MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2007b

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     My Favorite Mouse
2.     Two Computers with Ubuntu 7.04
3.     World Prayers - Prayer Wheel (website)

1.    My Favorite Mouse
If you've been a long-time computer user, your mouse may be the older 2-button, ball mouse with a PS/2 connector to the back of the computer.  Two problems: 1. the ball has to be removed periodically to remove the debris, and 2. newer computers probably don't have a PS/2 connector port.  No matter what your comfort zone, there probably is a mouse with hand style and features that fit into your must-have category.  There are even computer mice which can simply be waived in the air.  Some people like the track-ball mice, but I just can't seem to work the thing with my thumb.  It's also possible to spend some serious change on a mouse, but why?

After trying out a number of mice, my preference has always returned to a normal-sized, USB, wired, optical 3-button mouse (scroll wheel makes the 3rd button).  What drives my choice? Simplicity, price, ease of use, always connectable, and finally no batteries Ma!.  [Remember for wireless mice...Cats eat mice and mice eat batteries!]  Wireless mice are nice but they require installation with a radio tranceiver, a battery or two in the mouse, and repeated synchronization.  When it works, it's fine; when it has problems, all work stops until the mouse is working again.

Don't even get me started on the annoyances of touchpads of notebook computers.  I always connect my USB mouse to a notebook computer.  (It's just my thing I guess.)

2.    Two Computers with Ubuntu 7.04
Since the March '07 newsletter, my Ubuntu 6.10 with friendly name "Edgy Eft" (an eft is a frog) has been upgraded to Ubuntu 7.04 which has the friendly-version name of "Feisty Fawn."  In addition I've purchased and now use a Dell Inspiron E1505n loaded with Ubuntu 7.04.  My work environment continues to migrate to the Ubuntu version of Linux with all the applications I need.  I think that soon my work environment of choice will be with Ubuntu 7.04.  (Some businesses may not find specialized, compatible software that they presently use in the Windows environment.)  Older towers with at least 256MB of RAM may be able to run the complete Ubuntu package trouble free.

For the home user environment for persons wanting to do word processing, spreadsheets, use Ethernet or wireless to browse the web and deal with e-mail, work with pictures and sound, I think Ubuntu ("Always Free") is the best and most inexpensive way to go with computers at present--assuming you're not needing Windows XP for some Windows-based applications.  Also you can save some $$$ since anti-virus and firewall programs aren't yet needed with Ubuntu.

Version 7.04 means April, 2007.  The next upgrade is 7.10 (October, 2007) with the friendly-version name of "Gutsy Gibbon."  (Mark Shuttleworth, the creator of Ubuntu, perhaps has frequently visited zoos in South Africa.)

3.    World Prayers - Prayer Wheel (website)
World Prayers - Prayer Wheel World Prayers is just what it suggests.  The prayers there span the centuries and the world's religions.  I occasionally meet up with an old prayer I'd almost forgotten.  Most if not all the prayers are gems.

A nice feature is to click the spinning wheel to get another prayer.  Prayers are chosen at random which makes for a selections that are sometimes just what is needed.  Scrolling to the bottom the page reveals links for bookmarking, sending the prayer to someone or printing the prayer.  Enjoy!

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E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

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