Just off the A1(M)
Wed, 12 Jan 2005
I tried a diary application on the Palm, but it was awkward to use and the Palm is not great for entering lots of text.
Recently I thought that I could do something in email. I spend most of my waking hours in front of a computer and email is convenient. My thought is that I would mail myself, possibly using a dedicated account. Entries would be automatically date sorted. I could even encrypt to prevent anyone else getting at my secret thoughts.
An extension of this would be to then extract the emails and convert them to some easily searchable format.
This is a diary for private thoughts. Anything public can go on here or Multiply.
A couple of times in the past I would be flicking around the channels in the morning and find the same song playing on both Virgin and Xfm.
Thu, 06 Jan 2005
I'm still finding my way with Linux, but this looks like a good resource for local help.
Mon, 20 Dec 2004
Various people have had the bright idea to use this spare capacity to solve difficult problems. One of the best known projects is SETI@home that analyses radio signals for signs of alien intelligence. I ran that briefly, but have dedicated much more time to distibuted.net (mathematical proofs and code-breaking challenges) and grid.org (medical research). I've clocked up several years of processing for each of them.
I don't get paid for this or anything, but I like the feeling that I am contributing to possibly worthwhile causes. I've recruited others to the cause and am always trying to bring in more people. For grid.org I started a team called Whizz for atomms (a Gerald Searle reference). Feel free to join us.
I know some people will worry that these programs could pose a security risk, but I'm very wary myself. I check various forums for any potential issues before installing anything. I've not heard of issues with either of these. Some people have found that they can affect their PC performance, but I've not noticed this. Mail me if you have questions.
Mon, 13 Dec 2004
I go along with most of that, but I'm not quite as paranoid as him. Maybe I've been lucky or I could have been hacked without knowing about it. My move to Linux should help matters a little, but I still need to be careful.
Generally the internet is fairly safe if you stick to sites you know with good reputations. Have a read of his hints and you should be okay.
Let's be careful out there.
Thu, 09 Dec 2004
Mozilla provide Firefox (web) and Thunderbird (email) as I was using on Windows. Both have reached version 1.0 now and work well.
OpenOffice continues to satisfy my word processing and spreadsheet needs.
GnuCash replaces Quicken to the limited extent I use it.
gPhoto talks to my Kodak digital camera. I'm still sorting out a tool to organise the resulting pictures. My Sipix webcam does not seem to be very well supported on Linux.
My Canon i455 printer is partly working using a driver for a different printer, but it comes out a bit faint. There is no specific driver for mine apart from the commercial Turboprint. I used that on the Amiga many moons ago. I may consider it if there is no alternative. I need to get the scanner working, but I believe my Epson is supported.
I've been trying some simple programming using Python. It's a neat little language that I want to learn. So far I've just done a bit of encryption, but one day I may write proper applications with GUI etc, just for fun.
So generally it's going well. The rest of the family can use it without having to know it's not Windows. The kids still have a Windows 98 PC for games and web. The other PC is still awaiting fixing, but can be persuaded to boot when needed. I have lots of data on there that will not fit on the others. I need to invest in bigger disks, but that's for after Xmas.
Tue, 23 Nov 2004
Since I am using IMAP mail and using web tools for links and news I am not tied to any one PC. That makes life easier.
I gained a further signature to my GPG key last week. The previous one made me part of the 'strong set'. This is the main group of users who are linked by mutual keysignings. This puts me just five steps away from someone like Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux). One of the latest del.icio.us links is to a site that works out the connections.
I bought myself a new case for the Palm from Brando in Hong Kong. Good prices and speedy delivery. This case should resolve the problems I had with the battery getting discharged when a button was accidentally pressed in my pocket. I also went for a new stylus with built-in pen. That's about as much hardware as I can afford at the moment.
Tue, 09 Nov 2004
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