Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Remove iTunes DRM Protection

Author: Steve Martin

music-notesI wrote an article about the benefits of buying your online music from Amazon instead of iTunes called i Buy Tunes at Amazon (DRM Free). Well, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do if you have already purchased a bunch of music from iTunes. The answer is YES! You actually have a couple of options. I am going to share my favorite option with you.

Since iTunes was pretty much the first legal avenue for purchasing music online, you may have accumulated a good collection before you even had any other options. A quick Google search will show you a bunch of free and inexpensive software programs that claim to be able to remove the DRM protection from your protected music. I have not tried any of these programs but you are welcome to give them a try. My solution is much simpler, yet a little more time consuming. You won’t need anything more than some blank CD-R disks and a CD burner. Got those? Ok, Let’s get started.

First, place one of your CD-R disks into your CD burner. Next, burn your DRM protected music as an audio CD playable in any CD player. Once completed, rip the music back onto your hard drive as MP3 files. You can use iTunes or Windows Media Player to do this. Just make sure you go into the RIP settings of either program to instruct it to rip as MP3 and not MP4 or WMA. That’s it! By following this process, you not only get your music DRM free, but you have created a backup CD in case your hard drive crashes. Kind of a forced backup (sometimes that’s exactly what we need in order for us to actually make a backup). 

So, get started burnin and rippin and you’ll soon have a completely DRM free music collection.

Would you want to know?

Author: Steve Martin

There is a song by Thriving Ivory called Angels on the Moon that got me thinking. You can hear it on their site by choosing “audio” and clicking on Angels on the Moon. For me, it actually started automatically playing when I visited the site. Anyway, in the song are the words “don’t tell me if I’m dying, cuz I don’t want to know. if I can’t see the sun, maybe I should go.” It got me thinking about whether or not I would want to know if I was dying.

For me, I think I would want to know. One of the reasons I would want to know is so that I could make the very most of the remaining time I had left. Make each day really worth while and get the most of every moment of every day. I would make sure I spent extra time with my kids and wife and leave them knowing that their father/husband really loved them. I could also make any necessary arrangements before I was gone so that others would not have to be burdened with them.

While I would want to know for myself, I would not necessarily want my wife and kids to know. I think the suspense would be harder and more emotional leading up to the final moment than dealing with the shock and emotions after I were gone. Lets say there were 6 months left, that’s six months of sadness and emotion plus dealing with the aftermath when you are gone. My wife is a big worrier, so being able to save her some grief would be a good thing. If I could spare her the 6 months of pain so that she just has to deal with the aftermath, it might be a good thing.

On the flip side, if my wife were the one with limited time left, I would want to know so that I could help her through it by helping her make the most of the remaining time. It would be sad to get stuck in self pity and sorrow when you have limited time left but I think it would be very difficult not to fall into that.

When we stop to think about it though, we are all dying. Every one of us will have to go through death. It may be in 30 years, it may be in 30 days. So, since we don’t know when that day will come, we should live life as if it were going to happen soon because…it just might. Every day is a new blessing to be with loved ones, lift people up, make the most of every situation. We recently got back from one of our first family vacations in about 5 years. With my work, it is hard to go away as I never know what might happen with my clients needing an on-site visit to fix problems. I fear not being there when they need me and possibly losing business. Well, we prayed that things would be ok with our clients and headed to Disneyland. I had calls about various problems and was able to fix them over the phone or by remotely getting onto their computers. Nothing major that required an immediate on-site visit. Everything requiring an on-site visit was able to wait until our return. I was able to see that I also need to be there for my family. It would be far better to lose a client than to lose the trust, closeness, and love of my wife or kids. They are number one in my life and should always remain so.

Anyway, hopefully we can stay focused on what is important in life as we don’t know how long we will be here. Make the most of every moment you have.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Smart Technology Receives 2008 Best of Riverton Award

U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., October 10, 2008 — Smart Technology has been selected for the 2008 Best of Riverton Award in the Computer Consultants category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).

The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)

U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Local Business Association
Email: PublicRelations@USLBA.net
URL: http://www.USLBA.net

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Pretty amazng right? Well, it is kind of a joke. I received this notification in my inbox this morning. I checked the company’s website that awarded this to me. If I want to receive the plaque, I have to pay for it. I didn’t even bother to find out how much they wanted. Maybe I should start giving out awards to companies and charging them for the awards. I could make a lot of money. Here is a link to their “official” press release. It’s amazing what people will do to trick you into giving them money. Beware people.

Akkuracy in reporting

Author: Steve Martin

We have recently had a couple of unfortunate events happen here in Herriman. I won’t go into detail about them but it has been very interesting to watch and read the news coverage of the events. They don’t seem to get any of the details correct. How the events took place, what the circumstances were, how many people were hurt, or even the ages of people involved.

I know I can’t be too upset by it as they report on a story while it is still unfolding and take what anyone says as fact. But, shouldn’t they try to verify details before going live and reporting on it to the entire community. I have been guilty of this as I’m sure everyone has but I usually try to verify details before I go spouting it off to someone else.

So, for my blog, I will try to post things that are accurate. If I fail, let me know so I can correct my mistakes. Hopefully the news will some day get their details correct before they do their news stories.

(I know, a pretty boring post. I’ll have some posts on better subjects later)

From my Mogul

Author: Steve Martin

I just can’t seem to test this out enough. I am writing this message from my Sprint Mogul cell phone. A really strange thing is happening. When I type, my text does not appear on screen but the curser moves along indicating that it really is typing. If I try to highlight the text to see if it is working, the text IS there. I just don’t get to see what I’m typing.

WordPress.org

Author: Steve Martin

Welcome to my new blog. I want to give a big thanks to the people at WordPress as they are the amazing minds and talent behind the inter-workings of this blog and are the reason it is possible. If you want to download their software free of charge and upload it to your host so that you can have your own blog, click on the WordPress logo and you’ll be able to read all about it and get things started. If you don’t already have a host and don’t want to get one, you can go to WordPress.com and they can host a blog for you (also for free). Pretty nice people huh?

I first came across WordPress because my wife wanted to start a blog to record some of our family’s events and basically keep a journal of some of the crazy things that happen in our house. Instead of sending out a mass e-mail, she can update one spot and people can check it out at their leisure. Her blog is found at http://jennymart.in if you wanted to check it out.

For my blog, I plan on writing up articles concerning technology and possibly some how-to articles about some of the things I face on a daily basis. I am an IT guy and take care of small and medium sized businesses with their computer networks and other technology. I very much enjoy my job. My company is Smart Technology and I have been in business about 4 years.

So, check back from time to time for more information about my life as an IT guy. Feel free to ask questions and give feedback. I am always interested in ways that I can improve my site, my business and my life.