Written: October 21, 2012

Why Allow Java Updates?

As you use a Windows or Mac computer there will be a time like this week where you are prompted to install an update for Java. Should you do it?

Yes, and here’s why. Java is a popular language created by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle) to be “write once, run everywhere”, meaning that a developer can write an app just one time and then have that app run equally well on: Windows, Mac, Linux, HP, IBM, SmartPhone, etc.

Both of my Windows and Mac machines prompted me to update Java, so here’s what to expect on a Windows computer. The first dialog is about the Java 6 update 37 being available:

The second dialog has info about McAfee, which I don’t use so ignore the commercial:

While waiting for the install there’s a commercial about the 3 billion devices using Java, which is mostly cell phones:

At last the Java install is done and we can all get back to productive work:


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Keeping Windows 7 Secure in October

Keeping our Windows 7 computers secure is a never-ending process that we have become accustomed to through automatic, online updates. Last night I happened to restart the Windows 7 virtual machine on my MacBook Pro and noticed that 17 updates were ready:

This morning I was curious and wanted to see what these updates were:

The latest October updates were mostly security, and bug fixes. Earlier in October there were also plenty of updates for Microsoft Security Essentials.

My advise is to keep the auto-updates turned on with your Windows 7 computers, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and maybe read a few more pages of a book while updating and restarting your computer. It’s a small price to pay for the security and bug fixes offered.


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Copy and Paste, Windows and Mac

As a web developer I use Windows and Mac every day, however I started out on Windows decades ago and have memorized the familiar Copy (Control+C) and Paste (Control+V) with my left hand and it works ergonomically very well with the Control key pressed by the left pinky finger.

A few years ago I bought my first MacBook Pro laptop and had the painful task of using the Apple Command key, which on a MacBook Pro keyboard is two keys away from the Control key, therefore my left pinky finger cannot reach it.

Today I did some Google searching and found a way to add the familiar Control+C and Control+V on my MacBook Pro, instead of the awkward Command+C and Command+V. Here’s how, click: Apple> System Preferences> Keyboard> Keyboard Shortcuts> Application Shortcuts

Control C, Control V on a Mac

Click the + icon to add a new shortcut. Under Menu Ttile, type: Copy

Under Keyboard Shortcut, type the two keys together: Control C

Click the + icon, under Menu Title, type: Paste

Under Keyboard Shortcut, type the two keys together: Control V

You have now added the familiar Control C and Control V to your Mac:

Control V on a Mac

Your typing efficiency on a Mac will now equal that of a PC, enjoy.

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Mac OS X – Mountain Lion, 10.8.1

I use both Windows and Mac OS X every day, so have become accustomed to how Windows must restart after updates.

To my surprise the latest Mac OS X release of Mountain Lion numbered as 10.8.1 also required a restart:

It’s annoying to me when I have to loose several minutes of productive work time during the business day to install an update and wait for a restart Oh well, during the restart I just went over and used my iPad instead where I can continue to read all of my email accounts.

The official list of fixes for 10.8.1 include:

Happy computing.

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Windows 7 Has 16 Updates on August 16

Complex software like Windows 7 and Microsoft Office are constantly being updated to do a few things:

I always recommend that you have Auto-Update turned On. If you did that, then today you should see some 16 updates from Microsoft:


The only down-side to these types of updates is that you have to restart your computer, which in turn means that you are losing efficiency at work or home, so go get a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy your August 16 updates.

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Windows 7 Update – 10 of Them Today

Every day I use both Windows 7 and Mac OS X, side-by-side to get my web development work done, they both are capable, so no bashing going on here. Today my Windows 7 operating system told me that it had 10 updates to perform, so I let it go right ahead.


After it finally reached the 10th update and completed, then it restarted and I saw DOS programs being run in the funky black screen with white letters. On reboot it had to complete the install, so more waiting. I should’ve checked to see how big these updates were, so I’m just guessing that they were hundreds of megabytes in size. Anyway, here are the 10 updates that took some 15 minutes to install:


Lots of security updates which are necessary because hackers are constantly looking for exploits in Windows 7 so that they can take over your computer, steal your credit information and much worse by destroying your credit or online identity.

Moral of the Story

Always update your Windows 7 computer, keep current, use common sense when receiving spam and phishing emails.

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One response to “Windows 7 Update – 10 of Them Today”

  1. Karan Okimoto says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

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Windows 7 on a Mac

I’ve been using software from Parallels to let me run Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro for almost one year now. All has been well until I noticed that my C: drive was getting full.

My first response was to use Google and find out how to increase my C: drive disk space. The first page of search results suggested that I use an App called Image Tool, however I had no such App and started getting upset about not finding it. Finally in a forum the suggest was to Read The Fine Manual (RTFM).

Tough for a guy to do, so once I read the PDF manual I found the gem that I needed:

I’m now a happy camper with more disk space on C:.

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Another Microsoft Outlook Issue

In the Fall of 2009 I upgraded from Windows Vista 64 bit to Windows 7 Pro 64 bit and my laptop has been quite stable, that is until this morning. The first thing I do in the morning is run Outlook and to my horror it wouldn’t start, instead an ominous error dialog popped up:

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the outlook window.

No need to fear because Google is here. A quick search brought me to this forum with the answer to fix it.

I just needed to type this cryptic command from my Start and Run menu:

Outlook.exe /resetnavpane

It never ceases to amaze me at how really unstable the entire Microsoft empire of Operating System plus Applications really is. Because they have a virtual monopoly on the OS I have little choice but to use them in my daily routine.

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Windows 7 – My First Woe

I upgraded to Windows 7 Professional 64 bit the first month it came out and have been very pleased with it because I’ve had a more stable user experience.

Today I encountered my first woe, probably related to Windows 7. My DVD burner can only write CD’s with Windows Explorer. As soon as I insert a blank DVD disc the system tells me to insert another disc.


Plan B is to not use Windows Explorer to write a DVD, instead I’m writing now with a tool called Free Easy CD DVD burner V4.0 provided by Koyote. It does the job just fine on my laptop, so I’m happy.

I visited the official HP web site to look for newer drivers however none were listed for my Pavilion DV9820us

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One response to “Windows 7 – My First Woe”

  1. Daniel Payne says:

    My 2nd Windows 7 woe tonight, my laptop simply rebooted while playing backgammon at Yahoo games, a Java program that I've played hundreds of times before.

    Uggh. Windows 7 is feeling a lot like Vista to me now.

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Tethered Photography,Applescript, PHP, MySQL and Web Servers

I’m getting ready to do formal portraits at a corporate party in March so I’d like to share with you how I’ve automated my workflow to better serve clients. Here are my work flow objectives:

  1. Allow clients to be photographed, see proofs and order in a few minutes.
  2. Minimize any waiting in lines.
  3. Have fun, create lasting memories.

To achieve these objectives I’ve assembled the following technologies:

Here’s how the computers and camera are all connected:

I’m a geeky guy so I wrote my own Applescript to re-size and copy images, plus the proofing and order system was written with PHP, MySQL, Javascript, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

My web server on the PC is using the popular XAMPP tools, which are Open Source.

I operate my Canon 5D just like always, on full manual with custom white balance, everything metered so there are no surprises. Using the USB2.0 cable it takes about 6 seconds for an image to go from the camera to the iMac. I shoot JPEG for event photos to save time and they look just great. 

This script takes about 5 seconds to re-size the full-size image into a proof and thumbnail size images, then copies them over to a folder on the PC where the web server is running.

Proofing and Ordering
The client uses a web browser to see their proofs. At first they see thumbnails. Clicking a thumbnail brings up a larger image with a price list.


Post Event
When I arrive back home after the event, then I run another web page to take my batch credit card orders and process them. Yes, I wrote that one too.

I’ve been able to achieve my event photography work flow objectives by using some standard technology and some custom technology to get the job done. My clients can be photographed, proof and order in a few minutes. They’re happy and I’m busy sending orders to my lab and then delivering prints to clients.

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One response to “Tethered Photography,Applescript, PHP, MySQL and Web Servers”

  1. Chris Roane says:


    I love the article and your blog. Would you be interested in exchanging links with me? My website is http://www.montanaprogrammer.com/ . Please let me know!

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