Content here is by Michael Still mikal@stillhq.com. All opinions are my own.
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Fri, 30 Dec 2005



Python DNS modules

posted at: 17:07 | path: /python | permanent link to this entry


Talk about a support life cycle...

posted at: 17:04 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 26 Dec 2005



Figures from chapter 1 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 11:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 2 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 10:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 3 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 09:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 4 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 08:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 5 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 07:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 6 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 06:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 7 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 05:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 8 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 04:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 9 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 03:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 10 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 02:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Figures from chapter 11 of ImageMagick, the definitive guide

posted at: 01:00 | path: /imagemagick/book/figures | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 25 Dec 2005



How come I don't blog any more?

    It's not intentional, I think it's more that I haven't had anything interesting to say since I moved to the US -- all of my time has been devoted to training at work, moving into houses (two now, no more of that please), and sustaining the other two activities by going shopping. I promise now that most of that is done that I will be 100% excitement from now on.

    In fact, I'll take my camera to Andrew and Sarah's Christmas lunch, and then post some pictures online... Promise.

    Tags for this post: blog christmas quiet
    Related posts: Christmas morning; As pointed out by a friend at work; I like Christmas

posted at: 10:13 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 20 Dec 2005



First commute to work

    This morning was my first bike commute to work ever. Not just to my new American job, but ever (I've always lived too far from work until now -- being a bike ride away from work was one of the criteria for the apartment in the US). The ride was rather pleasant, and involved very little on the road stuff (just getting onto the bike path near the apartment) -- 27 minutes, 7.7km, maximum speed of 33 km per hour.

    There is a lot of room for improvement here -- we didn't go the most efficient way, I am relatively unfit at the moment not having ridden for a month, and Andrew is learning how to use cleats which made for a bit of laughter.

    A nice ride though, and I'm pretty happy with how it went. I'll be riding more in the future.

    Tags for this post: bike ride commute work
    Related posts: Two weeks of being sick; More commuting to work; A Saturday ride; Weekend riding; Rode to work, and lived; A 50km week

posted at: 09:21 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 19 Dec 2005



Back on the road again, nearly

posted at: 13:11 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 16 Dec 2005



About to resize my LVM

    When I created my USB2 mirrored LVMed disk array I go asked a few questions about performance of the disks, how long it took to setup, and stuff like that.

    At the time it was too late to get that data as I already had things I cared about on the disk array. Now it's time to grow the array so I've picked up two more disks. I've collected some data, so I now have data on the setup process for a new LVM from two USB 2 disks, and bonnie results for the filesystem on those disks. I don't have the date with me though, so I will write it up in the next few days.

    Is there anything else people would like to know before I put these disks into action?

    Oh, and yes this does mean that there is now a terrabyte of disk in that array. That brings the total amount of storage I have online at my house to 1.2 terrabytes. That doesn't include the old disk array still running in Australia either. Fun fun fun.

    Tags for this post: linux md lvm raid filesystem
    Related posts: Building my new disk array; Adding space to the disk array; Large inodes = faster samba; Linux USB quandary

posted at: 09:28 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


The environmental friendliness of shrimp trawling?

posted at: 09:22 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 11 Dec 2005



Update on the Dell

posted at: 14:21 | path: /diary/toys/dell/e310 | permanent link to this entry


I like Christmas

    I spent some time this morning wrapping the presets for the kids. They get two Christmases you see -- the one in Australian, and then another smaller one when they get to the US. Now, it might be the nostalgia speaking, or the fact that I haven't seen my family in nearly a month, but it occurred to me that I really like Christmas.

    Or to be more precise -- I really like giving my kids stuff. Although, it turns out that I am crap at wrapping. There is something really cute about the kids being excited to be moving to the US -- because daddy said there were presents waiting for them. That's cool.

    Oh, and next time I'm only going to buy rectangular presents so I stand a chance of being able to wrap them. Ever tried to wrap a stuffed toy?

    Tags for this post: christmas
    Related posts: How come I don't blog any more?; Christmas morning; As pointed out by a friend at work

posted at: 10:06 | path: /christmas | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 09 Dec 2005



Installing Linux on a Dell Dimension e310

    I got a very good price on a Dell e310, so I have been trying to install Linux on it for about an hour now without much joy. It turns out (or at least this is my current theory) that the USB chipset in the machine isn't supported by the Ubuntu 5.10 installer, and that causes the kernel to crash on boot. There certainly seem to be other people experiencing this as well.

    Unfortunately, I really need USB on this machine, as there are no legacy ports and I really like keyboards. Specifically, the Ubuntu install CD needs me to enter a boot line before it boots the installer kernel, and I can't do that with my spare USB controller installed and the on board one disabled, as the BIOS wont allow me.

    I'll keep you posted when I come up with a solution.

    Tags for this post: blog toys dell e310 ubuntu linux install
    Related posts: Update on the Dell; Update on the Dell e310 ; Ubuntu, Dapper Drake, and that difficult Dell e310; A first taste of Ubuntu; Nice touch; What packages are taking all my disk?

posted at: 22:06 | path: /diary/toys/dell/e310 | permanent link to this entry


Errata from the book

    The Definitive Guide to ImageMagick arrives in bookstores 26 December 2005, but Apress has already started sending out PDF versions of the book to some reviewers (let me know if you're interested in doing a review and I will see what I can do), and there is a sample chapter available for download from the Apress site.

    We worked hard to make the book as good as we could, including having a technical review team, several layers of editors, and me reading all of the chapters more than I would like to admit. That doesn't mean that it's impossible that errata slipped through though, so if you see something like that then please send either me an email, or even better send an email to the address reserved for such things.

    Each error found, if I agree with it, will result in a thank you email, the error being corrected in any future editions, the error being listed online (I don't know where yet though), and a credit in future versions of the book.

    Tags for this post: imagemagick book errata
    Related posts: Errata: Tweak to homework, new VMWare image

posted at: 07:38 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 02 Dec 2005



Building a stack of images from thumbnails

    I have a directory full of thumbnails of the rental tour I went on the other day while looking for a new apartment, and I want to put them online. Instead of putting each photo online, which I thought might be boring, I wanted to build a stack on images on a background.

    I'm not really describing the effect well, so here's the output so you know what I mean:



    This was remarkably easy to create with a simple script that uses ImageMagick. Here's the code:

      #!/bin/bash # Setup the random number stuff LOBOUND=1 HIBOUND=600 RANDMAX=32767 # Create a white image to start with convert -size $HIBOUND"x"$HIBOUND xc:lightgray output.png for img in img*jpg do echo "Processing $img" # Rotate the image if needed rotate="" if [ `exif $img | grep Orientation | grep bottom | wc -l | tr -d " "` -gt 0 ] then convert -rotate -90 $img img.png else convert $img img.png fi imgwidth=`identify -ping img.png | cut -f 3 -d " " | cut -f 1 -d "x"` imgheight=`identify -ping img.png | cut -f 3 -d " " | cut -f 2 -d "x"` # For more information on bounded numbers with bash, see # http://www.stillhq.com/bashrand/ x=$(( $LOBOUND + (($HIBOUND - $imgwidth) * $RANDOM) / ($RANDMAX + 1) )) y=$(( $LOBOUND + (($HIBOUND - $imgheight) * $RANDOM) / ($RANDMAX + 1) )) # Put the image on top of the accumulative image mv output.png input.png convert -draw "image atop $x,$y $imgwidth,$imgheight img.png" input.png output.png rm img.png done


First the script creates an empty image to place the thumbnails over. Then for each image it checks if the image needs to be rotated, and what size it is. I use the size of the image to determine what the maximum value for the two random values I need are (the random values from the coordinates of the top left of the thumbnail image, and I don't want any images falling off the edge of the new image). The the image is placed on top of the accumulating image.

It's just a little ImageMagick hack I thought I would share.

Tags for this post: imagemagick thumbnail stack effect
Related posts: Solar panel reflection effects in satellite imagery

posted at: 17:25 | path: /imagemagick | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 28 Nov 2005



Sin City

posted at: 11:40 | path: /diary/movies | permanent link to this entry


Example 2.1 from Dive Into Python

posted at: 11:16 | path: /python/diveintopython | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 24 Nov 2005



Adventures in Ubuntu Breezy Dovecot

    I mentioned the other day that I am having problems with Dovecot on Ubuntu Breezy. Now's the time to debug it, and here are my notes...

    No inetd.conf

      sed: can't read /etc/inetd.conf: No such file or directory
      


    This first error is because of this poorly implemented test:

      # The init script should do nothing if dovecot is being run from inetd
      for p in `sed -r "s/^ *(([^:]+|\[[^]]+]|\*):)?(pop3s?|imaps?)[ \t].*/\3/;t;d" \
        /etc/inetd.conf`
      do
        for q in `sed -r "s/^ *protocols[ \t]*=[ \t]*(([^\"]*)|\"(.*)\")/\2\3/;t;d" \
          /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf`
        do
          if [ $p = $q ]; then
            exit 0
          fi
        done
      done
      


    You can see from the comment that the intention is that the init script doesn't do anything if dovecot is running from inetd. The error message is kinda bogus though, in that the code keeps executing after that failed line with the sed call in it. If you find the error annoying, then make it go away:

      touch /etc/inetd.conf
      


    In a perfect world, you'd hope that the packager would change the script to do something more like this:

      for p in `sed -r "s/^ *(([^:]+|\[[^]]+]|\*):)?(pop3s?|imaps?)[ \t].*/\3/;t;d" \
        /etc/inetd.conf 2> /dev/null`
      


    Moving right along...

    It doesn't start the service

    I had enabled the imap_listen variable in the dovecot.conf file, but not put it in the protocols variable. The init script checks this, and bugged out without an error message. I would think an error message would be nicer.

    And now it works.

    Tags for this post: linux ubuntu dovecot
    Related posts: Ubuntu Breezy and Dovecot hate me; Nice touch; What packages are taking all my disk?; Installing Linux on a Dell Dimension e310; MySQL Workbench; Old ImageMagick packages in Debian and Ubuntu

posted at: 20:40 | path: /linux/ubuntu | permanent link to this entry


Stuffit expander for linux, but open source

    I've been working with publishing people recently, and they're all Macintosh users. There is a trial version of Stuffit expander for linux, but they really want me to give them money after 15 days... I've googled for an open source alternative, but can't find one. Is that because one doesn't exist?

    Tags for this post: linux stuffit

posted at: 14:30 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


On home sound systems

posted at: 13:25 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Mikal, the massive domain squatter

posted at: 12:51 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


What do you do on days as a bachelor in a strange country?

    Well, for me it was a cooked breakfast before getting the house work done. Instead of writing an exciting blog post about the fact that the bed here comes up to my belly button and it's sheets needed washing, I thought I would comment on American bacon.

    As the people who I hang out with will know, my wife is allergic to all forms of pig. In a no longer breathing way. I happen to love pig, so when she's not around I tend to go a little wilder with it than I probably should. So, when I went shopping for the first time here the other day I picked up some eggs and some Safeway bacon just in case my arteries needed hardening.

    It was a good thing too, because I have a medical need to eat bacon to help me with the after effects of the Coronas this morning. I'd already done one cooked breakfast here, so I have already discovered that American bacon (based on my extensive sample of one) appears to be 50% fat. It took me about ten minutes to trim off enough fat to approximate Australian bacon quality.

    After that it was quite nice. The point of this post though? Is all American bacon so terribly fatty, or is the Safeway stuff just terrible? Is this why Americans seem to eat Canadian bacon instead (think ham steak)?

    Tags for this post: travel usa bacon
    Related posts: Its a good sign that they're already making fun of me, right?

posted at: 12:09 | path: /travel/usa | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 23 Nov 2005



Ubuntu Breezy and Dovecot hate me

posted at: 14:54 | path: /linux/ubuntu | permanent link to this entry


Learning Python

posted at: 14:37 | path: /python | permanent link to this entry


New laptop

posted at: 09:16 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 22 Nov 2005



JVC utilities for changing the images and movies on my head unit

posted at: 10:53 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 20 Nov 2005



Australian's say the darndest things

posted at: 05:51 | path: /travel/usa | permanent link to this entry


Top resale value cars

posted at: 05:42 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Hybrid buyer's guide 2005

posted at: 05:38 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Jet lag

posted at: 05:35 | path: /travel/usa/california/santaclara | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 19 Nov 2005



The book

posted at: 16:32 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Arrived yesterday

    So, Andrew and I arrive in Santa Clara from Canberra yesterday. It took about 24 hours of travelling, and a lot of queueing to make that happen, but we're here finally. I must admit I'm really liking things so far, I was a bit worried about the expense of rent until we went and saw am apartment complex this morning, and I'm not worried about that now.

    The mall is nice (the local one that is), the temporary apartment is nice (photos soon), and the rental car is crap, but that's ok.

    On a musical note I only just recently discovered the Black Eyes Peas, so I picked up Elephunk this morning. Damn that's a good album -- it's rare for me to find a disc that I like every track on, but this is one of them.

    Anyways, here. Alive. In Santa Clara for now. Must wander off now...

    Tags for this post: travel usa california santaclara music
    Related posts: VTA station for the Santa Clara Convention Center; Public transport to San Francisco from Santa Clara; Dave and Busters; Jet lag; Mood affecting music; Did I mention it's hot here?

posted at: 16:17 | path: /travel/usa/california/santaclara | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 16 Nov 2005



Recursive linkage zen

posted at: 15:00 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Procrastination

posted at: 04:59 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Packing

    Someone at university once told me that you remember things best when you're in the state that you learnt them in... You recall things about driving best when in a car, how to yell at your boss when stressed, and how to code while highly caffinated.

    That's why he always showed up to exams in the same state as he had studied for them -- stoned.

    I guess this means I'm going to have to unpack (and remember where I put everything and why) when tipsy. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

    Tags for this post: blog chemical mind trigger stoned alcohol

posted at: 03:31 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 15 Nov 2005



Stilly, the lump of meat

posted at: 14:00 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 14 Nov 2005



Giving Google Analytics a go

posted at: 02:43 | path: /google | permanent link to this entry


I should quit TOWER more often

posted at: 01:57 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 13 Nov 2005



Linux USB quandary

posted at: 02:07 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 12 Nov 2005



Building an answering machine using a $10 winmodem

posted at: 21:51 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


At least I wont starve

posted at: 19:52 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


SMART and USB storage

posted at: 00:27 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 11 Nov 2005



Unemployed Bum

    So, I am an unemployed bum by the way. Yesterday was my last day at TOWER, today is our family's meta-Christmas, and then I have a little under a week to pack my stuff and help start packing everyone else's stuff before I fly off the Americania to start work with the G thing. So, now I just need to slot some good solid panicking into my schedule, and all shall be well.

    Tags for this post: work

posted at: 23:33 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Adding space to the disk array

posted at: 21:21 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


Packing

posted at: 21:14 | path: /travel/usa/california/mountainview/relocation | permanent link to this entry


Working on the site layout again

    Test 1... 2... 3...

posted at: 16:18 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 09 Nov 2005



Test 1... 2... 3...

    Twiddling page layout style...

posted at: 16:13 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 08 Nov 2005



TrackBack pings

posted at: 22:47 | path: /blosxom | permanent link to this entry


Ok, where does one buy PCs in the US?

posted at: 22:40 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Microsoft Australia's profit

posted at: 21:47 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 07 Nov 2005



Underground Kent

posted at: 01:53 | path: /travel/uk/kent | permanent link to this entry


People sneak into Google for lunch?

posted at: 01:52 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Gordon get's quoted by the Fortune blog

posted at: 01:52 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 04 Nov 2005



ThinkPads return to bricks and mortar retail in the US

posted at: 01:51 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 03 Nov 2005



Giving bloglines a try

posted at: 19:03 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Life hacking

    I'm flattered that Simon has written some software and Gordon has changed his TODO management style because of either the life hacking article I linked to or my comments on how I handle my TODO list items respectively.

    I think there is a lot of potential around life hacking, and especially custom software such as Simon's. To me, the most important parts of life hacking are focussing on visual simplicity (I need to be able to analyse what it is saying from the corner of my eye -- I generally have my iPaq running next to my monitors with the "today" TODO list items displayed so I can see it out of the corner of my eye); focussing on doing a realistic amount in a given day; and helping with the prioritization of tasks.

    I think this stuff is going to be big... Everyone I talk to is busier than they remember being five years ago, and the people who will succeed are those which can work effectively. People often ask me how I get so much stuff done, and the short answer is I always automate as much as I can, and avoid tasks which don't make the world a better place (like watching TV).

    Anyways, introspective self-congratulatory rant over.

    Tags for this post: lifehack todo list management productivity software
    Related posts: TODO list pride; Meet the life hackers; Why document management is good; Historical revisionism; Being Geek; Free kitchen designer from Ikea

posted at: 16:26 | path: /lifehack | permanent link to this entry


All racehorses descended from 28 horses

posted at: 16:17 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


What's happening with frozenchicken.com?

    Gordon at work asks me what is happening with www.frozenchicken.com. If you hit the site, then you get the Google search interface. This is because of the DNS configuration for the domain:

      challenger:~# host www.frozenchicken.com
      www.frozenchicken.com is an alias for www.google.com.
      www.google.com is an alias for www.l.google.com.
      www.l.google.com has address 66.102.7.147
      www.l.google.com has address 66.102.7.99
      www.l.google.com has address 66.102.7.104
      www.frozenchicken.com is an alias for www.google.com.
      www.google.com is an alias for www.l.google.com.
      www.frozenchicken.com is an alias for www.google.com.
      www.google.com is an alias for www.l.google.com.
      


    You can see that www.frozenchicken.com is an alias for www.google.com, which in turn points to what is presumably my local cluster.

    So why do all the links of the Google page then point via www.frozenchicken.com? Well, because they're relative URLs, they use the hostname from the browser.

    Tags for this post: google frozenchicken.com alias dns
    Related posts: Compendium of TLD domain access agreements; Parked domains; Australian domain names being snarfed?; Talk about a support life cycle...; Python DNS modules

posted at: 15:21 | path: /google | permanent link to this entry


Bike crash

posted at: 15:12 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 01 Nov 2005



This is a pointer

posted at: 22:25 | path: /pdfomatic | permanent link to this entry


Time to document my PDF testing database

    It seems to me that it might be time to document my database of test PDFs and various parsing results that I have had online for quite some time. This entry is an attempt to do that for the current state of play.

    Adding a PDF to the collection

    You'll need the pdfcollection code (tarball). This is all the code I used to manage the database.

    Run the addpdf script to add a new PDF to the collection. Here's an example:

    mikal@lapel:~/opensource/pdfcollection$ ./addpdf /home/mikal/pdfa/This\ is\ a\ sample\ PDF.pdf
    Where is the PDF database? /home/pdfdb
    Publish? (y/n) y
    Adding /home/mikal/pdfa/This is a sample PDF.pdf
    New object id is 649 (000649)
    Moving PDF
    Processing PDF
    Extracting pages
    Number of pages: 0
    Extract info
    mikal@lapel:~/opensource/pdfcollection$ 
    


    The text in bold above is what I typed. The local copy of the PDF database on my machine is in /home/pdfdb/. This command relies on ghostscript, imagemagick, ghostview, and pdfinfo (from the xpdf utilities package) being installed, so make that happen. It displays the PDF with gv, makes sure you really want to add it (i.e. you own enough of the rights to the document to do so), and then does it's thing.

    In this example, ghostscript failed to extract any pages from the document, which is a little sad.

    But I don't want to view the document before adding it

    Then use the --force flag to addpdf and all will go well. Use a command line like this:

    ./addpdf doc.pdf --force
    


    Recreating the page count and thumbnails for existing documents

    A lot of the PDFs have been in the database for several years, and in that time I assume that ghostscript's ability to view PDF documents has hopefully improved. You can therefore easily regenerate the page count, thumbnails and metadata for a PDF document with the processpdf command. This command was actually used by addpdf under the hood. Let's give it a go:

    mikal@lapel:~/opensource/pdfcollection$ for item in `ls /home/pdfdb/ | grep 0`          
    > do
    >   ./processpdf /home/pdfdb $item 
    > done
    


    This simple script regenerated all of the metadata for all of the PDFs in the database, and hammered my machine while doing it. The command line arguments are the location of the PDF database, and the id number of the PDF to process.

    This command has basically the same dependencies as the addpdf command.

    Conclusion

    I've run out of things to say for now, but later I'll show you how to rerun the pdfomatic regression tests.

    Tags for this post: pdfdb pdf database test document
    Related posts: Updated pdfdb; Wanted: PDF documents; PDF/A sample documents?; Expect to see some sample documents soon; PDF/A; Why document management is good

posted at: 22:21 | path: /pdfdb | permanent link to this entry


Coffee and beer in one glass

posted at: 21:47 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Expect to see some sample documents soon

posted at: 21:42 | path: /pdf/pdf-a | permanent link to this entry


What's that grinding noise?

    Dad I were riding a week or so ago, and I had just come down a nice hill where I had been going over 50 kilometres and hour... Towards the end the brakes on the rear wheel started to make a grinding noise as I slowed down. I'm a bit of a bike newbie, so it seemed to me that there were a couple of options: my brake pads were worn out; the brakes had over heated; or there was grit stuck under a pad.

    We stopped and had a look, and the pads seemed to have heaps of rubber left on them, so we went for the grit theory. This was reinforced by the ride home, where the grinding stopped after a little while.

    Time passes and I have the same experience last night. Except this time the grinding happens all the way home, so I decided to take the brakes apart when I got home.

    It turns out that the brake pads were worn out, and that I had been damaging the rear rim. I don't think the damage is too bad - -I've probably reduced the life of the rim a little, but it's still usable. The problem was that the break pad has these metal spikes through it to hold it together, and the amount of usable pad is much smaller than it looks from the outside.

    I suspect that the grinding went away the first time because the metal spikes in the pad changed shape as it heated up going down the hill, and then changed back as I rode on.

    So, new bike brake pads today, and you live and you learn.

    Tags for this post: bike brake pad grinding noise
    Related posts: First commute to work; Two weeks of being sick; A Saturday ride; Weekend riding; Rode to work, and lived; A 50km week

posted at: 18:41 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


CD ROM

posted at: 15:34 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 31 Oct 2005



Sony's CD DRM acts like spyware on Windows

posted at: 15:57 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Destinator 3 GPS navigation for the PocketPC

    I was reasonably happy with Destinator 3's trial maps of Australia, but hadn't had time to write up anything about it yet. I guess that's unlikely to happen now, as the trial just expired after four days, instead of the four weeks I assured it would last.

    Given that the maps for Australia seem over priced (twice the price of the US maps?!?), my imminent departure from Australia, and the general not-particularly-helpful-ness of the Australian distributor, I'm not sure what else to say.

    The distributor, after what seemed like an ridiculously large number of emails agreed to reactivate the trial. That made me happy again until I found out tonight that they sold me an out of date version of the product. Grumpy.

    Tags for this post: blog toys press digital c1 australia destinator gps navigation
    Related posts: HP iPaq GPS FA256A; In Sydney!; American visas for all!; Steven Colbert, will you marry me?; Melbourne; Sydney Australia in Google Maps

posted at: 03:22 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Status of the book

    The book has been written for a while, along with the technical editing and review. The copy edits have been done since last week. There are only two chapters left for page layout. The process has been interesting, educational, and in some parts long.

    The hardest part though? Ironically, it's filling in the marketing questionnaire. I've never done anything approaching sales before, although I have done customer facing work.

    Some parts of the questionnaire are easy... The target audience for instance, a short pitch for the book, that sort of thing.

    What about things like which magazines to ask to do a review? What about people who might be willing to do reviews?

    Got suggestions? Reply in a comment?

    Tags for this post: imagemagick book marketing review
    Related posts: More reviews; Book reviews; Review priorities as we approach juno-3; Working on review comments for Chapters 2, 3 and 4 tonight; Slow git review uploads?; Review

posted at: 02:50 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 30 Oct 2005



Second beta of linux.conf.au 2005 CD ROM

    There is a second beta of the linux.conf.au 2005 CD ROM, including an ISO image this time, available at http://mirror.linux.org.au/linux.conf.au/2005/. If people could have a poke around and point out any errors to me, that would be mightily neighbourly.

    I don't have time to take the CD ROM project much further than producing the image, due to imminent buggering off from Australia, but it is my fond hope that we'll have the CD out before this year's yuletide festivities.

    (I've been watching Firefly, and I think it's affecting my language style. Why on earth did Fox cancel that series, and worse than that, why did it gross so badly at the cinema?)

    Tags for this post: blog lca2005 cdrom proceedings conference opensource linux
    Related posts: First beta of the LCA 2005 CD ROM; CD ROM

posted at: 23:05 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Two more weeks to go

posted at: 22:28 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


TODO list pride

    I'm very proud of myself at the moment... For the first time in a very long time my TODO list is short enough to fit vertically on a 17 inch LCD monitor. This might not sound like a big deal to other people, but it is to me.

    Normally what I do is I have all of the things I need to do in tasks on my iPaq, and then have a classification called "today" which is all the stuff I should try to work on today. I do this because otherwise it is too easy to become daunted by the seemingly endless list of things to get done.

    Things have two ways to getting onto the today list... If I am in interrupt mode, as I have been recently, then it is a list of things which really truly need to be done today. If I am in polled mode, then it is the four of five things I can reasonably expect to get done today.

    I often don't manage to clear the list out daily, but it gives me a more manageable feel for what needs doing.

    Tags for this post: blog time management todo list
    Related posts: Life hacking; Why document management is good; Historical revisionism; Being Geek; Perl sample source code; Average build time for a PC

posted at: 22:24 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 29 Oct 2005



Extreme Machines: Eirik Raude

    I'm watching the Discovery channel as I am occasionally want to do, this time instead of working on page layout review for the book, and I am quietly amazed by the commentary. This is a documentary about the world's most advanced oil rig -- the Eirik Raude. It's meant to be complimentary. It's about how cool this thing is...

    The commentary starts "Everyone needs power. Our insatiable desire for oil forces the oil companies to drill in stupider and stupider places." (or something like that). The Eirik Raude is built to drill in deeper water than before, in rougher seas.

    Given that there is general consensus that we're using too much oil, as shown by even this pro oil rig commentary, you'd think we'd start doing something about it. But no...

    Tags for this post: environment oil rig
    Related posts: Don't Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs; The Exterminator's Want Ad; Zodiac; The environmental friendliness of shrimp trawling?; Breakfast of Champions; When I die...

posted at: 21:36 | path: /environment | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 25 Oct 2005



Building my new disk array

    I have an opportunity to build a new disk array for when I move house. I made a few mistakes when I built the last one (although perhaps they were because it was the best that could be done at the time), and I don't intend to repeat those mistakes. I put out a call for suggestions a little while ago, and now I've built an array I'm pretty happy with. Let's walk through it.

    First off, let's start with a reminder of the requirements. Here's what I said in the previous post:

    • Reliable: be that mirrored or RAIDed
    • Expandable: I want to be able to drop in a new disc when I run out of space. I don't mind needing to add two identical discs if that makes point 1 easier
    • Rethingable: I want to be able to remove unreliable discs from the set. If there are paired discs, then I can handle having to cycle out both at the same time.
    • Non-sucky


    The hardware

    I now have two identical USB 2.0 external hard disk enclosures, each with a 250gb Seagate Barracuda drive in it. I picked USB 2.0 because I want the disks to be easy to move, and I picked external enclosures in the hope that this would ruggedize the disks for the trip to the US just a little. They'll be travelling in my carry on luggage.

    The mirroring

    Both of the disks are part of a MD mirror pair, and I must say that MD is a lot nicer than last time I played with it. Here's all I needed to do to set it up (sdb2 and sdc2 are the partitions with the MD on them):

    mdadm --create /dev/md1
          --raid-devices=2
          --spare-devices=0
          --level=1
          /dev/sdb2 /dev/sdc2
    
    mdadm --detail /dev/md1
    


    No config files in /etc like you used to. No need to do more configuration. It just works. What happened to the first partitions on the discs? They're each an 8 megabyte FAT partition with nothing in it but a meaningful name. This is so that I can tell which disk is which no matter what if they end up falling out of their labelled cases or something.

    So, we have redundancy... Let's make it expandable and shrinkable

    Then I used LVM to create a volume group and a logical volume on md1, which is where I will store the data. This is so I can expand and shrink the filesystem as my storage needs grow and disks fail. I currently get a disk failure per year with the current disk array (which is currently four disks), and I currently consume a little over 230gb. Yes, I know I'm going to need to buy more disk real soon, but I thought I would wait until I am in the US.

    Creating the LV:

    pvcreate /dev/md1
    vgcreate data /dev/md1
    lvcreate -L<size> -ndatalv data
    vgdisplay data
    
    mkfs -text3 /dev/data/datalv
    


    And we're done. Any comments?

    Tags for this post: linux md lvm raid mirror storage filesystem
    Related posts: About to resize my LVM; Adding space to the disk array; 14 November 2003; LCA CD continues; Mirror traffic during the last day of LCA 2007; Life skills

posted at: 00:49 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 23 Oct 2005



All airline tickets now booked...

posted at: 22:59 | path: /travel/usa/california/mountainview/relocation | permanent link to this entry


Hacking a webcam to be an IR camera

posted at: 18:59 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Paul Graham pages on startups

posted at: 18:51 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


That's it. HP support rocks

posted at: 17:28 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 21 Oct 2005



TECRA M4 P-M 770 and Ubuntu live CDs

posted at: 04:11 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 20 Oct 2005



So, how am I getting to the US?

posted at: 23:18 | path: /travel/usa/california/mountainview/relocation | permanent link to this entry


I feel a little vindicated

posted at: 18:30 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


HP iPaq GPS FA256A

posted at: 18:01 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 19 Oct 2005



A filesystem which will resize over more than one disc whilst being reliable

    Given I'm moving, I had a great opportunity to sort out my home disc storage. Here's what I want:

    • Reliable: be that mirrored or RAIDed
    • Expandable: I want to be able to drop in a new disc when I run out of space. I don't mind needing to add two identical discs if that makes point 1 easier
    • Rethingable: I want to be able to remove unreliable discs from the set. If there are paired discs, then I can handle having to cycle out both at the same time.
    • Non-sucky


    So what are my options? I'm currently leaving towards two identical discs, with a meta disc that is mirrored between them, and the some sort of filesystem over the top. I suspect that LVM offers something here, but I need to learn more about LVM before I can give it a go.

    I want to have something sorted out by the end of the weekend. I don't mind building something to play with and then tearing it down later it if sucks, but it must be ready to roll within the next two weeks for real.

    So, thoughts people?

    Tags for this post: wanted disc storage file system non-sucky
    Related posts: Interesting quote; C sample source code; For Christmas; 14 November 2003; Life skills; SMART and USB storage

posted at: 21:30 | path: /wanted | permanent link to this entry


Clothing status update

posted at: 17:36 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


What are we doing with the pets?

    We own a dog and a cat. We've had the cat, Taffy, for a long time and he's quite old now. The dog, Spike, on the other hand hasn't been with us for very long. So, when we move to the US, what are we going to do with the pets? Well, the cat is relatively easy, as he's too old to cope with a move, and is quite attached to my father. He'll be staying in our current house, which dad will be renting from me.

    The dog, Spike is harder. The kids are now quite attached to him, having been initially scared of him (we got him as a puppy, and the kids didn't like that puppy phase too much). He's now a year old or so. On the other hand, he didn't like the flight from Sydney to Canberra when we acquired him, so a 14 hour flight to the US is too much for him. If we don't like the US and want to come home really, soon then he would also end up in quarantine, a four hour drive away from us, for a very long time (around three months I believe).

    Worse than that, we're probably going to end up in an apartment in the US, and that would mean that he wouldn't have a yard to play in...

    In the end we ended up deciding that it was better if Spike staying in the US. we contacted the breeder and had a chat, and found a lady in Sydney who has been looking for a Labradoodle for a while. After her visiting us and meeting the dog, and us interviewing her, we decided to just give her Spike. It felt really wrong to even discuss money.

    Spike now has a dog's dream job -- he's a mascot for a Sydney school, and plays with the kids at before and after school care (which are urn by his new owner). he also gets to go for long walks every day, and play on the beach, which something we were somewhat lax about.

    That's what the trip to Sydney that I blogged about earlier was about. Spike was dropped off, and then we went to my father in law's house for the night. The boys got skateboards in return for being strong about the whole thing. They still ask after Spike a little, but I think that they understand that we're going on a bit of an adventure and that Spike is best off where he is.

    That's why I was at Freshwater breach for that surfing competition that day as well... That beach is about a five minute walk from Spike's new home.

    I honestly think we've done the right thing, but it's still sad when I think about it.

    Tags for this post: travel usa california mountainview relocation dog puppy sydney canberra home
    Related posts: So, how am I getting to the US?; Packing; All airline tickets now booked...; Noisy neighbours at Central Park in Mountain View; Please report to the municipal hall of justice; Andrew is a loony

posted at: 17:31 | path: /travel/usa/california/mountainview/relocation | permanent link to this entry


Posting of private email is fun

    I just got this from a work mate:

    What's going on with you lot?

    I've sat down at my desk for about 15 minutes, and there are NO new blog posts, and no mail.

    You all need to pick up the pace. If you have a blog, you should post to it every day, so that I don't have to start doing any work until AT least 10 o'clock.

    (If you don't have one, well get one, so I can read it.)

    I don't care what crap you post - It's important to my general getting-slowly motivated morning routine

    Now I'm going to have to start 'work' earlier.

    Grrrrrrr.

    That Is all. Thankyou.


    Sorry. I'll work on some sort of inane post now. (Well, it's done in fact.)

    Tags for this post: blog

posted at: 17:14 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 18 Oct 2005



Two weeks of being sick

    And 31km travelled. Not too shabby given I couldn't breathe and had goo coming out of my head. I feel quite unfit riding now though, so I need to put some work into getting back into things.

    James talks about commuting to Google, which is currently of interest to me so I'd like to hear more about the practicalities of commuting in Mountain View if possible. For instance, are their off road bike paths, do American drivers try to kill you, and how far is Jame's commute on the bike each way?

    I'm not sure I really care if commuting to work by bike is cheaper, I only want to own one car in the US if I can (I have two here), and I like the idea of living close enough to work to be able to ride there.

    Tags for this post: bike ride work commute
    Related posts: First commute to work; More commuting to work; A Saturday ride; Weekend riding; Rode to work, and lived; A 50km week

posted at: 01:44 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 17 Oct 2005



Meet the life hackers

posted at: 22:45 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Spike, skateboards and geckos

    Photos from a recent trip to Sydney with Spike, the kids getting skateboards, and a gecko that Catherine found.

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050925 photo

posted at: 16:42 | path: /events/pictures/20050925 | permanent link to this entry


For Christmas

posted at: 04:03 | path: /wanted | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 16 Oct 2005



Matthew on his bike

    Matt has been angling to go on a bike ride with me on the street for a while, so we negotiated to taking a ride on the basketball court at the local school, as I wasn't too keen on being on the rode with a two year old. He's really go and I'm much impressed... He can't handle hills yet, but he can steer and peddle really well.

    All I need to do now is teach him how to use the brakes, which might require some modifications as they're so stiff that I can't use them, and then I can take the trainer wheels off.

    I'm very proud of him...

                 

    Tags for this post: matthew pictures 20051015-mattbike photo
    Related posts: Matthew playing on some swings; 20040710-nph; 20030406; 20030408; 20040529; 20030409-matttummytime

posted at: 16:59 | path: /matthew/pictures/20051015-mattbike | permanent link to this entry


Lake Tuggeranong

    One of the things I've been liking about my riding is going around Lake Tuggeranong, and the little lake near Point Hut Crossing. I haven't had much of a chance to ride in the last couple of weeks because I've been so sick, but I took these photos before I got ill. They'll have to do to fulfill my lake fix for now.

                                   

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20051015-laketuggeranong photo

posted at: 16:24 | path: /events/pictures/20051015-laketuggeranong | permanent link to this entry


Grumps, Catherine, Andrew and Matthew came back to Floriade with me

posted at: 16:17 | path: /events/pictures/20051015-floriade | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 15 Oct 2005



Apple's Safari javascript implementation

posted at: 04:13 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


The Cotter dam and Tidbinbilla deep space tracking station

    I hear that the Cotter dam is 100% full, which is something which hasn't been the case for quite some time, so dad and I ventured out to have a look. Unfortunately the path to the top of the dam is now closed, which we didn't know until we got there. On the way back we dropped in on the Tidbinbilla deep space tracking station, which is a NASA facility. All of this is about a 20 minute drive from my house, not that I timed it.

                                           

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20051015-cotter photo

posted at: 02:05 | path: /events/pictures/20051015-cotter | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 14 Oct 2005



Bad blog, bad bad blog

posted at: 03:48 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Backing up a disc partition

posted at: 00:10 | path: /wanted | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 13 Oct 2005



Great Googly Moogly

    (As the Ferocious Beast would say). I just resigned my job, and have accepted a position with Google in Mountain View, California. I should be there in about five weeks.

    I know it's a great opportunity, but I still feel kinda weird about it. More on all of this later.

    Tags for this post: work resign google

posted at: 19:27 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 08 Oct 2005



A little story from my sickness

    So, now that I am starting to feel a little better, let me tell you of the journey of discovery that was my illness. I didn't know until about two days ago that you can have allergic reactions to anti-histamines (which are apparently the only difference between day time cold and flu tablets and the night time ones). I found out that you can by having such a reaction...

    The first night, I went to bed and spent the first two hours after having the tablets tossing a turning in a hallucinogenic night mare. The topic of the nightmare? ISO standardisation of PDF/A, which is the topic of the standardisation riff I have been on recently (and will continue when better). I certainly care about PDF, but I'm not sure that hallucinogenic nightmares are the right way to deal with the problem.

    The same thing happened the next night, except it was a two hour extravaganza of sweat over how to best run analytics on the 4.2 million lines of Apache web server logs that this domain have created on Andrew's machine since the last box upgrade. More on that later too.

    Anyways, I've returned to sanity now that I'm not taking the night tablets any more and just using day tablets in their place. I think I will be careful around those blue pills from now on. More red pills for me!

    Tags for this post: blog sick cold tablet nightmare hallucinations
    Related posts: Getting ASP.NET working on Windows XP Tablet PC edition; Home sick; The Greenbrier bunker opens for tours!; I didn't realize that the US was a third world country; Sick; TECRA M4 P-M 770 and Ubuntu live CDs

posted at: 01:20 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 07 Oct 2005



The book process continues

posted at: 17:11 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


A first taste of Google blog reader

    So, Google has released a beta of their bloglines equivalent service, and given that Liferea crashes about four times a day for me I thought I would give it a go. Login et cetera is easy, and the user interface is nice and AJAXy. It's fairly intuitive as well, although when I was importing my OPML file from Liferea I missed the message at the top saying the import was in progress as first.

    That said, it's been 30 minutes and it still says it's importing my 460 line OPML file. I just refreshed the page for the import, and the import stopped and said that I now had 54 subscriptions. So, I guess that means I should wait longer for the import. I'm now going to try importing over the top and see if it's smart enough to squelch duplicates.

    Tags for this post: google blog reader beta
    Related posts: MythNetTV beta 4; MythIPTV Beta 2; Sony Reader (an ebook reader); MythIPTV Beta 2; MythNetTV release 1

posted at: 14:35 | path: /google | permanent link to this entry


Sick still

posted at: 13:38 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 05 Oct 2005



Photos from the Allete Pro Junior

posted at: 05:29 | path: /events/pictures/20050925-freshwaterbeach | permanent link to this entry


Matthew playing on some swings

posted at: 05:29 | path: /matthew/pictures/20050925-freshwaterbeach | permanent link to this entry


Andrew playing on some swings

posted at: 05:29 | path: /andrew/pictures/20050925-freshwaterbeach | permanent link to this entry


Winchester Mystery House

posted at: 04:26 | path: /travel/usa/california/sanjose | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 04 Oct 2005



Sick

posted at: 02:20 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


100km week

posted at: 02:18 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 03 Oct 2005



r51 update

posted at: 00:14 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 02 Oct 2005



So, that was me tempting fate apparently

    So, apparently I tempted fate, just as the CVS commit of the work on the final chapter of the book finished, and I got around to writing the blog post about the machine, it locked up again. What happens is that the screen goes blank (except for some random red and blue dashes this time), and the power and disc lights stay on. The machine doesn't respond to any input.

    I'm wondering if it's temperature related, as the machine worked ok until I went out into the sun to do some work. The machine is out of warranty, and having played around with the memory, and knowing that the disc isn't the problem that really leaves the logic board, which probably means it's not worth repairing.

    I've got an older ThinkPad without a working battery that I can use for now, but I guess it's time to start thinking about a new machine. I really want to get the book out of the way before getting distracted on that kind of stuff though.

    Tags for this post: blog toys thinkpad broken
    Related posts: ThinkPads return to bricks and mortar retail in the US; Thinkpad x41 tablet PCMCIA IO; r51 update; New laptop; Pain with the ThinkPad; Alan Cox's IBM ThinkPad explodes

posted at: 18:09 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Pain with the ThinkPad

    I have no problems with my various ThinkPads -- in fact I love them greatly. They're by far the most reliable and well built laptops I have ever owned. That didn't stop my R51 from stopping working on Saturday. I woke up in the morning having had a bad night with Matt who has an ear infection. Anyways, the machine was locked up when I finally got out of bed, which has like the third time in the last couple of days. Repeated attempts to reboot the machine resulted in a laptop which wouldn't power up at all (apart from the disk and power lights turning on).

    To cut a long story short, disassembly and a good solid clean with aerosol freeze spray (the only non-conductive aerosol I could find) seems to have fixed the problem. Odd.

    I'll keep you posed on if it keeps working...

    Tags for this post: blog toys thinkpad repair
    Related posts: ThinkPads return to bricks and mortar retail in the US; So, that was me tempting fate apparently; Thinkpad x41 tablet PCMCIA IO; r51 update; New laptop; Alan Cox's IBM ThinkPad explodes

posted at: 17:48 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Frank Arrigo discovers Steve Walsh's free wireless

posted at: 16:54 | path: /travel/australia/canberra | permanent link to this entry


This looks handy, subway maps for mobile devices

posted at: 16:50 | path: /travel | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 29 Sep 2005



What do you do when you care about a standard...

    ...but your employer doesn't? Well, the answer that I've come up with is that standards do matter, and that they shouldn't be controlled by companies for corporate gain. So, I'm going to pursue membership of the standards committee as an individual (which means that I wont be going to any of the meetings I guess), and advocate what I honestly think is the right solution, instead of what nessesarily makes things easier for my employer to implement.

    I'm kinda keen to find some time to implement some tools around the standard too, especially as I am not aware of any implementations online at the moment...

    Tags for this post: work standard committee
    Related posts: PDF/A sample documents?; Should small ISVs be involved with the standards process?; PDF/A; On layers

posted at: 15:21 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Robert Scoble is right, Microsoft has abandoned a lot of their developers

posted at: 15:15 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Mont 24 hour race

posted at: 03:32 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 27 Sep 2005



Working from home today

posted at: 15:50 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 26 Sep 2005



75 kilometres last week

posted at: 03:53 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 25 Sep 2005



ImageMagick bug?

    Subject: imagemagick: If the trailing character of a montage label option is a percent sign, the output image is erroneous
    Package: imagemagick
    Version: 6:6.2.3.6-3
    Severity: normal
    
    *** Please type your report below this line ***
    
    Executing this command line:
    
    montage -geometry +10+10 -tile 2 -label "-sepia-tone 15%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20a.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 35%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20b.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 55%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20c.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 75%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20d.jpg ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20.jpg
    




    Whereas this command line:
    
    montage -geometry +10+10 -tile 2 -label "-sepia-tone 15%% " \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20a.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 35%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20b.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 55%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20c.jpg -label "-sepia-tone 75%%" \
    ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20d.jpg ImageMagick_Chapter5_Insert20.jpg
    
    Produces the expected output:
    




    -- System Information:
    Debian Release: testing/unstable
      APT prefers unstable
        APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing'), (500, 'stable')
        Architecture: i386 (i686)
        Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
        Kernel: Linux 2.6.11
        Locale: LANG=C, LC_CTYPE=C (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968)
    
        Versions of packages imagemagick depends on:
        ii  libmagick6                   6:6.2.3.6-3 Image manipulation library
    
        imagemagick recommends no packages.
    
        -- no debconf information
    


    Tags for this post: imagemagick bug report debian
    Related posts: Why Debian?; Samba and MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger); PNGtools 0.4; What packages are taking all my disk?; Dear Lazyweb: how do I check SSL keys for vulnerability?; Old ImageMagick packages in Debian and Ubuntu

posted at: 20:43 | path: /imagemagick | permanent link to this entry


Floriade 2005

posted at: 20:16 | path: /events/pictures/20050925-floriade | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 22 Sep 2005



Should small ISVs be involved with the standards process?

    This week I asked my employer to fund a trip to a standards meeting. The meeting is in the US, so it's a little expensive to attend, but it's an important meeting. The meeting is important because:

    • The standard in question has just had it's first version accepted by ISO
    • There are clear problems with that first version
    • I have a lot of expertise in the subject area (not to beat my own drum or anything, but I really do)
    • The standard has a lot of potential, if pushed in the right direction
    • The meeting is to discuss the future development of the standard, so this is the right time to do that pushing


    Update: I forgot to mention that the standard is also directly related to what we do.

    The proposal was met with sarcasm in the office. This raises an interesting question that I've been pondering overnight. I've been working on the assumption that small software companies should be part of the standards process, both because standards compliance is important, and because being an early implementor of these standards can make a big difference to the acceptance of your software.

    Then again, perhaps I've been wrong all this time. Should standards development be left to the customers, Microsoft, Adobe and so forth? Should a standard be about what the customer and large vendors want, not what is possible?

    I suspect that large vendors certainly use the standards process to produce standards they know are hard for their competitors to implement -- the ODMA specification is certainly an example of one specification written by a large vendor, which is fairly closely tailored to how their code internally works, and is therefore harder for everyone else to implement.

    So, are standards about the customer? Should they be used as a competitive tool? Whatcha think?

    Tags for this post: work standard meeting process competition software
    Related posts: Melbourne; The book process continues; Free kitchen designer from Ikea; Is it good when the directors of your former employer start suing each other?; PDF/A sample documents?; What do you do when you care about a standard...

posted at: 16:58 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Extended Stay Hotels -- shame on you

posted at: 16:50 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 21 Sep 2005



Did you know...

posted at: 16:22 | path: /tech | permanent link to this entry


First beta of the LCA 2005 CD ROM

posted at: 00:33 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 19 Sep 2005



ImageMagick book - Chapter 4: Other ImageMagick Tools

posted at: 14:18 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 18 Sep 2005



Writely.com is cool

posted at: 16:44 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Samba and MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger)

posted at: 14:16 | path: /samba | permanent link to this entry


Sounds like Andrew's cat is allergic to something in it's food

posted at: 02:57 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 17 Sep 2005



A 50km week

posted at: 22:16 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


My first interview

posted at: 03:01 | path: /enclosures | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 15 Sep 2005



If I'm famous, then people have to be nice to me, right?

posted at: 03:48 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Overflow rooms

    (This is only tangentially related to linux.conf.au 2006, I have no idea what they're doing for room allocation). For linux.conf.au 2005 we discussed the use of overflow rooms to deal with having too many registrations. In the end we decided against it, the crux of the logic being sheer logistics, and value for money (if people pay to attend, they should be able to be in the same room). Anyways, Microsoft's PDC has sold out, and they ended up using overflow rooms. It seems to be working for them so far, and the infrastructure sounds interesting.

    I'm thinking this should be seriously considered if we end up with a sellout situation for a linux.conf.au in the future.

    Tags for this post: linux conference opensource lca2006 overflow
    Related posts: LCA 2006: CFP closes today; LCA2006 -- CFP opens soon!; LCA 2006 Call For Papers closes soon

posted at: 02:24 | path: /linux/conference/opensource/lca2006 | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 14 Sep 2005



Feedster has lost interest in it's top 500 already?

    Each month, Feedster brings you a list of 500 of the most interesting and important blogs. Enjoy browsing to see what people are reading, to find feeds that will bring topics of interest to you on a regular basis, and to discover new voices in the Blogosphere.


    If Feedster is updating the top 500 monthly, why is it still displaying the August results halfway through the month of September? Don't they care about the whole thing any more? If so, it only took them a month to get bored with it...

    Tags for this post: blog feedster top500 blog ranking
    Related posts: Eat my dust, Groklaw!; Feedster Top 500; Spank me, I've been bad

posted at: 23:35 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


LCA CD continues

posted at: 17:24 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


I can't hold it in any longer

posted at: 00:46 | path: /diary/building19 | permanent link to this entry


Learning Ruby

posted at: 00:42 | path: /ruby | permanent link to this entry


TUF 18 conference dinner

posted at: 00:15 | path: /events/pictures/20050908-tuf18dinner | permanent link to this entry


20050908-tuf18dinner

posted at: 00:15 | path: /diary/pictures/20050908-tuf18dinner | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 13 Sep 2005



Well, that's Google blog search live then

posted at: 23:59 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


My first keynote presentation

posted at: 17:07 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Comparison shopping for books

posted at: 16:12 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 12 Sep 2005



The LCA 2005 conference CD

    I'm bored, so I'm making a LCA conference CD. Given that we have no audio, and that the corrupt video is quite big and will be online soon (I just need to wrangle the data across), I'm looking for other things to fill the CD with. So far I've decided that photos of the conference would be cool. So, if you have some photos which you wouldn't mind being on the CD drop me an email and I'll see what I can do. I'm happy with stamp the images with a domain name like I do here if that makes people happier.

    Tags for this post: blog lca2005 conference opensource linux cd
    Related posts: LCA CD continues; TECRA M4 P-M 770 and Ubuntu live CDs; Why is a CD the length it is?

posted at: 18:33 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Around Guilford

    Guilford is about a 20 minute drive from the Vines golf resort in the Swann Valley just outside Perth. Again I had a dirty CCD, but some of these shots are quite nice.

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050910-guilford photo

posted at: 05:32 | path: /events/pictures/20050910-guilford | permanent link to this entry


Mirroring the Linux Update podcast

posted at: 05:25 | path: /mirror/opensource/linux/australia | permanent link to this entry


We're getting there

posted at: 02:29 | path: /mirror/opensource/linux/australia | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 11 Sep 2005



Shots from around Fremantle and Perth

posted at: 18:41 | path: /events/pictures/20050910-fremantleperth | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 10 Sep 2005



TUF18 Swann Valley, outside Perth

    TUF 18 (the TRIM User Forum, our user conference) was held at the Vines Resort, in the Swann Valley outside perth. The resort is nice if your into golf, which I was for a little while, but haven't been recently. High lights include rain, a lake, more rain, Gordon and Anthony in Felicity's spa, and so forth.

    Unfortunately the CCD was dirty for many of these shots, and I didn't realise until it was too late.

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050908-swannvalley photo

posted at: 20:11 | path: /events/pictures/20050908-swannvalley | permanent link to this entry


Back from Perth

posted at: 19:43 | path: /travel/australia/perth | permanent link to this entry


Thanks for the kind word Pia

posted at: 06:37 | path: /mirror/opensource/linux/australia | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 05 Sep 2005



CVS digital cameras and handy cams

posted at: 18:22 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Google Pizza Program

posted at: 16:20 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


I like screen oopsies

posted at: 01:40 | path: /travel/usa/airlines | permanent link to this entry


Tour of San Francisco

posted at: 00:10 | path: /events/pictures/20050714-sanfrancisco | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 04 Sep 2005



Perth for a conference

posted at: 23:50 | path: /travel/australia/perth | permanent link to this entry


The Linux Australia mirroring project

    Some of you might be aware that Linux Australia recently agreed to support a trial open source mirror project for Australia. This mirror is being run by a sub-committee of Linux Australia, on hardware owned by Linux Australia. The purpose of this post is to remind people of the project, and give a quick status update. It has to be quick, as I'm really busy this week.

    Our hardware arrived several weeks ago, and having been kindly configured by Andrew Pollock was ready for deployment about a week ago. This deployment was held up with some illness amongst various players, but the hardware was deployed to the data center last week by Steven Hanley and myself. We're currently finalising network ACLs for the machine before we can work on finishing off the software configuration.

    At this time I would like to ask for suggestions of projects which would benefit from mirroring. Preferably there would be a clear benefit to the community in Australia from such a mirror, and support from the people being mirrored for the concept. Bandwidth isn't a problem, and disk isn't a big deal as long as the suggestion doesn't need hundreds of gigabytes.

    I'll keep you posted as things progress.

    Tags for this post: mirror opensource linux australia
    Related posts: Mirror traffic during the last day of LCA 2007; We're getting there; Mirroring the Linux Update podcast; My first interview; Thanks for the kind word Pia; In Sydney!

posted at: 23:23 | path: /mirror/opensource/linux/australia | permanent link to this entry


X.org doesn't support dynamic resize of the screen?

posted at: 18:14 | path: /linux | permanent link to this entry


LCA 2006: CFP closes today

posted at: 17:16 | path: /linux/conference/opensource/lca2006 | permanent link to this entry


Alcatraz

posted at: 17:07 | path: /events/pictures/20050714-sanfrancisco-alcatraz | permanent link to this entry


Pacifying New Orleans

posted at: 14:07 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Why does every man and his dog put man pages online?

posted at: 01:28 | path: /google | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 03 Sep 2005



Photos from the San Francisco gardens

    We only saw a tiny part of the big gardens in San Francisco (which includes a whole bunch of gum trees!) because the tour didn't stop there very long. What we saw was pretty cool though...

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050714-sanfrancisco-gardens photo

posted at: 22:57 | path: /events/pictures/20050714-sanfrancisco-gardens | permanent link to this entry


A Saturday ride

posted at: 04:16 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Apple update

    Sorry Apple that it took a while to write this, I'm fighting an addiction at the moment, and am a little busy. Apple declared the iBook dead on arrival on Wednesday, and I picked up a new machine that day. They promised to have the old disc in a caddy by the end of Thursday so I could get my data back, which I am still waiting to happen as I write this. I of course had to build a new machine.

    So, what went so wrong here? Well, the initial contact was terrible "ring Apple". Then two calls to Apple with about 20 minutes on hold. Then being sent to a service center which didn't exist. Having to sign a form telling me that they would destroy my machine at will, and being told it would take two weeks for the machine to get assessed. Lack of knowledge on the part of the staff -- they never asked me to boot the machine, and demo the fact that it clearly didn't work.

    If they'd said that it would probably be DOA'ed, and I could have a new machine within three days, all would have been well.

    Why did I get this outcome in the end? Perhaps it's part of the standard deal. Perhaps it's because I'm lucky enough to have a developer relations contact at Apple who I could send a very grumpy email to. Perhaps it's this site and the traffic it gets. Dunno. I would certainly still say avoid ANUtech and Mac1 like the plague, which effectively means don't buy an Apple in Canberra.

    And why is it so hard to put the old disc in a caddy? Lord only knows...

    Tags for this post: blog toys apple service anutech mac1
    Related posts: More on Apple service; Apparently terrible warranty service is par for the course with Apple; The excitement of Apple service; Let the Apple service ranting continue; Did I mention that Apple service sucks?; Buy Toshiba!

posted at: 03:51 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


New Orleans and sea level

posted at: 03:36 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 31 Aug 2005



Hetherington, 82, created Mr Squiggle in 1959 - a decade before men without strings landed on the moon

posted at: 23:26 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Addiction?

posted at: 20:05 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Pictures of Mountain View, San Jose and Oakland

    Well, the backlog is getting smaller at least. This photo set includes some more Mountain View, pictures taken when Andrew went on a flying lesson with Marc Merlin (I was elsewhere at the time), pictures from "The Tech" Museum is San Jose, including Segway rides, and some random pictures around Oakland (I think that's where we were...) on the way to and from the Bay Area Debian meeting.

    I like Segways by the way...

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050713-siliconvalley photo

posted at: 16:33 | path: /events/pictures/20050713-siliconvalley | permanent link to this entry


The cafe downstairs made me a little flat white

posted at: 00:38 | path: /diary/pictures/20050712-siliconvalley | permanent link to this entry


First photos of Mountain View and surrounds

posted at: 00:38 | path: /events/pictures/20050712-siliconvalley | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 30 Aug 2005



Some pictures of Andrew

posted at: 22:42 | path: /andrew/pictures/20050723-pollockwedding | permanent link to this entry


Photos from Andrew and Sarah's wedding (finally!)

    It's taken a while to get around to putting my copies of the pictures I took at Andrew and Sarah's wedding up, although Andrew has had copies up for a while. It took so long as I wanted to rewrite the way these images are generated, which I have finally done.

                                           

    See more thumbnails

    Tags for this post: events pictures 20050723-pollockwedding photo
    Related posts: Some pictures of Andrew

posted at: 22:42 | path: /events/pictures/20050723-pollockwedding | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 29 Aug 2005



Blogging fire alarms

posted at: 17:25 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Ssssh, I'm hunting customers

    Scott is a random TRIM customer in Canada, who a couple of us found by having technorati watch lists for the name of our product. I have a policy of subscribing to blogs of users when I find them. It's been educational reading Scott's blog -- not just for us developers, but for the company as a whole working through how to deal with customers having a much more public voice for their thoughts.

    Scott mentions that now TOWER machines are about a third of his subscribers... Let's work out who those people are for a second:

    • Liferea: that one's easy. It's my Thinkpad R51 running Debian Unstable. As an introduction, I'm a senior software engineer in the research and development section of TOWER, and am currently in charge of the TRIM Connectivity Toolkit development.
    • Sharpreader: that will be Little Headed Simon, who is a developer on the TRIM Connectivity Toolkit project. Oh, Simon also prefers the moniker "Normal headed Simon", but that doesn't have the same ring to me.
    • Newsfire: will be Lindsay on her Macintoy (which appears not to have broken Apple like me, not that I'm ranting about Apple service at the moment or anything). Lindsay basically runs our marketing section's day to day operations, but leaves the company tomorrow.
    • And Onfolio: is Gordon, the project manager on the TRIM Context ICE web product team. And apparently Grant, our lead DBA as well.


    Hi Scott.

    Tags for this post: work customer blog
    Related posts: On customer support; On customer service

posted at: 16:42 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Let the Apple service ranting continue

posted at: 15:24 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Average build time for a PC

posted at: 13:59 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


More on Apple service

posted at: 05:23 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 28 Aug 2005



Apparently terrible warranty service is par for the course with Apple

posted at: 21:30 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Did I mention that Apple service sucks?

    So, to summarise from my previous post about Apple service, I called the store I bought my iBook from 13 days ago. They said they weren't interested in helping, and gave me the Apple tech support number. I called that number and waited 15 minutes on hold. I was then told that I should try booting off the OS X cds, which were of course at home, despite the fact that the machine didn't boot at all.

    My wife drove the CDs in. The machine is so broken that it wont even suck the disc in when the machine is powered up, so I called Apple again and said so. The dude on the phone said that I am now allowed to take the machine into the nearest service center. How good of him. The nearest service center is of course the store I bought it from, so I jump into the car and off I go.

    When I get there, I'm told that there is in fact no service center there, and the nearest one is 30 minutes drive away (in the other direction of course). I wonder why Apple thinks there is one there then? Anyways, they say that they can ship it to the service center for me, but it will take two weeks for them to decide whether or not to fix the machine. Did I mention the machine is 13 days old?

    I check the machine in for the service, which involves signing this disclaimer:

    Please carry out at my cost as soon as you conveniently can the repairs listed on the job sheet with the corresponding number to this slip and any other work you consider to be undertaken at your current rates for the parts and labour used. You will not be responsible for the loss or damage to the equipment, its accessories, software or data however caused. ...


    I've skipped the rest of the disclaimer, although it did also say that there was a minimum fee of $99 for the service. The emphasis above is mine.

    So, this is my first Apple computer, and it's 13 days old. It's going to take then 14 days to decide what to do to the machine, which is dead, in which time they may also lose the machine, jump up and down on it, or whatever they like.

    This is my first Apple purchase, and I'm thinking it will be my last. This level of service for a brand new machine is simply unacceptable, and I'll be going back to IBM. No wonder Apple doesn't have many corporate customers -- would you put up with this?

    Tags for this post: blog toys apple service
    Related posts: Apple update; More on Apple service; Apparently terrible warranty service is par for the course with Apple; The excitement of Apple service; Let the Apple service ranting continue; Buy Toshiba!

posted at: 19:51 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Some pictures of Andrew

posted at: 18:42 | path: /andrew/pictures | permanent link to this entry


The excitement of Apple service

    I bought an Apple 12 inch iBook G4 from the ANUtech Apple Center less than two weeks ago. Last night the machine locked up, so I rebooted it with the power button. After booting, the machine would crash after about a minute with what looks a lot like a kernel panic, saying something about bad RAM. I wondered if I had done something to cause it, but it would consistently happen when I booted the machine and left it at the login screen, without me touching anything.

    I gave up and went to bed.

    This morning, I was hoping the machine was magically fixed, so I tried to turn it on. It didn't boot. So I tried again, and this time it booted, but with a mouse that didn't work. So I tried booting again. It didn't work at all.

    I rang the Apple Center, thinking that a two week old machine is simply a case of swapping the machine over or something. The guy basically told me to go away and call Apple. Something like "Oh, well we can't do anything for you -- ring Apple". This is very disappointing to me, I would expect a lot better from a retailer. Anyways, so I rang Apple.

    15 minutes on hold. Some simple questions. The machine still doesn't boot. Booting with Apple-Option-r-p doesn't help. Now apparently I need to boot with the OS X CD I left home. So I get to call back later after being on hold for ages.

    Two week old machine doesn't make me happy.

    Tags for this post: blog toys apple service grumpy
    Related posts: Apple update; More on Apple service; Apparently terrible warranty service is par for the course with Apple; Let the Apple service ranting continue; Did I mention that Apple service sucks?; Buy Toshiba!

posted at: 17:13 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Weekend riding

posted at: 05:22 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 27 Aug 2005



LCA 2006 Call For Papers closes soon

posted at: 18:03 | path: /linux/conference/opensource/lca2006 | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 25 Aug 2005



Hamster powered mobile phone charger

posted at: 16:00 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


If you're decisive and you know it, clap your hands

posted at: 14:42 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 24 Aug 2005



A lunch time ride

posted at: 20:48 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Worst timing evar!

posted at: 16:32 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


I wonder if that paraglider has any drugs?

posted at: 16:30 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Hackathons again

posted at: 16:27 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Rides last week

posted at: 05:02 | path: /bike | permanent link to this entry


Interview with Adam Savage

posted at: 01:32 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Must. Overtake. Groklaw.

posted at: 00:59 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 23 Aug 2005



Unjustified fun making

posted at: 17:58 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Alternate queries on results pages making it easier for future evilness?

posted at: 01:17 | path: /google | permanent link to this entry


Dovecot index cache problems

    I'm getting:

    challenger dovecot: IMAP(test): Corrupted index cache file /home/test/mail/.imap/netfilter.lists.netfilter.org/dovecot.index.cache: field header points outside file


    In my logs, and Googling doesn't return anything. Does anyone else get this? I'm going to try upgrading to see if that helps.

    Tags for this post: dovecot
    Related posts: Ubuntu Breezy and Dovecot hate me; Adventures in Ubuntu Breezy Dovecot

posted at: 00:49 | path: /dovecot | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 22 Aug 2005



Where did SUVs come from?

posted at: 18:30 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Want to be an acquisitions editor on Open Source topics

posted at: 05:00 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


The channel seven defence

posted at: 04:55 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Hackathons

posted at: 04:53 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 21 Aug 2005



Small file open and save dialogs

posted at: 23:02 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Clarke, you need to look into things a little before mouthing off

posted at: 22:57 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Podcasts and iTunes 4.9 on Mac

posted at: 03:00 | path: /macintosh/osx/tiger/itunes | permanent link to this entry


Automator and iTunes hates me

posted at: 02:51 | path: /macintosh/osx/tiger/automator/itunes | permanent link to this entry


Sydney Australia in Google Maps

posted at: 02:24 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Interesting technique for finding leaks in code

posted at: 02:04 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 20 Aug 2005



One thing about Microsoft Tablet PCs that Scoble didn't mention

posted at: 07:14 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 18 Aug 2005



Rave in a village

posted at: 03:45 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Ministry of re-shelving

posted at: 01:33 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


Wed, 17 Aug 2005



Getting ASP.NET working on Windows XP Tablet PC edition

posted at: 23:34 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Code better with a new monitor

posted at: 22:55 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Conference papers now online

posted at: 17:45 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 16 Aug 2005



Excitement in the office

posted at: 23:49 | path: /diary/toys | permanent link to this entry


Feeling lucky

posted at: 18:21 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 14 Aug 2005



Random segue: how I came up with the original table of contents

    One of the problems I grappled with early on with was how do you come up with a table of contents for a book? It's a complicated process, and it's really important. If the book doesn't flow, then people are left confused about what goes where, and the book is a lot less useful. Additionally, when you sit down to actually write, then you need to know what is covered where so that you can refer the reader to the right place to find out more about a specific topic -- even if you haven't covered that topic yet.

    So how did I come up with the first cut of the table of contents for the ImageMagick book? Well, I started by looking at all of the command line options to the various ImageMagick commands. I wrote this down on a stack of old business cards, and then distributed those cards in logical sounding piles on the floor. Those piles pretty much became the chapters that I originally submitted.



    That's the card mound. Anyway, once that was done, Matt (the editor) and I sat down and worked on the table of contents description until it flowed nicely, covered everything we could think of, and had approximate page counts. It turns out in hindsight that the table of contents wasn't completely correct, but that's ok because I've been tweaking it as I go along, and it was more of a help than a hindrance in that it tells me stuff like which chapter to refer the reader to for certain kinds of information, and that sort of thing.

    So what's the point I'm trying to make here? When you're writing something big, it's important to have a feel for where you're going in the document, the point you're trying to make, and how you're going to get there.

    Update: Fixed my spelling in the title line, as per the helpful comments from Peter.

    Tags for this post: imagemagick book table of contents technique writing
    Related posts: Mature age students continued; Mark is right; Interesting technique for finding leaks in code; Chapter seven of the shop manual; When I go to Vegas, I should stay here; Going to Jeff and Pia's wedding after party? So am I and I've got a minibus

posted at: 16:03 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


The Apress page for the book

posted at: 04:06 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Sat, 13 Aug 2005



So proud

posted at: 18:59 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Inflation through stealth

posted at: 18:34 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Working on review comments for Chapters 2, 3 and 4 tonight

posted at: 04:25 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Sensis Australian search

posted at: 01:26 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Fri, 12 Aug 2005



ImageMagick book - Chapter 3: Compression and Other Metadata

    Writing the summary of Chapter 2 seemed to work as a warmup for me the other day, so I thought I would write about Chapter 3 as a warm up for working some more on Chapter 7. I also need to look at reviewer comments for Chapters 2, 3, and 4 sometime today, so it seems like a good idea as well because it will help me remember what I am trying to cover in the chapter.

    Chapter 3 is all about the different things you can do with compression with ImageMagick, as well as other forms of image metadata. So, I start out by talking about lossy versus lossless compression (there's an interesting tangent to this discussion which I need to add as a sidebar to the chapter during this editing process, but I'll leave that to another post here), I give some examples of the accumulative nature of the loss from lossy compressions. We then move on to compare the size of a bunch of images using different compression algorithms, which gives a good introduction to discussing which image format is the right choice for given scenarios.

    (As an aside that I will follow here, that was probably the most recurrent battle I used to fight as an imaging specialist at IPAustralia, what format to use when. The number of times I've had to explain why JPEG is a poor choice for text is amazing to me.)

    I also talk about other compression aspects, such as quality levels and interlacing.

    Then we talk about image metadata, which includes random stuff like image width and height, as well as more complicated stuff like JPEG's EXIF tags. It also includes changing what imaging nerds would call the photometric interpretation -- the way that the pixels are interpreted in the image. For example with a black and white image, is 0 black, or white? I finish up by briefing covering gamma correction, color intent and profiles, and so forth.

    Finally, I introduce multiple image formats, such as TIFF, and PDF, which can have more than one image per file. Animations are of course multiple image formats as well.

    Tags for this post: imagemagick book chapter compression metadata meta data
    Related posts: Audio from linux.conf.au 2005 continued; Breaking: Zap2IT turning off guide data for the US?; Audio from linux.conf.au 2005; Working on review comments for Chapters 2, 3 and 4 tonight; MythTV Chapter Ready: Selecting Hardware; MythTV Chapter Ready: The Easy Way: Installing MythBuntu

posted at: 18:32 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


Teaching teenage girls to diet

posted at: 03:30 | path: /diary | permanent link to this entry


Thu, 11 Aug 2005



Why Debian?

posted at: 02:54 | path: /imagemagick | permanent link to this entry


ImageMagick book - Chapter 2: Basic Image Manipulation

    I'm meant to be writing the rest of chapter seven tonight, but I thought I would warm up by continuing with my promised series of posts about the content of the book. The next chapter in the list is chapter two, which covers simple image manipulations. The idea was to get the stuff which everyone wants to do and cover it as soon as possible so that people can get some runs on the board (so to speak). In chapter two you will find an introduction to the bits of imaging theory that we need for the book (rasters, vectors, bitmaps, pixels, you get the idea).

    Then I move on to talk about ways to change the size of images. This includes resizing, sampling cropping, scaling, thumb-nailing and so forth. We also discuss some interesting transformations like trim. Then we move onto making an image larger, before finishing up with how to process many images at once with ImageMagick.

    It's an interesting chapter in that it's immediately useful, and goes through some interesting theory matters. It also sets the stage for the later coverage of all the other cool stuff you can do with ImageMagick. As a point of interest, this is also the chapter I wrote to determine how long it takes to write a chapter, which was an interesting experience.

    Anyways, on with chapter seven me thinks.

    Tags for this post: imagemagick book chapter basic image manipulation
    Related posts: Over-analysed Friday comments on Half Nekkid Thursday; Working on review comments for Chapters 2, 3 and 4 tonight; Old ImageMagick packages in Debian and Ubuntu; MythTV Chapter Ready: Selecting Hardware; MythTV Chapter Ready: The Easy Way: Installing MythBuntu; Color ebook!

posted at: 02:04 | path: /imagemagick/book | permanent link to this entry


I didn't get my shirt!

posted at: 01:09 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Tue, 09 Aug 2005



Bye Grant and Lindsay

    Last week I had a brain wave on the way home, and decided that I should write some remarkably eloquent post about Lindsay's resignation from my employer. I had a draft paragraph floating around in my head and everything (as these things sometimes happen for me). But I realised I couldn't -- Lindsay had been offered the position at her new employer, but the contract wasn't signed, and she certainly hadn't announced her departure in the office.

    Grant's departure is similar. There's more going on than meets the eye, in my opinion, but it's not my place to comment on these things.

    Let me try to remember what I wanted to say about Lindsay's departure at the time -- it also applies to Grant. It went something like this...

    I am deeply saddened by Lindsay's and Grant's departures from work. When I started four years ago I think I ended up as being more of an acquaintance than anything else, but over the last couple of years they have become very good friends. They're the reason that we acquired Spike the Labradoodle. They're the people who supported me the most apart from my direct family when I interviewed with Microsoft, and while I try to work out what's happening with some changes that are happening in my life at the moment (more on that another time perhaps).

    But at the same time I am so very happy for them. I think they've made the right decision, and my sadness is mostly selfishness. They need to do what's right for them, and I think they're doing that.

    So, how do you manage happy and sad at the same time? All we've done so far is promise to keep in touch...

    Tags for this post: work departure employment
    Related posts: Two more weeks to go; Googling for job candidates; Leaving Google; Microsoft recruiter makes a good point; Lindsay googles for herself

posted at: 17:15 | path: /work | permanent link to this entry


Audio from linux.conf.au 2005 continued

posted at: 02:58 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Mon, 08 Aug 2005



Nice introduction to Fourier Transforms

posted at: 23:40 | path: /link | permanent link to this entry


PDF/A sample documents?

posted at: 17:32 | path: /pdf/pdf-a | permanent link to this entry


Funny

posted at: 14:14 | path: /dotnet | permanent link to this entry


Sun, 07 Aug 2005



Audio from linux.conf.au 2005

    I've been asked quite a few times as to the status of the audio from the 2005 linux.conf.au conference, so I thought I would grapple with the issues involved here, so that everyone knows. The short answer is that there doesn't appear to be any audio... Read on for a summary of why.

    Speex

    The linux.conf.au 2005 committee did have machines record speex in every lecture theatre at the conference. These were the same machines which were displaying those slide shows when the project wasn't in use. It would appear that there was a hardware issue on those machines, as they all have recorded fairly large amounts of garbage data. I can't comment much further than that, as I wasn't involved with the setup of the machines, or the diagnosis of the problem.

    Video recordings

    But wait. There were all those video machines in the back of the theatres (or at least the big three). They'd be recording video wouldn't they? Well, they were. It turns out that the audio streams generated from those cameras and their audio system hookup are corrupt. Apparently, and again I haven't looked into this myself, the time stamping in the files is bogus, so the audio data can't reliably be extracted. It would seem that about 25% of each talk can be extracted.

    So where to from here?

    Well, all of that is a bit of a bummer really. Our current plan is to put the dodgy ogg video files online for people to download and try to help us out with the extraction of the audio. The problem with this is that we're talking about a fair bit of data here -- 25 gig to be exact. Linux Australia has recently rolled out a mirror project which I am associated with which will be able to host these files, but it's a case of actually getting the hardware (it's on order), configuring it, testing it, and then deploying it. I would expect this to take around another month from now.

    I've put a random sample of the ogg video on my site if people want to have a poke before then and see if they have suggestions. This video file, assuming I have worked out the file naming convention properly, should be the start of Eben Moglen's keynote presentation. The file isn't too big (around 30 megabytes) so feel free to download it and give it a try.

    I do apologise for the inconvenience the loss of data has causes, despite there really being nothing I could have done about it. I do find it a little embarrassing that this has happened. If you could please refer further comments to the conference organisers list that would be nice.

    Update: One of the guys at work thinks "I can't comment much further than that, as I wasn't involved with the setup of the machines, or the diagnosis of the problem." sounds self righteous, so I thought I should clarify and point out that I didn't mean it that way. What I am trying to convey here is that I would have liked to supply more technical detail as to what happened, but I don't know any.

    Tags for this post: blog lca2005 conference opensource audio corruption data loss
    Related posts: Audio from linux.conf.au 2005 continued; Breaking: Zap2IT turning off guide data for the US?; Generally poor audio quality on pod casts?; MythBuntu 8.10 just made me sad; Why is a CD the length it is?; On freely available guide data

posted at: 20:49 | path: /diary/lca2005 | permanent link to this entry


Leon, my point remains

posted at: 19:01 | path: /vista | permanent link to this entry


PDF/A

    So what is PDF/A? I was recently assured by someone that the PDF/A format was a competitor to PDF which had been unleashed on the world by a group of people who object to Adobe's ownership of the PDF format. This couldn't be further from the truth. The PDF format is quite open, and certainly complex. The PDF 1.4 specification runs to nearly 1,000 pages -- and people think the TIFF specification is complicated! Therefore, there have been a number of groups who have attempted to come up with simplified subsets of the format for specific purposes.

    The first example of this that I have been aware of is PDF/X. PDF/X is PDF optimised for the pre-press and printing industry. I'll leave the description at that, and refer you to the PDF X FAQ.

    PDF/A is similar, except it is a PDF subset which is optimised for document archival and the associated storage of document metadata. This is core business for my employer, so I am currently boning up on the subject. Similarly to PDF/X, PDF/A is a ISO standard, but this time has a bunch of EDMS / RM / DM / ECM vendors, AIIM, and the US government on board.

    Both PDF/X and PDF/A exist with Adobe's support. You can read more about PDF/A at the AIIM site, which includes a draft of the ISO specification.

    So, it's a standard format, which is a subset of PDF. You can expect to see more on the topic from me as I continue reading up on the topic.

    Tags for this post: pdf pdf-a pdf-x iso standard document management archival format
    Related posts: PDF/A sample documents?; Expect to see some sample documents soon; Time to document my PDF testing database; Why document management is good; Open Source document management from Alfresco; Updated pdfdb