A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Tech Projects: Remove a Trojan, Build a Homemade HDTV Antenna, and other adventures

How to build a HDTV Antenna....CHEAP!

Over the holidays, I'll be trying out the plans listed in the link above to build a homemade HDTV antenna that I can mount it in the attic. The bolts connecting our outdoor antenna to our rotator stripped out, sending our antenna onto our roof ... again. The rotator, which is absolutely critical for getting a clear signal, is very heavy and the winds come whipping over our hip roof. The metal on the rotator is too soft and the leverage generated by the height and weight of the antenna causes too much stress at one point. Now that the snow has finally melted from our roof, and the winds aren't too high, it's safe enough to go up on the roof now to take the old antenna down. I'll scavenge the parts, especially the old rotator, and use them to build my homemade antenna.

My two Karens have been politely reminding me every day about my problem: Karen Kurland has been writing me notes, and Karen Epley has been joking with me every time she catches me in the driveway... she hasn't referred to the Beverly Hillbillies yet, thankfully.

My downstairs fridge is well stocked with Sam Adams and Heineken beer, so I'm ready to call my old buddy Ricky to help me with the electronics, etc. I'm scared of doing electrical work, because I'm afraid if I mess up I'll burn the house down. Thank God for Ricky! I can always count on him to bail me out!

Recently, Joe was researching Pokemon cards on my computer, and despite Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, he clicked on the wrong thing -- now my computer is infected with a Trojan. Someone violated my computer and now has the ability to easily rip off my personal information and delete files and use my contact information to infect my family and friends. Therefore, I'm learning lots about Trojans. The way they attach themselves to critical files, without which a computer cannot run, makes Trojans nearly impossible to get rid of without reformatting the hard drive! I clicked on a contact us link and found myself communicating with Kaspersky's 911 Customer Service, getting instructions either from somewhere in Russia, or from another place where I was redirected; yesterday, I found an email in my Junk Mail from Kaspersky written in Russian. I assume it says, "We don't speak English!" Today, I tried contacting Kasperky again, but it's Christmas Eve. I think I already know the script!

It looks like I'll be calling my brother Mike again to help me reformat the drive and preserve my critical files. I'd better come up with the $200 I still owe him for the Motherboard he gave me when he built me a new computer after the last virus killed my last computer. Thank God for my brother Mike! Since I can expect this problem to happen over and over, this time I'm going to learn how to fix the problem myself.

Since I'm searching for new ways to pay the bills and pay for a Masters Program so that I can continue to teach, and since Les Brown is affiliated with the program, I committed myself to a program called Mindset and Internet. The program involves setting up a website designed to generate an income. It's a do-it-yourself-program, supposedly, with all the tools to set up an income generating website. I got stuck on step 1: find a niche market. I haven't done anything with the program since. Meanwhile, I'm getting billed on my Credit Card. So it looks like I'm either going to need to get with the program or bail out. Do-it-yourself programs are somewhat of a lost American art, and I have too much personal pride to give up on my very own Do-it-yourself program so easily. So, I'm thinking I'll feel the fear, but do it anyway. Yikes!

Thank God I've learned how to laugh at myself.