IT

Posts related to the wider topic of IT.

Review: Toshiba Satellite Click Mini

The big thing in computers between 2007 and 2010 was the rise of the Netbook: Small, low powered, low cost computers, running either Linux or Windows. The first Netbooks had a mere 7-inch screen at a stupidly low resolution of 1024×600. Then came 9-inch models, same poor resolution, but a more useful screen. Then came 10 and 11-inch variants. The price also started to rise as more powerful processors and components were installed. Then, just as quickly as they burst onto the scene, the Netbooks fizzled away. Until recently, the smallest you could go was 11-inches, which is a shame…
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Networking 2015: Hello pfSense

Having spoken previously about how I’m done with using Cisco for my networks, I now need a replacement. This has come in the form of pfSense. Given that it doesn’t have the name recognition of a brand like Cisco, perhaps some explanation is necessary. The fundamental element of networking is moving packets of information across physical networks. Once upon a time, this required specialist hardware that could move these packets quickly enough, giving companies such as Cisco their market. Today, commodity hardware is cheap and powerful enough that it can act as a network router. This is where software such…
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Networking 2015: Saying goodbye to Cisco

For the past five years I’ve been in a relationship that I’ve had no business getting involved with. That is, with Cisco networking equipment. Back in 2010, a friend decided to begin learning Cisco and to obtain his CCNA with a view to becoming a network engineer. Because I can’t resist fiddling with technology, I soon picked up enough to build networks, and eventually had built four of them using Cisco routers and switches. Unfortunately, there’s a  few downsides to using Cisco, which I’ll cover below. In part two of the Networking 2015 series, I’ll introduce the technology I’m replacing…
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The technology has become a tool, and I’m not sad

I would like to say a big thank you to Facebook. The other day it thought it would be nice to remind me of a photo I took at university, something I still think of as being not that long ago, But no, Facebook had other ideas, and helpfully depressingly reminded me that it was in fact five years ago. The photo is from my lab in my final year. I was working on a project around home automation, so I had lots of fancy electronics kit, a couple of computers and a whole bunch of time on my hands. It…
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Protecting a website against spammers and robots – CallamMcMillan.com

This post was originally going to be a talk about what I did with CallamMcMillan.com to stop comments, followed by another article on how I dealt with a robots problem on the article voting system. After re-reading the article though, I decided to explain the problem a bit better and make this article somewhat informative so that you can use it on your own websites. If you’re like me then you’ll enjoy getting feedback on your work. The feedback may not always agree with my point of view, or it may suggest that my technical solutions are lacking, but at…
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HowTo: Comment out lines in a .htaccess file

The .htaccess file allows for directory-level configuration on Unix based web servers. You may use the .htaccess file on a website for authorisation and authentication, or for URL rewriting (changing mywebsite.com/fruit/bananas to mywebsite.com/fruit.php?fruit=bananas.) This feature allows the mechanics of your website to be hidden from the user and allows search engines to index your content more efficiently. As with most configuration files, it becomes necessary to comment out lines and add comments to assist with maintaining the file. To do this you need to add a hash (#) symbol at the start of each line. Simples!

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An advert for a great web host – EvoHosting.co.uk

When I signed up with my web hosting company nearly five years ago, they offered the best service for the price. By the time the last renewal come round though they were useless, so I changed to my current hosts – EvoHosting.co.uk. Why am I giving them free advertising, well last night I couldn’t get my browser to save the password to my control panel, so I opened a ticket with them. They fixed it within 4 hours on a Saturday night. That’s good service! if you want good service from your web host check EvoHosting.co.uk out here!

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On the search for better internet. Part 1

Let me answer a couple of questions about the internet. Is the internet a human right? No. Should it be? Not really. Would I become a raving lunatic if the internet was taken away from me? Probably! The reason I say this is that I have had enough of ADSL, it’s crap and that is putting it mildly. We have two ADSL lines coming into the house. Measurements taken at 1240 on a Sunday afternoon reveal that the main BT Business broadband connection manages a pathetic 3.15Mbps down and 0.38Mbps up with a 19ms ping through a Cisco 1841 router….
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Want a high-performance workstation? Step away from the Mac Pro

The other day I was engaging in a spot of Apple bashing with some fellow IT professionals and our thoughts turned to the subject of full sized performance workstations, namely the Mac Pro. We agreed that they are generally stupid, they use old technology and overcharge massively for the privilege. I decided to prove this by doing a rather unscientific but simple exercise. As part of this exercise I have built two Mac Pro systems, a mid-range model and a high end model. I am then going to build a PC equivalent of the Mac model on specification in order…
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Why Linux and LibreOffice suck!

Having written articles on small issues such as politics and religion, I now feel ready to once again stick my boot into a much larger topic. Why Linux is a steaming pile of Cow Turd! First, I will explain, the article you should have been reading at this very moment is about those who aim to disrupt the Olympics, but thanks to Linux and the LibreOffice suite, you get this instead. It started with me writing an article on my fully updated Ubuntu 11.04 powered netbook, having written most of the article the previous evening I decided to finish it…
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