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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for the ‘Computing’ tag

Firefox 2.0 Sucks on OSX

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Since I installed the latest version of Firefox on my Mac Mini this weekend I am having to force quit it every 15 minutes or so, just freezes up for no good reason. A little investigation of the forums suggested it was related to the anti-phishing feature so I disabled that but it already froze again. Maybe this is the time to switch to Safari or Opera?

In other news, I see that the ebay auction prices for PS3 and Wii are coming down. Most of the PS3 auctions were in the $900-$1400 range which is still a tidy profit but not the crazyness we saw on launch day.

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November 19th, 2006 at 11:56 am

Posted in Computing,Rants

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Ask the Genius – Ha!

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A family member’s iMac has been acting up so they asked if I knew how to fix it or would mind taking it to the Apple store for a repair. The problem is software related – the dock has gone AWOL, applications won’t start up and the finder won’t let you browse the hard drive. I’d say something got installed and broke the startup of an essential file service but whilst I know Unix, I don’t know the specifics of the one behind OS X.

I carry the boat anchor that is the iMac around the mall, wait for 30 minutes only for the guy wearing the t-shirt saying “genuis” to tell me to reinstall the OS. Jeez, I could have gotten that answer from the “genuises” at Frys. I thought Macs were supposed to be more intelligent than that!

Well, I have a week here in San Diego to study the OS and fix it myself if. And if I can’t, then we’ll reinstall at the weekend.

Oh, and the trip cost me $100 as I was forced to buy a new keyboard and a new mouse for my mini.

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November 6th, 2006 at 7:28 pm

Posted in Computing,Rants

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Mac Mini Memory Upgrade

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I’ve had the Mac Mini for a few months and continually complain about how slow it is. So, before it goes in the trash I thought I’d give a memory upgrade a try. The standard 512MB really isn’t much these days and I read that the video card takes almost half of that so the apps don’t stand much of a chance.

I ordered 2GB of RAM off ebay for $160 and researched how to do the install. Its actually pretty easy if you follow the great instructions found at this link. It is hard to get the case off, no doubt but a good putty knife will see to it just fine. Also, a tiny Philips head screwdriver is required and make sure its magnetic, getting the screws back in is a real pain if its not.

Too early to say what kind of difference it has made but I think it will be obviously better. A couple of pictures on my flickr site.

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August 21st, 2006 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Computing,General

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Big Brother Starts Here

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From this article at LiveScience.com….

Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation, has proposed implanting the company’s RFID tracking tags in immigrant and guest workers….. he proposed using VeriChip RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace. He added, “We have talked to many people in Washington about using it….”

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June 2nd, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Posted in America,Computing

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Mini Mac Mini Rant

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I’ve had my little Mac Mini for a couple of months now and whilst I love its slender form, its quiet sound and glorious OS X, I am struggling not to throw it in the trash. Why would I do such a thing? Its too damn slow.
Having used high-spec PCs all the time I was prepared to trade some difference in performance for the joy of returning to OS X, and all the other Mac goodness. But its hard to enjoy when it taks so long to get to it. I have Thunderbird and Firefox running all the time, switching from one to the other takes 20 to 90 seconds, just to bring the window to focus. Lord help me if I have anything else running at the same time

I had some photos to resize yesterday. It was such an ordeal waiting for the photo editing software to launch that it was quickler to email me the pictures, start my business PC, get the mail, edit them in Photoshop Elements, upload them to the walmart photo centre for printing and shut the PC down. When the photo software finally loaded, it didn’t even have a resize option(!). I thought the Mac was supposed to be good for media manipulation.

I shall try upgrading the memory to a Gb and see how much that helps. If I don’t see much improvement I may be going back to Windoze for my daily chores.

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May 29th, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Computing,Rants

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Fight, Fight, Fight!

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I’m sure I’m way behind discovering this site but Google Fight lets you pit one search term against another in a battle to the death! Well, perhaps not death but lets you make pointless comparisons at least. For example….

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April 14th, 2006 at 7:01 am

Posted in Computing

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Big TiVo Announcement Coming

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Probably old news by the time you read this but the word is out that TiVo is announcing a new initiative Thursday at 11am ET. Merger with Apple? The Series 3 HD box? Free iPods to existing customers?? We’ll let ya know.

In other TiVo news, you can look at the top 10 most TiVo’d Olympic moments, or make do with my copy of the top 5:

  1. Canadian skater Marie-France Dubreuil slamming to the ice
  2. Sasha Cohen’s Short Program performance putting her in first by a razor thin margin
  3. Apolo Anton Ohno winning gold in the Men’s 500M Speed Skating
  4. Bob Costas interview of Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen
  5. Sasha Cohen performance at the Champion’s Gala Evening

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March 1st, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Computing

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Lame URL of the Week

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I get an email today advertising a brand new service for pilots, tells me to go to leftse.at. I scratch my head thinking what a bizarre URL and then it hits me – take out the dot and you get leftseat which is where the pilot in command sits. But its hideous; leftseat.com is taken so I am sure they couldn’t decide what to do but I really hate what they came up with.

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February 28th, 2006 at 11:02 am

Posted in Computing,Rants

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Possible Fun Ahead

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So whilst I look for a job I’m enjoying the good graces of the State of California and a nice little cheque every week or two. Last week I got a letter requesting that I go to the local employment office for a personal job search consultation. Now I’m sure these people do a great job but I doubt any of them have heard about Java, J2EE etc let alone have any idea how to find a job. Typing in the local office, no problem. Someone looking for Struts on Tomcat – probably not. So I was thinking I might be able to have some fun watching them try to tell me how to do a job search. Yeah, I’ll give them the acronyms and my starting salary requirement and wait for them to give me the interview times.

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February 26th, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Wasting Paper

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So recently I’ve been printing out a lot of job descriptions, emails etc and almost every time I get one extra page than I expect, containing just a couple of lines of copyright or other irrelevant text. Why does this happen almost every time ? I ordered a new cell phone at the weekend, printed the receipt and there’s one line on the second page. I’m tired of wasting all this paper.

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February 14th, 2006 at 10:17 am

Posted in Computing,Rants

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