Apple isn’t all that bad after all…

Apple LogoHaving had some issues with iTunes over the last week, nothing downloading from the store to be specific. I just got an email from a nice person at iTunes Store support, saying the problem was fixed and I got 5 Free credits to boot. My lucks in, maybe I should do a lottery this week.

The move to VMware fusion just hasn’t happened, since the new Parallels update dropped earlier this wee, I have been impressed with the increased speed and the integration with exposé a feature which windows desperately needs and not just an alt+TAB varient like that of Vista.

In other news, should get a medal for being impossible to understand if your an international applicant (like I am) there’s a lot they could learn from the new UCAS website, also good help documents would make it easier for people such as my self who haven’t got a clue.

I’m jumping ship – VMware Fusion

VMwareI just installed VMware fusion on my Macbook; Parallels they crept up behind you. Don’t get me wrong I love parallels and its incarnations, but VMware has a smaller feature set and its fast.

I have been running Fedora 7 through VMware, with it emulating to cores thats right you can virtulise stuff on multiple cores. It screams. I had a little trouble getting the resolutions right (this is because Fedora isn’t a supported OS) but a bit of googling (who knew this was now a verb) and I got it going.

I now have a fully operational Death Star, for use with my many future Ruby on Rails Projects. I am really looking forward to seeing what Parallels comes up with in there next version, all it really needs is more performance and I will have a dilemma which to use?

BTs Top Ten Causes For Slowness

I have been experiencing some heavy packet shaping by my usually pretty good ISP BT, when I emailed them to ask what was with the excessive packet shaping I got this reply.

If there is an EMI then the connection may drop or you may experience slow browsing. Please make sure that the modem is not placed near any of the following electro magnetic devices such as:

1. Halogen desk lamps near the modem or telephone line, especially those with dimmers.
2. Any electrical dimmer switch.
3. Electronic devices, such as stereo speakers, PC speakers, televisions, monitors, microwave ovens, etc.
4. Routing the telephone line parallel to an AC power cord for more than a few inches.
5. Electronic insect electrocution devices (bug zappers).
6. Low quality 900MHz cordless telephones.
7. Any other emitter of high frequency electromagnetic radiation.
8. Should not be placed above the computer tower.
9. Should not be placed directly on a carpeted floor.

How does carpet create an EMI, or for that matter any of them really effect speed of my connection.

Trixbox Pro Released

TrixboxToday marks the release of Trixbox Pro, a more business orientated version of my favorite VOIP system asterisk. Fonality are doing some clever stuff with Pro and its great that I can use it without paying mega money (in fact not a penny)

It looks exactly what I have been looking for, Asterisk based, but stupidly simple to manage, and no editing the conf files manually. I just want something that doesn’t take forever to learn and make work. I am running Trixbox CE at the moment and its one update away from reinstall so it looks like a perfect opportunity to change to Trixbox Pro.

I will have a review posted as soon as I get Trixbox Pro Installed and running.

Trixbox CE – Community Edition

Trixbox Pro

BBC Clogging the Tubes

Senior executives, including BT Retail’s Ian Livingston, The Carphone Warehouse boss Charles Dunstone and Tiscali UK’s chief Mary Turner have held informal talks amid growing anger over the BBC’s hitching a ‘free ride’ with its new iPlayer system for downloading TV programmes over the web. Link

Oh no the ISPs don’t like there bandwidth being actually used. Call me stupid but we pay the ISPs for bandwidth, so why should the BBC have to pay, the ISPs already get the money from the consumer least they could do is put the money back in and invest it and give us more speed.

A day on Safari, looking for Leopards

Apple LogoIts almost a day since the WWDC bomb dropped, and everybody has stood back to see what a lack of real good announcements. What I mean is what we all really wanted to hear (even if impossible)

  •  UK Shipping Date for iPhone and Network
  • Proper SDK for iPhone, or just we are working on one. Not just make a website
  • Leopard Shipping by the end of this week
  • A killer feature of Leopard, not just the evolutionary stuff. Something we can all taunt the windows users with
  • More use of Steveisms “boom” “Glass of ice water in hell” etc

What we have got though is a solid Safari update that works 10times better than the old version, another tool to get people to switch (Safari on Windows ofcourse) Clear detail on leopard, and just how much more polished than Tiger it is.  As for my experience with safari, I have had Safari 3 open all day, Google Reader hasn’t frozen up. All my plugins work even Inquisitor (

Search within pages works just like Firefox with abit more fancy pants animation and highlighting. Now the only thing that Safari for Windows needs is a GPO template for Windows Server, then the holy grail has been cracked. This is the only thing stopping me from deploying Safari or Firefox on the networks I admin.

Whilst the Announcements may not have been a giant leap. They certainly were a jump in the right direction. 

Safari 3 Check, Leopard Check

Apple Mac OS X - LeopardI always pick the best days to go to the Cinema after exams. I got in and the World of Apple has turned to jelly (at least mine anyway). Leopard = Yes! There is anything really revolutionary, but it doesn’t need a fancy new pair of Interface trousers, Finder looks fantastic, stacks (I have already being using folders to do this) Generally Leopard looks like a solid update, and as I said a long time ago, Leopard need not be singing and dancing upgrade. Just fix the quirks and add some useful features, also make sure the install takes less than 3-hours unlike the last 3 times I have set up Vista.

As for safari, I have switched back. First impressions, its polished and fast. Google Reader now no longer has the weird beach ball effect when loading the next lot of stories, its also a lot faster than Firefox loading, Visual Rich Editor in WordPress works (although it has its quirks). It also has the Element Inspector from WebKit which is incredibly useful to me making sure websites work. It also just seems to feel better, nothing much has changed but it seems to run more smoothly even load web pages faster?

In the process of making this post I have corrected 4 errors, on the website. Due to Safari 3 not liking certain elements. 

Bucking the Trend – London 2012

With all the talk of the new £400,00 London Olympic log, flying around and a building consensus of it being naff. I thought I would wade in and say its good and more importantly I like it.

You may wonder why I like it so much, well its quite simple. There is not another Olympic logo like it. Fair enough other Olympic logos work and indeed look good (see here) Only problem is they all look the same, they all have the same elements and all show some kind of recognisable symbol or mark, that is of the host nation. I like the London 2012 logo because its different, simple and there is nothing like it, even if it was a little expensive.

iTunes Plus err = 9006?

iTunes LogoMy first experience of iTunes plus is somwhat lacking in the usual finish that we have come to expect from apple. I put an album for download at 12:00 its now 16:10 and only 4 out of the 41 tracks have successfully made it to my computer. It would seem the pipes are all clogged. Maybe its time for Apple to get bigger pipes.

Update: Apple got some new tubes and now all is well.

BT Homehub?

BTI like gadgets, and I like it when stuff works without messing with (hence why I am a mac user) but the BT HomeHub has been a thorn in my side from day one. I haven’t had bad experiences with BT at all, quite the opposite infact, I ended up with more hub phones than I knew what to do with. This is the start of the problem its all well and good boxing up everything in one place, but when it goes wrong nothing works.

The Case in point being the Asterisk Phone System I use, I spent a good weekend setting up and making it all nice, setting up DMZ and all that jazz. Then the hub threw a characteristic hissy-fit and stopped the HubPhones working. It has taken me to this day, nearly half a year to find a workable solution, so I though I would share, for anybody else in the same position as me.

Put simply I have a good router and network set-up and the HP wireless printer works on the wi-fi unlike the Home Hubs Wi-Fi. So the solution I have worked out is simple, use the Home Hub to run the hub phones and use the original router.

First thing you need to do is get yourself a Super User account on the Hub itself, Instructions here

Second Adjust the DHCP and IP settings for the hub, this step caused me many frustrations. Instructions here (TIP: if you make a mistake here, connect via USB and perform a restore, Instructions Here) The settings should be the same as your main router, set-up the IP address ( in my case) and DHCP (this should match the settings of your main router) After you have set this up reboot and make sure the settings have taken.

Now to make the whole thing work, firstly turn off DHCP this can be done easily through the web interface in configuration>IP Addresses. Login into the Hub using telnet, and issue the following commands, replace [Router IP] with the IP address of you main router.
:ip rtadd dst= gateway=[Router IP] intf=LocalNetwork
:dns client dnsadd addr=[Router IP]
:dns server config WANDownSpoofing=disabled
:dns server route add dns=[Router IP] intf=LocalNetwork
:voice config intf=LocalNetwork
:system config defaultconnection=LocalNetwork
:config save filename=user
:system reboot

After the reboot connect up the Hub to your router and it should all work, if you haven’t configured Broadband Voice yet goto the and when you see the pop-up saying ‘configure now’ copy the link and replace the http://api.home with http://[IP address of Home hub] this will configure you BBV settings. Backup You settings now you know it all works incase a firmware update scrambles it all.

Now after all that you should have, you router set-up and Hub serving the hub phones. I would also assume that using this setup would allow you to use BT Vision also, but as I aren’t signed up the service I can’t test it.