You don’t have to be a nut-job survivalist to take an interest in survival situations. Shows by guys like Ray Mears and Bear Grylls have raised the profile of surviving in harsh environments, but if you’d like a bit of further reading on the subject, then be sure to check out the US Army Survival Guide. Packed with useful information on everything from finding water to building shelter, it’s an interesting read that looks at survival in all sorts of climates.
Back in the early days of computers, programmers had to write incredibly efficient code in order to cram their programs into miniscule digital spaces. This, coupled with the fact that there was no Internet over which to distribute instant fixes, meant that programmers were, on the whole, a bloody sight better at their jobs than the current crop.
As the price of memory dropped and the humble PC’s RAM rose from single digits into gigabytes, so programmers made the most of the space. They no longer had to write space-efficient code because there was plenty of room to spare. This lead to coding bloat, best typified by operating systems like Windows which went from 4million lines of code in NT3.1 to 45 million in Windows XP. However while bloated inefficient coding is a pain, it can be mitigated by topping out your system’s memory. What can’t be mitigated is software that exhibits memory leaks.
Memory leaks happen when an application utilises some memory and fails to release it back to the operating system so that other applications or processes can use it. If this happens on a cyclical basis, with the same error repeating over and over, then you can get one application consuming all system memory and a huge number of processor cycles to boot. When this happens your computer will become incredibly sluggish and may even freeze up completely.
Recent versions of Firefox had a persistent memory leak that the developers didn’t seem to care too much about fixing. After only half an hour’s usage the memory footprint for Firefox on my Macbook Pro would go from 400Mb to 2Gb. I had similar problems with Skype where it would slowly consume all CPU cycles to the point where my Mac was practically frozen.
Apart from extreme sluggishness of your computer, a sure sign that an app’s running out of control is when your PC’s fans spin up to full speed and sound like a vacuum cleaner. The app that’s at fault is using so many CPU cycles that it causes your entire system to heat up and the fans need to run at full speed to keep the system from frying. It’s also worth bearing in mind that CPU intensive tasks place a greater drain on batteries, so if you’re using a laptop on the road you’ll need to be particularly mindful of rogue apps.
If you suspect that one of your applications has a memory leak then you need to check the active prosesses running. To do this on a Mac run the Activity Monitor (located in Utilities) and then click the column header for CPU% to see which app’s eating up all those CPU cycles or the real memory column to see how’s taking up all that space. Using this information you can either quit the app normally or, if it has become unresponsive, highlight the app in question and click the big red Quit Process button.
On a Windows system it’s a pretty similar process. Simply right click on the taskbar and select Start Task Manager from the context menu. Now click the column header for CPU to see which app’s monpolosing the CPU and click the column header for Memory to see who’s squatting in all that RAM. Highlight an application or process and click the End Process button to shut it down.
So someone’s built a 600,00 strong bot-net from unsecured Macs that were infected thanks to a Java weakness. Apple have plugged the hole (six months after its presence was first established) but there are still a lot of compromised Macs out there. If you’re concerned, download this simple checker, which will let you know instantly if your Mac’s in the army.
Here’s a great tip discovered by iDownloadblog that enables you to create custom shortcuts directly to system preferences such as wi-fi and brightness. It requires the use of a single $0.99c app and works on any iPhone whether it’s jailbroken or not.
For some time now, apps like Red Laser have proved to be a perennial favourite on both iOS and Android stores. But if you’ve got the free Google app installed on your iPhone or Android device then what you might not know is that you don’t need a separate app – the built-in Google Goggles will scan any bar code you throw at it.
To scan a code, fire up your Google app and click on the little camera icon to start the visual capture. Centre the bar or QR code that you want to scan in the centre of the screen and click the capture button. After a short pause, Google will decode the code and present you with clickable links to the entry it discovers. You can then search on any entry it finds, as per the screenshots below.
We all know the downsides of sitting at a keyboard and monitor for extended periods – poor posture, thrombosis and RSI amongst them. Getting up regularly and moving around will help alleviate many of these issues, but you can also help yourself by doing stretches at your desk to give your poor abused skeleton a bit of a break.
Taken from the book, Getting Back in Shape by Bob Anderson, bodybuilding legend Bill Pearl, exercise physiologist Ed Burke, and Olympic runner Jeff Galloway, the free PDFs released from the full book enable you to feel better and be more productive and potentially save yourself some expensive physio bills. Check out desk stretches and stress stretches and ease your way through the working day.
About two weeks ago my faithful Logitech Anywhere MX started playing up on me. The pointer moved around the screen perfectly well, but it often failed to register left-clicks which quickly became mildly maddening. I checked the battery levels in the control panel and they were registering as 1/3rd full, which was well within the safe green area. Having recently upgraded to Lion on my Macbook Pro I thought it was a clash between the operating system’s mouse preferences and the Logitech’s – so I uninstalled the control panel and rebooted. It made no difference.
So then I tried my backup mouse – another Logitech – an M505. For about an hour it was fine, but then it started exhibiting the exact same left-click behaviour. Weird. My next step was to plug a standard two button wired mouse from the spares box. This worked perfectly, but it’s not a great mouse and I didn’t fancy using it on a day-to-day basis. So the issue had to be related to the wireless transmissions.
I searched online forums and support sites in the hope of finding someone with the same issue. There were issues, but most of them pertained to double-clicks, not left-click sluggishness. Finally I found a Logitech support posting for another model of wireless mouse that suggested that battery functionality doesn’t simply stop – it fades out in a graceful curve. So I swapped out my supposedly okay batteries with a fresh set and everything started working perfectly. It would seem that as battery life fades, so the mouse’s ability to successfully transmit to the receiver fades too. It doesn’t just cut out one day, it slowly stops being so responsive and it was this that contributed to the strange left-click behaviour. Swapping out the batteries on my backup mouse worked too. Case proven.
Moral of the story – don’t assume that just because the control panel indicates healthy battery power that your mouse is operating normally. If it fails to register a left-click every time, then its time to swap out your batteries.
HydraCoach; calculates your need for hydration (don't know if I need this but it's a nifty gadget).
This is a hybrid bike with not only exceptional performance but stunning aesthetics as well. The motor power and battery capacity is well over the industry standard and a truly futuristic look will sure attract some eyeballs around you. The Terminus is the ultimate trail-machine for the ones who appreciate the best availa
Camalien LED concept watch changes its colors depending on your surroundings - Designers Peter and Sam have come up with a concept watch they’ve dubbed the Camalien. It’s an LED watch with a sleek design that also comes with a camera built into it that will record your surroundings and will change the watch’s color accordingly. | #Design #Watches |