Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

Expanding a ZFS Mirror With 4K Disks

Finally filled my 1TB NAS file server this year, to the point where the 30GB of images I brought back from New Zealand (oh-by-the-way, did-I-mention-we-went-to-NZ?) could not be dumped to disk, let alone processed. So it was time to exchange the two Samsung hard drives composing the mirrored data storage for new 2TB drives. I’m using ZFS on OpenIndiana - this should be easy, right?

A Stark Decade

Running down ten years of the MCU

Although they’re not making a huge fuss of it compared to the upcoming release of Avengers: Infinity Whoar, this year marks a decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from its initial conception as a gleam in Nick Fury’s one good eye, in a post-credits sting tacked on to 2008’s Iron Man. So just like Marvel and, seemingly, everyone else, I thought I’d be totally original and do a list of all the films rated definitively and non-derivatively according to my own very personal criteria, which will almost certainly be completely unlike all the other lists because there’s a lot of scope for major disagreement when sizing up the relative merits of, say, The Avengers and The Incredible Hulk. (That last sentence, incidentally, was originally supposed to be a subplot in Age Of Ultron but got cut for being too wordy and syllable-ly at the studio’s insistence, like virtually everything else that made sense in the script.)


Yesterday I went to the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff for a lunchtime talk by David Hurn on his Swaps exhibition, currently showing in the museum’s newly-opened photography gallery. (It’s an excellent and illuminating display, incidentally; one of the few chances outside London to view prints by the likes of Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Elliot Erwitt and many other gifted photographers.)

Ansible: Using Host Info on Other Hosts

Problem: you want to use data for one set of hosts to configure something on a different set of hosts. Specifically, there are some values in the host variables of the first group that you need to collect and use on one or more other hosts.

A Computer for Every Home

Now that Twitter has effectively become “the Daily Horror app”, I’ve gone back to reading conscientiously, and the book I am currently engrossed by is Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain learned to love the computer by Tom Lean. This is one of the few popular history books I’ve read where I can say “I was there”, and the resultant flood of memories has prompted this post that will probably be the nerd equivalent of Jumpers For Goalposts. (But it definitely won’t be about football, so it will be an improvement in one respect at least.)

Ansible: Multiple Values in a Registered Variable

Problem: you want to run a command in a loop within Ansible, registering the result of each run to a single variable, and then process those results depending on a condition. Specifically, you want to register the output of a command run over all the elements in a dictionary but then only process the elements where the command returned a particular result.

A Book Spree and a Bargain

20160918-091927 A busy week for our local delivery services. (Still, at least one of them was a slim paperback with a shipping cost 280 times greater than its sale price.)

My Whereabouts

On sunny days, I should be sat outside a pleasant café, finishing a nice lunch with a glass of wine to hand.

In Autumn, I should be sat by the fireside in a big armchair inside a cosy rural pub, resting a pint on my full belly with a large empty plate on the table in front of me.

In Winter, I must be at home, with the heating on, a blanket over my legs because the heating isn’t sufficient, something good on the telly and a large bowl of something else warm and stodgy in front of me.

In Spring, I should be sat outside near the coast, with a fresh breeze on my face and a decent picnic spread nearby.

I need you to understand that anything else you want from me at such times is an unwelcome imposition, and I am deeply disappointed that you feel it acceptable even to ask.

[Note to self: probably get some exercise at some point too, with all that food.]

When Lobbying Nearly Worked

Last year, the cabinetroom blog published a nice piece about the long lost and much lamented Euston Arch, which was back in the news at the time because the Euston Arch Trust was staging an exhibition of some of the recovered masonry in its bid to reinstate the Arch. It’s a fascinating example of an occasion when, contrary to received wisdom, lobbying the Prime Minister almost worked.

Chester Zoo’s Fountain Restaurant

The Fountain Restaurant was built in 1960 on the site of a riding school previously acquired by Chester Zoo. Its low, flat-roofed form and squared design, albeit carefully tapering outwards from the central water feature and gardens, mark it as a pleasing example of Fifties Modern architecture, of a piece with contemporaneous works such as the Pennine Tower at Forton Services on the M6 and some of BR’s rebuilt midsized stations of the period (e.g. Radcliffe Central).