While we’re a Xen shop I’ve always been a VMWare fan and I had the chance to take a look at the free (as in beer) VMWare Converter Starter today. We’ve got a couple of old Windows machines with no installation documents or run books so when working towards making them reproducible grabbing a whole system image is a great first step. The first machine I tried it on has a very unhappy hard drive (yes, it’s my work laptop) and the converter refused to play past 5% of the disk; me thinks it’s time to verify my backups. Read on →


Back at the end of March I made a comment about jMemorize Cards being stored as binary. Well I was completely wrong and it’s time to retract my statement. Riad Djemili, the author of jMemorize, was kind enough to send me an email pointing out that I was completely wrong (and he was very polite about it!) and that the cards are actually just gzipped XML. Which addresses pretty much the only problem I had with this otherwise very nice piece of software. Read on →

While it’s often handy to be able to look up the ownership details of a domain name a lot of the online services have implemented little graphical images which you need to read and then type into a text box before you can actually get the results back. I recently found a new one, Whois Source that allows you to specify the domain in the URL. This makes the service both simple to use from the browser and easy to integrate in to third party programs. Read on →

Update: I was completely wrong about the cards being binary. Please see my jMemorize retraction for details. I saw a piece on jMemorize over at unixreview and decided to have a little play. Quick download, runs from the Jar, OK GUI. Not bad on a cursory glance. I then built a small set of cards as a sample and had a play. Finishing off I saved the card stack and decided to have a look at the file it created, I’d like to generate my flash-cards from existing docs I have so an easy to write format would be excellent. Read on →

A while ago I wrote a post on the very excellent Yellow Face Technique (unixdaemon post), a slick bit of browser-based UI that made it easier to track changes on the page. The nice (and patient!) people over at i am jack’s design were kind enough to send me a link answering my challenge for usable code. And it seems to work fine! Go and have a look at the Yellow Fade technique – iamjacksdesign version code and demo; it’s worth five minutes of your time and visitors to your site will thank you…


I have a page of Internet Explorer Plugins on Unixdaemon.net, while none of them are complex they do seem to be both useful and quite popular (over 30,000 downloads in the last five months… not too bad :)) and so I have a fair amount of interest in IE despite being a very happy FireFox user. Now Microsoft have decided to make themselves more open and transparent, and part of this includes something called the IE Blog, a site I subscribed to about a day after it started. Read on →

Firstly I need to try and get on to the VMWare beta program instead of only reading about the neat new changes from articles like Flexbetas Inside VMWare Workstation 5.0 Beta. Secondly I’d like to get my hands on this release for two main reasons, firstly the ability to stop and start groups of machines at once would make testing certain sets of machines (webserver and database server used by it for storage) a lot nicer. Read on →

What do VMWare Workstation, Windows Media Player and the Windows Volume Control have in common? They each annoy me on a daily basis. I use VMWare on a daily basis, it’s a top notch product that saves me a lot of grief whether I’m writing applications, testing programs for release or playing with services/daemons such as Apache or Postfix and conducting what-ifs but I’ve recently noticed a small glitch that is driving me nuts. Read on →

Do you want top notch searching on your local machine? Do you want lightening fast results on your (non-commercial; read the EULA!) desktop? Do you want people to stop blogging about the Google Desktop Search? Well the answer to number three is probably going to be yes pretty soon! I’ve not had enough time to form any real opinions yet but it does look pretty cool so go and have a play, it’ll make the abscense of WinFS easier to bear :)

My current employer uses Adobe software to print PDFs from a number of programs, Visio, Project, Word and Excel are prime examples. In a valiant attempt to avoid giving Adobe more money we decided to have a look elsewhere and see what was available for Windows users. It didn’t take long to notice OpenOffice, it has document compatibility with Word and Excel and integrated PDF printing; it’s just not very good. Read on →