Category Archives: Tecky

EPISODE IV: A NEW HOST…

We are now rocking on a new hosting solution after over ten years amazing hosting by Si, I finally got round to sorting out somewhere for this to live.  In laymans terms: this is now on somebody else’s server. To be honest the real reason why I haven’t updated this site is that I had that name for the the title in my head and it amused me so much I didn’t want to forget it and it took months to get around to the few hours work of migration.

A million thanks to Si for letting me live on his server for so long – it was very kind and just like in real life, I hope it was so small you didn’t feel it.

JUST GOT TO LOVE IT…

When a plan comes together.  First of all celebrated with my wife and partner in crime this weekend marking the 5th year since we fell madly in love with New York and I popped the question.  Second, completed the Exchange 2003 migration to Office365 at work that has been causing me come serious sleep issues for months but went without a serious hitch.  Thirdly, finally got some time to convert my home into a Microsoft Windows free environment.  I’ve now got a 64 bit Centos Server in the loft hosting about 3 TB of media and stuff via Samba and all is good.  I turned off the old trusty Windows XP box last year and life has kept getting in the way.  That and the advances of streaming (Netflix, Spotify, Airplay, etc) meant that, to be fair, we haven’t missed the stuff I actually store.  But today, as I type I am listening to old songs that are not on Spotify using the old WDTV that means it is playing through the lounge system and throughout the downstairs.  Old school in todays technology but it’s just nice to have it all back and virus free!  Plus our video/photo footage of the kids is just magical to review on the big screen.  I’m so glad that we have this record in such an easy to view medium.  I was chatting to a mate the other day about just how hard it was to take a film to the chemists to get it developed,  then find that you had put your finger over the one you wanted.  And it would cost you for the pleasure!  Amazing just easy it has become in such a short time.  Basically everything is awesome and I’m a very happy chap….

AND THE RESULTS ARE IN…

I love it. It is VERY quick, clear, lasts longer and best of all does all the good stuff that the old Android one could do. I don’t use iTunes so that doesn’t bother me. Everything is good in the world, I’m currently playing the new Deadmau5 album on the phone using Spotify and AirPlaying it onto the lounge system (TV, AMP, 5.1 Speakers) and it’s a nice place to be. I said to H earlier that if I hadn’t played with Airplay I wouldn’t have even considered it. It really is that important to me to be able to listen to Spotify/podcasts wirelessly lol. I’ve spent the past 20 odd years walking around with headphones in so I can keep a constant input of media and now I can give my ears a rest and do it at a flick. Big love to Xbian for making it happen also! This is just the beginning – I’ve already ordered my black turtleneck…..

IT HAS ARRIVED…

Firstly, I expect to take a fair amount of flack for the following statement. I have upgraded to an iPhone5. It will not go unnoticed by several people that I have heaped abuse upon and been quite sniffy about my preference for Android smartphones over the years. And also one person who will get a great deal of amusement out of it, but you know what, I’m tired of the Android operating system. I was in there like a shot when the first one came out and loved my G1. I’ve upgraded three times since then and each time felt that it got better. Now I feel like a change for three important reasons:

AIRPLAY:

My setup at home now includes 2 Raspberry Pis running XBIAN – this means I can *wirelessly* send music/movies/video footage/pictures to either of them from any point in the house. One is connected to the lounge system and speakers in the kitchen, the other into the bathroom speakers. This uses an Apple only product called AirPlay. I own an iPad, my wife uses an iPhone, all of my friends and family use iPhones so it makes sense that anyone who visits can display pictures from their phone on the TV in the lounge without having to do anything other than press the Airplay icon that automatically appears on an iPhone when it is in range.

GOOGLE NAVIGATION:

My big stick that I used to smack any iPhone person with was that the navigation built into the Android OS has the best free GPS navigation app and yours doesn’t, ner ner ner ner nerrrr. Well now it does and it looks much nicer on there too.

WIFEY:

If I can’t get on with it, wifey is due on upgrade in three months so I will give her my phone and go back to Android. See, the plan is perfect!

COUNTDOWN BEGINS…

Took Heather, Olivia and Sarah to the airport today.  They are going to spend Thanksgiving and Xmas in Southern California and I will join them shortly after Xmas with Mills.  The send off was emotional but not as bad as some of our previous partings.  Tonight I’ve had a great time with Mills and got myself organised ready for 6 weeks of being a bachelor – getting the films down from the loft from Xmas last year that I haven’t watched yet (4 hour Das Boot Blu Ray anyone? lol), the stuff Sarah didn’t like (chocolate and crisps) mountain has been put into one confectionary area, a jigsaw has been started, guitars have come out of cases and a man shopping list is now pinned to the fridge.  You know, man on his own stuff.  I think I’ve kept so busy as the house is frickin silent and very, very noticeable that most of it is missing.  Tonight I’m going to bed early as I’m expecting a call around 3 when they land.  So far they are 15 mins ahead of schedule, not that I am refreshing the page every 5 mins or anything….

Also worth mentioning, we experimented with a Google+ hangout the other night as Skype is blocked on some free wireless networks and that is how I will communicate with Heather for some time.  Think Skype but with loads of other stuff and 9 video connections for free, pretty impressive to be fair.  Shame about the other stuff they have tried to show horn in to compete with Book Face but the conference stuff is excellent on the phones.  Worth checking out if you haven’t yet.  Reminds me, time to charge up the wireless headset.  It’s like turning back the clock 4 years…

I’M DONE…

Last night my Hotmail was hacked by a bot/user/site in Thailand.  I’ve seen in my social group several similar emails in my inbox. I have thought that people are careless and don’t take precautions when they get hacked but it’s my job to be careful and understand the attack vectors and yet, I still got hacked.  My password for the account was very, very complex.  I didn’t login from anywhere else apart from my one clean work computer and that was at least 4 months ago.  So what could have happened?  My head tells me that I can’t trust Hotmail any more and frankly the amount of ways in which the account can be used in the Microsoft empire, I don’t want to be part of that gang.  Which is a bit sad as I was a big supporter in the early days.  So goodbye Hotmail, I am trying to close you.  But wait, what new hell is this?….I now can’t close the account because of I have paid services?  WHAT?…If nothing else, trying for 10 minutes to navigate this abortion of a website has put a nail in the coffin, then several screws, and then a few hundred rivets.  **** you Hotmail.

EDIT: Here is a link that will close your Hotmail

ONE OF US…

Ok so I’ve joined the ranks of those I openly mocked two years ago. I now have an ipad. Yes I know. I did ridicule them saying that to work it you would need a keyboard, it’s just a big iPhone, it’s nothing but a toy etc etc…I was wrong and I openly admit it. Since this came into my possession on Sunday night I have successfully moved most of my laptop based stuff onto it and together with my phone (still rocking an android, can’t bring my self to get an iPhone just yet), I am pretty impressed at the abilities of this first generation device. It’s not as fast or feature rich as the latest one but for what I need it’s bloody great. Go on, mock me….

NEW LOOK…

Decided to give the old blog a facelift and hopefully make it a bit more interesting to view.  I’ve had the old theme for several years now, (maybe as many as 5!) so it’s about time.  It’s cool as I can now attach a featured image to each blog post which is kinda fun…Also, if you use Gravatars, then it will now automatically put it into your blog post based on your email address.  Again kinda cool…

WONDERFUL START TO THE DAY…

Last night I stepped up our defences a little at work with a new firewall and had a load of trouble overnight as you may expect despite rigorous testing.  This morning the phone was hot so I decided to let the fuel reserve to its job and get me to work ASAP.  However, the fuel reserve decided that 35 miles left was really 0 left and then on the last hill before work…a slowing sensation, gears automatically going down (it is an auto) and a rising fear that I wouldn’t have enough momentum to get me up the hill until finally it popped over the brow.  Quickly I changed into neutral and glided down the hill and into the parking area outside our gatehouse to the bafflement of the gatehouse team.  What a jerk.  As it stands I haven’t yet had any chance to grab some fuel but a kind colleague has a diesel can that I can pinch later.  The firewall stuff I cracked in about 5 minutes, sometimes you just need to sleep on something before the (very obvious) answer smacks you in the face.  I’ve found that being the only techy on site means it has to get worse before it gets better a lot of the time…