Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Model of Bridgenorth?

I love what you can do with a bit of photo editing software.  This is a real photo of Bridgenorth, fiddled with to make it look like a model.

Actually I cheated a little bit as I didn't do it manually as I've found a website that will do it for you and in most cases is s good as doing it yourself.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Managing the Human factor in information Security by David Lacey

I received my copy of David Lacey's new book this morning, just as I was taking the kids out swimming.

I did manage to get as far as the intro, though, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in properly later.

A few years ago in my more sheltered world I thought I was the only person that realised that most IT problems, and especially security, were due to human factors (aka 'the idiot behind the keyboard'). Then I discovered his blog and I realised I wasn't going mad and that other people also realised about the 'Human Factor' (just not the staff and managers I was working with at the time!)

Now as an IT trainer I try and get this across to all my students, whatever course they're on, in the hope that there may be less 'idiots' out there in the future.

Anyway, I'm off to read more of the book and I'll try to post more comments here later.

The Book;
Managing the Human factor in information Security by David Lacey

The Blog;
David Lacey's IT Security Blog


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ububtu or Vista

Well, I'm currently using XP Pro at work, but now I have a (fairly) new laptop to use.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to see how Ubuntu and Vista compare when all else is equal - ie same machine, same task etc.

The story so far....

Vista installed really easy from the CD whilst I watched TV. I skipped the licence key (it's in a draw at work, so I'll do that later).
Vista appears to have picked up all the hardware etc, and I connected on to my WiFi straight away. Windows then started updating itself automatically. So far so good. I haven't risked SP1 yet, as I've been told there are issues with this type of laptop - so that can wait until I do some research.

With Ubuntu I decided to go with the 32bit version (just to be safe - I'm after an easy ride to start with) and I had 8.04 on a CD - so in that went, and all installed easily and setup the laptop for dual boot. The only issue being that I couldn't manage to connect to my WiFi.
Is this giving the lead to Vista? Well only slightly. As soon as I plugged a wired network connection into the laptop I was online, and shortly after I was downloading updates (automatically). Then I notice a pop up message about drivers and realised it was offering to install new drivers for the WiFi, along with an explanation that these were proprietary drivers, not open source, and so weren't included with the distro. Fair enough - especially as a couple of key clicks later I was online wireless.

So all square so far.

Also I think I should mention that this is biased in some ways. I really want to end up showing that Ubuntu is a usable system and a viable alternative to XP/Vista for normal use.
However, Vista is likely to be favoured for simplicity simply because of my previous experience. Whilst I'm a relative noob on Linux having played on and off for years but still at user level, I have umpteen years proper experience of Microsoft software - in fact MCP MCSA MCSE MCT - and that makes Vista well within my comfort zone.

More as I progress...

Tim.C currently booted into Ubuntu

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Online radio

I couldn't think of what to put in the CD player while I cooked tea, so I went for the online radio option.

I started off at UCB, but there wasn't anything on I wanted to listen to (I gave the channels at least 5 seconds each to impress me !!). Then I spotted on their website a link to The Word - so I thought I'd try that.

I'm really impressed. Good music that I like (so far) and very few interuptions with presenter waffle. It's been playing around my house for a couple of hours now.

My PC is connected to my HiFi, and my HiFi also has wireless speakers - the end result is sound all around !!

Question: Is radio the ultimate random play?


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Windows Server 2008 Lauch

I'm at the UK launch event typing this in between a couple of technical seminars.

Well, so far it's been fascinating. A lot of this stuff I knew already but the extra detail has convinced me bthat this is a big step forward - not just an incremental step (like 2000 to 2003 etc)

Server Core and Virtualisation / terminal services for applications are filling a hole in the MS system. Finally some of my main issues with MS OSs seem to have been sorted.

We've been playing/using w2k8 at work for quite while and it seems that the reality will live up to the hype!

Alround a good day for IT (unless you're a Linux fanatic, of course!)



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wow, this is cool

I was jumping from place to place on some bloggers' lists of other blogs they read, and I came across this video. So cool.

Thanks to Wulf's Blog for the starting point, and to Damn Cool Pics where I found the video.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Failed 'Blog from the Park'

Well, I tried a new trick - a blog from the park.

I was sat in the sun, enjoying the music of Four Kornerz drifting across a park in Dorridge and I thought, "I wonder if I could blog from here?"

Option 1:
Use my PDA to blog by email - blog is written 'live' but published when I next get a WiFi connection. A tried and tested method, but I hadn't taken my PDA !!!

Option 2:
Email via the Google Mail software on my phone - excellent software, works live etc. But I couldn't remember the email address to send the blog entry to - that's in my PDA !!!!

Option 3:
Actually connect to through Opera Mobile on my phone. Again, excellent software and would be 'live'. This option was going fine, though I was struggling with the site navigation where the links were light blue on not quite so light blue on a tiny screen in bright sunshine. I nearly got there, but whilst deleting the parts of my post template that I didn't need (the theory being it's easier to delete than to create, so my template holds a variety of possible options) I held my finger on the clear button to get the auto repeat. Unfortunately, I think it carried on with the auto repeat even after the button's function return to its other function of back and it took me right back out of the web page. As it had taken me 15 minutes to get to this point I decided it was time to stop this sad geek trait and chill out in the sun as I was supposed to be doing !!

Option 4:
Write the blog on my home PC the day after - which is what I'm doing know.

However, after all that, it's going to be short as it's getting late and I have a long day tomorrow.

The summary of Saturday 07/07/07:

The event :
The Revolution Concert in Dorridge Park

The Bands Playing :
Four Kornerz - Excellent 5 piece band of 4 brothers + 1 excellent bass player.
29th Chapter - A Hip Hop Band - not my thing, but some of the Yoof seemed to like it "C'mon now BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE" !!
YFriday - the headline band, the one everyone went to see.

The People :
4 Adults, and 10 yoof from our church, in a big minibus (that I was driving).

The Weather:
Excellent - and claimed by everyone. The Tour de France claimed they brought the good weather, as I'm sure did the British GP and that other small concert in the park - Live Earth, but we all know that God provided the sunshine for Dorridge on Saturday so that we wouldn't get covered in mud whilst listening to some great gospel music !!

Anyway, enough said for tonight, I must be off to bed.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Facebook more secure

Well I haven't had chance to check whilst running a sniffer, but a quick check in the address bar and I can say that the url below does use SSL, and so should be much safer than the standard
{My normal trick of just adding the s (ie to make doesn't work with this site - it does with all Google sites though, Hint Hint ;-) }


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Facebook - yet more social networking !

Well, I've given in to another one! I've signed up to Facebook as I was getting so many invitations off friends.

I have to wonder though, how long will this one last? There always seems to be a new thing to sign up for, and all the people that invited me - I already know them online through other sites and forums. In a similar way I'm signed up for at least 4 instant messaging services. I joined ICQ a long time ago, then MSN (as everyone joined there), Yahoo (a couple of friends only use that one) and lastely Gmail/Googlemail as I use their email system as well. I seem to spend more time signing up than actually communicating with anyone - I do that by email.

Anyway, one final point before the train arrives at Snow Hill...

Facebook appears to have an insecure login page. It doesn't use SSL to encrypt your details. The trick I'm using to get around this is to use a random wrong username, and then, strangely, the failed login page DOES use SSL!
I'll have a look to see what the login page actually sends insecure, and whether they've secured it some otherway - but that will have to wait for when I'm sat at a real PC again.

Have fun,


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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Blogging on the morning train.

Well I've discovered that if I walk to the back of the train there is a much better chance of getting a seat. I had been assuming that this wasnt the case and that if the front of the train was full then the rest must be. However, it seems that the old lift button psychology is in play again. In this case it's people trying to be at the front of the queue to get out of the station on arrival. I was already aware of people pushing to get to the door long before the station is in sight - but didn't realize that they went as far as sqeezing into a packed front carriage just to get off quicker.
It's good for me though, as I don't mind walking an extra 50yards down the platform to allow me to sit for a 20 minute journey.

Anyway, we're nearly there now, and my battery is nearly flat. Lets not have another 'blogus interuptus' !



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The missing blog entry...

Below is the afore mention blog entry that never reached the light of day.

Firstly, the train arrived in the station mid-sentence. Of course, I never got chance to finish it off.
Also, I still have to physically connect my pda to my PC in order to drag the blog across - again not something that always has time to happen.

I must get that WiFi enabled pda fixed !!!!


ps I survived the throat grope earlier today - though it wasn't the high point of my day !!

"So lets see if I can blog on a train.

Well it's taken me 10 minutes to get the graffiti input system running again after I accidentally turned it off somehow.

Anyway, it's much smoother so the writing is much more accurate. The problem is, I rarely manage to get a seat.
On the bus I always got a seat and the journey was longer - so actually better for blogging even though much worse for traveling!

Otherwise it has just been a"

And there came the station ;-)


More blogging on a trian, and trip to hospital

Here we are again - blogging on a train.

Again ? What happened to other blog from a train ?

Well, the train arrived half way through a sentence and it never got finished and uploaded.

Anyway, it's lunch time and I'm on my way home from work. This isn't a good thing though, as I have an appointment at the hospital to have my insides pulled out through my throat!
Technically, it's a small intestine biopsy done by endoscopy - I think the previous description is more accurate, though.

This is part of the on going grief due to having Coeliac Disease

More later if I survive !

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blogging on the Bus - part 2

Well tonight I'm using Pocket Word so at least I'll have a spell checker - though I don't think that it will help much!

Well, not much to say today. It was a good day right up until I just missed a bus and had to wait 20 minutes in the freezing cold. Looks like it will be half past seven when I get home again tonight.

Interestingly, I've just discovered that when the bus stops in traffic I can write really quite quickly & accurately and look out of the window at the same time. This graffiti thing is coming back to me.
I always liked the concept of graffiti - that it's easier for a human to adjust and learn a new system than it is for software to learn to read normal writing. It certainly seems to work that way for me anyway.

On a side note, anyone hoping for more pictures of cake - there will be some soon. I've found the prints of the famous bass guitar cake, a hopefully there will be another delicious gluten free cake at the weekend - as it's my birthday.

More soon


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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blogging on the Bus

So lets see what happens then. I'm trying what I've previously threatened to do - "blogging on the bus".
I experimented a little on the way into work this morning and soon discovered that it's too difficult to hit keys on a tiny screen keyboard when on a bouncy bus. I then tried the handwriting recognition - a little unfair really, as I couldn't read it myself!
I'm now writing this with trusty old graffiti that I learnt on my Palm III. This is doing really well with most of the mistakes being mine from not remembering the best way to do all the letters!

The next problem, though, comes from the software. I didn't want to use pocket word as I'm going to cut & paste it into blogger anyway,but I've just realised that 'notes' doesn't have a spell checker.

Still, at least I'm writing something, even if it is rubbish!

The irony is, with the bus prices going up again over Christmas, it is now virtually the price on the bus as it is to drive and pay to park, and driving could be quite lot quicker.
My next post will probably be on my experiments at driving to work!

I wonder if voice recognition is good enough yet to allow me to dictate my blog whilst driving.

Oh what fun the future holds!

Tim.C on the 138


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Look no wires...

Well, I've brought the church laptop home to do some admin and configuration to it. This time though, I also have a WiFi dongle plugged into my home PC, so I'm now sat in my living room watching Top Gear and typing my blog !!

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that I have anything more interesting to say than normal - just that I am typing some rubbish instead of not typing anything at all!

Although one thing of note for this evening does cheer me up a little. I was talking earlier with some of the teenagers from church and several of them are about to take the first parts of their AS exams. Now I've left FE teaching I am not in the stressful panic of the previous two years, worrying over whether my Computing students will get pathetic results in their exams, and whether they'll blame me for their lack of knowledge (actually, they all blame the teacher anyway)

I really don't miss the stress of FE teaching at all.

Maybe more on that subject tomorrow.


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Naked Woman in Ubuntu

Well according to James Galvin and his blog post there is a picture of a naked woman as one of the random screen savers in the default setup of Ubuntu!

Not what you'd expect to find in a default configuration of an operating system.

The question is, will I spend more time waiting for this to pop up than I spent looking for the teapots in NT4 ?!?!?!?

Hmmm Naked Women or teapots - another point to linux over Microsoft I think.

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