Prepare to be ASTOUNDED as you take a 21st Century VIRTUAL TOUR of my health and safety defying home office! Stare in WONDER at the overloaded mains outlets, stand AGHAST at the creaking age of my computing empire, shake your head in DISBELIEF at the disarray....

The Office

Highlights of my cyberspaciness tour:

1. A tub of Plumbers Mait complete with cobwebs. The wife found it in the shed and thought I could use it to fix an annoying leak. She left it on top of the computer for me to deal with and there it has stayed for several weeks. - That'll learn her!

2. My PowerMac Performa 5400/180. I rescued this from the tip in 2004 and wrote an article on how I fitted a PCI network card in it. Well, its still here and I still don't know what to do with it. I mean, what *can* you do with a 180MHz machine with 32MB RAM running OS8. Coincidentally, that was also probably the thought of the bloke who dumped it at the tip back in 2004. Still, it does have a TV tuner so I sometimes use it as a telly. It also comes in handy for IRC and SSH.

3. My only Windows machine - an aging HP tower with dual head ATi graphics card running two 15" LCD monitors. I got this computer back when I thought HP were a reputable brand and to be honest it's been trouble free but we've had so many HP hardware failures at work I don't think I'll ever trust them again. I don't use this much, I prefer to work off a Linux laptop so I haven't upgraded the monitors to anything bigger but as the wife tells me, fifteen inches ought to be enough for anybody.

4. Alcohol. Next to the alcohol is my PS/2 trackball which dates back to 1993 when USB, scroll wheels and optical sensors didn't exist... or if they did, they certainly weren't given to fools like me who balanced glasses of booze next to 'em.

5. A 233MHz computer that was last used for a short time in the summer of 2007 as a dedicated UT server. Next to it is my first LCD monitor purchased in 2001 for an horrendous amount of money and with a display quality that, next to todays standards, would send you cock-eyed after half an hour.

6. A telephone provided to me c1992 by my then employer Mercury Communications. A free phone handset was an employee perk back then! It still works although I never get any calls (being an unpopular nerd and all that). Even that 3AM heavy breather has stopped phoning me...

7. My PowerBook 5300. I dread to think back to how much I paid for this c1996 machine when I bought it second hand in 1999. It was always underpowered and has suffered numerous problems over the years including power socket and trackpad failure and an iffy PCMCIA port. These days it runs the IRCLE IRC client 24/7 on OS8 and has been doing so since 2004. A couple of years ago someone on Freenode asked who had the oldest IRC computer and nobody could beat my aging Powerbook with it's 117MHz CPU! It's great as a low power IRC machine as it has no fans at all, you can switch off the cathode backlight using the brightness control and it spins down the hard drive after a period of inactivity. IRCLE also supports text to speech so channel traffic is read out in a voice that sounds like a strangely sexy female Stephen Hawking.

8. My Voltage adjustable power supply. Essential when fiddling about with electronic doowhickers.

9. My non-functional UPS which fails to bother even trying to keep my server running however small a brown-out happens to be. If your browser ever times out when trying to get this website, you can bet this UPS has tripped out and killed the server 'cos the wife has plugged her curlers in again.

10. The evil server rack (evil server just out of shot) with the display I used to have to use when fixing the pesky webcam if it locked up! Fortunately my automatic USB reset device has put an end to that annoyance.

Don't take my word for the excitement, read these testimonials from actual (non virtual) office visitors:

Wait, isn't this a fire hazard? - Mr D. Robinson, Coventry
What's that funny smell?
- Mrs C. Farah, Lillington
But how long do you intend to keep me captive here? - <name and address supplied>

This is me and daughter #1 on a crane on 19th July 2008. Fifteen minutes later we were jumping off said crane about 30 metres in the air. Why?? Well, that's exactly the word that was running through my head as I was told by the bloke in the funny red hat to step off the platform with daughter #1 strapped to me....

David Savery

... apparently it was for thrill and excitement although my girly screams as we hurtled towards the ground may have given onlookers the impression that rabid fear was my dominant emotion. Still, daughter #1 appeared to enjoy it and nobody seemed to question why a supposedly responsible parent would allow their young child to be thrown off a 30 metre crane so a good day was had by all.

Here are the answers to some common questions that I have never been asked...

So what is this R3UK nonsense anyway?
R3UK Limited began life in March 2001. In autumn 2006 the company suspended commercial operations as I had taken up a new I.T. role in the Healthcare industry. The company was dissolved in September 2009 while the domain seems to have transmogrified into a kinda personal blog on my gadgets, gizmos and attempts to get to grips with Linux.

Yeah, how come you're the only author on the site...??

When the Tech Tips section was started back in 2003, the intention was that others could contribute, however my colleague Nigel ran his own tips section on a separate site which he filled with emoticons and stopped updating in 2004. He finally shot it in the head in 2008. Tsch!

Unfortunately the other people I work with such as Bolton Dan (bald server man) have nothing of value to add to this site, and prefer instead to pour scorn over every new article that I upload.

Company details:
R3UK Limited was a registered company in England and Wales, number 04183829, incorporated on 21st March 2001 and dissolved on 15th September 2009. I'd like to thank Virtue Accounting for their sage advice in winding up the company after my previous accountant failed utterly to act upon my instructions and instead spent his time finding new and inventive ways to bill me for the work he wasn't doing. Need a reputable accountant? Use Virtue.

So.. what does 'R3' mean anyway??
Oh... it's a boring story. You really don't wanna know. You can read this blog entry if you're one of those people who simply must have an answer.

I'm a Nigerian scammer and I want to send you some spam email. Can I?
If you're selling something or you are after support relating either to services received in the past or because of a tech tip you've read on this site, I will be unable to enter into any correspondence. Actually that's not quite true and I do sometimes respond if I have the time. You can drop me a line by mailing: service at r3uk dot com (after applying correct formatting!)

Feel free to browse around this website, hopefully you'll find something useful.

Meet the evil server