Archive for the ‘General’ category

Binary Sudoku

November 22nd, 2008

Binary Sudoku

Get the most out of your laptop battery when traveling

November 22nd, 2008

I typically bring my laptop on the plane to use for working or watching a DVD. I don’t like to be interrupted by losing my battery mid flight. Here are some of my best practices for getting the most out of my laptop battery:

  1. Make sure the laptop batteries are charged before going to the airport. Don’t necessarily count on finding AC power at the airport to take care of this. You may also not have time at the airport to fully charge a dead battery. Trickle charges can take a few hours.
  2. Arrive early enough to find one of the few AC outlets at the gate. Top off the charge on your batteries before boarding the plane. AC outlets are often tucked away along the windows, in the floor, built into vertical support beams. If you can’t find an available outlet at your gate, go to the gate across the hall or to the next gate over and look for an AC outlet you can use there while still within earshot range of the boarding calls at your gate. I’ve also seen outlets in airport restaurants – relax, have some food, charge your laptop.
  3. If you’re going to use the laptop while waiting at the gate, make sure it’s on AC power instead of using batteries.
  4. Before boarding the plane, put the laptop in suspend mode instead of shutting it down. When you power the laptop back on when seated on the plane, the laptop comes up instantly in the OS rather than chewing up battery during a 5-10 minute boot up process
  5. Limit the use of USB devices, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM. These peripherals chew up battery at a fast rate.
  6. Limit the use of disk intense applications such as defrag or virus scan. This also chews up batteries at a fast rate.
  7. Limit the use of processor intense applications which will cause the CPU and fans to draw more power.
  8. Run the display at the dimmest setting possible.
  9. Turn off the Wireless and Blue tooth radio.
  10. Bring an extra travel battery that is obviously already charged. The last couple of laptops I’ve had I had the extra travel battery installed along with the regular battery at the same time. It makes the laptop a little bulkier and heavier, but for me the extended battery time (5-6+ hours) is worth it.
  11. When you’re done using the laptop on board the plane, if you’re critically low on battery, shut down the OS or hibernate as opposed to putting it into suspend mode. Suspend mode still draws minimal amounts of power and critical bits may still be active in RAM. If you go into suspend and then the laptop battery dies completely, the plug/power will have been basically been pulled from the OS and you’ll lose any unsaved information you were actively working on. It’s just plain not good to yank the power from your computer.

Top 10 referring pages as of 11/21/08

November 21st, 2008

Thanks for sending traffic my way. It’s a little easier to write when I know you’re providing readership.


What’s also kind of interesting is seeing the growing list of referrals coming from private and corporate intranet sites.  I can’t access their referral page because there is no route to it from the internet, but I can sum the referring URL + the page being hit on my side to get a good idea of how information is being used internally.

What’s up with the broken Windows Search?!

November 15th, 2008

Can someone please explain to me why the search function in Windows hasn’t worked reliably since about Windows 2000 or Windows 98? It got exponentially worse with the release of Microsoft’s “Desktop Search”.

See below. I’m looking for the location of a file called wuauclt.exe. The “Desktop Search” feature, which when installed, replaces the default built in Windows Search, can’t find the file:


I have to resort to the old faithful command prompt search to find what I’m looking for:


This is beyond stupid.

Blog maintenance

November 12th, 2008

A few housecleaning and upgrade tasks in the past 24 hours:

  1. Banned several IP addresses for brute force attacking the FTP server.  This should increase available bandwidth and response time.  This is a problem I’ve been dealing with since I brought the server online many years ago.  It’s a game of cat and mouse.  New attacks will continue to occur almost daily which is to say on a daily basis I could be banning new IP addresses.  I’m not sure I have that kind of time but I’ll check sporadically.
  2. Banned two .MPG cataloging sites for referring boatloads of traffic my way for the sole purpose of downloading model railroad .MPG clips probably in the hopes that the .MPG clips are something other than model railroading related.  Their intentions seem clear to me.  This should increase available bandwidth and response time.
  3. Removed all model railroad .MPG cilps from the web server.  This should increase available bandwidth and response time.
  4. Upgraded GD Star Rating from version 1.0.1 to 1.0.2.  Bug fixes and new features.  I’m still seeing one bug with the product and have provided feedback to the author.  Ratings are bells, whistles, and clutter and I’m half tempted to just get rid of them.
  5. Installed WP Super Cache.  This should increase available bandwidth and response time.

Please let me know if you see any funk that may be caused by serving static/cached pages instead of dynamically rendered PHP WordPress pages.

Monday morning funny

November 3rd, 2008

I saw this comment on Twitter this morning from @jbjon and it made me  chuckle:

twitter is just multiplayer notepad”

I used to be the person that knocked Twitter, but I have gotten some practical use out of it since joining for VMworld 2008.

I’m still not down with the Myspace and Facebook sites.  Nothing good can come from those sites if you ask me.

Happy Halloween!

November 1st, 2008

I hope everyone had a happy halloween!

My two kids, Allison and Joshua, dressed up as Barney the dinosaur and a pumpkin.

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