On eBook readers

In October last year I decided against buying a Kindle and ended up with a Sony Reader PRS-600. Immediately I realised I had a problem, it is almost impossible to legally acquire any form of literature. Kalahari.net started to sell eBooks using the Adobe Digital Editions DRM which in my experience is a pain in the arse. I have read over 20 books since purchasing using my Sony Reader, but have used it more to store a library of technical material for easy reference.

This week my Kindle 3 (WiFi edition) arrived which I have been impatiently waiting for since I pre-ordered it over 4 weeks ago, along with the awesome cover with the built-in reading light. I think the cover is necessary to protect is especially with me as I tend to drop things and the more expensive and fragile the more likely that will happen. Continue reading “On eBook readers”

Full Disk Encryption

I will be redoing the TrueCrypt Benchmarks in the next week on a new PC that is standard spec where I work. It will be Core 2 based with 1GB RAM and SATA drives. I am running TrueCrypt’s FDC on my MacBook Pro under Bootcamp and I haven’t noticed any perceivable performance drop even playing games like COD4 and Company of Heroes.

EDIT: I have started the testing, but things at work just went waaayyyy wrong. These will be out as soon as I can get them done.

Benchmark PGP versus Truecrypt Full Disk Encryption

I noticed something rather important missing in the realm of Full Disk Encryption, and that was benchmark data. The methodology I followed may be a bit unorthodox but would provide me with a consistant platform to test with.

I installed Windows XP SP2 on VMWare Fusion and applied all the patches available from our WSUS server. After installing the Benchmark application I created a SnapShot so that I could revert to the original install everytime with no deviations in installation, i.e. I was lazy.

I only encountered one major problem with running the Disk benchmark on PC Mark 04 when using TwoFish/RIPEMD160 encryption in TrueCrypt the entire benchmark would come up with the useless Windows Has Encountered a Problem message.

Continue reading “Benchmark PGP versus Truecrypt Full Disk Encryption”

My “Social Network”

Flock

I have now been using Flock for three or so weeks now and must say it feels more stable than FF and most of the plugins I use work fine (Session Manager, PDF Download, StumbleUpon and others).

The people tool bar introduced in the v1 versions is useful, but I would like to have some thing that aggregates my twitter feed something like the way Snitter.

Twitter

I have gotten so addicted to using Twitter that Facebook is not looked at all that often anymore. I have also found it to be an interesting way to keep up with news. IOL has been using it to “push” news stories straight to the user. I have not seen a better way of pushing content, some thing that has been talked about for many years now.

FaceBook

The current rage of Social Netowkring, although I am a bit frustrated using it. I have more application installed than I care for, and must have around 100 invites to others which I haven’t even looked at. Other than that I have found it useful as I found two old school friends and was able to make contact through FB.

NING

I have recently been using Ning as Sword and Laser, and it is an interesting concept as it gives anyone the ability to create their own social network. I wonder what will happen once the Open Social Framework goes live there, could be some interesting applications appearing.

Holy mother of Google goodness

Been fiddling with Google Desktop (GD). Yes I am slow on the uptake, but I did try to give Live Desktop a chance, and it is bleh. I had it installed on the same too machines that I am now testing GD on both my laptop and my Vista box, and did it cause huge slow down. It always seemed to be indexing, if I forgot to pause it when my laptop was off power, sucked the juice right out.

Vista’s search does a job of finding stuff, it just does it. After installing GD I could not believe the difference in speed that it finds things in, and more accurately (precisely?). I have around 800GB of Video, Music, Documents, Games, my GMail accounts and all the other stuff to sort through and it took last night to index and it is finding stuff very quickly. Works using both IE & FireFox, although I gather there where problems with Opera. Can’t say don’t like Opera very much, feels bloated.

I also like the fact that on my WinXP laptop I can have the same sidebar as on my Vista machine, so I should always have what I need. Just a pity that you cannot seem to scroll if you have too any gadgets (widgets?). I have a task widget, Dictiory Google Search (cannot remove grrr), Google Calendar Widget, a NetStat Widget (noob security nut :p ), a cool gadget via intel that checks your notbooks battery, charge and CPU usage and speedstep status and a Twitter gadget. The only one I seem to be missing is one for FaceBook.

World of Vista

Installed Vista on Saturday, and no I did not miss formatting using the old console :p

The installation went smoothly, until I realised that I did not have nVidia drivers, nor Live 24 drivers.

Goto nVidia’s site, download, install, wow it works.
Goto Creative’s site, download, install, they also worked (or so it appeared)
Install Logitech Momo drivers and split pedal not working, hhhmmmm. Reboot reinstall and now works. Yay

Installed rFactor works for a while, then CTD, Windows say the Creative drivers

Extreme Movie Manager 5.2

Quoted from their site

XMM: Probably the most powerful movie manager around, let’s discover it’s power:

Is it really? Lets see
Ease of Use
Getting Started
There are a variety of ways to get your Movies and TV series’ into XMM. HDD Search and Importing from text is probably the most useful ways. Once that is done all you do is click on the Internet Update button which then asks you what you want to update. Then you are given a choice of sites to use (e.g. IMDB, AnimeNFO, TV.com) to get all the information of the movie or program. The updates are done with a script that you can easily edit, or you can even create your own.

Accuratness of Import
Sometimes it does get it wrong, but this is usually caused by the site that is searched. IMDB has the wrong information for a search done on Imposter, due to the fact that here in South Africa Imposter is a different movie to the one in the US 🙁

Stability
I have had a few problems stability wise, but even though it has crashed, I have not lost much(if any) information. I attribute this to the fact that he is currently using an Access MDB file as the database, but there are plans to change this to something else (going by the support forum)

Support
The Author is giving very good user support. In this month (May 2006) there have been 3 updates to the app, and they where not all bug fixes. Quote a few features where added. There is also an update feature built into the app that can search for new update scripts.

My personal opinion of this is high, I would give it 8/10.