All posts in Productivity

I’ve just read a lovely rant by Dave Gorman about BT and his internet service being down. It’s the kind of post I’m trying not to write about my (ongoing) trials and tribulations of trying to get an iPhone 3G and some kind of semi-decent customer service during the process. But I digress, the reason I’m writing about this is that this point stood out for me:

You can get a courtesy car when your motor is crocked so why not a courtesy internet connection? Especially when the bit that’s broken down is at their end of things.

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I’ve noticed a few times that my Ubuntu VM, running in Parallels, suddenly goes slow.

First time round I was totally confused and re-booted the VM (I access it via SSH), that didn’t work, and was also really slow. So I shut it down and then I noticed when I returned to Parallels to stop the VM that a dialog box was waiting for me (telling me there was an update or something). It turned out that this was the issue. It seems to happen to me for any dialog box as just now I’ve had the same issue when there is a dialog box asking if I want the VM to connect to a USB device.

Seems silly to me that this should slow down the VM, but just thought I’d mention it.

Having spent most of Saturday trying to get files to upload from a Flex application to a Rails backend, fighting against both Flex and Rails all the way, I thought I’d collect together some of the things that have helped me work through this in the hope that others don’t have to spend quite as long battling through this. Note however that these are not necessarily best pratices, more a collection of tips that helped me in my situation, there are probably better ways to do some or all of the things that I’ll be writing about – and if you know of any improvements/alternatives I’d love to hear about them.
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CFStatShot watching multiple Coldfusion servers
I’m releasing a Yahoo Widget that I created a long time ago and have been meaning to release for quite a while too.

The story all begins when I took over the Coldfusion platform support for, I started to find myself spending a bit of time watching cfstat on the servers to get a feel for the current status of the machines. As we had multiple servers (then 4, now 6) and only being able to get to cfstat directly on the machine, this was not really practicable.

What I really wanted was a little desktop application that could give me the headlines of cfstat for as many servers as we had, all in an easy to digest format, the result is the CFStatShot Yahoo Desktop Widget.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a little bit anal when it comes to organising things on my computer and just have to have it all the way I want it. When listening to a recent edition of the Security Now podcast (that’s right I said podcast, Netcast my ass) on my way home last night I couldn’t help get excited by the mention of allSnap. As, from the description of it, this offers something I’ve wanted for almost ever, but never really searched for — it allows all top level windows (in Windows) to snap to each other and the desktop boundaries.
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Photograph of my two new widescreen monitors.

At the weekend I took delivery of my two new Samsung SyncMaster 205BW monitors which are fantastic. I’ve had a dual head setup for about the last 4 years but always as a couple of different size & resolution monitor. I’ve always thought it was a great improvement from a productivity point of view and would never choose to be on one monitor again, unless it was a nice Apple 30" plasma (but saying that for the price difference between my setup and the Apple 30" I’d stick with my current setup).
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