Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Hark! A definition list!

Normally I do these posts as bulleted lists, but I’ve decided to do them in a more Dave2-esque fashion and use definition lists instead.

Today the university received students’ results from the exam boards. The students themselves don’t get them until Thursday, so it gives us time to decide who to give offers to and whether to put the courses in clearing. On Thursday I’m one of around 40 people manning the university’s clearing call centre (along with many more departmental support staff). We’re anticipating it to be much busier than in previous years. I start work at 8am that morning, and finish at either 5pm or 7pm depending on my rota.
Next weekend
Clearing duties mean I’m going to be working on Saturday as well this week. But considering I’ve just spent £400 on a new computer I do need the money.
One of the student union bars, The Biko, is closing down in a few weeks. This is partly due to construction work in that part of the building, but also because of the student union’s difficult financial position. Unfortunately it may well be 2007 until it’s open again, so I’ll have to go elsewhere for my lunchtime sandwiches, or – shock horror – start making them myself. I’m somewhat glad now that I didn’t get elected as the student union treasurer…
Synergy is now running properly on my Mac and laptop. I would strongly suggest to Mac users that they download SynergyKM as this makes running and configuring Synergy much easier and less intrusive.
My new WPA-compatible Wifi card arrived from on Saturday. It would have arrived on Thursday but no-one was in, or if they were they wouldn’t have heard the doorbell as someone had accidently turned it off (it’s one of those wireless ones that looks like a baby alarm). As well as supporting WPA and 802.11g, it’s also smaller – the stalk doesn’t stick out as much – and uses signed drivers in Windows, meaning that it’s less likely to crash. The old one caused a couple of BSODs in its time so this is welcome. I’ll probably sell the old one on eBay once I find the box and driver CD.
Talking of drivers: if you buy a new piece of hardware, don’t install the drivers on the CD straightaway. If you can, check the manufacturer’s web site for newer drivers and install those instead. It’s better to start afresh with the best drivers than do an upgrade.
iTunes Music Sharing
Had my first play with this at the weekend, playing my housemate’s music through my Mac. Works pretty well although obviously you can’t copy tracks to your machine. It’s also very transparent – if another computer on your network has iTunes running and is sharing its library, it just appears in your folder list.
And more sharing
When using public hotspots, make sure you disable File and Print Sharing (you can do this in Windows by right-clicking your connection icon, choosing ‘Change Windows Firewall Settings’ and selecting ‘Don’t Allow Exceptions’). Otherwise the other people in the hotspot can see your files. The person sat opposite me with the Compaq notebook has a downloaded copy of The Passion of the Christ in one of his shared folders.


  1. Biko Bar shutting down? No!!! Jeez UBU must be in a right mess if it’s come to this. I have lots of great memories of Real Ale Society meetings in Biko. Great ales, nice pork scratchings…
    So long Biko. Let’s hope you open again soon 🙁

  2. Neil you can steal all the iTunes material you want if you use OurTunes.

  3. I was just about to say the same thing but about myTunes. Most people in my halls of residence used myTunes. It does a couple of extra things like importing in the your iTunes, playlists (if I remember correctly) and ID3 tagging.

  4. Duncan, I use myTunes myself but I think Neil was looking for something on the Mac platform.

  5. Actually having something for Windows helps too 🙂 . Though obviously OurTunes is cross-platform.

  6. Mwahaha! My favorite list style is spreading! 😀