Saturday, August 6, 2011

VMware changes their minds

I'm sure you've read elsewhere by now, but VMware is upping the memory limitations per license from what they announced with version 5.  Still bad long-term, I don't think I'll delete my copy of Xenserver just yet.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today I learned about SpiderOak, which is similar to Dropbox but without the data breaches :)  They've got a decent referral scheme going too -- sign up using someone's referral link, and get an extra 1GB, up to 50GB.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tivo discount!

I just got an interesting email from Tivo..   It seems that until June 13, you can get a free Tivo Premiere with a 2 year service commitment.  I've already got a Series 2 Tivo on a month-to-month, now I need to figure out if it's worth an increased monthly fee for what (to me) amounts to an HD connection to my screen, and a way to watch on-demand stuff that I'm not going to watch..

Friday, May 27, 2011

Microsoft activation

Microsoft server activation sucks when it doesn't work.  2 hours on the phone today so far.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Samsung Transform is a laggy piece of shit.

Samsung Transform Android Phone (Sprint)
Piece of Shit
Well, my cellphone, a Samsung Transform, started acting up enough today for me to do a factory reset on it.  This thing is the laggiest, buggiest, piece of shit phone that I've ever owned, and I once owned an Audiovox phone.  I called and complained too, but of course that was basically wasting my breath.  If anyone has any ideas how I can get a better Sprint phone without it costing me a fortune, I'm all ears.

In other news, Air Control is the amazon free app of the day.  I've played the free version, and it's pretty alright.

Shit.  My Majesty savegame didn't survive.  DAMMIT.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to keep your passwords secure

Well, now that there are reports of PSN passwords being exploited on other services (Blizzard, Paypal, etc.) I thought a followup to one of my earlier blog posts was in order.

Everyone knows that you should use secure passwords everywhere, and that you should use different passwords at each place.  "But Ed", you say, "How can I remember all that?  I'm not a computer!".  Well, I'm glad you asked.  This system is what works for me:

Step 1, Download and install Dropbox.  Dropbox works like a folder on your computer that is synchronized to the internet.  If your computer gets lost or stolen, the contents of your Dropbox folder are still accessible.  A 2GB account is free (and each of us gets another 250MB if you use that link), and plenty of space for what we're using it for.  You should be ok keeping the defaults during the installation.  Use a new password, at least 12 characters, with letters and numbers.  It's ok to write this one down for now.

Step 2, Download and install Keepass.  Choose the latest 2.xx version.  Keepass is a password manager.  There are others that can do the job too, but Keepass is free and open source.  From the Keepass website:

  • Today you need to remember many passwords. You need a password for the Windows network logon, your e-mail account, your website's FTP password, online passwords (like website member account), etc. etc. etc. The list is endless. Also, you should use different passwords for each account. Because if you use only one password everywhere and someone gets this password you have a problem... A serious problem. He would have access to your e-mail account, website, etc. Unimaginable.  But who can remember all those passwords? Nobody, but KeePass can. KeePass is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows.

Step 3, Run Keepass.  Have it setup a new database (just using a master password, not a key file or a windows account), and save the database in your Dropbox folder.  To test it out, create a new entry (the icon with a green arrow pointing to a gold key) and put in your dropbox username and password.  There!  You have a secure Dropbox account, with a good unique password, that you don't have to remember!

If you have more than one computer, just install Dropbox and Keepass on them too, and Dropbox will keep your password file in sync across your computers.  Also, Dropbox and Keepass both have versions for ipad/iphone/ipod, Android, and Blackberry.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Technology deal of the day

Enterprise Network Testing: Testing Throughout the Network Lifecycle to Maximize Availability and Performance (Networking Technology)Today's technology deal that you should know about is at Cisco Press.  Every day they select one book and sell the electronic edition of it for $9.99.  Lately they've been rotating between the certification books needed to earn your CCNP (ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT).  Today is a bit of a changeup.  Enterprise Network Testing is the deal of the day right now.

When they first started the promotion, some of the books had some DRM bullshit, but now they're just watermarked PDF's, perfect for copying to your Kindle or smartphone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden reported killed

It's some kind of irony that Bin Laden hated us fat, lazy Americans, so we killed him with a remote controlled weapon.

-- Edit, early reports were wrong, it wasn't missiles from drones, it was 4 helicopters and a bunch of guys with guns.  Go team!


I went Geocaching today for the first time in a looooong time.  The last time I went, standard operating procedure was a printout of the caches to check out, and coordinates punched into a standalone GPS like a Garmin.  Now, there are several Android apps that can do all of that.  Yet another example of technology that we have at our fingertips now that wasn't available (or was a pain in the butt to use) only a few years ago.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sucks to be Sony right now. Or a PSN subscriber.

So, Playstation Network has been down for a week now, since the 19th.  Now, they've come to the conclusion that personal information has (probably) been compromised.

The tl;dr of the story is that if you've provided them your credit card number, it might have been leaked.  Also, if you use the same username and password elsewhere, then change them.

THIS IS A GOOD REASON NOT TO USE THE SAME PASSWORD EVERYWHERE.  So was the engadget hack.  I love password expiration day at work, expecially the arguement, 'but i've had this password for years, and i use the same one for everything!'.

Anyhow.  My rant for the night.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Today's free app of the day (for another 3 hours) is Medeor Brick Breaker.  Basically an Arkanoid or Breakout clone that gets meh reviews.  Whatever, it's free instead of $4, but I don't expect to have it installed for long.

What I have been playing a lot of is Game Dev Story, an addicting little game where you run a company that develops video games.  There's a lite version also to try out, to see if you like it first.

I really need a phone upgrade.  Anyone have an HTC Evo or an HTC Evo Shift for cheap?

Friday, April 22, 2011

TuneIn Radio Pro

Today's free app of the day for Android is TuneIn Radio Pro, which allows you to listen to local radio or radio anywhere in the world.  This morning, I was listening to BBC One, and then switched it to a local radio station instead.  It also has NOAA radio to listen to the weather alerts, and lets you record also.  No ads inside the app to accidentally click on either.  Check it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stuff that is wonderful that we encounter every day.

Continuing the theme of stuff that we take for granted and underappreciate, I made a purchase from a while back that I'm really happy with.  The x10 powermid remote control extender.  I can have my Tivo and DVD player tucked away in the closet behind my TV, and this little pyramid thingie in front of the TV, and it transmits remote control signals through the closed closet door, so I can have everything tucked away and looking neat.  Also, there are fewer exposed cables and stuff for my son to get into.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Storm's a rolling in

Tonight across the Midwest USA, we had a large storm sweep across.  Hail, thunder and lightning, 60mph (100kph) winds, tornadoes, the works.  As the tornado sirens went off, I sent the rest of the family to take cover and pulled up audio feeds of the local police / fire / EMA, plus the local shortwave repeater repeater.  I also had the weather radar pulled up, plus the weather people on TV going nuts like they always do whenever there's the hint of bad weather.

What a world.  From my home, access to all kinds of information about what's happening.  Several radar systems, live pictures of the storms taken from satellites floating above us...  Actually, i could have done most of it from my cellphone, now that I think about it.

Do you ever stop and think about the technology that we take for granted every day?

Monday, April 18, 2011

So, what do you think about the new Kindle getting a $25 discount if you're willing to have ads on the front page?  Seems like a fair tradeoff to me, I think I'd have taken them up on it if it had been an option when I got my Kindle.

Speaking of which, anyone have a suggestion for an ereader similar to a kindle, long battery life, fairly cheap, but with a bigger screen?  Some of the PDF's that I'm trying to read end up being way too tiny on the Kindle's screen.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nice one at the Amazon app store for android.

If you haven't installed it on your Android powered phone yet, this might make it worth the effort.  Trillian is the free app of the day at the Amazon app store - normally $5. Trillian is an all-in-one IM/chat application.  Combined gchat, aim, facebook chat, icq, etc.  Worth it at $5, a steal for free.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New location

I'm moving everything back over to blogger.  Thanks for following.

Anyway, Commvault released SP2 this week.  Normally I'd be all over it, but I think I'm going to wait a week or so to see how the bugs shake out.  The issue with backups leaving snapshots behind is really turning out to be a pain in the ass.  Still, I think it'll turn out to be an improvement from Backup Exec.