Author archives: timd

Saturday 26th December 2009 - 20:42:33


Christmas was good. We went over to Mum and Dad's for Lunch.

Today was great. Kel cooked a nice lunch for us with ham and potato salad and green salad.

I passed a big milestone today in getting organised in the shed. I finished my drill press bench. I can now go back to using the table that the drill press was on...

Sunday 20th December 2009 - 20:13:38


A very productive weekend!

  • Built Second Saw Horse
  • Built Kids Sandpit
  • Mowed Lawn
  • Fixed Door
  • Built Belt Sander Holder


Thursday 17th December 2009 - 21:05:08


I just tore outside and moved the timber for the Kid's sand pit under cover after seeing the storm approaching. It needs to be dry if I'm going to cut it and work it.

Sunday 13th December 2009 - 20:05:57


I got lots done this weekend.

I bought a lot of 6 used power tools, two extension cords and an RCD (earth leakage safety switch) for $130. I'm pretty happy with that. It's not crap either. A mixture of Bosch, Makita and Ryobi with a GMC plunge router too. I vacuumed them all out and tested them. They are all good.

Sunday I went with my Dad to pick up 4 lengths of 50 x 200 x 2400 treated pine for the kids sandpit. Dad gave me some black PVC to put down. We also picked up the galvanised screws and washers that we'd need. While at Bunnings I also bought some supplies for the new tools, some sanding belts and sanding discs as well as a few jigsaw blades and quick-clamps.

So far it's just tooling up for woodwork. Sunday I also built a sawhorse and 3/7 of a saw horse. I had to make a tricky jig to cut the angle on the feet because I couldn't use the saw to directly cut the angle on the legs (70mm x 20mm) sideways. The max cut depth is about 50mm. I clamped each leg to my saw extension table at 14 degrees and cut it tat way. There are photos in my gallery under woodwork.

Sunday 4th October 2009 - 10:14:57


Baby Ryan is doing great - he's gaining weight and looking a lot healthier. His Jaundice has gone right away too. If only he'd sleep more than 2 hours! He's also starting to look around a lot more and follow us as we walk around - he has a strong neck already, much stronger than you'd expect.

Yesterday I scored 100 long neck beer bottles with crown seals for $20 which is awesome. I blasted half of them out yesterday and they're now sitting submerged in Napisan to kill anything that's living in them and to loosen any crud that's in them. I'm curious to see how they come up, I haven't tried Napisan before.

Sunday 30th August 2009 - 21:27:52


I did end up brewing today. I moved my APA into a clean fermenter to condition - hopefully this will reduce the sediment a bit. I put down a batch of Blackrock Miners Stout with some steeped grains and extra hops. I'm also trying out the Nottingham yeast for the first time.

The kids had a great time zooming up and down the drive while I brewed and Liam sampled the different ingredients, he liked the light malt extract, but pulled all sorts of faces for the hops and spent grain (I don't know why he wanted some of that but anyway - I bet he doesn't any more!).

Saturday 29th August 2009 - 21:09:15


The kids had a great time today out in the yard playing with their sandpit. Liam terrorised Emmy a bit and tried to seal her in the sandpit (it's a clamshell design) - she wasn't impressed and lots of screaming ensued.

I put a tap in the hot water system today so I can get hot water outside for brewing. My first attempt failed as I was using a T piece as a joiner with a plug in one inlet. I thread taped it and removed it all and then re-thread taped it, it still leaked - on closer inspection I found there was a fracture on one inlet... I replaced it for an elbow, which looks a bit odd - but it doesn't leak!

brewbox keeps crashing for some reason. Today I pulled it down off the fridge and booted it with a screen. I disabled all the unused stuff in BIOS and also removed a lot of useless crap like IRDA and Bluetooth. The system is now running an even more minimal set of services. Hopefully this nails it and it will be reliable - otherwise I will have to junk it and use the other NEC 1U server which isn't as suitable for the task (no DB9 serial, no parallel, more power usage)

My plan for tomorrow is to throw the APA that's in the fridge into a second fermenter to condition. I've read a lot about this method - hopefully it will help reduce the sediment in the bottle for me. As I'm bottle conditioning the beer I can't run it through a filter before bottling, otherwise there won't be any little yeasties in there to carbonate the beer for me...

To brew or not to brew as well... hrm... It's nearly as much work, I've got to wash the gear anyway to do the transfer!

Friday 28th August 2009 - 07:08:16


Yesterday was good, I now have my sync program crawling the FIFO table and doing inserts and updates. Once the delete facility is wrapped in the ORM I can work on deletes as well. Then it's testing. Hopefully today is as productive!

I scored a lift home and got some of my crap from work home. Scored a PC and a monitor as well as some other miscellany like DL580 hotswap PSUs. I also scored a nice Gigabyte AM2 mainboard with 2 x pci-e 16s.

I need to do a serious cleanup and eBay session so I can buy the compound saw that I want!

Monday 24th August 2009 - 23:24:19


What a crapper of an evening. I got caught up on-site until 9PM

The day was good though - I did some pair programming and we managed to nail down some ORM problems we were having. So now, my sync script actually runs and writes stuff to the database!

Monday 24th August 2009 - 07:56:49


Off to work as usual. Hope I get a seat. I'm keen to do some more work on my invoice parser/query tool.

It's a tool used to parse ACCPAC for DOS invoices and stick their contents in a database in a sensible schema that I can report on. Once I can reproduce an invoice, the most basic function - I can move to phase 2, integrating parsing of the payments report and collating that with the invoices in several management reports. This involves porting one of my previous scripts from PHP/MySQL to Python/Postgres. Phase 3 is integration of internet orders data into the bargain. (Python, PHP, Javascript)

Once at work, I'm on a customer job. Writing a database synchronisation script thats designed to replicate a MySQL database into Postgres based around a FIFO table in the MySQL DB. FIFO Records are created by triggers in the MySQL database. The script needs some smarts because of the convoluted way that the developers of the software based around this database do updates. Apparently they didn't know about update - or weren't prepared to plumb in the necessary mechanics to allow the software to decided that it's updating. Their solution: DELETE the record and INSERT every time... Joy.

brewbox (fridge control server) seems to be working away happily - although I haven't connected the controller yet. I need to test the compressor lag routine in the control script. I want to make sure it works before I plug the fridge into it, in case I damage the fridges compressor by turning it on straight after it's been turned off.

Sunday 23rd August 2009 - 13:59:37


It's a nice warm day today. The kids are out terrorising each other in the yard. I cut some pine earlier for another project and Liam is riding around on his bike (his truck) with the pine and a selection of tools in the back. I'm in the shed resurrecting an old 1U server for my fermentation controller project.


I've chosen this old dual P3 server because it pulls under 100 Watts - but still has enterprise server goodies, SCSI hot-swap, ECC RAM (because you need that in a fridge controller). The other reason I chose this server (an NEC 8500 120ra-1) is because it has serial and parallel facilities. The parallel was actually a nice find - I was going to use a USB converter, but I found an entry in the BIOS for parallel configuration. So I took a closer look and found a weird header on the mainboard - I plugged in a DB-25 ribbon cable and tested it with a live CD. Good news! The parallel header-ribbon to DB-25 actually came as surplus electronics in my electronics class in highschool! I was lucky that I still had it.


I replaced the CD with a DVD drive and attempted to install CentOS 5.2. Unfortunately the DVD drive is bad, so I downloaded the net install cd image for Centos 5.3 and re-installed the original CD-ROM drive. Looks like the net install is going to take a few hours.

Saturday 20th September 2008 - 08:52:41


Today we set up the pool on the patio for Liam and Emily to play it. What a hot day it was!

Emily loved it, she was content to sit there and splash with her feet - usually nothing keeps her occupied long. Kel found a cute pink hat for her to wear.

Liam stayed there for hours hopping in and out. He got pretty upset when it was time to go inside. Big, big Tantrums!

I bottled my Pilsner - I'm not sure how well it's going to go. It does taste a bit odd. Hopefully the yeast hasn't gone into autolysis... It was in the fermenter a week extra. Very very cloudy too - probably due to me dropping the spent grain from the flavor pack into the boil. The sieve I was pouring the steep mix through fell into the fermenter.

Friday 5th September 2008 - 20:13:20


I took the day off today. I had acrued extra hours last week.

We bought Liam a little Roary the Racing Car toy that came with a DVD. That DVD has been on repeat for hours!

I bottled my APA (American Pale Ale) - It should taste really good. It's still a bit cloudy though. I started off a Pilsner as well. It's bubbling away nicely now.

I came across a weird file on the server. 78 PETA Bytes! Yes. 78PB. 87,806,822,618,104,772. Pretty impressive since the partition is only 800GB.

Friday 5th September 2008 - 19:48:42


Inode 30375975, i_size is 87806822618104772, should be 24576. Fix<y>? yes

Saturday 30th August 2008 - 19:02:16


Oh Yeah! New Drives and New U320 Cable.

Target 0 Negotiation Settings
User: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Goal: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Curr: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Channel A Target 0 Lun 0 Settings
Commands Queued 40885
Commands Active 0
Command Openings 4
Max Tagged Openings 4
Device Queue Frozen Count 0
Target 1 Negotiation Settings
User: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Goal: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Curr: 320.000MB/s transfers (160.000MHz RDSTRM|DT|IU|QAS, 16bit)
Channel A Target 1 Lun 0 Settings
Commands Queued 43304
Commands Active 0
Command Openings 4
Max Tagged Openings 4
Device Queue Frozen Count 0

1TB Mirror of j0r

# mdadm --detail /dev/md5
Version : 00.90.03
Creation Time : Sat Aug 30 19:10:28 2008
Raid Level : raid1
Array Size : 976759936 (931.51 GiB 1000.20 GB)
Used Dev Size : 976759936 (931.51 GiB 1000.20 GB)
Raid Devices : 2
Total Devices : 2
Preferred Minor : 5
Persistence : Superblock is persistent

Update Time : Sat Aug 30 19:10:28 2008
State : clean, resyncing
Active Devices : 2
Working Devices : 2
Failed Devices : 0
Spare Devices : 0

Rebuild Status : 10% complete

UUID : a09dbd93:faf5d9d1:abf542e5:d7389fec
Events : 0.1

Number Major Minor RaidDevice State
0 8 81 0 active sync /dev/sdf1
1 8 97 1 active sync /dev/sdg1

Friday 29th August 2008 - 21:52:47


So, what am I supposed to do when I fill 1TB of drives? Yell


That's right! Get more. Laughing 2TB more. Well 1. It's going to be mirrored.

I've also got myself a new U320 cable so that I don't have to stretch it over the top of the CPUs. In fact. I think I will move the U320 boot mirror to another lower bay. Photos Later.

I'm currently brewing an APA with a 3Kg ESB APA kit, a BMBS Lager & Draught infusion pack and extra cascade. I'm also using US-05 yeast which is better for APAs. Should be yummy. The last one was!

Sunday 13th April 2008 - 18:12:17


Blog?! Where! - I see no blog...

diff Saves the Day!


A customer had changed their code before it was under version control. So, it was different to the snapshot of it that I had.

This nifty command saved me

Skips all the ".svn is only in svn/blah/"

diff -r --brief current svn | grep -v "\.svn"

Converting FLV (Flash Video) to MPEG

ffmpeg -i video.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500 -s 320x240 test.mpg

One line Seach and Destroy


Find and remove in one line. HTML files for example. This prevents bash (or the rm it calls) from bailing when it finds a file with a space in it.

find -type f -name "*.ht*" | while read file; do rm "$file"; done