Posts by Category


Pure New Zealand

This site is driven by Blosxom

his site was written in vi

SDF is driven by NetBSD

Subscribe to this sites RSS/XML feed

This site has a Tableless Stylesheet

Email me

Sep 29, 2005

Almost at 1000 hits + More

Almost there - Statcounter indicates I'm at 999 hits this morning ;-)

I'm a big Sandman / American Gods fan so this movie should be pretty good - Mirrormask.

This looks fascinating - Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model - as they say its a shame it doesn't allow for non-traditional warfare. I guess until the American public wake up to the fact that Iraq was a mistake/waste of time/tragedy then Iraq will continue to be the next proving ground for next-generation warfare (cf Vietnam in the 60's and 70's and Afghanistan in the 80's and any number of 'police actions' in the 90's).

Interesting (for once) Slashdot thread on Old Geezers vs Young Bloods. Only because I fall into the (almost) Old Geezer category. The generation prior to mine came up with most of the tech we use and take for granted today - we have a vague idea how it all works - the generation after me seems to take it all for granted which is cool in that they have no preconceptions or learning-curve for new-technology. However there is the sneaking suspicion that they have no idea how it works (and/or have no willingness to learn either). Then again maybe its just Old-Geezer-itis like the old Monty Python Sketch. In my day we had to make do with Sinclair ZX80's and tape drives (if we were lucky!) and 1Kb of RAM :-)

Richard Dawkins on the new Opiate of the masses.

A disgustingly cool (and hidiously expensive) turntable - Brinkmann. Amusingly the reviewer expounds upon the fantastic sound coming from his Madonna LP on this thing which kind of immediately kills any respect one might have had for his opinion ;-)

Interesting - Five Common Mistakes Linux IT Managers Make.

Nice tool - Using SMART to monitorb your hard-disks.

More on the $100 laptop from MIT.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.29-20:15.00]

Sep 28, 2005

This week I have mostly been listening to . . .

(On my iPod Shuffle for the week starting 2/10/05)

Decided to put these back in as links as I always find it handy to reference people I listen to:

Gate, Mudhoney, Bjork, Godspeedyoublackemporer, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Nick Drake, Techno Animal, Shellac, Explosions in the Sky, Belle and Sebastian, Primal Scream

[/music] | [permalink] | [2005.09.28-01:41.00]

Sep 27, 2005

Lighten Up + More (Updated 29/09/05)

Lots of ground covered in this DrunkenBlog post. Interesting that he posits the idea that little innovation will come from Apple in the future due to lack of R & D spend and that Microsoft will end up making more by spinning out innovative ideas because they will take far to long to develop internally.

The genius that is TiddlyWiki now has a Dev site. I need to whack one of these up somewhere but I'm so tied to Blosxom I can't think what I'd do in TiddlyWiki form.

This looks cool - $100 Laptop. It'd be fantastic if robust tech could get out there into the hands of the people that need it the most.

Turntable goodness.

I need to get back into tramping - this book looks like a useful resource for lightening your load - Lighten Up! from the always interesting Cool Tools.

From TinyApps comes a link to some useful utilities GNU Win32 - Ports of Unix tools.

Mark Russinovich troubleshoots Diagnosing Windows Explorer Hangs using his own ProcExplorer, Regmon and Filemon tools.

Unfortunately not open-source but it is the best tool I've found in terms of an online Dictionary / Thesaurus tool - Wordweb Free. For open source types there are many freely available dict clients that will perform lookups on dict servers - unfortunately they don't help much unless you get the spelling right in your query anyway but at least they help with the thesaurus side of things.

There seems to be a looming OS X backlash - the upside of having high-profile 'Netizens congregate around your platform is that its great PR - the downside is that when they run into problems or get frustrated by the platform its negative PR. I guess based on Apples reluctance to throw resources into fixing some fundemental OS X (crappy finder) issues the company itself probably doesn't care.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.27-00:25.00]

Sep 21, 2005

Accelerando + More

If you're a Charles Stross (or even just a sci-fi) fan you'll appreciate that he has made his latest collection of short stories available for free - Accelerando.

I'm terrible at maths but I can appreciate the beauty in the theorems - this guy has collected the Top 100 Greatest Theorems. I'm almost tempted to add 'as voted for by you the viewer'.

As my mp3 collection is getting a little stale I've started to rip some of my older CD's - as a result of trying to find out some information on the Dead C and Gate I stumbled upon this guide to New Zealand and Japanese 'Noise'. I remember seeing the Dead C open for Sonic Youth and completely blow both the audience and headliners away.

If you want to know why the Mac has such visually appealing software take a look at the level of attention to detail in this post about some extranious pixels that could do with some 'tidying up'. No one in the Windows or Linux world would ever care about this type of thing.

Some cult UK TV - If you grew up in the 70's you'll be familiar with Bernard Quatermass - this UK Sci-Fi drama was truly scarey (not in a nice Dr Who way either). I just discovered that BBC4 remade it recently. Wonder what it was like ? I think the last movie with John Mills was my favourite of the lot. In a similar 70's style its interesting to see that Rumpole of the Bailey has been released on DVD - something strangely appealling about this gentle courtroom drama and Leo McKerns portrayal of the character.

Some discussion on 43Folders about using simpler devices to make life easier - this particular post points to another article over at O'Reilly where Kendall Clark discusses his new Alphasmart Neo. Its interesting that someone pointed out the similarity to the old Apple eMate which is still a favourite for people who want a robust writing solution but don't want the hassle of a laptop. There was a vaguely related article I came across a week or so ago which made a connection between Apples disk-less Nano, falling memory prices and the possibility of moving Apples consumer iBook line to a similar diskless configuration - by removing the hard-drive and making it completely solid-state they could make the laptop smaller, faster and more power efficient - given it will be a few years before Apple transition to x86 this might get them a little more milage from the aging G4 chipset.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.21-19:38.00]

Sep 19, 2005

Textpander + More (Updated 20/09/05)

More interesting updates -

From 43folders - how to write sensible emails. I cringe everytime I see an email message without a Subject line.

Interesting - Joe Williams Sr. claims to have a device which massively increases the efficiency of the combustion engine by feeding hydrogen into the combustion chamber for a cleaner burn. Sounds cool.

An excellent OpenBSD 101 guide. Of particular interest was the 'lsof' package which provides a list of open files / pipes / ports. Looks like a handy debugging too.

Useful tool for checking network performance / isolating bottleknecks - Netperf - from a Windows perspective. The tool itself is available for a number of platforms and is open-source.

From BoingBoing - guy posts a bunch of blank speech bubbles over ads and then comes back to see what people have written in them - heres some from the Humour category.

One of the applications I really liked using back in my Mac Classic days on my Duo 230 was TypeIt4Me - it was essential given the incredibly crappy keyboard the Duo line was notorious for having. Back then it was freeware - no its commercial and I'm on the hunt for a free alternative on OS X and came across TextPander which fits the bill quite nicely. I can set auto-correct up to replace 'teh' with 'the' and all the other silly typo's and transpositions I usually make when I type.

Why following a security guide to locking down a server is often not the smartest way to handle network security.

Just like the qemu based virtual linux distros - there is now a Pocket CE 2.0 which lets you run an emulated ARM based PocketPC device from a USB stick.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.19-03:05.00]

Sep 15, 2005

Election + More

Finally - Election Day is almost here. Its pretty close - lets see if Kiwis fall for Nationals tax breaks or wether they can see through this election brib, I mean, ahem, incentive. Then again Labours made a botch of the buildup - sure they've had a good 6 years (unemployment down by 300000!) but trying to get anything positive across in the media hasn't been handled well at all.

Some good stuff from WinDevcenter -

Howto - Setting up webcam surveillance. Unfortunately for something so seemingly simple the software available for this doesn't seem to have progressed much since I did this with an old Mac LC and an original grey-scale Connectix QuickCam several years ago.

Annoyances - Ten Word Annoyances. I can vouch for the autocapitalisation thing being extremely annoying. Ditto the auto correct in Outlook (which I guess taps into Word) - why when I type "save into your My Documents folder" does it turn into - "you’re my Dcouments folder" ? Sigh.

SyncTool - Powertoy - SyncTool. Keep folders sync'd across multiple folders / systems.

More on Suns new Opteron based Galaxy slimline servers at Infoworld.

Interesting article on some options for hacking HP JetDirect interfaces. Interesting that you can use nmap to launch stealth scans from the JetDirect interface (although I'm guessing you can fake from any device with an ip address so its probably not particularly unique).

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.15-20:56.00]

This week I have mostly been listening to . . .

(On my iPod Shuffle for the week ending 17/09/05)

Big Black, Barry Adamson, Techno Animal, Charlambides, Tom Waites, 3 Colours Red, Babes in Toyland, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Flying Saucer Attack, Minor Threat, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, Crowded House, Bailter Space, Mark Lanegan, God Machine, Stereolab, some unidentifiable stuff from my Macro Dub Infection compilations

I'm starting to doubt my Autofills randomosity (either that or my iTunes collection is just horribly monotonous :-)

Post inspired by Jesse.

[/music] | [permalink] | [2005.09.15-20:20.00]

Sep 13, 2005

SimpleOCR + More (updated 14/09/05)

Sun release their first sub $1000US server - AnandTech reviews the SunFire X2100. They look pretty minimalist - it'll be interesting to see what happens when Apple switches its Xserve line to x86 . . .

Security - Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security.

Microsofts new Gadgets seem to be strangely similar to Konfabulator / Dashboard widgets.

Pillaging links mercilessly from the excellent Nedwolf collection of freeware -

Optical Character Recognition - SimpleOCR. A little clunky looking but it seems to get the job done.

Free Backup/File Synch - SyncBack from 2BrightSparks who also have a couple of other useful tools - for hash calculation / file encryption.

Free planetarium - Stellarium. Open source and cross platform. Pretty cool.

I always wondered what 'Pink' was and now I know - Brief history of the Pink OS within Apple. Hard to believe they wasted so many years developing junk like this which never saw the light of day. Let alone those that did but were dropped soon after release (QuickdrawGX, OpenDoc, Newton, Geoport etc).

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.13-03:46.00]

Sin City + Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

OK - Saw Sin City a few weeks ago - not to bad stylistically and storywise but I wouldn't call it a particularly enjoyable movie (in the same way that Pulp Fiction was actually pretty fun to watch).

Pretty Good (if you've never seen the original) - Saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the weekend and thought it was pretty good. Not as good as the original though - Depp doesn't have the same meloncholic-malevolence that Gene Wilder did in the original.

Excellent - The same week I saw Sin City I also caught Heights which was actually a very engaging romantic drama centered around collapsing relationships over a 24hr period.

[/film] | [permalink] | [2005.09.13-02:34.00]

Sep 09, 2005

Brushed Metal + More (Updated 10/09/05)

Interesting - Watch a chess computer think through its moves.

Another link from Japanese Castles.

Fantastic send-up of Mac OS Interface Transience - Brushed Metal falls from favour. Its interesting that GNOME is moving in the opposite direction by simplifying the interface - Gnome 2.12 even got a Mac OS 9 comparison.

Nice idea - Flat Speaker Leads you can hide in your walls.

If you didn't already know the best groupware platform was updated - Notes 7. Some positive reporting on Notes versus Exchange. While the Outlook client is nicer to use (especially for people who use Office and Outlook/Outlook Express at home) Notes just seems like a much more transparent system in terms of usability and back-end administration.

A nice overview on the benefits of Virtualisation.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.09-01:21.00]

Sep 08, 2005

This week I have mostly been listening to . . .

(bands on my iPod Shuffle for the week ending 9 September 2005) -

Bad Brains, Badly Drawn Boy, Godspeedyoublackemporer, Godflesh, Sparklehorse, Thelonious Monk, Charlambides, Straitjacket Fits, Laika, Lamb, Mazzy Star, Mogwai, Flying Saucer Attack, Minor Threat

[/music] | [permalink] | [2005.09.08-20:30.00]

Sep 04, 2005

Chmox + More (Updated 07/09/05)

I'm sure I've linked to this before but these little places are to cool not to flag again - Tumleweed Houses. These would make great holiday homes.

Another article on getting a tiny Linux distro working under Qemu. Theres a related article at about the popularity of small Linux installs.

Interesting Basics of installing / securing PHP and MySQL on OS X. I didn't realise there was a secure php.ini option or a mysql_secure_installation script. They both look like useful options for locking down any LAMP (linux/apache/mysql/php) setup.

Microsofts Compiled Help format is pretty popular as a way of bundling up information. Its always been a hassle to view on other platforms - I used to use xChm via X-windows on my Mac which was fine by X is a pig. Luckily theres now a native viewer for OS X - Chmox. It small, fast and efficient.

Create your own GTD (Getting Things Done) notebook - via the PocketMod Flash app - which prints onto a single A4 page. The GTD meme is cool but sometimes I wonder if like Adrian Mole you spend more time on the System than on actually GTD :-)

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.04-23:55.00]

Alastair Reynolds + Mark Haddon

I just finished Revalation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Very slow start but the last 3/4 of the book is pretty impressive and when it ends you feel the need to rush out and get the next one.

Just started reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Not something I'd normally consider but curiosity got the best of me and I was duly rewarded by a fascinating read. Highly recommended insight into autism with smatterings of science and mathematics rolled into a (dog)murder mystery.

[/books] | [permalink] | [2005.09.04-23:17.00]

Sep 02, 2005

BackupPC + More

Seems very similar to an inhouse application at my old job (Hi Barry!) - BackupPC. Open-source software which backs up data from PC's to a central server.

Video-capture application - WinDV.

Interesting - SSL Enabling Exchange. For secure webmail.

Decisions - Eight techniques to assist you in your decision making process.

Redundant routing via keepalived.

[/links/2005] | [permalink] | [2005.09.02-23:31.00]