The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Friday, September 29


Meet Your Maker

This is interesting: MakeVM. It's a little shareware utility that creates virtual machines - either blank ones or clones of existing disks - for VMWare.

This is great if you're running VMWare Player (which doesn't have the ability to create new virtual machines itself), or if you're running VMWare Server and want to migrate an existing Windows server to a virtual environment.

Costs $19.95 for the full version. The free download is limited to teeny-tiny VMs, so I'll need to buy it. I have a couple of Windows servers here at work that do almost nothing but which I can't actually unplug, because they only do almost nothing. Now I can finally get rid of the buggers.

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Got my 4GB memory card. Although Canon doesn't list the Ixus 800 as supporting SDHC (which is required for SD cards larger than 2GB), Sandisk does, and I found a couple of people reporting that their cameras worked just fine with 4GB cards.

And so does mine.

Over 1400 photos at maximum resolution and image quality (well, that's JPEGs, not raws).

Now I just need to find something to take a photo of...

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Thursday, September 28


Well, That Was Fun

Had a little excitement at work today. Apparently several blocks of Sydney's CBD went dark, including, of course, our office. Our elderly UPS valiantly struggled along for nearly a minute before expiring; the blackout itself lasted about an hour and a half.

Then I had to fix pretty much everything. Crashed databases, lost routing tables, failed NFS mounts (the systems didn't neatly reboot in the required order), unending fscks (This volume has not been checked for 562 days* so I'm now going to scan every one of your seven million files and there's nothing you can do to stop me so nyah.), broken RAID sets, misconfigured network cards...


Knoppix was used. It would have been even more not fun without Knoppix.

* Actual number.

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Wednesday, September 27



Just finished watching Shakugan no Shana.

I do recommend it, though it is a little uneven. Jonathan Tappan has an interesting review of it, but it is rather spoiler-laden, so you might not want to read beyond the opening paragraphs (avoid even the synopsis!) until you've seen at least a couple of episodes.

And now I'm going to take a nap.

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Tuesday, September 26


Happy Pixy Day

My copies of Macromedia Studio, Eye Candy 5000 (the complete bundle), Acid Music and Sound Forge have arrived. Vegas Video and Paint Shop Pro XI are due later this week.

And I've ordered a 4GB card for my camera, a 320GB disk for my PC, and a 16X DVD burner to replace my old CD burner - which has gotten stuck with my Neverwinter Nights CD inside. sad

I start working from home on Secret Project M from the 5th of October.

Oh, and while I was at it, I upgraded my ADSL plan:

You have 58628.37 MB quota, and 59601.46 MB offpeak quota remaining until shaped at 64k
Now, nothing can stand in my way. Bwahahahaha!

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In Camera

I ended up getting the Ixus 800 IS, the same model as TJ at Riuva. Based on both specs and sample photos it appears to be better than my ancient Sony S85 in every way. Despite having a smaller sensor (1/2.5" vs 1/1.8") and of course a smaller lens, the sample photos from the Ixus have more detail and less noise.

More pixels, wider zoom range, much faster, much more storage (4GB vs. 128MB, same price for the respective cards), optical image stabilisation, much smaller and lighter, bigger screen (twice the screen area on a camera half the size), one-third the price. And the Sony is not a bad camera - apart from the slow auto-focus and some shutter lag, and the limitations of Memory Stick - it does take very nice photos. It's just that five years has made it completely obsolete.

One little thing: The two cameras, bought five years apart, both came with 16MB memory cards.

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Monday, September 25


Shakugan no Shana

Is pretty darn good.

I think it's licensed by Geneon, but doesn't seem to have been released yet. (A search of their sucky site reveals nothing.)

One thing I particularly like is that it's paced more like the first Slayers series than, say, Bleach. Dramatic rescues take one episode, not fifty. Plot points actually get resolved.

And like Slayers, you have a flame-haired flame-eyed super-powered chibi-chan.

Fear the kawaii!

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Sunday, September 24



Thanks to Wonderduck for pointing me to two great new AMVs. Both are from artists previously featured here at Ambient Irony.

First up, Stop Watching Anime and Go Outside! by Doki Doki Productions. Music is There Is Life Outside Your Apartment from Avenue Q; video from Genshiken (which I haven't seen) and other shows, some of which you are sure to recognise. (More details at Doki Doki's site.)

Second, She's Just Oblivious by the very talented Silver Moon. Music is Sharada by Skye Sweetnam; video is the best anime of 2006.


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The first two munu servers were named Mica and Mew.

(Well, technically there was one before that, but since it was the only server it was just called or something like that. It was retroactively renamed Pooky when it came time to decommission it.)

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Saturday, September 23


Save New Scientist!

Back in the 80s, through to the mid-90s, I bought New Scientist every single week, and read it from cover to cover.

And then... Well, let's just say that I didn't leave New Scientist, New Scientist left me.

The economic illiteracy of the editors I could cope with, more or less; it's a popular science magazine, not an economics journal.

But the growing scientific illiteracy was harder to stomach. The increasing tendency to "study the controversy" and publish articles that were complete and obvious nonsense eventually drove me away.

Now it looks like I'm not alone.

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