Virgin Refunds Me $200

Virgin Mobile Excessive Billing

In my previous post about the Xperia X10 I mentioned being billed excessively for bandwidth use [1].

On Friday when I phoned Virgin I was repeatedly told that there was nothing that could be done about the bill. I demanded to be transferred to someone with authority to change my bill, […]

icmptx – Tunneling IP over ICMP Echo

I’ve just been playing with icmptx, a system for tunneling IP over ICMP Echo which could be handy if I ever find myself blocked by firewalls. Unfortunately the documentation is lacking. Below is a sample configuration that works for me, all you have to do is to put the correct IP address in for SERVERIP […]

Dynamic DNS

The Problem

My SE Linux Play Machine has been down for a couple of weeks. I’ve changed to a cheaper Internet access plan which also allows me to download a lot more data, but I don’t have a static IP address any more – and my ISP seems to change the IP a lot more […]

Is Pre-Forking any Good?

Many Unix daemons use a technique known as “pre-forking”. This means that to save the amount of time taken to fork a child process they will keep a pool of processes waiting for work to come in. When a job arrives then one of the existing processes is used and the overhead of the fork() […]

Ethernet Interface Naming

As far as I recall the standard for naming Linux Ethernet devices has always been ethX where X is a number starting at 0. Until fairly recently the interface names were based on the order that device drivers were loaded or the order in which the PCI bus was scanned. This meant that after hardware […]


Recently I have been doing a bit of work on libcsoap (the C library for making SOAP XML calls over http) and the libnanohttp library that it depends on. The most important part of my work on it was making it thread-safe with the technique I described in my post about finding thread unsafe code […]

Mailing List Meta-Discussions

It seems that most mailing lists occasionally have meta-discussions about what is on-topic, the few that don’t are the ones that have very strong moderation – authoritarian moderators who jump on the first infraction and clearly specify the rules.

I don’t recall the list of acceptable topics for any mailing list including “also discussions about […]

Does Every Serious Mailing List need a Non-Serious Counterpart?

One practice that seems relatively common is for an organisation to have two main mailing lists, one for serious discussions that are expected to be relatively topical and another for anything that’s not overly offensive. Humans are inherently incapable of avoiding social chatter when doing serious work. The people who don’t want certain social interactions […]

New Portslave release after 5 Years

I’ve just uploaded Portslave version 2010.03.30 to Debian, it replaces version 2005.04.03.1. I considered waiting a few days to make the anniversary but I wanted to get the bugs fixed.

I had a bug report suggesting that Portslave should be removed from Debian because of being 5 years without a major release. It has been […]

3G Broadband for Home Use

I have just installed an old Three mobile phone with 3G broadband for my parents home network access for the reasons described in my cheap net access in Australia post [1].

The first problem I had was that the pre-paid Three SIM just wouldn’t work at all. I ended up phoning the Three support line […]