Jul 28 2009

Going Quad?

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 1:39 am

I still can’t decide whether or not to give Windows 7 a try just yet. With XP Pro, Vista and Ubuntu currently forming my tri-boot setup, I don’t know whether I’d really end up spending enough time with it to justify the installation. I definitely need to check how it writes to the existing, or perhaps uses a new second stage bootstrap loader type thingy (I just double checked that I had the right term in my head).
From friends comments and reviews, Windows 7 software developments may make it worth the hassle, and most seem to view 7 vs. Vista as the equivalent of Windows XP vs. Windows Millenium (Me). If it is anything like 50% of the difference found in those two OSs, I’ll be very interested.

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Jun 19 2009

Just read excellent article …

Category: TweetsChrisM @ 2:48 am

Just read excellent article on dual booting in PCW (UK) June 09 edition.Wish I’d read it before setting up XP/Vista/Ubuntu last week 🙂

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Jun 07 2009

Weekend Update

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:03 pm

We are over at the in-laws right now, packing up our stuff to take home. Hopefully we’ll be meeting up with Walton to take Anna to the park, and perhaps grab a bite to eat.
The Xbox updates are still not appearing regularly or in order, so I’ll need to work on that. The entrecard widget will be removed when the current advertiser’s slot is complete, as I find the scheme is no longer generating anything like enough traffic to be worth it. Also Bluehost seem to have reliability and speed problems once more, this last week, so I seriously need to look into alternative hosting companies.
Anyway, Anna is doing just fine, our main PC has just been upgraded/complicated to triple-booting Vista now, as well as XP and Ubuntu, and I really appreciate the air-con we have back in our flat – Kazakhstan is warming up pretty well already.

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Jan 12 2009

Belated 2009 Greetings

Category: Friends,Personal,Weather,WiFi,Windows Mobile,WordPressChrisM @ 3:36 pm

Wow, no posts in almost 12 days. That has to be improved upon, sorry. The (somewhat predictable) reasons for my online muteness were recovering from Christmas, seeing in the New Year, travelling around meeting friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t crossed paths with in a couple of years, friends coming over to sunny Wales to see the house for the first time, oh and also maintaining, repairing and improving four different PCs. Getting used to Vista from a technical support point of view has taken time, but I at least no longer involuntarily shudder when I hear the OS’ name 😉
After flashing my TyTn II (Kaiser) to a custom WM6.1 ROM (it was working boringly reliably, something had to be tweaked/modded 😉 ) and getting TomTom, music and voice commands to work whilst in the car, I installed Ubuntu onto Ira’s laptop (dual-boot obviously, didn’t think the love of my life would appreciate me nuking her Windows install), finally got around to properly securing the wireless network at home in Clydach, got the PCs all happily working as far as UPnP was concerned. This needed to be sorted as the internet radio I recvd. for Xmas could also play files on the LAN, and I was having issues just using normal folder sharing on a couple of the Vista machines.
Ante natal classes have been an interesting and mostly informative process, it is hard to believe we are now probably less than a month away from seeing our daughter’s face for the first time 🙂 We now have a lot of the items new borns need, and even the pushchair/pram/car-seat optimus prime styled transforming thingy has turned up. Ira has done some more photo shoots with John, obviously centred around the theme of pregnancy/new life etc. See previous posts for the last published examples – though hopefully John will get around to adding new posts to his blog, and new photos to the gallery soon. Which reminds me, don’t forget to check out ConJoinery if you are in need of carpentry or joinery skills… when Con came over here for a few days, we got around to setting up a quick blog to promote his work, and showcase previous projects. It obviously still need more content, but the basic framework of WordPress 2.7 and useful plugins are in place.
After all that I finally noticed that this site is once again down to a PageRank of 0 (see many previous posts regarding Google and post links-for-money issues. Anyway, I now know why there is a lot less work around again. From n/a to a 2, then up to 4, spanked by google down to a 0, recovered to 2, then back once more to 0. As the only thing this alters for the worse is the potential income for this domain, I’m not crying into my cereal. The unique visitor numbers per day has been steadily bouncing between 250 and 600 a day, even when no fresh content has been added, so I know the search engine traffic, and regular repeat visitors have carried on regardless. It is a little strange to find out which of your posts are popular, and the search terms people googled to get there. If you’ve not already enabled AWStats on your site, it might be worth popping along to your CPanel interface and turning it on…

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Sep 23 2008

Ubuntu And Open Source Alternatives To MS Office

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 3:39 am

So, a week or so ago, I was having problems with Outlook, or more specifically Microsoft Word (which gets loaded in the background each time Outlook started as it was the default HTML e-mail editor). I tried a couple of standard approaches to fix the problem, and didn’t get very far. Having had enough of some of the bloat that has been added over the years, as well as losing my original receipt and product key for Microsoft Office 2003, I decided to finally try out OpenOffice properly. I’ve installed it in the past, and made sure it could at least cope with the sort of everyday requests home users would throw at an office suite (for when friends & family asked if their was a viable alternative), but this was a concerted effort to see if I could eventually take over all my work processes to this collection of apps. The basic formulas I was using in Excel seemed to transport over well, and nothing else seemed to much of an issue, so it looks as though it will stay on this installation for now.

Moving on, I decided to try out Thunderbird as a replacement for the e-mail functions (at least) of Outlook. As I still have a separate product key for Outlook (from my last few smartphones and PDAs), I will be keeping hold of it for contact & calendar synchronization with aforementioned devices; at least until I can see how solid alternative synchronization programs to Activesync are.

Finally, I rounded off the beginning of more new learning processes by (almost) properly installing a Linux distro – Ubuntu. I say almost, as it didn’t involve fiddling with partitions, I used Wubi to install the OS, which uses a large file on my C: drive as a virtual partition. That probably isn’t the correct terminology, but hope gives a good indication as to how it works. So far, no major problems, considering my previous Linux tinkerings on my own PC have been limited to live CD/DVDs, where a lot less configuration is required/possible. Other than the nVidia GUI for setting up multiple displays stubbornly initially refusing to grace my system with it’s presence, not too many problems so far. Obviously a lot of my old ebuyer bargain basement USB toys don’t have Linux drivers available, but as I’m not intending to switch to Ubuntu as my sole OS, this isn’t a deal breaker.

Oh, and just in case people didn’t bother reading the comments section to the Some News post, the picture was my way of imparting some VERY good news – Irina is pregnant, with the happy day predicted to occur some time around mid-February.
2 Thumbs Up Bouncing Bouncing 2 Celebration Dance Rubber Smiley Woohoo

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