Tag Archives: IT solutions

What’s that connector?

Computer hardware posterIf your someone that only opens up a computer every other month, or your upgrading something from a few years ago it can be hard to work out what that connector is that your trying to interface into. Well luckily Sonic840 has put together a poster to help in such situations. Check out the full sized version over at Deviantart

Components Covered Include

Ram (Both Notebook and Desktop)
Hard Drive Connectors
CPU Sockets
Processor Card Slots
Processor Card Sockets
Power Connectors
Peripheral Cards
Motherboard Back panel ports (Audio/Video/Data)
Desktop Card Slots

Call us slow…but Hyper V Server is free…

Today we were researching VDIs in the office for a client and came across Hyper V server from Microsoft, after looking around it appears that it’s free. We are currently downloading it and will be testing it out over the course of the next week, along with CitrixXen Server and XenDesktop.

Do you have a favourite VDI or virtualization platform? Then be sure to let us know in the comments.

Microsoft Hyper V

Buy Cables in Bulk to save money [Tips]

Buy in bulk to save on computer cables.When working with computers you can almost never have enough cables. The main cables in use are

  • IEC Power cords (also known as Kettle Cords)
  • Power Boards
  • SATA drive cables
  • Molex to SATA power adaptors
  • VGA, DVI, HDMI video leads
  • USB cables

It’s rather annoying when starting on a project and you get held up because you don’t have the correct cable for the job. (You new mother board came with 2 SATA, and your trying to install 3 SATA devices). So by investing in a little bit of cash now you can save yourself time, effort and energy down the track.

I recently needed a couple of extra SATA cables for a job and some other upgrades. Instead of going to shop and buying them for $5 each I was able to pick up a bulk pack of 10 for under $7 online, with free shipping. That’s a saving of over $43, plus 1 hour of my time (remember time is worth more than gold these days) because I didn’t have to waste that 1 going to the shop.

Overkill Router for any small business (or advanced home user)

Small businesses generally have an IT budget of 0, but need the best performance that money can buy.

Most small businesses rely on their little modem/router/wireless access point combination plastic box to perform all the needed tools and utilities to get the internet around their network to all their uses. But sometimes there comes a day where the little router just doesn’t have the functions required for the expanding network. (Such as complex block lists, cache, VPN functions etc). But at the same time, any left over IT budget goes into upgrading staff machines, rather than the network infrastructure.

But you don’t have to pay a lot for these extra features. If you have an old machine lying around the office, the only major upgrade that you might have to do is spend $15 on a new PCI network card and 10 cents on a CD to turn that machine into a fully fledged Firewall/Router/Proxy Server/etc.

What we are doing is turning that old Windows 98 machine into a dedicated (i.e you can’t use it for anything else) firewall and router for your small business network.

Basically all you need is a copy of either of the following operating systems:

And a machine with 2 network cards.

*Endian calls itself a Unified Threat Management & Requires better hardware than the others listed. It can perform virus and spam scans on the data in real time as it passes though the firewall. Pretty cool ey.

Check out Episode 718 of Hak5 to see how they turned a few parts they had lying around (Motherboard with a Intel Atom processor, 2GB of ram, 250GB IDE harddrive, please note they do stress that what they are using is an overkill but the process is still the same. Ed Note: The current Firewall at the office here is a simple 133Mhz processor, with 32 mb of ram & a 3 GB hard drive, it runs 24/7 and serves upto 8 users, IPCop or Smoothwall can run on almost anything) into a dedicated router and firewall.

Once you have it setup, just plug it into your network between the modem and your switch and let it go.

Painful Exercises for better health.

Embody Herman Miller
Embody Herman Miller Chair

Unfortunately for many of us life has left us sitting…rather quite literally in a chair at work each day. but this leads to poor posture which creates all sorts of physical back and neck problems. Which I’m told in turn effects all sorts of strange and wonderful parts of the body. So the bottom line is: Improve your posture.

It’s one of those things that hurts to do before you see any results, but it worth it in the long run. Today I received an email in my inbox about this short ~10 minute video that provides some basic exercises that you can do practically anywhere.

The Video is titled “Strength and Structure with Pete Egoscue, Back Into Alignment: Taking Charge of Your Core Muscles” and can be found on Tony Robbins site here: Strength and Structure with Pete Egoscue

Be warned that doing something healthy may actually hurt.

Another useful tool that I find helpful when sitting at a computer all day is called WorkRave. It’s a cross platform software that forces you to take breaks…small micro breaks for 30 seconds, and longer extended rest breaks for 10 minutes. The software allows you to customise the timings to suit you. Grab a copy at WorkRave

How do you stay healthy at your chair? Let us know in the comments below.

Quick Links:
Video on Improving your posture
WorkRave – Software that makes you slow down and stop

Photo: HermanMiller  Embody – Reviewed as one of the most comfortable office chairs. Check it out at http://embody.hermanmiller.com/

Legal Uses for BitTorrent…Facebook??

Server RackIt appears that BitTorrent is useful for Legal uses after all (we all knew that didn’t we). It turns out some of the major Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter use BitTorrent to roll out code changes to their several thousand servers around the globe…in a matter of minutes.

You can find a list of other companies that use BitTorrent  on Wikipedia

[Via DownloadSquad]

[Photo thanks to pleeker]