Information Is King

OK, kiddies, gather round.  Let me pontificate loftily standing upon my bubbly box of soap, in order to loudly proclaim that information is king (or queen if that is your perspective).  Why is information so important?  The reason is simple!  The more information we have (at hand, it doesn’t have to be memorized, it can be in a book or anything readily available), the more we know.  The more we know, the more we can do!  The more we can do, the richer we become.  Not just in dollars and cents but in self-reliance, survival and practical sense.  Take that information that you know, and add it to what your friend knows and now you both know even more.  Take that and share it with what many other people you know and oh my goodness!  We have a revolution on our hands, a real live revelation revolution springing up.  It is natural that folks will still have their areas of expertise, but all of that shared knowledge is only going to help us out.  More people can then do more things, you have more people to help when one thing gets really busy and backlogged, like when everyone has generator problems during an ice storm.  Would you rather have 1 person trying to fix all those 100 or so broken gennies, or 2 or maybe 4 or 5 or even 10.  Do you see where I am going with this?

What I just wrote about above is the sole reason I started this site.  I had lots of information that I wanted to share with folk, anyone who could benefit from it.  I have been working with computers and related “stuff” for over 20 years now, and whether it was trying to pass along some basic info to keep Grandma safe while checking her email, or sharing the intimate technical details of setting up SVM software RAID on Solaris UNIX servers, I felt like I had information that would be worthwhile to others.  So far I’d say it’s been a success, while I don’t share the popularity or traffic that Slashdot gets for example, I get quite a lot of visitors compared to your average website or blog, and I do get some email now and then from people thanking me for the site or telling me that they found help with their problem they were trying to fix, and that makes all of the work and effort that I put into this site worthwhile.

If you have managed to read this far, you are probably now asking yourself what in the world I am going on about.  Well, keeping what I have previously said in mind, I have decided to expand the site a bit.  You see, when I started this site, it was only natural that I focus on IT related topics.  However, I have experience with and work on much more than just IT stuff.  In the past years I have been an electronics technician, why at one point I could repair the copper runs on a circuit board complete with new green (or amber or whatever) over coating so that one could hardly tell it had ever been broken in the first place.  At one point I spent years as a mechanic, working on everything from air and electric tools to outdoor power equipment to diesel trucks and buses and damn near anything in between.  In both of these cases I was lucky enough to work for business owners who were also masters in their field, I mean pure freakin’ geniuses at the technical work that they did.  This allowed me to not only learn a great deal, but also develop some of the habits that I have now that make some people call me a perfectionist.  I just say that if it’s got my name on it, I want to make damn sure I do it right.  I am not saying that I am perfect or anything, I make mistakes just like anyone else, I just try really really hard to avoid them!

I could go on about other stuff I have done, some good learning experiences and some not so much.  The point is that I have decided to start adding more information to this site as I get the oppotunity to do so.  Because after all, information is king (or queen if that is your perspective), and if I can share something that helps someone, who cares if it’s about a computer or about a truck or maybe a CD player or who knows what.  I don’t know everything but I know a little bit about a lot of things, and I love to learn.  Maybe I feel it’s my duty or maybe my mission to give back and share that information.  Worst case is that I waste some time and take up some extra binary real estate on my server and no one notices, or they notice and shake their head and mumble something about that crazy guy and his weird website that sounds like something out of Harry Potter.  On the other hand, what we might call the best case, someone and maybe many someones come along from Google or however they get here and find something useful to them and helpful in solving a problem they were dealing with.

How is that, eh?  How is that for a long winded rant about information! LOL  I hope you enjoy this site and find something useful here, I have put a lot of time, energy and money into it because I believe in sharing information.  If you have something you want to share, to add to the data archive, please by all means let me know about it via the contact page.  I am unable to pay you for any information that you share, but I will make sure that you get full credit for it, in whatever format you like (i.e. your name, pen name, alias, whatever).  That could be a good way for aspiring writers to easily get content published for reference later on when needing to provide examples of your work.

Many thanks to all of my readers and visitors that have stopped by and even taken the time to come back!  (Cue the mysterious pipe organ)  Enjoy!

Good Stuff, What Is It?

Let me talk to you for a moment about a new box of stuff on the right side of this site.  Yep, just like the title says, it’s Good Stuff!  First though, I want to share some information and history if you don’t already know.  I started this site because I wanted to share information.  I felt like (and still feel like) if we all share the knowledge that we have with one another, our collective knowledge base grows by leaps and bounds.  Seems obvious I know, but some folk I have seen and have even worked with want to horde information as if it were gold.  So, hoping that sharing some of my knowledge and information might help others, I started this site.  If someone is having a problem, and I have already run into the same thing and can post an adequate solution, then they get to solve that problem without re-inventing the wheel (so to speak).

I do this because it’s just something I do, a way that I can try to give back and help others.  I don’t charge people for access to anything, I don’t have banner ads or popups (or unders ;]) or anything like that.  At one point I played with Google Ads, but that was more to learn than really try and make any money.  Which is good because I didn’t make any, a few pennies here and there, but nothing really.  This though, is my point and has a direct impact on the Good Stuff I am getting ready to explain.  That point is that I run this site using my time, paying for the server and bandwidth out of my own pocket, and I like it that way.  I don’t want to be beholden to a vendor.  I do have a donation link, so if a reader wants to show some love they can, but that’s different.  I don’t get any kind of payment, kickbacks, reimbursement, dump truck loads of yen, or anything from companies that sell products, especially the ones I talk about or recommend.

What does this mean?  This means that if I post a review about something, I am not blowing smoke just to say there is a fire.  I am telling you, my reader, my own experience with whatever it might be and what my honest opinion is about it as well.  Mainly I do this when I find something really cool that I think more people need to know about.  Some piece of software that other geeks like me might find useful, or a game or whatever that seems to be well worth the duckets.  I want to share that information with anyone who wants to read about it, that might benefit from it, and I want them to know that the information is coming from an unbiased source.

So, back to the Good Stuff box.  This is where I am putting stuff to showcase things that go above and beyond or are extra good or really special, etc.  Kind of like banner ads except I decide what is put there and no one is paying me to do so.  It’s a showcase of things that I use and that I very highly recommend and therefore proclaim to be “Good Stuff”.  This site had over a million hits last year, and the traffic trend is still rising, so my goal is to share Good Stuff with my readers, and hopefully help encourage those people that care about the customer and care about providing good valuable service to keep up the good work.  If any of you have something you want to recommend, or some information you want to share with the world, hit the contact page and share it with me.  If I end up doing something with your submission, I’ll make sure you get credit for it.  Thanks.

A free game and a quick link

And a heads up!  I added a link to the links section here on the Solarum site, and it made me want to drop a note up here to remind folk about that particular section.  The links section is where I post links to various and sundry things that appear to be useful or humorous to folk in one way or another.  So, you might want to check it out because you never know what you might find, like today where I just posted a link to a the great game Baseball Mogul version 6 since it has been released for free by the company that makes it.  Come back often and check that links section out, lots of goodies in there.

Stat

Let me give you all an update, I am behind in starting the new year off with a bang, but hey I figure better late than never. Life keeps trying to get in the way, but I am determined to get some more good stuff posted here and keep the flow of information moving along. So, hang in there and check back soon because I have lots of new stuff coming, especially with all of the new technology hitting the streets!

Finally, a good charity that does it right!

Cp_logo_croppedOK folks, this one is important so listen up.  I get calls all the time from “charities” soliciting money for their cause.  When you ask a few questions you find out this is a front company for the “charity” and they are skimming as much as 80% to 85% of your donation to cover “administrative fees”!!!  Talk about getting screwed.  We might donate $100 (it makes the math easy), and $15 or $20 might make it to those who need it.  That to me is not acceptable so I don’t give them any of my hard earned duckets.

Now, that isn’t to say that I don’t give money to charity, on the contrary, I do.  But I have been burned in the past so I try to check them out now.  That’s why this post is important, I found a great charity that helps children in need, it was started by a pair of cool guys (Yep, the same pair that brought us Penny Arcade) and they take almost nothing in “administrative fees”.  Instead of taking 85% off the top, these guys take as little as possible and make sure it doesn’t go over 2% or 3%.  Yeah, you read that right, it’s not a typo.  Have I got your attention now?  Good.

The charity is called Child’s Play, and they work to help children who are stuck in hospitals with long term illnesses cope with the mental anguish, fear, boredom and everything else they go through.  Tons of money goes into the medical research side of things which is good, but these guys are trying to help the other side, the kids and coping with whatever hardship they are going through.  They are hooked up with over 70 hospitals all over the world with more getting added all the time.  Most donations are made through a third party like Amazon.com.  You can go to the Child’s Play website to pick the hospital of your choice, and then buy something on amazon for that hospital.  It can be a toy, a game, a game console, books, whatever moves you, it’s all good.  However, instead of shipping it to your location, you can instead ship it directly to the hospital.  Wanna know the best part?  100% of that donation just went to the hospital that you picked.  You can donate money too, and other things/ways/etc that are spelled out on their website, and almost everything goes straight to the intended target.

So, check it out, take a look at the site, spread the word and when you feel like giving, do some good with a charity that is working as hard as you are to help kids that need all the help they can get.

Thank you.

Get Help In The Forums

Just a reminder folks, don’t forget about the Solarum forums.  Be sure to register if you haven’t already and hop on over there and ask some questions or just chit chat with folk.  They aren’t as busy as they used to be, but I’m trying to stir up the fire a little bit and get people back in there.  It really is a good place to ask questions, because we have some really smart geeks in there that can help you get it answered!  So check it out