Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Yet Another HDD Bites the Bucket

One of my drives (a 500gb USB WD Book less than 2 years old) just kicked the bucket! Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was the drive that only held videos and podcasts and open-source torrent downloads. So I am not losing much - except that I just lost a shit load of crap that took quite some time to download.
What gets me and continues to get me is that the drive in question was working very well until I rebooted the system it was on. This continues to be, IMHO, the plight of the HDD in today's day environment. Don't get me wrong I know why a working drive suddenly stops working on a reboot, but I just don't understand why we in the industry have not figured out how to combat this situation!
Why can't the drives detect they are failing and warn you before you reboot? Why should a stop/start command force the platters to stop and re-rev hence creating a die situation? Why? Why?
Oh, well! I know what the gadget purchase will be this month: new drive!

Friday, 9 May 2008

My Thoughts on Xobni

I've been using Xobni for a few weeks now even before the public beta. I must admit that so far I've only activated on my personal accounts [I'm still on medical leave and can only run it on the remote connection if I choose to enable it on the company Exchange solution] and I am finding it a good helpful utility.

Xobni is an Outlook plug-in that claims to be able to help you organize, search and navigate your e-mail and other outlook content in an easier way; more info. I've even seen some commentaries calling it a next step in social networking.

After a few weeks of usage, I am starting to find the tool indeed very useful. Some of the features that I am starting to appreciate: is the ability to see the frequency of e-mailing as well as the time statistics [most of e-mail activity is between 10:00-11:30 & around18:00] as it gives me an idea when the best time to contact a person is versus when I might get a reply; the tracking of all conversations stored in the account giving me the ability to quickly locate previous e-mails. The feature that I am starting to find of some interest (but more likely will be better in the work environment) is the contact network feature which gives you a crossed list of other contacts; it is of course limited to what is in the e-mail addresses in your accounts but still interesting.

I would, however, like to see this directly inside gMail and also maybe a Thunderbird plug-in... then I will truly be happy!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Visited the Surgeon Today...

I had an appointment with my surgeon today for a one month after check-up on my ankle area.

Although the swelling is still important everything is on track and mobility in my ankle is better. I must admit that in terms of pain the operation has helped to a certain extent. He has recommended a few more weeks of rest and keeping my ankle on ice (both metaphorically and literally).

I must admit however that I am still feeling a serious amount of discomfort especially if I am on my feet too much or sitting without the leg stretched. Don't even get me started on sleeping - my family Doctor has given me sleeping & anti-stress pills - yep its that troublesome!

So more time for some gaming, maybe I'll be able to get through CoD4 & Bioshock.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

What Tech This Month?

No tech purchases last month mostly cause we had to buy a new oven [you should see the oven, its got a full computer to control cooking!] and eye glasses for the kid & wife.

So time to do some catching up this month as if you remember, I decided this year to buy a tech gadget or game every month. The primary cause being the lack of commitment or want of my wife to quite smoking & I figure if she can «literally» burn @€150/month - I might as well give myself something.

So I have a dilemma this month between the following:

  • WiiFit: not sure it will do my diet any but I really like the concept and it looks like a good change of pace;
  • Mario Kart Wii;
  • A XiNCOM Twin WAN Router: I am looking at this to be able to aggregate/load-balance my two DSL links or I could do this with a cheap PC, 3 network cards and a good linux distro;
  • Logitech Squeezebox Duet: The interest here is to be able to stream all my digital music as well as access Internet Radio (French stations bore us, they talk too much and play the same songs every 2 hours). In theory the Squeezebox would allow me to do this directly to my stereo without having to use the computer.

Tough call. I could always but the money aside this month and prepare a small wad of cash to be able to buy some of the possible new Apple products to arrive around WWDC or summer. What do you think?