Despicable me

This is a photo I took for a PowerPoint presentation at work. I took a quick shot with my iPhone 5, picked up the photo from my photo stream on the iPad directly from Photoshop touch. It then took only 5 minutes of editing to get the really evil look.

I am not generally a fan of starring in my own presentations, but I was under a tight deadline to get this on complete. I will leave you to guess the subject of the presentation!


Introducing virtualisation

Heres a very quick introduction to virtualisation for people that have never seen it before. I had developers in mind when i prepped it – it amazes me that some people still develop on their native OS.


When a company provides you with a shines new gadget they should really focus a little more on security, today I recieved a shines new cable modem from comhem – a net gear GC3100. First thing I wanted to do was configure up my ssh tunnels and dynamic dns; the getting started document didn't so much as even mention this box had an admin interface, which is pretty important. I was too lazy to download the manual so I took a guess. Sure enough when I navigated to I had a password box pop up. I tried username admin – password password – and I was in, needless to say I changed the password immediately. Now it's true that's an internal address and you would have to be connected to the network to reconfigure it but still it's pretty bad. As comhem had gone to the trouble of changing the SSID and WPA2 details on this modem, you would think they would secure the admin password. Apparently not!

Macs are also pretty insecure out of the box as well. By default miniroot isn't password protected which means you can start up the machine without a password and get elevated privs – enough to make breaking into these systems easy.

On PCs people rarely encrypt their disks and secure the BIOS – which means you can bypass security literally in under 5 mins.

People miss the importance of security until things are too late.


Mac madness

I really like my Mac – it's an awesome piece of technology but sometimes I can't help but be a bit annoyed at how many little adapters and cables I have to carry – macs have different connectors from PCs, and for good reason.

Here's what I had to carry in my laptop bag:

  • Starting with the charger – my latest Mac has a different charger from the previous ones – it has a MagSafe 2 connector
  • Thundetbolt connector for Ethernet.
  • Thunderbolt connector for VGA
  • USB keyboard – because some of the keys I use under my virtual machines such as the backslash just aren't on the Mac keyboard. Sure there's a key press combination and way around these things but its not worth the hassle
  • Mouse
  • External 2 TB drive
  • External speakers
  • Pair of iPhone earphones

Non related I also carry


  • Packed lunch
  • iPad
  • iPhone 5
  • Samsung Galaxy SII
  • Sunglasses (I am an optimist)
  • Whiteboard marked (in black and white)
  • A 5m network cable
  • 3 different types of USB cable
  • iPhone and iPad charger
  • Galaxy charger


I actually own two models of MacBook Pro – the 15 inch retina version and the 13 inch non retina laptop. The non retina laptop has a standard Ethernet connector and a Kensington security point which sadly isn't available on the new retina machine – I guess it's the price you have to pay for something so slim and sexy. Sometimes it's tough to be a Mac owner.


Trouble waiting to happen

This is for glen – who is a cat lover, and can probably relate to this picture!

Cats and dogs

Climbing the walls… literally.

Climbing Wall HoldsI went climbing today for the first time in many years – i used to do it a fair amount but i stopped and became lazy sometime in the past. Today i find myself feeling a little old. Not because i couldnt climb, but because today made me think of Monty Python and the four Yorkshiremen sketch:

Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

… as time goes on i cant help but think people get softer! the belay technique i cant help but think was a great example of that – they had this 4 step move which is like doing an elaborate dance – its basically a safety technique to ensure that you never take your hands off the safety line – yeah it makes sense and maybe it does improve the safety but i never had any issues with the way i used do do things before – feeding the rope through my hand. In the worse case the person could fall while you had your hand  not tight around the rope and you could burn your fingers – but thats why we wore a glove. On the plus side I was thankful today they didnt make us wear helmets.

Thinking about it we used to do silly things when i was growing up – abseiling backwards and forwards, in various states of undress. With a harness… without a harness (theres a technique for wrapping the rope around you abseiling. Most of the climbing i ever did was in caves and thats a really different experience.

I fell off the wall once today. My fingers dont have the strength they used to and my belly is fatter. That said it was a fun thing to do, and i think i will do it again.

Connecting FaceBook Chat to the Mac Messages

I was messing around connecting up the mac messenger to facebook chat – which can done using jabber, and i thought i would share a quick “How To” i created in video form.

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