Learning Computer Science

Hi! Recently I’ve been submersed in all sorts of different C code. I’ve been taking the #CS50 computer sciences course online from Harvard through edx.org.
I had originally started the course last year (2016) but I really couldn’t find the time. It can take a while to complete the different sections of the course; I like to watch the lecture and create code of the “shorts” to better understand what the shorts are trying to explain. (this has become a really useful method of learning, but not required)

There are 12 weeks of lectures, packed with shorts and documentation and afterwards a couple of assignments to undertake and submit for scoring. Sometimes there are questions to complete (sometimes about something not yet touched on) and alot of the time you have to research to answer them. It can be time consuming, especially as it is a bit harder to converse with people online also taking the classes.

There is a subreddit dedicated for questions about specifics of the course, managed by some of the Harvard staff and more experienced or better progressed students can also help you with a query.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this experience, but I have to keep dedicating alot of time to get through the weeks, especially as the weeks go on. Hopefully this year will allow me to finish the course (unlike last year)
I’m currently working through week4!


Cloning a dying hard-drive

Being able to spot a dying hard drive is more of an art then an exact science…. Many factors are attributed to total failure.  I have found that heat, noises and bad performance are the 3 major giveaways. Hard drives have different ways of dying, however, and the worst (most unpredictable way) is the controller PCB failing. It’s hard to diagnose, and can be harder to retrieve data from it.

The best chance you have of saving data is to think about replacing a hard drive before complete malfunction. Plan A is more important; performing regular backups.
A couple of years ago, I was fleeced… I bought Norton Ghost without expecting support to end shortly after…. with the eventual discontinuation of the product completely.  I remember when Ghost was always at the top of my toolbox.

Required to copy the entire drive to a new one, I needed an alternative… and Acronis True Image 2017 came up trumps!  It now sits proudly at the top of my toolbox.

F5 = Reload

Something that doesn’t physically exist is easily misplaced or lost. It’s a bit more unsettling when you tie many hours to misplaced data, entrusted in someones hands.

“If you want something done right, do it yourself”

Charles-Guillaume Étienne. (as translated)

The hosting company, 123-REG had made this very error, as described on an independent.co.uk news article. (also documented on many other news sites) It was unfortunate, but even more so for those who lost their data. Web-based businesses (and their clients) drowned in complete internet darkness as the servers updated their drives to “forget” the data stored on them. I suppose I was lucky that when my server vanished, my livelihood didn’t go with it. Sure, it was a lot of time spent over the years; not only writing articles (that not many people at all have read), but the initial setup and configuration also took many long nights and head bashing, especially to an unexperienced “hobbyist”.

Like others I too kept backups outside of the company’s’ server infrastructure, but they are not directly or easily transferable to a new infrastructure altogether. I am in the process of rebuilding the VPS and selecting some old blog posts to carry over into the new world.

The new rhetoric for my corner of the internet have been changed; mainly about my technology experiences and the occasional post about myself.

BSKYB and your new TV

If you have been treated to a new TV during Christmas or have snapped yourself a great deal during the sales, you may find your Sky remote no longer controls some TV functionality after carefully setting up your new toy. Maybe your Sky remote has never worked with your TV volume and you constantly have to have both remotes at hand; this link may save your sanity.

The Sky remote is programmable to some of your TV functions, and can be reprogrammed if the current setup doesn’t work. This link from Sky should get you up and running again.


An example of some functions to use, for example, on a Samsung TV, selecting the TV button on the Sky remote and pressing i will bring the input selection up on screen. Pressing TV and help will bring up the TV’s inbuilt settings. Different buttons will interact differently depending on the TV you have, so enjoy playing around!

EDIT : I had trouble finding the revision code; its located inside the battery cover. Other models may be located at the same area.

The highlighted text has “rev.9f” This is a rev.9 remote.