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Journal Journal: Vindicated 4

My decision to rip all of my audio losslessly to FLAC has been vindicated. I rip to Vorbis as well, but I always thought it was worth having the lossless originals around too. That way, if a new codec arrived on the scene at a later date, I could rerip to that without any further loss of quality. That codec is now here. Hello, Opus!


Journal Journal: Javascript 1

I'd forgotten how much I hated Javascript. I very much appear better suited to server programming than to web programming...

User Journal

Journal Journal: On the merits of redundancy 3

Some people think I'm paranoid. I wouldn't say so. It's just that I pay more attention to the potential worst case outcome that some. So when it comes to storage, I have a mirrored RAID array in my home server. The contents are backed up to a separate disk in the same machine. I also have an offsite backup in a datacentre.

My offsite backup machine died, and is now sat at home waiting for me to rebuild it. So it was somewhat alarming when my backup drive also died. Uncomfortable about running with less redundancy than normal, I immediately went out and bought a replacement drive. When checking the drives in the machine to see which one I needed to pull out, I noticed that one of the mirrored drives had also failed and the array was running in degraded state. Eeeek! Of my four levels of redundancy, three had failed. If I'd had fewer, I'd be screwed right now!

I'm not sure why I wasn't notified about the RAID failure. Normally I automatically get an email when the array enters a degraded state. That's something I need to look into. For now, the array is rebuilding. I'll fit the new backup drive when I get home this evening.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hard drives 6

Time for more storage. Where's the current sweet spot? It looks like drives are considerably more expensive than I was expecting. I'm guessing that's still a hangover from the flooding in the Far East. I'm considering a Samsung HD204UI or a Seagate ST2000DL003. Both are 2TB, which is about right for what I need. Both are slow (5400 and 5900 rpm respectively). That's OK. I/O performance is not the bottleneck here. That said, I'd rather have a bit quicker, but going up to 7200 rpm adds significant extra expenditure.

I'm way out of touch with PC hardware standards. The Seagate is nominally SATA III (a misnomer, IIRC). Will that be backwardly compatible with my SATA I/II controllers, or will I need to upgrade those as well? Any other suggestions on models I should be looking at, or things I should be considering?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mozilla 9

Dear Mozilla developers. I know you're a bunch of incompetent morons, but would it really be so hard to change that and release a decent product? Please?


Journal Journal: On coding 8

Object orientation and code readability are mostly mutually exclusive.
User Journal

Journal Journal: The perils of progress 5

Ever increasing storage capacity is making me lazy. In years gone by, when resources were more limited, a full filesystem would be cause for investigation, to find out why it had become full, and what could be done about it. These days, the easy option is to just extend the volume a bit more and grow the filesystem. I'm running a bit low on free PV space, so last week I didn't grow my home filesystem by as much as I normally would when it filled up. But even so, I was a little surprised to find out that within a couple of days it was already full again. That's not normal. It turned out that a single log file was continually growing and had taken up nearly a third of the total space on that filesystem. But because the default assumption is that I have more disk space than I'll be able to use, I hadn't been keeping an eye on what was taking up the space. D'oh! So a single rm has taken me back to having loads of free space.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Farewell Libya 17

So Libya has cut itself off from the net. This isn't an entirely unexpected move. But it has the side effect of screwing over anyone with a .ly domain. The main loser there is probably It still seems to be up at the moment, but I'm guessing that DNS caches will expire soon enough and then they'll be in trouble.

But somehow I just can't find it in me to feel any sympathy for them. At the time they launched, I pointed out that they were putting themselves at the mercy of the Libyan government. But it seems they preferred the two digit .ly ccTLD to the three digit .com domain they could have used instead. There are times when convenience trumps reliability. But this wasn't one of them. I wasn't expecting it to go wrong as quickly as it did, but I was aware of the possibility. It seems they either weren't aware of it, or chose to ignore the risk. That wasn't the wisest move in the world, even without the benefit of hindsight.

Maybe it'll act as a warning to those who have jumped on the .co bandwagon recently. But I doubt it. So I won't be surprised if the Colombian government screws them over at some point, in the same way the Libyan government has just done. And I won't have any sympathy for them, either.

Social Networks

Journal Journal: Twitter

Err... what? It seems that twitter requires you to have Javascript enabled in order to view 140 characters of someone's worthless drivel. Otherwise you get a blank page. The mind boggles.
Hardware Hacking

Journal Journal: ...and then there was silence

Once you've been around computers for a while, you get to recognise certain sounds. Such as the pop followed by the spinning down of fans, and the ominous silence that emanates from the box that's supposed to be your fileserver. Arse. I was off work yesterday due to a nasty cold, and the last thing I wanted to be doing was rebuilding the server. Fortunately, it turned out to be just the power supply. I'd been worried that it was going to have taken out the motherboard too. It did take a hard drive with it on the way out, but fortunately that wasn't fatal. The RAID rebuild ran OK overnight, and now we're back to normal.

Journal Journal: Zooming/panning images for video 2

Does anyone know of a good solution for zooming/panning static images for turning into a video? The so called Ken Burns effect? It must work on Linux, and should ideally be open source. The pan in openshot doesn't seem to work, and the zoom is too jerky to be useful. I can write my own fairly easily if I have to, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if I can avoid it.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Oops 2

Today I learned that my window manager hotkey to bring the focused window to the front doesn't work when the thing that's obscuring the window in question is a post-it note on the monitor. D'oh!

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