26/07/2010

Firefox "advert" removal Plug-in


I recently came across a fantastic plug-in for Mozilla Firefox.
Ad-Block Plus lets you toggle adverts on and off, sounds pretty simple and it is. Browsing has become somewhat refreshing recently, not being constantly bombarded by adverts!
If you use Firefox I’d recommend you check it out https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865/

23/07/2010

Helpdesk


At work we have a lot of projects on the go at the moment, worldwide we have undertaken a massive server and network upgrade to our major sites, as you’ll have seen we have completed Romania and are now moving on to China (which will be very interesting) We are also looking to bring all our European sales offices online with our new SOP system, this will require them connecting into our site and managing their data (could involve some travel if remote training is not successful)
The last few months of the year also puts heavy demand on IT staff to crunch numbers and produce reports for the budgets (We still have the problem of having to format and upload sale office budgets, but this will be resolved once they come online [a goal for next year])
Throw in my stag do, wedding and also honeymoon and you have a very busy close to the year.
So I decided I really need a better system of keeping track of issues and thing than my current one (which is a pad of yellow post it notes) Helpdesk systems come in all shapes and sizes, I wanted something simple that wouldn’t require much time or effort, I also didn’t want to pay for anything. There seem to be a lot of PHP based helpdesks around but ideally I wanted something that wouldn’t involve me messing around with IIS, I also wanted something that utilized an Access database (for simplicity)
I ended up using Liberum, which is free and runs against a variety of databases (I ended up pointing it against our Microsoft SQL Server.
It is very basic, but it does the job and because it’s written in ASP I can do some mods as and when I see fit.
At the moment I am recycling some code I wrote for my CRM application. I want to be able to convert emails to helpdesk tickets (rather than having to login and create them myself) I also want to be able to add email history to open tickets.
Once I have my small Outlook plugin working I think it will be a great benefit to the company.

Data Recovery


I recently backed up my PC (A job that was long overdue)  it’s at least 4 years old now and is starting to show its age and I’m loathe to replace it for a number of reasons.
I constantly question myself over my PC usage, on the one had I don’t really do a lot of intense gaming, but then again there are games like Fallout 3 that I must simply play, and who can predict what games will come along in the next few months? I seem to have a pattern of PC buying over the last 15 years, manufactured, self built, manufactured, self built so in theory I’m due to treat myself to a manufactured system. However these types of systems do not come cheap, especially if you opt for a 3 year warranty, I guess I’m somewhat resided to the fact that a decent PC will set me back around £1000 and I’ll have to budget for it at some point in the future.
Back to the blog topic, after backing up my PC I proceeded to format and reinstalled Windows (Vista Ultimate x64) I plugged in my external hard drive and was shocked to see that somehow the drive had become corrupted. Luckily (for me) I had a similar episode 7 or 8 years ago and I was forced to purchase some commercial data recovery software. R-Studio by R-Tools Technology has now saved me on 2 occasions, and it costs only $79.99 which is very cheap when it comes to data recovery (you can look at anything from $100 per GB if you send your drive off to some companies)
They even offer a free trial so you can try the recovery to see if it would work.

05/07/2010

TTFE-L Review






Things are really heating up for TTFE-L as we push for promotion. At the end of last season there was a lot of disappointment around the camp and mixed feelings about the direction of the team. A change of formation for the last few games did bring a lot of positivity to the style we play and also to team moral. The team is still struggling to get 7 players on Sunday but we have made use of some good backups when we’ve been in a tight spot. Rumours had been bubbling around the squad of certain people quitting the team or at least taking a much less than disciplined approach to attendance, this combined with the other issues outlined forced us to consider dropping down a league or two.
We start our new season in Division 5... the lowest of the low, the teams we play really are a car crash of players, for me it’s really interesting and fun and division 5 is probably about the right standard for me, there’s a number of slow fatties who can’t control the ball nor shoot and I’d fit right into any of the teams in our division and not look out of place.
Having said that, I am frustrated with having lost two games out of 7, the first lost came to top of the league (and currently undefeated Iranian Allstars) It’s a game we should have won, or at last drawn, but that’s football, if you don’t take your opportunities then some teams will punish you (We lost 2-1) Our second loss came again Large Belts, a team that on paper (ability wise) we are probably better than, however fitness and determination saw Large Belts take a 3-0 win.
A huge whole that is currently glaring in the TTFE-L armour is the lack of substitutes we seem to have on a Sunday, if memory serves me correctly we played with the bare 5 in both those games.
I really want to win-out the rest of the season, but it will be tough given the lack of depth we apparently have, coming top will be a personal achievement for me, however sometimes I feel like we’ve cheated a little when we field Jon Pride (one man football machine) that guy single handily destroys teams