Monday, December 22, 2008

Sending Ctrl+Alt+Delete to Remote Desktop

i wanted to change the admin password on my web server through remote desktop, but Ctrl-Alt-Delete always goes to the local computer.

i found out you can also use Ctrl-Alt-End to achieve the same thing, which works in remote desktop.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dropping like Flies

No link. Just a sad comment that Michael Crichton died on Tuesday 4th November aged only 66. Forget the newer stuff like ER and Jurassic Park, good as it is, classics like The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man and Westworld are one of the reasons I got into Science Fiction in the first place.

Amazon Window Shopping BETA

Now this is a new interface for amazon shopping. Fairly easy to figure out: use the arrow keys to move around and the spacebar to zoom in/out. I didn't like the way I was forced up to the top of a column when I moved sideways. I wanted to stay part-way down the column where I was

Friday, August 08, 2008

The "Mojave Experiment"

Microsoft are making a noise about their recent The "Mojave Experiment" where they trick people into testing a "new" operating system and then when they like it, telling them it was really Windows Vista all along. Vista has a bad reputation and people who have never tried it have been saying they don't like it, hence the experiment to overcome their resistance.

Countdown to Doomsday?

This article in New Scientist Space gives details about the Large Hadron Collider's switch on date and a timetable for the early experiments.

10th September 2008 First Injection and testing of the LHC starts

The protons might get just a few metres into their 27-km circuit before veering off course and being lost, so the operations team will adjust the magnets and try again with a fresh beam until they have systematically threaded the protons around the entire machine. That could take from a few hours to a few days with a crew working around the clock. Then, the team will have to do the same for the beam in the other direction.

The next challenge will be to get the beams in a stable orbit for several hours at a time. Only then can CERN contemplate ramping up the energy to 5 TeV and finally bringing the counter-rotating beams head on at a collision energy of 10 TeV.

If luck is on their side, that should take place around the time of the official LHC inauguration on 21 October.

In early 2009, the protons are set to collide at the full energy of 14 TeV.

Aluminium Foil Helmet's anyone?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are you an idiot?

On first attempt I didn't even make the first level. On second attempt I end up as Smart but not fast.

Cuil - Hot or Not

New Search Engine launches about a week ago. Some nice features and some poor results. Has sparked some interesting comments and articles http://www.wxpnews.com/?id=339

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ooh, I found something shiny

While trawling through the forums for xkcd I found a reference to drawball and wondered what it was. Turns out it's a Flash application that allows anyone to draw on a ball (actually a circle), which sounds fairly naff but isn't.

To draw, you have to zoom in - the zoom level is 4096 times the size of the full circle. You get given a limited amount of ink and can change nib size and colour using simple controls. The amount of ink you have available decreases as you draw and increases over time. Many people are drawing on the ball at the same time and because of this, nothing is permanent.

There are some surprisingly good pieces of art considering the rudimentary tools available and there is a showcase of these at the drawball hall of fame.

Finally a new feature is the drawball playback which shows a history of what the ball looked like at a speed of 40 hours per second.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gallery: 10 most annoying programs on the Internet | ZDNet Photo Gallery

Gallery: 10 most annoying programs on the Internet | ZDNet Photo Gallery

Takes a while to navigate to each page to come up so for references the entire list is:

10: Adobe Reader
9: Apple (particularly sneaky installs of Safari while downloading QuickTime Updates)
8: Windows Update
7: RealPlayer (more "helpful" add-ons than you can shake a stick at)
6: Java (IN YOUR FACE)
5: Yahoo (knows less about its users than the queen does about shopping in Lidl)
4: Norton Antivirus (should be consigned to Hell)
3: Preinstalled software bundles (useless below-par tat)
2: Outlook/Exchange
1: Flash

Friday, March 07, 2008

FLASH! Ah-aah Another thing I didn't know

QUESTION:
In your latest WXPNews you wrote: "What's more, if you defrag a flash drive, you'll shorten its life because flash memory can only do a certain number of writes before it wears out." I didn't know that! I haven't had one die yet. How long might they last? Any difference between brands? Cheers - Jeremy

ANSWER:
I was surprised at the number of readers who wrote to say this was news to them. Typical flash chips last for anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 "flashes" (writes to the disk) to a particular location in memory, but some older/cheaper flash drives may start wearing out at 10,000 flashes. Reading the memory doesn't wear it out. You can read more details about how this works here:
http://www.wxpnews.com/CRAC5G/080304-Thumbdrive-Memory

This is a concern of many regarding the new trend to substitute flash memory for hard disks in laptop computers. However, the newest flash chips can support up to a million writes per block (with 8000 blocks per chip). With typical use, they'll last for many years. These are the type of flash chips that are being used as solid state memory in computers, and it's unlikely they will wear out before the system becomes obsolete. Read more about that here:
http://www.wxpnews.com/CRAC5G/080304-Solidstate-Storage

With low cost flash cards (as with any media), it's always a good idea to regularly back your data up to another location just in case.

More Gary Gygax

My other favourite webcomic, XKCD, has now done a Gary Gygax Tribute comic.

It's not as eloquent as the one I posted yesterday but it made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

R.I.P. Gary Gygax

I know this is already old news ( a couple of days ) but I don't read newspapers and only found out by catching up on my favourite web comic: Order of the Stick that has made a tribute comic as part of its ongoing storyline that says what I would like to have said only far more eloquently than I could have. The UK's Telegraph Newspaper also has a decent obituary.

And finally, a couple of comments from The Register

"Not only can I recall spending hours during my youth playing D&D and AD&D, I can also remember some of my early coding attempts such as different sided dice, character generators, random encounter generators etc." by Antony Pearce

"some people get a country mourning for them .. a few get the whole world .. this guy has the flags lowered in worlds without number" by Kurt Lundqvist

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Big Daddy is watching you

New from the USA. SPY on your wife, husband, kids when they're in the car with/without them knowing AND pay this guy shedloads of money to do it: Safe Teens First - GPS Location & Speed PLUS Roadside Assistance!

and all in the name of concerned parenting

How long before the Government makes the fitting of these mandatory to every vehicle?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Life Imitates Art

Problem: The problem of that extra arm when cuddling in bed. Where does one put it?

Solution:

Art: The Cuddle Mattress

Randall's design incorporates Rockem Sockem Robots by Mattel (which you can STILL buy at Amazon) for something to do when not cuddling.

Life: The Love Mattress

Mehdi Mojtabvi's "Love Mattress" won a Red dot design award

The problem has been around for ages and these ideas for the solution are NOT new. A "Hugging Mattress" US Patent has existed since May 2000 and US Patents for mattresses and pillows with holes, cavities or depressions for various purposes have been around since 1882 still no-one has put one into production.


P.S. xkcd.com is the BEST comic on the web
P.P.S. inventor spot is cool too but it's not a web comic

Web Comics

In the past I've occasionally mentioned a webcomic or two and that I didn't read them all that regularly. This is my guilty pleasure...