An I.T. Problem Shared . . .

A blog of problems . . . and solutions

Review: Digital Ocean Cloud Hosting


If you’ve outgrown shared hosting or just want a more flexible and expandable hosting platform the next logical step up is a virtual private server. With a virtual private server you have full root access to your own server usually with a specific amount of memory, processors and storage. As your website grows you can increase the resources your server has (at a price) and grow your server to meet the demands of your website.

There are now a whole range of cloud hosting providers that let you set up servers on the fly and use them as little or as much as you like. If you’re expecting a huge amount of traffic to your website one week due to a product launch or press release then you can scale up the number of servers to meet that demand. Cloud hosting basically lets you create adaptable and scalable infrastructure for your websites – whether that’s one server or a whole network of them.

The big names in cloud hosting are the likes of Amazon Web services and Rackspace but there’s also now a great lower cost provider in Digital Ocean. I’ve played around with quite a few cloud hosting providers and I have to say Digital Ocean impressed me for the moment I signed up. Often with low cost hosting companies you very much get what you pay for and can be left disappointed but Digital Ocean offer great value hosting plans along with great support. Their help and community pages alone are worth visiting as they’re full of great tutorials and guides.

At the time of writing (May 2013) Digital Ocean’s $5 per month plan offers 512MB memory, 1 CPU core, 1TB data transfer and most impressively 20GB SSD disk storage. Servers can be deployed within minutes, have features such as automated backups and you also have a choice of US and European locations.

It’s early days for me with Digital Ocean but so far I’ve found the experience excellent.


How to remove Amazon search from Ubuntu Unity dash

An addition to Ubuntu 12.10 is the much disliked feature where when searching for anything in the Unity dash you are also shown related Amazon shopping results.

Besides privacy concerns (as your search query is being sent out to a server on the web when you are probably just wanting to find something on your computer) I find this feature pretty annoying as it clutters up the search results with products for sale.

The best way of changing this behaviour that works for me is to open up a terminal (ALT + CTRL + T) and enter this command to remove the shopping lens:

sudo apt-get remove unity-shopping-lens


Hewlett Packard P1102W Toner

The Hewlett Packard P1102W LaserJet printer is designed for business users and home or small offices and provides an affordable, easy to use printer. P1102W toner is reasonably priced and available widely making the day to day running of the printer simple.HP LaserJet P1102W Toner

This inexpensive little printer is easy to setup and from unpacking to installed and running only took 15 minutes. The printer is designed for small businesses or home offices and not for high volume all day long printing but the print quality is good and the noise levels are acceptable.

The printer has a small footprint so should fit into even the smallest of offices. P1102W toner costs are comparable with similar printers and the manufacturer quotes a saving of up to 50% in energy with their instant-on technology.

The HP Laserjet P1102W paper input tray is of the fold-down front tray type which holds 150 A4 sheets. Connectivity comes in the form of a USB interface and a 802.11 b/g wireless connection.

Overall the P1102W is a great, reliable and cost-effective printer.

Technical Specs

  • Print speed: A4 black: Up to 18 ppm
  • First page time ( A4): From 8.5 sec (from Auto-Off)
  • Processor 266 MHz
  • Memory 8 MB (Non expandable)
  • Print resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dpi (1200 effective dpi with HP FastRes 1200)
  • Recommended duty cycle: (monthly, A4) Up to 5000 pages
  • Print margins: top: 4 mm, left: 4 mm, right: 4 mm, bottom: 4 mm
  • Media handling: Capacity:Sheets: 150, envelopes: 15, Weight 60 to 163 g/m², Size: A4, A5, B5, postcards, envelopes (C5, DL, B5) 147 x 211 to 216 x 356 mm
  • Interfaces: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port & WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • P1102W Toner HP CE285AD



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From iPhone 3GS to HTC Desire HD and Android

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B001UBB9GM” alt=”Apple iPhone 3G 8GB – Black – Unlocked” src=”” align=”left” width=”155″ height=”160″]So the time has come to renew my mobile phone contract and I looked around to see what kid of deals were available. I’ve had an Apple iPhone 3GS for the last 18 months and been quite happy with it but  I’ve had a growing resistance to the Apple philosophy and been leaning much more towards open source software. Comparing prices for the iPhone 4 finally convinced me to make the switch to Android and I am now the owner of an HTC Desire HD.

When I first bought my iPhone the iPhone was the only good option for a smart phone but now with the growth in the availability of Android handsets many people must be in the same position as me and deciding whether to stick with their iPhone 3GS (or upgrade to an iPhone 4) or switch to an Android phone. Hopefully my observations, experiences and ramblings about the transition here will help some of you.

Week 1 – First Impressions
So here is my initial reaction to switching to the HTC Desire. The desire has a bigger screen but at first I found it difficult to use compared to the iPhone screen. The Desire screen seemed both more sensitive yet less accurate than the iPhone. After several days use though I’m beginning to think that it was really just that I’d been used to the iPhone screen and adapted to that and was now adapting to the Desire screen equally well.

The benefit of an Android phone is that you can install different on screen keyboards too so if you want so different methods of autocomplete or swype keyboards you can just install them.

Getting familiar with the Android interface was not too difficult, it’s just different to the iPhone so you have to forget your old ways and pickup the android way. Being much more open than the iPhone though does result in having many more options and different places to access those options where the iphone is more consistent.

Once I’d become familiar with the Android interface I began to start installing the apps I need and get everything up and running.