Breden’s BASIC: The Source Code

After getting a decent version control system setup on this ZFS NAS (git, Subversion or something else ???), I will be feeding the source code of Breden’s BASIC into it.

Then after re-familiarising myself with the code, I plan to make the 6502 assembly language source code available online for 6502 enthusiasts, or anyone else curious to know how we had to program system code back in the 1980s.

Anyone unfamiliar with assembly language for a simple 8-bit processor like the 6502 might be quite surprised (shocked?) how low-level coding was. One little mistake and the whole machine would lock up!
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Home Fileserver: Media Center

Your ZFS home fileserver / NAS is a great place to store your music, photo and video media, and if you’ve setup your ZFS file systems similar to the way described in Home Fileserver: ZFS File Systems, then it will be quite simple to view this media from a media center.

The nice thing about storing your media on your fileserver is that if your original CDs or DVDs get scratched, you will always have your backup available on your fileserver. The other huge advantage of having your media on your NAS is that you don’t have to go hunting through your DVD library to find the right box, only to find that it never got put back in the right box. And with a network-enabled media center hooked up to your ZFS fileserver / NAS, you can locate any media at the touch of a remote control.

There are many different media centers or HTPC products out there and they vary in openness, price, power and usability.
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Home Fileserver: OpenSolaris 2009.06

After running SXCE for the last year, due to a failed hardware upgrade, it was time to install OpenSolaris 2009.06.

I was due to leave on a trip the next morning, but foolishly I decided to install a 3.5″ drive into a 5.25″ drive bay with some anti-vibe rubber grommets installed. When re-attaching the IDE cable onto the back of the drive in an awkward place, I broke one of the IDE interface pins and the drive failed to be recognised at POST after rebooting. After several attempts to reboot, it was time to face facts. The IDE boot drive that had served me faithfully since these days over a year ago, had reached the end of the line. Game Over.
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Home Fileserver: ZFS File Systems

Once you’ve built your ZFS home fileserver / NAS, you’ll want to create your storage pool, create your file systems and share them to various devices around the home, such as laptops, PC’s, Macs, media centres etc.

I will go through all the necessary steps from start to finish, so you can see how to create a full, working file system hierarchy that is practical and useful.
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Macro magic 3

During a recent trip to the Hillier Gardens in Ampfield, Romsey in Hampshire, England, I took the following photos 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 visited Hillier Gardens when the weather was overcast and, crucially for macro photography, windless. Well, virtually no wind.

I did not use a flash on any of the photos, relying purely on the available light, to give as natural as possible colours, lighting and textures.

When taking these photos I used (1) a tripod, (2) cable shutter release and (3) shutter release delay, in order to provide stability, prevent introduced vibrations from blurring photos, and allow longer exposures to allow greater depth of field using the available natural light.

The only image editing that has been done is to scale the photos to fit this web page, and to overlay a watermark for the copyright message and web link.
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Home Fileserver: A Year in ZFS

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as ‘A Year in Provence’, does it? Oh well, never mind. 😉

After a year of using Solaris and ZFS for a home fileserver, I thought I would share my experiences here to give an insight into things that worked or did not work.

Also, others have asked me to give a summary of my experiences of using ZFS to highlight strong and weak areas, and to give a critique.
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Credit Crunches

The term ‘credit crunch’ has been well and truly flogged to death during the recent financial chaos, so it was time for me to dump all this stuff out of my head into this new blog post. As well as cursory explanation of what happened, I’ll chuck in a couple of chuckles as we all need to laugh.

After imprudent lending on a monumental scale to people who hadn’t a chance in hell of ever being able to pay back enormous housing loans, the proverbial has finally hit the fan, as ‘sub-prime’ borrowers default on their loans in ever-growing numbers. The ‘credit default swaps’ (CDS) insurance policies underwriting these sub-prime (high risk) housing loans have now been found to have been woefully under-priced, thus the sellers of these insurance policies have had to face enormous pay-outs as the borrowers default on their loan repayments. Worse, as various investment banks ‘invested’ in this sub-prime debt, they infected themselves to the point of no return, as they discovered when the CDS’s were unable to pay out when the sub-prime borrowers defaulted on their loans. The final straw that broke the donkey’s back was high fuel and food price inflation, pushing up household debt to unaffordable levels. Oh, and a falling house price market, meaning that selling the houses would not cover many of the recent loans. It was the ‘perfect storm’ of the financial world.
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USA preparing for civil unrest?

It seems that the U.S. government seems to think there is some impending calamity ahead, as it will be deploying the army on home soil for the first time.

What problem does the government foresee? Who knows, but if they’re making it public by putting this info on the internet then it’s obviously not that secret. But too secret to tell you outright, it seems. Yes, you’ll have to guess on this one.
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FAA using ZFS

Quote from

The embattled FAA, which has suffered a number of embarrassing flight-plan system crashes this year, has upgraded its legacy internal business systems to a new open-systems server and storage infrastructure supplied by Sun Microsystems and an IP network provided by Cisco Systems. If all goes as planned, this architecture may replace critical systems that directly affect all air travelers in the United States.

The most recent example of this happened on Aug. 26, when a corrupt file entered the flight plan system and brought it down for about 90 minutes during a high-traffic period late in the day on the East Coast. This was not an isolated incident, as the FAA’s chief administrator originally had told the media. Similar crashes occurred on Aug. 21 and in June, FAA records show.
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