Geek Software of the Week: Flashboot!

FlashbootSo… there was no GSotW last week, so, we have two this week! How’s that!?! This is a good one! I use it all the time. It is a purchased product rather than free, but it is really nice and very convenient!

Flashboot – Create Bootable USB Media!

“FlashBoot is a tool to make USB storage devices bootable. FlashBoot supports USB thumbdrives and USB HDDs. FlashBoot partitions, formats USB storage device and then automatically installs operating system files to it. Supported operating systems: Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP, SysLinux-based disks, GRUB4DOS disks, Linux kernel etc.

You may create blank bootable USB flash with minimal set of system files and then manually tune it for your needs, or convert a full-featured bootable CD-ROM or floppy disk to bootable USB Flash keeping all functionality.

Most popular FlashBoot feature is a convertion of Windows installation CD/DVD into bootable USB disk to install Windows XP from USB or to install Windows 7 or Vista from USB on netbooks and other devices without CD/DVD drive.

FlashBoot is a tool with rich feature list:

  • Convert Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 installation CD/DVD disc to bootable USB disk (to install Windows on netbooks and other computers without CD/DVD drive)
  • Create USB disk to reset password for any user of Windows XP/Vista/7
  • Extract Windows XP recovery console from Windows XP installation CD to bootable USB disk
  • Convert BartPE bootable CD to bootable USB disk
  • Convert IsoLinux, SysLinux, GRUB4DOS and DOS bootable CDs/DVDs/floppy disks to bootable USB disks
  • Duplicate USB disks

You get all the features “in one box” if you use FlashBoot.

FlashBoot can either format physical disk or write an image file. So you may create customized USB disk manually or with another tool and use FlashBoot to create image out of it and redistribute it in local network or online.

The Day… the Film Died.

Kodak Film(Read the title above to the tune of “American Pie” by John McClean.)

It is a sad day. I was my High School’s Newspaper and Yearbook Photographer. I shot sporting events, pushed my film speed to ASA 4000 by using unorthodox film developer practices so I could take night-time action shots, and generally LOVED Kodak film! (Though my favorite color slide film was Fuji!) I even ended up with a BFA in Painting, Printmaking and Photography from UNC-G. Anyway, film is going he way of the buggy-whip, so I shed a tear of reminiscence over Kodak’s demise.

Not a Kodak Moment: Legendary Camera Maker Files for Bankruptcy Protection

“Struggling camera maker Kodak said on Wednesday night that it has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

The move, which had been expected, follows years of struggle by the film giant to transition to a digital imaging company. In recent months, the company has sought to capitalize on its patents and, in recent days, has sued Apple, HTC and Samsung.

Kodak said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in 2013 and intends to conduct business during the restructuring using $950 million in financing from Citigroup. As part of the move, the company said it has named Dominic DiNapoli, vice chairman of FTI Consulting, as its Chief Restructuring Officer.”

Kindle Fire Profitable for Amazon!

Cross-posted from the Hand Held Hack:

As you know, my Kindle Fire is my favorite new tech toy… and we had a report not long ago that Amazon was selling them at a price lower than it costs to make them. But this report seems to indicate that, as we predicted, they are doing fine on sales and profits!

Kindle Fire Could Be More Profitable Than Expected

Amazon’s Kindle Fire, released in November, may wind up being more profitable than was expected, thanks to users’ penchant for purchasing digital goods, according to a new research report from RBC Capital.

Though Amazon actually eats a loss of an estimated $18 for every Kindle sold due to manufacturing costs and other factors, the company makes up for it through sales of ebooks and apps, according to the report. Based on survey of 216 Kindle Fire Owners, RBC analysts estimated that over the course of three years, each Kindle Fire sold could earn Amazon $136.

‘Amazon will break even on a Kindle Fire unit in less than five months, accounting only for direct digital good purchases,’ the report states.

Amazon makes the most money off the Kindle Fire from sales of ebooks, according to the report. RBC estimated that each Kindle Fire owner purchases five ebooks per quarter, generating Amazon roughly $15 per user each quarter. In RBC’s survey, just 19 percent of respondents had not purchased an ebook for their device, while 29 percent purchased three to five and more than 28 percent bought more than six.

Kindle Fire owners also purchase three paid apps on average, per quarter, RBC estimated. In the survey, 66 percent of respondents said they had purchased at least one paid app for their device, while 34 percent had not.
Besides digital content, the Kindle Fire could also generate revenue through sales of physical goods and memberships to Amazon Prime, the company’s ‘preferred’ tier that gives customers free unlimited two-day shipping.”

Geek Software of the Week: TNTDrive!

TNTDriveNow you can map your Amazon S3 Cloud Service as though it were a “local” Windows drive. You can download the 32-bit or 64-bit version. Pretty cool if you are using the S3 service from Amazon!

TNTDrive – Bringing the Cloud Closer

“TntDrive is a new Amazon S3 Client for Windows. With TntDrive you can easily mount Amazon S3 Bucket as a Windows Drive.

Unlike many other Amazon S3 Clients, TntDrive offers incredible simplicity of accessing your Amazon S3 Buckets and files.

You can work with your Amazon S3 files as easily as if they were on your local drive!”

Web Users in China Pass the 500 Million Mark!

That’s a lot of web surfers! Also, did you know that there are more English speakers in China than in the United States? (Because there are WAY more people in China, so there you go!) Anyway, I have a lot of viewers and listeners in China, I can tell by the stats! So, welcome China!

Web Users in China Pass 500 Million: Report

“People logging in through mobile devices and those accessing the Web in rural areas also increased compared with 2010.

More Chinese are using the Internet than ever before, with more than 500 million users in China accessing the Web, according to a report by the state-run China Internet Network Information Center. The report said the number of people using the Web rose 12 percent in December to 513 million people. The report also provides information on China’s uptake of microblogging sites called ‘weibo’ sites that are akin to Twitter—nearly half of Chinese Web users logged into the sites in 2011, up from 63 million in 2010.

People logging in through mobile devices and those accessing the Web in rural areas also increased compared with 2010, climbing 17.5 percent to 356 million and 8.9 percent to 136 million, respectively. Internet users across the country make up nearly 40 percent of China’s population of 1.3 billion, according to the report.

As China’s market for Internet usage grows, U.S. firms are gearing up to access an enormous potential base of users. The leading Chinese language Internet search provider, Baidu, and Microsoft are teaming up to provide users of Baidu with results from Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. Baidu is looking to expand its user base after fending off market-share increases from Google, while Microsoft is trying to keep momentum going for Bing, which has seen its user base for the search service grow at home.

The rise of consumer technology and Web access in China is raising a host of issues, both political and economic, as the country’s leaders grapple with the social implications of access to unrestricted speech and Chinese consumers scramble to obtain the latest in mobile technology, as evidenced by last week’s disturbances in Apple stores in China.”

Dr. Bill.TV #222 – Video – “The Post CES, No Geek Software Edition”

CES TechPodcasts Coverage, Twitter’s new @handle distribution pilot program, Barnes and Noble CEO: We’re committed to the Nook, Ubuntu TV, Project Fiona Gaming Device from CES, new subscription icons on the web site — Sponsor: MozyPro Online Backup: Simple, Automatic & Secure Backup – Code word = PODCAST15 saves you 15% – http://bit.ly/mozypod1 — Sponsor: GoToMeeting Conferencing with HD Faces: Simple Online Collaboration – http://bit.ly/xp4FFv

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/8U-dAwkRN6U

Available on Vimeo at: http://vimeo.com/35073823


Dr. Bill.TV #222 – Audio – “The Post CES, No Geek Software Edition”

CES TechPodcasts Coverage, Twitter’s new @handle distribution pilot program, Barnes and Noble CEO: We’re committed to the Nook, Ubuntu TV, Project Fiona Gaming Device from CES, new subscription icons on the web site — Sponsor: MozyPro Online Backup: Simple, Automatic & Secure Backup – Code word = PODCAST15 saves you 15% – http://bit.ly/mozypod1 — Sponsor: GoToMeeting Conferencing with HD Faces: Simple Online Collaboration – http://bit.ly/xp4FFv

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

Blubrry Network


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

(Click on the buttons below to Stream the Netcast in your “format of choice”)
Streaming M4V Audio





Streaming MP3 Audio

Streaming Ogg Audio

Download M4V Download WebM Download MP3 Download Ogg
(Right-Click on any link above, and select “Save As…” to save the Netcast on your PC.)

Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/8U-dAwkRN6U

Available on Vimeo at: http://vimeo.com/35073823


Gaming Platform That Is Different!

Project FionaIs it a tablet? A PC? A gaming console? A hand held? Well, yes, and no… it is very different!

I Just Held the Future of PC Gaming in My Hands and It’s Called Project Fiona

“Project Fiona is a proof-of-concept and a prototype in the most serious way. What you’re looking at is version 0.2. (Razer’s already finished work on five more iterations of Fiona—they’re up to version 0.8 at their labs, and expecting to hit 1.0 by the end of the year.) I can tell when I feel the heat coming out of the vents, as the fan spins up to cool the Intel Core i7 breathing fire inside. Or when the right analog stick feels a little sticky.

But when I run my finger along the edges of the brushed aluminum frame that provides Fiona’s remarkably rigid structural integrity, or try to make its skeleton flex and creak, it feels more done, more solid than some other very finished tablets I’ve used. ‘And frankly, the final product will look much different,’ says Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan of Fiona. Which is also why I can’t tell you battery life, or how much it’ll cost, though Tan is aiming for under $1000 for the Windows 8-powered tablet—meaning it’ll have full PC powers, though Razer is adding some software of their own on the gaming side, like the interface for browsing games. (Side note: Do you remember OQO, a little company that built little computers that were both radically ahead and behind their time? Appropriately, a lot of their engineers worked on this.)

It’s lighter than you’d think, for a tablet that’s at least as thick as three iPad 2s—it’ll be thinner, promises Tan—and has a pair of sticks bolted onto it. But I rest my elbows on my knees to play Warhammer 40K: Space Marine. And it feels totally natural. If you’ve ever used an Xbox 360 or PS3 controller, you know how to use Fiona’s controls; Razer software takes care of the mapping PC controls to the buttons.

Do you know what the minimum spec requirements are for Space Marine? A 2GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB RAM, 256MB video card. And it ran beautifully on Fiona’s glossy 10.1-inch, 1280×800 display. I held PC gaming in my hands, and I killed a bunch of Orcs and it felt fantastic. It sounds stupid that a 10.1-inch screen could be as immersive as a 24-inch display, but when you’re able to bring your game up to your face, and it moves with you and your body, it’s a different kind of connection. Speaking of moving! It’s got an accelerometer and force feedback and a camera, so Razer’s already thinking ways PC games could take advantage of gamers having access to traditional controls, touch and movement simultaneously.”

Ubuntu TV is On the Way!

So… I love my Roku… but, I may need to check this out when it comes out. Ubuntu TV… very cool!

Unity-based Ubuntu TV takes on Google TV

“Canonical used the Consumer Electronics Show to demonstrate an IPTV platform — Ubuntu TV — that will directly compete with Google TV. Based on Ubuntu Core, the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 (“Precise Pangolins”), the Unity UI layer, and the Ubuntu One cloud service, the offering aims to meld cable/satellite TV service with Internet content, featuring unified search, channel guide, time shifting, optimized apps, and links to mobile devices.

Canonical developed its controversial Unity desktop interface for the Ubuntu Linux desktop distribution to, in large part, reflect an ongoing transition from desktop computing to mobile and embedded devices. Now it’s working hard to drum up some customers in non-PC platforms, starting with a web TV service called Ubuntu TV.

As reported by several sources — including ZDNet and IDG News — Canonical demonstrated Ubuntu TV at this week’s CES show in Las Vegas. The company also posted a website on Ubuntu TV that includes specs for device requirements.

According to ZDNet, Ubuntu TV sets could appear as early as this year, and will compete directly with the Android-based Google TV as well as Apple TV. Ubuntu TV integrates content search, time shifting, online box office, personal cloud, Internet content, apps, and disk media functionality across web- and broadcast realms, says Canonical. A single remote is said to interact with Internet and commercial TV content.

The platform is based on Canonical’s emerging Ubuntu Core foundation for embedded devices, as well as the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 (“Precise Pangolin”) due in April. Pangolin is one of Ubuntu’s rare long time support (LTS) releases, and will be supported through 2017, giving device manufacturers the stable platform they seek. In addition, Ubuntu TV makes use of the Ubuntu One personal cloud service.”

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