Archive for the ‘G’ Category

SATA driver location changed in Linux kernel 2.6.20 configuration

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

I just updated to the latest and greatest Linux kernel in my Kubuntu installation to get the latest drivers for my Hauppauge PVR-150 card and found that the SATA driver configuration has moved in the kernel configuration.

I’ve done a kernel upgrade before so I knew to do the whole make oldconfig thing after copying over my known good Linux kernel configuration. I’d had a hell of a time figuring out how to get my machine to boot without the "Waiting for the filesystem…" halt during boot because I’m using SATA drives.

Anyway, the new location for the drivers is Device Drivers -> Serial ATA (prod) and Parallel ATA (experimental) drivers. Compiling in AHCI SATA Support worked great with the Intel ICH7 chipset that my motherboard has.

It’s possible that the SATA driver location change was somewhere between 2.6.17 and 2.6.20 because that is the jump in Linux kernel that I went through.

The best way to manage podcasts on an iPod

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

While updating my iPod this evening I ran into a better way to manage podcasts. It’s so simple I don’t know why I didn’t do this when I first started using the podcast smart playlist hack to get podcasts to play nicely on the iPod.

The original smart playlist hack was done because there are a couple of problems with standard podcast synchronisation and playing behaviour on an iPod.

First, as soon as you start listening to a podcast (or anything I believe) it is marked as played. So, synchronizing non-played podcasts doesn’t work very well because I often loose what I was part way through listening. To combat this I have previously configured my iPod Nano to synchronise only checked podcasts so I can actively remove podcasts that I have actually finished listening to off the iPod.

Second, the standard behaviour of listening to podcasts on the iPod is bizarre. It plays one podcast and then as soon as it is finished jumps back to the list of the podcasts in the feed. Pretty hopeless since I listen to the podcasts in the car on the way to work and many of the podcasts are only a few minutes long. To address this I have additionally had appropriate smart playlists configured on the iPod so that I can listen to each podcast one after the other based on feed. Playlists work as expected, carrying onto the next item once the current one finishes. The smart playlists are easy to setup using Podcast is true and then matching appropriately on Artist or Album.

With my latest configuration I don’t synchronise podcasts to the iPod Nano at all. I simply synchronise the podcast related smart playlists. I still have the music synchronisation configured to only pull across checked items so I can remove podcasts that I have listened to and prevent music that I don’t really want to on the iPod. So simple.

Everything is much easier to manage now with the rest of the space on the iPod is filled up with a number limited randomly ordered music smart playlist. Excellent.

The Magic 8-Ball lives as a Google Gadget

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Yes, the famed Magic 8-ball lives as a Google Gadget.

This was the better of the two Magic 8-Ball gadgets that I found at Google.

Mountain Breakfast Madness

Monday, September 5th, 2005

I was snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu at the weekend. I don’t like to eat as soon as I get up so I thought I would simply get breakfast on the mountain. Bad idea.

Here’s what happened.

Was standing in line waiting to order. Someone walks down the line and asks if anyone wants to order breakfast. At first glance this seemed all good - order while in line and pay when you get to the till. Saves some time. She took my order and I gave her my name. That seemed a little strange, that was all I gave her and was all I got.

I got to the till carrying a V drink that I had also grabbed. Total $3.50. And then I thought I should mention I was also getting breakfast. Oh, that’ll be $16.50 then. At this point things seemed pretty dubious.

Anyway I took a seat and waited. Then I noticed staff walking out wandering around with breakfasts calling (not so much calling as talking slightly aloud) names. At this point I realised that my chances of getting breakfast were pretty slim so I moved closer to where the staff were popping out of the kitchen.

10 minutes later a staff member with some form of European accent seemed to be calling out “Divad”. I asked if she meant David and she said yes. No drama, breakfast all eaten and ready to rock. Then another staff member was walking around calling “David”. At this point I started to ponder if that one was actually mine. Especially since I had talked with some other guy about the silly breakfast system. He ordered just after me in the queue but got his breakfast 10 minutes after me.

Perhaps it was mine, perhaps not. I guess I’ll never know. Who knows how many people have grabbed other peoples breakfasts, how many people never paid, and how many people never got their breakfast. Next time I’ll use the name “Snoopy”.

And it could all be resolved with a simple ticketting system which would cost a grand total of about $2.00 a day in tickets. Silliness really from a company raking in over $250k in ticket sales alone for a good day on the mountain.

It’s my birthday

Monday, June 6th, 2005

Yay, I think. 28 years old now. Only 2 years until 30. Many years ago I had all these grand plans that I wanted to have accomplished by the time I was 30. Now there’s only 2 years left and there’s still some pretty big ones that haven’t been crossed off…