Look Behind You

There used to be a time when, if you were driving on a motorway or dual carriageway, you looked in your rear view mirror and you would see, approaching rapidly, very rapidly, a Bedford Astramax van. You would be safe to make at least one of the following assumptions about this van.

  • It would be white.
  • It would be dirty.
  • Someone would have written, with cutting and incisive wit, in the dirt on the back of the van with their finger "also available in white", "clean me" or possibly "I wish my Missus was as dirty as this van".
  • It would have its headlights on whatever the hour of the day or night.
  • It would be trying to overtake you, regardless of the car you were driving and what speed you were currently doing.

What’s That Process?

When I'm working on a Windows machine I like to keep Task Manager running minimised in my task bar so I've got immediate visual feedback on how hard my system's working. That way, when I think my system's not running as fast as it should be I can immediately see if the system's maxed out at 100% CPU usage.

Essential Windows Apps

I've already written about my choice of essential apps on the Mac and so, in the spirit of cross platform-ness, I thought I'd do the same for Windows. It's proved a bit of an education. With one exception; the list of apps seems to fall into two distinct categories.

Firstly, there's those apps which are available on both Mac and Windows, so there's no surprise that both Firefox and iTunes make an appearance.

Secondly though, the remaining apps seem to be provide features which I'm used to on the Mac or on UNIX in general but which are missing from a stock Windows install.

It's probably due to my too many years of UNIX experience that I seem to automatically install apps which make Windows more UNIX like or maybe it's making Windows less Windows like?

My Desk, Part 2

My desk(s) at home, in the office. Actually, we're being polite here and we call it the office so as not to offend it; actually it's one side of the loft room - hence the 45 degree angle of the ceilings in some of the photos.

And so, in a clockwise direction we have an Apple eMac, with 512 Mb of memory and running OS X Panther.

To be honest this isn't ours, it belongs to a friend and I'm in the process of upgrading it to run OS X Tiger.

To be really honest I haven't actually started upgrading it yet but I will real soon now. Promise.

Essential Mac Apps

What makes an essential app? One that you use every day? One that sits in your Dock and has the open at login flag set? One which will make your life just that little bit less difficult or consume a little bit less time? Probably; and I daresay a lot more besides. An essential app is a deeply personal choice.

These then, in no order other than the order I thought of them, are my essential apps for my Mac.

My Desk

My desk at work. Which merely confirms my suspicion that I'm a hardware hoarder. First off, there's a Dell Optiplex GX260 (2.4 GHz P4, 1 GB of RAM, Intel 82845G graphics controller), running Windows XP SP2 ...

Dell Optiplex GX 260

Windows RDP and the Network Swiss Army Knife

Consider the following scenario for a moment; you have a home network, hooked up to a broadband connection. You've done your homework and have a firewall with little or no inbound access. You're like thousands of other people and have a Windows PC running XP Home or XP Professional. You'd like to be able to get at your Windows PC when you're at work but you don't want to let all of those script kiddies at your network, and besides you've heard bad things about letting a Windows PC loose on the internet.

Enter the swiss army knife of the network; SSH. That's the Secure SHell, not a polite request to shut up. Here's what to do ...

John Peel’s Demographic Was Wider Than You Thought

Alison bought me John Peel's (semi) autobiography The Margrave Of The Marshes for Christmas, which was a superb present as the venerable Mr. Peel was responsible for the formation of a sizeable percentage of my musical tastes.

Competing with The Margrave was an unofficial biography, John Peel: A Life In Music by Michael Heatley, which was offered up as one of the "if you like this then you might like this" choices by Amazon.co.uk.