On Computers

Behind the Scenes with GailLA

Gail Allinson, gail@oncomputers.info

25 May 2003

This Week's Segment

This week there is a lot more to talk about an explore than to write about.  As a follow-on to Jack's very fine article last week, we are exploring keyboard shortcuts in Windows.  These come in handy for those times your mouse or other pointing device acts up.  They also can do things that you just may not be able to do any other way.

Last Week:  Number and Directions in Google

At the end of Jack's segment Joe mentioned a trick that can be used in Google to find a location. Here is the e-mail he sent me as a follow up:

I received this e-mail and thought it was worth sending on to you. I checked this out myself and it is actually sometimes true, and somewhat scary. Try it for yourself....

Take a look at the note below - if you go to www.google.com and type in your telephone number it will actually pull up directions to your house. There is a way to have your number removed. Please read below.

Go to www.google.com then type in your phone number (separated by hyphens, including area code in parenthesis) and click on Google Search. If your phone number is listed, it will show your name and address and give you two map options:

Yahoo and MapQuest. See how accurate the map is to your home. This allows anyone to have directions to your home, if they know your phone number.

Google has made available an option that will allow anyone to REMOVE their telephone number from the database that is linked to the mapping feature. You will first need to check if your number is listed in this manner by attempting a search - i.e. (555)-555-5555. If the number appears in the mapping database, an icon resembling a telephone will appear next to the first or second entry on the results page. Clicking on this icon will take you to a page containing a description of the service, and a link to request your number be removed from the database. It's the last line in the Phone Book listing.

Many thanks Joe for sharing this wonderful tip with us!

A Gathering by Any Other Name...

This item is a little more gossipy than usual. Notice that I am no longer calling the On Computers broadcast and barbeque that we are having here in Grass Valley on June 15th a "Mini Geek Meet". We have been calling similar gatherings by that name for several years. I was not part of the decision, but I want you to know that this name change is a considered decision. I know that these kinds of changes, when done without explanation or notice, can be confusing and somewhat mysterious. Or at least I know that if i didn't know what was happening, I'd surely be mystified and confused by the sudden change.

So here's the skinny. It was felt by some folks that using the "GM" word in relation to these informal gatherings before the Geek Meet somehow detracted from the real deal. I hope that was never the case and it was certainly not my intention by using that terminology -- we all used it.

Prior to the Geek Meet here will be "gatherings" in the Los Angeles area and here in Northern California as Joe wends his way though our fair state on his way to the Geek Meet in St. Louis.  Aaron (who is one of the most dedicated members of the On Computers family) has kindly listed the information for the "gatherings" and for the 2003 Geek Meet in St. Louis at http://geekmeet.oncomputers.info.

...And Speaking of Gatherings

I don't have all the details yet, but I'm very pleased to announced that Bill Bowen, a.k.a. Bill_B in chat, has agreed to join us live in "the studio" on June 15th for the broadcast from Grass Valley.  As part of the On Computers Linux Month effort, Bill will be talking about dual-booting and some other trick he knows to make Linux  and Windows play nice together. Thanks in advance Bill.

A Century of Flight

As you know, I wear several hats in my life. One of those hats is being a "licensed" pilot (that's in quotes because pilots in the U.S. don't say "license" we call it an Airman's Certificate with a pilot rating).  But semantics aside, I do fly planes and I'm also an avid Microsoft Flight Simmer.  This morning I'm in seventh heaven because a perk of being a pilot with a media credential is that I received my beta copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight, yesterday.  Even the beta is awesome. My main problem is that I just can't stop exploring it and spent most of my Saturday enjoying the view our the virtual cockpit window. 

I don't have this firmly scheduled yet, but in July just prior to the final release, I'm hoping to have someone from the Microsoft Flight Simulator team on Windows Tips as a guest.  Stay tuned ... there will be more to come!


As those of us who love Linux as well as Windows watch the legal machinations of SCO (pronounced sko -- rhymes with go) in horror, I have a question for you: Should I burn my Caldera Linux T-shirt (SCO = Caldera), use it as a rag, or line the dog bed with it?  Do you have a better idea?  If you have an idea or comment about the entire SCO debacle, or a suggested use for a Caldera Linux T-shirt, please e-mail me at gail@oncomputers.info

Cya next time!



© 2003 Gail Allinson

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