Month: January 2010

Cheap Net Access in Australia

The cheapest ADSL or Cable net access in Australia seems to be about $30 per month. I’ve been using 3G net access by the “Three” phone company for 18 months now and it’s been working well [1]. I recently bought a new 3G modem because the old one broke, so it has cost me $250 […]


Links January 2010

Magnus Larsson gave an interesting TED talk about using bacteria to transform dunes into architecture [1]. The concept of making a wall across Africa to stop sand dunes from overtaking farm land is obviously a good one, the idea of using bacteria to convert sand into sandstone to do so cheaply is also good. But […]


My Ideal Netbook

I have direct knowledge (through observation or first-hand reports) of the following use cases for Netbooks: System administrator’s emergency workstation – something light to carry when you might get an SMS about a problem. A really small laptop for a serious technical user, can be used for programming and other serious tasks. Only someone who […]

Misc Computer

The Always Innovating Smartbook/Netbook

Always Innovating have an interesting netbook that can be detached from it’s keyboard [1]. It provides features which are a close match for the tablet PC with optional keyboard that I advocated in my post about the Lenovo U1 [2]. Such devices are deemed to be in a new category of computer called the Smartbook […]


The Lenovo U1 Hybrid – an example of how Proprietary OSs Suck

Lenovo have announced their innovative new U1 “Hybrid” laptop [1]. It consists of a tablet-style device with a resistive touch-screen that runs Linux on a 1GHz ARM processor which attaches to a base computer that has a keyboard and a Core2 processor running Windows 7. They apparently have some special software to synchronise web browsing […]

Misc Computer

Another Hot Summer

Yesterday was ~30C in my area, today was well over 30C during the day (although cooler in the evening). They forecast 33C for tomorrow in Melbourne, but that means where I live it will probably be about 36C (it’s always a few degrees hotter than the overall forecast for the city). Monday is predicted to […]

Misc Computer

Ext4 and Debian/Lenny

I want to use the Ext4 filesystem on Xen DomUs. The reason for this is that the problem of fsck times on ext4 (as described in my previous post about Ext4 [1]) is compounded if you have multiple DomUs running fsck at the same time. One issue that makes this difficult is the fact that […]


Which is Better, Original DVD or Pirate MP4?

For a long time it has been obvious that in all cases anti-piracy technologies discourage purchases and in many cases encourage piracy. I first discovered the significance of this in about 1991 when I attended a public lecture by a senior employee of Borland and a member of the audience claimed that the Borland product […]


An Interesting new “Auction” Site is an interesting new auction site, their business model is that you buy “bids” for $0.80 each. If you want to bid on an item it costs you $0.80, then if you win the auction you pay for it. Every bid increases the price by 2 cents. So if you see an auction with […]


Ext4 and RHEL5/CentOS5

I have just noticed that Red Hat added Ext4 support to RHEL-5 in kernel 2.6.18-110.el5. They also added a new package named e4fsprogs (a break from the e2fsprogs name that has been used for so long). Hopefully they will use a single package for utilities for Ext2/3/4 filesystems in RHEL-6 and not continue this package […]