A public thanks to http://www.mondorescue.org/ This is backup software for Linux (Debian package available) which is very easy to use. I have a laptop bought from work. There was some administration in getting it handed over formally, so while I was waiting I set it up with Debian. Eventually bureaucracy caught up, meaning that the hard drive needed to be wiped nine times. This despite that fact that machine's performance in its XP days was crippled by SafeGuard disk encryption, but if you learn one thing in life, it's to never take on bureacracy in a frontal assault.  Mondo backs up to DVD, makes a bootable DVD and then completely restores the machine, partitions and all. It sounds like a disk image program, but at the same time it allows the DVD image to be stored on disk, it allow access to a file catalog for recovery, and it does incremental backups. And it's easy to use. Couldn't see where to make a donation. But I'm available for references. 

I'm helping a bit with Debian. If you want to do this and you can't help much with debugging, there is still plenty to do. You can improve documentation and you can triage bugs.

Triage is a medical term. In an emergency, such as a plane crash, many people are hurt. Split decisions must be made about who needs treatment now, and how can wait, and perhaps even who is beyond help. This is the triage.

When applied to bugs, it means prioritising them according to how serious they are, and how hard they are to fix.


How to build and maintain a web-site easily.

A lot of people ask me about this.

I update this website in any web-broswer from any computer anywhere on the internet. There is an "administrator" log-in which opens up a word-processor into which content is added. The software, called Joomla , is free & open source, and it is easy to find web hosting companies that provide it as a standard part of your web-hosting package. I use bluewho.com , which is perhaps a little more expensive at $20 a month, but the service is good and they've been around for a few years. For the $20 a month, I can host as many different websites as I like (I host some for good friends as well as a few personal websites). 

Back to this website: In Joomla, you edit content and set up the menu structure without needing any special software. The look of the website is completely customisable with templates; menu can go top, bottom, left and right, or all or those optoins. You can flow your content in multiple columns. You get a range of templatees for free, and you can pay for really nice ones (or custom ones).  Or you can make modifications yourself, which is a technical task (not very difficult, but much more difficult than managing content).


If you own a domain name (eg tim-richardson.net) then theoretically you own any email address the domain (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Of course, you need to set up an email system to receive emails.

This tutorial shows you how to use google to do this.

Everyone knows about gmail accounts. Google also offers to host emails from any domain. Google stores your email and lets you read it with the same interface as gmail, for free, but you get the professional benefits of an email address linked to your domain. So even though you use gmail to read and send email, the account is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have just bought a Toshiba Satellite u400 laptop, and I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 on it at present

 Some tweaking was necessary. Please see this page: