Archive for the ‘Computer Stuff’ Category.

Things To Do


I have been looking at the dates of posts and noticed how very lazy I have been.  I have been back from honeymoon since the middle of June and haven’t posted anything at all.  So here is the list of things I need to do (just like the Ten Commandments, “in no particular order”):

  1. Tidy up my Links list – many of the links are now dead and many of the others need pruning and I need to seriously reorganise the categoriesdone, let me know if you see any dead links
  2. Start to write about the audio adventures of Sapphire & Steel
  3. Find some things to get angry about so I can rant about them for your pleasure and delectation
  4. Update my LibraryThing library (not blog related, but needs to be done) - done/ongoing
  5. Post up the honeymoon photos and videos
  6. Organise some posts that I can put up here in the slack times – just general info/fluff/ideas posts
  7. Just get more organised in general here – this site has seemed a bit unloved for a while

I’ll cross these off as I do them and maybe add more if I think about them.

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Soon, this blog shall be moving home.  Mine host has decided to go for a better deal.  And no matter what you all say, I trust him on this implicitly.  There will be some preparatory changes, most of which you won’t notice.  The one that you will notice is that I shall be disabling comments during the move.  This is so that none of your wonderful comments are lost during the move.  If the move happens close enough to my extended holiday/honeymoon they will be re-enabled sometime in week 3 of June (or maybe week 4).  Otherwise, I’ll just tease you by re-enabling them and then disabling them.  Depending on how the mood takes me.

If this all goes as well as I think it will, you won’t really notice the move.  Otherwise, well, stock up on tinned food and ammo and batten down the hatches, it’s gonna be a cold cold winter.

Do I Want A Netbook?

HP Mini Mi Netbook

HP Mini Mi Netbook

Netbooks are pretty much this year’s thing.  I have seen a few people using them on the train and they look very useful and handy.  Particularly if you want to knock up a spreadsheet or document while you’re on the train.  They run a customised version of Windows XP, Windows Vista or a Linux distro which are designed to give you easy access to your applications without having to go through multi-layered start menus.  In all, they are useful and usable.

So do I want one?  Well, yes.  Mainly because I don’t have one.  In the UK, they are available for around £250 (~ $370 or 280 euros (according to XE)) and are about 1KG in weight.  They are very very portable and are really useful for office apps or web browsing/email.  They fit in a category between a laptop and a PDA.

In the UK, they are available from HP, IBM and from Acer.  They are all lightweight, stylish, handy and useful for the quick jobs you need to do whether on the way to/from work (if you use the train or plane) or before a meeting.  They are also very handy for people who can’t carry a full sized notebook.  They are designed for use outside the office.  And I want one.

So, if any company that makes these things would like to send me on to use and review, feel absolutely free.  I will happily accept it and review it and put it up on this site.  Linux distro for preference please.

Dropping Out of the New Interest Based AdSense

Having read a couple of posts from bloggers who, I believe, know what they are talking about, I am opting out of the new Google AdSense advertising.

The new ad system will give you, the reader, ads beased on where you go from here.  So if you read mainly technical posts across the web, you’ll start to see more and more technical ads.  If you are a new parent and want to look for baby things, you’ll start to see a lot more ads aimed at the new parent.  So far, it doesn’t seem so bad, does it?  I mean, targeted ads can’t be bad, right?  Thing is, what if you are looking for presents for the new baby of your friends?  Will you get incorrectly targeted ads for the next month until your browsing goes back to normal?  And, in an extreme case, the spouse is away for a while and you’re feeling lonely and need some “me” time…  Will your browsing be doged by ads which will proclaim what you’ve been doing as surely as if you’d admitted it?  And will those ads mean that perfectly normal sites will get tagged as undesirable by content filters?

Fact is, if I opt in I will be sending you a cookie and that cookie will follow you like the kid at school with a very big mouth.  And I don’t want to give up your privacy to anyone else.  Giving up your privacy to me is fine – simply knowing about this site gives me the right to come round your house and riffle through your wardrobe when you’re out, by the way.  But I don’t want to give your rights up to another company unless you want me to.

Will this mean I could potentially lose out on revenue?  Possibly.  But then losing out isn’t a big deal – the ads are there because I’m interested in what the ads show and it amuses me.  So far I’ve made nothing at all out of it and don’t give a monkeys.

Maybe, if enough bloggers follow this stance we can get Google to rethink what they’re doing.  I have no quarrel with Google, I use their products and will happily tell others about them, but I don’t like this method of advertising.

Fixing Your RSS Feed Problems in WordPress

Just a quick post here.  I had been having real issues with the RSS feeds over the last few weeks.  In short, they weren’t working.  See the issues I was having over here.  As a good forum goer, I hit Google and also searched the forums for a solution.  To no avail.

So if you see this:

PROBLEM: FeedMedic Alert for<blog name>/EaHL
07/03/09 13:59

FeedBurner had trouble retrieving your Source Feed: http://www.<blog name>.org/feed/

The error message is:

Error on line 2: The processing instruction target matching "[xX][mM][lL]" is not allowed.

The fix that worked for me is here.  This fixed the issue immediately and I feel relieved.  Thank you to your advice was great.

I am posting this in case anyone else has the problem and also in case a future upgrade of WordPress brings back the problem.

What Does Lijit Do? (and why is it over there?)

While doing my daily read through Atheist Revolution (read it, lots of things to think about), I spotted vjack’s post about Lijit.  “Oh ho”, thought I, “that looks interesting”.  So I popped over to the site, signed up, grabbed the plugin, installed the widget and removed my normal search bar.  See how much work I do on testing these things?

I haven’t gone into it in any detail yet, but if you need to search the site, you can use Lijit to do it.  So please give it a go and let me know whether you prefer it to the default search.  I notice that it uses Google (and displays Google Ads) so the algorithms and the like are sound.