Mind Hacks is an O’Reilly book that examines specific operations of the brain and presents simple experiments (do try this at home :)) to illustrate how it works and how, occasionally, you can fool it. O’Reilly and Foyles held a join event in the Foyles gallery in London where they had both of the books main authors do a short introduction to the topic and explain what the book was about. Read on →

There were three talks at the March GLLUG and I can now happily link to slides from two of them. Bruce Richardson’s Linux HA and Martin Michlmayr’s Quality Issues in Free Software projects. Hopefully these will soon be linked to on the GLLUG website. The first talk of the day, by Pete Ryland, involved a live demo and no slides so there isn’t really anything to link to on that one; until we get the audio recordings sorted anyway.

F-Secure has released a blacklight beta download that is available in both GUI and command-line versions. The full Blacklight details are now online and after a quick play it seems pretty nifty, and most importantly, has a command-line version for automated deployment and scanning. One to watch when it goes gold.

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 →

I stumbled on to the site for Danger - Quicksand - Have A Nice Day through one of the other blogs I read and after reading the first couple of pages was sucked in. The book doesn’t cover anything really ground breaking but where it caught me was pointing out scenarios that I’ve been in and showing that I’m not the insane one for thinking they were odd or out of place. Read on →

Between being ill, attending FOSDEM, putting a GLLUG on, actually reviewing my review copies of books and a couple of other bits I can’t yet mention, the things requiring my attention have been not-so-slowly piling up. I’ve taken a large chunk of this weekend to clear down the multiple mail boxes, RSS feeds and saved book-marks that I was supposed to read weeks ago. One thing I have noticed is how much more productive I am when using client-side tools I can customise. Read on →

Tom Liston wrote up an excellent (and scary!) analysis of what happens to an unpatched machine when it goes to a less than reputable site. The full details, part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 are well worth a read. You’ll be stunned at how much shite comes down from a single executable that the user never even gets a choice whether to run.

Filepkg.sh is another one of those scripts borne of a personal itch. I’m spending a fair amount of time cleaning up both Redhat and Debian boxes which have custom software installed, some of it by hand and some via the package management system (we build the packages ourselves). One of the annoyances I’ve come across while determining which files are managed and which were left by us is that while both dpkg and rpm will tell you the package that owns a file, you need to provide the full path of the file you’re asking about to get the information out. Read on →

I’ve finally found the time to do make some updates to my 2004 - 2005 Pragmatic Investment Plan. I’ve posted links to some books reviews, added two technical conferences and listed some scripts that have been down-loaded a fair few times from my site (over 50 downloads was my requirement). While I’m not even half way through the PiP yet (and time’s a ticking!) I’ve started to think about the 2005-2006 version. Read on →

I’ve just finished re-reading Using SANs and NAS from O’Reilly. It’s aged really well, provides an excellent introduction to the common terms, principles and usages. Well worth a read (and quite cheap these days). You can now find the Using SANs and NAS book review on my main site or over at London PM.