Dave's Blog

This blog is mainly about the things I know and love... technology and gadgets. There's a bit of customer service stuff in here too, both good and bad. There's also some environmental and political comment, and some very personal stuff too. These articles should be regarded as solely the opinion or experiences of the author. If anyone feels that they have been unfairly represented by these articles, please contact me. Any comments are solely the views of the commenters, and unpleasant comments will be removed.

Thunderbird Deleted Accounts

I use Mozilla Thunderbird for desktop email. Today, I happened to notice that one of the messages in my Sent box was showing the wrong content when I clicked on the subject line. A bit of Googling later, and I determined that I had a corrupted index, which is simply remedied by deleting the "msf" file for that particular mailbox folder. This forces Thunderbird to rebuild the index. Sure enough, this fixed the problem.

All very interesting, I'm sure, but what was more interesting (bordering on the alarming in fact) was that I noticed that the hidden folder where the account data was located (AppData \ Roaming \ Thunderbird \ Profiles \ xxxxxxxx.default \ ImapMail) also contained all the data for every other IMAP account I've ever connected to, which in this case was over 6GB! So be warned; removing an account from Thunderbird leaves behind all the files and folders with all the locally cached data, just waiting to be read by who knows who or what!

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Server Gets RAIDed

My home server has had a Christmas present. It now contains four Western Digital Red 2.5" hard disks (they're the special edition designed for NAS and RAID usage), hooked up to an Adaptec 6405E RAID card.

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Read more: Server Gets RAIDed

Chronic Chronos - The Saga Continues

The continuing saga of the Pure Chronos II clock radio; one of them has now started briefly losing signal a few seconds after powering on (causing brief garbling), and in general the sound quality is not as clear as it was. Whether this is a result of the replacement power supplies, or whether it's further evidence of the general all-round crapness of this device, I don't know. I'm definitely replacing both units in January though.

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Hello Windows 7

I lasted almost a year with Linux Mint, but I've now gone back to using Windows 7 on my main desktop PC. There isn't really a single reason for this, other than that I felt like playing a few games that I'd bought years ago (the likes of Sid Meiers' Railroads and Settlers 2). The purchase of a 1920x1200 monitor and a new processor (with decent onboard graphics) means that in theory I can enjoy the full potential of these old games (although of course, the HD Graphics 4600 of a Haswell processor won't manage many modern games at that resolution). Colour calibration is a lot easier with Windows 7 too.

So would I go back to using Mint? Almost certainly, yes. It has a few foibles and irritations, that's for sure. Being based on Ubuntu rather than Debian (more of that in a moment) means that it inherits a fair bit of baggage, and being unable to upgrade versions is a pain too (you can easily do it, but a clean install is strongly recommended). If I go back to Mint, it will probably be the semi-rolling Debian distribution.

Is it a credible replacement for Windows 7? Definitely. I could achieve everything I wanted to achieve using Linux Mint, except playing certain games, and I could probably have made those work using WINE if I'd tried. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if I was given a new computer with Windows 8 on it, I'd replace it with Mint without a second thought.

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