secret society of super sydney sysadmins

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Dear ABC, As a regular ABC watcher, I was dismayed to hear that a takedown notice was sent to Jeremy Visser with regards to his distribution of the “Python-iView” software: Python-iView is, in my mind, little more than a VCR or PVR for the iView service – and from a moral perspective is thus no more or less “wrong”. The approach you have chosen to take would not be legal to take against Tivo or FetchTV recording the FTA DVB-T broadcasts, so it should not be taken against Python-iView.

It’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated endlessly around me, a pattern I’m guilty for falling into entirely too often myself. You want something, but you don’t ask for it. Maybe you think you’ll get a “no”, maybe you’re too worried about what the other person will think, maybe you don’t want to annoy or offend someone. Maybe there’s some other reason. Ultimately, it all goes the same way. You don’t get what you want.


Among other things at work, I help look after a small set of Solaris hosts. One of the real frustrations I have with Solaris is the lack of functionality in many of the “standard” applications, things that I’ve come to consider usual (and often essential). We work around these shortcomings by having GNU utilities installed, but with a “g” prefix so that scripts depending on the native Solaris flags and options still work perfectly.

I was wondering where all my space was going in MythTV recently, so I figured I’d whip up a quick “du” that will give me a per-title breakdown of usage. It assumes you have just the one storage area for recordings. #!/bin/bash STORAGEPATH='/mnt/storage/Media/MythTV/recordings' DBPASS='abc123' QUERY="SELECT basename,title FROM recorded ORDER BY title;" MYSQL="mysql -u mythtv --password="$DBPASS' mythconverg" SIZE=0 COUNTING_FOR='' echo $QUERY | $MYSQL | tail -n +2 | while read BASENAME

To help my kids celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of just a present, I wanted the kids to be able to give her something a bit more one-of-a-kind. I’d bought an ATtiny85 to play with some of the ATtiny Arduino support (or failing that, work out how to use avr-gcc directly). I also had a bunch of very bright LEDs and some cheapy cell batteries sitting around doing nothing.

A friend passed me a bounce of mail to my domain; DNS-related it said. Dutifully, I checked the record: $ dig mx ; DiG 9.7.3 mx ; (2 servers found) ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; -HEADER Yep, there it is. (…and yes, I’m with GoDaddy. I’m horribly likely to shift at my next renewal - if not before. But anyway). Wait. “MibUs.OrG.”? It’s repeatable, on that one NS, from both the US and here in Australia.

Desktop SCRAM

So the problem goes like this: A coworker asks if I want to join them for a coffee. (This happens multiple times per day, FWIW). I say “Yes!” and jump up… …then sit back down to lock my computer screen, and hop back up… …only to realise I’ve left my music playing – so I sit down, unlock my screen, pause my music, and re-lock my screen… …at which point, my coworkers have already long since disappeared.

At LCA2012, I spent some time learning about the poster child of the Open Hardware world, Arduino. I bought the Pebble v2 demo kit and attended the “Arduino miniconf”, and the “bag schwag” included the Freetronics LeoStick. Here’s a demo video I made of a Raining display on the LCD. It uses the Pebble v2′s 20×4 LCD display and custom characters to display a “rain” effect (the LCD needs to be mounted sideways, as shown in the video).

This is semi-draft, as I haven’t gotten around to testing the packages I build… Caught out needing new “Sun” Java packages for Ubuntu, by the DLJ revocation? Grab a usable set of build source packages from - you’ll need an .orig.tar.gz, a .dsc, and a *.debian.tar.gz file for the version you’ve picked. I used a 6.26 version from Natty. Grab a latest (currently 6u30) “bin” Linux packages for each architecture from (Note: needs Javascript!).