GothCruise5 Photos

Took me a while process all the photos from our trip, but they're finally done. I was going to be all Web 2.0 and post them to flickr, but I really got frustrated with it. I accidentally uploaded a set of photos twice and it was really difficult to undo that. Plus the limitations they impose on free users are stupid. So I went back to Gallery2.

Perl Bungleing

I have a fondness for Perl. It's probably one of the languages I became proficient (see dangerous) in early on. It's like the wild west of computer languages. When you write something in Perl, it's fast and dirty. In my work I frequently need to whip up solutions quickly and Perl is really great for that. Unfortunately without a bit of rustling, Perl can quickly get out of hand. I keep trying to move to Ruby which has more stucture, but Perl is my crack. I can't quit it, it's just too easy.

On and off I've been solely developing a toolkit which co-ordinates automagically installing builds of our product on a 6 box server configuration in a clean virtualized sandbox. As much as I'd like to rewrite my Perl prototype in Ruby, I know I just don't have the time. I've been reading this O'Reilly book Perl Best Practices and I have to say, with a little elbow grease, I think I can whip some more structure and sense into my Perl toolbox. Refactoring is definitely easier than rewriting.

On the topic of Perl, Perl editors... For a long time, I've favored SciTE. The primary reason for this, is check syntax, and execute. I can do a check syntax from inside the editor, and it will bring me to error lines in question when I double click on them in the output window. Besides syntax highlighting, this is the single most useful perl feature. The downside with SciTE is it's a port of a unix editor and really lacks a windows feel. Much as I like unix, for GUI's sometimes windows is just better.

Today, I think I finally found a better Perl editor. I am now using the free Programmers Notepad 2. It has syntax highliting, modern windows gui, and most importantly it has good support for configuring external tools. Within 5 minutes I had configured my beloved check syntax, execute and even added a Unit Test item to the Tools menu! I do a check syntax and double click on the offending "Unquoted string "prnt" may clash with future reserved word at c:\temp\ line 20." and I'm dropped on line 20 as expected. Bliss.

So I guess this is my first post in a while. I want to start maintaining a more professional (and probably even geekier) blog. I just can't decide where to do it. LJ is unfortunately not the venue. I'm even contemplating dropping the pseudonyms.

I still enjoy reading LJ posts by people here, I just don't feel most of my friends need to be subjected to my fascination with gadgets and computers.

For Sale: 55cm Softride Fixed Gear

I'm selling my 55cm Softride Fixed Gear. I've ridden it twice since build up and I hate to see it collect dust. If anyone's interested in owning a very unique fixed gear ride, this is it. I have too many bikes and not enough time to appreciate her.

Details and pics behind the cut.

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Massive Storage

I finally did it. I have intelligent storage of my media across multiple drives. There are many ways to combine multiple drives into one big drive. My goal was to do it in such a way that if 1 of the drives fail, I only lose a portion of my files. And more importantly, a logical portion. Files are grouped on each drive in directory chunks. The file contents (not directories) of any given directory, are only stored on 1 drive. This means if 1 drive fails, I may lose 1/3rd of my Music, but the music that remains on the other two drives is complete albums. No missing songs.

I've achieved this by running unionfs on Linux. unionfs is a neat filesystem that stacks the contents of one filesystem over another. It's typically used in distributions like Knoppix so you have have a read only set of files (your cdrom) and a read/write area (your usb drive). Modifications you make to the CD, actualy end up on the USB drive. I'm using it to stack (currently) 3 different hard drives together. I wrote a perl script which runs occasionally to shuffle files around so that each drive is using an equal percentage of it's available space to store the files. If anyone is interested in more details or the script, I'd be happy to help.

unionfs 687G 292G 381G 44% /union

Want a darkroom for little or no money?

I'm trying to get rid of some of the things that are collecting dust, and one of those things is a really terrific darkroom setup. I have everything minus some film developing canisters I want to keep. It includes a really really nice enlarger which does 35mm and medium format with terrific lenses. Trays, digital timer, etc, etc, etc. I don't want to bother with an inventory, but I assure you it's nice. I'd like to get $100 for everything (It is worth many times that). But I could be persuaded to give it away if money is an issue. If you or anyone you know is interested, let me know.