Friendface

Or, the day I deactivated Facebook.

The IT Crowd using Friendface

The IT Crowd – obsessed by Friendface.

I’ve not used Facebook for months so I was already wondering whether I could live without it. (Spoiler Alert: I can).

So with the latest furore around Cambridge Analytica and Mr. Zuckerberg declining requests to reduce the amount of our personal data Facebook hoovers up, I thought it would be interesting to see what data Facebook holds on me.

Facebook can also tell you whether your data was harvested by Cambridge Analytica. In my case apparently not. I guess it would be unlikely as I’m not a US citizen but well, you never know for sure, do you? Have a look for yourself.

Facebook tells me Facebook didn't share my data

Anyhoo, I downloaded my Facebook data. Turned out not to be too bad, which was good news considering I’d always taken steps to nail down my privacy settings. You can download your FB data too, here’s how.

So, goodbye Facebook. I’m not deleting it completely just yet, I’m taking the soft option of deactivating it. Here’s how to do that.

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m on Instagram – which isn’t linked to my Facebook account – and I still emit the occasional Tweet. People who like Westies, Land Rovers and Geocaching will no doubt be pleased to learn that¬†I’m not going off the grid. ūüėČ

Now, where did I put my Flickr logon credentials…

 

 

 

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Techie tinkering

Today I received a large bill for next year’s web hosting and I was so annoyed I rang up my provider and cancelled it. TBH I had already half-decided to bin the hosting; the website didn’t get much traffic and I only really use the email service for geocaching so the invoice was a timely trigger for me to do something about it.

Of course, this has resulted in a bit of work, e.g.

  • Changing the DNS name servers from the hosting company to the one where my domain is registered
  • Setting up domain forwarding to this blog
  • Downloading everything useful from the redundant hosting, especially images linked from my geocaching profile and those of my cache pages which contain images.
  • Uploading the images to a free image hosting service
  • Editing my profile on GC so the image links don’t break
  • Editing the image links on each of my cache pages.

Now all I have to do is wait for the DNS changes to propagate around the interwebs, after which selecting wizzardprang.co.uk should take you to this blog. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and I still have to set up some new email addresses to receive my geocaching emails. Nearly forgot that. ūüėČ

Restoring files hidden in the Library folder (OS X)

When I set up my new MacBook Pro I chose not to use Migration Assistant. This meant that I had to do a fresh install of my non-Apple Applications. Not a problem, except for games such as Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock. For these it would be nice to have the data from when I’d played the games before. As for the joystick manager, the thought of having to map all those controller buttons again – Nooo!

But, you may be thinking, he has a backup of the old Mac. Right? Well yes, I have, but this is where an idiosyncrasy of the Mac OS can cause difficulties. Most games store¬†their game saves, preferences, etc. in each¬†user’s Library folder in a folder called Application Support . In recent versions of OS X the ~/Library folder has been deliberately hidden from casual view ‘for the user’s protection’. So although you¬†can view the Library folder in a Finder window, when you look inside the Time Machine backup it is still not visible. So a simple click/drag of the required files isn’t an option, neither is it possible to navigate to the Library folder using the Time Machine UI.

Luckily you can use Terminal commands to get at the files and copy them. So I thought I’d write up the process for you (because I care). Command text in red.¬† Continue reading “Restoring files hidden in the Library folder (OS X)”

Puzzles

Recently, I have been mainly solving puzzles. And finding some of them.

I first looked at 1321¬†many moons ago but didn’t get anywhere with the puzzle. However, a recent conversation with the Cache Owner gave me a hint as to how it might be solved. So, here’s a hint from me, gratis. Try googling RFC1321. There you go. ūüėČ

As is often the case with me and puzzles,¬†all did not go smoothly to begin with, as I spent a long time trying to do the wrong thing. Eventually (with more hints from the CO¬†and a lot of perseverance) I was rewarded with a ‘Yes’ from geochecker.

Having offered my daughters a lift to their equine activities I was ideally placed to visit this cache. No coincidence. ¬†Skye and I were soon enjoying a longish walk through parkland to the cache location. At GZ I had a good GPS signal and soon narrowed the search¬†area down, and¬†I was working my way through the likely places when, unexpectedly, I got a phone call from Daughter.2 requesting a pickup. “Darn”, I thought, “I haven’t found the cache yet”. Just then I looked down and spotted the cache peeking out from its hiding place! Result!

Then, this Wednesday, I decided to collect a puzzle cache I’d solved the coords for in 2014. I really enjoyed solving 6 Degrees, this was a film-based puzzle featuring the ¬†well known premise that every Hollywood actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon within 6 steps. Once again I learnt some (probably useless) information as a direct result of geocaching.

The reason I’d not gone for the find after solving the puzzle was due to the long running saga of my eye problems (documented elsewhere) but, with my eyesight now back to normal, I’d started to work through my list of solved but unfound puzzles, so¬†here we are.

I’m not going to give the game away re. location, etc., but I took the precaution of running¬†¬†my coords through geochecker once again just in case the cache had been relocated in the intervening years. Thus reassured, ¬†I found a good parking spot for me and Skye to head off for an¬†enjoyable walk in the autumn sunshine. No spoilers, but this was an ingeniously created hiding place and well worth the trip.

Then, later on the same Wednesday (2nd Nov) the estimable Dr. Solly published a new cache. Now, his puzzle caches are always worth a look and I find them especially interesting as the puzzles¬†are often technology-based. This was no exception. If you look at the cache page for GC6WBNZ you’ll see he hasn’t given you a lot to go on. As I said, it’s a “techie” cache and, while I had an idea, I did do a bit of research to check I was on the right track. So, I knew what I had to do, so I employed that method and…

Nothing!

This was not what I expected. I checked with my mate Bob, who also being very techie, had arrived at the same method as me.He couldn’t get it to work either. The same day, another cacher FTF’d it. Hmm. By now I was somewhat puzzled. Maybe I had got it wrong. I decided to leave it for a while and yesterday evening, in a random moment, I gave it¬†another go. Imagine my surprise when the coords appeared on my screen.¬†The very thing which didn’t work before, worked this time,¬†and I had the coords! The only explanation I’ve got for this anomaly is that¬†either some sort of technical issue befell Dr.¬†Solly’s servers, or The Elders of the Internet were having an extended tea break.

I contacted Bob¬†who confirmed that he too had obtained the coords. Itchy geocaching feet or not, we weren’t able to go for it that same evening.¬†This afternoon we both had a free slot in our diaries so we made the trip¬†over to GZ, where we were rewarded with a typically enormous container crammed with loads of¬†Dr Solly loot. Second to Find. Happy with that!¬†ūüôā

 

 

I feel the need…

My ISP, Virgin Media, have just upgraded my internet line to “Up to” 100 Mbps.

Well downstream certainly seems quicker. I’ve done a few speed tests but as “any fule no” those results are no more than an indication of the speed achieved. I’ll live with it for a while & report back, dear reader.