Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One In a Million

My computer has over 1,000,000 files. Most of them have been generated by the computer itself, but some of them I wrote or edited. How does one find a part in a wrecking yard that size?

After trying a number of programs that claimed to find local files, I have settled on Yahoo Desktop Search. After it is first installed, it needs to index everything in sight and on site. (File types can be excluded.) The interface is not elegant, but it works. And it's free.

I have shut off the indexing service that belongs to Windows. It was never ready. Other external indexing programs have been removed. Now, when I need to search, I can find files in a few seconds, either by name, or file type or even by special words within the file. Yes, Desktop Search can find one in a million.

One added point, Yahoo Desktop Search does not live peaceably with other programs, so it is not kept running in the background. When I need it, I load it. After use, it gets unloaded unless it is time to index more files.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Did They Read the Email That I Sent?

We need to defend ourselves against email. It is becoming less useful as a means of personal communication. When I send an email, I wonder if it was read or bundled with the junk.

There is a tool that removes the mystery. It is By the year, it costs $2 per month and works very well. I don't use it often.

Recently a large insurance company owed me for a car and they agreed they did. But the adjuster would only respond to email occasionally. I needed to know if she was getting my email. I used readnotify to establish that she was indeed opening my email. This gave me the information I needed to go over her head in the company. It was not miscommunication. Armed with knowledge that she was stalling (for many months), I called a corporate office and said that my next call would be to the State Insurance Commissioner. I had a phone call from a different adjuster in less than 24 hours and the settlement was a just one.

ReadNotify made the difference.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Cult of Criticisers

I'm talking about the media. The professionals tilted towards making others look bad. Unfair and unbalanced.

Theology aside, look at the passing of Jerry Falwell. He established and developed one of the largest Evangelical Universities in the world. What did the media grave diggers unearth? He was overweight.

Then came the death of Mother Teresa. She was world-renown for helping the weak and downtrodden. However, the September 10, 2007 issue of NEWSWEEK reports her lack of faith by a writer totally opposed to her. The article is titled, The Dogmatic Doubter. His book with a double-meaning title is cited: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice. Yuk.

In the NEWSWEEK article, a photo of the nun is shown talking to Yasir Arafat.

This week James Kennedy of Coral Ridge fame died. His crime was that he preached against homosexuality and abortion. This caused some visitors to go to other preachers in the area in tears, seeking relief from this verbal oppression. In the news writer's eyes, it is wrong to believe that right and wrong exists (how contradictory!), especially if anyone is offended by that belief.

There is rising fear among media professionals that their world of criticism and anger is becoming irrelevant and they are being replaced by non-professionals on the Internet. I think I can see at least one reason why.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

They Will Never Have Eternal Life

I'm writing about computer hard drives. Seldom a week passes but I get a note from someone about loosing their mailing list or loosing all of their compositions. One person had spend a year translating scripture and lost it in 5 seconds. My heart goes out to each person for their loss, but there are solutions to the inevitable hard drive crash.

A drive seldom lasts more than five years. Some make it only two years. A member of the family works full time on the Microsoft campus installing replacement hard drives. He handles just one building. They go out all of the time.

A solution available to most everyone is to purchase - and use - an external backup drive. Software is widely available to do this on a daily basis. At least back up the laptop when working at home.

A more elegant solution is to use a free service like It is only necessary to have a DSL or cable connection. Mine backs up during lunch each day - and takes about 5 minutes to do it. The first backup is time consuming, but after that, it can even be done when the operator is doing other computer tasks.

A further advantage is that the backups are off of our premises in case of a major disaster.

Our church office computer quit without warning. A new drive was installed and the Mozy backup brought the computer up to the condition it was in just a few hours before the crash.

If we want the advantages of this modern technology, we must face the limited drive life and plan so our lives are not disrupted when the inevitable finally happens.