If you don’t believe me then pick ten random numbers from a phone book and try it for yourself! I don’t like phones, despite the fact I now have four in my life, work mobile, personal mobile, home phone and work desk phone, I don’t think they add anything to my life; instead I think they make it worse. My home phone isn’t plugged in, it (and the line) are there for external calls because it’s cheaper to pay for the calls and the line than it would be for making the same calls via a mobile. Read on →

I made some noise on the subject of the great KT Tunstall on Jools Holland appearance a little while ago. After spending some time looking around I’ve finally managed to get my hands on her False Alarm EP. The CD contains four tracks, False Alarm, Heal Over, Miniature Disasters and Throw me a rope. While the first two are respectable songs in their own rights the latter two are an excellent taster of the album to come (in December now, allegedly due to a family of mice in the printing facility…). Read on →

If you’ve not yet seen Googles FireFox home page then it’s worth a look. I’m not sure why they’ve decided to do it but as a big FireFox fan I’m just happy to see it get more coverage. It’s a shame that they’ve not replaced the front page for a couple of days to really spread the word. It’s also worth noting that a number of plugins don’t work correctly with the newly released FireFox 1, if you have any that you constantly use it’s well worth installing the new version side-by-side with your current version for testing. Read on →

Frequent readers of this site will know that I really like del.icio.us, it’s become one of my near daily tools and, thanks to the API, it’s become a lead generator for me. While it’s interesting to find people with similar interests to you it can be a lot of very tedious work to get a good overview of someone’s interests and see if they mesh with your own; enter extisp.icio.us. This online application generates a visual representation of the tags you use and increases the font size in proportion to the number of links you have in a certain tag. Read on →

I’m currently doing two short evening courses, ten weeks each, and on the reading list for one of them is The Tao Of Motivation. This isn’t my usual type of book, while my reading list is pretty diverse I would typically only read a book like this for the humour value. The book explores some of the basic principles of motivation including how to deliver praise, (very basic) NLP and visualisation. Read on →

Using the very excellent Blosxom Google Site Search plugin I’ve added a Google search box to the left hand column. The search itself will only return results for the blog.unixdaemon.net and www.unixdaemon.net domains (assuming the “Search Unixdaemon.net” option is selected). This is a new addition so there may be a few teething problems for the first few days.

Arnaud Kyheng, a very bad man (but in a good way :)) has released an early version of Apt-Torrent. I’m not sure why but this seems like a madcap idea to me. The basic principles behind it, take the load away from the generous hosted main sites and distribute it a little, are sound and valid but it just seems odd to me. Still I feel the need to give it a twirl. Read on →

How many books for beginners exist for your programming language /technology of choice? I’m assuming that if you are reading this site you are a tech of some description and so have some exposure to coding, if not stay with me ;) How many times, and in slightly different ways, has the same basic introduction to Perl, Python, TCP, Linux or Java been written? Now include the how-tos, on-line articles and tutorials. Read on →

While I’m in this navel gazing mood (which shouldn’t last very long) I thought I’d say a little bit about the oddness of being a system admin in a corporate environment; it might be the same in academia but I’ve never done that. Firstly you have the contradictions, in most companies, and heavily so in a small team/company, you are supposed to be open and approachable. But you also have to manage your time, their requests and the sanctity of the live environment. Read on →

“You described them as teenagers.” “But I don’t think teenagers are the way they are because of their age. It’s because they have nothing to lose. They simultaneously have a lot of time on their hands and yet are very impatient to get on with their lives.” Quote: Neal Stephenson - Cryptonomicon This is an odd thing to post about online, especially considering that this is a public blog and that I know at least two of my co-workers read this site on a semi-regular basis, but I need to get this off my chest and see where it leads me; and it’s my site dammit! Read on →