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wandering the world of technology

wandering the world of technology



Entries from June 2006

Hamachi – VPN without the PIA

June 15th, 2006 · 3 Comments

Hamachi LogoNetworked computers are great. You can share files across a network. You can print documents across a network. You can play games across a network. You can do just about everything across a network, assuming, of course, that the network is your own and is completely under your control.But what if you involve a network that’s not under your control? How easy is it to copy a file from your school or work computer to your home computer, especially if that school or work computer is behind a firewall and your home computer is behind a NAT’d router? Not very.

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Tags: Computer Software · VPN

Using VMWare to Simplify System Backups

June 7th, 2006 · 3 Comments

VMWare LogoOh, the drudgery of performing system backups. We all know that we’re supposed to do it and that we’ll someday get burned if we don’t, but many of us still don’t take the time to perform full system backups regularly. Even if you are diligent enough to create a full system backup, restoring an OS that’s gone belly-up is often time-consuming and tedious. But if you’re running your OS as a virtual machine within VMWare performing a full system backup is as easy as copying off a small handful of files and recovering from a failure is as easy as copying them back. (If you’re not familiar with VMWare you get take a look at my earlier post about what VMWare is and how it works.)

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Tags: Virtualization

Toyota Prius EV Mode Hack

June 6th, 2006 · 18 Comments

Salsa Red PriusEvery Toyota Prius that rolls off of the assembly line has the programming built into the computer to enable “EV” (“electric vehicle”) Mode. EV Mode tells the computer controlling the Prius to turn off the gas engine and use only its batteries until one of the following things happens:

  • the batteries get too discharged (down to 2 bars on the Prius’ Energy display)
  • the vehicle speed hits 35mph
  • the driver asks for a lot of power (climbing a steep hill or getting onto the highway)
  • the drive disengages EV Mode

When one of the above conditions is met the gasoline engine will turn on and the Prius will be out of EV Mode and back into its normal driving mode.

Because of reasons no one quite understands the Prius that you buy in the United States is missing the button on the dashboard to initiate EV Mode (but we all know that it’s somehow because of lawyers, right?). The computer in the US-market Prius knows what EV mode is and what it’s supposed to do when it’s in EV Mode — it’s just that there’s no way to tell the it that you want it to engage EV Mode. Unless you hack your Prius a bit.

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Tags: Prius

Orb – All of Your Media, Anywhere, Anytime

June 4th, 2006 · No Comments

Orb LogoImagine being able to watch television programs that you’ve recorded on your home PC from a hotel room a thousand miles away — on your cell phone. Or being able to watch one of your DVDs that you’ve backed up at home during a 2 hour layover at the airport using your PDA. Or being able to listen to the music you’ve ripped at home from your friend’s house. Or send a link in an e-mail to your parents so they can watch a slideshow of your latest pictures. That’s Orb.

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Tags: Computer Software