Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's hard to believe that Lucy is already over nine month old. The childminder said yesterday that she is now more like a little girl than a baby. *sniff*. Everyone warns you when you have a kid that they grow up really fast but I guess you have to experience it to fully understand. And aren't the policemen looking younger ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ZoneAlarms problem on Windows Vista

I have been using Windows Vista on my home PC for a few weeks now - I will write about my experiences and opinions of Vista soon. But I was about to upgrade it back to Windows XP because of the appalling performance and reliability I was suffering. It would randomly hang or start going slow despite being a new machine with 3Gb ram and Quad core processors. I would also get cryptic errors like this one.

I did loads of monitoring and analysis but Vista was giving no clues as to the source of the problem. However, through a series of troubleshooting steps that involved uninstalling just about everything and re adding it and then testing I discovered the the culprit was ZoneAlarms Security Suite. It was causing the machine to run like a dog. So if you are running ZoneAlarms on Vista Home Premium (32-bit) and are suffering similar problems then this may well be the solution to your problems.

The current (as of 22nd Jan 2008) gold version of ZA for Vista is This has seemingly been the root of most of these performance problems. If you go here http :// you will find a Beta release of version This release so far seems to have fixed the problems and the performance has returned to normal - certainly sufficiently for me to persevere with Vista for a while longer.

I should say that even though this has fixed my problems it is Beta software so you should read all the terms and conditions and warnings carefully before you decide to install it. Beta software is rarely if ever supported.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Bathtub Test

During a visit to the psychiatric hospital, a visitor asked the Director how do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How do you make a Computer Monitor a TV?

Perhaps you can help me. I have an excellent Sony flat screen monitor which I no longer need to use on the computer. I wondered if it was possible to use it as a conventional digital TV. I realise that I can't just add a Freeview DVB box since those normally output to SCART or RGB and my monitor accepts DVI or VGA.

I have had a Google about and can't find an easy answer. Is there one? Any hints appreciated.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What does the colour of your car say about you?

The time has come round to order my new company car. It is almost four years since I got my current motor so I'm quite excited about getting a new one. Things have changed since then though, not least the fact that Lucy has come along so now I find I am much more interested in ISOFIX car seat connectors than top speed. The biggest change is that I will be getting an estate car because even though Lucy is only 2 and a half feet long she takes up an unbelievable amount of room. What with her car seat, pushchair, travel cot, baby bath, clothes, toys and nappies she has more packing than Posh Spice.

But the real dilemma is what colour do I chose. In my opinion, the best looking car I ever had was this one in green with beige interior. That was 10 years ago. Since then I have boringly stuck with a blue/grey combination. So I thought I would return to Green for the new jalopy.

But then I found this list here
Black cars denote an aggressive personality or someone who's an outsider or rebel.
Silver cars indicate someone who's cool, calm and slightly aloof.
Green cars can often be chosen by people with hysterical tendencies.
Yellow cars signify someone who is idealistic and novelty loving.
Blue cars are chosen by the more introspective, reflective and cautious driver.
Gray cars represent those who are calm, sober and dedicated to their work.
Red cars denote those who are full of zest, energy and drive and who think, move and talk quickly.
Pink cars are chosen by gentle, loving and affectionate drivers.
White cars represent status-seeking extrovert drivers.
Cream cars are the least likely to be involved in accidents and denote self-contained and controlled owners.

Notice that it suggests people with green cars have "Hysterical Tendencies"! Perhaps I should go with Pink instead.