It's been a little longer than I intended but here is the latest update to the Computeractive CapsLock Alert program. Hopefully it's looking a bit more polished than when it was first shown to the world and it has some extra features that should make it more useful.
Caps Lock is an infuriating key. We know that because it annoys us here at Computeractive Towers and because you tell us so. Solutions have ranged from physically removing the key from the keyboard to turning on the Windows alert.
The problem with the alert is that it only sounds once when the key is pressed the first time. That doesn't help if you miss the sound. Now we can offer a solution. A small utility that plays a sound every second while Caps Lock is on. It is still possible to use Caps Lock when you need it (such as entering software product keys) but you won't forget to turn it off.
It's still very early days so it would be great if you could give us feedback and help.
The other day my hard disk recorder (PVR) stopped working. Chaffing somewhat at the inconvenience I went through the usual litany of problem solving. Removing and replacing the power supply and then the ofter sockets. While refitting the aerial cable I noticed that it was wet. My first thought was that I might be about to dock one of the childrens' pocket money until they had paid for a new box, but it turned out that it wasn't their fault or a freak accident.
For their convenience, password managers such as LastPass and Keepass are very useful. You can use secure passwords and not have to worry about getting locked out when by getting them wrong. There is a cost to this, which is that you'll be lost if you find yourself on a strange computer. I've found that I've been able to learn even some fairly complicated passwords by entering them by hand day after day.
And it doesn't just apply to passwords, what about mobile phone numbers? Jerome K Jerome wrote that it was a rare man who could remember what his wife was wearing the day before but how many of us can remember the mobile numbers of our significant others?
Ever since I was unable to contact my wife because her number was in a phone with a dead battery and non standard charger, I've entered it by hand. Granted I only do this with her number but it does at least mean that I don't have to rely on a battery to contact her. Well apart from the time I got her number wrong as I was about to get into a taxi in Berlin at 11.30pm but the less said about that the better.
So I'm not suggesting that you try and learn every password, just the essentials. You might thank me if your battery runs out.
Following a slight booting problem caused by trying to make some more space on my laptop for Ubuntu, I ended up upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04. I hadn't planned to as my laptop is now six years old and I wasn't sure if it would cope. It's not doing too badly but I did have a problem with Dropbox, one of the first programs I tried to install. Turns out there's a bug with the version available through the Software Centre.
The download direct from Dropbox is the answer but getting the old version off first turned out to be a little harder than I expected.
We're not suggested that you take a soldering iron to your PC but there are plenty of electronics projects that involve this fundimental electronics skill. The combination of lead, fumes and hot soldering irons may have put you off but this well written ebook is a great introduction and can be downloaded at no cost from the Mighty Ohm website here.
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