Member Since: 28th Jul 2002
28th Aug 2013
OmniFocus or OmniOutliner
If you're a Mac/Apple person, then I'd suggest OmniFocus which syncs across your devices (and the content isn't owned by Evernote). For planning or putting lists together, e.g. ToDo lists, I'd recommend OmniOutliner although this doesn't automatically sync between devices.
As for DS' comment, I'd suggest a pencil as these are more reliable and also waterproof, should your notebook ever be taken under water (as used on submarines:-)
16th May 2013
Remote Desktop Protocol
Or any other Remote Desktop Protocol application including LogMeIn, VNC, or RDP -- all of which run on an iPad (and I guess Android).
One doesn't need Citrix for this.
25th Oct 2012
Why? What is the business
Why? What is the business benefit considering the amount of effort required to generate that benefit?
It's a bit odd taking this stance on an accountancy site, but accountants are renowned for putting business first (like closing the London accountancy students bar to create a couple more rooms!).
Soshial meeja is of very dubious benefit in this case. OK, totally relevant if you're specifically targeting the typical Twit (is that the singular noun?), or some PR agency trying to get your latest client to "trend". But really, accountancy?
By all means do it in your own time as it were. I wouldn't expect any real benefit to come of it without putting in a lot of effort, probably way more than you'll get out of it as new business. Personally I'd sooner work on face-to-face contacts with business people as being a better stream of prospects.
24th Oct 2012
TomTom - source of the bad Apple app?
Nokia give free SatNav with worldwide maps which is better than my TomTom. The maps are downloadable so you do not need a data connection to use the SatNav. A TomTom with worldwide maps probably costs about £300.
Isn't TomTom the source data for the Apple crap map app? Now available with iOS6, it's not a patch on the Google predecessor.
Just a point, but there's open-source mapping available which covers all countries and is regularly updated. These are pretty cheap on an iPhone (£2/country?) or free on an Android.
23rd Oct 2012
My dog, iDog the 6th
As with most people these days, I tend to upgrade my phone once the contract expires. So this is my 4th iPhone having used the iPhone 1, 2 (aka 3G) and 4. I've upgraded to the 6th iPhone 6 (which Apple call the iPhone 5), this time purchasing direct so I can now be a network tart and get the best deals -- and never have to deal with Vodaphone ever again, praise be.
The update from my existing 4 to the 5 went as smoothly as a really smooth adjective. I did a backup (i.e. Sync) of my old iPhone 4 to iTunes just to make sure everything was up to date, connected the new iPhone 5 and restored from the old backup. An hour later (it's full of wonderful music, mostly Prog Rock -- so that'll be at least a couple of tracks), and the restore was complete.
As with most things Apple: It Just Worked. All my old Applications were migrated over; settings all transferred; music in situ... There's not much to say as it went so smoothly.
Using it is fine. Just like an iPhone 4 but with a bit more height on the screen which has been very useful for browsing and listing phone numbers etc. The size is fine; still fits in my pocket just like the old one.
The only issue I have with it is it's scratchtastic tendencies. The case is black which means as soon as you dent it, the shiny silver metal shows through. This happens really quickly as I noticed a little nick on an edge within the first day.
I've found a suitable case which has stopped this problem completely. It's the Belkin Clear Back (I think that was its name) which looks like one of the old bumpers but with a clear back to protect the back of the case, quelle surprise.
Using it for it's primary purpose, talking to people, has been fine. I'm certain it's much better than it's predecessor iPhone 4 as it's definitely dropping calls less frequently. However, I've not used it lots in anger as yet.
Of course one is reminded about the old adage: "how can you tell if someone's got a new iPhone?". You won't need to wait long, they'll tell you.
Am I happy. Yes, my life is now complete;-)
18th Oct 2012
Having researched the issue,
Having researched the issue, I find that there's a 22.30486% IRR on the iPhone 5 compared with 22.30486% IRR on the S3. However, there's a 3.14159p difference in NPV.
On the other hand, you like Apple, you've probably got a bunch of Apps and a MacBook Pro, in which case get the iPhone. Restore from your backup of the old phone and it'll be identical.
If you move to the S3, then be prepared for a whole bunch of change for the sake of it.
Oh, and don't forget to buy a case for the iPhone 5; it's scratchtastic to the extent of causing riots in the Foxconn factories in China! (http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/17/foxconn_iphone_5_is_difficult_and_scratchy/)
21st Dec 2006
Most spam originates from "Botnets" - part 1
It's rare to find a spammer that uses their own servers to send email - this has all but been stamped out by the actions of the spam fighting community who black list the sending IP address and, if nothing is done about it, they black list the spammer's ISP.
With the amount of problems that spammers cause for organisations, the email software vendors have made their software much harder to configure to inadvertently send spam. For instance Microsoft Exchange (version 5.5) used to be configured by default to relay, i.e. send out spam. With the latest versions of Exchange this is much harder to do. Also IT departments are much more aware of the spam issue.
As the number of 'open relays' reduce, spammers have to resort to hacking and malware in order to send their rubbish.
They will hack various servers or PCs on the internet to turn them into mail servers. As a single mail server will be spotted and black listed very quickly, they like to have a spread of email servers in the form of a 'Botnet'; a network of bots or compromised computers responding to the Botmaster's commands.
Pretty much any computer on the internet can be compromised to become a member of a Botnet. Most of the time it's "Aunt Alice's" machine because she/he has failed to follow the standard security rules: don't run software unless you can vouch for it's authenticity. She/he ran some software trojan that turned the machine into a Bot - you know, the pretty 'whack a mole' or Christmas card, or whatever.
Once infected, these machines will continue to run with 'Aunt Alice' completely unaware that she/he is sending out spam - or worse.
21st Dec 2006
Most spam originates from "Botnets" - part 2
The Botmasters who own Botnets will rent them out cash. You contact them on the internet, generally using IRC (Internet Relay Chat) which pretty effectively hides their identity and location. Once you have a Botnet, sending spam is trivial.
The underlying internet email system is called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The 'Simple' gives us a clue. The issue is the same as receiving junk mail in your letterbox: if you block it up, the junk mailers can't deliver anything. But neither can the postman.
With email it's the same; you have to let everyone be able to deposit email in order to receive any email. Improvements have been made on the email servers to check that the sender isn't blacklisted, or that the sender's IP address doesn't originate from a broadband provider (e.g. it's a 100-1 probability it's a Botnet).
The reason you receive these emails from the "Mail Delivery Subsystem" saying that the email's been rejected is because email administrators have misconfigured their servers to respond where the email address is clearly forged. They've also failed to check that the email's not from a blacklisted address, etc.
With the sheer volume of emails sent by the spam gangs, you only need a very small proportion of servers to be misconfigured to auto respond that you get swamped.
A good idea is to set up some email rules, for example searching for a subject of "undelivered mail", etc.
If ever there was a hell, it would be nice to think that these spammers will be burning in there.
5th Mar 2004
What's a popup - I've never seen one!
I can't remember the last time I saw a popup or popunder ad on any website. Except for when I turn Norton Internet Security off.
I've been quite chuffed with this software from Norton. I originally bought it for the firewall & antivirus, but it came with a rather good popup blocker. And you can block those horrid animated adverts. And you can block the dreaded flash animations!
Nice and quiet life I like to lead.
BUT - be warned that some sites won't work with NIS on. I don't re-visit these sites as a rule, but sometimes you have to for business reasons (and they have to be damn good ones!). These sites need to be explicitly allowed allow their popups :-(
5th Mar 2004
Some hints and tips from a techie...
I know this is a bit late in this topic, but I thought I would share a few tips with you.
If your mailbox is a standard POP3 mailbox on a normal ISP's server and you use a slow link such as dialup or a mobile phone, you could use Outlook and turn on the 'Headers' feature. This downloads the message headers but not the body of the messages. Therefore you can quickly delete all the obvious spam without using up too much bandwidth. You can also choose to not download large attachments, and save them for when you're in range of a decent speed network.
As an aside, I now find that if you're staying in a big city hotel, it's useful to get a room high up so you can use someone elses wireless lan to access the internet! It's a damn sight cheaper than using the hotel phone or the mobile, especially when you're abroad. Please be careful with passwords and the like though as you never know who's listening in!
It's quite important to subscribe to an ISP that does pre-filtering and deletion of obvious spam. My ISP uses Brightmail which currently filters out about 4000 obvious spams to my email account per month. I only get the 20 or so that get through per day.
Another service that you could use is Hushmail.com. They offer an email service a-la hotmail, but they also have a few other features which come in very handy when battling spam.
The 'human authenticator' will automatically reply to any unknown email sent to you and require a person to click on a specific URL link. As the vast majority of spam comes from compromised mail servers, there will be no reply, and hence you won't get the spam.
The second feature is the ability to set up temporary aliases. This is very useful if you're filling in a form on a website that requires an email address and will send you a confirmation email containing a password, which you need to access the site. Once you have the password, you can delete the alias. No more email from that site!
Finally, if your mailbox is completely overrun with spam, there are some tools which enable you to clear the email without looking at it. PopCleaner2 is useful freeware tool for this, albeit a bit unreliable.
The best method I've used for mass clearing of mailboxes, such as during the recent MyDoom infestation, was to use the Outlook headers method I described above. Just sort the email by size - most viruses have the same size, but use different senders and subjects.
I hope you find this useful.