The Cheapest PC: July 2016

To date, the trend has been for the cost of the cheapest PC to fall. However, following the vote to leave the European Union, what has the adjustment in the value of the dollar done to the price of your computer in July? Using scan.co.uk, who are my goto place for computer supplies, I decided to find out.  As we did back in May, we’ll look at what the cheapest PC you can build is, then look at what you can get from eBay on the used market. Case and Power Supply The CiT1021 is no longer on sale, so instead…
Read more

How Owen Smith shows what’s wrong with Labour

The other day I asked “Is Owen Smith for real?”, before we look at that question, let’s see how we got here. The conservatives must be very happy at the moment. First they won the election in 2010, and ousting Gordon “gaffes” Brown. Next their opposition was Ed Miliband; a man who’s three most notable achievements while in opposition were the “Ed Stone”; making eating a bacon sandwich look worse than eating a turd; oh, and changing Labour’s internal election process to reduce the influence of the unions. That last point came back to bite the party in the arse; at least once…
Read more

The Cheapest PC: May 2016

In March I wrote about the cheapest PC I could build, it came to just under £195. Now it’s the end of May, another two months have passed, new products come onto the market, and older ones are discontinued and retired. Surely though, not much can have changed since March? Using scan.co.uk, who are my goto place for computer supplies, I decided to find out. Last time I specified two machines – the first being the very cheapest thing you could build, the next being something that you could possibly live with. What we’ll do this time is attempt to duplicate these setups,…
Read more

WordPress Security: Some useful tools

Look to the right of the page and you’ll see the effect that becoming a new dad has had on my free time. Couple that with needing to do a load of work on the house, and my capacity for looking after this website has become near zero. The problem is that administrative overhead didn’t go away – comments still needed to be moderated, and the number of failed login attempts was starting to become a worry. So one lunchtime at work I decided to look at some WordPress security tools. Ultimately I came up with two plugins and a…
Read more

The PC Builder Series

Welcome to the PC Builder series, a collection of articles looking at the best way to put a PC on your desk. Once upon a time, building a computer was best left to a “professional” – somebody that really knew what they were doing. Even if you could plug all the pieces together, things still might not work the way you expect. Today, anybody capable of using some basic hand tools can build a PC from scratch.  The PC doesn’t get much good press anymore, tablets are considered sexier, and laptops take the portability crown. Yet, when it comes to…
Read more

The cheapest PC – Another way

In the previous articles on building the cheapest PC, the premise has always been that it’d be nice to have an Intel machine, but they’re too expensive, so lets go for AMD instead. While it’s not a bad argument, the result is always going to be disappointing or underwhelming. Fortunately there is another way, and I actually put my money where my mouth is on this one. That is to buy a used PC from a site like eBay. Here we’ll talk about what to look for, how that fits into the wider scheme of building a new computer, and…
Read more

Found on YouTube: Abom79

I wasn’t sure how to file this article as I wrote it, In the end I went for education because I certainly learnt a lot from it. Normally, my wasting time on the Internet involves looking at cat videos, or stupid people doing stupid things that result in lots of pain (Say the last bit with the Mr. T voice). Then somehow I came across this guy – Abom79, or Adam Booth to give him his real name. Adam is a metal machinist and engineer who uploads a series of excellently produced videos showing him working on projects for his…
Read more

Speaker Cable Sizing – By the numbers

During a recent reshuffle of all the rooms of the house, I found myself going through the laborious process of moving my office, and all the equipment therein. Part of this meant rewiring my monitor speakers. While I was doing this, I didn’t have enough speaker cable, it was too late to go out and get some, and I was too impatient to order some on the internet and wait for it to arrive. What to do? I went into my store cupboard and grabbed myself a length of 1.5mm2 flexible cable, and hooked the speaker up using it. Having plugged in…
Read more

This new job… I’ve been had!

A few months back, I went for a new job. It was best described as a personal assistant to a VIP,and it sounded promising. Other people who had done it talked about it as being a great role and really worthwhile. The rewards and benefits package was termed generous although was loosely defined. There are a few downsides, the job is a fixed term contract of 60+ years, and is non-negotiable. Those who work in the role also said how much work is involved, but not until I’d signed the contract. On the plus side, it is a job share,…
Read more

WordPress: Looking at the Activity Log

When I last wrote about the site at the end of January, I mentioned that I’d installed an activity monitor. Logging is not a standard feature of WordPress, so you’ll need a plugin. The one I chose is the Aryo Activity Log. It’s now been running for two months, and I have drawn a number of conclusions. The information below uses data gathered since January 31st 2016. The conclusions are: Updates are frequent, so don’t ignore them In two months there have been two core updates, and 16 plugin updates. If we extrapolate that out to cover a three year period,…
Read more