Indonesian Tsunami Relief Effort

I’m not in Indonesia at the moment, but my thoughts are with those tens of thousands of people in Aceh and the rest of Sumatra island, coping with the aftereffects of the tsunami. For those of you wishing to make contributions to the relief effort, one organisation is worth considering: Radio 68H, a network of …

Continue reading ‘Indonesian Tsunami Relief Effort’ »

My Friendly Neighbourhood PC Store

I’ve long had a love hate relationship with the PC World megastore in my hometown. On the one hand they’re the only folks in town stocking any computer stuff. On the other hand they are truly dreadful: Even during a lunchtime a week before Christmas they have only one till open. When another staff member …

Continue reading ‘My Friendly Neighbourhood PC Store’ »

Building Social Quirks Into Design

At my Mum’s house, and my childhood home, we have this quirk in the kitchen where the dish washer door comes down and pretty much blocks the kitchen entrance. To a designer, or someone carrying a heavy tray past, this might seem like a flaw. I’ve realised it’s not, and that designers, if they’re not …

Continue reading ‘Building Social Quirks Into Design’ »

‘Tis The Season Of The Large Christmas Email Attachment

I’m not a huge fan of Christmas greetings via email, but then again I’m useless at sending cards too, so I’m not a good person to talk about this. But while I’m guessing the online Christmas card industry is not doing very well this year because of phishing (there have been more than a few …

Continue reading ‘‘Tis The Season Of The Large Christmas Email Attachment’ »

Loose Wires

Just a note to WSJ.com subscribers who have been asking why some of the recent columns haven’t showed up on my corner of WSJ.com: The problem is now fixed, and you can see them here: My piece on VoIP from December 10 My piece on the Phisher King from December 17 Apologies for the delay. There won’t …

Continue reading ‘Loose Wires’ »

Napster’s Sleazy Front Door

I’m trying out some of the online music sites, and am presently playing around with Napster. What ticks me off about these services is they try to confuse the novice into handing over their credit card details before they can get into the service, even if they have already bought a pre-paid card. The offer …

Continue reading ‘Napster’s Sleazy Front Door’ »

Phishing Tips

Further to my column in today’s AWSJ Personal Journal on Daniel McNamara, who I (tho certainly not he) have christened the ‘Anti-Phisher King’, are some tips I asked him to put together on avoiding phishing scams. User Tips Standard Phishing Emails Just remember that NO bank will ever, ever ask you to confirm details via …

Continue reading ‘Phishing Tips’ »

An Appeal For Help

Fans of Loose Wire may possibly recall a column I did a year or so ago, when I tried to match quaint English placenames with computer matters, assigning the names to things that didn’t yet have them. Here are a few: chettle (collective n) The debris, such as crumbs, dead insects and lint, that gets …

Continue reading ‘An Appeal For Help’ »

A Geek’s Lexicon

By Jeremy Wagstaff from the 1 May 2003 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c)   2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. It’s unsurprising, given the kind of people who design and play with computers, but I’ve always felt there to be a chronic shortage of terms to describe what we actually do with our …

Continue reading ‘A Geek’s Lexicon’ »

Life In Indonesia

Folk ask why I live in Indonesia. Here’s why. The Associated Press reported today that villagers in the South Sulawesi town of Watampone were protesting Tuesday outside the local police station demanding action against a local man they accused of practising black magic when it started raining. The police invited the protesters to shelter inside. …

Continue reading ‘Life In Indonesia’ »