I’ve been running Firefox 3.5 and Internet Explorer 8 on this machine for a little while now. Both are worthy upgrades to their line, addressing their previous shortcomings quite nicely - Firefox is now faster and more importantly leaner on memory use, and Internet Explorer seems to have mostly shaken off the dull, bare bones feel that it’s had in the past, and is definitely faster and more standards compliant.

Read more →

Good news for coffee lovers such as myself - caffeine seems to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s. The doses in the research were fairly high though - 500mg per day, or about 5 cups of coffee (the US standard for espresso is 64mg caffeine per fluid ounce, which equals 96mg per shot). I might have got through that in a day at one stage, but I’m not chain-chugging Red Bull and coffee like I used to a few years ago.

Read more →

Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been derided by some, with extensive cries of ‘learn a real instrument!’; however it’s my experience that by making simulated instrument playing more accessible to the masses, these games are responsible for many taking up an instrument for the first time, or reconnecting with a previously abandoned musical hobby. It’s the latter for me - I was heavily involved in music throughout my school days, until an overly pushy music teacher sucked all the joy out of it (what, you have a free evening / weekend that you’re not playing music in?

Read more →

I’m busy, again. A ton of things just bunched up towards the end of the month, and I’m on-site with a customer in Cambridge some of next week, so I’m keeping my head down a little right now. Here’s a news-blast though. I love Ubuntu server I’ve been setting up my new server. I’ve probably said this before, but for servers, Linux rocks. I’m ambivalent about Linux on the desktop, where I believe consistency and usability are more important (the Mac floats my boat the most there, and Windows if only because of MSVC++), but for a server Linux really brings great things to the table.

Read more →

I just assembled a new server machine, which in the end I chose to house in a shiny aluminium Thermaltake Lanbox, which is relatively compact but still roomy enough for two hard drives, a bog-standard power supply, and plenty of airflow, which is what I wanted. I also knew that the fans on this case were nice and quiet (I have a black steel version as a GPU test box, I wanted a lighter version this time!

Read more →

Oh, this is so ripe for satire I really can’t believe Microsoft didn’t see it coming. Or, perhaps they did and just ran with it anyway, for funsies. It appears Microsoft’s Australian website is encouraging people to switch to IE8 by offering an online treasure hunt, where a series of clues will lead you to a site identifying the location of the $10k (AU$ presumably), which can only be viewed with IE8.

Read more →

I’ve harped on many times about how I think centrally controlled services like Facebook are the antithesis of what the Internet was supposed to be about - a distributed, decentralised place with authority controlled at the leaves by those with most interest in maintaining it, rather than some corporate hub holding all the cards. Well, it seems like a small bunch of companies are starting to latch on to this idea too, a welcome respite from the huge number of ventures that just want to be the new singular nexus of your internet life.

Read more →

Bah. I’ve used svnmerge for ages to meet my Subversion merging needs, but a change around property management in Subversion 1.6 makes it no longer work anymore. Yes, I know Subversion has had its own merging features since 1.5, but I still use svnmerge because it works well, it generates me detailed merge commit messages, and it doesn’t require me to upgrade all my repositories to use it. Sourceforge was on Subversion 1.

Read more →

Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire hit BBC2 last night, having been previously aired in the US via Comedy Central (this was a joint BBC and CC production). As a spoof of a fantasy genre, it was pretty much required watching by yours truly, being as I am torn between indulging my inherent sci-fi/fantasy geekdom, and being cynical about the general derivativeness of most of the genre. It was a strange beast - a real melting pot of some genuinely funny moments mixed in with some predictable gags; occasional comic gems mixed with a smattering of naff, crude humour.

Read more →

Ok, so I’ve been doing a bit of looking around for my new server builds. As I’ve thought about this, I’ve firmed up my requirements to the following: Low-power, low-noise 2 x 3.5″ SATA2 hard drive bays (hot plug not required, I’m just going to use Linux’s built-in RAID1 again) All standard, replaceable components - no custom PSUs especially Small form factor (as much as possible given the other requirements) Cost-effective Performance almost irrelevant The things I have decided on:

Read more →