How To Create PDF Documents (For Free)

Article first published as How To Create PDF Documents (For Free) on Technorati.

Have you ever needed to create your own PDF documents? You probably thought that you needed Adobe’s Acrobat software to do it but when you saw the $700 price tag you cringed and gave up on the idea.

Yes, you can create PDF’s using the software but who wants to fork out that much cash when there is a perfectly functioning piece of software that can convert virtually any kind of document, image or spreadsheet into a PDF quickly and easily without spending a cent? Continue reading “How To Create PDF Documents (For Free)”

Reasons to move your business from Exchange to Google Apps

Consider Google Apps

I work for a company which is the parent company for about four other companies. The four other companies all access their e-mail from an Exchange 2007 server which is administered in-house by me. Up until a few months ago this had been working great but as the businesses grew it became increasingly difficult to administer the Exchange Server and keep on top of backups and the complex nature of routing multiple domains all while still doing the rest of my work as well.

The implementation of the Exchange server admittedly wasn’t very well planned and ran on a very underpowered system, this made administering it even more of a headache and just to make it worse we also ran our own SonicWall spam filtering appliance which costs $3,000AUD per year to license. Continue reading “Reasons to move your business from Exchange to Google Apps”

Exchange 2007: Listing All Mailboxes & Associated E-Mail Addresses

Command for Exchange 2007 Management Shell to list all mailboxes and e-mail addresses.

This post may be a little obscure but this command helped me out a lot today at work. I was asked to provide a list of all the mailboxes and their associated e-mail addresses that are on our Exchange 2007 Server.

To do this you simply need to open up the Exchange Management Shell and type in the following command:

Get-Mailbox | fl UserPrincipalName, PrimarySMTPAddress, EmailAddresses

You can then right click in the Management Shell window and click on ‘Select All’ and then press the ‘Enter’ key to copy the contents to your clipboard. From there you can do what ever you want with it.

What are ISO files and how do I use them?

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

Article first published as What Is An ISO File And How Do I Use Them? on Technorati.

Wikipedia defines an ISO file as:

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

To expand on that definition further, an .iso image is much like a .zip file. You can think of it as a container that holds all the files and folders contained on a CD or DVD but unlike a .zip file an ISO is not compressed. ISO files are useful for keeping backups of CD’s and DVD’s and for storing the contents of CD’s or DVD’s on portable hard-drives or uploading and downloading them on the internet. Continue reading “What are ISO files and how do I use them?”

My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer?

Article first published as HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer? on Technorati.

Seven years after it’s inception there is finally another standard on the horizon that looks to overthrow HDMI’s reign on high-definition media. Founded by industry heavy-weights Samsung, LG, Valens Semiconductor and Sony Pictures the new standard, known as HDBaseT uses standard Cat5e/Cat6 cabling and standard RJ-45 connectors to transmit high-definition audio and video. The first specification for the HDBaseT standard has already been completed. You may recognise the Cat5/6 cables as the little blue (sometimes yellow) cables that you plug into your laptop or PC to connect to your modem.

The two most obvious benefits of using this medium is that these Cat5/6 cables are extremely cheap, easy to make and you can run them up to 100 metres in length. The standard will also support multi-hops which means if you connect your  Cat5/6 cable to a hub every 100 metres you can run another 100 metre length (up to a maximum of 800 metres!). Continue reading “HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer?”

The Waiting Game

I was hoping to publish some of the articles I had prepared the other day but I decided to publish them to Technorati first. One of the conditions of writing for Technorati is that it must be published on their site first so until they have completed reviewing and editing the articles that I submitted I am unable to publish them here.

Stay tuned they shouldn’t be too much longer!

Nasty Woman Tricks Innocent Feline

Video of a lady throwing a cat in a bin…

Why would you do this? Can anyone shed any light on this video?

This footage was taken outside the Sacred Heart School in Coventry. So far the women has not been identified but I have a feeling this post is about to take care of that.

aberdean on break.com


Insane Cat Lady – Watch more Funny Videos

World’s Most Dangerous Toys: Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

The most spectacular of our new educational toys was the Gilbert Atomic Energy Laboratory. This was a top job, the result of much experimentation and hard work. We were unofficially encouraged by the government, who thought that our set would aid in public understanding of atomic energy and stress its constructive side.

If you thought choking hazards in toys were bad then spare a thought for American kids in the early 50’s.

Introducing the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory. This toy lab set was produced by Alfred Carlton Gilbert between 1950 and 1951 and sold for $49.50US (which is equivalent to about $380 – $400US dollars today). So if you were lucky enough to have well off parents back in the day you may well have been ‘lucky’ enough to get your hands on this radioactive fun set.

There was some incentive to fork out the $50 as the set also came with a book that explained to kids how to prospect for uranium with a $10,000 prize offered by the US Government to anyone who proved successful.

The kit contained a U-239 Geiger counter, electroscope, spinthariscope (a device for observing individual nuclear disintegrations), a Wilson cloud chamber, nuclear spheres, three batteries, a “Learn How Dagwood Split the Atom” comic book. It also contained three low-level radiation sources: Alpha particles (Pb-210 and Po-210), Beta particles (Ru-106), Gamma particles (possibly Zn-65) and four Uranium-bearing ore samples.

Due to its rarity the Atomic Energy Lab is now a highly sought after collector’s item and can fetch a price of up to 100 times it’s modern day equivalent retail price. Continue reading “World’s Most Dangerous Toys: Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab”

Flying 101: An Airline that obviously doesn’t take its self too seriously

Kulula has been getting a lot of free press through e-mail and blogs for the simple fact that the livery on their new 737-800’s is hilariously awesome. According to the press release they plan on replacing their old fleet of 737-400’s with eight new aircraft, each with it’s own unique livery.

Tip : Kulula have been known to sometimes hand out kit kats to passengers wearing green on their flights.

I received these pictures in an e-mail yesterday and thought they were awesome. Apparently Kulula airlines in South Africa has been getting a lot of free press through e-mail and blogs for the simple fact that the livery on their new 737-800’s is hilariously awesome. According to the press release they plan on replacing their old fleet of 737-400’s with eight of these new aircraft, each with it’s own unique livery. Take a look at the photos and then read the official press release underneath. You can click the pictures for a fullsize view.

Continue reading “Flying 101: An Airline that obviously doesn’t take its self too seriously”

Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’

An interesting suggestion was put forward to me on Yahoo answers the other day by ‘Patricia’ who said that I should write an article about internet bullying and more specifically why the internet bullies; or trolls are compelled to purposely to post inflammatory comments on websites in the first place. Please be warned that this article does contain some strong language, if you are easily offended please do not read any further.

What is a troll?

Before we begin we need to define exactly what a troll is. According to Wikipedia a troll is “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

The definition in my opinion is spot on but it certainly doesn’t tell us what motivates an internet troll. Not being one myself I can not really tell you with any kind of first person experience. I can offer you the opinions of others though.

Why so aggressive?

In my own opinion I do not think there is any singular reason why people feel like they need to be trying to insult others on the internet but rather a combination of a number of factors. A very nice article about exactly this came from Michael Marshall of the prestigious New Scientist publication back in 2007. You can read the full post here but here are some points that I found interesting: Continue reading “Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’”

Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide

A list of resources for Starcraft 2 beginners.

A good list of resources for Starcraft 2 Beginners at the end of the article.

After playing through the (thoroughly impressive) Starcraft 2 campaign lately I decided that I was ready to give multiplayer a go. So I fired it up, logged into my trusty battle.net account and joined the practise league. The addition of an unranked practise league was a pleasant suprise as I had a sneaking suspicion that my Win/Loss ratio would be well in the negative range after a few games.

I decided to stick with the Terran as I was already familiar with their units from the campaign missions. I was paired up with ‘Nathan’. As the timer ticked over and the game began Nathan informed me that this was his first time online and that I should go easy on him. Needless to sayI was wiped off the map in less than 25 minutes by a giant fleet of Motherships. My poor 50 or so strong batallion of Marines didn’t stand a chance.

I think Nathan may have been a bit dishonest or maybe he was just an RTS natural or Korean or something. Feeling a bit disgraced I moved on to another game. In an effort to prevent the same thing from happening again I concentrated a bit more on air defense but the next game only lasted 15 minutes after another so-called ‘first-timer’ sent a column of Siege Tanks through my base.

This brings me to my first piece of advice. Starcraft has a replay feature. Use it! If you get completely annihilated make sure you save the replay and watch it back. This way you can see exactly what your opponent did to get himself in a position to completely trample your inferior efforts. Continue reading “Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide”

Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide

Research into freebie websites. Scam or legitimate?

We’ve all seen them before, those adverts on the internet offering you completely free Apple iPhone’s, XBox 360’s, iPad’s, Laptop computer’s and limitless other types of expensive gadgetry. They seem to be everywhere. Over time I think my brain has trained it’s self to subconciously ignore ads like that out because I am a self confessed skeptic. If someone offers me something for free I ask questions.

Unfortunately we live in a society where nothing is ever truly free, there is always a catch. As this article will demonstrate there is a of course a catch with these free offers but it isn’t as bad as you might expect. With a little research you can protect yourself from the scammers and take advantage of legitimate offers. Continue reading “Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide”

Google Analytics: Fresh Blog Statistics

My Google Analytics PDF Report for first month of blogging.

For those of you interested in what my Google Analytics statistics look like for my very first month of blogging look like, take a look at this PDF report: Google Analytics Report – July 2010. My AdSense efforts have earned me a grand total of 27 cents.

Because I have never run a blog before I have no idea if this is a really good or a really average start. Perhaps someone could comment on this for me.

For those of you wondering where I got this fancy looking report from, it is actually a service offered free by Google called ‘Google Analytics’ and you can use it for any websites at all.

It is fantastic for tracking all kinds of data about visitors to your website. If you are interested you can check it out here.