October 2005

Backup drive = needs lots of power

After finally getting a backup tape drive to replace our previous one which decided to not work right, I've managed to a) probably blow another video card, and b) have finally realized that the power supply in our computer just isn't strong enough for what I want/need to do. Because I consider backups to be pretty darn important we'll be picking up new power supply to get it all working, and hopefully tomorrow night actually be able to start making backups! Fingers crossed!

Tags: 

Why you should use the OpenDocument format

Here's a really great explanation of why you should care about the new OpenDocument format found in OpenOffice.org, KOffice and others, rather than using proprietary formats like those used by Microsoft Office. Unlike most technical articles this one is straight forward enough that almost anyone should be able to understand it.

Tags: 

Intel sucks

I've said it before and I'll said it again, aside from having larger manufacturing facilities, Intel is pretty bad these days in comparison to AMD. Their latest high-end processor is the dual core Xeon and is so hot that it could bake a turkey, all while being slower and more expensive than AMD's best.

Tags: 

Learn Ruby with the help of an utter head case

I never thought I'd find something like this, a (online) book that is both informative and utterly, utterly insane at the same time. Instead of the usual dry language that tecnical books tend to be written in, this book just oozes with oddness, from cartoon strips of foxes to discussions of dogs, there's something here to utterly confuse everyone as to the point of the anecdotes. That's not to say that it doesn't explain the technology at hand, it does and does so quite well, it's just strange.

Tags: 

Read & learn one tech book every six months

I was recently reading a technical blog from some knowledgeable geek or other and he mentioned that it recommended learning one new language every year. The benefits are two fold - you both learn a new tool, but more importantly, every new language you learn furthers your understanding of the ones you already know. Its the same with spoken languages, if you learn three or four of them you become more fluent in them all as you can see how they all fit together, how nuances are shared between them, etc.

Tags: 

Web development made fun again? Ruby on Rails

Today I ordered the book Agile Web Development with Rails, a book that explains how to use the Ruby on Rails (aka RoR) web development system based around the Ruby programming language. I've been keeping an eye on it for the past few months as its been getting more and more media coverage (ok, geek media coverage) and this past week I finally started looking at it. What I saw struck me as pretty awesome.

Tags: 

Norway gives 100% control of public video to Microsoft, MS gets angry

Norway has announced that they will be making 20,000 video clips and twelve radio stations available online. The only problem is that it is tied to Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition software which must be installed on your PC before you can view any of it. This rules out anyone who either doesn't have the money to buy this special edition of Windows, who doesn't have the expertise to install it, or who doesn't use or want to use Windows in the first place e.g.

Tags: 

Incestuous lives of software programs

Lately I've been looking for a program to backup our computer's data with using the lovely DLT7000 drive we got recently. Along the way I've tried a whole bunch of different programs of varying abilities, some better than others, some that at first glance that have everything under the sun only to discover major problems later on (Genie Backup Manager), and some that seem very simple but work well.

Tags: 

Tool for removing device drivers

Sometimes when you're removing something from your computer, say you're putting in a new video card and don't need the old drivers anymore, the old files aren't always removed properly. Luckily for us someone else noticed this too only he wrote a program to fix the problem - tell it what drivers you had before and it'll make sure all of the remnants are promptly given marching orders, and its completely free.

Tags: