The Java problem

I'd normally post something like this over on, but it's worth mentioning here. Java has suffered from a series of serious vulnerabilities, the most recent found just a couple of weeks ago. This article makes a good case for removing it completely from your computer: Is Java the root of all evil and can you really live without it in the browser? I need to verify I don't need i

Geek, Retrospectives

Personal geek history

A piece of personal geek history: yesterday I had heard that a system I worked on when just out of uni in 1993 just finally got decommissioned. Myself and my mate Brian got out of uni at the end of '92, and looked for IT jobs. In early 1993 I landed a contract at a Big Company and Brian came on board too, and we wrote the first version of system "X", using Visual Basic 2 (the application runnin


Computer brain surgery

A few weeks ago I did brain surgery on my computer. My PC (named "Tintin") finally got a CPU upgrade -- which I needed to move off Windows XP onto Windows 7. It's quite incredible how much dust was inside it. Just obtaining the faster CPU wasn't straightforward, as sometime in the last couple of months, between the time I thought about it and when I went shopping, they stopped making what


The new computer

Every 3-4 years I'll buy a new computer. Here's the latest, a reconditioned (with warranty) HP Pavilion a6760a, to be called "Haddock". For the record (because often years later I come back and compare what I got for how much) the specs are: Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 (2.8 GHz), 2Gb RAM, 500 Gb hard disk, NVidia GeForce 9300 GE (256 Mb video memory), DVB TV tuner, and a bunch of other stuff. All up


Laptop vs USB stick for school

Was chatting a while back to a colleague about his kids in high school. One of them ends up carrying an enormous amount of stuff to and from school, including books and sports equipment, but also a notebook (laptop) computer costing a couple of thousand dollars. Giving students laptops makes no sense to me. Compared to desktops, they're damaged more easily, they're more expensive to buy (or les