We go deeply technical today and discover the wonders of Virtual machines. What are they and why do we compare them to holographic characters in Star Trek ? We talk about the secret sauce to build a ‘Datacenter in a Box’ for your home. Instead of owning rows of old clunkers to test, or half a server rack to meet your needs, we take a tour of Virtualbox and how you can use it to shove an entire datacenter… under your desk.
You can also watch the Live recording of this show on Youtube.
Traveling around with a bunch of tech stuff in the car is always a little tricky. You might need that laptop with you on your roadtrip, but you are surely not going to drag that 17 inch Macbook Pro all the way up the 298 stairs to visit that random monument of William Shatner along the way ? So you need to leave stuff in the car. Here are a couple of tips on how to do that … safely.
- Store them out of sight. : Leaving your Tomtom gps stuck to your windshield as you walk away from your vehicle is just plain dumb. Don’t even leave your gadgets in plain view.
- Don’t store them in the “Obvious” locations : Leaving your Cellphone on your passenger seat or in your glovebox is also something thats a little tricky. If anyone pops into your car to grab your gear, these are the first places they are going to check. The trunk is tricky but a little better because its completely out of sight.
- Park in sight. : Did you see a parking spot in an alley somewhere ? One of those places where nobody walks by and your car is completely out of sight of passers by ? Don’t ! Make sure you park in a place where somebody smashing your windshield might get “noticed” by other people.
- Take your gadgets “undercover”. : A friend of mine had a greasy pizzabox parked on his passenger seat. When I asked him if he just had dinner, he flipped open the lid and revealed his laptop and smartphone nicely stored inside He had even made nice compartments and had used some Velcro to keep everything in place. With the lid down it was a pizza fest in progress, with the lid UP it was a little datacenter. A cool hack !
- Cloak your gadgets. No matter how hard you hide them .. some of your gadgets might still be detectable… How ? They are actually screaming “I’m RIGHT HERE”. Leaving bluetooth enabled (and having your devices detectable via bluetooth) gives any passer by (with evil intention) a pretty good idea if there is any tech stored nearby. If you leave the “default identification” on , your smartphone might actually be telling them what kind of loot they expect. Its hard to determine where exactly stuff is stored .. But if your car is the only one around … they might have a pretty good chance of scoring if they smash your window. So : Airplane mode !
These are just a couple of tips to keep your tech safe in the car. Do you have some more ? Or perhaps you want to share YOUR secret hack with us ? Do so in the Comments Section below.
We get technical this week with a great open source and free network attached filestorage solution called NAS4FREE. After running down the list of things it can do we show you how to tweak into the core of your cross-platform filesharing world, enabling you to use it as a central filehub for all of your devices and from all of your locations. We top it off with some information on how to virtualise the whole solution and give you a spot of music from Planet Boelex’s new track ‘Refurbished’ all of that and more on Kw405.
Helpdesk Saturday. Being in the IT field I get a lot of phone-calls. I must say, if I don’t “accidently” leave my cell phone at home from time to time .. Saturday afternoons, rainy days, and holidays would turn into some kind of private on line help-desk sessions. It used to be even worse, being awoken on a saturday morning with by a random native of my town who was standing outside my door , computer case in his arms, demanding I fix his computer by the end of the day, and stuff like that. But as I said … its not THAT bad anymore. Some of the people I know have actually evolved from : “Calling Knightwise whenever I fracked something up” to .. “ Calling Knightwise BEFORE I frack something up.” This results in the fact that I get some phone-calls and questions on “advice” rather then “ support “I don’t mind advice calls, sometimes even think they are rather charming. People standing in an IT store, disregarding EVERYTHING the sales person has just tried to sell them, picking up the cellphone and calling ME for objective and trusted advice.
What to buy. Same thing happened last saturday : A phone-call from a niece of mine, on the one big question : What MP3 player should I buy : A creative or an Ipod. Ah … She had come to the right place of course. My house is the virtual Dagobah of portable media device advice and “ The master am I in advice about what to buy ! ” ( or some Yoda-esque quote like that) So after explaining for 20 minutes straight that the Ipod is most surely the better buy. ( I’m not pimping Apple here , I have just been so frustrated with Creative MP3 players that the last time I threw one away I surely must have launched it into orbit) My niece who is a very bright and chipper girl gave me some excellent questions and was well informed about the matter : What’s the best buy in storage-space for your money , What device has the best software, What device has the best hardware quality etc. Gingerly I answered all her questions and pointed out that the Ipod is the best buy. Creative has been struggling to make “ipod killer” after “ipod killer” but they just can”t do it. With software that is more instable then the Tjernobyl nuclear reactor, Devices that look like some five year old just had a run in with a blob of play doh and battery life that mounts up to the attention span of a ADD patient on red bull … its not something you want to by. So I say , scream, argue and imprint the line : Don’t buy a Creative : Buy an Ipod onto her synapses. Short from writing the message on the face of the moon .. I have used up all my recourses in trying to convince her. Satisfied with a job well done .. I hang up .. Flattered by the fact that people trust my advice and follow my directions before they plunge themselves into technological mayhem.
Erm .. I made a booboo. Or so I thought : Because yesterday evening .. I got a call .. From my niece. Prepping up to give her some Ipod pointers, software, websites and advice .. I was a little dumbstruck by her first line ..” Well erm .. I went out to buy an mp3 player .. And I bought a Creative”. My heart skipped a beat and for a little moment in linear time I thought that insanity must have claimed me. I seriously started doubting my communicational skills or the fact I have somehow contracted an alternate personality that had advised the purchase of such a devilish device. As she went on she explained (frustrated) that the Creative just didn”t work right. Importing movies onto it did not function properly and the software that came with it decided it would cease functioning after the first use : Result : The creative does not work. The words “ I TOLD YOU SO “ formed like a big sign in the back of my head. What part of the message : DO NOT BUY A CREATIVE had not been very clear. Did I have to implore reverse psychology ? Did I by some strange interstellar phenomenon appear to be an unreliable source of advice ? I do not know honestly. But I’m a nice guy , did NOT say I told you so , but was unable to offer any advice accept for the fact ‘ Because its CRAP” as to why the Creative MP3 player did not work. Sadly for my niece she has to dive into the manuals of the device and hope and pray it will preform correctly. Oh well.. at least i’m not like NICK BURNS !