Archive for May, 2006

StarOffice gets a macro virus – Virus.StarOffice.Stardust.a

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Researchers at Kaspersky have come across the first macro virus to target Sun's [tag]StarOffice[/tag]/[tag]OpenOffice[/tag] suite.  The macro virus, named [tag]Virus.StarOffice.Stardust.a[/tag], is written in StarBasic and downloads adult images from the Internet and opens them.

Could this be the first of many?

Random finds: Kindling for sale on Amazon

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

This one got me chuckling:

White Cedar Kindling Wood

White Cedar Kindling Wood

  • Hand-crafted from durable, affordable, environmentally conscious White Cedar
  • 100% Made in the U.S.A.
  • Arrives ready for use
  • Naturally insect, weather and rot-resistant, maintenance-free
  • Can be stained or painted, or left unfinished to weather to a warm silvery grey

But does it burn?

Thanks to Kathie for the find!

Dell’s XPS PCs

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Dell have announced their overpriced next-generation [tag]XPS[/tag] "mobile entertainment device" PCs.

A few thoughts:

  • These systems are terribly overpriced.  I'll do a cost breakdown later ...
  • Skype comes bundled (along with Google software I'd imagine) which means more just to remove ...
  • I can't believe that an AMD-based system isn't offered.  The [tag]AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+[/tag] beats the 3.73-GHz Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition Dual-Core 965 under gaming and benchmark conditions (I'll have more to say about the AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ soon )
  • Did I mention that they were overpriced?

Serial ATA on a Parallel ATA board

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

"I bought a new hard drive for my PC.  Unfortunately I bought a [tag]Serial ATA[/tag] drive instead of what I needed which was a [tag]Parallel ATA[/tag] drive.  I can't take the drive back because I've opened it and I don't want to have to upgrade my motherboard.  What can I do?  TIA!"

Thing aren't as bad as they sound.  There are two ways out of the problem you've got.  And both are a lot cheaper than buying a new motherboard.

First (and this is what I recommend) is that you can buy a [tag]SATA[/tag] PCI card, fit this into the machine and connect the new SATA drive to this.  This will give you the best performance.  Expect to pay about $25.

Alternatively, invest in a [tag]IDE[/tag] to SATA adaptor.  Performance sucks but it works.

Cool homebrew iPod USB charger

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Instructables has instructions for an excellent DIY USB charger for an iPod that makes use of AA batteries (think green, use rechargeables!).  These instructions have been drawn up by ladyada and the attention to detail is incredible. 

This kit requires you to be able to solder if you want to follow along at home but if you're not up to that you can always buy a kit ($20).

Minty Boost iPod chargerMake your own iPod battery-pack and recharger!

This project includes all the electronic parts necessary to build your own MintyBoost: a small & simple (but very powerful) USB charger for your iPod (or other mp3 player), camera, cell phone, and any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge.

The charger circuitry and 2 AA batteries fit into an Altoids gum tin, and will run your iPod for hours, 2.5x more than you'd get from a 9V USB charger! You can use rechargable batteries too.

This project is suitable for beginners, some soldering tools are necessary but even if you've never soldered before it should be pretty easy.