Archive for the 'h4x0rin' Category

Bah, upgrades

Monday, June 28th, 2010 - 11:06 am

My webhost, Dreamhost, moved me to a new server. Which is great! All my stuff is on a new, faster computer. Alas, my on-the-fly photo-gallery software didn’t fair well with my move, with albums and photos being shuffled— all the photos are still in the right albums, but the order is all wrong, and the albums are all in the wrong order. Because the software uses non-unique IDs (generated on the fly), all existing links into my albums are now broken (and don’t even 404). This link used to take you to a picture of my thinline archtop.

Will be updating the software to use folder/file names for identifiers.

cat /dev/lasagna | grep starttime

Friday, January 8th, 2010 - 1:31 pm

We were reading webcomics last night when P. realized that the oven was probably up to temperature and we should put the lasagna in. So we did. Without looking at the time.

How long had our precious pasta dish been in the oven!? So, I grabbed a terminal and started hunting for Safari’s caches. ls -lth | head ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/ Looked promising, but full of .pngs! open . and a few Quicklook invocations later, and we found the page we’d been looking at when the lasagna went in, and more importantly, it’s creation time of 6:39pm.

Boring Crap #47: Backups

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 - 8:04 pm

Have found myself writing about my backup solution on various fora lately, so I might as well put it here and link to it to save myself trouble.

I have four disks in my Mac Pro. I have the following volumes of original data spread out on the disks:

  • OS + Applications
  • User data – all of the stuff I create (photos, music, docs, code, projects) and prefs, and the same for the few others that use this computer.
  • Media – music and video files that I’ve ripped from my collection of discs or bought on iTunes, etc
  • Games – Games dwarf my other apps in the space they use up, and from a disaster recovery perspective are irrelevant. Game stuff I create (like cars for Redline) is stored with my other projects.
  • Windows – VMs
  • Scratch – four disk RAID0 array made of the first 15GB of each disk. 300+ MB/s I/O for Photoshop use.
  • Whatever – 70GB of temporary storage
  • Laptop backup – has disk images for Time Machine and HDD clones from my MacBook.

These are on: a 1TB, a 640GB, and two 500 GB drives. I use one 500GB as a Time Machine disk for my user data. It’s automatic and runs every hour. Each of the volumes except the TM backup, laptop backup, ‘Scratch’, and ‘Whatever’ is cloned to an identically sized volume on a different disk every night using SuperDuper!.

Time Machine gives me versioning and is much more likely to save me from the oh-shit-I-nuked-my-Quickbooks-file problem than the clones (and has already done so). The cloned disks let me upgrade the OS/Apps with nothing to fear, as a reboot and clone back fixes all problems; as well, if a disk does go tits up, I have almost the same availability as RAID1 (I do need to reboot and change some settings).

Finally, my user data is backed up online using Mozy. Currently, I have 130GB online. Most of that (110GB) is my Aperture library.

Mozy has been OK in terms of service – random updates break for various people. When it breaks for me (twice now) I contact customer support and do the uninstall-reinstall dance with the first tier of support before my logs are passed on to the next tier that provides helpful advice that has fixed my problem. The last outtage lasted a couple of weeks, I was annoyed and was planning on looking at the alternatives before my service renewed. I was lazy and it got fixed just as they re-billed my credit card. Awesome.

PETA pockets?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 - 11:10 pm

I was reading recently about a Geep (a goat-sheep cross).

This inspired a late conversation between P. and I, coming up with interesting new crosses. I believe I’ve hit upon one that will revolutionize the fur industry. Stop raising foxes and minxes in boxes and instead cross a ferret and a weasel: the werret. Just imagine, werret-coats and the dialog that will surely emanate from Fashion TV’s otherwise vapid broadcasts:

“Why, what kind of coat is that?”
“Why, it’s a werret coat!”
“Funny, most coats are for wearing.”

It’s brilliant, I tell you.

What colour is a Turing test?

Friday, November 16th, 2007 - 2:50 am

So, I’m the new admin of an established web forum (2300 or so members). The first order of business is stopping the spam bots.

Of course, there’s a captcha, but, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work.

Some would say to use a stronger captcha, but I hate captcha, so we’re going to do riddles, which might seem familiar to people who comment on this blog: “What colour is an orange?” (They’re not particularly hard riddles).

This blog uses a plug-in for WordPress called WP-Gatekeeper, developed by CSS virtuoso, Eric Meyer.

We’re going to take this idea, and merge it with our forum software so that all would-be members have to get a stupid riddle or other question correct, or they don’t get a membership.

I’m thinking topical trivia would be good as well, stuff that’s easily found via Google or Wikipedia.

If anyone has any question suggestions, toss them up here. They shouldn’t be formulaic (ie, no math, unless it’s a trick question: “I have one apple and Jane gives me three apples. How many legs do I have?”), or too esoteric.

Strike when the iron is hot.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 - 2:20 am

Fresh from my purchases at Radio Shack (excuse me, “The Source”), I opened my Les Paul up for surgery tonight, determined to figure out this soldering business. I cut a whole in the middle of an old shirt to let me carry out the operation without dripping any solder on the precious polyurethane finish (sorry, no pictures, no cameras in the OR (née kitchen)).

I got my new Sprague Orange Drops (225P – .022µF polyester capacitor) in pretty easily, though they take up a lot more room than the old ceramic discs. Somehow I created a bulge that sticks into the backplate that wasn’t there before, but I’m not sure how that happened.

The results (click to enlarge, click again to excuse them):

FYI: Learning to solder is stinky. This burnt ozone smell has given me a sore throat.

Yesterday evening was quality time spent with my Stratocaster:

Notes from the help desk, #104

Friday, September 29th, 2006 - 3:21 pm

Angrily hitting caps-lock doesn’t tab through form fields any faster than gently hitting caps-lock.

Apparently Size Matters.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006 - 3:39 pm

New 24″ display arrived today.

I get to play with it (all of) tomorrow as I’m working on a major ad that’s due on Thursday. No idea what it’s about yet (nor does anyone else). It’s going to be a fun day.

Update: Halo screen grab: