Life Mountain Biking

Recent Tech Discoveries (July 09 edition)

Some Recent Tech Discoveries I thought I’d share:

The Good:

Windows 7 RC – writing the blog post from it – excellent OS (and that says a lot coming from me!)

Ubuntu 9.04 -What can I say – wow – is the OS market hotting up or what? Right when they said the Browser will be the O/S – we’ll we aren’t there yet (well not until Google’s Chrome OS anyway…)

Spotify – sure lots of people know about this one now but great streaming music service. Kind of like a commercial radio station where you get to choose the playlist. But native version for Linux would be nice (netbooks will make this kind of porting happen organically now I suspect??)

Bitly – specifically the Sidebar for your browser – very clever. You’ll notice I’m starting to use more links in my blog posts but for Twitter they are essential.

The Bad:

ebox – Not a good move to just try and install this on a Ubuntu box (tried this at home) screwed lots of stuff up. Nice idea but if you want to try it out use a seperate box. It looks good and the concept is a great idea but I think its a bit too flawed for me right now (sorry ebox devs).

Denyhosts (prevents brute force attacks on SSH by adding IP addresses that repeatedly fail to login to a black list – in /etc/hosts.deny)  silently stopped working some time ago on my Ubuntu server (due to an upgrade of Python by the looks of things). Following the fix on this forum thread sorted the problem although I found the file you need to change is:  /usr/share/denyhosts/daemon-control-dist rather than the one mentioned.

The Ugly:

HMG Info Sec standards (or rather the OTT implementation of) – I probably can’t say any more or I’ll get burned in acid (its a long and painful story…!)

More posts to come. Enjoy the summer everyone. I intend to on a ride around Litchfield tomorrow – embedded Google Map to follow no doubt…!

Sony Stuff

Successful firmware upgrade for the Sony NW-A3000 and NW-A1000 MP3 players…

I decided to buck the trend and go for a Sony MP3 player over the Apple Ipod when I bought MP3 players for myself and the missus. On the whole they were a good buy – sound quality excellent but desktop software a bit iffy…

Anyway I discovered a Firmware update today and after careful consideration (as firmware updates can be a bit risky) I took the plunge and upgraded my NW-3000 from 2.01 to 3.00. Really pleased I did as the interface is now much quicker and has an improved loading icon (rather then the disk spinning you still see the normal screen with a little loading AJAX style symbol bottom right (the area where battery status is shown). It also supports AAC files and has some other little improvements – se the linked page above for full details. I upgraded the wifes A1000 with no issues too. Also I used Vista to do the upgrade.

So if you are concerned follow the instructions to the letter, keep your fingers crossed and hey presto improved MP3 player!

Naturally I take no responsibility for any damages occurring from following my recommendation – flashing firmware is always risky and you do so at your own risk.