How I became Inspector Gadget.

There are certain points in your life where you can’t help but look back on the preceding years. Officially I have now left college on study leave, until 20 June, which is my last day ever. So how the hell did I end up at this point.

My first exposure to a computer was a windows 3.1 machine in 1995, it was god awful but I was only five and young kids and technology don’t really get on. It was a good few years before I got a computer of my own, I ended up with a Pentium 1 MX running Windows 95, which didn’t last long. I couldn’t play any games on it, and it was stable as a long pole with a plate on it. So inevetably it was upgraded to a machine running Windows 98 Pentium 2, with a decent graphics card and MPEG decoder card.


Its probably at that point that the bug really caught me, from then on in I had a slew of applications and experiments going on the poor computer, which I still have under my desk. Three computers later and I made the big switch to Mac, something which I haven’t regretted, and still manage to keep up with windows excluding Vista which is almost as bad as 3.1. I also managed to pick up Ruby on Rails and a bit of PHP along the way, and ashamed as I am to say it Visual Basic.

People always ask me how I know how computers work. The simple answer is I have been tinkering with them for far too long. Every computer I have owned has been broken replaced upgraded and attacked by me, leading me to come across practically every common error you can get. Its sad to say but I can usually diagnose a hardware fault before the BIOS has finished its self test at boot up, and a software problem by hitting less then 10 commands.

The trend over the last few years is people are using technology every waking moment, but very few know how the stuff works. I love knowing how it works, and couldn’t really care less about using it. I will strip things down take them to bits, rebuild them, and then maybe use them. Because of this I have a collection of gadgets and gizmos that few other people my age can boast. It also means, that college work can sometimes come a distant second to a new gadget or blog post.

I don’t procrastinate as such, I just love technology to distraction. Wait a minute that is technically procrastinating. I don’t know what career I may choose, convergent technologies mean that practically any field is open to me.

Best bit is I know there will never be a boring job, technology is getting more and more exciting the closer we get to the point on the curve we drop off.  

The BBC actual seem to get things…

This week the BBC has joined the OpenID foundation.
BBC Internet Blog 

OK, so there are some problems but I do have faith that they know what they have to do particularly with making iPlayer Cross-Platform and stripping the DRM (I think a little wishful thinking is needed on this point)

Overall the BBC have seemed to be more than ready to jump in were the other industry giants have failed or been far too slow, obviously some people have learned from the Music industry hopeless mess. They have been willing to say most of the 15 – 25 year old market is not watching TV they consume their media online and not in the traditional linear sense like with traditional TV. Also an unexpected (at least to me) effect of iPlayer is how many ‘older’ people can and enjoy using iPlayer. I often get the comments “Wow, so I don’t need to tape anything anymore?” response, which hats of to the BBCs marketing department.

I think some good things are coming out of the BBC, I wonder if they can keep it up and appease both the techies and non-techies alike. I know its a seriously tall order.

My New Top Tip – Check Your Processes

Ok so its not that new, but my ageing iMac has been dog slow lately, the solution look in activity monitor to see the uninstalled yet still installed eyeconnect demo is running taking a constant 25% CPU and 500mb Memory.

Zapped it out there and now my iMac is back on top form. I can hold off the Macbook Pro for a couple more months

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. 

Microsoft Does it again…

A Vista ad i saw at Microcenter, I just thought it was kind of funny that they decided to use a mac in the ad.

read more | digg story

Its obviously a stock image but you would think Microsoft with a marketing budget that could dwarf Dells would spend a little money in getting images of laptops that actually Run Vista, and Bill Gates has once again shot himself in the foot with this along with the fact Vista is now cracked the suposably most secure operating system windows has ever made…

Bootcamps Back


So I have put Windows back on on my macbook, and it certainly does fly. Shame it defeats the point of my mac but I need Windows for Visual Basic so needs must, but I do spend as little as possible in windows as I can.

How Long Can Apple Keep this Up??

Apple LogoI am a Mac user and as with any other mac user i swear by them and love every minute of using them (apart from when i break unix) but apple can no longer keep up the hype and rumor mongering that i read every day – it just simply isn’t possible.

What other company can you think of that people get all excited because there might be the off chance that a processor in a laptop may just change. As much as Apple is a market leader it cannot keep generating this much hype. On the one hand it is good at generating publicity but this publicity can be a double edged sword, Apple only has to release one bad product and it will be in trouble. Take the iPod for example if there were a new iPod to come out tomorrow and all the units didn’t work would you be put off buying another iPod for your collection??

I don’t like being negative like this and a really do hope apples success continues but at some point something has to change.

Leopard is here

Mac OS X LeopardWell here it is Apple has gone slightly top secret on Leopard, keeping the copycats at redmond in the dark (i think they may already be) and gave us some feeatures and improvments, and some new hardware to wish for. Time Machine being one of the best features and most useful features in OS X so far, and some tweaks and improvements.

I might just be able to get hands on with Leopard at this years Mac Expo (i can always hope).

The new Mac Pros and xServe, look good, i might just wangle a quad PowerMac for myself before the year is out.