Sunday, January 31, 2010


Not "Working At Home!" - I've lost a Memory stick. One that looks like:  Amazon's instant order update has just let me know I bought it back in August, 2008. Quite a nice new feature I haven't noticed before.

And I cannot even remember what is on the damn thing. Eugh! Whatever was on there was probably my only copy! Aarrgghh! I'm just hoping it wasn't really important. Which has really started to get me worried.

What is even more embarrassing is that I was reading this article a few days ago and was feeling very smug about myself. D'Oh!

As a replacement I'm getting one of these: A Hypertec 16GB Slimline Hyperdrive Storage 256 bit AES Encrypted. It is a compromise between having a convenient mobile storage solution and security. Although maybe I'm making a mistake going for an even larger size than the one I lost.

Of course, what I would really like is one of these: Ironkey 4GB Personal Edition with 1 Year Internet Protection. I'm quietly drooling just thinking about it. Sad, huh! Although the Secure-USB site looks like a better place to buy it.

That said, I'm planning on completely changing how I use these memory sticks. As you'll see on another posting, I'm updating my home storage and intend to religiously follow a procedure of backing up the memory stick to that storage every day that I load something onto this new memory stick.

One of the other secure memory sticks that I looked at before deciding on the Hypertec product claimed to have software that would update/replicate the information on the stick automatically. Because of poor reviews for that line of memory sticks I chose not to purchase one of those, but I hope to emulate that functionality using a version of rsync for windows or a variant therof. There is also a shareway program I heard about via the MajorGeeks website called Oops!Backup which sounds really interesting. If I cannot home-brew the functionality I want. I'll look at that program.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yesterday's UserFriendly

I know the current set of cartoons on Userfriendly are repeats - it says so in the top right corner afterall. But Yesterday's cartoon was so funny.

At least, it was funny to this old UNIX user/manager/<wannabe hacker>.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Smart Pen de-box

My Livescribe 4GB Pulse Smartpen arrived yesterday! WooHoo!

The smart pen is as chunky as I expected, but at least in the short term not uncomfortably so. I had also ordered the Livescribe ANA-00004 Lined Black 1-2 Journal - 2 Pack, but they are only A5 size. I had expected them to be A4 size, but on reflection I think I might prefer them the smaller size.

Upon opening the box, it contains the smart pen, the cradle and its USB connection, headphones with built-in microphones and a carry-pouch which is shaped a little like a cigar container.

Hidden under the combined headphones/microphones is a surprisingly short and narrow refill for the pen. Given that your written notes should essentially be bookmarks to specific points in the audio recording that small size might not be so much of an issue. Here's hoping anyway.

The package also included a notepad, which is useful as a starting point and and a couple of thin manuals to describe the usage. There really is no need for any more.

So far, it's all looking good.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

vReference Card

The excellent VMReferemce Card site has been updated for v4 and now has the URL:

As well as an updated VMware reference card there is also a reference card showing all the ports used by various VMware services, which has been called the firewall card.

I am especially pleased to see the firewall diagram. The firewalls are controlled by a separate team at my company and they are not always the most flexible of guys. Haha. Every change to the firewall has to be raised on a form, signed off by Directors and/or VPs, and faxed through to the corporate HQ, where it is saved in a DB. All that before they do anything. Occasionally they'll actually help out testing what is actually needed, but generally they are a PITA.

Most of the ports are indeed documented within Manuals. However, certainly with the Vi3 documentation, I was disappointed by the quality of that documentation. Ports would be listed at required with the inference it was only one way and solely one of TCP or UDP. Unfortunately, some experimentation demonstrated that that might not actually be the case. A port needed to be open in both directions, TCP in one direction and UDP in the reverse!

Anyway having all that information so clearly documented here will be a great help going forward.

That's that!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Livescribe Pulse Smart Pen

So the company I work for is being taken over. I have the prospect of lots of really interesting meetings with HR and representatives of the company buying us.

I was wondering how I was going to record them as accurately as possible. Whether to use a personal dictaphone or similar. However, I've decided to get one of these: a Livescribe 4GB Titanium Pulse Smartpen (APA-00004).

There are plenty of video clips showing how they are used. And I must say they seem pretty useful. My only slight reservation is the size/diameter of the pen, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. After all the idea is to write only bullet points that can be used as bookmarks for the recording.

The Company President uses one of these. He told the Senior Director of IT who sits locally to me, who now also has one. One of my colleagues bought one the other day. And I have ordered one today.

There is a slightly cheaper option with only 2GB - Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen (APA-00002)- of memory as opposed to the 4GB option above and plenty of different stationery and pen refills options.

The full range can be seen at the manufacturer's website: www/

And that's that.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Its a long time since I looked at Wired Magazine. In fact, I do not often see it in the UK any more. I used to see Wired in Borders, but unfortunately that excellent store is no longer available in the UK since just before Christmas.

Anyway, I saw this article, 100 Quotes, online and had read it before I realised it was a Wired article. I'm not sure whether it is the "Geek Dad" pseudonym of the writer I like so much or the subject matter.

I do not recognise some of the films/programs the quotes come from. And as you'll see from some of the comments there are plenty of suggestions for missed quotes.

Generally, finite lists of anything are hostages to fortune. You never please everyone and after a couple of years you'll change your mind anyway. So it goes.