Thursday, 29 May 2008

Winclone updated

Winclone has been updated, the latest version is available here.

For those who dont know what it is, Winclone is an app, similar to SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner except that it backs up your windows bootcamp partition.

Just some waffle

Im really quite tired today, our daughter had a bad night yesterday and so slept very little, which of course meant that we didnt get to sleep either. Its easy to say take it in turns but just lately she seems to have developed a cry that can penetrate brick walls, doors and the sound barrier, which makes it difficult for the other partner to pretend nothing is happening, at least until exhaustion kicks in.

We're not sure why shes getting so upset just lately though, as we have kept to the same rhythm for a couple of weeks now, our best guess is teeth. Hopefully tonight will be better and she'll get some rest, hope so at least as Im not too sure how long I will last today.

On the tech side I havent done too much today to be honest, Ive been working from home via Citrix, occasionally pitching in to help look after Ellie and trying not to fall asleep on the keyboard. I did update my MBP and my wife's MB to 10.5.3 in the wee hours of this morning though and at the moment all seems good, although earlier mine seemed a bit sluggish.

I also came across Quake: Enemy Territory today and it looks quite good, plus they have a mac version and from the screens it seems that it could even replace BF2. The problem is that I cant find anywhere here that sells it and ordering it online from the UK or US seems a bit drastic and none of the online services like direct2drive have a mac option which is a bit sad. I guess its just a sign though that despite the drastic increase in market share that macs/Apple are gaining it still has little traction as a gaming platform. Guess I will just have to do some digging in some of the local resellers or go the Amazon route.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Microsofts multitouch demo in Windows 7 Seems that they ported the software they used in the table to desktops and laptops. Not a big surprise but still kind of nice to see where we could be in a couple of years time, though hopefully this will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Macbook and Parallels

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I bought my wife a macbook for her birthday (2.2ghz, 2GB, 120GB HDD, DVD DL burner) that shes very happy with. Its already got her doing more things than Ive ever seen her even attempt to do on her old Dell.

One thing that I wanted to mention though was that I decided to install Parallels for her so that she could continue to use her Windows only software (dictionaries etc).

Parallels includes a tool for converting an existing windows installation into a virtual machine image, basically you install the tool on windows, pick a save location and let it run.

Her Dell had a 40GB drive but the parallels tool converted it into a 12GB (!!) image, which included all three of her partitions, the total conversion time was probably about 6 hours (its hard for me to say as I started it in the morning and then we went out for most of the day). After starting up the image on her MB, it chugged a little as it was installing the tools it needed for the display and device drivers etc which worked very well but it wasnt perfect, there were a couple of drivers that it couldnt identify but I just disabled these. Once done and a restart later and everything was chugging along nicely, so now she has the best of both worlds and is quite happy.

Me personally I was quite impressed at how easy the machine conversion was as in the past even with VMware this has been sometimes problematic. Now all I need to do is find the time to resolve the connection issue between our computers and set up her ipod and we're all done :)

One of the easiest "migrations" Ive ever done.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Interesting company name

I photographed this with my mobile on my way to work yesterday - interesting name for a company but you would think that they would have paused to consider what it means in English right? :)

Macbook and Macbook Pro connectivity issues

I recently bought my wife a 2.2ghz Macbook, which shes really happy with. I set up screen sharing the other day, tried it and it worked, great I thought.

Later on though, when I wanted to copy some files over to her drop box, I couldnt connect to her machine and now even screen sharing doesnt work.

Ive checked her security preferences and she has screen and file sharing enabled, I have rights as well... cant see whats wrong for the life of me at the moment.

Playing with Twitterific

Decided to give in and finally try twitter and see what all of the fuss is about - any of you on there?

Tomato firmware now on V1.19

Tomato is firmware for Linksys routers (only certain models are supported, please check their site). The firmware improves options and functionality of the router over the original linksys firmware, for example its possible to monitor bandwidth in real time, set up QOS and so on. Well worth looking at, though to be honest I cant seem to make QOS work but I think thats just me...

OpenDNS providing free filtering

Im sure that some of you may have heard of OpenDNS but perhaps like me, you were just using them for their DNS service.

(OpenDNS provides name servers that contain an index of sorts for sites on the internet so that your computer can find them when you try to access them - at least thats the over simplified version)

I found out though that if you go and register with them for free, you gain access to a whole load of other options, reporting for example, content filtering (you can filter by categories, e.g. Pornorgraphy, Nudity, Religion and so on) or by domain. I think its great for anyone with kids who wants a bit more control over what they are up to online.

As you are making these changes on the OpenDNS server, its quite easy to keep track of things and slightly more difficult (though not impossible) for someone to circumvent. It helps of course if you configure the DNS addresses on your home router and then distribute the IP address to the other computers via DHCP or static DHCP.

Anyways, take a look perhaps some of you will find it useful(?)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Just thought Id mention that Ive installed Crysis on my MBP (2.6ghz, 4GB ram and Geforce 8800 256MB Video card) and Im able to play with all of the settings on high, AA off and 1024 x 768 resolution. So far its not too bad and Im thinking of pumping up the resolution a notch or two to see how much I can get away with.

Anyways, if youre thinking of trying Crysis, give it a go.

The land of nod

Hi, its been a while since I posted something here but thats mainly because I havent done too much techie stuff to post about. Instead just lately we have been trying to teach my daughter to go to bed at 8pm instead of midnight and to fall asleep by herself without needing us to rock her.

The rocking started quite soon, when she was roughly a couple of weeks old but it was because she developed colic and the rocking was the only thing that seemed to help her relax and sleep, so although it was an evil of sorts, it was a necessary evil and we knew kind of what we were getting ourselves into.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago now we decided to try and tackle the bedtime issue first, so we didnt stress about the rocking, we just started setting up a system for her to get used to, starting with a bath, change of cloths, last feed and then some rocking.

It took 2 or 3 days but seemed to work out ok and now around 7ish she starts rubbing her eyes and getting a little fussy, so we start the bath etc and things seemed to be working out fine. The only hiccoughs in the whole thing is the fact that she was waking in the night and needed to be rocked asleep again but sometimes she wouldnt sleep for another two hours.

At first we were worried that we might have left it a bit too long as she 6 months old now but we did some research and found out some things that helped and some that definitely need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

One of the things that we came across was the cry it out method, at first we didnt like the idea of this approach, although it seemed to pop up on pretty much every site, so we tried other things such as the patting and shushing etc but all of these failed miserably.

Two nights ago now, we decided to give the CIO method a try but to use the gentler kind where you check on the baby every 5 minutes ago (although it has been suggested that this is more to ease the parents minds than the baby's). 

The first night was really a test of nerves, we followed the usual bedtime routine but after her last feed and burp we kissed her good night and put her into her cot and left the room. From that moment she went absolutely ballistic with her crying and screaming, it was really quite hard for both of us but we stuck to our guns and just went in to see her every 2-5 minutes or so.

After half an hour it didnt look like we would have much luck, so we tried starting her musical mobile, this distracted her for a bit but not too long and the crying continued. Almost an hour later and I was saying to my wife that maybe this approach wouldnt work and we should just go and get her to sleep and try something else tomorrow when the crying stopped. We waited a minute and still nothing, total silence, so we snuck to the room and put our heads round the door and she was sleeping peacefully! It was a relief I can tell you :)

Unfortunately she woke up again at midnight but we kept to the same routine and just kissed her, told her that everything was ok but otherwise let her be and after 15 minutes she was asleep again.

The next night, we followed the same routine, bath, feed, bed but this time we also turned off the night light (its still light enough here at 8pm that theres a dim light coming through the window). Again she started to cry when we left the room but not as much or as intensely as before but still a fair bit. So we switched the mobile on again and continued our 5 minutes visits and then to our surprise after about 15-20 minutes the crying started to subside and after another 10 minutes she was sound asleep. :)

So, so far so good, we just need to keep this up now and see if she will master falling asleep by herself but it really looks promising so far, so keep your fingers crossed for us.