The Dark Doodad

Dark Doodad

It's been a while since I did a blog, so after twiddling the way the front page of the site displays, it's time to post a new one.

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The Dark Doodad

(partial) myth joy

Yay! It would seem that with the latest updates to the xc3028 tuner driver, my DViCO Fusion Dual Digital 4 (USB id 0fe9:db78) can use the newest drivers again.

Up to my last attempt at tracking the newest drivers, loading them would cause a system hardlock, which isn't particularly helpful on a PVR. Well, whilst the olympics were on I don't suppose it mattered that much. Komkommertijd, as we say in Holland.

Olympic Cheats

As was probably unavoidable, in the week or so leading up to the olympics there were stories of drug cheats being found out and banned.

What strikes me as somewhat odd is that the news shows managed to get clips of Australian athletes condemning these drug cheats.

Australian athletes, who only have the help of their own efforts and a multi-million dollar government funded high tech research agency, to win as many gold medals as possible to reinforce nationalistic pride. In what way is that NOT cheating?


I found myself with some spare time the other day and decided that my current mysql backup strategy is not the best in the world. The mysql server is a virtual machine in a Brisbane datacenter and it's backed up via a script that calls mysqldump on each installed database and dumps the content to (compressed) files. These files then get sucked down via rdiff-backup.

This is fine in principle, but does mean it's possible for me to lose 24 hours worth of data due to an accidental '--; DROP table students.

hardware upgrade (continued)

Hmm. It seems I was a bit too enthousiastic in proclaiming the virtues of the X3500 chip when playing UrbanTerror.

Although it manages around 50 fps (which is fine) when I run around my local server, it manages less by an order of magnitude (2 to 4 fps in a busy area) when connected to a public server, with 15 others players running around as well.

So perhaps I need to invest in a new GFX card.

my long awaited hardware upgrade

In part of my line of work - web application development - you tend to develop software that needs to work (properly) on an awful lot of different web browsers. If these all adhered to web standards, a simple run through the W3C Validator would suffice. Unfortunately life sucks, and as such there is a need to test all sites on as many browsers as possible.

I use virtualisation to run a bunch of windows browsers in their native environment. However, testing this way took an awfully long time, as my desktop computer had a "mere" 1.5Gb of ram and only a single (Athlon64) CPU core. By the time you add GNome, Evolution or Thunderbird and Firefox to this, not a great deal is left for virtual machines.

What with DDR2 ram prices being pretty much at an all-time low and CPUs not being far behind in cheapity (wrong, but sounds nice) I decided it was time for some new tools of the trade.

hard disk economy

Over the past few weeks I've bought a handful of Western Digital 500GB hard disks for various clients to use as rdiff-backup targets and also for use with mythtv at home. As a kind of might-be-interesting exercise, I kept an eye on hard disk prices at my local CPL to see if there might be more or less opportune moments to buy disks.

The prices used in the price per GB calculation are for the cheapest SATA model of a specific size.

The resulting graph is mainly unsurprising:

zimbra musings

I spent some time today upgrading a Zimbra (OS edition) installation from 4.5 to 5.0. I run it an install locally and a client also runs it on-site for their own mail.

The client in question wanted to be able to share mail folders between users, something that version 4.5 never did on the "free" version. However, 5.0 does.