Custom Monitor Stand

I was recently given a 29 inch monitor, which I thought would make a good replacement for my 24 inch monitor. The only problem was that the amount of verical space available was limited as there are overhead wall cupboards above my desk. The monitor on its native stand would not fit.

Fortunately it is quite easy to build a custom stand. Most monitors have four bolt holes in the back for attachment to a wall mounting bracket. These are arranged in a square, spaced by an exact amount – typically 100mm though in this case it was 75mm. They take a standard size bolt, which generally seems to be M4, but you would need to check to make sure.

Continue reading “Custom Monitor Stand”

Switching from Windows to Linux

In my earlier article I made reference to the potential benefits of using open source software as an alternative to normal commercial software. I have had an interest in Linux systems for a few years now and have always used Linux as the preferred platform for servers, but it has taken some time to take the plunge and try using Linux as a serious alternative to Windows in the desktop environment. Until recently had I played around with Linux desktop systems a few times but had gone no further. A couple of months ago a major change took place. Continue reading “Switching from Windows to Linux”

Open Source Software

Have you ever been to an amateur concert or theatre performance and come away thinking that it was every bit as good as a professional performance? Quite possibly you have and the reason is probably quite simple, namely that the people were doing it for the sheer love of what they were doing rather than just as a job. If you are wondering why I ask this question, I will come back to it a little later. Continue reading “Open Source Software”

Protecting Data Against Malware

Before I proceed any further please be warned that you will need some knowledge of Linux to understand some of the finer points. Even if you don’t you may still be able to grasp the basic ideas. Also please note that the terms ‘folder’ and ‘directory’ are used interchangeably – the former tends to be used by Windows and the latter by Linux.

In recent times we have seen a rise in malware that attacks the user’s own data. Something like Cryptolocker will encrypt files on the user’s computer and then make a ransom demand to pay for the required unlocking code. Continue reading “Protecting Data Against Malware”

Secure Memorable Passwords

We all tend to have lots of internet passwords these days. Some of the security advice given includes:-

  1. Make your passwords strong with a good variety of different character types.
  2. Do not use the same password across multiple sites.

Whilst these are good guidelines it is all too easy to disregard these considerations simply to be able to remember one’s own passwords. What is the answer? I’d like to briefly share my own experience and a solution that I have come up with that has proved really helpful. Continue reading “Secure Memorable Passwords”

Copying Photos to a Tablet

I have always been very hot on backing up computer data, even to the extent that when taking a camera on holiday I like to be able to back up my pictures to a separate device on a daily basis in case anything goes wrong with the camera or memory card. I have always resisted the idea of taking a laptop on holiday as computing is my livelihood and the laptop constitutes too much of a work item! As a result, when we got an iPad I bought a camera dongle to transfer photos on to the device from the memory card. Continue reading “Copying Photos to a Tablet”

Why back up your data?

Do you need to back up your computer data? The short answer has got to be a definite ‘YES’. Let us have a look at some of the reasons why.

Firstly there are what one might describe as ‘ultimate’ threats such as fire and theft. To lose one’s home or business through fire, whilst still a measurable threat, is nevertheless a very rare event that is never going to happen to the vast majority of us. To fall victim to theft, whist still an uncommon event, is something that probably affects most of us at least once in a lifetime. Continue reading “Why back up your data?”

Custom User Databases

One of the services that I offer in connection with web design and development is that of customised user databases. What exactly do I mean by that?

If your web site is developed using a content management system such as WordPress then it is driven by a database. This means that all the actual content of the site is stored in the database. This includes the menus, the text that goes into each page, the layout of each page and the links to all the images (though these themselves have to be uploaded as actual files). Continue reading “Custom User Databases”