Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eye candy working again in E17 Ecomorph

After a recent upgrade to Ubuntu Lucid Lynx and rebuilding E17 and Ecomorph the cool effects wouldn't startup in a dual monitor setup. I kept getting...

Checking for texture_from_pixmap: present.
Checking for non power of two support: present.
Checking for Composite extension: present.
Checking screen 1Comparing resolution (3840x1080) to maximum 3D texture size (4096): Passed.
Checking for Software Rasterizer: Not present.
Checking for nVidia: not present.
Checking for FBConfig: present.
Got Desktop Geometry 0x1
window managed: 0xc0598f : 0x3800022
- XTerm
Floating point exception

A single monitor setup worked fine.

The important line is "Got Desktop Geometry 0x1" Which I ignored because I thought
it was a status result of Hex value one - which could mean an error but could also mean
True. Which is what I thought it meant True or Yes or Yay, Got Desktop Geometry.

What it actually refers to is how many screens Horizontal by Vertical.

In any case it should never read zero by anything since the first number is used for division in the window.c program....Long story short, I hacked it for now to force it use 1x1 but I will look at the code in more detail and try to fix it properly.

More details are at http://code.google.com/p/itask-module/wiki/Stuff

Monday, September 13, 2010

Glen Thomas / Mike Cliffe project

Well, first off, I refuse to write about this since Glen did a brilliant job of it already !

Head on over to the Barking Eye blog to read about the music project that The Freq and AudioFumes are working on :)


Saturday, September 4, 2010

I thought this would have been obvious :P

From: CFIA Master
Reply-To: CFIA Master
Subject: 20100903b - HEALTH HAZARD ALERT (botulism) / DANGER POUR LA SANTÉ (botulisme)
Date: 10-09-04 02:30:45 AM



OTTAWA, September 3, 2010 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Africana General Market is warning the public not to consume Shitor sauce because this product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. Toxins produced by this bacteria may cause botulism, a life-threatening illness.

Affected product, Shitor sauce, was sold in 500 ml and 250 ml glass jars with no lot numbers or UPC. The Shitor sauce was sold only at the Africana General Market store, Kingsway, British Columbia.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with the toxin may cause nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, headache, double vision, dry throat, respiratory failure and paralysis. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

The manufacturer, Africana General Market, Kingsway, British Columbia, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Africana General Market 604-434-4555; or
CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735 (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Quality? Inn Ormond Beach - continued

The issue is now resolved. A few phone calls to the hotel and a few e-mails later the general manager and her assistant reversed the charges. They have invited us back at a special rate for our next stay to ensure our satisfaction. After approximately 25 years of 'hoteling it' I've learned my lesson - take photos of everything upon check-in and take photos of everything just before you check out and scrutinize the bill carefully. Also, let the hotel staff know of _anything_ you're not happy with - no matter how trivial YOU think it might be.

We were almost the victims of someone else's carelessness but I'm glad it turned out in the fair and correct way.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quality? Inn Ormond Beach

So we're on vacation and check into a Quality Inn in Ormond Beach for 3 nights. Reserved it over the Internet no problem. We arrived early, prior to the standard 3PM checkin and we were told by SS that we were "way early"- it was obvious we knew that because I mentioned that we were early and just wanted to confirm the reservation but SS figured it must have been necessary to exaggerate the fact in a eye-rolling, nose raising sort of way. So I merely confirmed the reservation and we killed time until about 3PM. From that point on, the stay at the hotel was OK. The hotel was alright, a fair bit of exterior wear and tear but inside our room nothing out of the ordinary - at least nothing that we'd formally complain about.

Upon arrival we noticed the following: There was some frozen meat in the freezer - hot dogs I think - nothing that we'd consider eating. There were a couple of pamphlets - you know the tourist kind, stuffed in the top of a lamp. We easily removed them. There was food bits on the floor from the previous occupants and the room smelled of recently 'nuked' bacon. The stove top had bits of food on it but again, nothing that we'd formally complain about since we had no intention of using the stove anyway and we were only there for 3 nights. There was also a curtain holdback thing beside the patio doors that was broken off and sitting on the floor. The plumbing fixtures were a bit naff too - loose, dirty but again, we were there to swim in the ocean, walk on the beach, dine etc.

Other than that the room was fine. The continental breakfast was fine.

The view was great from room 401 as was the location. All in all a place I'd return to.

On day, after housekeeping had finished cleaning our room (we were out for most of the day) the towels and garbage sat in a chair outside our room for 24 hours until the next cleaning shift. The next day, we told housekeeping not to bother with a 'complete' clean but rather just take the garbage and replace the towels.

Upon checkout there was nobody around to do the honours. The breakfast attendant CG was able to check us out and was the friendliest staff member we'd met so far. Her hospitality skills were exceptional. Our bill was pretty standard, even with the additional room safe charge per day, but since we used the safe - no biggie.

A day later I get e-mailed a 'new' bill showing


For starters I'm thinking what? 'missing'? or 'damaged'. If it's missing - it's missing and unknown whether it is damaged or not. If it's damaged, it's still there and not missing. Which is it? and why, for the sake of humanity would I even bother to take one 'fitted sheet' ?

Obviously the hotel has mistakenly charged us for this and I have asked them as well as their head office for a reversal. I'll update this as I hear of more about this....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Enlightenment E17 desktop

Finally got a solid working version of Ubuntu with the Enlightenment (E17) window manager complete with a compositing manager (Ecomp) and some extra cool effects thanks to Ecomorph.

Posted a sample screencast here http://youtu.be/AyJbdsLmRq8

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cubric's Rube

This is my opinion of a poor assessment system that is not helpful to our children. It is, in my opinion more of a benefit to the ITPW in a CYA sort of way. Again, this is my opinion, and as Richard Dawkin's so aptly put it....if you don't like it then you can feck off :)

A feck off AND a smiley face - tomorrow's Friday! :) !

I was taught in an government run educational system and thankfully, at the time, never subjected to the 'rubric' form of assessment.

I work in a government run educational system and I've seen a lot of focus on the 'rubric' assessment tool lately and it really is letting students down.

I am fortunate to never have been subjected to this type of assessment - a model where an instructor/teacher/professor/whatever (ITPW) scribbles their mark in a certain box that represents their opinion of my level of achievement according to government's vague description of said level of achievement. I personally feel sorry for them in having to use this restrictive grid method and deeply concerned for the student who receives such vague feedback in this manner.

Maybe it's the rubric? Maybe it's the instructor/teacher/professor/whatever? I really do not know. I've seen many of the 'rubrics' come home and they are ridiculous. I have no complaints of the 'mark' - they are always level 3 or 4 - lucky parent me ya? It's the method or interpretation that is ridiculous.

Let's look at the differences in a 'level 3' and 'level 4' rubric assessment for a brochure assignment. From what I have seen they are all much the same. My experiences might be geographically specific and system specific, but they are mine so on with this...

Note: Level 3 means that provincial standards are met.
Level 4 means that provincial standards are 'exceeded'.

*There are no clear definitions or criteria that assist in determining what 'exceeded' really means*

Category: Writing - Vocabulary

Level 4: The authors correctly use several new words.
Level 3: The authors correctly use a few new words.

What quantity are we talking about here? Several/Few? Who are these words 'new' to and why is 'authors' plural if one student is writing it? If an IPTW chooses level 3 or 4 they should also be able to identify what words they are basing the choice on....ya?

Category: Attractiveness & Organization

Level 4: The brochure has exceptionally attractive formatting and well-organized information.
Level 3: The brochure has attractive formatting and well-organized information.

The only difference here is "exceptionally". Exceptionally is extremely subjective and is not defined in a provincially accepted standard. In this case, the difference between a 3 or 4 is the IPTW's definition of "exceptionally" - not the provinces definition of what 'exceptionally' means.

Category: Content - Accuracy:

Level 4: All facts in the brochure are accurate.
Level 3: 99-90% of the facts in the brochure are accurate.

A 'grading' of a level 3 means that 1-10% of the facts are inaccurate. The IPTW needs to be able to identify the 1-10% that is inaccurate.

Category: Spelling & Proofreading

Level 4: No spelling errors remain after one person other than the typist reads and corrects the the brochure.

Level 3: No more than 1 spelling error remains after one person other than the typist reads and corrects the the brochure.

So, no spelling errors after the IPTW reads and corrects means level 4? Everyone would get level 4 then. Grammar errors are not even considered!

So please, rate this blog post a level 1,2,3 or 4 according to you own values and particular mood of the day :)

Peace and Love

Creating a Tunepak on Reverbnation as a Label

It's not easy for Labels....at least I don't know of an easier way, so if anyone knows of a better way please share :)

1. Login to your RN Label profile

2. Click on Profile

3. In the Artist Roster section, click on the "See More" link.
This will make it a bit easier since you will see 20 artists per page
instead of 9.

4. Click on the pull down menu next to the artists' Play button. Underneath each artist's avatar there is a play button. Immediately right of the Play button you will find the pull down menu

5. On the pull down menu, choose Queue - Add to Player Queue

Do this for every artist you want in the TunePak.

If you have several artists in your roster try to keep the TunePaks small ie. no more than 40 artists per playlist. That's only a suggestion but there are reasons for the limit - TunePaks use a First In First Out method and RN will limit the number of Artists per TunePak - you could add 100 artists only to find that your TunePak only contains the last 40 or so artists.

6. After you have queued up the artists for your Tunepak move to the RN Player near
the top right of the screen and hover the mouse over the play controls. A menu will appear with options to Save the list and Share the list

Optional....Save the list if you want

7. Click the Share Songs link - this is where you will actually create the TunePak

Enter a Title for your TunePak

At the Create TunerPak screen there are three options to
either Email the TunkePak, Get the TunePak URL or Cancel.

Click Get TunePak URL and copy the URL to include in E-mails or post on your Blog/Websites etc.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

As soon as 10.04 was released I burned a copy to CD. I decided to take the easy way out and
use the distribution upgrade method in update-manager and save the CD for whatever.

Starting with a completely well used version of 8.10 (Intrepid) I upgraded to 9.04 (Jaunty).
The upgrade failed and locked the keyboard and after trying everything else I ended up forcing a reboot - At least I had a CD, but nah, I'll try the upgrade again.

After a reboot I started the update-manager again and it seemed to want to continue where it left off. One more reboot and it 'seemed' clean. Forging on ahead I upgraded to 9.10 (Karmic) - smooth, perfect, until a reboot....Grub 2 is now used but my grub 1 boot screen was still appearing and the kernel versions were all, well weird.

So who cares, pick the latest kernel and let it boot and do the final upgrade to 10.04 (Lucid), right?

Bad move on my part, grub 2 totally taken over and the machine won't boot since my original grub menu is displaying and I can't find where this is coming from on any partition.

Booted from the original CD and installed to an empty partition. What I should have done in the first place :P

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A smiley idea in an fml sorta way

...And, no, before you start this isn't a plea for help it was just an idea I heard about from a friend and I thought I needed to know what that looked like. So now I know and you do too - and please, do not try this at home. Well try the graphics icon stuff sure, but the whole pointing firearms to your head thing is well, not cool.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Updated podcast schedule

03:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
06:00 Pangaea's People 3-B
09:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
12:00 Pangaea's People C-F
14:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
17:00 Pangaea's People G-O
19:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
22:00 Pangaea's People P-Z


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Limmy's got Earth hour sorted

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

British Breakfast and Pangaea's People Updated podcast schedule

  • 02:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
  • 05:00 Pangaea's People P-Z
  • 08:00 Pangaea's People 3-B
  • 12:00 The British Breakfast - Latest
  • 15:00 Pangaea's People G-O
  • 18:00 Pangaea's People P-Z
  • 22:00 The British Breakfast - Latest

    Updated podcast schedule on http://mmx2.homedns.org:8000

    Check the schedule for the stream you want to listen to and tune in at that time (local times are Eastern).

    Please note: The Pangaea's People 8 AM show and The British Breakfast 3PM show are pre-empted every Saturday to allow for the archiving of the British Breakfast/Big Hair.

  • Saturday, March 13, 2010




    Friday, March 12, 2010

    podcast experiment...

    I've got a podcast experiment running on http://mmx2.homedns.org:8000/


    02:00The British Breakfast - Latest Show2 hours0700 h
    05:00The British Breakfast - Random Show2 hours1000 h
    08:00Pangaea's People - 3rd Eye...Frank~ 2 hours 30 minutes1300 h
    12:00The British Breakfast - Latest Show2 hours1700 h
    15:00The British Breakfast - Random Show2 hours2000 h
    18:00Pangaea's People Gary...Zaelon~2 hours 30 minutes2300 h
    22:00The British Breakfast - Random Show2 hours0300 h

    Please note: The Pangaea's People 8 AM show is pre-empted every Saturday to allow for the archiving of the British Breakfast.

    I forgot to run a command in the background - Cool trick

    I forgot to run a shell command in the background and I want to leave!

    Found a cool bash trick (amongst others) at this site

    So I run this command and I forgot to append the ampersand to background it.
    What do I do? Kill the job and start over? Not a great option if the command
    has already done a lot of work and you don't or can't have it start over.

    The first thing to do is to stop/suspend the job with control-Z
    Find out the pid of the stopped job then use the 'bg' command to send
    it to the background. Now use the 'disown' command with the -h flag.
    ie. disown -h pid

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    How to get 1920x1080 (almost) native resolution on Dell 22w LCD

    A Dell Optiplex GX280 with onboard Intel 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset

    There are two ways:

    1. Use a modern Linux distro like Ubuntu - it detects the hardware properly and
    works out of the box at full 1920x1080 resolution


    2. Use a 'modern' MS Windows OS and cast your mind back to the early days of fiddling with Modelines in an Xorg.conf like you had to do in the early, early, early Linux days...

    WinXP or Win7 didn't work even with Dell OEM or Intel drivers. The best it would do ouy of the box is 1400x1050 - it appears that the 1920x1080 mode I'm trying to achieve is disabled in the BIOS.

    The XP solution. (probably have to do something similar to with win7 but on GX280 vintage gear probably not worth it) Anyway, get the real Intel driver in ZIP format.
    Unzip it and edit the

    .\win2k_xp142550\Graphics\igxp32.inf file

    Go to the section

    Change the value of TotalDTDCount from 0 to 1
    HKR,, TotalDTDCount, %REG_DWORD%, 1

    Change the value of DTD_1 to set a FAKE but VALID screen resolution
    Here's what I used
    HKR,, DTD_1,%REG_BINARY%, 02,3A,78,20,71,38,2D,40,58,2C,45,00,DD,0C,11,00,00,1E,37,01

    I'm using 1912x1080 - the BIOS doesn't know about the resolution and will not block it.

    02 3a 80 18 - the 1920x1080 version
    02 3a 78 20 - the 1918x1080 version

    For details of what this is about is best explained here:

    Then, manually install the driver with the igxp32.inf file...

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Reducing computer's power consumption

    This software http://miserware.com/products_micromiser.html
    has saved about 40% (0.022381kWh) since I installed the software. Pretty impressive
    numbers so far...

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    gone a bit blip mad

    blipping blipping blipping so no new updates. Oh ya earned 1.60 euros so far on ubetoo - woo hoo first pint's on me once I get 10 euros in the account :P

    Oh ya, doesn't look like the rink is going to happen this year - not enough snow!!! Can you believe it? Nice one UK for taking all the snow.