Time to retire

It’s official. I have just been informed in an email from the RED DOT AWARDS COMPANY  (no subject) that I’ve won 600,000 pounds – Yay!

All I have to do is click to reply and request the payment – it really is that easy.

Posted in Humour | Leave a comment

Crash ‘n’ burn

In August 2009 as recounted in the podcast One Man and His Desk #6 I had a very nasty experience when using a USB SATA/IDE adapter having removed a drive from my main server for something of a ‘rejig’. The circuitry in the drive was fried in the process of plugging it into the adapter (albeit in a microscopic frying kind of way as I couldn’t really tell until it was examined subsequently by a specialist). It turned out that the adapter subsequently failed altogether for both IDE and SATA connections, so I recently bought another.

Last week a brand new external hard drive failed after just a few backups had been performed to it, so I played the telephone dispute game, wherein I pointed out that I couldn’t send the drive back as it contained gigabytes of company confidential code and data as well as website designs, code and data for scores of other clients. The technician kept trying to tell me that I just needed to take a copy of the drive and then wipe it, failing completely to see the simple irony (disk doesn’t power up – impossible to wipe). It would  have been child’s play to be clone if it was removed from its (bizzarely) sealed case.

I took a scalpel (of sorts) to the case and managed to extricate the drive. Having unpacked my new USB adapter kit I plugged it in ready to wipe the drive (and I was hoping to reuse it, after all an extra terrabyte of storage  is not to be sniffed at).

Fortunately I waited for the drive to spin up in anticipation (I was about to leave the room for a while), which was just as well as the drive went up in smoke – literally.

I’m beginning to lose faith in these cheap USB adapters

Posted in Hardware | 1 Comment

Microsoft – must try harder

Need I say more?

Microsoft error

Microsoft error

Posted in Humour, Software | 1 Comment

Dyslexic Banker

Now I do understand that we cannot all be top of the class when it comes to spelling and that some people suffer with a  condition that makes for a difficult life where reading and writing are concerned, but I do think if you aspire to be a success in ‘phishing’ scams, you should at least have a strategy for making recipients think the emails are genuine.

So I was not easily fooled by the would be scamster in his/her email purporting to be from loydstsb that informed me in its subject line that:

‘Your Online Account Has Benn Locked’.

Posted in Trivia and stuff | Leave a comment

r.ip del.icio.us

If you are rushing to get an export of your delicious bookmarks via the API, beware the functionality for exporting all posts does not appear to be working at this time. I suspect it is a Yahoo! directive (i.e. they disabled it)  in order to prevent system overload.

If you want to attempt a full xml export from the command line (assuming it works in the near future), use:

curl https://YourUserName:YourPassword@api.del.icio.us/v1/posts/all > myBookMarks.xml

Posted in News, Software | Leave a comment

November – been and gone

Missed a month for only the second time since May 2005. Three strikes and I’m out of the blogosphere.
I’m not going to make the New Year’s resolution to blog more frequently, in fact I’m not going to make any resolutions. Hold tight whilst I upgrade to WordPress 3.0.3 …

Posted in Trivia and stuff | Leave a comment

How long does a backup take?

Acronis 2011 starts off estimating my first partition backup to require 49,710 days (every time I run it), followed a few seconds later by an estimate of 8 minutes.
Not exactly scientific then …

Posted in Rants, Software | 1 Comment

September – it’s the cruellest month

Actually it’s supposed to be April according to T S Eliot, but not in my world. Too bloomin’ busy to even blog, I think it is the first missed month since I began back in May 2005 …

Posted in Quotes, Trivia and stuff | Leave a comment

Wave goodbye – I can hardly bear the thought

I received the gravest software news possible today that Google is set to abandon Wave

Whilst it is certainly true that almost all my personal invitees have failed to even take a look at what Wave offers, those who have taken the time to try it appear to have abandoned it almost immediately.
It is such a fantastic collaborative tool and a brilliant demonstration of what cloud computing is all about, I am simply left speechless.

Shame on all of you who didn’t even take the time to look at it.

Posted in Software | Leave a comment

Like a bat out of … (you might not believe it but it’s true)

Living out in the middle of nowhere has its pros and cons.
Here’s a pro – water is free, since it comes from a bore hole.
Here’s a con – the water system is prone to failure from time to time

Now we actually have two systems, a well (the pump is currently out of action presumed dead) and a bore hole. As long as the electricity supply is available we have, to all intents and purposes, a water system much like everyone else’s, except for the fact that once the tanks are filled the onward flow gravity fed (no hose pipes or power washers for us).

I have documented elsewhere the belt ‘n’ braces approach I took after two flooding incidents, whereby I had an additional pump float valve added to a second of the three tanks in the attic, along with a very hi-tech water detector alarm coupled to an alarm system (the excellent Vocaliser from Pyronix) which has an inbuild GSM facility, so can text me when the water might be about to overflow.

Recently the system has been trouble-free. Occasionally the box of elec-trickery trips out and the tanks eventually drain before we realise anything is wrong; and so it was the other evening I heard the good lady wife calling down to say that the cold water had stopped flowing whilst running a bath.
A quick check revealed that the pumping system was all Ok and the kitchen taps worked fine, so I went upstairs. The sink taps were fine too, as was the shower and the hot water to the bath.
The cold tap to the bath had no flow, so I scratched my head a few times, did a few sharp intakes of breath just like a plumber on the cusp of delivering a hammer blow, soon to be followed by a pound symbol, some arbitary digits and followed by several zeros.
I left it overnight having tried all the taps for a while to see if it was an air lock, but by the morning it was still not flowing.
There had been a few “bits of black” according to Lydia, though I hadn’t seen them as they’d gone down the plughole by the time I had arrived on the scene.
So I called on my secret engineering weapon, a man who only goes by the name “molosar” (he works under cover) and by the time he arrived I had a theory.
“Molosar” found which of the taps, valves and screws (from a fair array dotted around the place) isolated the single tap and set to, taking it to bits.
As he worked on I suggested it might be … and shortly after I told him what I thought it was he plucked out the very thing.
A bat (out of a well)!

Posted in Rural life, Trivia and stuff | 3 Comments