Archive for the ‘Science & Technology’ Category
You might think that all the sensible short domains have long since gone but if you play around with a domain search for a while you’ll find that surprisingly good names are still around.
Granted, you’re essentially wasting your time trying to pick up a three letter one no matter what the TLD (the bit after the dot) is. Although, having said that, there are some that come up now and again. In principle even one and two letter domains can be had but, in most cases, only if it’s a direct transfer from the current owner to a new owner as any that are not renewed are now permanently out for the majority of TLDs.
However, at four letters, there are lots of decent domains still around. To pick up one you need to get the creative juices flowing. Add a number or hyphen and you’ll dramatically increase the possibilities for yourself: I picked up arn7.com not so long ago and it’s one of many with a digit even within the very popular .com TLD. For personal domains, think of .me: I picked up sfol.me a while back for instance. If you’re planning on mainly using it for email it’s probably better to aim for something like .me rather than .com as it’s that little bit shorter when you’re writing it out.
Pricing-wise, it’s probably best to avoid .tv as it’s generally thought of as a commercial domain and is therefore more expensive to register but other than that many TLDs are at normal prices and, quite importantly, without geographic restrictions eg you don’t need to live in Macedonia to register a .me nor in Tuvalu to register a .tv.Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.
John managed to have freshly prepared custard spilled over his hands last Monday and has ended up having to go to the doctors every day to get the dressing changed which is a bit of a nuisance.
Whilst plonking on cream and bandages seemed a sensible way to go initially, this far down the line it’s not so clear-cut as to whether or not it’s a good idea to continue. For instance, although he knows to be careful with that hand, little boys play and over the weekend he caught a ball with it which left it bleeding, unknowingly, under the bandages. Had it not been bandages up, we’d have known that it was bleeding right away instead of hours later.
Anyway, all being well, it’ll be healed up enough to leave the dressings off later this week.
Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.
After much debate as to the best tablet to get I finally settled on the ASUS transformer.
Why that one? Well, my first criteria was that I wanted a bigger ebook reader which eliminated all the 7″ tablets. In practice it seemed to leave the Motorola Xoom and the ASUS transformer. Ignoring the price difference (quite substantial) the Motorola has a non functional microSD slot which doesn’t strike me with confidence for the rest of it.
Anyway, the move to the ASUS went really smoothly. First up was a PDF reader which would normally be the Adobe one but it’s not really a runner if you’re reading more than the odd brochure so I’ve opted for Repligo ($5) which has all the facilities that the Adobe one should have had. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of the Sony reader software but for Android ie you can do the essentials like jumping to a page number and enlarge the font which are features generally absent from PDF readers on tablets.
Also essential is the Screen Filter (free) application which turns down the brightness to a more appropriate level. You might think that you’d want something that sets the screen brightness directly but leaving it on automatic with the filter means that it adjusts automatically for changing light conditions but with a dimmer backlight than the standard setting gives you. Not only does this bump up the battery life somewhat but it saves on eyestrain.
The ASUS comes with Polaris office which, in theory, is handy if you feel the urge to run up a document with the onscreen keyboard but would probably be a lot more useful with the optional keyboard attachment. It includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation packages, all of which seem fairly basic.
Sketchbook Express (free) combined with a capacitative pen (£5 from Maplin) is proving to be very handy in running up illustrations for the assignments. Whilst the capacitative screen is very nice when doing the finger swiping, it would be a lot more convenient to be able to use a normal stylus and certainly more accurate when drawing.
Playing videos isn’t as easy as it should be as the supplied player doesn’t currently support a whole lot. Adding Moboplayer (free) sorted out the majority of those with the rather flaky VPlayer (free) adding the final piece. Moai FLV (free) handles FLV files. Incidently, although the BBC iPlayer won’t run, you can just go to the iPlayer site and play the videos from there.
Overall, it’s a very nice tablet that does all that I was wanting it to do plus a lot more besides.Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.
Wendy’s laptop downed tools a few days ago. Completely downed tools in fact as it wouldn’t even boot from the Ubuntu live USB flash drive that I keep for such situations.
Ubuntu was unhelpful in diagnosing the problem as it just went into the Grub menu and no further. However, it’s a dual-boot machine so I had a go at starting it up in Windows which threw up “PXE-61E media test failure check cable”. Not overly helpful given that it’s a laptop and doesn’t have a drive cable as such. Even more interesting was that a) Grub loaded and b) it was able to access all the files on the disk (you can try this via Grub’s ls and cat commands eg cat (hd0,6)/boot/grub/menu.lst).
Anyway, I thought I’d have a go at reinserting the drive. No luck, but since Grub could see the drive contents I thought I’d have a go at copying off the files. Nothing doing re booting the machine via the live USB flash with the drive in. However, it booted up fine with the drive taken out which in turn opened up the option of installing Ubuntu on a USB drive. That worked just fine.
Wendy’s laptop downed tools a few days ago. Completely downed tools in fact as it wouldn’t even boot from the Ubuntu live USB drive that I keep for such situations.
Ubuntu was unhelpful in diagnosing the problem as it just went into the Grub menu and no further. However, it’s a dual-boot machine so I had a go at starting it up in Windows which threw up “PXE-61E media test failure check cable”. Not overly helpful given that it’s a laptop and doesn’t have a drive cable as such.
Next step was booting the system up from the USB drive that I’d just created but with the old disk attached. That worked fine too and I figured it was off to buy a new drive. Last thing software-wise worth trying was to run the Ubuntu disk-utility on the old drive which sorted out whatever was the problem with it and it’s working fine now.
So minus a day or two of messing around but plus a fully bootable Ubuntu drive and fresh backup.Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.
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There’s just been more and more stuff that simply didn’t work on 10.10 with the last straw being VirtualBox which I’m going to need in a couple of weeks.
So time to work out how to downgrade. The easy way is to backup everything, install 10.04 and restore everything which is what I did on the baby computer a month or two back. Well, I say easy but it takes me a couple of hours to do the backup on the main computer, another couple of hours to restore and then there’s all the software to install and configure.
The backup is a “good thing” so if nothing else it forced me to prepare a full backup which I’m not as diligent with as I should be. The reinstallation and configuration I can’t avoid. Which leaves the hassle of restoring the thing so I had a look around to see how to avoid that.
It turns out that there’s a feature that’s been in Ubuntu for a while now that allows you to install over the top of another version (newer or older) though you need to have a think about what you’re doing as you go rather than just clicking on everything. Well, in theory the feature is there but in practice it doesn’t work for everyone (more testing required I think) and didn’t for me. Worth trying though as it only takes about 10 minutes: just install as normal to the point where it asks about partitioning then select manual partitioning, select what was your old root file system and set the properties (don’t click the “format” box!) and that’s it. Takes a little longer than a normal install as it needs to delete conflicting system files (but apparently doesn’t do this entirely correctly).
Anyway, ’tis off to reinstall and reconfigure everything. First up being the annoying window control boxes on the left which is fixed as follows:
Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.
- Go to apps->metacity->general and change the button layout to: “menu:minimize,maximize,close”