The “Two-In-1 Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #97!

Dr. Bill Podcast – 97 – (07/30/07)
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The Doctor crams two podcasts (last week and this week) into one! And, an AWESOME Gamemaster segment! With TWO Geek Softwares of the Week!

Geek Software of the Week: MP3tag!

MP3tagI have searched high and low for the BEST MP3 tag editor… well, I should say, media file tag editor, because I wanted one that would tag ogg format files, as well as MP3s. I found free ones that did only MP3s and I found expensive ones that did all formats but were difficult to use. NOW… I have found exactly what I was looking for… simple, supports a lot a formats, and SO very clean! Check it out! (AND, it is FREE!)

MP3tag Editor

“Mp3tag is a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata (ID3, Vorbis Comments and APE) of common audio formats. It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words from tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more. The program supports online freedb database lookups for selected files, allowing you to automatically gather proper tag information for select files or CDs.

Mp3tag supports the following audio formats:

* Advanced Audio Coding (aac)
* Free Lossless Audio Codec (flac)
* Monkey’s Audio (ape)
* Mpeg Layer 3 (mp3)
* MPEG-4 (mp4 / m4a / m4b / iTunes compatible)
* Musepack (mpc)
* Ogg Vorbis (ogg)
* OptimFROG (ofr)
* OptimFROG DualStream (ofs)
* Speex (spx)
* Tom’s Audio Kompressor (tak)
* True Audio (tta)
* Windows Media Audio (wma)
* WavPack (wv)”

And, check out these features!

* Write ID3v1.1-, ID3v2-, APEv2-Tags and Vorbis Comments to multiple files at once
* Full Unicode support
* Support for embedded cover art
* Automatically create playlists
* Recursive subfolders support
* Remove parts or the entire tag of multiple files
* Rename files based on the tag information
* Import tags from filenames
* Format tags and filenames
* Replace characters or words from tags and filenames
* Regular Expressions
* Export tag information to user-defined formats (like html, rtf, csv, xml)
* Import tag information from online databases like freedb or Amazon (also by text-search)
* Import tag information from local freedb databases
* Support for ID3v2.3 (ISO-8859-1 and UTF-16) and ID3v2.4 with UTF-8
* and much more …

Now, That’s What I Call a SUPER Computer!

Super TuxImagine a single Linux instance with 4 terabytes of memory (not diskspace… RAM!) Now imagine is has 2048 dual core processors (CPUs!) DEWD! 13.1 teraflops of computing power, connected to 240 terabytes of disk storage! Can I have one?

NASA Selects SGI to Provide Largest Shared-Memory System in the World

“SGI and NASA today announced that the agency has selected a record-setting SGI(R) Altix(R) supercomputer in its evaluation of next-generation technology to meet future high-performance computing (HPC) requirements. The system was acquired as part of NAS Technology Refresh (NTR), a four-phase procurement process that eventually will replace the Columbia supercomputer system, powered by SGI Altix. NASA’s new SGI Altix system is expected to be installed in August at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The new system will be the first supercomputer to operate 2,048 processor cores and 4TB of memory under a single copy of Linux(R) — creating the largest Linux single system image (SSI) in the world. A larger SSI can accelerate scientific research by making all of the system’s processors and memory available to solve a single problem, or several problems at once. Driven by 1,024 Dual-Core Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors, the new system will generate 13.1 TFLOPs of compute power. The system’s dual-core processors allow more computing power per square foot, enabling NASA to pack more computing power into its supercomputing center. NASA also acquired an ultra-dense 240TB SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 10000 system to efficiently handle the massive data storage requirements.”

Digg and Microsoft?!

Digg started out as a neat idea… have people “vote up” (or, “Digg”) good stories and “digg down” bad stories so that you get interesting information that “floats up to the surface.” Pretty neat. But in recent days, more and more, it is being “hijacked” by groups (it seems to me) that have an agenda. For instance, it appears that Ron Paul groupies are “voting up” stories favorable to their guy. Also, the anti-conservative folks seem to “vote up” stories that appeal to the far left. But, whatever, if they can “organize” and vote the stories up, then one might say that that is how the site is “supposed” to work. Personally, I liked it better when the content was driven only by tech stories that folks thought were interesting… but that’s just me!

Now, a new chapter has begun. Digg, Inc. and Microsoft, Inc. have climbed into bed, and Microsoft will be providing the advertising content on Digg. Ouch. Come on, Kevin!

Microsoft Press Release on Digg

“Digg Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement in which the two companies will collaborate to bring relevant advertising to the more than 17 million unique monthly visitors to Digg, an innovative Web site that harnesses the collective wisdom of the world’s online audience to prioritize the overwhelming amount of content available on the Web. Microsoft’s advanced advertising technology and sales force combined with Digg’s unique and growing user community make possible the three-year collaboration, grounded in the companies’ commitment to technological innovation and user experience. As part of the relationship, Microsoft will be the exclusive provider of display and contextual advertising on Digg. The two companies also agreed to work together on future technology and advertising initiatives.”

Meet the $100.00 (More-or-Less) Laptop!

XO ComputerThere is an excellent article on the new “$100.00 Laptop” by Jim Raposa. Check it out!

Meet the XO!

“When you first see the XO the thought that immediately jumps to mind is ‘kid’s toy.’ With its bright green color, built-in carrying handle, funny rabbit ears and rubber membrane keyboard, it looks like something that Fisher-Price might produce. But when you pick it up, you realize how sturdy and well built the XO is. And when you turn it on, you discover that you are connecting wirelessly to the Internet and to other XO users that are creating a local network. You find lots of software designed for kids but also find some groundbreaking collaboration tools that let you work with others in ways that outshine some of the best corporate groupware. Oh yeah, even though bright sunshine is beating down upon the laptop screen, you’re having no trouble reading the display. But the sunlight is OK since it’s powering your system through a small, low-cost solar cell. And the XO doesn’t need much power since it runs at a fraction of what laptops that are considered ‘green’ run at. This is the XO, a system that was born when MIT legend Nicholas Negroponte set out to build a $100 laptop, in order to make it possible to deliver computers to kids and schools in developing countries. And while the XO didn’t make the $100 target price (instead it’s currently coming in at around $175), it does now sit nearly ready to be deployed around the world.”

SJV-N Opinion: HP Will Soon Offer Linux PCs

That’s Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, of course! Our ol’ buddy from He sees a future in which Dell isn’t the only major PC manufacturer that is selling desktop Linux on PCs in their lineup.

Next major PC company to go Linux will be HP

“Opinion — People used to think the very idea that a major PC vendor would offer desktop Linux was beyond a joke. It was, as Vizzini from The Princess Bride would have said, ‘Inconceivable!’ But, as events turned out, to quote Inigo Montoya from the same movie, ‘You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.’ HP will soon be joining Dell in offering at least one Linux desktop line in its SKU sales listing. Here’s why I believe this. First, Dell successfully broke the Windows-only wall when it added Ubuntu Linux 7.04 to three systems in its consumer line in May. While Dell hasn’t released any sales numbers, its Linux sales must be doing well. You don’t start offering Ubuntu on another brand-new laptop line and announce that you’ll soon be selling Ubuntu to SMBs (small to midsize businesses) and internationally unless you’re making money from it. Offering Linux once could have just been a good PR move. Expanding the Linux offering means Dell must actually be selling units. The other PC companies aren’t idiots. Many of them, like Lenovo, have been toying with desktop Linux for years. Hewlett-Packard has been offering desktop Linux for enterprise customers willing to make special orders via its HP Factory Express service service for anywhere from several hundred to several thousand systems for years. These customized Linux desktops have been progressively selling better as the years go by. ‘We are involved in a number of massive deals for Linux desktops, and those are the kinds of things that are indicators of critical mass. So we are really looking at it very hard,’ said Doug Small, HP’s worldwide director of open-source and Linux marketing. How big is massive? Try thousands of Linux desktops in a single deal.”

Yes, Late Again….

The podcast, that is… this week is just like last week… Ben and I got the Gamemaster segment done on Saturday as usual, but I have not yet found a slot to master together the rest of the show. I suspect that since I will be out of town all this coming weekend, I may just do a “bridge version” of the podcast that will include all of last week and this week’s “stuff!” As Arthur Dent said, “I seem to be having a problem with my lifestyle.” (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) Sigh.

Geek Software of the Week: Qliner Hotkeys

This week’s Geek Software of the Week is Qliner Hotkeys! You can use this great, free utility to program keystokes that bring up applications!

Qliner Hotkeys

“Qliner hotkeys is a free and open source keyboard productivity environment. It is the first product of its kind that is usable by computer geeks and non geeks alike. Hotkeys builds on the concept of Windows shortcut keys but takes this concept to a whole new level. Do you think key combinations are hard to remember? Just hold the Windows key for three seconds and up pops a on screen Keyboard with icons on the keys that are configured. This you can use , not only to remind you of hotkey combinations, but also for Drag and Drop Configuration. Hotkeys is smart in the way it launches applications and opens documents. When a key combination is pressed hotkeys will first try to find an existing instance of the requested application or document and bring that to the front. This behavior can be overruled by holding the Alt key, which ensures that a new instance is always launched. If no existing instances are found a new instance is started. If multiple instances are running the Instance Switching menu is displayed. Holding the Windows key for several seconds, or pressing Win + Z shows the on screen keyboard. It is an easy tool to look up existing key combinations. The keyboard is also used for drag and drop configuration: you can drag the icons on the keyboard to different keys or drag new items onto the keyboard. The keyboard is highly configurable. You can change the color and layout to make it match your actual, physical keyboard. Besides support for more than 100 international keyboards layouts, hotkeys also supports Dvorak layout.”

Dual-Booting Ubuntu and Windows!

This is a neat “HowToForge” article on exactly how to set up dual-booting Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP or Vista.

Dual-Booting Windows XP/Vista And Ubuntu 7.04

The tutorial is what I like to call a “PhD Document,” which stands for “Point Here, Dummy!” Lot’s of screen shots, details and helpful tips! If you have the disk space, you will benefit from being able to switch back and forth between good (Ubuntu) and evil (Windows) on your PC! Check it out!

Pluto Gets Revenge!

First they demoted Pluto from planet status. But now, a moon of Pluto MAY have liquid water below the surface!

‘Water on Pluto moon’

“As a planet, Pluto was a real dog. Now scientists say there may be something truly fishy about one the little world’s three known moons. Astronomers have announced they have evidence that, despite the bitterly cold conditions on the edge of the solar system, Pluto’s moon Charon may have an underground ocean of liquid water, triggering speculation it could harbor marine life. The water appears to be spewing up through cracks in the surface, producing spectacular geysers that instantly freeze, creating showers of ice. Using Hawaii’s giant Gemini Telescope, the astronomers found that the 1200 kilometer-wide moon is covered in patches of water crystals, and ammonia hydrates. The crystals appear fresh, suggesting ice geysers, or ice volcanoes, must be erupting every few hours or days. The observations point ‘consistently to cryo-volcanism, which brings liquid water to the surface, where it freezes into ice crystals,’ said Jason Cook, from Arizona State University. ‘That implies that Charon’s interior possesses liquid water.’ Radioactive materials could be melting Charon’s interior ice, producing the water.”

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