As many of my incredibly intelligent, talented and loyal readers will already know the European Union and the asshats lobbying for it are trying to get Patents bought in. Apparently the economy and IT industry haven’t had enough problems recently so they’d like to add a new, all-encompassing one. As you may gather I’m not a huge fan of patents and I’d hate to see Europe adopt them, something which has come way too close to happening a number of times; but now we have Poland! Read on →

It never fails to surprise me how I can use a program almost every day and yet still stumble on to previously undiscovered options. Yesterday I discovered the ‘–reference=file’ option while reading the manpage for chmod. When used this option takes the current permissions of the specified file and applies them to the other files specified on the command line. It’s also accepted by chgrp and chown. Note: If you’re going to use this in production please consider the potential race condition.

I love The Bile Blog, it captures the crude yet funny humour that way too many geek / techie hangouts no longer contain. For those of you that have never been lucky enough to stumble upon it the aim is to provide a public mocking for stupid projects, ideas and even people. Every community needs one of these.

I go through a lot of books, after looking at my reading pile recently I realised something has changed in my reading habits, I don’t get through entire books anymore. I just seem to get through the first half, know enough to muddle through and then get on with that ever I needed the knowledge for. So in an attempt to start clearing the pending pile I’m going to focus on a batch of books at a time. Read on →

Over at Longhorn blogs Bill Evjen has posted an entry about Code Brews, an event where a small group of techs meet up and, by the sound of it, have a cross between a show and tell and a number of short tutorials. I have to say I’m very jealous. Now that I’m working as a full time sysadmin I don’t get to spend any real time writing code so just to keep my hand in I read a number of developers blogs to keep abreast of the emerging ideas. Read on →

I’ve just upgraded my main machines web browser to FireFox 1.0 and I was pleasantly surprised by its ability to upgrade some of the third party extensions I use. While I’ve historically bitched about the changes in the extension mechanisms and packages it seems that all the pain was for a good reason. On the first run of the new version I was shown the extensions that wouldn’t work and then prompted to search for upgraded versions. Read on →

One of FireFox’s best features is it’s community of developers and the third party extensions they create. While it’s always been pretty easy to install these, over time, this mechanism has grown to be more secure and less user friendly; a common trade-off. The checks it made (for example you could only install new extensions from certain sites by default) were rational they forced people to either download and install or dig around in the Options screens until they found the correct settings. Read on →

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 →