Ski day

Last Day of Season at Steven's Pass 062

Down the mountain full of snow with the sun at my and I stop to take a photo.  The photo to remind me of a wonderful day and a wonderful time and how great mother nature can be.  Shadows on the freshly groomed trails.


DVD Ripping Guide Coming

Just a quick note to remind myself to blog about what I am investigating.  Currently I am looking at what it takes to rip my DVDs.  I like having them on my PC so they are available via my Media Center interface.  All my movies without having to worry about the actual disks.

Last night I spent some time messing with DVDFab Platinum to find the right settings to get a single file that renders in Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center.  The nice thing is that I don’t have to use separate software to handle the encryption because DVDFab handles that.  However, I still have not found the right settings to get the files onto the PC.  I tried to use the VOB pass through setting but I cannot fast forward and rewind movies which is not cool.  When I have everything worked out I will post the entire process here.

I did learn about one new piece of software, handbrake (from, but it looks like I will need AnyDVD to get through the encryption.  I will post results once I investigate.

Let’s get it started!

I am such a geek.  I can’t help myself.  I love learning new things, from new technology to a new word to new species of life I just love the excitement of learning something new.  I also love to solve problems and help others.  My intent is to marry all those things I love to do into this super blog where I can record all the things that I have done to help friends solve their problems.  Mostly this is related to computer software problems but I don’t want to limit myself to just that.  I will be looking into computer hardware, home theater, basic electronics among other things.  Once I have my solutions published I can easily refer my friends to my blog when they need help.  I am trying to fill in a hole where many people that offer tech support assume the users knows more than they actually do.  I want my help to be easy to use, accessible and applicable to everyone’s lives.

So here are some things that I have been intending to do for a while.  I am going to jot them down here with the hope that I won’t forget them and can refer back to this posting when I need an idea.

  • How to rip my CDs to my PCs in a quick, efficient manner.
  • How to get my songs on my PC onto my Zune.
  • How to register your own domain with
  • How to use Windows Live Mail as your email provider using your personal domain.
  • How to download and install the Windows Live Suite.
  • How and why to create a Windows Live ID.
  • How to import photos using Windows Live Photo Gallery.
  • How to setup Windows Live Mail as your email client.
  • How to tag your photos using Windows Live Photo Gallery.
  • How to create your own blog at
  • How to Windows Live Writer to easily post to your blog.
  • How to setup your XBox 360 to view your photos on your Windows XP or Windows Vista computer.
  • How to use a newsgroup to get help with a Microsoft Product.
  • How to get your DVDs on your Zune.
  • How to edit commercials out of TV shows recorded on Windows Vista Ultimate Media Center PC.
  • How to create your own website.
  • How to create a logo.
  • Create a movie

I am sure there is more for me to add but that is all for now.

How do you make a logo?

I am not talking about how you draw it.  I can get around in MS Expression Design or Adobe Illustrator but what I want to explore is how I do I make a good meaningful logo for my web site that ties into then name of the site and embodies the purpose for the web site.  With that in mind I went searching for a book or web site with helpful information.

The books I found so far are more about branding:
Killer Brands by Frank Lane
Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon

Killer Brands has a lot of neat stories of how a brand can make a company great and how a great company can make a not so good brand recognizable but not much on how to create an icon.

Primal Branding takes a look at how to connect to people by going back to their primal instincts.  It was more focused on creating a brand but it had some things that were good to consider.  There were 7 steps to creating a brand:

  • The Creation Story
  • The Creed
  • The Icons
  • The Rituals
  • The Pagans, or Nonbelievers
  • The Sacred Words
  • The Leader

These steps were interesting and of course I took to "The Icons" step right away.  I will post more about what I found later.