Bluetooth Made Me Un-picture My Contacts

Can software become more complicated and yet still be easy to use? It seems that, unfortunately in some cases, it can – and does so whether you like it or not. I just spent two hours trying to fix the Bluetooth connection between my wife’s phone and her car, and discovered just how unfortunate it…

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An Automatic Upgrade to Uncontrolled Access

How could they get it so wrong? I’ve been very happy with all the other Netgear hardware scattered across my network, including ADSL modems, switches, and the NAS box, but I’m beginning to wonder if the WNDR 4500v2 wireless router I upgraded to last year was such a great idea. Especially when a firmware update…

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Re-balanced and Re-routed (a.k.a. Wanna Buy An Old Modem?)

Maybe it’s because I was a boy scout when I was young that I have this need to be prepared for every eventuality. Or maybe it’s my default paranoia mode that assumes stuff will just break without warning, typically on a Friday evening. It’s probably why you can’t move in my office for piles of…

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You Have To Trust Somebody...

After spending part of the seasonal holiday break reorganizing my network and removing ISA Server, this week’s task was reviewing the result to see if it fixed the problems, or if it just introduced more. And assessing what impact it has on the security and resilience of the network as a whole. I always liked…

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The Network Ate My Shortcuts!

It’s a bit scary when you turn on your computer and it’s different from when you left it the day before. I don’t mean it’s a different computer (though sometimes that would be nice), but that something changed while you were in the land of nod. This happened to me last week. As I sat…

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Ultra Paranoid Computing

Much as I complain about some TV documentaries being dumbed down (for example, showing a clip of an explosion every time the presenter mentions The Big Bang in case you can’t remember what an explosion looks and sounds like), I have to admit that a recent episode of the BBC Horizon series was an excellent…

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Warning! Warning! New Laptop Encountered!

So at last my new company computer arrived. And, like all competent technology users, I carefully perused the operating manual before starting it up the first time. You never know, it might say something important. And what I found has made me wonder if I actually dare use it at all. For a start, the…

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Re-chromed, But Still Not Shiny

So here’s a question: why aren’t our European masters hounding a certain well-known company to stop them installing unwanted software on our computers? Every time a hole in the Flash plugin is fixed they insist on fiddling with people’s computers in a way that, if not actually illegal, seems to cause some users no end…

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Talk To The Mouse 'Cos The Keyboard Ain't Listening

So it’s true. Senility had obviously settled in and my addled brain can no longer maintain even the simplest items of information such as a two-fingered keyboard combination. It seems that in future I’ll be wandering aimlessly around my server room dribbling helplessly onto the network switches, muttering profanities in response to the strange symbols…

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I Bet They Wish They'd Called It Facebooc

Some days it would be nice if things just did what you expected. Like music coming out of your MP3 player when you press the play button, or nice brown toast coming out of the toaster after the prerequisite two minutes. Or Windows Media Center quite happily recognizing that, yes, it does have a TV…

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