Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Since it is Sunday and I want to relax, I thought I’d just make a short post and share a fun website I found.  I found this site the other day when I wanted to make a cartoon out of a photo:


It is a free site that allows you to apply a variety of art tools to photos, including a “cartoonizer.”  Let me show you a before and after shot including some cropping.





Cool, huh?

Let me know what fun things you cartoonize.  I thought this would be a great way to treat a photo for a Facebook icon or other avatar.

Best Regards,



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I am very sorry for being absent for the last several days.  Late Saturday afternoon, I was happily googling the topic of passive homes, when I must have clicked on SOMETHING very, very nasty.  The website I was trying to view stopped loading and when I went back to my Google page, everything I clicked on would lead me to these crazy ad sites rather than where I was trying to go.  About a minute later, these windows with dire warnings about spyware and infected computers started popping up, though I recognized right away that those windows were actually some type of malware themselves.

I hollered for the other Dr. Z (home IT specialist and all around smart guy) and he came up to have a look.  “Have you backed up lately?” was his first question.  “Ummmm…..”  Well, not in a while.  But I told him I hadn’t added too much since my last backup – it would not kill me if I lost a few things.  He suggested trying an anti-virus run first.  It found several things and threw them into the vault, but upon rebooting, the problem was back.  Dear husband promised to try to sort it out on Father’s Day – what a nice present for him, eh?

He spent several hours on my computer, bitterly complaining about how annoying it was to actually know something about computers, so that he always had to fix things.  I told him it beat the heck out of having to pay the Geek Squad to fix it.   He also threatened to buy everyone in the house who didn’t already have one a Mac.  I told him that was a bit extreme considering that all the kids and I did was surf the web and use MS Office once in a while.

After backing up as many of my files as he could by hand onto a portable drive, he concluded that what had infected my computer was so nasty that he preferred to wipe everything and reinstall Windows.  So he spend Father’s Day finishing that up.

I spent yesterday reinstalling the software I actually use.  On the plus side, my computer is nicely decluttered!  On the downside, the most recent version of the files I track family expenses on somehow did not make it into the backup.  I had an couple day old backup on a thumb drive, so I was able to reinstall that, but had to spend about an hour re-entering receipts I had put in late last week.  Could have been worse.  I promptly set that software to backup those files EVERY time I use the software.

So, all is well that ends well, but I am sorry to have ruined his Father’s Day that way.  I did make him Chicken Crepes and beignets for dinner.   I will post those recipes some other time.

I guess the lesson learned here is – BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP.  And – when it comes to surfing the Internet, a good dose of paranoia is helpful.  I thought I was pretty cautious and still ran into problems.  You can bet I will be watching links on web pages a lot more closely before I click them!

So, go now – backup your files, run your anti-virus software, and make sure that software is set to run automatically and often.   What, you don’t have anti-virus software??  Go straight to visit Miss Kim Komando’s site – she has vetted many good free options.  A search for Kim Komando should let you easily find her site.

Best regards,


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