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Showing posts from March, 2009

IDE Failures and backups

For 80% of people, running backups is a non-event. We simply don't consider doing them, not because we are lazy but it just never crosses our mind. Fortunately I had a happy event last week - I ran a full backup of my beloved D610 Dell Latitude's hard disk and not 2 days later the bastard failed on me. It was then I found out how much harder it is to get IDE hard disks for laptops. The 40GB HDD in it was adequate for my purposes and the smallest I could find was 120GB. Now I know how easy it is to fill 120GB of disk with music or movies or whatnot, but in context, I store very little of such things on this notebook. It's for work, and for online stuff such as Google's services and apps. At any rate, I use the wonderful TrueCrypt ( ) to create encrypted partitions and then use the equally handy rsync (or in a pinch xcopy ) to incrementally back that data up across the network to my servers.  I thought perhaps I'd share how I do this, using xcop

Review: Palm Treo Pro

As I mentioned in my previous post, I use a Palm Treo Pro for work purposes. I chose this phone for a very specific reason: we use an Alcatel / Lucent phone system and there are various integration technologies available (for both Windows Mobile and the Nokia Symbian OS) that I want to test and use in a production environment. Having used the Treo 750 to great effect in my previous job, I hoped the new iteration would prove just as useful. Unfortunately I find this phone to be cumbersome and annoying at times - I will elaborate of course. Visually the Treo Pro is slimmer and slightly smaller than the Treo 750 which is nice - the 750 was a pocketful by itself, whereas the Pro is slim enough to squeeze in with my keys. The screen is large and well lit and accuracy with the stylus has not been an issue. The touch screen is sensitive but not overly so and is quite responsive to the fingernail tap. Palm have added a wireless on/off switch on the side which I find to be redundant (you

Review: Nokia e66

Recently my beloved e61i perished in an unfortunate washing basin related accident. I was upset, more so because it was an expensive phone and only 15 months into a 24 month contract. Fortunately my SD card was undamaged and my photos and assorted other junk was safe - whew! On to the topic of buying a new phone - firstly I had a list of requirements that it needed to match. The e61i provided email, wireless G networking and many other very nice features. I looked, therefore, at either the e71 - of which I've had one, or the e66 - the slide feature of which put me off a little bit. Having had an e71 for a short while as a work phone, I knew how lovely they were and enjoyed using one immensely. The full QWERTY keyboard was very nice and I liked it a lot. I was thinking of a smaller phone though - the e71, like it's predecessor was quite wide and hard to slip into a narrow pocket. So I investigated the e66. Here is a list of things I liked and don't like about the phone: Like