This might be useful information for people having the same problem as I had : Windows 7 waking up from sleep mode without any apparent reason, i.e. no keyboard activity and no mouse activity.
It turns out that the Razer Mamba driver package installs a “virtual keyboard” (probably for the Mamba’s docking station?), which wakes up the computer from sleep for no reason.
The solution is to deactivate this device’s ability to wake the computer from sleep, from within the device manager. Look at your end and you’ll probably also see two “keyboard” type devices. The installation date should give you a hint on what is what!
So, for Christmas I got myself a very nice Apple TV2, which I love. As we still own a pretty old Plasma TV set which features only 2 HDMI inputs, I had to get a HDMI switch to connect all of our gear. Without really paying attention, I chose a Philips 4-port automatic HDMI switch.
It worked very well for two weeks now – until this evening when it just went black and never came back. The power indicator LED doesn’t even come on anymore. Of course I tried it with everything disconnected and on various power plugs. It’s DEAD. I can surely have it replaced on warranty, but …
This put into the context of my other big Philips failure, makes me definitely now say that I will NEVER, EVER buy any of this cheap-ass Philips bullshit anymore. EVER!
It’s about time I depressurize a bit on these two very annoying pieces of hardware. Why ?
- The Philips HTS7502/12 bluray homecinema kit has a lot of trouble reading the latest Bluray disks
- The Lenovo X301 high-end laptop ships with an SSD disk that does not support TRIM
The issues identified make me classify these two pieces of hardware as DON’T BUY.
Read on to find out more…
Yes, polite is right!
Based on the famous (?) Lotus one-liner “light is right”, I thought I’d write up a manifesto of the english gentleman Lotus driver.
- Racing is for racetracks. Never fall into anyone’s trap to make you race them on the public road. Anyway – you know who’d win! If someone really insists, kindly invite them to your next track-day.
- Speeding in sensible areas like cities or smaller B-roads, is absolute no-go. Always respect the speed limitations, especially on spots marked 50 or 70 km/h. I’ve been driving for 18 years and never got fined for speeding in sensible spots – I actually simply never did!
- People often look in awe at your car because they don’t see that many around; some, especially kids, will wink and scream as you drive by. Flash your headlights twice and politely wink back at them with a smile, they’ll appreciate!
- Always stop at the pedestrian crossing to let that old lady walk over; smile and show her a very visible sign with your hand to indicate that it’s a pleasure for you to stop your car for her. Hey – more people might actually have time to look at your beauty in detail !
- In dense traffic with changing lanes, make place for others to drive in just in front of you. You wouldn’t want to go head to head with that other big, old, ugly car anyway, would you?
- When driving back home late at night, gently roll through your block or village in 4th gear at low speed, making as little noise as possible. Your neighbours want to know you as the nice, gentleman sportscar driver, not as the rowdy who wakes them up in the middle of the night, landing in 2nd gear, 8500 rpm, and a stage 3 exhaust – screaming like a jetplane. What’s more – no engine on earth would like a brutal 8500 rpm to immediate engine shut-down process.
- Talking about neighbours – if they’ve got young kids, invite them to the party when you clean your car. They’ll have a great story to tell next day in school, and you’ll have some helping hands. Just keep an eye on those hands though..
- If someone keeps hammering you with questions about your car, simply offer them to be the driver for 10 minutes, if they like. I know most people don’t let others drive their Lotus, but the experience I’ve made is very positive, as long as you are the copilot. For most, the driving experience is so new and uncommon that they barely dare hitting the accelerator, but you’ll have made their day. If you really don’t want (or can’t because of insurance) anyone else to drive your Lotus, offer them to sit behind the steering wheel to at least share the feeling.
- Talking about questions – one of the first questions I’m being asked is “How much horsepower?”, or something like that. I always answer that, with a Lotus, the right question would be “How much weight?”. A very good way to get them introduced to the “Light is right” concept… and maybe transform them into future Lotus owners.
And that closes the circle. Actually, you’ll have noticed that being polite is also very protective for yourself and your car. Win-Win !
Now, keep the comments flowing! How do you culture your gentleman driving?
So, today Apple announced their new iPad 2, set to conquer the world. Again. I’m glad to have resisted buying the iPad 1 so that I can now spend the money on the new, better version – as if we needed anything better. Anyway!
When surfing on the Apple website, I also read about the upcoming iOS 4.3 update, which will bring a very interesting featured called Personal Hotspot. It basically transforms your iPhone, or other compatible device, into a small WIFI hotspot that up to 5 devices can access to share a 3G internet connection.
This is great news, because I won’t have to worry about Internet access for me and my colleagues during meetings at customer premises which don’t have guest Wifi access.
This is probably one of the best feature addons since I got my iPhone 4 a couple of months ago. Good stuff Apple. Needless to say that Android devices have this for quite some time now, but hey – better late than never.
A couple of months ago, I wrote on allowing employees to bring their own computer to work, instead of using company provided hardware, and part of my article was featured on I-CIO.
Recently, I had an interesting chat with a fellow manager about security, which lead me to the conclusion that a proper BYOC policy can actually be a very important part of global security management.
In my recent article about Amazon CloudFront, I told you about the very cheap pricing of this service, which makes CloudFront very sexy even for very small websites that just want to use it to offload their own webservers and/or provide better than average performance for remote visitors (think about small E-commerce websites in Luxembourg that want to sell internationally even without having thousands of customers a day).
After some days of production use of CloudFront on www.wishlist.lu , here’s the bill to date:
9 cents. I think that on a monthly basis, for www.wishlist.lu, we’ll never be above 1 USD cost wise. So, to sum it up:
- Global “Amazon performance” for your website
- Sets up and configures in less than 15 minutes
- Costs less than an apple a month
Why would you not use CloudFront even for your smallest website (*)? Great stuff …
(*) I can imagine many reasons, actually, privacy concerns or data export regulations being two. But still, these won’t apply to 99% of the potential small website users I’m thinking of.
So today I got myself the MacBook Air 11.6 inch with 4 GB of RAM, the 1.6 Ghz CPU, and the 128 GB SSD. It’s a fabulous little gem and it really does create this “Whoa, this is small!” effect.
I got this machine as a replacement for my ASUS 1008 netbook that I sold a couple of days ago because it was a tad too small and slow for the work I typically do on this type of computer. I agree that it might sound wrong to call the Air a “netbook”, but then again, the use I make of it pretty much fits in the “netbook usage” category : surfing the web, reading and writing my E-mail, and using general productivity tools like DropBox and some basic document editing.
The MacBook Air in my current configuration is very fast. Applications start and switch instantly, and the bootup time, even from a complete power off, is blazing, in the range of a couple of seconds from 0 to fully operational. Waking it up from sleep mode is instant. I opted for the fully loaded version of the Air after reading some reviews about speed impact related to the higher clocked CPU and the 4 gigs of RAM, and especially because there’s no way to upgrade your Air if for some reason – mainly money – you’d have chosen to get one of the smaller specc’ed versions.
I rely a lot on web based and cloud based solutions for my work, like DropBox, Google Apps for Enterprise, Delicious, etc. so getting all of my work data on the Air was a snap, as these services are all well supported on the Mac. The keyboard is excellent in touch and size for my needs. The screen size is OK for E-mail, web browsing, and blogging, although I need to get used to it. It’s a pity Apple removed the backlit keyboard from the new series of Air’s though; probably a step towards the very good battery life of around 5 hours I seem to get with my normal workload.
Something very nice is that the Mail application now supports native Exchange 2007, getting all of my E-mails, calendar, and contacts into the respective apps. Configuration was a complete no-brainer, as all it took was to provide Mail with my E-mail address and password, and it auto-magically detected all parameters from my corporate Exchange account and started downloading content right away. Something that is weird is that it seems to take a very long time to download the several thousand E-mails I keep in my Exchange account, but fortunately that’s something it needs to do only once.
The price of the Air is not what you’d call cheap, but the value you get for the money is great in my eyes. The lightness, speed, and ease of use is fantastic, and I’ll make my new Air a permanent accessory for my meetings and evening blogging.
Disclaimer: I’m absolutely no Apple Fanboy and own a PC with Windows 7 at home plus a Lenovo X301 laptop for daily business use at the office. That makes three computers for three different types of usage. One day, who knows, they’ll invent a Transformers’ style WinMac that is small and light and that can transform into a complete over-powered machine with two 30 inch displays with the push of a button. Until then, I’ll keep my three work tools .
Amazon CloudFront is a relatively new product offering in the range of the AWS products. In a simple definition, you could say that CloudFront allows you to easily setup and use Amazon’s infrastructure to distribute your content (web or streaming) globally, by leveraging Amazon’s edge servers in the US, Europe, and Asia. You can just call it a CDN – Content Delivery Network, although that definition applies to services that often provide very distinct additional services, depending on the provider.
My today’s Saturday morning IT exercise was to quickly dive into the CloudFront universe and give it a spin on one of our lab websites – www.wishlist.lu , which is a gift-list creating platform without any real commercial objective.
Read on to find out how easy it was to setup CloudFront on WishList !
Traveling to the 2010 PHP Forum in Paris, I’m sitting in on of the TGV’s (the high speed trains going from Luxembourg to Paris, for instance) and I was hoping to be able to connect to the Internet wirelessly, especially as I’m traveling 1st class. Unfortunately, and albeit I’ve been reading all over the Internet that all TGV trains in the east of France should have WIFI on board, there’s no sign of it.
I do have an “unknown” WIFI network that seems to be at a constant 80 to 90 percent signal strength, but any attempt to connect to it fails, as I don’t even know the correct SSID to use. My last hope is to catch one of the SNCF employees in the train and try to get some meaningful information from them.