Print Long Thin Calendars For 2015 and 2016

Introduction

My wife prefers a long thin calendar like this (see featured image) so that she has plenty of room to make notes on it. It hangs around the coffee table all the time. She doesn’t want to bother with an electronic one, although she has that option. Her mother has a similar one lying around in the corner of her kitchen worktop with a pen at the side. It’s very easy to scribble daily items down. There’s no shortage of room on it. Any extra notes can always be written on the back of the pages. As the months tick by the pages can be folded over at the top so that the next month becomes visible but the past is not thrown away. Do you want one?

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Backdoor Trojan Regin Spying Since 2008

A recently discovered Backdoor Trojan Regin is a computer bug found by the software security company Symantec. Its purpose is to spy on the activities taking place on computers. It can collect passwords, capture screen images and even recover deleted files.

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made to operate in five stages the last two being encrypted to make it very difficult to discover and understand. If any stage were to be discovered it would say little about the other stages. Two stages are specifically given over to loading each other and the other stages. You can see a block diagram of Regin’s stages of operation at this Symantec site.

Backdoor Trojan Regin appears to have been developed as far back as 2008 and by its sophisticated nature was probably developed by a nation state as opposed to criminals. It appears to have been withdrawn from use by its masters in 2011 and a new version reintroduced in 2013.

Regin infections have been found in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • India
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia

All Regin infections have been shared by these sectors thus:

  • Airline – 5%
  • Energy – 5%
  • Hospitality – 9%
  • Research – 5%
  • Small Businesses & Private Individuals – 48%
  • Telecoms Backbone – 28%

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made extremely stealthy so that it is very hard to determine what it is up to even after discovery. It could go undetected for years. For those interested it uses RC5 encryption which isn’t commonly used.

References

  1. BBC News – Regin, new computer spying bug, discovered by Symantec.
  2. Symantec Security Response – Regin: Top-tier espionage tool enables stealthy surveillance.
  3. Symantec White Paper on Regin.
  4. Wikipedia on Trojan Horse – Computer terminology.
  5. Wikipedia on RC5 encryption.

Fourteen Different Calendars

Introduction

If you didn’t already know it the 1st January next year will always be on a different day to the 1st January this year. This comes about because:

  • for ordinary years 365 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 1 day remaining,
  • for leap years 366 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 2 day remaining.

This means that:

  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in an ordinary year then so is the 31st December. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Tuesday,
  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in a leap year then the 31st December is on a Tuesday. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Wednesday.

If there had been 364 days in every year the 1st January would always be on the same day of the week.

As a consequence of all this movement around the week, by the 1st January, next years calendar is always different to this years. That leads to the question: “There’s only seven days in a week so how many different ones do we need? Just seven.” Well the answer is, “No, you need another seven as well, for all the leap years. They too can start on any day of the week.” Continue reading “Fourteen Different Calendars”

Hythe To New Romney By Train

Introduction

It was a nice summer and I enjoyed a family day out travelling from Hythe to New Romney on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in Kent on 5th July 2014. It was an overcast afternoon and the breeze was slightly chilly when it whistled through the carriages. We travelled  West from Hythe as far as New Romney, where we alighted to look at the model railway and take refreshment. The original plan was to go all the way to Dungeness, part of Romney Marsh1, where there is a large loop in the countryside which connects the up and down lines to turn trains around. There is a Railway Station at Dungeness too besides a lighthouse, village, very large shingle beach and a  Nuclear Power Station. However we travelled so late in the day that by the time we were ready to continue our journey we realised we could go from New Romney to Dungeness and back but wouldn’t have time to get back to Hythe. Perhaps I’ll get to see Dungeness next time. This line may have a small gauge (15 inches) but it is a big railway with 13½ miles of track.

Learn more about Romney Marsh2.

Videos and Photographs Taken During My Trip From Hythe To New Romney:

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GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013

GCR – Great Central Railway

Introduction

It was a wet day this year at the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013 (on 27th Jan). I didn’t take so many photos and the videos were short. For the most part the videos are of trains leaving stations. The event ran all day but I only arrived in the afternoon. Here is the Featured Image of No.6023 ‘King Edward II’ for those who can’t see it.

Videos and still photo’s of the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013:

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Manual Search Using Binary Chop

The Problem To Be Solved.

A good friend of mine had found that an Excel spread sheet no longer had a formulae in a particular cell. It had a number there instead. This meant that any changes in other cells associated with the missing formulae had no effect on the result in the TOTAL column. On a regular basis my friend had sensibly made a backup of the spread sheet and now my friend had a great number of them. It was imperative that my friend found out when the formulae had gone missing. My friend was about to conduct a manual search and work through all the backups to find the time when the formulae was last used in the spread sheet. Looking at every backup would have given my friend a lot of work. So I advised using a “Binary Chop” method to make it easy. See Example 4 in particular. Continue reading “Manual Search Using Binary Chop”

Dyson Slim DC18 Cleaner Head Maintenance

Introduction

This article advises how to perform Dyson Slim DC18 Cleaner Head Maintenance. This can involve removing the Brushbars to remove items that have got wrapped around them and removing the Soleplate for access  so dirt can be cleaned out. In extreme cases the Motor Housing can be opened so that dirt can be sucked out of it too.

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