* Posts by zyxyzx

11 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

Michael Dell sells you some s**t you don't need

zyxyzx

@Eric Dennis

Thieves will just have to make sure they ghost the hard drive before allowing it online to dial home and begin it's automated self-deletion - which will fail due to "File is in use and can't be deleted" errors anyway.

Good to see old Mikey D is thinkin outside the box on this one.

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The netbook newbie's guide to Linux

zyxyzx
Alien

What this guide isn't ....

is an introduction to linux newbies. It's a step by step (mostly) guide to help people who've bought a new netbook to "get it to see my internet and windows machine".

In that it does the job fairly well, although I'm curious as why vi was considered sufficiently straightforwad for a new user that it didn't need any instructions. Even with experience I still find it quicker and easier to just fire up gEdit.

I think realistically the netbook makers could have simply made a little initial config script for new owners to change things like the default smb.conf workgroup entry without needing to immediately dive into using a command line shell. It would only take about 10 minutes to do it as a simple shell script after all.

Beyond that I think many people miss the point of these netbooks, and that's to use a quick and dirty laptop for browsing the web, checking your emails, and knocking out a letter in oooWriter. It's not supposed to run a fully fledged copy of the latest OS with max graphics and all the latest game ports, much like all those XPembedded PCs we're supposed to shipping - or so Microsoft keeps telling me.

Now I sit and await the flames.

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Renault looks to wee-hued windows to cut car power draw

zyxyzx
Coat

Warming by psychology ....

While I, the driver, may well think I am nice and toasty, my wife, who cranks on the heating whenever the temp drops 1 degree below 20, certainly won't.

Perhaps a psychologically warming thermostat, that has no actual impact on car temperature, would be in order?

Mine's the nice warm fur-lined one, perfect for driving through the british summer.

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Judge grants Viacom 12TB of YouTube user records

zyxyzx
Go

Format

I think a format that has been missed is good old fashioned ticker-tape. I have no idea how long it would be, but it would have to pretty large. Especially if the data was output in binary.

On top of that, the data could be encrypted with a 16k bit key, before printing it, in order to prevent loss of private data, and the actual encryption mechanism could be classed as google's own source code, and so they legally could deny providing to Viacom under Copyright legislation.

Now there's a kick in the balls!

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Would a data notification law improve UK data security?

zyxyzx
Coat

Cost

One plus point from all of these security f***ups is that I don't have to spend hours trying to convince companies that the extra £500 charge for securing their data is money well spent.

Maybe at long last I will see an end to the phenomenon of securing the most sensitive company data with a four character password, or if they want to be really secure, the word "password", both of course using the username "administrator".

Of course, there will always be some idiot who writes down any usernames and passwords on a post it note, then sticks it to the front of the server cabinet.

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Dell offers 'Windows Vista Bonus' to frightened customers

zyxyzx
Flame

@William

While I agree that much of the anti-Vista posting is a little OTT, and often by non-IT-pro types, I AM an IT pro, and have been for several years.

I've had the (mis)fortune to to use and support virtually every commercial OS released since MS-Dos 5 and, with a certain degree of sincerity, I can say that Vista makes Win ME look good.

I'm currently running Vista x64 Business on a Dual Core X2 with 4GB, with all the pretty bits turned off, and it still runs like a slug. Next to it I've got a box with an old Athlon XP 2G and a massive 2GB, running 2008 server, and it flies!

The fact is that Vista is bloated far beyond necessity (do we really need 60 processes running on startup ?!), slows down the professionals with unecessary wizards and x Centre screens, and has a whole collection of security "enhancements" which are immediately turned off by home users.

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Grand Theft Auto reportedly inspires teen rampage

zyxyzx
Stop

MOO

I can't help but think of the sheer carnage that resulted when I tried to enact scenes from Master of Orion in real life!

Millions dead, and all so that I could steal their Black Hole Generator research.

And don't get me started on Civilisation!

How come these stories alway seem to take place in the hick-parts of the U.S.? Could it be that being from the boondocks encourages a violent approach to problem solving, and having a convenient medium to blame provides you with an excuse. Just a thought.

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Mandriva's Linux on a stick will wow all the ladies this Summer

zyxyzx
Linux

Linux on a flash disc...

How revolutionary ... Knoppix anyone...

Also, it's not an especially difficult thing to do. Once you've practiced a couple of times, you can produce one in about 15 minutes.

Check out http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/02/20/installing-usb-knoppix-51-using-linux/

for more info.

Admittedly this tutorial is primarily for use in a windows system, but it's essentially a matter of making couple of .bat files, and a Knoppix iso.

Also, just for the record, I'm a total linux noob, and I managed it.

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Post Office aims to collect ID card fingerprints?

zyxyzx
Stop

Data transfer

So, are the government farming the jobs out to the private sector, i.e. branches of your friendly neighbourhood post office, with the intention that the post office will have easy and cheap access to blank cds, envelopes and stamps?

As we all know, these could be password protected with a strong 4-character pin, to allow all of our bio-metric data to be safely lost .. er .. shipped to the appropriate location, so cutting out the need for expensive and complicated things like encryption or secure connections.

Cheaper and more effective?! Will they never learn.

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eBayer slaps $714 price tag on $630 in cash

zyxyzx
Stop

Guilty until proved innocent

Another issue, which I've been the victim of in the past, is the idea that eBay is infallible.

Essentially, if someone in eBay decides that you are flogging stolen goods, or pirate software, or are in violation of some sort of license agreement, your listing is pulled.

No ifs, no buts, no warnings or appeals. Even when you produce documented evidence, in the form of invoices, license agreements, or certificates of authenticity, eBay will not capitulate, let alone apologise.

And god forbid you should try and query exactly what grounds they have for ending the listing. They simply keep emailing the same terms and conditions (the whole thing!) without highlighting any particular section or pointing out how you are in violation (probably because it is impossible to show the terms breached if none have been breached).

In short, eBay's word is law, and there is no higher power to appeal to.

Roll-on the day my bricks and mortar shop is completed!

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Windows Server 2008 cuts power costs, claims Microsoft

zyxyzx

@Spiteful God / @AC

I've used pretty much every commercial OS since MS-DOS 3 and a wide variety of Linux / UNIX flavours, and have to say that by far and away, Vista is the worst operating system I have ever used. It even makes WinME look good.

Strangely, however, most of the things that make Vista so bloody awful, seem to have been removed from 2008; and aside from a few little irritations, like that bloody network and sharing centre (what's wrong with going straight to the connection management utilities I ask you!) it's a phenomenal piece of kit.

In terms of finding an OS which "natively supports wireless connections from numerous vendors", I seem to spend a large amount of time configuring Windows systems to just f@*!ing connect to my AP, which hardly strikes me as native support.

Meanwhile, Ubuntu helpfully popped up with a simple "enter the key" type box and I was away.

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