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Last standing Obelisk in Heliopolis April 19, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Ancient Egypt, Egyptology, مصر القديمة.
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This plate which was drawn by Denon in 1800 shows what today is the last standing obelisk in Heliopolis.  At approximately 68 feel high and 120 tons, it is quite impressive.  It was quarried in the XII Dynasty (1956-1911 bc) under direction of the Pharaoh Senusret I.  A bit of trivia:  Which country has the most Ancient Egyptian Obelisks?  No, it’s  not Egypt.  Italy and specifically Rome which has 13.

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Obelisk of Senusret I


Before and after shots of Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano April 17, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Geo.
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Most recent Video Link Click on Horfa once the new window  opens.

Egyptian Mosque, Circa 1800 by Dominique Vivant, Baron de Denon April 15, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Egyptology.
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Continuing on my path to make available all of the various prints, maps and just generally interesting things on Egypt that I possess.  Here are two orignal prints/plates by the famous French artist and archeologist Dominique Vivant the Baron de Denon.

Both Plates are from 1800. The Mosque is located on the island of Rawdah (Manyal or ar-Rawdah or Roda depending on who you ask) located on the Nile in the city of Cairo Egypt.  While I can’t confirm that it is still there, I plan to search for it on my next trip to Cairo.

While I have done my best to translate the Arabic text on plate XXVI I’ve had little success ( I have another scholar friend working on it now).  However another colleague of mine was kind enough to translate the Arabic text in the second plate.  It states,  “The entrance to this place is to certify that there is one God and Mohammed is the Prophet”.

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Al Manyal Ar Rawdah Inside

Al Manyal Ar Rawdah Outside

Maps of Ancient Egypt April 13, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Egyptology.
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Here are a couple of  old maps of Ancient Egypt from my collection.  (click to enlarge)

Ancient Egypt Stereographic Cards March 31, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Egyptology.
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Karnak Temple 1896

Karnak Temple 1896


Great Sphinx of Giza 1890

Great Sphinx of Giza 1890


Egyptian Obelisk

Egyptian Obelisk


Giza Pyramid 1890's

Giza Pyramid 1890's


Here are a few stereoviews of Egypt which I have collected over the years.  These images were taken in the 1890’s and were then manufactured into  Stereographic Cards.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge)  

What are Stereographic Cards?  

Stereoscopy, stereoscopic imaging or 3-D (three-dimensional) imaging is any technique capable of recording three-dimensional visual information or creating the illusion of depth in an image. (Credit to Wiki)

Erruption on Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Iceland March 21, 2010

Posted by Nikk in Geo.
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While my Blog has been technically orientated in the past, having lived in Iceland for two years and having numerous friends in Reykjavik and Keflavik I thought I’d share a photo taken by my good friend Styrmir.  He flew over Eyjafjallajökull Glacier last Thursday and snapped this great photo (click to enlarge). 

For more information on Eyjafjallajökull Glacier

Microsoft Releases Free Anti-Virus September 30, 2009

Posted by Nikk in Information Technology.
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Microsoft Security Essentials is a free Anti Virus program which detects viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojans.  The program runs on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  No registration or renewal, however  in order for it to work your PC must run genuine Windows.   Updates are published 3 times a day via Microsoft Update. There arent any management options so I don’t see it replaceing mainstream AV vendors in the corporate world.The focus of the product is more on the 50 to 60 percent of computer users who don’t have, or won’t pay for, antivirus protection.  After testing the product I found it to be fairly easy to use, intuitive, not very resource intensive and fairly effective.


Stats for 2008 on percent of market share:
Symantec 22%
McAfee   10.9%
Trend    7%
Others 60%

Download link here

Best Internet Browser? September 23, 2009

Posted by Nikk in Information Security, Information Technology.
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I’ve been using Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome for some time now. While each of them has some unique features, they all basically perform the same function, browsing the web. Since IE is the most prevalent internet browser in the world, 65% IE vs. 26% Firefox it only makes sense that the bad guys would try to exploit what is the most available. Clearly the search for the least amount of work vs. the most return is in play here.

In my experience any of the less used browsers will provide more “security through obscurity” levels of protection, which might work for a while, however not recommend. Since I do a lot of work in security I’m apt fire up Linux and use Konqueror for highly malicious sites as more exploits are written for a Windows type internet browser. While for day to day enterprise operations IE works just fine. In a recent study done by a third party vendor IE8 blocked eight of 10 of the malware-distributing sites, Mozilla’s Firefox 3 blocked 27% of the same sites. Chrome 2 blocked only 21%.

A question to pose is which version of IE you are using. If you’re using IE8 most of the new reports show IE8 to be the more secure. If you’re using IE6 or IE7 I’d say it’s time to upgrade. Ultimately following some industy best practices such as keeping your browser, OS, AV and antispyware up to date will help protect your system and to avoid unwanted payloads from malicious websites.

Need a Reason to switch to Windows 7? September 16, 2009

Posted by Nikk in Information Technology.
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7 is like XP SP3 with all the nice bells and whistles of Vista running correct


I’ve been an avid Windows XP fan for years.  I’ve been one of those stalwart believers that felt  nothing could be better than XP and that Vista was just another incarnation of Windows ME.
I lobbied for an extension of support for XP and believed that XP was the only operating system I would ever need… Until Windows 7.   Im not saying that Windows 7 is the answer to my “Enterprise Woes”.  After all when you have 10’s of thousands of PC’s there are numerous things to take into consideration.  However for the home user 7 is a real improvement over XP and Vista.

A fast install & boot up time
Better control over the UAC (User Account Control)
BitLocker To Go for encryption of removable storage devices
Improved Performance:
It’s designed to sleep & resume quicker
Less memory intensive
Find USB devices faster

Improved networking
Better driver and program support
Revamping of classic applications like Calc, Paint and WordPad
It’s not Vista.

Windows 7 requirements

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Twitter and Facebook: When Botnets attack! August 7, 2009

Posted by Nikk in Information Security.
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Botnets are here to stay and they only continue to be developed  into formidable tools used by the Internet bad guys or IBG’s as I call them.  IBG’s love tools like bots.  It provides a really great level of anonymity.  So big return, little risk?  A great combo in any business! 

Proliferation of bots, bot spread worms and the like are certainly on the increase and the threat will continue to rise until more is done to combat the problem.