I am currently in the process of restoring the website after the free webhost I was using decided to dump my account 🙁 I have a backup of all the file content, but unfortunately my wordpress db backup was a little out of date, so most all of the post comments from 2012 may have disappeared. Sorry. Must try better with backups in the future.

Change of web host

It appears have been having a few problems of late, and their new owners appear to be pushing users to upgrade to a paid account rather than fixing things for the free users. I have been using for a long time, back when there was a one off payment for lifetime upgrades to things like MySQL and sendmail. But most importantly of all is the fact that they are still running PHP 5.1.6 and seeing as WordPress 3.2 has just been released and requires PHP 5.2 I decided to take a look around and see what alternatives I could find. After a little Googling I have decided to give a go. So everything should be moved across now, just need to wait for DNS…

Source Code

I’ve been too busy recently to work on my own projects, and so as I have been unable to give them any support I have decided to open source them and upload the source tree’s to github.

I’ve played with Subversion and Team Foundation Server at home, but having the repositories locally doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence in case of hard disk failure (even though I have backups on my WHS box).

So now I have decided to experiment with Git, and to that end I have uploaded the source for my System Restore Explorer and EMV Card Browser projects on to github.

I can’t guarantee they are in a completely buildable state, but I have included the VS2010 solutions and WiX projects. If and when I do get some time I will certainly update the Git repositories and make sure they are in a buildable state.

So for anyone interested please take a look here:


I’ve updated to WordPress 3.0 and whilst at it also updated the version of K-2 I was using. Everything appears to be working but if anyone notices any strange behaviour please let me know.

VBoxLaunch – minor update

Just a quick post to let you know I have made an update to VBoxLaunch so that it now works with the Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.0 release and created it’s own page in the software section of my website. Unfortunately, this really is a quick and dirty hack (due to the change in default install location of VirtualBox) and so will no longer work if you happen to still have VirtualBox installed to C:Program FilesSunVirtualBox. When I get some more time, I will make a proper fix.

I’m still here

Sorry about the recent downtime, my host appears to have had some major problems, and when they finally did bring the server back online it had a new IP address, so I had to update my name servers, blah blah blah.

And to make matters worst for me, this all happened last week whilst I was away at Microsoft’s UK Techdays event in London. Anyway, my host’s server problem now seem to be stabilising, so hopefully no more downtime (but don’t hold your breath)


I’m a big fan of Windows 7 and it’s new features, one of those being the Jump Lists. I’m also a big fan of VirtualBox for my development, testing and isolation needs, at least I can run a virtual x64 machine and connect to it for kernel mode debugging, which is something I can’t do with Virtual PC.

Anyway, as much as I’d like to see this actually built into the Windows VirtualBox GUI, I suspect it’s not high priority for the Sun developers and I’m far too lazy to setup a dev environment with all the pre-requrisites to actually build VirtualBox myself. So here’s a little hack work-around I created, to slightly improve the VirtualBox experience from the Windows 7 start menu.

If you’d like to make use of my small little app, then please feel free to download it from here, just extract the binary to your VirtualBox install folder, create a shortcut to VBoxLaunch.exe and drag it into your start menu. The first time you run VBoxLaunch it will query all of your VirtualBox VM’s and create a custom jump list for them,  you should then be able to start your selected VM directly, without the need to launch the VirtualBox GUI each time.

This tool requires the Microsoft .net Framework 3.5, should already exist on Windows 7 🙂 and was developed and tested on Windows 7 x64 (but there is no reason why it shouldn’t work on 32bit Windows 7 too)

Read Chip & PIN / EMV Card

Recently I’ve been working on a tool to allow you to read the contents of the chip on your Chip & PIN / EMV card and to decode some of the values. A lot of the information wont mean much without reading lots of long and complicated specs. But for anyone who’s interested and who has access to a PC/SC complient smart card reader on Windows here’s an example of the data that can be read.

EMV Card Browser

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