July 2005 Archives



It's been a relatively enjoyable week in Brisbane so far, with some nice dinners (Cha Cha Char Restaurant) and a show (Topology with Tyrone Noonan at the Brisbane Powerhouse) or two. Oh, and some work of course.

Off for a bit

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Things will probably go a bit quiet here for a while - I'm off down under to do a spot of work.

If anyone knows of any cool places to go or see around Brisbane and the Gold Coast at this time of year, let us know in the comments.

I shall, of course, watch out for the drop bears. Vicious little bastards.

Papal Bull?


Oh great - it appears that Pope Adolf Benedict thinks that Harry Potter is unchristian.

Pope disapproves of Harry Potter, letters suggest - Yahoo! News

BERLIN (Reuters) - Pope Benedict believes the Harry Potter books subtly seduce young readers and "distort Christianity in the soul" before it can develop properly, according to comments attributed to him by a German writer.

At least the Vatican also disapproves of The Da Vinci Code, a truly execrable piece of twaddle.



Here's a silly little game I found somewhere: Planarity Flash Game

via: making light (I think)

So, there you are. You've just downloaded the latest version of Fedora, but you've run out of blank CDs or DVDs to burn it to to install it. How do you upgrade it from the CD/DVD images on disk?

  1. Mount the .iso file somewhere
  2. [~]# mount -o loop -t iso9660 FC4-i386-DVD.iso /tmp/fedora/

  3. Dig out the boot-cd image from the mounted image
  4. [~]# cd /tmp/fedora/images/

  5. Mount the boot-cd image
  6. [images]# mount -t iso9660 -o loop boot.iso /tmp/bootdisk/

  7. Copy the files in ./isolinux to /boot/FC4
  8. [images]# cp -rv /tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/* /boot/FC4/

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/boot.cat' -> `/boot/FC4/boot.cat'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/boot.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/boot.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/general.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/general.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/initrd.img' -> `/boot/FC4/initrd.img'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/isolinux.bin' -> `/boot/FC4/isolinux.bin'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/isolinux.cfg' -> `/boot/FC4/isolinux.cfg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/memtest' -> `/boot/FC4/memtest'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/options.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/options.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/param.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/param.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/rescue.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/rescue.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/snake.msg' -> `/boot/FC4/snake.msg'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/splash.lss' -> `/boot/FC4/splash.lss'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/TRANS.TBL' -> `/boot/FC4/TRANS.TBL'

    `/tmp/bootdisk/isolinux/vmlinuz' -> `/boot/FC4/vmlinuz'

  9. Make an entry in /etc/grub.conf
  10. [images]# tail -7 /etc/grub.conf

    title Fedora Core 4 Install

    root (hd0,0)

    kernel /FC4/vmlinuz root=/FC4 ramdisk_size=8192

    initrd /FC4/initrd.img

    title FC4 Memtest

    root (hd0,0)

    kernel memtest

    (The memtest entry isn't necessary, but it's useful to check your RAM

  11. Reboot
  12. [~]# reboot

    The system is going down for reboot now!

  13. Select Fedora Core 4 Install
  14. Select a HDD install and supply the path to your images
  15. [~]# df /storage

    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on

    /dev/hdd1 153837436 93153688 52869204 64% /storage

    This tells me that I need to tell the installer to use /dev/hdd1 as the install device. The path will be /storage/redhat/fedora/core/4/i386/iso/

  16. Answer a few questions
  17. Modern Linux installs are very easy. No more questions about your monitors horizontal sync frequencies or stuff like that.

  18. Drink beer and wait
  19. Ah! Beer! That cool refreshing drink! (Or you could practise your Klingon grammar...)

  20. Enjoy upgraded workstation!
  21. [~]# cat /etc/redhat-release

    Fedora Core release 4 (Stentz)

This method can also be used for network installs, where step 8 involves sharing out the mounted disk image via NFS, and pointing the install over the network to that nfs mount. e.g., select NFS install, give the name of the server, and the exported directory. This may actually be faster than a CD install for older machines, depending on the network cards they have.

U.S. tells troops to stay out of London after bombs - Yahoo! News

LONDON (Reuters) - All 12,000 members of the U.S. Air Force stationed in Britain have been banned from visiting London because of last week's bombings, newspapers reported on Tuesday, and one daily slammed the decision as "timid."

It's pathetic, that's what it is. It's also pretty much indicative of the whole US Goverment line since 9/11: "You should all be terrified of terrorists! Hide! Strike back randomly and ineffectively! Panic!" If you're terrified of terrorists and you drastically alter your lifestyle to cope, aren't you just giving into the them?

Live 8


It was Live 8 Over last weekend. There was no coverage on any Hong Kong television coverage apart from some very brief mentions on the evening news. We had Live Wimbledon instead of our Saturday and Sunday night movies, but not a peep of Live 8. Why?

UPDATE: Apparently, there was some coverage on ATV world, but who watches that? Apparently (according to a letter in yesterdays South China Morning Post), TVB flat out rejected any approaches to show Live8 coverage. Was it too political for them? Did their management think that it was too subversive? Or did they just think it wouldn't make them any money?

Suspended animation?


SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.


Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

It all sounds very similar to the science-fictional techniques used in, for example, the Miles Vorkosigan adventure "Mirror Dance", by Lois McMaster Bujold:

He rose to hear the medic muttering, with his ungloved hands plunged deep into the gory mess that had been Miles Vorkosigan's chest, "I can't find an end. Where the hell's an end? At least the damned aorta, something..."

"It's been over four minutes," snarled Quinn, pulled out her vibra-knife again, and cut Miles's corpse's throat, two neat slashes bracketing but not touching the windpipe. Her fingers scrabbled in the cut.

The medic glanced up only to say, "Be sure you get the carotid and not the jugular."

"I'm trying. They're not color-coded." She found something pale and rubbery. She pulled tubing from the top of one of the insulated jugs, and jammed its plastic end-nozzle into the presumed artery. She switched the power on; the tiny pump hummed, pushing lucent greenish cryo-fluid through the transparent tubing. She pulled out a second piece of tubing from the jug and inserted it on the other side of Miles's neck. Blood began to flow from the slashed exit veins, over her hands, over everything; not spurting as from a heartbeat, but in a steady, inhuman, mechanical fashion. It spread on the floor in a shimmering pool, then began to flow away across some subtle drainage-slope, a little carmine creek. An impossible quantity of blood. The clustered clones were weeping. Mark's own head throbbed, pain so bad it darkened his vision.

Quinn kept the pumps going till what came out ran greenish-clear. The medic meanwhile had apparently found the ends he was looking for, and attached two more tubes. More blood, mixed with cryo-fluid, welled up and spilled from the wound. The creek became a river. The medic pulled Miles's boots and socks off, and ran sensors over his paling feet. "Almost there... damn, we're nearly dry." He hastened to his jug, which had switched itself off and was blinking a red indicator light.

Does it go up to 11?


I spotted this the other day: US $485 for a volume control knob!

It's time to meet the muppets...


Atrios skewers CNN's talking heads in this post comparing Novak and Valenti to Statler and Waldorf.

West Island Line


hongkong.scmp.com - South China Morning Post online coverage of Hong Kong politics and news (Subcsription required - sorry.)

The Executive Council has approved the long-awaited MTR West Island Line, which will cut travelling time between Sheung Wan and Kennedy Town by at least a half.

About bloody time!

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