Author archives: timd

Web Permissions


This is my little permissions fix script. Its great for folders that apache serves from.

if [[ "$1" == "" ]]
echo "Fix Web Permissions Script - Tim 10/09/2007"
echo "Recursively changes permissions on folders 775 and files 664"
echo "Usage: fixperms <user:group> <folder>"
chown -R $1 $2
find $2 \( -type d -exec chmod 755 '{}' \; \) -o \( -type f -exec chmod 644 '{}' \; \)

Continuous Tail Script


This is my continuous tail script. It's good to have running on another screen while you are working on PHP code. You can ct the apache error_log and watch the log as the page is accessed. Streamlines the whole debugging thing.

if [[ "$1" == "" ]]
echo "Continuous Tail Script (50 Lines, 5s Interval). Tim 10/09/2007"
echo "Usage: ct [file]"
tail -n 50 -s 5 -f $1

Sunday 4th November 2007 - 20:11:03


My blog is looking kinda sad at the moment. Very neglected indeed.

Got lots of work on which is great. Starting to get a few new customers too for service and web design work. I'm still maintaining the webserver. I've got a new one going in soon to replace the current Dual P3 733 HP LH3000. A Quad 2Mb Xeon 700Mhz HP DL580 with 1Gb of RAM and a RAID 5 configuration of four 18.2GB 15,000RPM SCSI hard drives. That will wipe the floor with the old servers. I may look at virtualisation too.

I also scored two NEC 8500-120s 1U dual P3 servers in Ra and an Ed variants. I'm planning on setting one up as a watchdog and maybe a failover server for some of the functions on the LAN such as DNS and traffic monitoring.

Little Liam has learned 'Ta' now when he takes something from someone or gives something to someone. He's doing well. New bub is doing well all the checkups and stuff are clear.

Sunday 29th April 2007 - 12:04:28


RC Day today! Josh is coming over with is lunchbox and we're going down the park!

I nearly struck disaster though. My charger would not make a connection to the battery, so, I broke out the other mechanical charger - which was also borked. I took it apart and worked on it. The problem was threefold, one there were a number of dry joints about the place, two the trickle indicator globe was shorted and the ammeter shunt was not actually connected to the board!!! This meant that the charger was trying to charge the battery through the windings of the ammeter! I fixed all of this and re-assembled. It was now fine. The original charger, upon checking wasn't receiving the full 13.8 volts from the power supply - there was a corroded contact on the fuse holder which was to blame. A little scrape and re-fitting of the fuse and we're up again! Two working chargers, now that I have spent the time to fix the older one! I think I will keep the older one as it has a discharge function too. The circuit is also much more robust using a pair of 20W resistors as shunts.

Should be a good day!

Sunday 22nd April 2007 - 11:05:58


I resurected my RC Car today. I replaced the shunt resistors and servos. I also had to repair one servo whos limiting wiper wasn't even touching the final output gear - so it was just continuously grinding away agains the mechanical limit (a lug on the final output spur). It turns out that the other radio and servos are OK but I can't mix them - they aren't compatible. I only have one set of crystals though =/

I found a perfect double-tapped resistor in my collection of bits and pieces recovered from old TVs and Stereos. I soldered that in and fitted a spacer to the old mount and it fits clsoe to perfect. Although I can't put the body on properly anymore =/ I will have to remedy that with some creative mounting or some agressive grinding =)

The buggy looks like something out of mad max - all battered and beaten, looks like it's cobbled together out of bits found in the desert!

I also had to repair my charger. It appears to be working but doesn't indicate it is. Well it pulls the current and the battery gets charged so it must be. All the voltage measurements I took worked OK. There are a few blown resistors. Perhaps a short inside - the resistors are only related to the indicator LEDs. The charger is a aligator clip type arrangement designed for a car battery. I hooked it up to my trusty Manson Power supply which can deliver up to 25 Amps at 15 Volts. It's going to come in handy later when I test motors and what not, though they will probably peak above 40A...

Speaking of repairs I came across two beautiful repairs I made about 10 years ago!

Saturday 21st April 2007 - 21:27:15

The Rack

I have assembled my rack and fitted all my gear into it. There was some trouble locating the screws to hold on the rack-ears for the Cisco 2924-XL-M switch though. There was some initial trouble with the orientation of the horizontals on the 19" wide side because they did't mesh with the verticals. So I had to pull it all apart (pain in the butt - friction fit joins) and then re-assemble it.

From The Top:
* Cisco 2924-XL-M with 2 x C2922-XL-V Dual 100 Base FX Fiber Modules.
* 3 Empty RU for Potential Cisco Routers Later.
* 56K Dialup Modem, Billion ADSL Router and Netgear Wireless Router.
* IBM 8045-012 Hub - Used for watching the LAN.
* D-Link 14 Port 10 Base T Switch + 2 x 100M uplinks.
* Cable Organiser
* Cisco 4000M with 2 x NP-1E (Ethernet) and 1 x NP-1RV2 (Token Ring) Interfaces.
* Dell Poweredge 2400 Server.

Tomorrow I am going to go through the bits of RC Car that I picked up from Mum and Dad's today. I had the wrong idea about the bits being together, as in something that resembled a car. It will be interesting to see what I can cobble together with these bits. I have a Tamiya Super Hornet with a smashed front, and cracked gearbox, broken wing. I have a Tamiya HotShot which is pretty slawed too. It's actually not in one piece, got cracked suspension mounts (tricky single-shock suspension) and probably gearbox troubles. I also need to fix the front gearbox and re-install the center shaft so that it does 4WD again... I have two body halves, the gear train, shocks and running gear are all in bits in my container (I'm not usually one to misplace bits - although I can forget where I "organised" them to...). I have an Attack II Control in unknown condidtion with - of all things - a 9v battery snap on it that I have obviously modded in there at some time. Ah the modding started early. I have crystals which is an excellent start and two radio recievers. Now one RX is in the parts box and the other is in the car. I'd say one is dead. Guess which =)

Unfortunately I couldn't find my l33t 13T (that's 13 turns), pretty labelled bright looking, fins at the back and replaceable brushes racing motor. It's gotta be somewhere at Mum and Dad's still. That was good I got it for like $5 years and years ago, we are talking pre-highschool. So, I dunno, maybe 8+ years ago. Bougth brushes and stuck them in and cleaned it all up - but never used it.

I have a lot of small nuts, bolts and washers available from my electronics collection that I am pretty sure I will need! I also need to track down some resistors for the speed controllers - or get an ESC. Probably resistors for now 'cus they're going to be free =) In my wisdom I had removed the resistors and jumpered them, so, it's either full-throttle or nothing on the speed control at the moment. Now that I actually know why they are there and what they do - I think I will put them back, they chew power though. I have a backup remote control that I bought for $8.50 from eBay and also a set of ball-bearings for $9 including the teeny tiny ball bearing in the middle of the diff!!! This will help with run-time. Some of the cheaper upgrades until I get a car working ! If I get ambitious I will make my own ESC, I can probably look at that now pretty easilly. There is a DC Motor Controller Kit from *shudder* Dick Smith that would be easy to modify as an ESC. It's a little bigger than a bought one but will pack lots more punch and would have a better current-handling capacity. If not, there's always eBay Cool

Sunday 15th April 2007 - 19:21:13


Today I went to Josh's new house to install a LAN. We managed to get all the cable pulls done but unfortunately it was getting late so I had to go before I finished. The cables for the "Cyber Den" are all pulled though the floor and ready to take sockets though. The patch panel is also neatly finised. I also ran out of time with the phone as there was a dodgy connection in the phone line where the outcoming cable was not following standard. Unfortunately I didn't have time to pull apart the connection and inspect it. The connection is a nasty one by the looks of it. Three cables coming into a bundle of twisted-and-taped type joins. No solder it seems. I will see though apon further insepction.

Wednesday 4th April 2007 - 18:22:00


Worked on the price changes and $4/$9 rounding for most of today. It's inter-woven into everything! Because of the nature of our custom system builder the shopping cart doesn't store the contents of the system, so the discount price must be pulled out and calculated on the fly per-section. Probably about 20 files needed changing! But, I've done it and It appears to test OK. I'm going to get a few people to try it out now and check everything with a calculator.

I also went through my phone and found this join that I made on a CAT-5 cable in the ceiling cavity. That was a feat =)

Tuesday 13th March. 2007


Today I worked on an addon to an intranset web-app we wrote for one of our customers. This new addition will be used to schedule and monitor backups of various computers on the LAN and or at remote sites. I'm learning a lot of AJAX, we are trying to make it feel like software running locally as much as possible - rather than having to repetedly reload the pages as is the case with standard web forms.

I wrote the front end for the backup today - it needs a little tweak but works enough to implement. The front end writes records to the database detailing which machines need backing up and the paths that should be backed up. Tomorrow I will write the python script to hang off cron and actually read what it needs to backup from the database then do it, updating the status and statistics in the database as it goes. I figured it would be helpful to know when a backup fails or takes way too long, so I added start time, complete time and a status flag to the database as well. We can then see immediately what has failed. To be implemented from the "wish list" (ie stuff that isn't neccessary right now) are the reporting features and also size tracking for the backups. Might even add a status monitor type thing on the RAID server to make sure we're not cutting it too close with disk space.

Small tweaks are often the most handy. I made a very small tweak to the Drupal code that added the title in for me as you read it now - so I don't have to look at the date and type it.

I've completed some more renders and completed the schematic and routing of the TX Board MK2 with the DIP switch.

Sunday 11/03/2007


I added lots more photos today. I am currently adding more as I speak. Even the ones from Dolphines Point in Ulladulla where I decided to see "what my gear can do" when I took it out in a slight drizzle near the sea. It was great. The gear survived - as it should, something with that many rubber seals should be nearly waterproof! Some of the pictures are a tad foggy because of the water on the front element of the lens! It made for some entertainment for me anyway! It still doesn't top Dad's mate standing in the surf with his gear and tripod to get a shot.

Went to the doctor today and got something for the rash on my finger at last. Hopefully it will fix it. At least this doctor knew what he was looking at. Contact Dermatitis. Apparently detergents are a common cause. I reckon it was probably the Easy-Off BAM or somethiong that did it, that stuff is terribly caustic.

Played a good few hours of World of Warcraft. I got my character up to level 42 and was finally able to wear some gear that was crafted for me about 8-10 months ago! I've been trying to sort the site out and it appears to be running fine now on the new server.

I got myself a belt today finally. My nice belt I bought for my wedding broke in the weirdest place, you'd expect the belt to pull out of the buckle or something but it broke in the middle of the belt where the holes are. Weird. I have a nasty feeling this $10 belt from K-Mart will last longer than my $69 real leather etc etc belt that I had.

A new week. All of the gear we need is out of both the old Tandy and the David Reid stores which should save us some cash later down the track in shop fittings and consumables. I also partially set up an electronics workshop for the guys down stairs at Adelong which is something different. Next week will probably be setting up of office space for Adelong so that they can get cracking with sales and new business plans and stuff. That shop is going to hammer once the place is a little better organised and separated from its electronics tech business.

I am glad Tandy is gone though. Tandy was a pain, the treatment was poor and the pay was crap. But now, I have a job which far out-strips even a good retail job so I don't really give a shit to be honest... The variety is there which is important, but most important I have a boss that respects me and I am in a situation where I actually want to come to work! It's bloody terrific! He get's his mits on all sorts of work from Security Cameras to Websites to LAN installations for offices. If it's connected to a computer or even just electronic, we probably do it. The main focus of the business is POS (Point of Sale) which is still in development but currently running at a number of stores already.

Saturday 10/03/2007


Played some WoW and watched some Heroes today. Had a nice BBQ dinner - Some propper sausages, a few chicken kebabs, onions and potatoe chips which I cook on the grille.

I also added a heap of photos.

There were also a whole heap of screenshots, some pictures of my PIC work with the 16f877 and MAX232 Serial Chip.

Sunday, April 2nd 2006


Whoa! I'm up to my backside, well my shoulders if you stack them on top of each other in server gear! It's nice to finally get going properly on actual server gear for this site. Monolith01 and Monolith02 got an upgrade today. The 667s in Monolith01 flowed down to 02 and it's 550s went to 03.


  • Dual P3 733MHz/133MHz FSB
  • 256MB PC133 ECC SDRAM
  • 6 x 9.1 GB U160 SCSI drives (2 x 9.1 [Atlas 10K Vs] RAID 1 - 9.1GB, 4 x 9.1  [Atlas 10K IVs] RAID 5 - 25.5GB) running off a DELL PERC2/SC RAID controller.

Monolith02 (Planned): 

  • Dual P3 667MHz/133MHz FSB
  • 256MB PC133 ECC SDRAM 
  • 1 x 18.2GB U160 SCSI Drive running off embedded U2W SCSI on mainboard.
  • 1 x 20GB IDE running off 2 x ATA133 PCI RAID card.

Monolith03 (Planned - pending essential parts like ummm, RAM?!)

  • Dual P3 550MHz/100MHz FSB (Possible Single P3 1.0GHz depending on slotket compatibility)
  • No RAM Yet
  • No Drives Yet

"Core" powerboard failure...


Hrm.... It's suposed to look technical. I added "core" Tongue2

The core power board crapped out (read: shat a brick and ejected it's rocker switch onto the floor) over night and I am not sure what time. I will have to go over the logs. It took 20 min to get back up, I replaced it with another board. Lucky those 5 leads and 3 packs are all tidy an neatly loomed up. It was a snap. Trickiest part was lining the new powerboard up onto the screws and clipping it in. I suspect it may have a small colony of bugs living in it, judging by the brown bug crap in my poorly shot photo. Meh, it's 6:30 something in the morning, I just got up. Can't be expecting a nice shot =) There will however be nice shots if there is anything interesting inside.

In other news, I have passed 200 blog entries now! l33t!

Tuesday, 25th October 2005


Work. The day of the idiot it seems...

I can almost guarantee my offsider here will be convulsing on the floor in the fetal position before the day is through. He's been dealing with a heap of stupid requests...

Customer starts their query with only:"What kind of memory card does my camera take?"


A discontinued line was reduced to $20 to clear it. It has no box or accessories. It is marked $20 'as is'. This normally retails for $89, even at this price it is below cost. A customer puts the unit on hold. Calls later. "Is there any chance of a further discount?"

Sunday, 23rd October 2005



Off to Mum and Dad's to fix the car.

Not so "Upgradey"...


Well all this dual and 6 processor stuff is crap. No time to pick it up from the guy. There is definately an impending space issue. To that avail I will be installing a new 40 gig hard drive. One that came out of the system that Goldy sold me. It's a nice quick seagate drive. Hopefully not too loud! We will see.

Friday, 03rd June 2005



Ah! Friday at last! Hrm, I might watch one of the Fridays on the weekend. "Cause its Friday, you aint got no job, and you aint got shit todo!"

I have finished P1500 - an S-Video socket and, as promised the rocker switch P7720 from yesterday.

Not a bad likeness! =P

7:00 PM:
Dumbass! I forgot to bring home the parts to actually MAKE this damn S-Video switch I have been designing... Doh!

Saterday, 7th May 2005


Ah! Saterday at last!
8:40 AM:
Yes, that's right. Eight forty! My silly body, being the way it is doesn't sleep when it's supposed to! Doesn't really matter, I had lots of stuff to do today. HAD! No internet today, Tel$tra seem to be having boggles all about new south wales with their DSLAMs. Connection logins timing out. Bastards, I hope they fix it.

I'm updating this via LAN on the box next to the box that serves! Well, maybe not that exciting. Maybe not worthy of the exclamation mark I gave it. Meh.

Well without internet it seems that I will be cleaning and tweaking the server as well as a backup. Backups are good. Backups save tears... Oh yeah, theres the other fun "real world" stuff that I have to do today. Real cleaning and Vacuuming. Joy.

Without internet I can't watch more of the Foamy The Squirrel movies that I discovered yesterday. Bugger. That little critter has a mouth from the gutter and an attitude to match! The one that I watched was called "Foamy's Rant II". It was basically his rant about those fat people sueing McDonalds because they were fat, rather than just not eating there... Also about Mobiles in cinemas/restaurants. Hilarious!

Back the the computer. The 'ol download folder needs a thorough cleaning and cataloguing. So many little movie clips, flash animations, apache/webserver related crap, Geeklog bits and pieces, miscellaneous game demos all sorts of crap. Anyway, it needs a clean!

10:32 AM:
Still no internet. I have decided to start some more drawing. A UB2 zippy box. The larger one that I drew before was a UB1. Only taken me 20-30 minutes. I have completed the body of the box and the lid. I need to detail the inside of the box with the rails to slide boards between.

11:00 AM:
Finished off the Zippy box.

3:00 PM:
I decided to watch Constantine. Disc didn"™t want to read in the DVD player. Tried the PS2. Reads in the PS2 but skips. Damn. Ended up digging out a DVDROM and installing it in the computer. Finally! What an awesome movie! After some vacuuming and tidying I made some beef noodles, but added some garlic. Watched the first 40 minutes of MallRats, another favourite movie then Bub got home.

Friday, 6th May 2005


One week of blog. I am glad I stuck to doing this. An outlet for me is a plus! Keeping a diary is a good idea. This is the first one I have managed to keep for a week!

Any positive feelings were quickly dashed this morning by the procurement of certain information, i.e. the offering of a job that I wanted to another in the company. Offering an Assistant manager a Store Manager role when A Store Manager (me) has already specifically asked for that position. What a bunch of fucking crap.

9:40 AM:
I have tried to stem the amount of swearing used in my blog, succeeding to do so thus far. I believe that is the first one. Yay. Another celebration" I apologise to anyone offended; the amount of frustration right now, when stacked, is higher than me.
Therefore some "venting" is necessary

I'm going to go watch some: Strongbad Emails to cheer me up a little.

Thursday, 5th May 2005


Work. Yay.
Morning trip was bullshit. Train was delayed first by 6 minutes, then by 8 then by 12. It arrived after 15 and was full any way. Next one was in 5 minutes. Lo and Behold! What do I see sitting at Redfern's Everleigh Workshops sitting in a siding? Not one, not two but three brand new shiny Millenium trains. What a fucking waste.
On and off all day I have been trying to add image tags to make a pretty table and description to my posts. It works.