Category Archives: Technology

The technical section where I might bemuse older tech that I discovered in boxes or new things that are worth blogging about.

Attention! Flickr To Be Acquired By SmugMug

Hey friends, I received this in an email the other day as someone who uses the photo service Flickr and figured I’d make a post about it to keep you in the loop if you are using it as well and if this message hit your Junk Mail folder.

The Announcement:
We’re excited to announce that Flickr has agreed to be acquired by SmugMug, the photography platform dedicated to visual storytellers. SmugMug has a long history of empowering people who love photography and who want to improve their craft, making them a perfect fit for Flickr and our creative community. With SmugMug, we’ll continue to focus on you, the Flickr members who inspire us all with your work.

Nothing will change immediately with regard to your Flickr account. You will still access Flickr with your current login credentials and you will have the same Flickr experience as you do now. We will continue to work to make your Flickr experience even better.
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AOL Instant Messenger (“AIM”) Says “Goodbye” (1997-2017)

Today is the day my friends in the cyber realms, for AOL’s Instant Messenger aka “AIM” is signing off for the final time. It first launched in May of 1997 and was in my opinion was pretty awesome for quite some time. Younger readers might not really remember it since texting and Facebook Messenger seem to rule the world of online chatter nowadays but back in the nineties this was initially all that you had.

Way back in the bygone days, my AOL account was set up with the KMPIERCE1 profile since I could not get KENPIERCE and believe me that was so annoying. Eventually they allowed for longer Screen Names so I was able to secure KENNYPIERCE before another version of me could snag it. In AIM you would organize your real life friends and the online ones into groups that made the most sense for you and I recall having one for musicians, family and even the occasional co-worker. As time went on and other services got into the mix, AIM would have competition from MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and even this thing called ICQ. To use any of these you needed their own software client and all of this was used via a dial-up modem. My how the times have changed.

Eventually software such as Trillian allowed users to load ALL of their respective online profiles into a single client and this was super helpful. You didn’t need four different applications running at the same time and instead could just use the one. I would use Trillian for years to access my AIM buddy list and the rest. Of course, speaking frankly, I haven’t used many of my old screen names for a number of years because those I wanted to “speak” to via the computer I would just email or text if I knew them good enough. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat dominating the way that everyone is interacting, there didn’t seem much sense in keeping up with it anymore. MSN Messenger would get replaced by Skype which I NEVER use and Yahoo Messenger is only functional on the web instead of a client and I deleted the ICQ account in total a few months ago during a purge of extraneous online items. I’ve read that your AIM Email address will still function but your Buddy List, Images and Chats will be gone (unless you had the setting enabled to save them for the last option) so hopefully those of you who were still using the service took some action. If you didn’t its ciao ciao.

Closing up I have to say that I did enjoy using AIM for the time that I did. Thanks to some topical chat rooms, I even kept a cabal of online friends who I would have never met in the real world and even so many years later some of them still touch base with me once in awhile which is nice. It feels like forever ago since I heard the dial-up strains to connect and the words “You’ve Got Mail” when there was something in my In-Box but like my Father always says “the only constant is change”. Thanks AOL for giving us AIM and letting us connect to worlds that were not as easy to reach back then. I hope all of the folks on my original Buddy List are well, and should any wish to catch up, I am easily found thanks to the websites. Now its time to click the sign-off icon and say “Goodbye”. Twenty years is a great run for sure.

Official Wiki Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM_(software)

No Stats For You! Compete.com Has Dissolved

Earlier today, I went to check my account on the COMPETE.com website since I had not done so in quite a while. For those who don’t know much about this website, let me explain that Compete.com is a statistical measure that is aimed at giving website developers and owners an better idea of where their outlets stand in the larger scheme of all things Internet. I used this one sporadically and only ever with the free options and this was the sight that opened up on my screen.

Yep, it seems as this one is off to the great Internet beyond and one would have to assume that the amount of resources that are necessary to continually provide statistical measures were just too high against the money coming in from those who chose the professional package of services. Believe it or not my friends, websites of all different types can and do often go away. Just look back at Friendster, Tribe.net and so many more that I cannot line out here in this little narrative. So why even bring this up you might ask and well the answer is simple since I am one of those web providers who enjoys learning about this stuff and knowing how my creativity is being received by the general Internet public. In my real life workaday world, I used to be a Technical Support Supervisor so I have a pretty solid understanding of a bunch of technical principles and that makes me fascinated by this stuff. If you were a customer of Compete.com I hope that you can get some kind of refund or at least refuse any past couple of months charges to your card if you didn’t know they were going away and they were billing you. If you are looking for some means of knowing your websites statistics or just feel like looking up sites like this one or my PiercingMetal.com one, you can use any of these other resources. Each of them feeds different data pools to compile their numbers but its still rather interesting to see what’s going on behind the scenes in the websites you like.
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A Kindle Fire Joins The Metal Media Office

Since I’ve been enjoying sharing the various technological implements that I use here at the Media Command HQ, I felt that you might be interested in knowing that I have just added an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet to the arsenal of things that I use to create and control these websites. I had owned a ASUS 7″ tablet in the not too distant past already but ending up giving it to a friend with a more immediate need for the device. My plan to replace this went by the wayside until the night I was purchasing a copy of the brand new Metallica CD and as I walked to the line in Best Buy in Union Square, I noticed that they had racks of Amazon Kindle Fire tablets for $40 apiece. How could I pass that deal up? I couldn’t and I didn’t.

kindle fire tablet, metal media office
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A New Addition For The Metal Media Office

Several months ago I had some fun and shared the various pieces of technology that made up my Metal Media Office. If you didn’t see it just click HERE to be more up to speed. Since the time that I shared those images, the Dell Studio laptop began having numerous problems with over-heating and performance so it needed to be replaced. I had it since 4/2009 and considering how much I used it I am surprised to find it lasting that long. Below is a photo of the latest device to join my creative arsenal. Check it out.

metaloffice_091515_01

It’s also a Dell system and one of their Inspiron models. It’s sort of gray in color and the screen display is super clear and I think 19″ with some of that being the sides around the display. Its fine for me for sure. I had it loaded with Windows 8, a 1TB hard drive and 8GB of RAM. Once I got it fully powered I upgraded it to Windows 10 and the latest Microsoft Office (which at the time of this writing is the Office 2016). It was the first time that I would lease the license for said software as opposed to owning it outright but by doing this I can install on all of my other systems and be in complete sync. That is very important to me. So far so good with this system, I like how it feels and now the decision on what to do with the old Studio machine. Perhaps I will repair the stuff that makes it overheat and use it as my travel system for short trips. I haven’t decided yet if the costs to work on it is worth it. So there you go, another look inside at my real life world and the things that help me manage its duties.