Builders with no social conscience

Was woken this morning at 7:00am (as was my wife an 16month-old son) by a bobcat operating immediately outside bedroom window. This has been an ongoing issue with the builder (Dreamstart Homes) which is chucking together the house next door.

Dreamstart Homes seems entirely bereft of a social conscience and is more than willing to upset your soon-to-be neighbours. Just because the law saws that a builder may start work at 7:00am does not mean that it is right and proper to do so.

wview to wfrog archive conversion

Following a not so minor mishap with my home server, I recently rebuilt it on new hardware. I decided to take another look at what software was available for talking to my WH1080 based weather station. Up until then I had been using wview, but I've not been particularly happy with it; configuration is a little cumbersome, the generated webpage isn't easily customisable and it periodically crashes. Having said that, it has largely faithfully recorded the weather from my station over the past year or so with reasonable accuracy.


Last October I sat for, and received my Amateur Radio Operator's license. My new call sign is VK6NAK.

To compliment this, I've setup a wiki over at There isn't much up there yet, but hopefully I'll find the time to start filling out the pages.

So far its been a fun hobby to get into, although I'm a little frustrated by the restrictions encountered by operating on a small suburban block; 40m antennas are difficult to erect and even more difficult to disguise.

Compressed Money

I recently received a copy of the 30th Anniversary edition of The Dark Side of the Moon, on SACD. The DSD layer of the SACD sounds amazing - the 5.1 surround sound remix is the best I've ever heard DSotM.

Sadley, the Redbook layer of the SACD is very lacklustre. It sounds flatter than a poor MP3 rip, and here's why:

Fixed: ThinkPad X130e reboots on shutdown

Had a problem with my Lenovo ThinkPad X130e, where instead of shutting down, it would run through the shutdown process, power off for a few seconds and then power back up again. I solved this months ago, when I first got the laptop, however it reoccurred yesterday after I upgraded to Mint 14 RC.

The solution was found on the Arch Linux forums;

I've implemented something similar for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint:


Raspberry Pi case

For the past few weeks I've been playing with a couple of Raspberry Pi's. I bought two because I figured I'd end up finding something useful to do with the first one. This would immediately become an essential, irremovable part of my life, but I'd still want a second to play with. This has turned out to be the case, with the first one being setup as a PulseAudio network sink, hooked up to the stereo in the family room, allowing me to direct music from MPD between my study, media room and family room.

Simple DVD slideshow

Twice so far this year I've had to produce a slide-show on a DVD. Despite being an aging medium, DVDs to present a useful format for slide-shows, in that DVD players are fairly uniform and ubiquitous. This means you can be reasonably confident of being able to display your slide-show, regardless of whatever other equipment your venue provides.

Poor-man's DLNA/AirTunes

Quick bit of hackery to setup a HTPC to listen for RTP streams. This allows you to quickly stream a video or music to the machine, without having to much around with DLNA. I'm using it alongside XBMC on my HTPC.

Create /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99vlc:

[ -e $HOME/ ] && kill `cat $HOME/` ; rm $HOME/

vlc --no-embedded-video --width=1920 --height=1080 rtp:// -I dummy &

echo $pid > $HOME/

From the machine you wish to stream from, run:

Drupal 7 on nginx

Config fragment to serve Drupal from nginx, using fastcgi. Includes config of cgi-bin for awstats.


Griffin Powermate on Linux

For a while I've used a Griffin PowerMate USB knob as a scroll wheel. It works really well, and is much faster for scrolling long pages, as well as easier on my fingers than the traditional mouse wheel.

Every time I set it up on a new computer, however, I forget how to do it, so here are my definitive instructions:


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