Danger of defaults: Windows 7 fails to share files when XP did

Defaults are insidious things. Windows 7 has a file sharing protocol default that isn't set out-of-the-box. It meant that my XP machine could connect to one another, but not my new Win7 box. It's a simple fix, then again aren't they always:

Browse through to "Local Policies" then "Security Options", then "Network Security: LAN Manager authentication level"
Select "Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated" from the dropdown.

Installing Python 2.7.0 (32-bit) for OpenCV 2.4.0 under Windows 7 (64-bit)

After getting errors like this:

I discovered that OpenCV works best (most easily) under Windows as 32-bit

The alternative is to compile OpenCV for 64-bit

I discovered that my Windows install of Python (2.7.3) was conflicting with my (implicit) Cygwin install

(2.6.5), so I removed the Python language package from Cygwin.

Scrapy (python) install under Windows 7 x64

I recently managed to install scrapy on a Window 7 64-bit dev machine. It wasn't straight forward so I've

documented the process. Here are the binary install files you need for the install:


Backbone.js requires underscore.js to be in the global page context

I was loading underscore.js then applying the .noConflict(). When Backbone (0.5.1) was loading, it couldn't find Underscore (window._). This manifested as a Firefox console error "f is undefined".

Once Backbone has loaded, you can safely clean up both libraries without disrupting either:

var b, u;
b = window['Backbone'].noConflict();
u = window['_'].noConflict();

ZendServer upgrade includes MySQL 5.1 but breaks logfile size

I recently upgraded my ZendServer (development) from 5.0 to 5.6.0. This includes PHP 5.2.17 and 5.1.50. Everything worked very smoothly, but when I restarted my machine MySQL failed to start (Error 1067). I googled my way to this post, then found the .err file in MySQL's /data directory:

InnoDB: Error: log file .\ib_logfile0 is of different size 0 45088768 bytes
InnoDB: than specified in the .cnf file 0 56623104 bytes!

synchronising time between two linux servers using SSH

NTP is a fantastic protocol, but there are cases where you don't want to have another daemon running on a server. This script connects from machine A to machine B using SSH, reads the time from B and applies it to A.

# fetch time from machine B
time=`ssh user@b.domain.com -p522 "date +'%m%d%H%M%Y'"`
# apply date to local machine (A)
echo "Setting time to "$time
date $time

Make Skype start minimised

Every time I restart my computer, Skype (5.5) loads, logs in and opens a window. I discovered how to make it load minimised:

  • Find the Skype program files folder(C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone)
  • Create a new shortcut
  • Modify the target to read /secondary /minimized
  • Find the Windows startup folder
  • Delete or move the old Skype shortcut out
  • Move the new shortcut in
  • Run Skype, select View -> Compact mode

Surfy Surveys publishes first survey map

Surfy Surveys, a start-up I'm involved in, has just published it's first survey map.

Small map of survey results

Invoiced consulting fees versus PAYE salary payments

Organisations can employ staff under two contracts, PAYE and consultancy. Tax and National Insurance (NI) is collected at source for PAYE, but deferred for invoiced consulting fees. The table below outlines their equivalency:

PAYE yearly salary Consulting day rate Yearly net
£30000 £164.647 £22806.17
£42000 £238.321 £28166.17
£55000 £301.57 £34651.93
£70000 £386.41 £43351.93
£90082 £500.00 £54999.49
£115913 £650.00 £69981.39

New role as Digital Director for Bridgeman

I've taken up a new position with Bridgeman, in fact I've already started part-time. I'll be running their Digital team, based largely in London and working with the foreign offices in New York, Berlin and Paris to deliver a new website later this year.

It's been a great privilege working at Technology Strategy Board for the past three years. I'll miss working closely with the other technologists and sector specialists and I wish them every success with their future projects.

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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