Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

Astra Head Unit Replacement

I know it’s not a glamorous vehicle and it will never set anyone’s pulse racing, but I quite like my Vauxhall Astra. For a start, it has an engine, four wheels and a roof, all of which appear to be of adequate construction, and that’s always been a key consideration for me as a discerning car-shopper with absolutely no knowledge or interest in cars whatsoever. However, the one component that lets it down, as with so many popular makes, is the factory-fitted stereo.

Entertainment U Say?

This is the story of a time when I had poor taste. (In music, I mean. Clothing, I’ve never had much taste in.) But I wasn’t alone. It was the Eighties. And my poor taste wasn’t as poor as everyone else’s poor taste.

Must Be True, I Saw It on Telly

This week, Prime Minister David Cameron attempted to justify a fresh push on the Communications Bill to the Joint National Security Strategy committee by referring to the use of mobile data in “crime dramas” on television. (He also later urged the media to “think before they act” in relation to the Snowden revelations, presumably as opposed to “thinking while watching acting” or, to put it more precisely, “not really thinking at all”.)

SLES 11 With Mrepo

Summary: It’s possible to use mrepo and the youget utility supplied with it to download updates for SLES 11.x, but some modifications are required.

Node Inheritance in Puppet

Inheritance - specifically node inheritance - in Puppet seems like a great time saver and an ideal way to simplify your configurations. Until you encounter The Node That Must Be Slightly Different.

The Hole

We gathered at the little church of Thorn Cross at midday yesterday: myself and Mum, carrying Dad’s ashes in the compact but surprisingly heavy wooden casket; two of my cousins; and family friends both local and remote. All there to witness the final, brief act of four months of bereavement, as the ashes were interred in the churchyard. Unfortunately, it emerged that one of the three key parties to the ceremony, after ourselves and the vicar, was not amongst us - the gravedigger. There was a hole at the heart of our little community, and thus there was not a hole where there should have been one, in the ground.

Someone Should Do Something

“Apathy is underrated. If it was measured to the same degree as enthusiasm, we’d have a better idea of the merit of things.”

Aber Apathy, we used to call it. Back at Aberystwyth in the early nineties, whatever you tried to organise or inspire or lead would swiftly collapse amid ennui, poor attendance and a general lack of interest: your band playing to three old men and a dog; Rag trip takings down; your hot new club night or your exciting business venture. All for naught because “nobody here does nothin’ except go to the Glengower Hotel on the seafront every night”.

Well It’s Personal Now

Thesis: personalisation, recommendation and ‘smart’ filtering features have become so ubiquitous and so bad that I am actively reconsidering before searching and clicking on certain items for fear of the subsequent pollution of my clickstream.

The Future Is Mirrorless (Probably)

Time for an update on my cunning camera plan: how am I getting on with my Panasonic GF1? I think it’s fair to call my old Nikon D50 neglected; I last used it on Christmas Day because I needed the SB25 flashgun that goes with it for some early morning indoor shots (yes, that “Wake up Daddy, it’s CHRISTMAS!” moment around 5am). In fact, I’ve just discovered that I used it a few times in the autumn, mainly with a telephoto lens, and I still haven’t processed and catalogued some of those shots. But on the whole, it gets left at home because the GF1 fits into a small shoulder bag and is less of a burden to carry around in your hands. It’s about the size of a rangefinder, which makes it good to go.

CyanogenMod: There and Back Again

CyanogenMod (CM) is an Android release based closely on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) source code from Google. It offers an alternative to the stock Android experience on most vendor phones.

If none of that makes sense, stop here.