February 2005 Archives

Make Magazine, bonus issue promo

ReadyMade for technology geeks!

If you subscribe to O'Reilly's Make magazine, use promotional code M5ZXML to get a free bonus issue (5 for $35 instead of 4).

If you subscribe via Amazon your subscription will start with the second issue rather than the first. I for one wouldn't want to miss the first issue. :-)

If you only want the first issue you can get it at Amazon for $10.

From the second issue it'll start being available at newsstands too...



GeoURL weblog

I had a bunch more features I wanted to add (still working on those maps for example). However, I haven't had time to work on it since last weekend, so last night I decided to just get it online and this morning I flipped the switch. Release early, release often!

Remember having seen this site before? You remember right! It's a re-implementation of Joshua Schachter's original GeoURL site (that lived at the same domain).

put /etc/ under svk/svn

Enrico Zini tips how to put /etc under subversion control. As one of the follow-ups mentions then you can mirror the svk repository into a regular subversion server to then have /etc/ remotely backed up. I'm not sure how it would be best structured, but it should be feasible to also use it to have shared configuration files across multiple servers (all pulling from the same subversion repository).

   # Install svk
   apt-get install svk
   # Initialize a depot in /root/.svk
   svk depotmap --init
   # Import /etc making it a working copy
   svk import --to-checkout //etc /etc
   # Make your depot not that readable
   chmod -R go-rwx ~/.svk
   # Remove volatile files from revision control
   cd /etc
   svk rm -K adjtime ld.so.cache
   ...and voilà, you have /etc/ under revision control, without CVS or .svn
   or {arch} files around. The syntax of svk is just like the syntax of
   svn, of which it's a distributed extension.

(via email from Robert Spier)

KCRW to go

Wow, this is really cool. KCRW is going to make a lot of their non-music programs available as podcasts (oh boy, do I not like that name...).

KCRW's roster of podcasts includes the nationally distributed, daily public affairs program, "To the Point," with host Warren Olney; and "Left, Right & Center" - a political week-in-review with talking heads, Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer and Matt Miller.

Included among the cultural shows to be podcast are: "Bookworm," a nationally syndicated half-hour of interviews with authors such as Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, and Salman Rushdie; "The Treatment," with former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell; and "The Business" hosted by Variety reporter Claude Brodesser with an inside look at the entertainment industry.

Yay! I can't find the press release on their site; this is from L.A. Observed

I haven't bothered to download any podcast software before, but now I must.

To me it's not the RSS/Feed type stuff that's so exciting; it's that they are going to provide content in a non-streaming format. Now I can save my favorite shows. Burn them to CDs. Send them to friends for them to listen to at their convenience. And of course put them on my iPod. That they'll use "podcasts" is just a convenience for downloading programs I listen to regularly.

update: KCRW put up their podcast page with the press release.

Image slicing tool?


I have a couple of several hundred MB tiff file (21600×21600) that I want to slice into thousands of little tiny images.

ImageMagick doesn't seem to have a good way to do this via the API or the command line tools (or did I miss something?) and it's using a billion zillion MB memory loading the file.

Adobe Photoshop handles the giant files amazingly well on my PowerMac G4, but ImageReady (the "save your images for the web" tool that comes with Photoshop) doesn't like the giant file so much and it doesn't support making that many slices.

Currently my plan is to just get the each file chopped up in maybe 4 or 8 smaller pieces and then hope ImageReady can deal with those better and then go through it manually.

But I'm planning to scale the original image into about 5 different sizes (that all needs to be chopped into slices) and then it's quickly degenerating into a bunch of manual work, so an automatic tool would be nice. I can do Linux or OS X, but not Windows... (Or if you, dear reader, want to give it a try then I'll be happy to send you the files).

(the images above are from the NASA Earth Observatory — their image collection is completely amazingly)

Los Angeles at night


On popular request I took a photo of the view at night some time ago...

It's interesting by the way; the photo looks much nicer in Adobe RGB than in sRGB. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong converting it.

Gigabit switch


Since we got new servers we actually ran out of switch ports. We have an 8-port gigabit Dell switch BizRate gave us last year that we use for our internal network. We have another ancient 22 port old Cisco 29xx 100Mbit switch we use for our external network and (with a VLAN) for some of the internal network). They are both so full we had to unplug things we weren't using enough to get the new servers in yesterday.

I'd like to not spend much money, but we do need VLANs, SNMP, 24+ ports and reasonable performance. So, dear reader, your advice is sought. :-)

Dell sells a 24 ports gigabit switch (Powerconnect 5324) for $800 which I think is just a newer and bigger version of the 8 port switch we have, so I'm quite sure it'd work. (Does anyone know who's really making the Dell switches?). The price seems reasonable.

Netgear makes some switches that are priced well, but we can't figure out if they do what we want.

GS724T is 24 ports and cheap - ~$450 from Newegg. It's listed in their "Managed L2 Switches" section, but it doesn't seem to have SNMP? They make a 48 port version too (GS748T - about $1100). No SNMP in that one either, or so it seems. Does anyone know?

GSM7224 is their 24 port version that definitely does have SNMP. It cost about the same as the Dell, about twice as much as the GS724T.

Linksys also makes a 24 port gigabit switch (SRW2024) for less than $500 which is "managed" but doesn't have SNMP.

I looked briefly at the Cisco switches too, but they are way more expensive (with no benefits for us).

Is the $800 Dell switch the best we can do?

search.cpan.org moved

| 1 Comment

A few days ago search.cpan.org from the old host at Webster where it's been for some time, to a box in the perl.org rack. It's a bit faster and best of all it shouldn't bounce up and down like it was starting to do...

Shopzilla (aka BizRate aka Good Friends of Perl) pulled out a couple of nice servers of their rack yesterday and gave them to us, yay. (So if you see broken images or something on their site today, you know why ;-) )

When we got to the datacenter, one of the Ticketmaster people came by and gave us a couple of 1U servers too, so between the four new servers we will setup at least one more search.cpan.org box (redundancy and performance), move Subversion and CVS to a box just for that (it's on an old non RHEL system now with a bunch of other stuff) and setup a box just for our Request and Bug Tracker.

The downside of all this is that we don't have room for the paperbag with cables that's in the old picture above anymore... :-)

I'm not sure why, but it continues to surprise me just how long it takes to fudge with hardware to get it installed in the rack, cabled up, get the RAIDs configured, reset the BIOS configuration, install Linux, do basic configuration, etc etc. Of course it doesn't help that almost our servers are different configurations from different vendors.

ps. we are working on getting a mirror of search.cpan.org setup in Europe. If you have a server in Japan we can take over and use for an Asian (or maybe only .jp) mirror, please send me a mail...

dial with vonageThis is great. With a simple Apple Script I can now make my phone ring and when I pick it up it calls the number I clicked on in the Address Book. This will at least tide me over until they come out with regular phones with bluetooth.

AdressBook AppleScript Plugin via Mac OS X Hints

API info from Vonage.

CPAN Search


If you were going to look for something on CPAN today, please try cpansearch.perl.org today to help us test a new server. (We'll get more shortly to beef it up and make it Super Highly Available). :-)

This it not a link to Paypal


Unless you use a Firefox build from today then this paypal link will look like it's going to Paypal.com, but it'll really go to xn--pypal-4ve.com and not show you. Yikes! It even works with SSL (just another one for showing that SSL as an authenticator is a waste of time. Dear browser vendors, please stop the certificate insanity).

Read more

"Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind."
    — Henry James

(via something we watched on DVD and then my pocket briefcase (aka my "new Palm Pilot") which was recommended by Adam Turoff)

Just got this spam. Even comment spammers go down the path of inventing their own templating language. Silly buggers.

syn(Cool|Nice|Rulezz) syn(blog,|portal| site ! I) hope to make syn(my own|own weblog|my diary), not worse than yours ;)

Also interesting to see how immature the comment spam "industry is" in the The Register interview Interview with a comment spammer.

More on comment spam soon...

Amazon Prime Club


$80 for free two day shipping for a year?

I tried counting how many orders I made with Amazon last year to see if it'd make sense. Most of the time I'm happy to get things with free shipping a week later, but if it averages out to just a couple of dollars per order (and ~$0.75 per item)? Hmn.

They should do something to get the marketplace vendors to use the program too...

Note - I am not Amazon Customer Service -- To contact amazon go to their site!

Buy my Powerbook memory


The bids are all the way up to 7 cents already!

Or you can run over to NewEgg and buy a 1GB stick for ~$200. 7 cents or $200, what is it going to be?

update it sold for a bit more than 7 cents after all. $83.50. (So at that rate it'll cost you only about $120 to upgrade to a 1GB stick if you have a 512MB stick now).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2005 is the previous archive.

March 2005 is the next archive.

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