Month: October 2008


I’ve just been setting up jabber. I followed the advice from System Monitoring on setting up ejabberd [1]. I had previously tried the default jabber server but couldn’t get it working. The ejabberd is written in Erlang [2] which has it’s own daemon that it launches. It seems that Erlang is designed for concurrent and […]


The Latest Dick Smith Catalogue

I was just reading the latest catalogue from Dick Smith Electronics (a chain of computer stores in Australia). The first interesting thing that I noticed is that laptops are cheaper than desktops in all categories. For any combination of CPU power and RAM in a desktop system I can see a laptop advertised with similar […]

Misc Computer

Links October 2008

Here’s a blog post suggesting that anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac may have helped the US mortgage crisis [1]. Apparently such drugs cause poor impulse control, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to attend a house auction while using them. Here’s an interesting idea about lecturing, give 20 minute talks with something else (practical […]


Moth in my Celery

Above is a picture of a moth that I found in a packet of shrink wrapped celery from Foodworks (a Melbourne chain of grocery stores). I took several pictures from different angles, but I found that an almost direct photo captured it best, you can see the reflection of the flash covering part of the […]


Upgrading a server to 64bit Xen

I have access to a server in Germany that was running Debian/Etch i386 but needed to be running Xen with the AMD64 version of Debian/Lenny (well it didn’t really need to be Lenny but we might as well get two upgrades done at the same time). Most people would probably do a complete reinstall, but […]


Kernel issues with Debian Xen and CentOS Kernels

Last time I tried using a Debian 64bit Xen kernel for Dom0 I was unable to get it to work correctly, it continually gave kernel panics when doing any serious disk IO. I’ve just tried to reproduce that problem on a test machine with a single SATA disk and it seems to be working correctly […]


The Next Miserable Failure?

Until very recently I thought that it would be almost impossible to get someone worse than George W Bush as the leader of any significant country. Unfortunately it seems that I was wrong and John McCain and Sarah Palin promise more of the economic, regulatory, and military disasters that are the trademarks of the US […]


Combat Wasps

One of the many interesting ideas in Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn series [1] is that of Combat Wasps. These are robots used in space combat which may be armed with some combination of projectile weapons, MASERs, thermo-nuclear and anti-matter weapons. In a lot of science fiction the space combat is limited to capital ships, […]

Misc Computer

Programming and Games for Children

The design of levels for computer games is a form of programming, particularly for games with deterministic NPCs. It seems to me that for a large portion of the modern computer user-base the design of games levels will be their first experience of programming computers, the people who don’t start programming by creating games levels […]


Some RAID Issues

I just read an interesting paper titled An Analysis of Data Corruption in the Storage Stack [1]. It contains an analysis of the data from 1,530,000 disks running at NetApp customer sites. The amount of corruption is worrying, as is the amount of effort that is needed to detect them. NetApp devices have regular “RAID […]

Misc Computer