music
  25. Online phonebook–who needs a paper phonebook any more; save trees.

In the second half of the 1990s, I was working for a high tech company called Network General Corporation (http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/14/14226.html).  I didn’t start using the Internet there until around 1996, the year its commercialization became more prevalent.  At around that time, e-mail, file transfer via FTP, and information access were  the biggest use of the Internet.

Fast forward to present…

How I use the Internet has totally evolved.  My use of it is completely intertwined with my life and day-to-day activities.  Here’s a typical day.

When I wake up in the morning I go for a run.  I use one of those things from Nike called Nikeplus.  When I finish, I take the little gadget that logs my run and plug it into one of my computer’s USB ports.  It uploads my running data to nikerunning.nike.com where my running record is maintained.  I’ve also tied that to my facebook account so that a facebook app logs an entry into my profile.

Thereafter I read the latest news through Google News; then check for any new e-mails through Google’s gmail and Yahoo’s e-mail.  From there, I go to Facebook for any new messages or postings from relatives, friends, and favorite pages.

On occasions, I have bills due to be paid.  For example, my city utility bill can be paid via the Internet.  I simply visit the city’s web site, go down to the finance section where one can log in to pay their bill.  I’ve saved countless amount of postage by paying my bills this way.  Besides, I don’t even have to use a check.  Everything can be paid using a credit card!  On occasion, when our checking account is low on balance, I would access our other bank accounts and transfer funds.  The transfers would occur within one business day.  Very convenient, and all that without having to stand in line.

When I have time, during early morning hours or late at night, I do a bit of writing.  Since I like to write, I thought that I might as well earn a few bucks while I’m at it.  To that end, I write various articles online at sites that pay writers to post short articles on their site.  I write for Helium.com, Bukisa.com, infobarrel.com, ehow.com, brighthub.com, hubpages.com,  and on my own blog site freetechzone.com.  All the money I make there goes to an online account on paypal.com or to my adsense account on google.com.  After a certain period of time, I actually collect enough money there to buy stuff online!  The good thing about this little gig is that even when I’m not doing anything, my articles earn me money!  By the way, sometimes while I write, I connect to pandora.com and listen to some online streaming music.  I simply identify a particular artist, and it plays music from that artist and others with similar styles of music.

At work, I sometimes have to visit a site that is several miles away from my office.  I use google maps to help me find a route to get there.  On my smart phone, I have a built in GPS which uses google maps to show my actual location, the route I’m following, and the estimate of how many more miles before I reach my destination.  Because of google maps, I don’t even buy maps anymore.  Who needs maps when one can get the entire world’s map through the Internet!

When my wife and I get a chance to relax, we sometimes watch movies or TV episodes.  We use to have cable TV, but not anymore.  Since 2010, we’ve been cable TV free.  We watch movies and TV episodes via the Internet.  Hulu.com has many movies and TV programming episodes you can watch for free, and if you have a projector and a big white wall to use as a projection screen, you can have one heck of a big screen to watch movies or TV shows.  If you purchase their Hulu Plus offering, you can watch even more recent TV episodes.  I’m not sure how it differs with regards to movies though.  YouTube.com has also come a long way.  They too offer movies (http://www.youtube.com/movies) and TV episodes (http://www.youtube.com/tv).  Most recently, we discovered Netflix.com.  They too offer streaming video service over the Internet.  If you purchase service from them, you can get watch relatively new movies, and TV episodes.

My family run a business.  We teach martial arts.  Like most business, we too have an online presence. We get leads through this web site.  When people look for a Taekwondo school in Stockton, California, (i.e. go to google.com and do a search for “taekwondo stockton ca”) our schools shows up at the very top!  I built that web site, and with the help of the Internet we can reach customers that would otherwise miss our street sign.

The last thing I would like to note is that I found my current job though an Internet job search.  I used the Internet to make my job search very easy and convenient.  Had I not done that, my search would have been limited to news paper clippings, actual business visits, and word of mouth knowledge of openings.  Today, you can set alerts that would send you emails telling you of the latest job openings.  You don’t have to look for them, as job openings come to you!

With the fast upsurge in smart-phone technology and its integration with applications tied to the Internet within the last 2 years, expect more amazing things to come.  As things stand now, the power of the Internet is no longer limited to your desktop.  You can be anywhere, and have access to the Internet and everything that can be done through it.  Isn’t the Internet and technology amazing?

If you have comments about how you use the Internet in your daily life, please share it here.