Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-650

No comments:
It's new - it's sleek - its touch - it doesn't require a 3G account nor WiFi as it relies on direct USB connectivity to a hosting PC or laptop - it's not locked to a book chain, supplier or country!
Read all about it here
Here's an except of the review....
No two ways about it, the Reader Touch (more specifically, the PRS-650) is a gorgeous piece of hardware. The front bezel and spine are cool-to-the-touch brushed aluminium, the rear panel has a grippy rubberised plastic coating, and the whole unit feels as if it’s been put together with a craftsman’s fine attention to detail. It’s solid as a rock too, and feels nicer to hold than the Kindle.
The Reader Touch boasts 2GB of internal storage, plus twin memory card slots on the top edge for expansion (one for Memory Sticks, one for SD cards [up to 32GB cards]). On the bottom edge resides a 3.5mm headphone socket for listening to audiobooks or MP3s, while a stylus is tucked into the top right-hand corner for making notes.
It has three input methods,
  • finger touch (for page turns and navigation), 
  • stylus (page turns and annotation) 
  • button (for page turns and navigation)
The interface is a tad slow but definitely very usable.
Available from Borders in Australia for $299 (as at Sep 2010) which makes it a bit pricey compared to the 3G and Wifi equipped Kindle at $247
It's probably worth noting here that ...
Australians pay about $4 per book more than in the US because Amazon could not reach an agreement with Telstra to run it's service. They didn't want to use other providers due to coverage issues, so instead it uses expensive data roaming provided by AT&T in the US.
So in fact you are paying for the data every time you download a book and you are locked to their supply infrastructure.

The unit does not ship with a power supply as it is USB powered, but you can buy a generic (e.g. Dick Smith) PSU for under AU$20

Requires the Sony Reader software installed on your host PC to manage your books - app is free from the Sony e-bookstore at and looks very similar to Adobe Digital Editions
We just contacted Sony (Australia) to inquire about battery replacement.
They were most helpful and are fully researching our inquiry, but initial feedback suggests the battery will be a Li-Ion so should give three-to-five years life, however, because the battery is sealed within the unit, it will be covered by the unit's warranty initially.

More info as it comes to hand

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Google Advanced Search parameters

No comments:
To Open the Google™ Advanced Search panel with other than the default 10 results used to require the parameter &num=nn where nn was something like 20, 30, etc.
That stopped working recently (Sep 2010) and it appears you now need to follow that parameter with &as_qdr=all thus...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Water Fights can be EXPENSIVE!

No comments:
15 Feb 2010 - our 16yr old has a party at our place and invites a group of friends.
Part of the activity is an organized water-fight.
At 52, Dad(me) decides to stay out of the fight and man the filling of the water stations from the tank.
The inevitable happens when it is noticed that Mr S is NOT wet!
Standing filling a water station, I did not see the attack approaching from behind.
The first I knew was when a full 20litre plastic pail of water hits me side-on mid-shin as the attacker slips, loosing hold of the full pail and throwing it against my leg as he runs toward me, instead of throwing the water over me.
After the initial shock and pain, I continue to fill the water-station but suddenly realize my leg is swelling visibly and rapidly before my eyes.
I hobble inside and call for assistance in the form of R.I.C.E. (Rest Ice Compression Elevation)
Fast-forward through x-rays, an ensuing infection resulting in copious antibiotics and a venous ulcer, which at its peak was about 150mm long by 50mm wide, many visits to the GP as well as visits to a plastic surgeon and several months under a general surgeon.
Now ... over 7 months later ... the leg no longer bleeds and apart from a cavity in the tissue where the ulcer was, is mostly recovered.
I just totaled up all the Dr, Specialist and Chemist bills relating to this "little incident" ....
$2,008.13 which after refunds still comes in at the grand sum of $1,474.53 so 
BE WARNED! water fights can be expensive, painful and horribly inconvenient ... but then ...most things in life come with a degree of risk

Some useful resources on differing architectural models

No comments:
Apart from the OSI model at the technology layer, the following links describe some of the enterprise layer models
There is the Zachman Framework .... have a look at this page which references it
You also have EAF (Enterprise Architecture Framework) – this page also has a comprehensive list of the various architecture methodologies available
A much more simplified model is described on this page under the Architectural Layers section
I also came across a reasonable explanation of the Agile architecture while I was researching

16 weather links

No comments:
Full Disk
Water vapor  Large  Color
Last 24 Hours  Play
0.2 sec/image

Qld lightning - near real-time (as opposed to Energex 15min delayed feed)

Aust MSLP (Mean Sea Level Pressure or Synoptic)

Colin J Sanders  Automation Analyst, Dip Elec., MCSE, ITIL, PRINCE
Technology Tamed ®
A.B.N.      13 442 206 580

Windows Junk Files Phone Scam

No comments:
Earlier today I get this "Private Caller" phone call on our land-line phone. The caller starts in with this ethnic dialog spiel ...
Caller: "Hello, May I speak with Mr Sander please"
Me: "Mr Sanders speaking"
Caller: Mr Sander, I am calling about your computer problem. Are you at your computer?
Me: "No! Who is this?"
Caller: "I am from Global Computer Repairs, we are going to help you clean up the junk files on your computer, can you go to your computer and turn it on please."
Me: "I don't think so!" "Who gave you my number and where are you calling from?"
Caller: "Please go to your computer so I can help you with the problem"
Me: "EXCUSE ME! I did NOT request your help and you are intruding on my privacy! I am a computer tech and take care of my..." CLICK! (caller hangs up)

What really scares me is that people are resorting to cold-calling to social-engineer folk into allowing them access to their systems in blatant person-to-person conversation! 
How many less techno-literate people will have been suckered into this scam before it gets taken down?
- Automation_man

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Low-level disk format utility

No comments:
Found a great Windows low-level disk format utility
This freeware Low Level Format utility will erase, Low-Level Format and re-certify a SATA, IDE or SCSI hard disk drive with any size of up to 281 474 976 710 655 bytes. Will work with USB and FIREWIRE external drive enclosures. Low-level formatting of Flash Cards is supported too. Low Level Format Tool will clear partitions, MBR, and every bit of user data.
 He also has lots of other equally useful tools like...

HDDScan is a freeware program for low-level HDD diagnostics, it supports IDE/SATA/SCSI hard disk drives, RAID arrays, external USB/Firewire hard disks, flash cards. The program can scan the surface, view SMART attributes, adjust AAM, APM (Power Management), etc.

DELTEC PowerRite Plus 600 ?

No comments:
Regarding your inquiry about DELTEC Potencia 600W Serie ..314..?. Entrada 220V Salida 220 V 50 Hz Estados Unidos ... ...el 492-818
Inside the electronic-board reads "PCB 05142776 REV A" (may be that helps?) "VCB-2" "Made in Mexico"
The details you were able to provide do suggest a DELTEC PRAxxxxxxx() series as the portion of the serial number you could provide sounds like one of the early PRA serials which were often like A0013456. Unfortunately the key thing which is missing is the Model number

I have never worked on a “Plus” myself and can find no reference to such a device in the (scant) PowerRite manual archives.
The best I can offer you is I have the DELTEC PowerRite Pro series User Configuration manual which covers their PRA400 thru PRA2200 series devices (thus also the 600).
Your description sounds a little different in that these talk about 6 dip-switches not 4, but it might get you started.
Over here (in Australia) most of the ones we see are the PR{A/B/C}xxxxxxxi series which are the international variant, so they may differ from yours slightly

That document is on my old UPS web page as DELTEC PowerRite Pro User Manual

Now to answer a couple of your other queries;
which software use the com-port and is it the same cable like APC
You should be able to use the LANSafe software from the link on that same page.
Failing that the older FileSafe v3 seems to work with most OS’s to XP SP3 for most Deltec UPS’
(I use v3 for all my workshop testing of all Deltec units)
Do NOT use the same cable as for APC! They are wired entirely differently and have ground wires going to active pins on a Deltec!
Also, a standard serial cable will NOT work.
Use the serial cable definition shown on my web page for DELTEC units
Hope some of this helps

Friday, 2 July 2010

Are we missing the good things in life becasue we are too busy ?

No comments:

. . . Something To Think About . . .

In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, 
a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. 
During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.  
About 3 minutes into the recital:
A middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  
He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

At about 4 minutes:
  The violinist received his first dollar.  
A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
 At 6 minutes:
 A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  
The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard 
and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  
This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception 
- forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician had played continuously. 
Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. 
About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. 
The man had collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. 
No one noticed and no one applauded. 
There was no recognition at all.

 What no one knew was this, the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  
He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.  
Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each 
to sit and listen to him play the same music.

Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:
  •       In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
  •       If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
  •       Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Enter date by double-clicking an Excel cell

Ever wanted to quickly enter the date in an Excel spreadsheet cell without typing it or looking up what date it is?
Here's how
  • In the worksheet you want this to occur in, press Alt-F11 to open the MS VB Editor dialog
  • Make sure the Project Explorer widow is open by selecting Ctrl + R.
  • In the Project Explorer, double-click the worksheet you want to add dates to, and this will open the code page for that worksheet (e.g. Sheet1)

  • Copy and paste the following code in the resulting blank code page

Private Sub Worksheet_BeforeDoubleClick(ByVal Target As Range, Cancel As Boolean)
Dim CellTime, CellState

' Limit the effect of this code to single-cell selections
If Target.Cells.Count > 1 Then
MsgBox "More than one cell selected", vbInformation + vbOKOnly, "Selection Error"
Exit Sub
End If

' Limit the area of the spreadsheet to which this code applies
If Intersect(Target, Me.Range("A2:A65000")) Is Nothing Then Exit Sub

' Insert approved time in cell
If ActiveCell <> "" Then
iCellState = MsgBox("Cell already has data. Overtwrite ?", vbExclamation + vbYesNo, "Data Overwrite Warning")
End If
If iCellState = vbNo Then
SendKeys "{Esc}"
ActiveCell = Date
SendKeys "{Enter}"
End If
End Sub

A couple of things to note:
The section commented as Limit the area of the spreadsheet to which this code applies limits the double-clicking entry of dates to the range specified.
In the example it is any cell from A2 to the bottom of the spreadsheet in the A column.
Change this range address to the area you want to insert dates on your spreadsheet

If the cell already has data in it, you will be prompted to confirm the replacement of that data with the current date

If more than one cell is selected when you double-click you will also get a warning

If you need help extending or modifying this code to suit your needs, give me a shout.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

xbox 360 repair quide

No comments:

Found an excellent XBOX repair guide