i am huge in japan

Friday, March 23, 2007

bits and pieces.

1) I have successfully switched my wife to using Gmail instead of Hotmail. I transferred years of messages over to the new account using a combination of Thunderbird's webmail extension and Google Mail Loader. A bit of waiting and some filter and label creation's later I was all done. The finishing touch was installing the Google Notifier for Mac.

2) I have been experimenting with TV aerials because I wanted to install a splitter to feed another channel to the PVR. After choosing the right parts and screwing it all together I was ultimately defeated by the fact the original signal just isn't good enough to split well. Came out looking terrible. I tried some other aerial + booster options but none gave everything I wanted. Back to square one!

3) My work has been joined up to an advanced education network connection. This gives unmetered free traffic to other educational sites around the world, instead of paying 3 cents per MB. The benefit for me is I now have a free fast way of downloading linux ISOs and also a place to get Ubuntu updates. At work they have previously built up because I don't want to spend the traffic on them too much.

4) I am using the Avant Window Navigator as my dock both at home and at work. It is quite similar to the OS X dock but better for me. It solves some of the window management issues I have with OS X. For instance if Firefox opens two separate windows, I can easily pick which one I want. The dock is being developed by Neil J Patel and his blog is a good read to catch up on AWN development and his other ideas. I strongly recommend trying the SVN build if possible.

5) The countdown is beginning in my head to the release of Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn. I believe I will download it and keep it fully patched with the connection mentioned above ;)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

one of those projects

It was a simple idea. Gather together some spare computer parts and frankenstei/build a sandbox to try out Windows programs on without putting the PVR at risk. What it turned out to be was a two day headache as an amazing array of failure was presented. Nearly every bit of hardware was replaced at some point:

3 Motherboards
3 Processors
10 RAM sticks
4 Video cards
2 Sound cards
2 Power supplies
2 Cases
2 Keyboards
2 IDE cable sets
3 Heat sinks + fans
3 XP discs

After finally getting a configuration that would POST every time, XP would freeze during the install. Trying of different discs and keyboards eventually lead to the discovery that it was just too hot in the case. This lead to the heat sink swapping the next day. Much hardware and support time provided by the one and only Ze "no blog" Jackal, second case and some hardware provided by Peter and some help with boot disc software and moral support given by Trog

Many Thanks to you all.

If it hadn't been for the chinese food smorgasboard dinner, I think we would have carked it.