No-one reacher 80 & wishes they’d spent

No-one reacher 80 & wishes they’d spent more time in front of a computer – civil servant turned Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington

Published in: on December 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

testing testing…

testing testing…

Published in: on October 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Michael Cobley's Orphaned Worlds

I just finished reading the melodramatically entitled 'Orphaned Worlds' by Michael Cobley. I'ts part 2 of a space opera of truly epic proportions. It deals mainly with themes of man's relationship with technology – specifically artificial intelligence as well as the social/political issues surrounding small and large powers competing for resources. Along the way it works in a bewildering array of ideas about aliens, societies, other universes… In fact if anything, the weakness of the book is it tries to pack ion too much and so feels a bit rushed sometimes – even more so than part 1. However, the insight into what constitutes a healthy relationship between man and technology and the atrophy of man's strengths that constitutes an unhealthy relationship is exquisite. His understanding of society structures and international politics stands comparison with JMS or Banks and the writing style is reminiscent of a lighter version of Peter F Hamilton.

And if none of that matters to you, it's often a page turning thriller with moments of death, honor, glory and romance in equal measure. On to reading some Jack McDevitt next…

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 9:04 am  Comments (2)  
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How to stop linux wiping the /tmp directory

Got a large /tmp partition for burning DVD ISOs and want to use it for slightly more permanent stuff like a 'www' directory or somewhere for portage to play?


edit /etc/conf.d/bootmisc

It's really simple, you'll know what to do!

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Run levels and rc-update in gentoo

rc-status default

…will give you the current services in your default run-level. It will also tell you if they're active.

rc-update add mysql default

…will add mysql to the default run-level

rc-update del mysql default

…will remove it

Easy when you know how!

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to check disks under linux

Recently, I was daft enough to power down my laptop whilst the disk was working. Predictably, a day or so later, I found that there was a directory I wasn't able to save my files to, no matter the privileges… So I wanted to force a check of my disk. However 'fsck' (linux's disk checking/repair system) requires partitions to be unmounted and that's not something you do to the partitions you're running your system off as a rule. Unsuspecting background processes may get a nasty surprise if you unmount what they are about to read! So here's what you do:

Firstly have a look at your /etc/fstab:

>nano /etc/fstab

and note down which partitions you'd like to check. Part of it should look something like this:

/dev/hda3       /boot     ext2 noauto,noatime 1 2
 /dev/hda9     / ext3              noatime 0 1
 /dev/hda4     none     swap sw 0 0
 /dev/hda5      /var       ext3 noatime 0 2
 /dev/hda6      /tmp     ext3 noatime 0 2
 /dev/hda7      /usr      ext3 noatime 0 2
 /dev/hda8      /home ext3 noatime 0 2

Note down the entry in one of the first column for the partition(s) you want to check. To begin with we'll just check '/home' which is '/dev/hda8'. It contains all our precious files and documents so fingers crossed!

Then we have to switch to runlevel 1. Do this with the following command:

>init 1

All your default runlevel processes will now stop in the background so you'll have to wait for that to happen. You may also have to press 'return' to get your terminal prompt back. You'll know what I mean when you try it ;-). 

Then unmount the one you want to check:

>umount /dev/hda8

Then check it!

>fsck /dev/hda8

And hopefully 'fsck' will do it's thing and repair the damage. It seemed to work on my ibook:-). This worked fine in Gentoo. I wonder if anyone else has another way to do it with another distribution perhaps?

Published in: on June 8, 2010 at 7:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Ardour Group Edit Marveling

I was absolutely marveling at Ardour today. I recorded some drums at a studio and they handed me four takes of 10 tracks – nearly 2 gigabytes. I was now faced with cutting my four slightly shaky takes into one good one. Cut and splice works fine in Ardour with one track but how on earth would it work with ten?! Amazingly if you put tracks into groups in the editor you can set up so that an operation you perform on one track also happens on all the other tracks in that group. Maybe I’m easily impressed. The programs I’ve spend the most time using for audio are Cubase 4.1 and Ecasound. Still I reckon this is awesome and it saved me a hell of a lot of time compared to cutting each track individually. My respect for this app grows daily.


Group Edit in Ardour

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I’m currently looking for a high quality webcam to replace my infuriating Logitech Quickcam Express (it works with everything but skype – I have tried *almost* everything but frankly the picture is so lousy maybe it’s not worth bothering anyway!). Anyway, I came across this page:

It says which webcams have actually been tested with skype under linux. I might test out how reliable this list is tomorrow…

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

My firefox plugins

I use Yoono for Firefox!  Basically it aggregates your feeds from Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, googlechat, news readers, and a load of others and puts it all in one neat sidebar for you. Makes life a lot easier than checking each one individually. There’s a desktop version now or you can use it in explorer too…

I also use Diigo‘s toolbar. Diigo is one of the most amazing things you could ever imagine if you’re a information freak like me. It is like a sort of universal, shared post-it note and filing system for the entire internet. You can put comments on pages for other people to see and then archive these comments in a way that is easy to retrieve for you and others. For example, here‘s the group I’ve set up for my project. Great if you do a lot of research online.

LastPass is a password manager. It generates them and stores them online so you can get at them wherever you are. In my line of work you end up logged in to so many sites it’s a necessity.

Oh and my homepage is Visual Thesaurus. It’s a thesaurus and a dictionary based on mind map principals. Check here for my word lists:-)

Am hovering between Ubernote and Zoho notes for a notepad online. Haven’t figured that out yet. Ubernote is a bit slow and unreliable and not very pretty but it does the job. Zoho is also slow but cleanly laid out. Jury still out on that one… Any suggestions welcome:-)

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 12:38 am  Comments (2)  

Hello world!

This is my first post. I have nothing to say as yet!

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm  Comments (1)