Sunday, February 27, 2005

SBS 2003 Server running smoothy now

The only real issue I have had with the SBS server (after being very frustrated through the month or so of working it out) is to do with the SBS server backup (included in the server management).

The first problem I had was it was extremely slow (I was backing up to a shared network drive on another machine) It was using 2% of the NIC capacity. A upgrade of the motherboard driver partially fixed this. I then installed a gigabit NIC (Realtek RTL8169S-32 chipset). This improved performance noticeably.
However it was still very slow compared with other backups I was running from WIN XP machines to the same machines shared drive.
The next major problem was that the server would freeze after running the backup. The backup was complete and the file was verified, but the server would not complete the scheduled task or mark it completed in the backup log. I checked the backup file and I could restore from it so I had no idea why this was occuring. I checked with Susan the SBS Diva. She suggested a hotfix from Microsoft. I installed this and it worked perfectly - the first time. From then on straight back to freezing every time it ran the backup.
I eventually gave up. I disabled the backup completely. I then set up a backup from another machine, selecting all the shared drives on the server and then remotely backing them up. It runs 2-3 times as fast, performs without a flaw and the server hasn't crashed since!
End result - the SBS 2003 backup program has to be buggy. Its crap even when it does work (performance wise). Server is stable without it. Go figure.

Ben Hamiltons Tech web site

I met Ben last night.
He has a great looking website full of technical and geeky stuff.
Have a read and say I sent ya!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A parent's primer to computer slang

My Likes and Dislikes points out this article using this well-phrased statement that I feel compelled to quote directly:

Parents! Micro$oft teaches you how 2 5p33k 133t so you know if your kids are enaged in h4x, sploitz, or trading warez. Stop them before they develop m4d sk1llz.
From Microsoft:
While it's important to respect your children's privacy, understanding what your teenager's online slang means and how to decipher it is important as you help guide their online experience.
Learning leetspeak:Examples of leet words: warez, w4r3z, h4x, pr0n, sploitz, pwn, 0\/\/n3d, pwn3d, griefers, cheese players, twinks, cyberbullies, kewl, m4d sk1llz, n00b, noob, newbie, newb, w00t, \o/, roxx0rs, d00d, joo, u, j00, or _|00, ph, and f0|\|371(.

Other resources:
MSNBC discusses teen lingo
Game lingo
Netiquette 101 for new netizens
Tips for safer chatting
10 Tips for Instant Messenger Safety
A parent's guide to online safety: Ages and stages
djuggler's personal blog is Reality Me

How to care for and clean a CD

CDs are a sensitive media. Finger prints and scratches can make music CDs skip or data CDs unreadable. Most people don't realize that the screen printed side of the CD is actually more important than the shiny side. How many times have you laid a CD down "upside down" to keep from scratching the bottom?

How does a CD work? [an over simplified example that should have pictures] A laser (focused LED actually) is directed at the CD and bounces back to a sensor that reads the light. If the laser does not return it is read as a 0. If the sensor picks up the light it reads as a 1. Everything on the computer is handled by zeros and ones. When a CDs is professionally created the data is literally pressed into hot plastic just like an old record was made. The technology is virtually the same. Tiny indentions in the plastic cause light to be reflected back toward the sensor or, if the indention is not present, away from the sensor. These indentions are how music and data are stored on professionally made CDs. Your home CD burner accomplishes the same thing chemically by causing some areas of the CD to be darker than others.

The labeled side is the reflective surface that the laser uses to bounce back to the sensor. If the label is scratched the laser light can pass through the label and never be reflected back to the sensor giving a 0 where a 1 might be expected. This is a read error. The focus of the laser is actually designed to go beyond the surface of the "bottom" of the CD so that minor scratches don't interfere. In truth, scratches on the bottom of a CD are far less serious than scratches on the label.

To clean a CD a soft cloth or non scratch lense cleaner should be used. The cloth should be sweep from the center of the CD to the edge and never in a circular pattern.

To best take care of your CDs, hold the CDs only by the edges and take them from a case directly to the CD reader and back avoiding the temptation to plot the CD down on a book or your desk. Direct sunlight can also damage and reduce the life of your CD media.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Halleys Comments

For a great read check out Halleys Comments.
Halley mixes girl talk with tech talk and does a good job of the blend. Dare I surprisingly geeky for a girl? Thats a compliment Halley if you read this!

Definietly added to my RSS Aggregator feeds.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Aliens and Evolution

A talkback show tonight in the US is featuring an Australian Scientist Gary Bates and interviewing him about his new book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection.

Visit to hear the interview and talkback then you will need to click on ‘Affiliates’ and select one of the US states. Then select one of the affiliated radio stations.

Note: Not all of the affiliates provide free streaming.
Here are two that do: (WLAP-AM Kentucky) (WABC-AM New York)

Gary’s interview will be on air at the following times, Friday 18 February:

USA - Ohio - Cincinnati = 2am to 5am
Canada - Toronto = 2am to 5am
Australia - Brisbane = 5pm to 8pm
Australia - Eastern Summer Time = 6pm to 9pm
UK - Manchester = 7am to 10am
South Africa - Cape Town = 9am to 12 noon
New Zealand - Auckland = 8pm to 11pm

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Use GMail as a filesystem


GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium...GmailFS supports most file operations such as read, write, open, close, stat, symlink, link, unlink, truncate and rename. This means that you can use all your favourite unix command line tools to operate on files stored on Gmail (e.g. cp, ls, mv, rm, ln, grep etc. etc.).

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Clean your screen for free

Click here to clean your screen for free.
Thanks to Christian Cantrell.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

How to be a true Cyberpunk in 3 steps.

Read William Gibson's Neuromancer, watch Hackers and listen to Billy Idol's Cyberpunk. (And for people wanting a 4th step, read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Internet (RFC 1118).)


Monday, February 14, 2005

MPAA on the warpath again

This time they have started shutting down bit torrent sites. Not quite sure of the legal principle here. As the owner of Loki Torrent states "its a bit like suing the roads department because smugglers use the roads."
Shut down so far are and
However they have been replaced by and
then there are sites like this one that show lots of other links for bit torrent sites. If you ask me the MPAA is like a thumb pressing on a puddle of water. Sure they may squash some but more will squirt out the side and keep on working. The way to manage P2P is not to try and stop it but turn it into a legitmate revenue source.
Here was my suggestion from a year ago almost to the day.

More links about it.
Sharelive forums
File sharing place
Alternative take at Bit Torrent News
Digital Music Weblog

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Server issues with drupal

I am having issues with both and I don't know yet whether it is server hardware related (maybe a Hard drive on its way out) or drupal related. Rohan is looking into the drupal thing. Either way I shall change out the hard drive in the main server.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Go Daddy Superbowl advert Actress

The actress is named Candice Michelle.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Go Daddy NFL Superbowl Commercial

So the superbowl has had another 'wardrobe malfunction' and more controversy.
Go to the Go Daddy site to view both the really tame television commercial and the sightly less tame 'full' commercial.

Digital Spy reported it like this.

The NFL and Fox pulled an advert scheduled to air for the second time during the Super Bowl, according to the creator of

Internet services company Go Daddy bought two ad spots during the Super Bowl, during which it planned to air an ad featuring a fake "broadcast censorship" Congressional hearing in which a female Go Daddy representative has trouble keeping her top on. The ad can be viewed online here.

The first airing of the ad went ahead as scheduled, but the second failed to appear. On Sunday evening, Go Daddy creator Bob Parsons posted this on his blog:

"As you may have noticed our Super Bowl ad only appeared during the scheduled first quarter spot. It was scheduled to run also in the second ad position during the final two minute warning. Our ad never ran a second time. Instead, in its place, we saw an advertisement promoting, of all things, "The Simpsons."

"The NFL persuaded FOX to pull our ad.

"We immediately contacted Fox to find out what happened. Here's what we were told: After our first ad was aired, the NFL became upset and they, together with Fox, decided to pull the ad from running a second time. Because we purchased two spots, we were also entitled to a 'Brought to you by' 5 second marquis spot. They also chose to pull the marquis spot."

links at Technorati

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Do you have Problems with MS Outlook (or Lookout?)

If you are constantly having problems with your Outlook file crashing then there are a couple of things you can do.
You can try the detect and repair option from the Help Menu. This usually requires the original install disc so if you can't locate it then don't bother.
The next thing is to make sure that your file is less than 2Gb in size. Outlook will not handle files over this size. Compress it or remove uneeded large emails (you can save them to the hard drive or archive them to another PST file).
The other thing to try is Microsofts inbox repair tool. I have attached it here (Scanpst.exe).
I have renamed the file to scanpst.exe.rename. Simply edit the file name once you download it and remove the .rename from the end. Run this application, point it at your PST file and it fixes most stuff.

Don't know where your PST file is? It is probably in the C:\Documents and Settings\{your user name}\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder and will be named outlook.pst.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Groove Media

Geek Alert!

Here is one real cool sompany.
Groove Media is owned by a friend of mine Mark Pearce. He sells some really schmick machines, and for an extra $500 or so you can have them in chameleon paint!
He deals mostly in the multimedia and sound industry and as such builds machines with serious soundproofing and innovative cooling systems. No fans, huge heatsinks and sound absorption stuff.
His cube and shuttle machines are awesome and so are his clearview DJ systems.


Groovemedia is also sponsoring the LAN gaming business KROSTech.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Art Pad Web Site

This art site is COOL!
I have no idea how they do this - maybe some other techie can tell me.

Here's the painting I did for my wife. Do I score brownie points for that?