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It’s Time for a Blogging Break!

Well, I’ve been meaning to write several posts for about a month now and just haven’t had the time, so I decided that I’m way past due in officially declaring that I am taking a blogging break. Let’s say I’ll be back on January 1, 2010, and then if I find time before that, all the better.

This type of post is usually accompanied with a list of activities that have kept the writer busy, so to stay true to the form, here is mine.

  • We’ve had an accident in the family (Rob was rear-ended, and thankfully all involved were uninjured),
  • we’ve had two deaths (my great aunt Oleva and my grandma Oakes),
  • we found a house that was too good to pass up (and we close on Monday–let the packing/moving/unpacking begin!),
  • we’re buying a house (we visited the open house on a whim and couldn’t pass it up),
  • and–last but most definitely not least–we’re welcoming our first nephew, Lenden Eugene Archer, to the world 10 days early (Momma, Daddy, and family are lucky enough to know the time and date, thanks to a scheduled C-section).

It has been an eventful time since we moved back to America, to say the least, and I haven’t even told you the half of it!

Until next time!

The Secret to Headache-Free Windows 7 Setup

So you just upgraded or installed Windows 7, unbloated that nasty Windows.old file, and now you need to upload some pictures to Picasa, but you don’t know when you’ll have time to download it, since you’ve spent all afternoon downloading and installing Firefox, iTunes, Digsby, and FileZilla. It’s time to go to the bathroom. Oh, and maybe the kitties need to be fed and dinner needs to be made for your starving husband… Well, pull out that Rachel Ray 30-minute meals cookbook and let your computer do the installing for you.

Lifehacker just ran a little post called “Top 10 Windows 7 Booster Apps” and waaay down at the bottom of the post hides the most useful app on the list. I knew I would love it from the minute I read the description. It’s called Ninite Easy PC Setup, and it’s brill.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Point your browser to Ninite.com
  2. Select the programs you want and need on your computer. Choose from almost 60 programs, including some of my favorites, Digsby, FileZilla, and Notepad++.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click “Get Installer.”
  4. Run the installer.

Make dinner, take a bath, go for a run, or call your mom. When you come back to your computer later, all your apps will be installed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I’m planning on installing Chrome OS on my laptop when it comes out, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ninite works in Chrome. Has anyone tried it in other OSes?

Remember that my brother, Daniel Hargett, is available online via CrossLoop to answer any of your Windows 7 questions or help you with any problems you might encounter. He is also my resident iPod Touch/iPhone expert, and he knows Motorola phones like the back of his hand.

The Secret to Optimizing Windows 7 After an Upgrade [Guest Post]

This guest post is from my little brother, Daniel, who recently saved my laptop from almost certain bricking. Check out his other guest posts here.

So you took the dive and upgraded to Windows 7, eh? Congratulations! Now what? Let me tell you a dirty little secret about upgrading to Windows 7.

If you poke around on your hard drive, you’ll probably notice that there’s a folder in the root of your C:\ drive called “Windows.old” and it is huge. The Win 7 installer saves all of your old files from your previous Windows install for you. Now you have 2 copies of everything! Yay!

This detailed, step-by-step guide with pictures will help you clear out all those old files and free up lots of valuable hard drive space. You’re probably thinking that you can just right-click it and select delete, right? NOPE! You’d have to go through some complicated permissions steps to go that route. Let me show you the easy way! (Click the link in each step to see a helpful image.)

  1. First, click your start button.
  2. Then click on Control Panel.
  3. Then click on System and Security.
  4. Then click on Administrative Tools > Free up Disk Space.
  5. Then it will ask you which drive you want to clean up, Make sure (C:) is selected then click the Ok button.
  6. Then you will see this box while it scans for files to be deleted.
  7. The next screen shows a list of files that can be deleted to free up space. We’ll ignore that for now and click the Clean up System Files button.
  8. It will again ask you which drive you want. Again, make sure (C:) is selected and click Ok. Then you will see the scan dialog again. It may take a much longer time to scan this time, just be patient.
  9. Once it’s done, you will see the Disk Cleanup window again with some new items, and missing a button at the bottom. Scroll down that list and select the “Previous Windows Installation” and “Windows Upgrade logs,” then click the Ok button at the bottom of the window.
  10. It will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete those files. Click the Delete Files button. Then a progress bar window will pop up while it deletes. Be patient, this could take an hour or two, depending on how many files have to be deleted and how fast your computer is. It will disappear once it’s done, and you’ll have a bunch of space freed up!
  11. Don’t forget to defragment after this to really optimize hard drive speed. (To defrag, click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Defragment your hard drive.)

Get help from Daniel Hargett!
Want to learn how to do other cool stuff with your computer? Need some software or a peripheral installed? Have a problem with your computer that you need help fixing? Want to make the most of your iPhone? Allow me to do it for you over the internet! I can help you remotely over the internet. Just check out my profile and contact me at http://www.crossloop.com/DanielHargett

This I Believe Podcasts 10: Friendship

For the final This I Believe podcasts post, we hear about a topic very important to me: friendship. A normally happy, carefree topic, Hannah, Andreas, and Carolin share times in their lives when they encountered difficulties and friends came through for them or they realized the power of friendship, the power of a smile.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“The Power of Friendship” by Hannah Vollmer — Click here to listen.

When she had to move from her hometown to go to college, Hannah felt utterly and completely alone. But hardly a day passed before her friends reminded her that they would always be there for her, and now she believes in the huge impact friends can have on your life.

“No More Truth and Ritalin” by Andreas Günzing — Click here to listen.

When his best friend was in a desperate situation, Andreas realized that the value he had placed on Truth did not matter in the end. Only a smile does.

“A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed” by Carolin 1 — Click here to listen.

When her mother was away, Carolin had to admit her father to the hospital and watch his condition deteriorate. It was more than she could handle, but one phone call and Anna was there, being the best friend anyone could ask for at such a time.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.



This I Believe Podcasts 9: Balance, Hope, Death

Today, three students share beliefs that influence they way they deal with life’s most difficult times—including failure and success, rape, drugs, and death—and find hopeful and reassuring answers during their searching.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“The Pendulum of Life” by Natalie Müller — Click here to listen.

Natalie believes that balance is a powerful, passive force that is a part of each of us, and that gives her hope in even the darkest times.

“Unbreakable Strength” by Anna Scheer — Click here to listen.

Having observed three close friends and family members endure the unthinkable and overcoming it, Anna developed an unbreakable faith in the strength of each of us.

“The Very Basic Rule of Energy” by Masja Raab — Click here to listen.

When her mother died, Masja realized that she did not know what she believed about life after death, much less how to Be without her mother. That’s when she found peace in an odd place: a lesson from her physics class.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.

This I Believe Podcasts 8: Optimism, Souls, Sports

Today, three students share three different sources of strength: Karolina  finds direction in her positive thinking, student 4 find peace and new friends because of her belief in our souls, and Katharina finds strength for everyday life in the lessons of the heptathlon.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“How Thinking Positively Shapes My Life” by Karolina — Click here to listen.

Before she was aware of it, Karolina’s parents encouraged her to think optimistically. She started to notice the power of positive thinking when she moved away for college and became independent, and optimism gives her peace about the future.

“My Companion, The Soul” by Student 4* — Click here to listen.

A near-death experience as a teenager shaped this student’s beliefs about what happens to our souls once our bodies have ceased to function and how our souls interact with others’ souls.

“Heptathlon – A School For Life” by Katharina Eberling — Click here to listen.

This athlete shares a belief in the heptathlon because it has taught her that life’s challenges take hard work, joy, and an ounce of luck.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.

This I Believe Podcasts 7: Hope, Music, Friendship

Today, Charlotte tells us how she–a  perfectionist–finally learned that life will go on even when the . Student 2 shares her love for music and making music, and student 3 relates a strong belief in the power of friendship.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“Life Goes On” by Charlotte Feyh — Click here to listen.

For this perfectionist, coming to the realization that life goes on even when the To Do list is not completed was calming and reassuring.

“Music Was My First Love — And It Will Be My Last” by Student 2* — Click here to listen.

When she was little, this student only practiced piano to keep her mom and teacher happy. Later in life, though, she found that making music helped her to cope with life’s everyday stresses.

“More Than Social Contacts” by Student 3* — Click here to listen.

For this student, true friendship manifested early, in kindergarten, and it has continued to be a integral part of her life, through thick and thin, ever since.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.


This I Believe Podcasts 6: Decisions, Family, Pride/Religion

Today we hear from students who express beliefs that developed as they became adults and looked back on their lives. The beliefs they speak about better equip them to deal with their lives as adults, for Carolin 2 as she learns to make decisions, for Julia as she realizes the value of family, and for Christoph as he finds the right balance of pride in his life.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“Decisions At Any Time” by Carolin 2 — Click here to listen.

As Carolin matured, her understanding of and difficulties with decisions developed, and came to realize the importance of decisions and helping others with their decisions.

“True Values Often Lie in Secrecy” by Julia — Click here to listen.

Her mother worked extra hours so that she would take keyboard lessons, and her brother would purposely lose a schoolyard game to save her from the loser’s punishment, but Julia didn’t realize it until she was older. Now she truly appreciates what “family” means and tries to repay those acts of love.

“Warriors in Life” by Christoph — Click here to listen.

The idea of “doing as you would be done by” and the religion of Asatru converged to guide Christoph as he interacts with other people and rises to meet the challenges in his life.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.

This I Believe Podcasts 5: Self-confidence, Motivation, Taking Risks, Hope for the Future

Each of these students encountered a situation that made them stretch, grow, and learn about their beliefs and limits. For Jana and Miss Sprengel, it was a goal they had set for themselves. For Katinka, it took pushing herself in an unexpected way to realize what she was capable of, and for Sarah, it was the clash of what her parents had taught her and what she learned in school, and, much later, the election of Barack Obama as United States president.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“I Believe in Myself and I Have Confidence in My Abilities” by Jana Brückmann — Click here to listen..

Jana was greatly affected by her friend’s perceptions of her as child, so it took her own hard-earned success to open her eyes to the truth: she IS capable, and she SHOULD believe in herself.

“I Believe in Motivation” by Miss Sprengel — Click here to listen..

Ms. Sprengel first realized how motivation affects her life when an exuberant teacher made Latin class exciting. Later, it was the motivation of crossing the finish line in the New York Marathon that kept her running despite a pain in her knee.

“I Believe in Extreme Sports” by Katinka Rumpf — Click here to listen. (Rumpf).

A family trip to Spain introduced Katinka to extreme sports, and she can’t get enough! They have taught her about her limits, her own strenght, and what she can accomplish.

“A New President” by Sarah Kanngießer — Click here to listen..

Her parents raised her to treat everyone equally, but when Sarah learned about segregation and the KKK in school, she found out that not everyone agreed with the lessons her mother taught her as a young child. Barak Obama’s election in 2008 restored her hope that, in the future, all men will truly be treated as equals.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.

This I Believe Podcasts 4: Education, Optimism, Change

In today’s podcasts, we’ll hear how these students’ futures were turned around by unexpected life events.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast, or right-click to download the file.

The Podcasts

“A Better Life” by Susann — Click here to listen.

Susann never worried about the future and didn’t care about performing well in school. Then a job with low wages and her friends’ experiences made her realize that she wanted more out of life, so she became a university student, discovered her passions, and easily adjusted to the student life she had hated so much when she was younger.

“Experience Teaches” by Student 5* — Click here to listen.

Life’s experiences, both positive and negative, are a roadmap for this student.

“Going Through Changes” by Ann — Click here to listen.

For most of her life, Anna clung to the comfortable and avoided change, then, three months ago, her parents left her in charge of the family home when they moved to Finland for their jobs. That single event–and her success–showed Anna that change can make her stronger.

Want to Hear More?

I’ll be publishing all 31 recordings on my blog over the next month (three to four podcasts every three days), so be sure to check back, sign-up to receive posts via email, or subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also check the This I Believe directory to search by student name, topic, or publication date.

Creative Commons license

Each This I Believe podcast recording is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States license (read more about this license by clicking here). To post, publish, or use any recording (other than for private use), please contact me by email at l@lindenamueller.com and I will put you in contact with the student, who has retained all original copyrights.

Notes

* I gave my students the option to publish their podcasts anonymously, and several students chose to do so. I will refer to these students as “Student #”, where # is a randomly assigned number.