Ho’s Chinese Restaurant

A super-authentic Chinese restaurant on Vicar Lane, just on the edge of Leeds city centre. Crazy music, nonchalant waiters, and spot-on dim sum – exactly like being in China. The price is very reasonable too, and there’s a bakery downstairs should you want more on top of your glutinous fun.

Ho’s Chinese Restaurant

Icy Dock MB622US-2S RAID SATA Enclosure

Hard drives. From my first exciting 20MB drive to the 1TB beast now keeping my backups. And where you have drives you surely have drive enclosures. Here I’ll be looking at the shiny silver and white Icy Dock MB662 RAID enclosure.

MB662

The MB662 is not a complicated NAS storage system. It has no web server, no iTunes software, no ethernet port or media server. It does however have a couple of flashing blue lights and this list of features:

  • Supports 2×3.5″ SATA I/II drives
  • Up to 4TB capacity
  • USB 2.0 + eSATA (Silicon Image 5744 chipset)
  • Hardware RAID with six settings
  • No software required
  • Screwless design
  • 40mm adjustable speed fan
  • Hot swappable
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Supplied with USB and eSATA cables

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Querious

A few days after I wrote about Sequel Pro, a link from Daring Fireball leads me to Querious, a commercial MySQL management tool. At a glance it seems to offer everything that Sequel Pro has, along with the ability to manage users and permissions.

Hot on the heals of this The Apple Blog has a Sequel Pro vs. Querious showdown. The conclusion is similar, and the comments make for interesting reading with links to further tools.

Sequel Pro

Back in 2007 I wrote about CocoaMySQL, a small GUI for MySQL that allows you to manipulate and manage MySQL databases through a native Cocoa application. Since then development of CocoaMySQL died off and it has since been abandoned. A shame really as it did have several frustrating quirks that spoiled an otherwise great application.

Recently I came across Sequel Pro, a fork of CocoaMySQL that has big plans to stabilise the core code and turn it into a multi-engine database management tool (with support for SQLite and PostgresSQL scheduled for the future). Despite being available since early 2008 I’ve seen very little mention of Sequel Pro.

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Late New Year Update

Yes, this is one of those late-late February New Year round-ups! And what a year it’s been in general. Moving back to the ‘real world’ (aka London) has now come and gone, and I’m safely wrapped up in trying to stay ahead of the world’s general downward curve.

This site has fully moved from it’s previous Dreamhost location and is now being hosted by Slicehost. This has allowed me to add bug tracking through Redmine, which has helped considerably in keeping track of the state of things. I’m still experimenting with the right settings, and there are occasional weekend dips as I move things around, but everything should now be running quite nicely with a combination of Apache and Phusion Passenger. If you’re not afraid of managing your own system then Slicehost are highly recommended.

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London Dim Sum – Yauatcha

Living in Guangzhou had many advantages, and one of the biggest was the cheap availability of food. As the centre of Cantonese cuisine, Guangzhou (previously called Canton) is more than well placed to provide some tasty treats. My brief experience with Northern food revealed a somewhat stodgy bread-based diet and combined with my return to London I discovered that I missed real Guangzhou Dim Sum.

Since then I’ve tried several places in an attempt to find something satisfactory. First was an anonymous restaurant in China Town, which in retrospect is probably not a good place to find Chinese food (aimed more at tourists than anything else). Next up was a hopeful Chinese/Jazz fusion, courtesy of Shanghai Blues. I left here feeling disappointed – the dumplings tasted bready, the contents were indistinct. Prices were also too high.

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A Year In The Life Of A Secret Mac User

Just over a year ago my long-suffering Windows laptop decided enough was enough and stopped working. As writing software is my profession, and it being the only computer I possessed, I was forced to make a quick-purchase decision for a replacement.

After some research I was going to settle on an Acer TravelMate 8204 laptop, it being a logical progression from my existing TravelMate 800. With money in hand I ventured out and visited a series of computer stores and cubicles in Hong Kong’s electronic forest, before returning home satisfied and with a shiny new computer – not an Acer, but an Apple Mac Mini – a major departure from my original plan, and the beginnings of a voyage into completely unexplored territory.

It’s over a year now since I first tasted the world of Apple and I thought it would be interesting to write about my experiences, the software I’m using, and why my next computer will almost certainly be another Apple.

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28 Weeks Later

I’ll admit a certain liking towards end-of-the-world movies. For me there’s something irresistible in seeing what happens when everything goes wrong and Bruce Willis doesn’t manage to save the day. It was with delight that I watched 28 Days Later, a 2002 movie by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland about a horrible blood-spitting disease that strikes Britain. Maybe it was the bleak London vistas, maybe it was the unrelenting music and in-your-face video, or maybe it was just the fact that it was a great budget movie that packed a big punch.

With this in mind I looked forward to 28 Weeks Later, the sequel, with great anticipation. Both Danny Boyle and Alex Garland took a back-seat this time, leaving the movie to Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. The story starts 28 weeks after infection, and we are introduced to a Britain where the infected have all died of starvation. The American army has been called in to take control of the situation and reintroduce the surviving population back. Gone are the original actors, disappointingly with no indication about their whereabouts. Instead we have Robert Carlyle and his family as the main protagonists, as we follow them into London, entering a survival centre, and then escaping the aftermath as a good situation goes badly wrong.

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Logitech Harmony 555 (550) Universal Control Review

Most of us have a good selection of electronic gadgets gracing our home. TVs, DVD players, TIVOs, home theatre systems, the list goes on. Almost all of these will have an individual remote control requiring not only a home (just where did you put that remote?), but batteries and in many situations the ability to navigate a particular action (such as watching a DVD) across multiple controls.

It’s with this in mind that I looked at my own situation and decided I’d had enough. Watching a DVD required three remote controls. The first to power on the TV and switch the video input. The second to power on the amplifier and switch to DVD input, and the fourth to actually control the DVD (which, being in Chinese I find incredibly difficult to use). Want to watch some TV? Then you’ll need to dig out the amplifier control to switch to the TV input and use the TV control to switch back to the TV. Want to explain that to a guest? Forget it.

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