James Ogley

My Advogato Blog

Since Advogato may be closing soon, I've grabbed the text of my blog from there and I'm making it available here. It's quite long and unedited, here for reference only really. All I've done is view the source of the blog on Advogato and pasted it in here, so it's a strange mixture of the minimalistic look of Advogato embedded into my CSS-driven look.

13 Jan 2005  »

[Originally posted in my real blog]

Planet SuSE is one year old on Saturday,and so I'm issuing another call to the SuSE community to get blogging, and contact me to swell its feed listing. Over the last year, the planet has grown,but there must be more. So, do you work for Novell::SuSE? Do you build packages for it? Do you provide some sort of service or support around SuSE based products? I want to hear from you.

31 Dec 2004  »

Happy New Year Advogato!

Real Blog

23 Dec 2004  »

Bored, so testing gnome-blog

2 Aug 2004  »

Okay, this is just getting silly...

20 Jul 2004 (updated 20 Jul 2004)  »


Advogato back
I miss it when it goes down
Don't do it again

I will eat curry
Garlic naan bread, poppadoms
And drink ale tonight

usr local bin
Will be retired this summer
Thanks for all the fish

15 Jul 2004  »

louie: Sorry to read that things have gotten on top of you. Really hope the your time out helps. be encouraged though that you've inspired a lot of people with your commitment to GNOME, to good bug-squashing work, and to Free Software in general, myself included.

13 Jul 2004  »

Catch up for Advo readers, my full blog for the last few months is of course at swamprat.
  • Been selected for training for ordination within the Church of England, handed in my notice at Pinnacle yesterday, trying to sort out hosting for usr local bin and my personal site now
  • Car insurance paid out more than the outstanding finance!
  • Building GNOME 2.7.x packages for usr local bin
  • Going to see Fahrenheit 9/11 tonight

20 Apr 2004  »

Did I already mention that I'm going to see Kill Bill tonight? :)

20 Apr 2004  »

After work yesterday, I was heading towards Hitchin, where I was supposed to be meeting with a retired priest to talk about some theological stuff. En route on the A1, just out of Borehamwood, I was involved in a Road Traffic Accident, first time in my life (either as the driver, or a passenger).

I was driving at about 60 in the left hand lane, observed that the van ahead was going a lot slower than I was, so checked my mirror & blind spot in order to overtake. When I looked forward again, I realised the van was a) stationary and b) just about right in front of me. I applied the brakes, but the road was wet, and I skidded, glancing the rear-right of it with the front-left of my car.

Thankfully I wasn't badly hurt, just a slight pain in my side, which has pretty well passed by this morning, but I was rather shaken by it. Now waiting to see what happens with the insurance. Hoping that it's going to be repairable, because of the finance on the car, if it's written off, I could end up out of pocket.

The police who attended the scene (from Hatfield station, in Hertfordshire) were very professional, did their job with the utmost consideration for the people involved, and I cannot commend them enough.

BT engineer is coming tomorrow, hopefully, I might have a phone service, and more importantly DSL back by the end of the day. I dread to think how much mail is queued for the various domains that swamprat deals with.

Kill Bill tonight, nearly three hours of Uma Thurman kicking ass should help me unwind, and take my mind off the accident for a bit.

19 Apr 2004  »

It's a very strange thing. Once I'd left Chez Dave on Saturday night, his DSL stopped working under Linux. now, I suspect it might be related to the kernel update that APT sucked down for him, but I'll check it out on Wednesday ahead of cell group.

One thing I didn't mention on Saturday, because I was hoping to have photos for the gallery was the fact that I've had a haircut. The ponytail has gone, it is no more. It's been replaced with a rather nice short hair do which apparently makes me look "younger and slimmer" (not my words, nor those of the hairdresser). The photos should be in the gallery tomorrow - I forgot to bring my USB lead for the camera with me to work today, so in the meantime, here's one I took with my webcam (the online version of which is offline along with the DSL). Compare with what it looked like beforehand.

17 Apr 2004  »

Having succesfully had an error detected on the line by BT, the entire line has now died. That's no phone service, never mind DSL! We're still waiting on the engineer on Wednesday, and in the meantime, they're redirected calls to our landline to my mobile, and are refunding us for the line rental.

Have had curry and risk with Dave & Catherine this evening (and am now using their DSL), it's been a great evening. Regular readers of my regular (hosted on the DSL alas) blog will know Dave as the owner of the Binatone DSL500. Have been ironing out a few issues with my insserv headers to bring up the line, and will now get around to publishing it real soon on Rubber Turnip.

16 Apr 2004 (updated 16 Apr 2004)  »

Just had a call from BT, they've detected a fault on the line (which is good because it means I'm not losing my marbles, and I don't have to buy a new router. It also means I'm not going to be charged for the escalation), and an engineer will be sent out. Now, I could have had one first thing on Monday, but alas, work commitments mean the earliest I'm able to be in for it is Wednesday. Still, at least a resolution is in sight.

In other news, Kill Bill Vol II tickets should be booked this evening, to go see it on Tuesday.

15 Apr 2004 (updated 15 Apr 2004)  »

Nnnng, looks like I spoke too soon about my DSL working again, it was up and down all last night, and is currently down. have to run some tests this evening, and get back to Pipex. How annoying...

Went home at lunchtime, and tested the router with BT's test account, it still lost the sync with the exchange, so it's now been escalated to BT. Meanwhile I'm going to contact Netgear to see if they have any solutions up their sleeve, given that it was they, not Pipex or BT who sorted it last time I had problems.

Update 2
Netgear not a huge amount of help, although they did mention that since I'd upgraded the firmware (anyone else using a DG814 - 4.10 is out now - go get it), I ought to do a full hardware reset, which involves holding the hidden reset button for about 40 seconds. Well, you never know, it could make a difference(!)

In other news, I've had a really productive afternoon, I've been knocking problems and issues off like there's no tomorrow, whittled my INBOX down from over forty emails to a mere seven, which is a real result. There is a tomorrow of course, in case anyone was wondering, and that tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

Out for a curry with Nick & Rosie tonight - w00t!

14 Apr 2004 (updated 14 Apr 2004)  »

DSL is down (hence blogging on Advogato). Pipex won't do anything until I've verified that the router won't bring the link up when it's the only thing on the line, and with a different microfilter. What fun.

In addition to having to do that tonight, we also have to sort out the living room, because last night our female hamsters escaped (only a few days before they go to pet shops annoyingly). So for, goodness knows how much of last night we had eight hamsters loose in the house. We managed to recapture them all and re-cage them this morning, but the living toom is a real state. I have a certain amount of grudging respect for hamsters that manage to open the door of their cage though.

The annoying thing is that if Tia (mother) hadn't been running across the floor when I went downstairs, we probably wouldn't have noticed, would have just assumed they were all asleep (as they should be at that time of the morning).

Work on GST::Network is progressing slightly more slowly than I had anticipated, just got to iron out some probs in the profiling at the moment I think - the tool SEGVs when it's run. When I dump the output to an XML file, it all looks fine apart from the <profiledb> section, which to me looks like a bit of a giveaway as to the source of the problem.

Seems like the various strands of the US government are getting themselves into a real pickle in the 9/11 commission. Somewhere in there you might find the truth, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

8 Apr 2004 (updated 8 Apr 2004)  »

company: allow me to introduce myself :)

I run a couple of sites, usr-local-bin.org, which provides up-to-date builds of various GNOME apps for SuSE, as well as a replacement GNOME desktop to the one included in SuSE by default, and planetsuse.org, which is, well, Planet SuSE, in the same vein as Planet GNOME.

I also hack a bit on GNOME System Tools, doing SuSEfication, and also a bit of SuSEfication on gnome-themes-extras.

It certainly is weird when people you've never heard of certify you, but in your case the work you do on GStreamer is why I certified you as I did.

30 Mar 2004  »

Replicated from my real blog for Advogato
Added Nat to Planet SuSE today. Reminded me of a conversation I had with jdub a couple of weeks ago. Planet SuSE seems, in addition to being a contact point for the SuSE community to keep in touch with what's going on, and the Ximian monkeys are more than welcome. We love you guys, and the work you do rocks hard! But, in addition to that, is filling void left by the (apparently) defunct Planet Novell (link offline).

This is therefore a call to anyone from Novell, who feels they would be at home with a blog appearing on Planet SuSE to get in touch. If you contribute, we want to know how. Anyone from SuSE too who blogs, or wants to, to keep the community informed, drop me a line, let's make this the biggest and best planet there is.

26 Mar 2004 (updated 26 Mar 2004)  »

Off to Wales for the church weekend away this afternoon, should be a good time.

One result of having lost that drive is that I was once again presented with the defaults in ULB GNOME. Noticed a small gotcha in the gnome-terminal settings, one gconf key I should have set to false that's set to true. Will fix it and do a brown paper bag release on Monday.

At tigert's suggestion, I'm trying the Mist theme at the moment. It's really nice, small, fast, and the colours are really quite calming on the eyes.

The reimbursement for the camera made it into my account at the start of business hours today, so that's good. Will order it from somewhere else on Monday.

25 Mar 2004 (updated 25 Mar 2004)  »

Posting on Advogato because last night, the drive that contains /home on swamprat died a horrible death. There's now a replacement drive in there, but here's the seriously embarassing thing. No backup. Hadn't taken a backup in so long that I couldn't even find the last one I did! Hopefully most of the data will be restored, I have a colleague working on that, but I won't be able to lay my hands on it till Monday. My blog, of course, resides on /home.

Thankfully, the Planet cache on Planet SuSE means that people can at least see my recent entries there.

usr local bin
Today's the second birthday of the site, so I released a new version of ULB GNOME, with various minor improvements.

Had ordered my new digicam from pixmania.com, they debited my debit card the amount for the camera, a memory card, and delivery. at that point they sent me an email saying that in order to ship it to me, they needed all sorts of proof of ID - passport, drivers license, utility bill with address, faxing to their office France! I cancelled the order, and they are reimbursing me. Don't buy a camera from pixmania.com.

22 Mar 2004  »

Planet SuSE has now moved to planetsuse.org

20 Feb 2004  »

Not posted here in a wehile, got out of the habit, but just thought I'd say Planet SuSE is growing slowly but surely. Still waiting on the Novell news feeds being available in RSS 2.0.

Been hacking on GNOME System Tools adding SuSE support. Some of them are a darn sight easier to port to SuSE that others ;)

16 Jan 2004 (updated 16 Jan 2004)  »

I decided to provide my own feeds of the SuSE News and SuSE Security channels for Planet SuSE so that they actually appear. It kind of makes the site seem a lot more useful to me, even if it does mean a tiny bit more work for me in terms of updating those feeds when there are security announcements (not loads) or Press Releases (potentially one a day I guess at the moment, Novell and all that...

I also got the gtkmm.libsigc++ packages done for LenZ at last, once I'd found out that it was 2.2.x of gtkmm he needed, not 1.2.x However, haven't had a chance to look at GST as yet, that'll have to wait till next week, as will me seeing if getting involved with GNOME-MUD is feasible.

Had a great time last night, our best ever result in the quiz, we got 31/40, which was only two points less than the winning team, and most importantly, Amanda seemed to have a good time. Slightly more relaxing night at home tonight, which will be nice.

15 Jan 2004  »

Announcing the launch of Planet SuSE

That's right folks, we've been in a demo mode for about a week or so, added some RSS feeds, changed the codebase and settled on a design, and now, the time has come.

Launching today, Planet SuSE - www.rubberturnip.org.uk/planetsuse

The aim here is to be a one-stop shop for SuSE news, hacker blogs, that sort of thing.

So, for example, both myself and LenZ blog about packages we've been building, they appear. We (in theory) have feeds of SuSE press releases and Security Advisories, although at the moment these don't work because of the version of RSS that they adhere to. (2.0 would be nice... ;) )

What can you do? Well, I'm repeating my call for anyone who contributes to the SuSE community to get blogging, and send me the syndication details, you can link to p.SuSE, and best of all, you can read and enjoy it.

At some point, there'll be an RSS 2.0 feed of the aggregated p.SuSE, and we'll be getting included in the Planetarium section of other Planets such as Planet GNOME.

9 Jan 2004  »

And again I thank Jeff

This is getting silly, another day, another shout for jdub in my blog ;) He's blogged a reference to my call for SuSE bloggers so that it gets picked up on Planet GNOME. Hopefully it help swell our numbers.Jeff, you rock!

Updated Rhythmbox packages today, damn that app's nice, I think it's one of the proposed modules for GNOME 2.6, I think it's more suited to 5th Toe myself. 'Course, I really think that GNOME D&D and GNOME Office could be supplemented well by a GNOME Media platform including Rhythmbox, Totem, Sound Juicer etc, but hey, what do I know?

9 Jan 2004 (updated 9 Jan 2004)  »

Calling all SuSE community members!

Some of you may be aware of "blog planets" popping up around the place, such as Planet GNOME (//planet.gnome.org/), Planet Debian (//people.debian.org/~keybuk/planetdebian/) and KDE's blog aggregate (//www.kdedevelopers.org/blog).

Well, I'm looking at putting together a "Planet SuSE" to provide the same service for the SuSE community, and I need your help!

Do you work for SuSE, or provide some sort of service (such as APT maintenance, or PackMan) for the SuSE community? Do you blog? (If you don't blog, now's a good time to start)

Take a look at //swamprat.homeunix.org/planet-suse/ - it's quite embryonic at this stage, but once we get a few extra feeds in there, it'll pick up, and don't be put off by the Ximian feeds, they're there to show how it works essentially (and hey, Ximian and SuSE, it's all Novell now, in't it?).

If you would like to be added to it, send me the URL of an RSS feed of your blog. One thing to note is that the RSS must contain a valid pubDate for each item. To see what it looks like, look at the RSS version of my blog, it's linked in the 'Subscriptions' bit of the page.

Once it's going, it'll be cross-linked with the various other planets as part of the growing planet community, I've had some feedback from people involved with other planets, and they're excited at the prospect of a SuSE one, so let's make it happen!

(Originally posted on the SuSE-Linux-E mailing list)

3 Feb 2003  »

Have moved my diary to www.rubberturnip.org.uk

23 Sep 2002  »

Well, it's been summer, and now it's not! During the summer, I worked at Soul Survivor, gained another year of age (I'm now 26 - eek!) built a lot of packages (13 updates to usr local bin since my last diary entry) and, oh, lots of other exciting things I'm sure.

Was 13st again this morning, I had got down as low as 12st5 , and was 12st7 Saturday morning, but it was an especially take-away/eating-out oriented weekend, and I really put on. Going to try to hit the gym this week, and am being rather more strict with myself about food again now.

Doing a training evening today for the word projection team at church, in order that we can change to Presenter by Discovery Systems rather than the (increasingly ropey) system we're surrently using. It's impossible for us to go on holiday at the moment, because I'm pretty well the only one who can fix it if something goes seriously wrong (if it goes slightly wrong Amanda can fix it...)

16 Jul 2002  »

Migrated to the new MySQL servers this morning, had to get up before 06:00 to get in to do it before office hours - serious killer, especially after a faily latish night last night.

It's now 13:28 and I've only had one coffee all day, I'll get through somehow, finishing work early today to compensate, will nap before going out tonight (jazz gig, mmm...)

The new DB servers had such an impact on the performance of our (already high performance) web sites that our developers noticed it the moment the tested the sites, makes me wonder what the hell we were doing ever having the DBs on those lousy MIPS (Cobalt) boxen...

Course, once we've moved all the rest that those boxen do off of them, they can be put to use like installing Woody on them, and running them as name servers or something.

Next major project will be overhauling the company's mail infrastructure, trying to get away from non-free software. We'll likely investigate MessageWall as a replacement to MAILsweeper, and then we need something to replace Exchange. Were it just mail, it'd be simple, but just about the whole company uses the bloody shared calendaring, and as yet there's no free backend calendar server for Evolution.

Ah well, it'll come together, I'm sure it will :)

21 Jun 2002  »

Built Apache on the first of our new MySQL servers (cos they double up as our web development servers)

Took 10 seconds!


England 1-2 Brazil - gutted, absolutely gutted. Came into work early to watch, and it was well painful!

A couple of friends (Assistant Pastors of our church in fact) had their first kid this morning, a boy. Totally made up for them.

20 Jun 2002  »

Well, for a while now, my DSL has been sorted - dogy micro-filters was what was causing the noise on the line and (it would seem that) a dodgy USB controller was causing the link to be unreliable. PC is also back from the repair guys, with a new mainboard and some serious uptime!

Spent most of the morning upgrading Apache servers to overcome the vulnerability reported by ISS, also in the process of installing new MySQL servers, which is actually quite a nice project, especially when using SuSE 8.0.

I've fallen back in love the GkrellM as well, being online 24/7 at home makes being able to have all sorts of monitors available constantly like that is a real boon, and I don't really miss the desktop space too much.

27 May 2002  »

Well, time for a TODO list I think...
  • Rethink www.rubberturnip.org.uk
    Since I launched usr local bin I've not done anything to Rubber Turnip at all (save for fix my Jabber contact info). Not surprising, considering the amount of time u l b takes up in addition to my full time job. Think it might be time to retire it as a projecty type site, and make it a normal geek-personal site
  • Sort out the noise-on-line ADSL problem
    Of course, first I need to get my PC back from the repair guys. Once I do, I really need to get the problem where having my ADSL modem connected to the line (or indeed, any micro-filters connected) puts so much noise on the line as to render the phones unusable. Hopefully Pipex support will be able to help me. It has occured to me that it may have something to do with the fact that I have old cheap & nasty phones, and it may be resolved when we invest in newer phones. It would be nice if I didn't have to do that just to be able to be online 24/7 at home though - just adds to the expense.
Gosh, only two points, but they'll do for now, bet your life they'll get added to :)

Making a lasagne tonight - yummy, can't wait, really hungry...

23 May 2002  »

Wow, is it really that long since I posted anything?

usr local bin is just about 2 months old now, is has served just short of 25Gig in that time! Nearly 3000 people have downloaded AbiWord 1.0.1 alone, which is great.

13st dead this morning, have revised my target weight to 12st by the end of June, which should put me right at the top of my ideal weight range for my height, reckon I can easily make it, and have got stable at it by then. After that I'll plan a steady drop to around the middle of the range, and then I'll be able to remain within the range quite nicely.

9 May 2002  »

usr local bin is getting quite busy, I've put three new sets of Evolution packages up in two days, not to mention the recent AbiWord release.

Still, people seem to find it useful, so I don't mind. :)

30 Apr 2002  »

Finally got through, and they're going to get BT to reset the card again.

Tech support person also reckoned the customer services dept would be able to sort out some kind of refund, but their line is engaged...

30 Apr 2002  »

Wow, I'm getting to be quite slack at updating this... :)

I'm now 13st 6, and feeling quite trim already, less than a stone to go till I hit my target weight for the end of June - quite a nice thought.

ADSL link is getting to the point of me considering it useless. About a week and a half ago, the DSLAM for my line locked up. Took almost a week to get it reset by BT, after which point I managed an amazing 15 minutes (or so) of connectivity, before it locked up again - what a joke. I'm currently in a queue for Pipex's tech support line. That's an improvement from not even being able to get through, which is normally the case.

Someone on one of the Evolution lists mentioned that there seemed to be no gnome-spell packages available for SuSE 8.0, so I put some up on usr local bin

My new PC is also causing me problems. When I built it I used the AMD supplied CPU cooler. A decision I now think may have been a mistake, it keeps randomly powering down, sometimes just a matter of minutes after booting. It even does it if I just run it in the BIOS config. At first I thought it was just that the CPU was overheating because of the AMD fan, so I replaced it with a CoolerMaster, which keeps it about 40 degrees (F) cooler, but the same thing keeps happening. Wondering now if I've damaged the CPU by running it so hot for so long, which could explain why it's still powering down.

Have now been in the queue for ten minutes...

19 Apr 2002  »

I put 4lb back on! Gyah! Still, I'm still ahead of my schedule, so that's something, plus I'm going to the gym tonight, and probably on Sunday too, so that should help.

New AbiWord packages on usr local bin - version 1.0.0 final. It's not been officially announced yet, waiting for the Win32 binaries, but it's rocking. I'm fully plugintastic, so I can edit images in documents using GIMP, use a thesaurus and read/write BZipped documents. Now the march towards 1.2 and table support begins ;-)

Going to a wedding tomorrow - I like weddings, but they do seem to creep up you. I'd totally forgotten it was this weekend, and then it's like "but I had all sorts of things to do" (well, to hack on) :-)

Replacement micro-filter has arrived, and I'll be hopefully getting the link up 24/7 RSN. Message on the Smoothwall list today suggests that dropped connections (and subsequent need to reboot smoothie box to reestablish) may be down to smoothie's latest patch, not Pipex. Intend to test this theory.

Added packages of latest GnuCash to usr local bin after people on the english language SuSE list expressed an interest.

13st 8 this morning, another 2lb lost :-) Going out tonight for a church lad's night, all you can eat at my favorite turkish restaurant, plus pub, so goodness knows how much of what I've lost I may put back on.

The thought of the US govt using MS Passport as a national ID is scary enough as a UK citizen (how long until here too, given we all know how close Tony is to Bill - remember the XP 'advert' he did as part of last year's election campaign), it would be truely frightening if I lived in the US.

How long until M$ control how we exercise what we choose to call our democratic rights? Election.NET anyone? Short step from M$ running the software to allow e-voting to them guiding the decisions people make when they e-vote.

Gyah, and it looked like being such a good day too.

17 Apr 2002 (updated 17 Apr 2002)  »

Wow, over two weeks since I posted...

ADSL link is live, but Pipex sent me a faulty micro-filter, so when I bring the PPP link up it kills my phones, waiting on a replacement. AbiWord now at 1.0.0 Release Candidate 1, builds are of cours eon usr local bin. Really looking forward to 1.0.0 final, so that then good 'n' groovy Abi hackers can start work towars 1.2 and the much-anticipated table support. Somewhere along the line, they snuck in .doc export support - kudos to them. XFT issue solved by disabling nVidia hardware acceleration of RENDER. Also resulted in faster 3D support. /usr/bin/gears now runs at > 1400 FPS on my PIII 500, 128Mb with a PCI GeForce2MX

Other blah blah
Using SuSE 8.0 RC4 on my machine at work (which I think is basically the good-as-gold version), very nice. KDE3 is rock solid as far as I can tell (not that I used it much, mind...) and the default GNOME setup is more than a bit sexy.

Losing weight. I'm using the Palm Hacker's Diet software to help me. Started at the weekend at 14 st, and I was 13st 10 this morning. Aiming for 12st 8 by the end of June.</b>

2 Apr 2002  »

I was right, GKrellM just took up too much desktop space! Ordered my DIY ADSL connection today, should have it within 10 working days, also ordered a cheapo, dead-old PC to be a Smoothwall box, soon be up and going! :)

Weekend work was a success, having some NTP probs today, but don't think it's related.

Installed usr local bin packages on a fresh machine (plus SuSE updates) with a fresh user, and they work lovely, plus the default SuSE setup is to have a Galeon icon on the desktop by default, which is nice, if you use Desktop icons.

Building the latest Garnome release, in the hope that XFT won't hang my machine this time ;)

30 Mar 2002  »

Easter Saturday, and I'm at work! Gyah!

Still, Abi 0.99.4 is out, and I've put builds on usr local bin.

So far the big shutdown seems to be going well, all our machines went down nicely, and our sites are still visible to the outside world. Just got to hope it all comes back up ok (it should)

Living room is mostly done, should be finished by the time I get home today, then I'll just have to run the phone cables along the skirting boards.

Started using GKrellM, got a nifty 'invisible' theme - I'm really into transparency at the moment - but I suspect the desktop space it takes up is going to get too annoying for me...

28 Mar 2002  »

Put AbiWord 0.99.3 builds on usr local bin today, they've become semi-official builds now, linked to from the AbiWord site. New builds of Galeon also availble, plus Gaim.

Good Friday tomorrow - day off, which I'll be spending decorating our living room I expect, won't be able to make it to the service at church. I'm in work on Saturday (on double-time - should pay for my ADSL modem)

Built Nautilus for usr local bin too, but the tree view doesn't work, can't fathom why, so I've not posted it yet (plus it'll take up a huge chunk of my quota on the server.)

Finally going to cable (phone - no real need to run Cat 5 around) up the house this weekend too, only been there two years! At the moment, we have phone extensions draped all over the place, up the stairs, etc...

In the event that at some point in the future, I need to have network access from rooms other than my study, I'll go for a wireless setup of course :)

25 Mar 2002  »

Another day of database scaryness - moved them back to the original server I moved them off months ago. Roll on the arrival of our nice new hyper-powered machines so we can do decent replication.

In other news, I've launched usr local bin, a site for updated packages of software for SuSE Linux. Bunch of stuff including latest Galeon and Evolution builds at launch, planning TuxKart next, when I get around to build it, also Gabber and Gaim to come I reckon. Planning to try and do news on the site too about software stuff that interests me.

13 Mar 2002  »

Wow, actually used my webcam for something productive today. We're working on an online CCTV archiving system, which of course we're doing with free software. So my Linux box has been a testing CCTV server today. It's doing motion detection on the cam, when it takes a motion-inspired grab, it then uploads it to a machine which categorizes it, and ooh, it's all very clever! :)

In other news, I installed GNOME2 via Garnome on my machine, and while it looks nice enough, it totally hung my macbhine within a couple of seconds of logging in each time. Oddly, so did KDE3 when I installed that! I think it's probably something to do with Xft, I'm going to install Xfree86 4.2.0 at some point, see if that makes a positive difference - hope so.

Can't wait till GNOME2 is really useable though - the screenshots on the dotplan showing alpha transparency support in pixmap themes are gorgeous, and frankly, I gotta get me some o'dat!

12 Mar 2002  »

I was right, the issue with the cam was the drivers in 2.4.10, upgraded to 2.4.16 today, and sure enough it loads and runs fine. Also got the new NVidia drivers, which is nice for my machine, although I'm still waiting to see some difference in performance ;-)

11 Mar 2002  »

Well, I lasted three days on my last attempt to come back to work. This is the second day of my second attempt, lasted Friday without too much agony, so hopefully I'll last this time...

Webcam's still not working, think it may be a problem with the pwc module in 2.4.10, I was using 2.4.16 on my old install, but until NVidia do a new build of their 3D kernel driver for SuSE to install for a SuSE 2.4.17 kernel, I'll not be changing kernel (too busy to build my own alas)

Looks like in my absence someone's put together a new Revo/Revo+ image, I'll have to try it out, and then play with it. The guy built it for the Revo+ so it's quite large, although it does apparently work on a vanilla Revo, I could always strip it a bit if need be I guess...

Built a new PC at home, so finally have a LAN, and it's rocking - Athlon XP 1700+, 512M, GeForce3 etc etc... Championship Manager 2001/02 works like a dream under WINE on it, which is nice, and I certainly won't be selling Fowler to Leeds ;)

26 Feb 2002  »

Well, yesterday was my first day back in the office after my op. I was in so so so much pain by the end of the day :(

Reinstalled my machine from scratch with SuSE 7.3, and can't get my webcam to work now - ack

Also, I've had to setup the hotplug service to not load the USB Audio driver, otherwise it knackers sound output on the sound card.

Things like that say to me that we're quite some way from large scale desktop penetration, I'm quite happy to hack about with config files of course, but Joe User certainly ain't. Think there's another article there...

10 Jan 2002  »

Well, this is it - my last day online for quite some time I expect, so I guess this will next get updated when I'm back...

3 Jan 2002  »

Happy New Year!

A week tomorrow I'm going into hospital for surgery, and I'll be offline for a while afterwards. I've stepped down from leading the Win2Lin FAQ team because of this, and today we had a meeting to talk about what'll happen in my absence.

Christmas was nice and relaxing - I spelt lots and hacked none :)

Going out for a chinese tonight, which'll be nice...

Other people seem to be using my Revo Linux boot tree with success, which makes me a happy bunny.

Next step will be to change the initrd so that it doesn't try to start installing Woody, but just boots ;)

I'm hoping to work out if it's possible to somehow (realising it'll take some hardware abuse) to expand the Revo to allow me to attach CompactFlash or something similar, 8Mb ain't very much when it's got to act as RAM and a disk.

If I can, then it'll make it easier to get a working system going that will be good for something more than hack value (cos really "ooh, I can run ash and ping localhost!" is not what a PDA is for)

Wishlist for the future (if I ever get around to this...) is basically expansion, followed by a decent editor (more space means I can have vi) and maybe MicroWindows.

Might also see if I can spot a cheap secondhand 5MX for sale, so I can make use of the CompactFlash...

24 Dec 2001  »

Revo status: got kernel 2.4.16 booted, and shell & editor running, nice :)

Happy Christmas! Back in the new year!

20 Dec 2001  »

Ooh, just thought of a use for my Psion Revo, time to see if I can get Linux running on it, guess I knwo what I'm doing in my lunch break tomorrow :)

20 Dec 2001  »

Party party party!!!

Cluster went into final-stage deployment testing today, when we put one of our SSL/DB-driven sites on it internally.

It worked! It only flippin' worked!

Suffice to say that makes me a happy bunny.

What makes me less of one is that my good lady, Mrs Riggwelter departed today towards her parents for Christmas. I'll be following when I finish work on Christmas Eve.

Also, installed a new version of gnome-pilot today, libgpilot.so was barfing when I tried to start the panel applet, works nicely now.

I can hear the beer calling me to go home and celebrate, so that's what I shall do!

19 Dec 2001  »

Ooh, 9 days since I posted - bad, bad Riggy!

darkworm: You swine! Mention me, but not certify me will you? ;-)

LVS setup is now in deployment tetsing, I've spent far too long recently in our Comms Room, sure I've got frostbite as a result ;)

Christmas has sort of started here, people have started vanishing for the break, I'm here till Christmas Eve, but I'm not bitter (not much!)

Published another article on Gnome, which the community seem to have gone bananas over. Had requests to look at direct comparisons between Gnome & it's apps and Windows & it's apps, in terms of issuing a call to developers to improve the 'snappiness' of things. I'm not sure, the majority of Gnome hackers are focussed on 2.0, Abi guys are looking towards 1.0 and 1.2 and the Evo guys have got their own things to worry about. As I've mentioned before too, Galeon (IMHO) is there, period!

Oh, and apologies to the writers of SuSEconfig - it didn't break our rc scripts single-handed, bad use of insserv settings helped it more than a little ;-)

10 Dec 2001  »

Not often I post two entries in a day...

Fixed the LVS entry, SuSEconfig had changed the order that the rc scripts ran at boot time...

10 Dec 2001  »

Brain hurts

Been one of those days, seemed like someone had glued the phone to my ear this morning. Broke our test LVS system badly this afternoon in an attempt to change the IPs and websites it's running.

Worst thing is that I have no idea why what I did broke it. or at least, not yet.

Found out it's going to cost EUR125 to get my Psion Revo repaired cos it's out of warranty. Might just bite the bullet (now that I've lost all the data contained therein anyway) and get a Palm, at least I could sync that with Evolution.

Had a nice lunch with a friend today, highlight of the day so far, and going to see another good friend on my way home, which will be nice.

Now, back to the LVS debugging...

6 Dec 2001  »

Oh, how I love meetings...

Not very much is how I love them!

In other news... ...Win2LinFAQ is starting to take shape (in the sense of how we're going to structure it)... ...Evolution bugzilla usage... ...Started evaluating KioskLinux for a little project in house...

Night off tonight, can't remember the last time I had one!

4 Dec 2001  »

After a long weekend, it was scary to get back to thousands of emails, sometimes I'm very glad to have filters, and other times, like today I go further and wonder how I'd cope without them! :)

Wow, Evolution 1.0 is out! Bling bling! Took a while to build, but it's super-schweet. I'm not 100% sure about the proprietary release of the Exchange connector being a good thing, while I recognise that Ximian need to make money to remain viable and fund Free Software development, I still think that you can make money from Free Software. Also, making software GPL does not mean you have to make it freely downloadable. They could produce the connector GPL, but still make it available by sale only, provided they provided the source with it.

(If any Ximian folks read this, maybe they could comment in their diary?)

All that said, I can't help but feel that the most important thing is that even with it's proprietary license, it will be implemented in such a way as not to violate the GPL when used in conjunction with Evo.

Well, it now appears I'm going to be the project leader on the Win2Lin FAQ. It goes without saying, I'm very honoured to take on that role, and will try to ensure that it becomes a very useful document for those wishing to make the switch.

It's "The Big Jam" at church tonight. All the musicians in the church (and I think there are more than 60 of us, even more if you count drummers ;)) getting together to jam through a few songs, should be good good fun.

30 Nov 2001  »

Ah Friday, how sweet!

Into the final (hopefully) lap of testing our LVS setup before moving it into a deployment-testing mode, which will be a very nice situation.

Looks like I'm going to be a moderator/editor on the new DesktopLinux.com Windows2Linux FAQ for helping people migrate to our favorite OS.

The thing I love about Free Software (well one of them...) is the community aspect. There's a bunch of us going to be doing this, we've never spoken before, let alone met, and yet we have a common purpose and interest. The emails amongst the team have already become lively as we share where we're coming from, our particular interests and areas of expertise, and as we start to plan how to actually run this thing.

We went out with the department (and families) bowling last night, simply a quality time. It's great being in a position where your colleagues are also your friends. We were no different at the bowling alley or the restaurant with each other than we are in the office, again that community thing coming through, and it can't be beaten.

The Top 100 greatest films list continues to be a hot topic of conversation in the office. I appear to be the only one here who agrees that A New Hope is the greatest film ever made.

28 Nov 2001  »

Very much a day of two halves...

Morning very chilled, Evolution bug stuff, and work stuff making a heady mixture.

Afternoon of sheer panic! The anti-spam policy we'd put on our MailSweepers was stopping a significant quantity of legit mail from coming in, and it seemed that the entire company noticed at once and started phoning.

Then MySQL went bananas and consumed an entire disk resulting in much panic and alarm until we got it sorted.

They don't pay me enough for this, they really don't...

Prophecy night at church tonight, which should be a quality time, looking forward to it.

27 Nov 2001  »

Mail server bashing, Evolution bugulating*, LVS configuring, coffee drinking, phone bill paying, beer anticipating kind of a day...

Got our mail sweepers to reject mail from invalid hostnames & email addresses and did further setting up of our LVS boxen.

Also did some chasing up on company stuff, dull dull dull...

Going out for a beer with a good friend tonight, kind of makes the day worthwhile I reckon.

*I like this word, I may have to use it more often...

26 Nov 2001  »

Survived the weekend ;-)

No hacking done, but muchos TV watched and take-away food eaten.

Back to the same-old same-old today.

Spent much of the day trying to sort out stuff relating to connections to partner companies - what fun.

Also did some Evolution bug triaging, which passed a bit of time over lunch. Awaiting the onslaught of spam as Louie moves target milestones in Bugzilla.

23 Nov 2001 (updated 26 Nov 2001)  »

Wow, it's been nearly a week since I posted an entry! So, what have I done this week? Well, I've been loving having my car. Had a day off work, which is always good, although I did seem to be even busier than when I'm in the office! went out for a superb curry on Tuesday night. Nothing like a good Duck Balti :)

My mother's arriving this evening for the weekend, which gives me an excuse to cook my famous lasagne, which is bound to go down well.

However, she'll be sleeping in the same room as my PC, which means I'm going to have to shut it down - bye bye uptime! :(

19 Nov 2001  »

I finally get to collect my car today. This makes me happy.

Spent most of my morning arranging meetings, am I turning into a suit in my old (ahem) age?

More LVS work done this afternoon, security stuff mostly, and load test preparation.

Just looked at my diary, I'm busy every night this week and just about every night next week, when's a guy meant to hack?

At this rate I may find myself doing diary work at work during my lunch. It'll make a change to have a lunch break of any sort actually...

16 Nov 2001  »

Well, what a day, not a great deal of work done...

Spent most of the day in meetings (including a very nice lunch meeting in a pub - my favorite kind...), then playing golf upstairs to raise money for Children in Need. Never picked up a club before, but I made it onto the leaderboard, which I was chuffed with :)

Did some Papaya testing and helped iron out a bug in the Preferences dialogue.

Did some diary work last night, the username cookie is now set, but I can't manage to get the CGI module to retrieve it - most annoying.

15 Nov 2001  »

Well, don't understand that, I did a make uninstall && make distclean && ./configure && make && make install on libpcap and then snort was able to find it.

Taken some silly pics with my cam for a "guess the objects" competition we're going to run at work tomorrow to raise money for BBC Children In Need.

15 Nov 2001  »

More LinuxVirtualServer work. Getting frustrated with snort. Keeps complaining that I don't have libpcap installed, when I know full well that I did it. Gah!

Fax server done - hyperschweet, another route for us to get Linux in.

Got back involved with Papaya today. Helped the lead developer get it working with HTTP proxies. I've not some across any other Linux MUD client (and I checked every one listed on freshmeat) that supports them, so that's nice.

Think it's an Evolution bug day tonight, and I also have plans to do some Rubber Turnip Diary hacking when I get home.

14 Nov 2001  »

Spent much of today working on our LinuxVirtualServer cluster, and adding notes to our (increasingly) huge documentation. We're putting together instructions & scripts to aid in the creation of multi-name and multi-IP clustered web sites (with SSL). The intention is to produce a sort of idiot's guide, which we'll then feed back to the project maintainers.

Also spent some time setting up a new fax server at work. It's a SuSE 7.3 box running hylafax and SAMBA. Found the photo of the SuSE developers during the install quite disconcerting, but otherwise it's a damn fine installer. YaST2 does seem to get better and better with each release.

Been thinking a lot about the diary, and the next release. Going to try to include using cookies for user-remembrance, and theming in the next release, so I'll probably jump to 0.1 at that stage, and pop it on FreshMeat.

13 Nov 2001  »

Another day, another wild goose chase :)

Finally did the MySQL relocation. It now resides on a partition of a decent size. Pity about the architecture.

Sent my car-related stuff to my insurance company today with my claim form and acceptance of their offer on the salvage of the car, with any luck the cheque will be on it's way to me before long, which will be nice, as I need it to cover the deposit I've already paid on the new car I've ordered.

Hoping for a relaxing night tonight, might cook something nice and then chill with a beer.

12 Nov 2001  »

As I type this, New York is on fire again. An Airbus A300 has exploded and crashed in Queens. While the cause is not yet known, the possibility of another terrorist attack can't be ignored. My thoughts are with all those involved, their families and their friends.

Spent the whole of this morning trying to track down a non-existent problem with our mail servers, and the afternoon preparing for an abortive MySQL relocation. None of it seems significant in comparison with the incident in NY.

I need a beer.

9 Nov 2001  »

Nearly killed MySQL this morning, very scary time, don't want to go through that again!

And after that, this monkey tried to hack our network! Well, after that he tried to steal my caffeine mints, so I shot him.

Car was written off finally, found out on Wednesday. So tomorrow, I'm going car shopping. The dealership have got the one I think I want in, so hopefully by Saturday afternoon I'll have my new car.

That'll be nice.

Especially as I want to do some work on the diary - cookies for username retention, and theming.

Likelihood is it'll have to wait though.

6 Nov 2001  »

Yet another clunky day, mail admin - *yawn*

Worked on the diary last night. Merged in some changes from Martin Bateman and made some changes myself. Finally have a TODO list, time to start knocking items off it.

Looks like my car is going to be written off, should finally find out for certain tomorrow morning, so looks like I'll be car shopping at the weekend, I can think of better ways to spend a Saturday, but hey ho...

5 Nov 2001 (updated 5 Nov 2001)  »

Great weekend, after spending Saturday morning planting bulbs on one of the estates in Watford, I spent the rest of the weekend lazing around, which is always nice.

I was amazed at the number of responses I had to the article on Gnotices, 99% were positive too, which was nice. The general consensus seemed to be that more positive reviews of Linux desktop apps are needed, so watch this space ;-)

Today was a real sys adminy housekeeping type day, but also our copy of SuSE 7.3 arrived, took my boss 10 minutes (!) to install and get logged in and using it from scratch - kudos. My box is already more up-to-date that it, so I'll not be using it myself at work, might upgrade my home boxen though.

Bonfire night. Remember remember the fifth of November, debugging, caffeine and code. While everyone else is outside watching cleverly mixed gunpowder explode into coloured shapes, I'll be tucked up warm inside in the glow of a CRT. The only place to be.

2 Nov 2001  »

Pretty cool day. The DeCSS ruling is great news.

Can't for the life of me remember what I did this morning, although I'm sure it was probably really important :)

Had an article linked on the GNOME News site about Galeon, I think the Galeon guys are going to link it to their site too.

Been robot-building today too, we're building a robot that comes with a fortnightly magazine in the office, and it moves now, which is fun.

Managed to get side-tracked from hacking last night by another box with a Cathode Ray Tube in, I'm so weak...

1 Nov 2001  »

...blah... ...radius... ...blah... ...Apache... ...blah...

Turned the cam off, it was hammering syslogd on the web server, so I need to come up with a better solution


Put up an article about why Galeon is the perfect browser, and did some karma whoring on /.

Still no news on the car. Might do some diary hacking tonight if I can be bothered.

31 Oct 2001  »

2-0 and into the next stage we go, seeded too... nice.

Not an exciting day, fixed a slightly fubar'd MySQL setup, and did some sendmail work.

Messed about with Mozilla source & .spec, might build a 0.9.5 SuSE RPM & devel RPM if one doesn't appear on ftp.suse.com before long.

Played with ffmpeg too, having a cam is schweet.

Tired, didn't sleep great last night, dreaming of big, BIG spiders - not nice.

I've now not had a car for nearly two weeks, the insurance system is so slow, it's doing my nut.

Off to get the bus shortly, what fun.

30 Oct 2001  »

Wasn't sure what I was going to put today, not really done a lot, except monkeying around with the cam and some *dull as* BIND work, then I noticed I got certified as an Apprentice!


Liverpool v Dortmund on Radio Five tonight, hopefully this time tomorrow we'll be in the next stage of the Champions League...

Home time in 1 minute, time to save this...

29 Oct 2001  »

Great weekend, got home to find the bathroom redecorated! Sheer quality, I hate doing the DIY stuff. Nice to have the I/L's with us too, always top to see them.

My webcam came today - very quick delivery, kudos to Dabs.

Spent the day beating rsync into submission as well as getting the cam up and going. For some reason rsync insisted on dieing on a certain file in the directory I was trying to transfer, always the same file. Google was oddly useless, but I sorted it in the end.

26 Oct 2001  »

16:50 < 1 minute downtime during the migration!


26 Oct 2001 (updated 26 Oct 2001)  »

Scary database day!

Have spent the day getting ready to do the DB migration, and on the way have migrated a Radius service!

It's now 16:30 and the backup DB server is going to be on for the weekend, I'm too scared to risk migrating back at the last minute before I go home, I have much better things to do with my Friday night.

Ordered the webcam, should be here in 1 - 3 working days, which is quite exciting.

The in-laws are staying for the weekend, so hacking time is going to hit zero for a couple of days, which is a pain, cos I was going to try and get the new release of my diary ready.

About to do the migration, probably put my views of how it went up on Monday.

25 Oct 2001  »

Well, figure I should pop a diary entry in to kick this off, gonna try to keep it up to date from here on in.

Fun day writing some shell/perl scripts to migrate a whole bunch of MySQL DBs from one machine to another. If only we could get 3.23.xx to build on a MIPS box or two, we could have replication, which would make our life considerably easier.

Been thinking about my own diary software, definately needs some more work doing on it before I totally get out of the groove...

Nearly bought (well, ordered) a webcam today, the RiggCam's been offline for far too long (over 18 months now) and it should (and will) make a return, using Free Software of course.