Software Restriction

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Tuesday, December 11, 2007 | Published in

My latest little project for my work placement at the college is to investigate a method of scanning for and restricting software that doesn't fit within the colleges acceptable usage policy. There seems to be plenty of software out there that will do this for me but the college being a typical academic institute, and not needing things to be as tightly locked down as some networks are, wants cheap if not free...

Any suggestions? Anyone? :P

The Good Shit

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Monday, October 29, 2007 | Published in

Finally getting to the real meat of my uni course now. Everything is getting harder and more interesting. In the Cisco lessons we've started doing AAA servers and this week we've been shown how to use them for HTTP authentication. We' spent last year learning about building the networks, and now we're finally onto the security aspect of things.

The other interesting thing I'm doing at the moment is my work experience placement. I'm working with the IT department at Sunderland college. I was a bit worried that I was going to spend several months being an IT skivy but I had my first day of it last week and I installed a new switch and built a server, so not bad to start with :) I'm in again tomorrow so we shall see what happens. Now I just need to do the written work that goes with it...

MS Technet Roadshow

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Friday, October 12, 2007 | Published in

I went to the Newcastle stop off of this recently. The main part of it during the day was "Creating and Managing a Virtual Environment on the Microsoft Platform" which was pretty interesting. The guys presenting it seemed very knowledgeable on the subjects they covered and the demonstrations where delivered very enthusiastically. Some of it was a little over my head, I must admit, but I got the gist of most of it :P

The evening was called "Vista After Hours". This talked about vista and its multimedia and networking capabilities. They talked about running it alongside the XBox 360 and also did a talk on Windows Home Server which was pretty interesting. I quite fancy checking that out.

In my mandatory bag of swag I got an evaluation copy of Server 2008 which I'm installing on VMWare as I type. Will talk about that once I've played a bit.

New PC n Stuff

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

Yep, once again, an really long pause between posts. Anyone would think I didn't have much to say or something. In fact I have lots of things to say, I'm just too lazy to write them down...

I'm finally back at Uni. It looks like this year is going to be a killer. The Cisco stuff in particular is getting complicated very fast. We started doing NATing and PATing last week (for those who have no clue what I'm babbling about check the linkage and go "eh?"), and then in this weeks session we had the morning doing that again, then straight into Pix firewalls in the afternoon. Methinks this is going to be a bit of hard work.

Other bit of interestingness is my PC upgrade. I treated myself to an Athlon 64 X2 and and an Asus A8R-MVP motherboard, and an Antec Sonata III because my old case sounded like a jet engine. Seems to be very stable, but the chip is running pretty warm. That'll be rectified next week when my new Arctic Cooling cpu fan arrives :)

Holiday Pics

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, August 08, 2007 | Published in



I've just realised when scanning through old posts that I never did say anything else about the holiday. Well, I'm not going to 'cos I'm too lazy. Have some pictures to look at instead.

The one I've posted above is from a set that we took at the Zakynthos museum for Byzantine Art.

It's A Hard Life

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

Living the life of a student on holiday as I am, I have very little to report on. More reading and stuff (I'm reading Sherlock Holmes at the moment), and trying not to sleep too much.

Generally same old...

Another crappy driver release from Creative..

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Tuesday, July 03, 2007 | Published in

The saga continues. Creative have finally released a driver update for Vista which claims to fix all the problems with lack of surround sound, no EAX, etc. What it actually does is put out really thin, crappy sound from the front/rear/centre speakers and kills the sub. Very helpful. Can't tell whether EAX is working because this. When you test the speakers from the Windows sound control panel the sub works, but doesn't the rest of the time. Ah well, nearly there Creative. Try again.
I really don't understand why they can't get this right. The XP drivers work for everything bar EAX so why not just modify that and leave the rest alone?

Back from holiday

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Monday, July 02, 2007 | Published in

Got back tonight, eventually got home about 2 hours after landing having discovered that someone else appeared have gone home with my luggage... Huzzah! Hopefully it'll turn up.
Will post more about the holiday later. Too knackered now. Need bed, but felt the need to bitch.

Summer good...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, June 03, 2007 | Published in

Ok, so I'm guilty once again of blog neglect. Sorry blog :P

I've done quite a bit since I last posted. Uni is finished for the summer, so I'm just waiting for my results to come through at the moment. The last few weeks were pretty stressful with a fine, well thought out set of exams and assignments... (me? sarcastic?), but that's all over now and I reckon I did reasonably. Since I've finished I've been using my spare time to catch up on all the books and films I've had sitting waiting for me. I've watched a load of classical movies, all of which I've enjoyed. The best ones that I've watched so far have been 12 Angry Men and Double Indemnity both of which I would recommend to any film fan of taste! I can't be bothered to give plot-lines, etc, so have a look at the linkage if you care. For books, I've just finished one of Leslie Charteris' The Saint books. Excellent 1930's ish gentleman spy/swashbuckler type stuff. I love that sort of thing and really enjoyed this, so I'm looking forward to reading the other 2 that I picked up at the same time. The other good book that I've been looking at is Francesco's Venice which has got some excellent pictures and writing about Venice, even if the author does talk about himself rather a lot. I've got stacks of stuff waiting to be read, and hopefully I should be able to make a fair dent in it over my time off.

I've finally laid the patio in our garden. We've only been talking about it for 3 years now, so not to bad there. It's great having the extra barbecue space. Once we've tidied it all up a bit I think a party may be in order.

The other major thing that I think I may have neglected to mention on here is that we've booked another holiday on Zante. We leave in a couple of weeks for a fortnight. We're going back to the same village that we stopped at last time, Kalamaki, which was really nice and quiet, with quite a few restaurants and small bars but no nightclubs, which is just what we want. Apparently it's grown a bit since then, but is still the same atmosphere. Last time we went it was in October, right at the end of the season, so everything was really quiet. The other thing we missed last time was the loggerhead turtles but this time we're apparently going at just the right time. The snorkeling there is supposed to be excellent, so I'll probably end up only coming out of the sea to eat. :P Bring it all on. Two weeks of sun and Greek food and booze. Can't wait.

A Spot of Boating

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, April 08, 2007 | Published in

 



I spent a few days with my parents on their canal boat this week. They picked me up in Wigan, we did about 3 million locks coming out of Wigan and then moored at Aldrigde in Lancs for the night, spent another day chugging on, spent another night, then the next day they dropped me off in Blackburn to get the train home.

Very relaxing (apart from the journey home...) and just what I needed.
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Ski Nutter

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Published in

I've just read about this in El Reg. Some Norwegian nutter skiing down Europes longest escalator. Amazing stuff :P

The Story So Far

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Published in

I'm booked in to get some more of my half-sleeve tattooed tomorrow, so I thought I'd put up some pics of the work so far.

Here's the original ink - Ganesha tattooed on the outside of my arm



And here's Kali on the inside of my arm



She's not quite finished, but some other bits of the sleeve need doing before that can be done.
I'll post pics of the new work soon.

Tasty Japanese Goodness

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

I've just pulled the pictures from the meal I went for on my birthday with my family from my camera, so I thought I'd stick something up on here.
We went to Hanahanas in Newcastle. I was a wee bit on the hung-over side, but it was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Here's a picture of me troughing for you all to enjoy :P

God damn Java...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

I've finally finished and am about to hand in my Java written assignment for uni. Very frustrating it was too...

The actual coding took me about 2 or 3 hours, but then I had to spend at least that long again making schedules, etc.

I can see the point I suppose, a larger project would need it, but for something this size it's a pain in the arse. Bah to project management. I never wanted to be a coder anyway.

More Vista Drivers...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Friday, March 02, 2007 | Published in

Since my last rant on this both Nvidia and Creative have released new Vista drivers. I installed them both, rebooted, and quel surprise! Problems NOT solved! Still no way of creating custom screen resolutions from the shitty 'all new Nvidia control panel', and still no working 5.1 sound. Installing the new creative driver has in fact taken me a step backwards - I had 5.1 sound partially working before using the XP drivers, but it looks like this new, improved piece of shit driver has gone and shafted that... Nice.

Finally gave up and took my KVM switch out from between the monitor and the main box so Vista can actually see that I have a LCD screen now allowing me to get the resolution I was after, but I really shouldn't have to. Didn't in XP...

Certified network monkey...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

I got a letter through from the university saying I've passed the first module of my course (I got 63% average, if I remember correctly) and, when I got into my Cisco lecture on Tuesday, I was given a certificate for passing the first module of that part of the course. It's got a shiny gold star on it and everything :)

Now, I just need to get this blasted Java assignment out of the way...

Comments

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, February 21, 2007 | Published in

Due to some random settingschangingthemselves type craziness I've not been getting any notifications from blogger when people have been posting comments.

For all the people who posted legitimate comments, thankyou very much for your input and just generally for reading my drivel :P Sorry again for the lack of response.
To all the spammers, please try not to choke on anything....

Anyhoo, should be sorted now so I'll actually know when someone posts.

New Toy :D

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Published in

My shiny new laptop has finally arrived! It's a Sumsung R40 with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 which runs at 1.66GHz, 1gb of ram, 100gb hdd, and a Radeon Xpress 200M graphics card, as well as the usual DVD writer, card reader, wifi, etc. I've got it dual booting between XP and Kubuntu Edgy. Everything seems to work nicely on both systems, apart from a bit of arsiness getting WPA working under Kubuntu, but even that seems ok now.

Anyhow, short post. Off to continue playing with my new toy.

Ciao :P

Vista smash!

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Published in

I've been provided with a free copy of Vista Business edition by the university which I've been playing with. Seems ok, if a bit slow, but as far as I can tell so far it really isn't much of an improvement on XP - it looks a bit shinier, and has a few nice toys like flip3d, but its general buggy bitchiness kind of outweighs this at the moment. It's exactly the same as when XP came out - far too many irritating little glitches that just shouldn't be there if the product has been properly tested before release.
The main irritation I suffered was in persuading it to connect to a network just after installing it. It could see my network card, had the proper drivers, but would it hell let me connect to my home network... After much arsing around and swearing it seemed to just start working. Typical Windows.
The other major irritation is the lack of decent drivers from companies like Nvidia and Creative - both have released crap, bare-bones drivers with large chunks of features not working. For example, with my Soundblaster Audigy SE the official Creative drivers give me sound, but only stereo. No 5.1. And there also seems to be nothing in the way of a Creative speaker settings app. To get surround sound from media players I've had to use the XP drivers and settings apps. These work on the media players and some of my games, but I still only get stereo on most games. Yes, I know its a cheap card, and I know that they've sorted this out with the expensive cards (hmm...), but it worked fine under XP and really should work with Vista. Otherwise that could be considered as a downgrade, couldn't it?
Anyhow, I'm sure that like XP, Vista will improve with time, but really, given how long it spent in development it should work. What have they been doing all this time? They still haven't managed to make it as pleasant to use as Linux. The installer is nearly there when compared to installers for distros like Ubuntu or Suse, but still takes too long; the desktop and the gui still aren't as nice to use as KDE, which just seems to keep getting better all the time; and the amount of processor power and ram required just to run the OS is obscene.

Never mind. Maybe they'll get it right next time.

OK, I suck...

Posted by : Rob Stevens | | Published in

Yet again I've managed to leave it entirely too long between updates on here. A full 2 months. Go me :P I've been prodded back into action by the discovery that the it actually gets looked at by someone other than me occasionally. must try harder... ;)