I’ve been Slashdotted

I knew it was only a matter of time before this happened, due to seeing high traffic in the web server logs and lots of links appearing, but today my website was Slashdotted. If you are a webmaster, this is either your best day ever, or your worst nightmare, depending on how robust your web server solution is.

Luckily for me, I upgraded to some decent infrastructure recently, in expectation of something like this happening one day.

After writing an extensive series of articles that cover Sun’s excellent new file system called ZFS, I’ve had absolutely thousands of page reads on this web site.
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Popularity: 31% [?]

Macro magic 2

During a recent trip to the ‘Golden Triangle’ area of the Luberon National Park region of Provence, France, I took the following photos, mostly with a Nikon 105mm VR macro lens. This lens has excellent bokeh properties, due to the use of a nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening, giving pleasing effects in the out-of-focus areas of the photos.

I made many mistakes, causing limited depth of field, which I have learned from.

However, this time, I used (1) a tripod, (2) cable shutter release and (3) shutter release delay for almost all of the macro shots, in order to provide stability and prevent introduced vibrations from blurring photos.

However, in many cases, in an attempt to use natural light, I achieved reduced depth of field. I need to investigate more the use of high-powered flash to obtain higher depth of field in an outside environment where you need to have fast shutter speeds, due to environmental problems like wind moving the subject being photographed.

Nevertheless, I still managed to get the following fairly reasonable shots.

None of the photos have been enhanced in any way. No Photoshop. No photos have been enlarged. Crops have been made on selected photos to show the detail the macro lens is capable of providing at 1:1 reproduction ratio.
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Popularity: 26% [?]

UK police suspicious of photographers

In the last few months I have read a few news stories regarding the UK police treating photographers like criminals, by telling them that they are not allowed to take photographs, even when the photographers have clearly not been taking pictures of any items related to national security.

It would appear that many police offcers are ignorant of the laws applicable to photography, as there have been many recent cases of photographers having their photos deleted or memory cards seized.

This must stop, and a clear statement needs to be made to the police and citizens, so every police officer and photographer knows what is allowed, and what is not.
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Popularity: 26% [?]

Legal, British P2P ‘by end of year’

Well, after writing this piece advocating a flat-rate music purchase model a year ago, today I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the likelihood of this happening seems to be increasing.
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Popularity: 24% [?]

Promise Beyond

GarageBand is one of the applications you’ve probably seen on your Mac but never really used much, but it can be a lot of fun, as I discovered.

Using the built in loops and the music editor, you can create music really quickly. It can start like a kind of ‘painting by numbers’ for music.

I’m still learning how to use this fun piece of software, but I collected together my first attempts and made them into a small compilation.

Real musicians will probably say these ‘tracks’ completely suck, and I know there are many faults and mistakes I have made, but as a first attempt I think the results are not too bad.
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Popularity: 25% [?]

Macro magic 1

This Spring I got myself a Nikon 105mm VR macro lens and took it for a test drive. These photos were taken with a Nikon D200 digital SLR camera, but without a tripod, so were quite tricky to get reasonably sharp.
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Popularity: 24% [?]

Mac on PC ?

I’d heard of ‘Hackintosh’ and various attempts people have made to build their own computer to run Mac OS X, but I wondered if Mac OS X would run on a new computer I had just built — surely not, but I decided to find out.
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Popularity: 27% [?]

Linux to get ZFS?

An intriguing post appeared yesterday on the blog of Jeff Bonwick, where it simply shows photos of an informal meeting between Jeff and Linus Torvalds — could it be that Linux will get ZFS soon, due to changes in licensing, or could Linus be joining the ZFS team with Sun, or something else?
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Popularity: 28% [?]

Home Fileserver: Drive temps

With the summer coming on, the ambient room temperature is increasing, and so here’s a handy script to help you monitor your drive temperatures to help prevent heat-related data loss.
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Popularity: 34% [?]

Home Fileserver: Backups from ZFS snapshots

Backups are critical to keeping your data protected, so let’s discover how to use ZFS snapshots to perform full and incremental backups.
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Popularity: 37% [?]

Home Fileserver: ZFS snapshots

The next thing you will want to master when running your own ZFS home fileserver is how to perform snapshots of your file systems, as this is a crucial part of helping to protect your data.
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Popularity: 30% [?]

Home Fileserver: Trunking

I had two Gigabit ethernet ports sitting on this motherboard and I was only using one. So I decided to take the path less travelled, as you never know where it can lead…
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Popularity: 33% [?]

Home Fileserver: Suspend

Considering that a fileserver at home will spend a lot (most) of its life idle, it makes sense to look at its power usage and see what steps can be taken to reduce its operational costs — i.e. power consumption.
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Popularity: 27% [?]

Home Fileserver: Backups

Now that you’ve got your ZFS Home Fileserver up and running and you’ve got your file systems created and shared to other machines on your home network, now’s the time to consider getting some backup policy in place.

I’ll show a few different possibilities open to you.
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Popularity: 29% [?]

Home Fileserver: ZFS setup

The next step in setting up your own ZFS home fileserver is to set up your ZFS storage pool and file systems and then share them with other machines. The ZFS commands should work from any operating system where ZFS is available. I have used two machines in this example: a machine running Sun Solaris for the fileserver, and a Macintosh client machine.
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Popularity: 48% [?]

Home Fileserver: ZFS hardware

After deciding that I would use Sun Solaris and its ZFS file system as the foundation for a home fileserver, the next part was to select compatible hardware, as Solaris has fairly limited driver support for hardware.
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Popularity: 52% [?]

Home Fileserver: I’ll use ZFS

After reading an article that turned out to be pure gold, namely: A Conversation with Jeff Bonwick and Bill Moore – The future of file systems, I felt a warm glow inside and realised that ZFS seemed to be the best solution currently available for solving a number of current problems, and I wanted to use it.
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Popularity: 28% [?]

Home Fileserver: Existing products

When I began my search for a suitable fileserver, I found the choice of available technologies and products quite overwhelming, with each having their own pros and cons.

Here is a list of things I considered:
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Popularity: 24% [?]

Home Fileserver: What do I need?

Before embarking on this project I asked myself what I needed a fileserver for. That is, what would I put on there and, therefore, how much storage space would I require.
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Popularity: 26% [?]

A Home Fileserver using ZFS

For many people who use a computer, knowing where to store growing amounts of data can become tricky.

You start off with one disk, run out of space, buy a bigger one etc. And if you have a camcorder you’ll be generating gigabytes of data for every Mini DV tape you record. Also, you may have a digital video recorder attached to your TV and wish to permanently keep some of the programmes/films you’ve recorded. Now you’re talking hundreds of gigabytes, if not terabytes of storage that are required to handle all this data.

And then there’s the problem of backups… oh boy, this will be a fun project :)
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Popularity: 100% [?]

Social Media Monitoring – Room101

As talked about at length in a previous posting, the brands / corporations are paying online snooping companies, err… ’social media monitoring’ companies’ to scour the internet for bad words said about them and their products.

Well, you’d think it would be obvious to a company that when they intentionally use restrictive practices in their products, that this will alienate their (potential) consumers. I’ll give you a couple of examples.
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Popularity: 8% [?]

Spam Poetry

I can’t be the only one who has a free email account, and from time to time checks the ’spam’ folder before deleting it all, just in case some genuine person has sent an email that has triggered the spam filter somehow. The filth and annoying crap you find in there is just incredible. Today, I had a crazy idea for something funny that could be done with all this junk.
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Popularity: 6% [?]

The brands are listening to the bloggers

After scanning my web server’s logs I found some unusual activity and decided to investigate further. I discovered that it seems that brands pay some internet companies to scan blog sites to see what things people are saying about them and their products.
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Popularity: 12% [?]

How to enable your DVD player to play DivX format video from DVD+R discs

After my Panasonic DMR-EH57 HDD/DVD video recorder refused to play DivX format video from DVD+R discs recorded on my Mac Pro’s ‘SuperDrive’, I looked for a solution and found one, which I will now describe.
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Popularity: 13% [?]

Leopard: first impressions

After using Leopard for a week or so, here are my first impressions but, overall, it seems like quite an improvement over the last version of Mac OS X, which was already pretty good.
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Popularity: 5% [?]