Category Archives: computers

Linux Skype Client (Beta)

I have discovered a nifty feature of the Linux Skype client, and a minor annoyance too. Which shows you can’t have everything (where would you put it?). UPDATE: I’ve discovered another nifty feature – it kerns your text automatically as you type – see the UPDATE section below for more details. First the niftyness. When […]

Adventures with Broadband

I recently had to change my broadband provider, mainly as a result of moving house. Previously on Twin Peaks I was with Virgin Media. I had a fibre-optic cable in to the house which provided cable TV, phone and broadband services. The broadband ran at a nifty 20Mbps (20 mega bits per second) for downloads. […]


As you may know, the prefix mega- is abbreviated with an upper case ‘M’. So, for example, 5 megabytes can be written as 5MB. A single megabyte is either 1,000,000 or 1,048,576 bytes. From the Wikipedia: In computing, mega- can sometimes denote 1,048,576 (220) of information units (example: a megabyte, a megaword), but can denote […]

Dr Jan’s Tips From The Top

I’ve started a new blog which features Dr Jan’s Tips From The Top – that’s things like restaurant recommendations, unix usefulness and anything else that comes to mind. Check it out here: As it’s a blog there are RSS feeds of the content and the comments that you can subscribe to. Check the Entries […]

Thunderbird Introduces Retention

Thunderbird, the excellent email client from the Mozilla foundation has introduced a new message retention feature. At last! This means that you can set a number of days to keep messages in a particular folder. So, for example, I receive email from a number of cinema chains telling me what’s on at the flicks. Now […]


Years ago I purchased a license to run a VMWare virtual machine on my Linux desktop machine. There’s still a dormant Windows 95 machine consuming most of the hard disk of that box. When the next version of VMWare was released the upgrade fee was exhorbitant, so I never bothered with it. Now VMWare have […]

Goodbye Blogger, Hello WordPress

I’ve changed my blogging software. I no longer use Blogger, I’ve switched to WordPress. This gives me much more flexibility and control over the appearance of my blog. The main thing it does for me which Blogger doesn’t (or at least, not easily) is to provide links to the next and previous posts on permalink […]

External Hard Disk Backup

Recently, Martyn gave me a 250Gb hard disk in a box so that I can back up my home PCs. Martyn has upgraded to a 500Gb system. It connects to the PC with a USB cable. I asked Linux to check the drive for bad blocks and create an ext3 filesystem over the whole disk. […]

Review of the Navman ICN 630 Satellite Navigation Unit

I’ve had a Navman 630 for some months now, and I’m very happy with it. The 630 is the predecessor to the 650. The big difference is the 630 uses an SD card to store the maps (limited to 256Mb by the hardware), whereas the 650 uses an internal 2Gb hard disk. The disk is […]

Russell Beattie Notebook – Serialized eBooks via RSS

This is an excellent idea! There are about 600 books from the Gutenburg Project available from the Mobdex website. Use your WAP browser and you get easily digestible chunks of which ever book you’ve selected delivered to your phone. Right now I’m reading Around The World In 80 Days. You always have your phone with […]