Friday, 27 May 2016

Hello 4G, goodbye Freeview

Quite by chance, I spent a few hours last Saturday, lifting carpets and floor boards.

The signal on one of our TVs had been a bit iffy for some time, with a tendency for the picture to pixellate on some of the weaker channels.

I put this down to the ancient, brown, co-ax cable running down from the distribution amplifier at the top of the house, to the Sony in our ground floor middle room.

BirdBox2016: quick update

Things seem to be going well with our blue tit family in our Maple Tree bird box.

The adults have turned out to be very good parents and are working flat out to bulk-up their chicks.

They now only have 10 days to stuff themselves with caterpillars before it will be time to leave the safety of the nest and venture outside.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

5GHz Wifi: shifting up-band

Every so often I get seduced by the promise of faster wifi with wider coverage from a shiny box with 3 aerials.

It usually ends in disappointment when I discover that the new contender is less stable with lower coverage than my old trusty Netgear DG834G.

However, the latest candidate is not too shabby, and it gives me access to both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi bands.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

KeePass: easing the pain of passwords

Having to live our virtual lives with a stack of user names and passwords is a real pain.

I guess many people will use the same password, or the same password root and just add a new suffix if forced to change (eg. peterpassmore2016).

What with user leaks (where user-error allows passwords to be revealed) or company leaks (where a company accidentally releases user account details), we really should take internet security more seriously.

Friday, 6 May 2016

BirdBox2016: incubating 9 eggs

The local weather has certainly improved over the last few days, with today exceeding 27'C (if my pressure/temperature monitor can be relied upon).

Our blue tit pair seem to have produced 9 eggs, and the female has started sitting on them.

And our first female Emperor moth emerged yesterday and attracted a mate this afternoon.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

HP455 Laptop: good news for Linux users

If you bought an HP455 laptop running Ubuntu, you may know there are problems updating the OS from the old 12.04LTS version supplied.

As this laptop relies upon special HP packages, it can be extremely difficult to upgrade, while still maintaining functionality of wifi, sound and function keys.

However, with the release a few days ago of version 16.04LTS, this may have all changed.