Archive for September, 2007

blog updates

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’ve added a few more bits and pieces to the site here, most notably the weather and ‘now playing’ bits on the right.

The weather applet is called WeatherIcon and i’ve got it set to use a set of icons supposedly similar to those found within MacOSX… granted, the dark background makes it look like permenant night-time, but it matches this site slightly better than the other icon sets. The output was modified slightly to make it fit and look right on the sidebar there.

Amarok is an open-source music player mostly written for KDE, but i’m using it in Gnome just fine. I added a script to it called – surprisingly enough – amarokNowPlaying. This script is designed to grab the status and details of whatever song is playing, with cover art if available, and create an image out of it for use on websites n stuff… you’ve probably seen many sites with similar pics produced by winamp. It didn’t quite suit my purposes without some hax0ring of the script, so now i’ve also got it uploading just the text info of the song to my website along with a re-sized png image of the cd cover. I had to install the ‘ftp-upload’ binary to my local pc so it uploaded properly, so here are the changes for people that are interested in such things (and also for people wanting to know how to create a translucent png using ‘convert’… god that took a while for me to figure out!)

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where’s my datacentre?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007


Just had to spend the last two and a half days getting our primary web hosting service back up and running after a criticial failure of the main server’s motherboard. Mind you, most of that was getting the managed server provider to figure out what the problem actually was… communicating with a company via email on the other side of the world doesn’t usually lend itself to quick and easy resolutions of the problem
In the end we had to buy a new server, get the old server hdd added as a secondary hdd, wait for directadmin to be installed and setup, spend a few hours figuring out that users had to be re-added individually rather than simply copied, merge and reload their website / sql / email / dns data, etc….
I hate DirectAdmin.
I loathe it.
I think we should simply create a new customer-management system with fully-modular/self-contained user directories containing ALL their various types of data and config files, etc. At least then we’d have full control over it (ie flexibility), it’d work (and we’d know -how- it works), and accounts could be backed up easily.

Whatever. I’m over it!

Whatever happened to my dream of building a datacentre? You know, racks of servers with hardware and networking managed by us and software maintained by the customer…
I wanna do what NAC or RackSpace do; but better… I want to see racks full of servers and disk arrays and networks positively glowing with activity…


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msn over mobile 3g can suck, parties*2

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

I was conversing with Jims on MSN just now, which can ordinarily be challenging enough (haha 😉 j/k buddy) and so instead of the usual short-hand translations that is the naure of IM, we’re also faced with the tendency of mobile phones to use predictive text… it took a minute or two to work this one out properly:

“mind show how much i have nz job and how bored i an”.

He IS a kiwi afterall, and that ‘nz’ referance threw me off.

Moving on, we have two parties to go to this week… *shock horror*… since when did I ever go to parties? And guess what – I’m hosting one of them!! *dies*

Tomorrow we’re going to a “tupperware” party (*snicker*)… the redeeming quality is that there will be alcohol and a bbq. Not sure how much tupperware we’ll view as we’ll have to rock up fashionably late due to work, but it should be fun.

Next Saturday us senior techs are having what is becoming a semi-frequent LAN party at my house… not sure how much gaming will be done (in relation to warez exchange), and I believe beer kegs were arranged within 10 mins of me volunteering my house for the event; that says it all really.

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turnkey my butt

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

there’s something to be said about an ISP which introduces a new product to the market without even testing it.
Here’s the issue:

The ISP (my indirect employer) develops a new back-end solution to manage its entire product set and billing and everything else under the sun over a period of almost 2 years. It has enormously high hopes of success, and equally as high expectations of success. One of its features is the ability to introduce new products easily, which the industry (marking tards) dub ‘turnkey’ solutions (ie, new products introduced at the drop-of-a-hat, so to speak).
ISP has had quite big – and very public – teething problems with said solution.
ISP, in its wisdom, introduces yet another new product range – ADSL2+ – into the mix, while the system is still having problems with its existing products yet to be ironed out.
It is then revealed that this new product was released without a single real-world test being done. No test accounts. No internal ADSL2+ lines. No trials of any kind. No idea if the whole sales/provisioning/delivery process will actually succeed end-to-end.

What sane ISP would actually do that? Is this a sudden burst of adrenaline that can get an injured person to the phone to ring an ambulance, or is it an ineffectual convulsion in the midst of the throes of death?
(please forgive my cynical metaphore there)

Oh yeah, there were also price hikes for the existing products too.

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Cool High Nerd

Monday, September 10th, 2007

heh… gold! I carry the title proudly. 😈 says I'm a Cool High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

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new toy, pets, tax, boredom. Such is life!

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

I got an external 2.5″ HDD this week via one of the trinity members, for only $20!… never had an external hdd to call my own, so to get one now is kind of cool. 60gb is enough for the moment, and it also has a nifty blue LED, hard casing, and a soft fabric outer casing which can unzip to allow the usb connection.

We’re thinking about getting a puppy from the RSPCA… not sure what kind though, but I think it will need to be able to cope with lazy owners, and we don’t want it growing any larger than “medium”… before that though we’d need to get a doggie door installed; can be rather tricky seeing as we have glass sliding doors and the like. We’d need to get something like one of these. We want to name it “Paige” as I really like that name… and if you know my surname, you’ll understand why we couldn’t possibly name one of the children Paige 😆
I need to restock my fishtank too… it is down to 1 cherry barb and 1 neon tetra (plus the groovy bristlenosed catfish which i’ve had for a few years now… he/she’s so cool, complete with a lucky (deformed) fin (which i think was caused in a fight with another catfish when i bought 4 of them))

Got paid well this week, as is the case when both of us get the bonuses at the same time heh heh! I heard that I got taxed the same actual amount as one of the other techs here, but he earnt way less than me… so either he got over taxed or i got undertaxed.
That reminds me… must do my tax return one of these days.

Soooo bored at work at the moment (and what demon conspired to get me to work on such a beautiful sunday morning at 7am? evil!)… i’ve resorted to IRCing again on austnet. god help me.

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bb, fathers day

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The broadband us running well! I moved the modem to the front lounge room because thats where I get the best reception, with a “good” signal strength of about -83db (according to the modem), so now it is serving wifi to all my computers. I had to end up buying a Netgear WPN311 pci wifi card for my main system. Windows XP had a hissy fit with the netgear wifi software, so windows zeroconfig is in use… that may have been due to wpa / wpa2 issues though (for some reason xp didn’t have the wpa2 hotfix installed). [and I was only in windows so I could easily do the video recording and editing with the CyberLink PowerDirector stuff… cbf’d going down the equivalent linux path with that kind of task just yet]

I also completely forgot about fathers day! 🙁 We got a Bunnings hardware voucher for him on Thursday, and he was even down for a visit on the Saturday andcalled up on Monday night, but on each occasion I forgot to wish him a happy fathers day… Sunday itself was just a write-off from my point of view (roster change, and other stuff)… is it too tactless to ring him tonight, and give him the voucher when I next see him? Is it one of those occasions where if you don’t do the honours on the day then you’ve missed the opportunity until the next year?

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