Linux, Still not there yet

I’ve finally made the choice between OpenSuSE or Vista as my preferred OS for the next few years, and the decision went to Vista, and to my surprise it only took a couple of hours to decide. For the tests I installed both OpenSuSE 10.2 and Vista on my desktop to see how things went and within a couple of hours OpenSuSE had already lost the fight on an age old problem for Linux….

A step in the right direction for Linux

I’ve used machines running Linux for well over a decade for various things, and a few times I’ve tried to use it as my the operating system for my desktop, but I’ve always reverted back to Windows because of usability and hardware compatibility issues. I’ve recently started to moved away from Linux as a server operating system for the same reason, but my main problem with Linux may now be addressed, and that’s making things just work.

Bots and Spam

One of the major contributors to spam emails are computers which are called bots (or zombies). Bots are computers which have become infected with one or more programs which allow other people to control what the computer does (e.g. if a bot program is installed on your computer someone else could make your computer send out spam Emails all day long and you may not even notice). Sending spam is only one of a number of bad things that bot controllers can do with your computer, but it is one of the most visible.

Whats a Wii Like?

After a few days Wii-ing (I couldn’t resist it), I thought I’d pass on some thoughts for those wondering if the new console lives up to the hype… well…. for hard core gamers it’s not the thing to have as your main console. For everyone else is fantastic fun, and even hard core gamers may want one as a second console. The graphics won’t rival an Xbox 360, PS3, or a high-end gaming PC with a recent graphics cards, but thats something that Nintendo have not made a big secret.

Little tip for you new Wii owners....

If your remote doesn’t appear to work after a system update, turn the Wii off for 1 minute then on again at the wall socket. This should get your Wii working again :)

Java Games

I’m one of those people who’ve been using Java long enough to have written it off as not being able to present a good graphical front end, that was until I saw this post at Java Lobby (The video in the post is available directly from YouTube, be aware, it has a techno soundtrack). None of these cut it against the current generation of PC games, and I’ve looked into a few of these games, and some of them semi-cheat by using JNI to call through to native APIs such as OpenGL, so portability is questionable, but the achievements of a working AI, physics, and game processing models at speeds which don’t impact gameplay is pretty impressive, particularly as they are not produced by large multi-million dollar games development houses.

Plug time....

Some of you may be wondering what I do for a day job. For those that are interested, and for those who are looking for a centralised password storage solution :), I’m a director of Enterprise Data Safe Limited who sell the Enterprise Password Safe. My specific areas of responsibility cover development, sales, and support. So now you know you can read my posts knowing where my interests lie.

Finally I can ditch Acrobat Reader

Adobes Acrobat reader is, in my opinion, an over-hyped bloated piece of resource hungry software. I’ve had countless IE hangs that appeared to be because of it, and finally I can get rid of it to read PDFs. How am I going to read PDFs without it, simple, use Foxit Reader. It’s small, fast, and in two months of using 2.0 and previous version has yet to hang on me. My advice… Make the switch as soon as possible.

Vista... killer of your current disk utilities?

I’ve been trying out Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 (like many IT people who’ve joined the free beta), and found a couple of interesting things about it’s partition management and it’s effect on some of the disk utilities I’ve trusted to help me with Windows XP problems in the past. I initially installed Vista on my test box, which went well (apart from D-Link telling me “We have no information on when drivers for Windows Vista will be made available for any D-Link product.

The quality issue with open source software

There is no doubt that open source software saves people money. There is also no doubt that there are a large number of talented people working for free on open source software. But there is a large amount of debate over the quality of the open source “product” . A lot of open source authors dismiss the statement that “open source software has a lower quality level” as being just F.