Blogs

How many passwords do you use?

It was just announced that boards.ie was hacked and usernames and passwords stolen. Now, I'd hate to have used a good password on boards, e.g., the password for my facebook account or gmail account. The first thing BB would do if it was him would be to log into your account and see if you're a spreader of rumors or if you are friends with a spreader of rumors. Just how much of your personal identity is on social networking sites? Just how much private information is in your email account? Did you use the same facebook password as your email account? Change them now! There are lots of guidance on picking strong passwords, e.g., from Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo.

Seriously??? the same numbers?

Some people are walking around with a super grin this week...

The same numbers just turned up in the Bulgarian lottery this week that turned up last week... seriously. It was bound to happen sooner or later somewhere, all the same, I can't help thinking about Billy Covington and the Thai state lottery.

Now my question is this: what kind of weirdo plays the numbers that won last week? There's eighteen of them in Bulgaria apparently... I wonder if they will play them again next week... weirdos.

New Commodore64, no wait, Asus keyboard PC

For those of us who grew up playing with the Commodore 64 before shifting to big PC boxes it felt like a step backward from a aesthetics perspective to move from a PC encased in a keyboard to a (not-much-smaller) keyboard attached to a big ugly box that sat under the desk. KC has been talking for years about the inevitability of a shift backward to flatter computers in keyboards and for a while it looked like everyone was simply content to down-shift to a laptop. I have to say, Asus have revealed something that should satisfy everyone. It's a fabulously flat keyboard that has everything you'd need to connect to a larger screen. Oh, and it also has a 5 inch touch screen on it too, just in case you're on the road (or if you don't need the larger screen space)! Engadget has a story here with sexy photos, well worth a look. Needless to say, I want!
(Thanks Richie)

Setting British English as the Default Language in OSX

I don't usually do this but it just took me an age to figure out how to coerce Apple's Pages to spell check my documents according to that Queen's English. To save one the imposition of figuring out how to do this, here's my solution: Open system settings, select International, open the Language Tab, and press the "Edit List..." button. Now scroll down and tick the box for British English. This will add British English to the top of the list of Languages. After a brisk restart (I know...) everything should be right with the world and you should be free to banish those whoreson zeds...

What OS is your Presidential Candidate (and other Palin Wonders)?

I just had to share this:

(From yogan's archive of lulz. Thank you Yogan!)
I've been watching VP candidate Palin on youtube, have you? Did you know she reads all the news?


And did you see the Saturday Night Live clip that totally misrepresented her?

Hard Drive Failures and Backing Up

I had a hard drive failure two weeks ago. Luckily almost everything on the system was fully backed-up so it wasn't too much of a pain. I had used unison to backup my home directory and the subclipse eclipse plugin to backup my eclipse workspace. The data that were lost (and ultimately mostly salvaged) were the websites on my system, the contents of my mysql databases, as well as data stored in other user accounts on my machine (although I don't take responsibility for these data). I used dd_recover to salvage data from the broken drive and wrote up a wiki page on the process I used. The process was somewhat successful and most of the important data was salvageable.

My experiences support the rule that prevention is better than cure. So, with this in mind I've set up a page outlining my current backup policies using rsync, unison, subversion, etc. This page will be grown over the coming weeks with backup information I am using to ensure that my websites and databases are not lost in future. In the spirit of openness I'd like people to take a look at my setup and poke holes in it or make suggestions for improvement. Feel free to reuse my scripts to build your own backup scripts as I have done from others (e.g., Mike Rubel's rsync scripts). Remember, backup early and backup often, there is no sympathy for anyone who loses data for want of proper backups.

No to WWW

I came across No-www some time ago and they caught my attention in a big way. Why do we use www? It's gotta be past its usefulness and No-www think we should deprecate it. So, with this in mind this website doesn't do www - if you load www.lorcancoyle.org you get lorcancoyle.org. I just got validated by the good people at No-www and am proudly displaying my Class B certification (near the bottom of the right sidebar). Hack the Planet, hack the 万维网!

Playing with Chumby

I recently ordered 5 chumbys from www.international-orders.com. (Delivery was prompt, thanks International-Orders.com.)
The Chumby is great, it's basically a €200 alarm clock. It uses your WiFi to connect to the web and you can install all kinds of widgets for it. I'm mostly using it to read the news in bed in the morning, keep up with my google calendars, facebook status (pictured below), show visitors my facebook photo albums, subscribe to Dilbert, ICANHAZCHEEZEBURGER, PhD Comics, and watch webcams. You can even subscribe to podcasts! I might write some new widgets for it if I have the time, I'd like to see surf forecasts, more newspapers, and tv guides on it perhaps... (there's a virtual view of my Chumby here).


oh, it also serves as an alarm clock... worth every penny... maybe ;-)

Upgrading the Hard Drive in a Macbook

Two days ago I upgraded the hard drive in my MacBook from Apple's paltry default 80G to 250G. I bought a compliant hard drive from komplett.ie for €76 and followed Apple's straightforward instructions. Everything seems to be working well, so it looks like I got a great deal on my upgrade (as I did when I upgraded the RAM in my laptop).

CombinePDFs

Monkey Bread Software produce a really nice piece of freeware Mac OSX software called
CombinePDFs
that allows you to merge or combine PDFs into a single document. It's easy to work with and does exactly what it says on the tin. Thanks Monkey Bread Software :-)

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