Why did you say six months?
He's coming.
This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?
Why did you say five minutes?

Tuesday, August 29


Nearly Almost

My new office PC has moved from "parts allocation" to "invoicing". They had to swap the memory as well as the motherboard to make it work, but now they've done a 72-hour burn-in with all 4GB and it's working.

So I'm sitting here trying to get it to move to "shipped" by sheer force of will.

Doesn't seem to be working.

Update: Just needed to concentrate a bit harder. Eet hes sheeped!

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Monday, August 28


Percussive Maintenance

I was fussing around with my iPod, and ended up just giving it a ding over the head and plugging it into the Firewire cable.

And the light came on, and then the Apple logo, and then the infamous DO NOT DISCONNECT message. The battery is completely flat, in spite of being plugged in for several hours the other day.

Windows can see it as a disk. iTunes doesn't seem to want to know, though. I'll see if I can sort that out.

In other news, I got a delayed write error on my external disk drive... But that's on the same Firewire card that I was plugging and unplugging the iPod on, so might just be a glitch. Yeah, I'm sure it's just a glitch.

Update: Swapped the iPod to my other Firewire card, and dinged iTunes over the head, and now that's working. And I got a whole bunch more delayed write errors on the external drive, so I swapped that to USB, and now that's working too.


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Thursday, August 24


Double Defoiled

EYO tried every Conroe-compliant motherboard they had in stock, and only one would detect the 4GB of memory; all the others showed 3GB.

The one that worked is a 975-based board; none of the 965 boards worked.

Very strange.

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Tuesday, August 22


Curses! Defoiled Again!

I got a call from the computer store* today. Turns out that the motherboard I'd ordered would only support 3GB of memory, not the 8GB it said on the web site. So I was forced to get the better model with the dual network ports, dual PCIe x16 slots, FireWire, WiFi, eSATA, and all that.


* EYO; I've been buying stuff from them for years.

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Sunday, August 20


Install Inferno

So now I'm re-installing all the stuff I used to have on my PC.

So far, I've loaded 18GB of software.

I thought I was going to have to install all my games as well, but it turns out that after the last disaster I loaded them all onto the (newly rebuilt) D drive - and they're still there.

So yay for that, at least.

* Except for Neverwinter Nights, which is very emphatic about where it wants to live. C:/NWN or bust. But that's a single DVD, and I haven't even lost the activation keys yet.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:40 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Friday, August 18


Minus Oneth Normal Form

We used to joke about some of the database structures at my previous place of employment - for example, comma-separated lists of name=value pairs - as being in minus-oneth normal form. We were forced to do stuff like that because we were working with huge databases and impossible time constraints, and simply could not afford to take the databases offline to make the changes we really needed, so we had to stick data wherever it would fit.

(There's a good name for this sort of activity: deficit programming. I hate deficit programming.)

Why do I bring this up?

I've just been denormalising our database. We are running, right now, on a hacked-up copy of an ancient version of Movable Type. In preparation for moving off Movable Type, I am trying to get it into a form at least somewhat similar to the Minx structures.

Part of the problem is that MT is highly normalised. There is, for example, no record of how many comments are attached to a particular post. MT executes an SQL query to count them as needed. Minx embeds it within its queries. But being forced to embed a carefully grouped count function within a query that is assembled ad-hoc depending on parameters set by the blog owner and the individual template tags is something of a pain.

So I de-normalised the database. Now we have a comment count field.

There are only two pieces of code that add comments to the system, and I've patched those to update the new field. A database trigger would be a much better solution, but this is MySQL 4.1, and it doesn't have triggers.

Unfortunately there are also several things that delete comments, so I need to hunt those down as well. Or just set up a routine to recalculate the comment counts every so often. Until we move to Minx. Whenever that might be...

Update: And, uh, just breaking the entire blogging system in the process. Stupid MySQL.

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Wednesday, August 16



I'll call the physical system Haruhi and the virtual machines Mikuru, Yuki, and Kyon.

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New Toys!

Getting a new PC at the office.


For the last 18 months I've been running on an old PC I bought in 2001... because it was better than what I had before. Even after half the memory died.


Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4GHz)
4GB memory
320GB disk
Radeon 1600XT

This will replace not only my Windows PC*, but three Linux development boxes** as well. Hence the 4GB of memory. VMWare server is neat, and it's free, but it goes through memory like a starving honeybadger through a bag of Maltesers.

Now all it needs is a name. And for the CPU to arrive...

SpecIntRate Figures

Current Thingy: 6.05
Sun E450: 10.9
RS/6000 M80: 25.1 (8-way RS64-III)
AlphaServer GS80 Model 6/731: 36.0 (8-way Alpha)
Unisys ES7000: 44.3 (16-way Xeon)
Sun E4800: 51.3 (12-way UltraSparc III)
New Toy: 53.9
SGI Altix 4700 Density System: 4236

* Tara
** Fred, Willow, and Xander

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:47 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, August 15


I Have

A copy of Windows XP Media Center, a 250GB hard disk, and a screwdriver, and I'm not afraid to use them.

They were supposed to go in my new media center PC, but that kind of didn't work - the motherboard seems to be faulty and I haven't had a chance to get it replaced. So they get reporpoised.

Actually, I am afraid to use them. If I pull the wrong plug, I'll trash my 600GB spanned volume. Which has Magipoka and Haruhi on it. And some other stuff. But I'm going to do it anyway.

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Sunday, August 13


B u g g e r

Went over my monthly download limit* and now my bandwidth has been trimmed from 17m down to 64k.

Fortunately for me, it resets tonight, because 64k really sucks. At least the forum version of my site comes up quickly enough...

* Downloaded one too many episodes of Bullshit!, I guess.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:50 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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