I am still failing to think up an exciting project for my Raspberry Pi.

Previously it was running raspbmc, though I can't remember when I last switched it on.  But that has now died a horrible death - partly because my homeplugs broke (top tip: don't buy Zyxel powerline adapters), but mostly because apparently you aren't supposed to upgrade it by typing 'apt-get upgrade'.  Something I only found out after I'd done it and b0rked some important packages.  Including ifupdown.  oops.  Time for a fresh install of Raspian (and at some point I'll buy a wifi adapter)

Anyway, I was only fiddling... continue reading »

deleting email

In Gmail, when your bin is empty you get this message:

No conversations in the Bin. Who needs to delete when you have so much storage?!

...and since I first shifted my mail over to google in about 2007, I've mostly gone along with that.

In a fit of organisational madness the other weekend, I realised why this is a rubbish idea.

Mailshots.  "look we have a sale!  daily deals!  come and spend all your money!".  Five year's worth of them.  And as exciting as it is to be able to see what ebay were trying to tempt me with in April 2009, I... continue reading »

Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi.  a small cheap computer - very exciting, all over the news, massive waiting lists, etc etc.

And I've finally got my hands on one.  Ok, so it actually arrived several weeks ago, but I've only just found enough spare time to do anything with it. 

I don't need another 'plain' linux machine, and haven't yet had any genius ideas for other cool projects, so it's currently sat next to my tv/stereo, running raspbmc and acting as a media centre.

This has led to more spending and general preparation - as well as the pi, cables, SD card, power supply etc,... continue reading »

hardware replacements

That lovely new computer I bought a year ago...? Its hard drive died a slow and painful death after just 11 months (grrr) :(  Errors apparently undetectable by Dell diagnostic software that might have got it changed for free under warranty...

First signs of impending badness: odd segfaults, mostly with apt.  Then my filesystem started randomly going read only, with system logs showing a lot of I/O errors and problems with the journalling.  hmm.  To start with, nothing a reboot and quick forced fsck wouldn't fix.

But then it obviously got worse, and any 'repairs' lasted all of 2 minutes before yet... continue reading »

adventures in web hosting

If you can read this, I've successfully managed to move my website to new hosting. For the second time this year.

I've used shared web hosting for many many years now, with rarely any problems.  When I went back to uni and became very poor, my sites ended up on a friend's reseller account, costing me nothing.  And, er, they stayed there.  Service got progressively worse,  lots of downtime with no explanation etc

Not ideal, even if you aren't paying :P  Not being able to complain directly was getting a bit annoying (not that their customer support were that helpful anyway), and... continue reading »

new computer

I have a new computer!  A replacement for my laptop, which has been doing odd overheaty things and making bad noises for the last month or so.  Poor thing.  Still, not bad for being 3 years old and heavily (ab)used on a daily basis.

The new box is a desktop - a little teeny quiet one.  It's a Dell Inspiron Zino HD. In purple.  And even though obviously I know what spec it is, I can't be arsed to list it because I'm not a hardware geek, hah.

It came with Windows 7.  After two days, all I can really say about... continue reading »

I think KDE hates me

Ubuntu's alliterative naming has got so ridiculous now that I refuse to acknowledge its existence wherever possible.  Anyway, a new version appeared the other week, so I'm now running 9.10.

Newer KDE, so slightly shinier looking but a few new bugs too - my settings panel seems to lack the ability to turn the sound system off, so I get annoying little noises if I unplug the power cable.  grr. 
Also there's a lovely error about a missing lib if I want to change my window decorations.  It's not missing, I checked.  Ahh, maybe one day kde4 will be 100%... continue reading »

Street Viewed

Reading the local news this morning I saw mention of the google street view car having been spotted around Gloucestershire.  Exciting stuff. (Along with various comments about invasion of privacy, and Gloucester being a dump, etc etc)

Anyway, I popped into town this evening to buy some bread, and as I was walking home I saw a car with a large object on the roof.  Weird.  A split second later my brain registered it as being a tripod and camera, hehe.

It drove straight past me, so who knows - at some point soon I could be immortalised on google maps, with... continue reading »

oh really?!

Whilst googling for something at work earlier, I ended up on a site which had obviously been a little bit, er, compromised (as this has nothing to do with whatever postgreSQL weirdness I was hunting for).

Anyway, I'm lazy so I'll just cut-and-paste what I wrote in an email about it at the time:

oh no, 'windows security center' on some utterly random website has
detected that I have a virus!  And that I have no anti-virus
software...  gosh, I'd better install this one that it's helpfully
suggesting to me.  I do hope it will run on linux!

Clearly a... continue reading »


In case anyone needed any more proof that I might be a bit of a geek, check out the time of this post :)

If you have no clue what I'm on about, here's a little quote from Wikipedia:

On Friday, February 13, 2009 at exactly 23:31:30 (UTC), Unix time will equal '1234567890'.

A cool number!  How exciting. Also, it was 1234554321 earlier this evening...  Shame about the leap seconds really.

I know, I know - very sad :|

But I'm still always vaguely pleased to catch the clock when it's 01:23, 12:34, 13:37, 23:45, etc.  The little binary clock sat next to the 'normal'... continue reading »

people you don't want to know

Facebook has added two new features in the last few weeks.  Well, I'm sure it's always adding new stuff, but I mean noticeable things.

Most obviously there's a new chat thing.  Which is ok, if slightly unnecessary.  I don't realise it's there and don't notice when people send me messages, but most annoyingly, it changes (and 'flashes') the title text of the web page.  Websites should NEVER be allowed to do this!  ever.

Also new and annoying is "people you might know".  I'll give it some credit, it is fairly accurate.  However, most of the people showing up on it are... continue reading »

popup overkill!

I love broken websites :)

I've ended up on this particular site before (it's some kind of coding tutorial site, which I won't link to for obvious popuppy reasons). Last time it stopped at 359.

Today, however, it's even more broken.  Whenever I move the mouse it tries to spawn a load more popups.  And fails.  But keeps trying anyway, even though it's never going to win.  That number is now up to 3015.

Anyway, I found the bit of javascript that creates this mess.  The 'interesting' bit can be simplified to this:

if (!popupdone) {
    window.onclick = popup();
    window.onmousemove =... continue reading »

No More Job

Awww, I've finished work :(  This makes me sad because my job is (was!) ace, but also it hasn't really sunk in yet, and probably won't do until I actually move out of Ludlow.

But on the positive side, I have a new toy :)  It's slightly laptop shaped.  In fact, very laptop shaped.  Can you guess what it is yet?

Its name is Arthur, and anyone after techy details may like to know that it's an Acer somethingorother, dual core with significantly more ram and hard drive space than my desktop.  Oh, and Windows Vista.  ick.

Obviously I shall... continue reading »

Browsers and Operating Systems

I've been playing with the new Safari beta.  On windows, so on my machine at work obviously. (did try with wine but the installer was having none of it, heh)

What do I think of it?  It's a browser.  Another one to add to the growing collection that as a web developer I obviously need to have... (no, really)

I'm slightly suspicious of anything Appley anyway, cos they're rather too fond of over hyped expensive proprietry stuff and mac fanboys are weird and scarily obsessive.  But windows safari seems vaguely the same as mac safari in terms of how it works... continue reading »

updates for everything!

New kubuntu today.  also new thunderbird, but I've mostly stopped using that so meh.

Not updated my computer yet - partly because the ubuntu sites have been running very very slowly all day. Haha.  Was considering it this afternoon but I think it can wait until at least the weekend.

Reading the official upgrade guides, and I'm not entirely amused.  Preferred method of updating - using pissing adept (or whatever gui unbuntu has).  Manual command line updates are apparently "not recommended" because it is "less reliable".  What The Fuck?!  I see no logic in this, and have decided it must just... continue reading »

oh look, I have internet again

Yes, my internet works again - which means I've uploaded all the stuff I've been working on offline for the last few weeks :D   ooh, shiny new features!

Expect it all to break spectacularly, heh.

If you're reading this it means I've successfully moved my website to a different and possibly less flakey server...

Not quite finished with 'improvements' yet (ha, as if I'll ever be).  Got loads more to do on the photo gallery, which I thought would be fairly straightforward but has actually turned into a much bigger project than originally planned.

Right, now it's time for some ice cream. yum... continue reading »

driving and tshirts

Well, the inevitable has happened.  One week before I'm supposed to move out of this house and I've finally managed to drive through the lanes to the A458 without getting lost.  Bloody typical! 

Getting out of the lanes heading North has never been an issue, but heading South...  Previous attempts (generally when going to either Ironbridge or Bridgnorth) have ended up with me going all over the place then finally appearing somewhere completely different to where I thought I'd be, having driven several more miles that I'd have liked.  Same with going back, as I always miss the turning.

Today's trip... continue reading »

mmm, widgety

As a slight distraction from my current fairly high level of "ohmygod I have to move house" stress and panic, I spent a good few hours this weekend playing with my desktop. This was brought on by some reading up on KDE4.. sod vista, I know what I'd rather use :)

First off - removing ALL icons.  I can't stand having more than about 3 icons on my desktop.  One of the (many) things I love about linux is that whenever I install something, I don't mysteriously end up with thousands of icons and shortcuts scattered all over... continue reading »

email clients

I have a confession to make.  It's a geeky one, so nothing exciting, but still.

I really don't like Mozilla Thunderbird.  I've been using that and Firefox for years now, and I really do think Firefox is an excellent browser.  The problem I have with Thunderbird is that the second I try and do anything with it that isn't just simple sending and receiving of email it fails miserably. Have a list:

Searching.  I can never find the search option.  Then when I do, it opens pop up windows and gives me far too many options.  Quick search, that would be nice. ... continue reading »

ubuntu is actually not so rubbish

Yesterday Alex rather foolishly agreed to let me remove Windows ME from his (old old old) laptop and but something decent on there instead. ie linux, in the form of xubuntu (cos the laptop is crap and only has 64meg of ram)

I don't think I've mentioned here yet that my kubuntu install is now working perfectly.. My dad changed one setting in the bios and suddenly everything started working properly without me having to do anything else. So actually not linux's fault at all, but rather my hardware being a bit stupid. oops.

But yes, the laptop. ... continue reading »

kubuntu is still rubbish!

Well, the good news is that I finall got kubuntu to install! Off the live cd - only difference this time is that I unplugged my usb hub. hmm. But it installed quickly and painlessly and without nuking my /home and /fat partitions, so that's good.

Bad news is that far too many things aren't working. Sound (meh), USB anything (wtf, this isn't win98!) and more annoyingly, internet.
Having a computer with no network connection is actually quite useless, given that 90% of everything I use it for involves the internet. Not even got php/apache/mysql installed yet... continue reading »

kubuntu is rubbish!

I've broken linux. And this time I really do mean broken - not just screwed up configs or weird boot errors - absolutely totally completely broken beyond all repair. And I'm not amused.

Actually, none of this is my fault. I'm blaming Kubuntu and its overhyped crapness.
Desktop linux, easy for anyone to install and use, detects all sorts of hardware, sets everything up properly blah blah blah. I've only ever heard good things about how good the install process is. So I thought I may as well give it a go, because I'd quite like... continue reading »

Tick Tock

So the clocks have gone back (or most of them anyway, I can't reach the one in the kitchen and haven't felt bothered to do various stereos etc yet).
This means I'll have to do a lot more driving in the dark, which isn't really something I've got a lot of experience with. I'll get used to it though, I'm sure.

On the plus side, being back on GMT means that windows no longer gets the chance to fuck about with my computer clock.
I really don't get that particular one actually. Linux knows about daylight savings, and handles it very... continue reading »

need more friends...

I keep meaning to write about things then forgetting or just generally being too lazy. So here is a list of things I've been thinking about/doing over the last few weeks, in no particular order:

Went shopping in Brighton. For the day. Got the car serviced. This cost lots of money. As did the park+ride into town whilst I was waiting, because apparently if you walk to the bus rather than drive it costs £2 rather than £1. Odd. went to Alton Towers Finally figured out what crappy radio station it is that occasionally interferes with Kerrang on my... continue reading »