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Designing Computers for Small Business

Dell just sent me a letter advertising their new Vostro line “especially for small business“. They say “we listened, then we listened some more” and explain that it’s based on feedback from people in small companies. The problem (which should be familiar to everyone who has ever done any consulting work) is that people don’t [...]

Base Load Solar Power

A frequent criticism of solar power is that the sun only shines brightly for part of the day, and that many of the times when there is significant electrical load (EG when people get home from work in winter) the sun light will be weak. One interesting solution to this problem is to store the [...]

Water Prices and Scarcity

Due to climate change and population increases we are having increasing problems with the water supply in Australia. Peter Lieverdink suggests that we have more options for water supply including treated sewage similar to the Netherlands here he grew up. However I believe that in Australia we already do what he proposes (put treated sewage [...]

Cheney Flip-Flopped on Iraq

Here’s an interesting CSPAN interview with Dick Cheney from 1994. It’s amazing how accurate Dick’s analysis of the Iraq situation was in 1994 when justifying the decision to merely destroy Saddam’s army in Kuwait and not try to occupy Iraq or catpure Saddam. It’s a pity that he didn’t stick to that idea.

Since the [...]

The Start of My Computer Career

When I was about 11 years old I decided that I wanted a career related to computers. My first computer was the TEC-1 single-board Z80 based kit computer from Talking Electronics magazine (see the photo below). I think that I built this when I was 10.

The computer is 16cm high and 25cm wide. [...]

LED Headlights in Audi Sports Car

It’s interesting to see that Audi is releasing a car with LEDs for all lights including the headlights. This is being promoted as an environmental benefit, however a quick google search revealed that my Volkswagen Passat apparently takes 55W headlights (giving a total of 110W of electricity used). Even allowing for some inefficiency in the [...]

SE Linux vs chroot

A question that is often asked is whether to use SE Linux or a chroot to restrict a program.

In Unix chroot is a way of running a program with a restricted set of directories available (it used to be merely a sub-tree but with bind mounts it can be any arbitrary set of directory [...]

Music Videos

I’ve been thinking about music videos recently while compiling a list of my favourite videos of all time. It seems that YouTube has changed things through the re-mixes of videos and the ability of anyone to publish for a mass-market (although without the possibility of directly making money from it).

Also today all new PCs [...]

When to Use SE Linux

Recently someone asked on IRC whether they should use SE Linux on a web server machine (that is being used for no other purpose) and then went on to add “since the webserver is installed as root anyway“.

If a machine is used to run a single non-root application then the potential benefits of using [...]

Suggestions and Thanks

One problem with the blog space is that there is a lot of negativity. Many people seem to think that if they don’t like a blog post then the thing to do is to write a post complaining about it – or even worse a complaint that lacks specific details to such an extent that [...]