33 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 09:44 GMT
Re: Sounds like it's more window-dressing than an actual fix
Not having had the pleasure of this myself (only running lowly W7 Pro 64 which this far appears to have survived this) I'm not familiar with the hoops that Bitlocker makes you jump through.
I can say that when SWMBO's office lappy got hit with a rootkit (why do they run them with local admin rights...), the Truecrypt recovery disc definitely saved the day. It enabled me to completely decrypt the hard drive in situ and then set about fixing the issue (the machine wouldn't boot either).
Never mind SP1, what about IE10?
Last night my Win 7 Pro laptop was automagically updated to IE10 which broke the 1 thing I use IE for, hosting my office remote access software.
A quick trip to the System Restore sorted that one out but grr. I do so hate it when MS insist on labelling their browser upgrades as "essential" updates rather than optional.
I know I could set Windows Update to show me the updates for approval prior to applying them, but it's still tres annoying.
Re: So what's the total build cost then?
For folks that are interested in an automotive experience, could I direct you towards the following:
Not strictly a PC as such, but I think you'll agree it is suitably bonkers.
I especially admire the part that states:
Price includes delivery, set up and training.
Re: Loyal Customer
Have a +1 from me for the Dwarfer reference, although Mr. Flibble's very cross his name didn't get spelt correctly.
Zis is Night'awk, are you receiving me?
I cannot fathom how the Reg headline writers didn't think that this story was ripe for a bit of 'Allo 'Allo? I mean come on, given the following aspects:
It could almost have written itself, couldn't it?
For the benefit of readers who don't have a clue what I'm wittering on about, feel free to expand your horizons here:
I can't speak for any of the other brands but the QNAP software (I have a TS-410) supports iSCSI, CIFS, NFS and a whole bunch more. It supports dynamic disk expansion so adding more/larger disks doesn't mean you lose access to your data while it does its thing.
As for the whole "why not roll your own" argument, well to be honest, you're paying for the convenience more than anything else. The HP microservers mentioned elsewhere are nice bits of kit, but AFAIK, they don't support hot swapping drives with the stock BIOS (whereas a lot of the NAS units will support hot swapping).
My TS-410 acts as a focal point for our movies (happily feeding multiple Apple TVs running XBMC), stores our photos (which are backed up to S3 and Crashplan) and also acts as a backup destination for our home machines.
It also runs Sickbeard with Sabnzbd and wakes up a hibernating XBMC client via WOL to update the shared mysql media library (also on the QNAP) when something new has arrived.
I spend most of my days solving IT related FUBARs so when I get home, I don't really want to do that all over again. The QNAP is a bit of kit that I can just leave to get on with it knowing that if there is an issue, it will either email me (assuming it can) or I can get some guidance from a helpful user community. The most serious issue I've had with it was when I found it flashing lights on two drives claiming they were degraded/not available (the unit has 4 x 2TB drives running in RAID5). Turned out it was caused by a brief power outage (and the drives were fine after a complete power cycle), following which my next purchase was a UPS to prevent a repeat.
Some retailers already ahead of the curve...
We recently had cause to pursue a faulty appliance supplied/installed as part of a fitted kitchen which failed spectacularly after less than 3 years of very light usage.
The retailer in question (B&Q) after attempting the usual fobbing off towards the manufacturer (eg "It's out of warranty, why are you annoying us?") finally agreed to refund the purchase price.
That was the good bit, the scary part was when they insisted that the refund could only be applied to the card used by my wife to place the deposit for the kitchen back in 2008. WTF is a retailer doing retaining this level of detail for that period of time? Please don't make me laugh by suggesting that the data is suitably secured either.
Is it really credible that they should be retaining this information on the off chance that they need to issue a refund because they could easily cut a cheque instead.
More of this sort of thing...
What a refreshing change to hear about users that aren't clueless numpties and a switched on IT department.
Re: OLED tomorrow, plasma today
As an owner of two Pioneer plasmas (one Kuro Panel - 508XD and one TV - 436SXE) I've yet to see anything that would make me want to switch. Neither are full HD but they both look pretty good when fed a decent signal either from Blu Ray or $ky HD.
Our reaction to features such as 3D or Smart TV is pretty much "meh!", so unless there's a truly compelling reason to change, there won't be any upgrades round our way for some time.
Re: could cut vehicle thefts also
If only life were that simple...
Several tracker type gizmos can report vehicle location via GSM, however the thieving scrotes just carry a GSM jammer along for the ride which means they don't have to concern themselves about such things.
More sophisticated units can detect jamming and will trigger an alert/alarm, but that's normally held as a selling point for the higher end models.
Re: Smaller the income, larger the TV
Do you have any research you could point us at to back up this delightfully Daily Fail bit of social comment?
As for the generalisation that large TV sets are vulgar, well, I suppose one will just have to manage with the Pioneer 436SXE (43 inch) in one's master bedroom and the Pioneer Kuro 508XD (50 inch) in one's lounge.
Openwound strike again!
As with others, my "available date" has automagically been put back by 3 months yet again.
My cabinet is at the end of our road but we're in a conservation area (Chislehurst) and judging by the planning decisions on the council website, applications for the new fibre cabinets are not going well.
In such a situation, you'd think the sensible thing to do would be to not give a date (the exchange was enabled some time ago), except our area is also covered by Virgin as well.
Coincidence do you think?
Have you got a link for any of these fancy new features in Windows Scheduled Tasks? Last time I looked the Windows scheduling facilities were no more advanced than those back in Windows 2000 as detailed here:
Sure the snap in under Win 7 and the latest server versions for managing the tasks looks snazzier, but I bet if you export the tasks via the command line to .CSV they'll look the same, eg:
schtasks /query /FO CSV /V > schtasklist.csv
Re: no backup of the schedule?
A more fundamental question to be asked here (speaking as someone who has provided Production support for several banks and seen most of the enterprise schedulers in action, excluding mainframes) is why on earth was the original CA-7 upgrade being performed during the working week?
Changes of this nature should be performed at the weekend so there's some breathing space if things do go pear-shaped.
Of course the fact that they went pear-shaped in the first place is likely down to inadequate testing/preparation for the upgrade itself combined with less than "expert" staff being used to actually perform the upgrade.
Have you ever had to use a pukka enterprise grade scheduler such as CA7, Autosys, UC4 or Control-M in a production landscape? I could be taking a stab in the dark here but I'm guessing not.
Cron bears as much resemblance to any of these as does say Windows Task scheduler.
They are very different in their modes of operation, resilience (if configured properly) and capabilities.
For one thing, they support the concept of dependencies (eg only run this job once the previous one has completed successfully) and alerting when things don't go to plan.
Repeat after me..
RAID is *not* backup!
Is that what it takes to get a discount out of Oracle these days?
Sorry, can't talk right now...
Hmm, some of those call handling options sound very similar to Profiles on older Nokia handsets
I seem to remember an app on my E61 that would do pretty much everything described in terms of call handling/messaging etc and was location aware (granted via cell mast id rather than GPS but at least it didn't nag you to switch on wifi to improve accuracy ).
Was very useful as it would switch profiles when you got into the office or back home or any other location you setup.
Of course if Apple provided the relevant API access then 3rd party devs could have done the same some time ago.
Full disc encryption goodness
+1 for TrueCrypt which I used on my previous XP machine and now on my current (Win 7 Pro, HP Elitebook) rig.
It will do full disc encryption and can take advantage of AES hardware acceleration found in many newer Intel CPUs to help keep the performance up. Even on a Win 7 install with multiple partitions (boot, main win 7, recovery, tools) you can encrypt the main partition without any problems. Even if you don't have the shiny AES instructions available, the performance is still very respectable.
Continuing the disc related theme, a mention has to go to Clonezilla which allows you to perform bare metal backup & recovery. It will also perform deployments and can use multicasting to boost performance. I used it to transfer my Elitebook from the stock HDD to an SSD and once I'd resized the HDD partitions before cloning to the SSD, the process ran like clockwork.
Another security related suggestion...
Excellent suggestions, I'd also add Secunia PSI to this which will monitor your installed apps and ensure they're kept up to date (in some cases automagically updating them for you). It helps reduce the chances of being hit with an exploit for an old version of a piece of software, especially if they're not good at managing their own updates.
A (probably cheaper) alternative to the Tumi can be found here:
The specs claim it will charge USB devices at 5V up to 1A so you may be able to get away with charging an iPad with this (I'll try this with the wife's iPad when she's not looking)...
Nuke icon in case the experiment doesn't pan out...
Apple TV ++
For a streamer, the ATV2 is a decent bit of kit as long as you take the time to jailbreak it and get XBMC on it.
It has Netflix onboard natively, which on our BE broaband connection performs admirably. Quality is good, even on our lounge screen (a 50inch Pioneer Kuro) and we were so happy with it that we picked up another the last time we were in the USA for the master bedroom. I especially liked the fact that they have parental controls as standard so I can decide whether my 6 year old can browse Youtube or not.
Both of them share a central media library based on our NAS, with the XBMC library updating itself via a nettop PC that gets woken from hibernation via wake on lan and then goes back into hibernation once the deed is done. It did take a bit of tinkering to get it running with the shared library and extras but the process for both this and the jailbreak are well documented online.
The comments for the Revo et al are valid (I have an R6310 sporting Win 7 which I also run a variant of XBMC on called OpenELEC booting off an SD card) but a potentially cheaper (albeit less flexible) option is to get hold of an Apple TV 2, jailbreak it and install XBMC on it. This will handle just about any format you can throw at it (http://xbmc.org).
I'm running two of these streaming media from our QNAP NAS (wired, not wireless before anyone leaps in) and they work like a charm. You do need some basic command line abilities for the initial setup but the process is well documented step by step on various sites.
The bit I like about the ATV2s is that they're relatively cheap (£99 or $99 across the pond), small and have no fans. The fact that they can also stream Netflix as well (recently available in the UK but make sure you have the 4.4.4 software onboard otherwise don't bother) is a bonus. They are limited to 720p and won't output full hi def but as neither of my plasmas are full HD, it doesn't really bother me.
Can't manage what you don't measure...
I agree that the user experience is important and should be monitored. If possible, you should consider whether it's possible to "bake in" the capturing of suitable performance information from the outset.
One reconciliation system I worked with a few years ago, had the inbuilt ability to record the details of what the user was doing (eg what options they had selected when performing a particular task) along with the time it took to perform and how much information it resulted in). This could then be recorded in a separate database for review/analysis.
All too often the "lone user" performance issue is difficult to quantify "it seems slower than yesterday" with nothing to actually back it up.
Having the details of what the user was doing "Hi Fred, I can see you ran the same report yesterday and it took only 2 seconds longer today..." can be a powerful tool. Once you have that raw data you can start doing more useful things with it (eg is the average time to run a given process creeping up and up over a period and if so, what are you going to do about it).
The view that support folk would like to deal with a significant meltdown in their systems in my experience couldn't be further from the truth. Whilst a frontline L1 helpdesk call handler may not have the time/knowledge/incentive to proactively suggest improvements, if the systems are that complex, they'll be backed up by the relevant L2 application support groups who will have a vested interest in ensuring that improvements are introduced proactively.
At a basic level, it is human nature, if you can do something to reduce the "noise" generated by avoidable support requests then you'll do it. The beneficial side effect is that hopefully the user experience is also improved :-)
Serious home cinema buffs will look elsewhere...
Have to say I'd agree with the sentiments expressed around the UI, but for me that's not the major issue.
A serious home cinema buff will probably have their equipment tucked away in a cabinet (locked if you have sprogs around) or in some cases even in a different room to the actual viewing location.
In situations like these, the ability to have some sort of wireless "extender" that can slave from the main unit and broadcast your IR signals (typically with a collection of IR emitters to stick over the different bits of kit) is an absolute must.
This can do the wireless bit (over WiFi) but no discrete emitters for different bits of kit coupled with a lack of slave capabilities means that this gets a "meh".
Umm, you've been able to buy HDMI to Ethernet adaptors/baluns for some time. A quick google for "HDMI over Ethernet" will give you the lowdown.
Don't think there's any decrypting going on though but as long as it works, who cares?
RE: General purpose, inherent safety
There have been some more general purpose examples of "Harvard architecture" machines, one example was the souped up StrongARM cpu released for the Acorn RiscPC.
I remember at the time a number of apps/utilities falling over as their self-modifying code tricks would no longer work (one legit use was executables that would self decompress and run back when hard drive space was a lot pricier).
I don't know if any of the subsequent ARM designs continued to make use of this or not.
@ AC: 08:45
Actually, no, if your master password was somehow sniffed via a keylogger or something similar (remember it's only entered once per browsing session into the FF extension), this wouldn't divulge what options you'd configured regarding password length, whether to use l33t type mangling etc. Not forgetting that you can customise these on a per site basis.
Aside from that, if you have a keylogger or similar running then you have other security issues that you should be attending to.
One option are Password Generators such as PasswordMaker for FireFox.
Given a master password as a salt, they'll generate a hash against the site name and give you a different password for each site. You can choose the length, what range of characters to use and best of all the password itself for the site isn't permanently stored anywhere (on your machine anyway). Instead, the browser recreates it on the fly when you visit the site in question.
OTA 10MB limit still in place?
I've tried pulling down podcasts via 3g (this is on O2 in the UK) to be met with the familar message stating that anything over 10MB has to go via Wi-Fi.
Is anybody else seeing this as well?