Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

New Apple Keyboard for $1.99

November 9, 2009 1 comment

I was all ready to get a new keyboard for my Mac Pro when I decided to see what I could do with the one that I have.  I bought a $1.99 bottle of rubbing alcohol from the local drugmart and the results speak for themselves.






Not bad for a 2 year old keyboard and $1.99 in upkeep.

Categories: Apple, Technology

Export Putty Settings With a Single Command

October 9, 2009 10 comments

There are many ways to export your saved settings from PuTTY.  PuTTY stores its settings in your system register so in the end all the methods export the registry settings to a file that can later be imported to restore the settings.  The quickest way to do this to run the following command in the Start | Run box (all one line):

regedit /e “%userprofile%\desktop\putty.reg” HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Simontatham

Thats it.  That is all there is to it.  On your desktop you now have a file named “putty.reg” that you can copy to another machine or save as a backup for your PuTTY settings.  To restore your settings just double click on the file.

Categories: Computers, Technology

Safari Auto Fill URL with WWW and .COM

October 8, 2009 5 comments

Firefox has a feature where it will automatically insert the www and .com for the URL if you hit control + enter.  Safari has a similar feature that works more intuitively.  In Safari, If your typing a .com domain, you don’t need to enter the www and the .com.  For example, if you enter “cnn” into address bar safari will automatically go to “”.


Categories: Apple, Technology

Top 5 iPhone Improvements That Should Be In The Next iPhone Update

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

iPhone Home Screen

Besides the usual iPhone complains about AT&T service, tethering, price, etc.  These are the improvements I’d like to see in the next iPhone app and all of these are doable.

5.  Variable brightness.  There is an “Auto-Brightness” setting on the iPhone but I have not noticed my phone ever changing brightness on its own.  The phone should use a mixture of outside brightness and time of day to determine the level of brightness.  If I’m checking time in the dark and in the middle of the night I would rather not be blinded by my phone’s brightness.  Or if I’m catching up on my FML before sleep I’d rather not have my pupils fully dilated.

4. Location based security.  When I’m at home I don’t really need the passcode lock enabled.  It would be cool to set up “safe zone” Wi-Fi locations where security settings are disabled when your in range and then re-enabled when you leave.  For example, you could have security features automatically set to their most strict settings when you leave your home Wi-Fi area in the morning and then switch to a more relaxed security posture when you arrive at work.

3.  Smart home screen.  The home screen of the iPhone should adjust based on your location or current task.   I would like to be able to setup one home screen for work and another for home.  The home screen’s would automatically be updated based on location.  Also, I would like to set up custom home screens for when I am walking or driving.  My walking home screen would have apps you would use while walking and my driving home screen would have apps that are good to use while in the car.  The phone should be able to tell whether your walking or driving automatically based on the location services built in to the iPhone.  When the phone knows you are driving it could also handle events differently.  If your driving and the phone rings it could automatically answer and turn on speaker phone.

2. Secure home screen.  One of the home screen tabs should be setup as a secure home screen.  The last home screen  tab should have a separate password protecting it so that you can place all your banking, finance and other apps with personal information on the page. 

1.  Secure Apps.  Secure apps would be the iPhone version of an SSL protected site.  You would be assured that the secured apps are from the providers they claim to be and use encryption to transmit your information.  It is only a matter of time before app phishing becomes a real problem.  There are many banking and finance apps available in the app store which give you as much access to your account as the providers website but you have no way of knowing how secure your data is.  Can you use the eTrade app over a public Wi-Fi?  I’d like to be able to know for sure.

Categories: Apple, iPhone, Technology

Time Machine Is Not For Backups

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

OS X Kernel Panic

Having a back up of your computers hard drive is not the same as having a recovery plan.  Suppose you planned on working from home this weekend but you were greeted with message above.  You thought you were protected by your backups  You might think you have a good recovery plan because you’ve used OS X’s time machine or even a time capsule but that does not help you with your current problem.  You have a broken computer, you need a working one.

Your personal recovery plan should be as thorough as one that would be used for a business.  In many cases your personal computer has even more irreplaceable items that a business machine.

Mac OS X solves one of the biggest issues with recovery plans which is having an automated, consistant and up to date set of backups.  If your have Time Machine turned on and it consistently backups up your hard drive without errors then you already have a backup of your system that is up to date and automated.

So, its sunday morning and you need to get some work done but your machine is down, most likely due to a hard drive crash.  But you have backups on your time capsule so your all set right?  Actually, your not.  Right now your no better off than if you didn’t have any backups.  You have backups sitting on your time capsule but nowhere to restore them.  You backed up your data but what about your machines hardware.

If your not comfortable overwriting your hard drive with your backup, now, without any preparation, then what makes you think you can do it after a hard drive crash when you would have no chance to prepare.

Time Machine is a backup system not a recovery plan.  With the data from your Time Machine backup and enough time and money you could restore your system to the latest backup but it could take days or longer to do so.  Time Machine is good for restoring files and last ditch backup restore of the entire hard drive but it does not make for a good recovery system.

Categories: Computers

Insecure Homeland Security

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Internet Explorer 7 warns that the Department of Homeland Security website might be unsafe.

IE 7 DHS Warning

Categories: Technology

WordPress.Com Review

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

WordPress is a blogging software package that manages the several different requirements of a blog.  Blogging software is required to deal with not only the posts themselves but also the site layout, comment handled and several other administrative functions.  The WordPress software is available for download but most people choose to host their blog at the sister site

The advantages of using as a host for a WordPress blog is that updates are automatically applied to the blog software so there is not the usual lag between a security update being released and the update being applied to your installation.  Obviously a major benefit is that is a free host but along with the benefit of a free host come some restrictions.

A couple of major draw backs on hosting a WordPress blog on is that you cannot include advertisements and the stats package is woefully deficient.

Adsense, Yahoo, Chitika, TextLinkAds and other ads are not permitted on blogs.

The statistics provided by are well presented but they do not track home page visits and are not as robust as a those available with Google Analytics.  Unfortunately, does not allow Google Analytics to be installed on hosted blogs.

Can I use Google Analytics?
No, Google Analytics cannot be used on blogs at this time.

Besides these non-trivial issues there is also the matter of having your content hosted on someone elses server with no guarantee that your data will remain untouched.

As it clearly states in our Terms of Service, we can delete or reclaim any account for any reason. We call these “eminent domains.” Historically we have never done this to an active blog, however.

Categories: Technology