Est. 2007

Archive for September, 2007|Monthly archive page

The computer cases I like most

In Tech on September 25, 2007 at 6:52 pm

There are many computer cases out there, but my favourites are:

Antec P180, P182

Lian li anniversary edition snail like case

Asus Vento 3600

Asus Vento 7700

The most underrated of all but most liked by me:

The Spire pininfarina case, (a designer case)

Enjoy!

The Spray Can

Ubuntu installed with less than 3gb space used (Windows struggles)

In Tech on September 24, 2007 at 5:43 pm

I installed and am using ubuntu on a partition that is around 3GB with around 300mb free so it’s around 2.7 gigs. My system has all the basics you really would need and more including beryl and wine, all the extra stuff from easyubuntu, pidgin, skype, thunderbird, etc.

If this were Windows, I would struggle to keep the limit at this kind of space. Actually I have experience. My wimdows partition with not much on it just grew and grew from what it should have been, around 4-5Gb upto 12GB and over. Wow it doubled without much effort. Ubuntu remained a small partition even though I added stuff like the above. Just goes to show you how linux can still work on older machines with less resources.

Linux 1, Windows 0

The Spray Can

Maths Trick (people will be amazed)

In Funny Stuff, Life on September 24, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Came across a nice little trick I thought I should pass on. Very neat little trick.

You get the participant to choose a random 5 digit number, multiply by 10, subtract the original number and add 234. They will get a 6 digit number. Ask them to hide one digit and tell you the rest of the five digits. I suppose the digits given can be in any order.

If the six digits of the answer are added together, they will give a multiple of nine, so adding the rest of the five and subtracted from the next multiple of nine will give you the digit that they are hiding.

There is just one flaw, if the addition of the five digits given come to a multiple of nine then the answer can be either 0 or 9 as both added to the total of the five digits will give a multiple of nine.

eg.

52378

52378*10= 523780

523780-52378=471402

471402+234= 471636

If say 6 is hidden so add 4+7+1+3+6=21, next multiple up of nine is 27, so 27-21=6, the number hidden is thus six

Hope you like it, have fun!

The Spray Can

My Ubuntu Desktop

In Tech on September 23, 2007 at 5:55 pm

I love Ubuntu for many reasons. It is open source, free to obtain, it is very stable, etc. The one I did not mention would be its looks, functionality and the blingbling. Beryl and emerald themes for the Linux desktop means that at least some folks might adopt it as their O/S even if it is just cause of the looks.

Here is a look at my desktop

My Ubuntu Desktop

I am using the solidline theme for emerald. The icon set is nuove-XT 1.6. The candido engine and my wallpaper is ‘Hole by cesconetto’.

Links coming soon for the above!

Enjoy!
The Spray Can

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)

In Tech on September 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm

Next month’s release of the new version of Ubuntu is going to be big. The final release day is  18th. Cancel all your downloads, meetings, dates and mark it on your calender cause it is going to be one hell of a day.

Expect server downtimes on the release date just like last time, increased talk about it as the date gets nearer and the excited faces of thousands of Linux fans

Is proprietory software ethical for schools

In Tech on September 22, 2007 at 10:55 pm

A long post here.

I had to think heavily about this. I come from a country where most schools would not usually have computers, let alone a good library. Many of the schools which do have computers are in urban centres, rural schools would likely only have one, the one in their office. Schools often seek funding from parents, sponsor companies or simply attempt to fund raise for any projects. Unlike many developed countries computing is offered as a subject in schools and mainly aims to fulfil the basic training to own and operate a computer up till senior high school, around sixth form when basic programming is taught. Only schools who have computers (mainly urban schools) usually offer the subject, rural schools who don’t have any or just have a few may offer but usually teach directly from textbooks, little practice would be given to the students.

The main issue here is that the curriculum is based around Microsoft office and off course Microsoft Windows. This I reckon is totally unfair, many kids probably can’t afford the software let alone what it takes to own hardware to run it properly. Piracy in the country with regards to MS are high, and students are almost certainly  using it. The unethical part is that the government is indirectly supporting it my making the curriculum based on MS software.

Really, I think that the schools and the government should switch to open source software as an alternative, a good example would be Ubuntu, or better yet Edubuntu seeing as some schools probably have some old PCs which they can turn into dumb terminals and for those who don’t, cheap pentium 2s ans 1s are available as well. All they need is a good server. This also means easy management of the network, they can give internet access as well. The library can finally have a system for book management seeing as most schools don’t have that either. Filtering sites would be easier and Linux is also pretty much immune to viruses so that solves that problem too.

Only problem is training, and I suppose a little convincing.

The Spray Can

So many internet cafes are not up to scratch

In Life, Tech on September 20, 2007 at 7:10 pm

If you walk past web cafes in most third world and developing countries it is hard to miss the fact that they would usually lack management software. They would normally manage the time manually, filtering sites is a long way away and their would be no VIP treatment for anyone let alone blocking access to other programs and services on the PCs themselves. To most, a few computers hooked up to a basic router is the equivalent of a good cafe.

Most of them can’t stop users from accessing unwanted material or manage their security in terms of virus infections an hacking. Sometimes users are getting more than what they paid for or just not the real deal at all. Many leave the PC in an extremely dilapidated state, riddled with adult content and viruses galore.

It would be nice to go into a cafe that is well managed. Using some management software I suppose you can really improve profits as well, less wastage, better customer experience, easy maintenance and less headaches.

It so hard to find good net cafes these days, people opt to use wifi hotspots a lot more. I suppose that is a lot better in all respects. Maybe the humble net cafe will slowly phase out as more and more people attain notebooks and mobile devices.

What is Broadband Internet?

In Life, Tech on September 20, 2007 at 6:27 pm

hmmm. Difficult question it is really. what really is broadband, an always on unlimited type connection. Maybe its anything 256k and above and up to 56k is narrowband. So where does that leave 128k, 144k etc. Is it mid-band?

If we take the first definition, always on, does that mean 128k Adsl or wireless is broadband and dual ISDN is not because you need to dial.FCC states somewhere that a connection over 1Mbps is broadband, less than that and above 56k is midband.

OK, another situation, we mostly consider downstream speeds, what about upstream speeds, is say 256/256 broadband or is 1024/128 broadband. Most Adsl providers give less than 256 upload speed so does that count as broadband?

My situation, 128/128k always on Wimax connection with unlimited downloads and no shaping or throttling. Is that broadband or mid-band? Although download limits don’t count but what about symmetrical speeds?

Wikepedia talks about multiple streams or pieces of info travelling at the same time. Ok, say the line is full duplex (Adsl) but say 64k or 32k speeds is that broadband?

Conclusion: I think some people need to get together and sought out this definition dilemma. So many things specify a need for broadband connections to the internet but they fail to standardise the meaning of the word, in essence people are twisting it to suit themselves which is not right. ISP might say that it is broadband but you can’t play a game on it which requires broadband: disappointed non-geeks are not a good sign of progress.

The Spray Can

Bloggers Blocked Out

In Tech on September 19, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Recently after the coup in Fiji took place, the government decided to block certain blogs that were against it. Fair enough, some of the blogs were certainly beyond their limits legally both U.S laws and Fiji law. Some described how a bomb could be made. I obviously do not encourage any such activity. There are, however some people who are needlessly blocked out of some internet services.

One of the ways to gain entry to some services would be to use a proxy that is not located in your country or a better one would be an anonymous web proxy. This will at least bypass some of the restrictions. Another solution is to change DNS providers to a free and public one, an example is OpenDNS. This helps people in certain countries like China to possibly gain entry to sites which are filtered. It could even work for Fiji I guess.

Just another tip for maintaining privacy. Try to spread your emails, IM, blogging email addresses over different providers so that it becomes hard for companies to build a complete profile of you. Make sure you can quickly switch providers in case of increased spam or other problems.

The Spray Can

*Amendment: It’s funny really, in less time it would take me to go to my local supermarket and back (less than an hour), this post makes it onto an anti military website news page. This post was mainly just to show others, not necessarily Fijians about circumvention. Fiji was just used as an example, mainly cause I live there and have seen it happen. So think again about what the article is implying, don’t be mistaken.

Why You Should Not Trust Your Receipt

In Funny Stuff, Life on September 19, 2007 at 5:06 pm

It was an ordinary shopping night one would think. Except for when we checked out that is. A very fishy amount of over $300 said so. We were not as shocked since we had not done the shopping the prior weak and were down in supplies but this was exceptional still. We had never in our lives had had a bill of over $300.

Coming home and having had put the groceries in the kitchen I examined the receipt carefully; scanning the amount column carefully. I came to realize that the bill included over 3 kilos of parsley that we certainly had not bought. I made my parents aware of the situation immediately. After having spent a few moments to think, the thought of either potatoes or onions being incorrectly classified came to mind. I quickly got my brother to check the onion and potato bag for their weight. Guess what. The potato had been entered as parley@ $30 a kilo vs potato at dollar thirty, I think.

Well I hope that doesn’t happen again. We were refunded the $90 or so that was overpaid. We now check our bills thoroughly for correctness. I guess no one is perfect

The Spray Can