March 2004 Archives

Know your Internals

I've been a regular user of programs from Sysinternals for a while now - today they just saved me again.

I've just been getting an "Access is deinied" error when I was trying to delete a directory telling me that it was is use by another process. I re-booted the machine and the directory was still in use. Then I remembered the Process Explorer from Sysinternals. This handy peice of freeware will tell you what files and registry keys are being access by which processes on the system. It even allows you to search for the file as a handle and it will show you the process that is using it. If only this feature was built into windows...

Another program I use all the time is BgInfo. This is installed on all my Windows servers and quickly tells me what the machine is along with its IP addresses and free disk space. Again, this has saved me loads of time traking down which server is which when connected to them remotely or through a KVM. Until this was installed, the quickest way I had to figure out which machine was which was to log in and eject the CD-ROM drive tray. Though this approach is funnier, it is not always practical...

Electronic Ink is on the Cards

The first commercial E-Ink product is about to hit the market in Japan. According to the BBC the Sony LIBRIe 1000-EP will cost around 200GBP and be available in April.

While this is the first version of the technology, it looks like it may well take off. If the screen is as good as it sounds, the propect of weighing your holiday bags down with paper-backs may well be coming to an end...

Hardware Hacking for Geeks


Ever wanted to connect your toaster to the internet, turn a skyscraper into a giant display, add a web server to your filter coffee machine or make a furby say things that will severely disturb the kids - then have a read of Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks by Scott Fullam.

The book is full of cool projects to try out and waste some of your spare money / time on. It has clear photos, circuit diagrams and schematics allowing you to do something useful with all that technology you may have lying around. If, like me, you don't have a lot of spare time or money at the moment then you should still read the book and dream of the things you could do... Hmm, satanic furby...

Software Cold War

BBC Four recently broadcast an interesting documentary Tetris: From Russia With Love which was a very interesting account of the battles behind this simple but addictive game set against the backdrop of Cold War tensions. Rupert Murdoch's access into the Russian political system is also highlighted.

Anyway, an article on the Register has highlighted Thomas Reed's book At The Abyss which looks well worth a read.

Laptop Spec Announced

HP nx7010The spec of my free laptop has been announced. It is a HP nx7010 Centrino. Best bit if the 15.4" 16:10 WXGA display. Might need to upgrade the memory but apart from that it is a pretty good machine - very good for the price! They are being ordered on Friday so I may have it next week.


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