Monthly ArchiveJuly 2007

Formula 1 24 Jul 2007 11:01 am

Webber confirmed at Red Bull for 2008 – maybe that’s not such a bad thing!

Commenting over the weekend on his team’s re-signing of driver David Coulthard, Mark Webber confirmed that his own deal with Red Bull Racing is for two years. In other words, Mark will be at RBR in 2008.

Given the team’s improving form, that may not be a bad thing. RBR seems to be moving clear of the mid-field pack and setting off in pursuit of BMW-Sauber (currently F1’s third-fastest team).

It’s also worth noting that RBR is continuing to invest in technical talent to bolster the team. The lastest hiring, Geoff Willis, brings many years of technical management skills to RBR, having worked most recently at WilliamsF1 and Honda. In fact, Willis’ departure from Honda last year seemed to precipitate a down-turn in the speed of that team.

Most speculation seems to suggest that Willis will complement super-boffin Adrian Newey by building systems and processes that allow the team to better bring to fruition his (Newey’s) ideas and innovations.

Computing - general &Curmudgeonliness 24 Jul 2007 10:50 am

Laser printer drum needs replacing. Solution: buy new printer!

I’ve been using a Brother HL-2040 laser printer for the last couple of years. It’s a small, cheap (available these days for under $100 after not too much shopping around) and fast (up to 20ppm) printer that produces good quality. Frankly, I’ve been very happy with it.

The toner cartridges for this printer cost around $75 (for the genuine item), and last for around 2,500 pages. That results in a fairly average cost per page.

The image transfer drum lasts for 12,000 pages, and costs around $120 (genuine item — once again, with not too much shopping around). In other words, the total price for a set of consumables is just on $200.

Remember… a whole printer with cartridge and drum costs under $100.

I’ve just inserted a toner cartridge, and my drum is up to 10,000 prints. In other words, when this toner runs out, the drum will be dead. (I’m not sure whether the printer’s software will disable printing until the drum is replaced.)

The only economically sensible thing to do will be to throw out a perfectly serviceable printer and buy a new one.

How silly is that?

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Computing - general &Nerd stuff (technology) 11 Jul 2007 03:42 pm

Travels with Vista – security suites

I know that not everybody believes in so-called Internet Security Suites. These collections of security products are designed to keep your net-connected PC free of nasties such as virii, spam, spyware, adware and the like. It is sometimes suggested that these products are, in fact, unnecessary bloatware, and that the operating system (particularly if it’s Windows Vista) can do just as good a job.

Personally, I prefer to run a security suite. I believe that applying the expertise of a specialist security company can help protect the PC from on-line threats. I’m happy to pay the subscription price if the product does a good job.

Sadly, my experience is that it’s really hard to find a Vista-compatible security suite that does do a good job. Here’s a quick summary of my experiences with some of the big names…

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