Tag Archives: computers

Maybe it’s me, but I believe things have changed.

I’m all good with technology, I love my Apple Mac(s) and I would like an iPhone very much, and will probably be getting one soon once I’m decided on what contract to go with.

But, I’m not sure about you, when reading through the specifications for the iPod Touch one of the features was ‘view your E-Mail like you would on your computer’ or something to that effect. Now – I think I’ve missed something here, I like E-Mail, it’s good, and convenient but I don’t like being able to have access to them all the time. If I go on holiday I want to leave my E-Mail behind, I don’t want a Blackberry and have access to them all the time. (In all fairness there isn’t much point in me having an iPhone apart from desire factor). And yes, the iPod Touch only has Wi-Fi so you’d be able to use it in Hot Spots, your McDonalds or Starbucks etc, or at Home. But then, if I was at home, I’d have my Laptop, and if I wanted to listen to my music I wouldn’t want notifications coming up saying I had new E-Mail.

This all comes down to me needing a new iPod. I opened my old Classic rather than taking it back to an Apple Store, in hindsight this was a very bad thing to do as I ended up breaking it a little bit more. I want something, that I can use to play my music, that’s it. I don’t want to play games, browse the web or check my E-Mail.

Call me old fashioned, but maybe technology has gone too far here? I also don’t want something that may break if I sit on it. The iPod Touch is a lovely piece of kit, but the iPod Classic does everything I want it to do, and is strong enough to withstand being chucked around in my car (I will buy a case for the next one I buy).

Is anyone with me here, or have we all fallen into the trap that is the E-Mail-mad generation?

FreeNAS: The ‘Free’ network storage solution!


In an attempt to save money, and my ability to ‘acquire’ an old PC, I was recommended a piece of software called FreeNAS. I currently have some extra HDD’s in my PowerMac G5 which I share over the network using SharePoints. This works very well and I’ve set up a couple of AppleScript scripts which I’ve saved as apps, to mount these shares. Work’s very well all in all, and hasn’t failed me yet.

What would make more sense is if it wasn’t a G5 which consumes lots of power, and was something small and quiet that I could pick up from work (old PC being chucked out).

I therefore ended up with a 2.8Ghz P4 machine with a gig of RAM which I will soon be kitting out with a 500Gb drive or 1Tb drive (internal) to use as a storage device. I have now got FreeNAS installed on a USB stick (very quick and easy, had it set up in about 1hr) and boots in no time.

What’s nice about FreeNAS is that it doesn’t have a GUI so there’s nothing to load. It has a Web interface instead, although you can also set the IP address and what not from the device itself. But overall it’s great, I can power it on and off as a headless unit, and can get some nifty logs as well and status graphs from the web interface.

All in all, this will probably have saved me over £100!

A day’s hard work (or two)

Okay, so possibly slightly delayed – but I’ve been meaning to post this for some time now. I just wanted to show people how much effort gets put in and how much time gets spent prepping a classroom full of new PCs and Monitors.

These photos were taken from the classroom at Bedford College’s Plumbing Centre – where we had to remove the same amount of old computers (about 5 or so years old) to replace them with brand new base units and flat screen monitors.

Everything has to be taken into consideration, as the mentality (not PC) and the general attitude of the students that would be using them is not the best. So you got to think of how to locate them/tie everything down so it can’t be pinched. (A real shame but this is what the world has come to).

Two of us did this, with some help from Staff to clear the empty boxes and packaging. We then had another room to do upstairs…