Wednesday, 28 December 2011
* Next door badly maintained gate opener clanking and screeching.
* Thuba, Thuba bass from a passing car,
* Distant car alarm,
* Truck reversing bleepers,
* Ambulance, police, fire truck siren,
* Very large truck with broken baffles exhaust note ( and burnt derv smell wafting through the palms )
* Kids electric truck with hollow plastic wheels rolling round on gravel scattered tarmac driveway,
* Tyre screening round a corner or from roundabout Grand-prix,
* V8 pickup truck doing domestic shopping,
* Small 2-stroke scooter being over revved going up and down road,
* Salvation army xmas collection bell tinkling from when supermarket opened and going non-stop the entire day from 1 Dec..30 Dec,
* Late night party (to which your not invited) including yelling, bad singing to 60s Disco hits from a knackered boom box,
No wonder it took a little longer to relax and chill out on recent holiday. Next time will take a bit more time to choose a villa that is more than 200 yards from nearest road and habitation.
Thursday, 1 December 2011
ProcessExplorer takes over when the [ctrl] [alt] [del] task manager leaves off. Process Explorers originally from Sysinternals provides graphical details of what's happening inside your machine. Its free, lightweight and will provide clear insight as to which processes are eating your machine. Each of the graphs provides a rollover tooltip with the process name causing the peek. This graph shows the cpu consumption of a screensaver recently deployed across our organisation. The large drop in cpu usage is when the user logged back in. Having Flash based screen savers such as shown here is a really bad idea; power consumption goes up and all those idle time processes become work time activities.
For C: and other disk drive space; find out what is eating your HDD is made clear by WinDirStat. Originally this drive visulisation tool was created on Linux but this free port delivers a reliable way to find what is eating your hard drive. The interactive bump map shows by size when the large files can be found. Hovering the cursor over a bump will reveal the file path and clicking will show the files place in the file directory hierarchy. Each of the squares of the bump map represents a directory contents.
In this example a data loss prevention utility decided to copy all data sent external hard drive to a location in /WINDOWS/vendor/software name/temp directory location.
Take ownership of your own PC know what happening inside with these useful free system visualisation tools. Other tools available for interior PC examination can be found on this link.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
The current Bank of England base rate is 0.5% per year. This rate cannot realisticly go much lower. This interest rate history contrasts credit card charges and interest rates that have been going up steadily for years.
A recent change announced by Lloyds TSB Platinum is as follows...
"We wrote to you in June about how we're linking the the standard interest rate on your credit card to the bank of England base rate after 26 November 2011.
If the base rate changes after this date, your interest rate will increase or decrease by the same amount from the last working day of the months in which the base rate changes. ......"
So when the interest rate goes up ( remember that the rate can't go down far from here) the credit card interest rate charge will go up to match. So your credit charge interest rate is now locked to something that that is only ever likely to go up and cost you more.
This is an interesting tactic that was never applied when interest rates were falling. The credit card maintained high interest rates saying that the costs were based on the "risk" of the loan. This increasing spread between borrowing and savings has been increasing for years; something that only benefits the bankers.
What's more with this new change the credit card company have an an excuse to "blame" the rate rises on an external factor. So it's win/win for the bankers, no change there then.
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Friday, 7 October 2011
- It works out cheeper for the users of more units.
- EDF was compelled by the regulator to change the tariffs to separately listed standing charges.
- It's easier to understand the bills.
- The standing charges are fully included in the cost of the higher price first units. Once the threshold to the lower cost units is crossed there is no difference between a bill that has separately listed standing charges and one that have higher and lower unit charges.
- Consumer Direct, the government consumer advice service, said that tariff structures are within the energy companies remit to decide.
- Bills that are bigger the more energy used are less confusing than paying large standing charges for almost no energy usage.
Friday, 30 September 2011
- The team takes ownership of the whole operation, sliding different folk on to the critical terminal for each stage.
- Install the patch and at the next customer meeting have a few rounds of "He installed the patch." .. "No I didn't he installed the patch" Rinse and repeat.
- "Sorry I sipped on a banana skin, hit the return key and installed the patch by mistake."
- Explain that Auto update popped up dialog box, and no one was available to click "Install later".
- Have a person in a Santa Claus suit install the patch telling the customer that he is free until christmas for what ever you want to pay him to do.
- Try the Spartacus defence, All stand up and say "I installed the patch.","No I installed the patch."
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Some say that the old jokes are the best that fits nicely with the old con tricks being the best.
Monday, 15 August 2011
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Do not accept technical support phone calls from people you don't know.
There is a big scam about that involves people being called by fake technical support people. Accepting their advice may result in lost money and lost security of your PC.
The crooks cold-call people at home and claim to be calling from Microsoft or a well-known security firm and offering "free security checks".
See this link for more details of the scam.
Some websites have been behaving in the same way tricking folks into downloading expensive and bogus "Security programs" see for more details see this link.
For good advice on home internet security see books such as this.
Lets be safe out there.
Friday, 17 June 2011
I have just finished "The last resort" by Douglas Roger. A book about the author's retired parents struggle to hold on to a small bar and lodging business in Zimbabwe. Set during the difficult years after the shine and sanity of independence had disintegrated into rapacious tribal greed and decimating political turmoil.
Monday, 9 May 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Just back from South Africa and had a great time down there.
In a local book store "50 People who stuffed up South Africa" by Alexander Parker. These biting satirical portraits are complimented by sketches by Zapiero. A very good read that provides an insight into a cross section of South African history and the people who held key turning points in their hands and failed. More notes here.
Friday, 18 March 2011
In a neat follow up to the previous post we have the perfect cross over product between the Yin and Yang of fine foods.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
This wall hanging most certainly falls into the category of "It's not art but I like it."
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Monday, 28 February 2011
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
What the heck is driving the latest fashions in personal transport ? It's all out of scale and broken. Cars are 3 * the necessary size squandering the last 10 years worth of improved engine efficiency with added inertia and useless aerodynamic drag. Even the great modern Mini has gone all bloated and become the countryman.
At the other end of the scale kids don't fit their bikes anymore. Unless peddle axis to seat hight is approximately equal to ankle to bum length, unnatural flexation of the knees occurs. The current fashion seems to be an exaggeration of the BMX style that is useless for anything else than bum-in-the-air peddling and tricks; hopeless as a form of transport.