Tag Archive for 'computer'

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Hello old friend

Today on my commute home from work, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me because he was using a very special pocket computer:

psion_s5mx

That’s a Psion Series 5 (technically a 5mx but that’s irrelevant to you normal folks.) It’s probably the best pocket computer ever built, but by now it’s also extremely rare and, in the context of electronic progress, rather ancient.

I have owned and used one of these for a decade, and I’ve written a lot about it here. It served me well and I still miss many aspects of it. If such a machine existed today with Internet access then I would probably still be using it. But mobile Internet didn’t exist back in its day. Continue reading ‘Hello old friend’

Progress Quest: an incredible role-playing adventure game

game logo

Progress Quest is an antic and fantastical computer role-playing game, well worth the time you’ll spend playing it. And it won’t cost you a farthing! [official website]

The official introduction above is absolutely true. It’s a great little game and, although the game-play can feel a bit one-sided, it’s still offering a surprising amount of variation. It starts quite slowly – obviously the character is very weak initially, but he’ll be hacking through his enemies faster once he gains some experience, better weapons, and armor.

Even inexperienced gamers will find Progress Quest remarkably intuitive and simple to play. [user manual]

Similar to the popular games with faux 8-bit graphics, this game also doesn’t look very impressive, even though it does contain some 3D effects.

You can play the game online and a Windows version is also available. Both are free.

Use a mantra for your password

So there is a downside to using a password manager like LastPass* and all those corporate single-sign-on tools (when they work): Using passwords as a more-than-daily reminder or mantra is no longer happening.

I still use passwords but I don’t enter them anymore; my password manager does it for me. I have been using LastPass for a long time now, and I thoroughly enjoy the automatic login for anything and everything online.

Enter password

I admit that even LastPass has a password (“the last password you’ll ever need,” as they proclaim) and I still have to enter that every once in a while. Recently I decided to change my ingenious yet well-worn master password – you know, weakest link and all that. But what new password would be good? Continue reading ‘Use a mantra for your password’

You do have backups … right?

Backups are important. Yes, we all know that. We’ve heard it before. Just like good passwords can save your (digital) life.

So, how are your backups doing?

dead-hd-2

Exhibit 41 in “things you never want to see”.

Ahem.

Continue reading ‘You do have backups … right?’

Ubuntu Linux: reducing CPU load caused by compiz

Geek warning: You can skip this post if you’re not familiar with words like Linux, Ubuntu, Unity, and compiz :-)

Note: Several readers have let me know this tip didn’t help them. I put the tip here because it does seem to help in some cases, but evidently it is not a bullet-proof solution. Do your own research before you decide to try the following. My sources are provided as a starting point.

I’ve long had a problem on my Ubuntu computer that compiz would use a lot of CPU power even when the computer was idle, even when no programs were running. My computer is quite powerful so when compiz uses 20% of all CPU cores, that’s a lot of processing going on. It causes the CPU to heat up which causes the fans to run faster which causes noise which annoys me. Clearly, something needed to happen.

I have finally come across the solution and because it was hard to find, I’ll take this opportunity to share it with the world.
Continue reading ‘Ubuntu Linux: reducing CPU load caused by compiz’