Killing Processes

Previously if I had wanted to kill a bulk list of mysql processes I would have done something like:

ps auxww | grep ^mysql | awk '{print $2}' | xarg kill -9

Today I discovered two really handy commands that make listing and killing processes a lot easier, pkill and pgrep.

You can achieve the same result as above with:

pkill -9 -u mysql mysql

This will kill all processes owned by the mysql user that have mysql in their name.

A credit card worth having

My general view on debt is that is it is that is mainly useful when acquiring an asset that will give you some tangible returns. For example, if a business wants a loan to buy some machinery that would allow them produce their widgets more efficiently, then that is a good reason to borrow. On the other hand, if a person runs up huge debts buying clothes, then clearly that’s not so good.

So when it comes to debt, and credit cards in particular, I think we need to be very careful. There is a tendency for some people to think that credit cards are free money; they don’t realise the pain of paying it back until it’s far too late.

Of course credit cards are not just about debt. They can be useful in protecting you against dodgy traders or companies going bust and if you pay them off in full every month, you can even profit from them if they offer cashback.

I got my first ever credit card around the year 2000 when I was 18, and it was an Egg card. The reason I chose that card was that they allowed you to manage your account on-line, charged lower fees, and offered a good rate of cashback. However, over the years since they have steadily upped their fees and reduced the cashback, so much so that its benefit now is almost negligible.

Capital One World Mastercard

Last year, Brendan (the king of credit cards) alerted me to a much better cashback card. It’s called the Capital One World Mastercard, and it’s essentially a cashback card that will pay you 1% of whatever you spend on it. If you shop sensibly, this means a further 1% discount on everything you buy, and because it’s a Mastercard it will be accepted pretty much everywhere.

However, the main reason I decided to write about them today is that I just tried out their new online banking system and it is probably the best I have ever used. I say this because it allows you to download your statements in a number of formats such as QIF (Quicken / MS Money), CSV, Tab Delimited etc and for every transaction it provides detailed information including even the MCC / SIC (standard industry classification) code. It also gives you the Merchant’s town and postcode.

All I need now is a good accounts package to import these transactions into!

Site seeing in Rural Andalucia – Ronda

Aimi and I have been on a bit of a mission to find a wedding venue in Spain for the past week or so, but yesterday we took some time out to do a little site seeing. When most people think of Spain, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the hotel-lined beaches along the Costa del Sol with their hordes of sun seeking tourists.

If you drive just a little way inland a different picture emerges. Rhonda is a great example. Less than an hour’s drive from the coast, it is an historic town surrounded by beautiful mountainous countryside. Anyway, enough words, I’ll let the pictures that we took do the talking.

Rhonda’s new bridge was completed in 1793. The gorge is spans is almost 100 metres deep.

3G iPhone

So the iPhone 3G has finally been revealed by Apple today.

  • Built in A-GPS
  • 3G Data transfer, downloading a web page is over 3.5 times faster than EDGE, and even up to 36% faster than on an N95 3G.
  • Improved battery life: 2G talk time up 25% from 8 hours to 10 hours. 5 hours of 3G talk time.
  • Enterprise support: full exchange support, improved VPN support, remote wipe.
  • Third party applications: Games from Sony, massive potential for location based apps
  • Flush rather than recessed headphone jack: this will allow easier use of third party headphones.
  • Distribution in 70 countries
  • Price reduced 50% from $399 to $199 for 8GB model. 16GB white model for $299.
  • Available July 11th

So no front mounted camera for video chat (I guess that can wait for the next version), and the camera is still 2.0 megapixels.

The addition of GPS is a key factor here. It’s going to enable a huge array of location based apps and web services. Prior to the iPhone, few companies cared about mobile, yet now everyone is fighting to build iPhone versions of their services. You know it’s going to be huge when your bank builds an iPhone specific version of their website.

Apples stock (AAPL) is currently down 4%. Is this a good buy opportunity before it soars to $300? 😉

OS X Internet Connection Sharing

Creating a wireless ad-hoc network on a MacBook

Just another reason why I love my Macbook: We arrived at a new Hotel today, and although both Aimi and I needed to use the Internet, there was only one network port. I wondered how difficult it would be to share my Internet Connection with her via the Mac’s wireless interface, but as with most things on the Mac, it turned out to be incredibly simple.

  1. Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing
  2. Choose share your connection from Built-in Ethernet to computers using Airport
  3. You may optionally want to click Airport Options to add WEP encryption or change the network name.
  4. Tick the Internet Sharing checkbox to enable it. By default, the network will be named after your computer’s hostname. E.g. mine is called paul-macbook