Month: June 2008

The Cost of Owning a Car

There has been a lot of talk recently about the cost of petrol, Colin Charles is one of the few people to consider the issue of wages in this discussion [1]. Unfortunately almost no-one seems to consider the overall cost of running a vehicle. While I can’t get the figures for Malaysia (I expect Colin […]


What is Appropriate Advertising?

Colin Charles writes about a woman who is selling advertising space on herself [1]. Like Colin I haven’t bought a t-shirt in about 9 years (apart from some Cafepress ones I designed myself). So it seems that the price for getting some significant advertising at a computer conference is to buy a few hundred t-shirts […]


I’m Skeptical about Robotic Nanotech

There has been a lot of fear-mongering about nanotech. The idea is that little robots will eat people (or maybe eat things that we depend on such as essential food crops). It’s unfortunate that fear-mongering has replaced thought and there seems to have been little serious discussion about the issues. If (as some people believe) […]

Politics Prediction

Wyndham Resorts is a Persistent Spammer

Over the last week I have received five phone calls from Wyndham Resorts asking if I would like to be surveyed. Every time I tell them that I am not going to do their survey, on all but one call I had to repeatedly state that I would not do the survey for more than […]


ECC RAM is more useful than RAID

A common myth in the computer industry seems to be that ECC (Error Correcting Code – a Hamming Code [0]) RAM is only a server feature. The difference between a server and a desktop machine (in terms of utility) is that a server performs tasks for many people while a desktop machine only performs tasks […]


Perpetual Motion

It seems that many blog posts related to fuel use (such as my post from yesterday about record oil prices [1]) are getting adverts about perpetual motion [2]. Note that the common usage of the term “Perpetual Motion” does not actually require something to move. A battery that gives out electricity forever would be regarded […]


Record Oil Prices

MarketWatch reports that oil prices had the biggest daily gain on record, going up $11 in one day. They claim that this is due to an impending Israeli attack on Iran and a weak US economy. $150 per barrel is the price that they predict for the 4th of July. That’s an interesting choice of […]


SE Linux Support in GPG

In May 2002 I had an idea for securing access to GNUPG [1]. What I did was to write SE Linux policy to only permit the gpg program to access the secret key (and other files in ~/.gnupg). This meant that the most trivial ways of stealing the secret key would be prevented. However an […]


I Just Joined SAGE

I’ve just joined SAGE AU – the System Administrators Guild of Australia [1] . I’ve known about SAGE for a long time, in 2006 I presented a paper at their conference [2] (here is the paper [3] – there are still some outstanding issues from that one, I’ll have to revisit it). They have been […]

Misc Computer

BIND Stats

In Debian the BIND server will by default append statistics to the file /var/cache/bind/named.stats when the command rndc stats (which seems to be undocumented) is run. The default for RHEL4 seems to be /var/named/chroot/var/named/data/named_stats.txt. The output will include the time-stamp of the log in the number of seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC (see my previous […]