The Computer

We live in an age where computers are all around us. While they may not yet be embedded into every object we come in contact with, they are on our desks at home or in the office, and in our pockets and bags when we’re out and about. But one thing worries me, few of these people understand how to use these powerful machines, or leverage them to even half their potential. Read On →

iPad 2 - What's the iPhone 5 going to bring?

The iPad 2 has been announced, set to ship to UK customers on the 25th March. It boasts a number of improvements over the first iPad, faster, slimmer, same great battery life, but can we use this new offering to guess what might be inside the next iPhone? When the iPad was announced just over a year ago. It sported Apple’s very own A4 processor (An ARM based System-On-a-Chip CPU) running at 1GHz, had a 9. Read On →

Android to lose MP3 capabilities?

Google has chopped the H.264 codec out of it’s Chrome browser and replaced it with it’s own, open source, WebM codec - All in the name of openness… While one can’t deny that this is a good thing in terms of openness, Chrome still supports Adobe Flash, and many websites offer H.264 encoded media over WebM encoded media. Microsoft IE and Apple Safari don’t support WebM, while Mozilla Firefox and Opera support both H. Read On →

Partial Facebook Fix

A while ago I blogged about Facebook having some problems. Well it appears they may have done something rather odd. After seeing a Facebook post by Jonathan Roscoe, I have decided that Facebook must be tagging posts as adverts…By uninstalling my default AdBlock plug-in in Chrome and instead using AdBlock Plus which allows for more customisation, I was able to put Facebook on my whitelist. Below is a video (sans sound) which walks through the steps of installing AdBlock Plus and customising it using Google Chrome 9 on OS X, but this should work on Windows and Linux too. Read On →

Oh Dear Facebook...

It seems that everyone is having some problems with Facebook at the moment. They are getting notifications saying someone has written on their wall, but find that their wall hasn’t been updated for a week or two. I have been bitten by this oddity and decided to vent by filing a bug report. After navigating to the Facebook Help Centre I had a quick glance at the “Common searches” box. Here is what I found: Read On →

Away from civilisation for five years

The other evening Faye and I watched the film, Cast Away. I didn’t watch the whole film, but the overall plot was man gets stuck on island, everyone thinks he’s dead, he comes back after five years. I started to think about what it would be like if I had found myself left on a deserted island five years ago (2005), what sort of technology would I have missed? To set the scene somewhat, in late 2005 I was a second year Sixth Form student studying for an AVCE in ICT, an A-Level in Music Technology, and an AS-Level in Economics. Read On →


Back last year Oracle canned the OpenSolaris project. A group of developers forked the source and created the Illumos project which aimed to maintain the base of OpenSolaris as well as develop open code to replace the closed binaries that OpenSolaris included. The community was generally very happy with the release of Illumos, however, it soon realised that the project wasn’t there to replace the desktop and server OS that users knew and loved. Read On →

Film Sorter Script

On my server I have a store of films located at /share/media/movies. Using NFS I share this directory to various other computers on my home network. For a long while Faye has been asking me to categorise them into genres and cast, but with over 300 files I’ve been loath to do it by hand, so I thought I’d automate things using Perl. Using the IMDB::Film module I have been able to automate all of the data gathering. Read On →

iOS VLC fails after all :(

Back in November a mobile version of VLC was released for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Many people cheered as the open source media player graced their iOS device. Though some people didn’t… Rémi Denis-Courmont, one of the original contributors to the VLC project, objected to a GPL’d project being available on the Apple App Store and what restrictions Apple forced upon it. On 9th January Rémi posted on his blog “On January 7th, I was told by an Apple attorney that VLC media player had been removed from the App Store. Read On →

Happy 2011

Happy 2011 everyone, I hope everyone has a good night and a great 2011.