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Showing posts from November, 2005

Housekeeping MS-DOS

Last year someone from the office bought me MS-DOS 5 still in the original packing as a practical joke during the secret santa gift exchange.

I've been keeping it on my shelf for almost a year and its about secret santa time again. As I am not that evil, I decided to dump it this year. Before it goes to the bin, I thought i might as well image the disks in case the planet blew up.

I opened the shrink wrapped box and found 5 floppy disks and I dont mean 3.5inch disks. Good grief. To give an idea on my view about floppies, 2 out of 3 of my current machines doesn't even have 3.5 inch floppy drives and the one that does is a linux box, which is there for historical reasons. Although I think I might at some point use to backup essential configuration files, but meanwhile with external drives, why bother?

Anyway, as you can see I used a scanner to copy the disk in the end. Here's to backups!

Isync can only setup one symbian phone on Panther

Yikes! Just got a Panasonic X700 and tried to set it up on my ibook still running Mac OS X 10.3. with isync 1.5

One of the first hurdles was the fact that the Panasonic x700 is not listed as a supportable device in Panther. This was easily overcome by a published hack

The only thing to note when making changes to the file example is to use correct the device address. You can also change the phone name as well. I changed mine to the same name as what I named and paired the mobile as.
If you do not know the name or device address, goto: System Preferences > Bluetooth > Devices

Next was the really curious bit. I attempted to add my 6600 back as another sync device and it started complaining. So it seems that 1.5 can only manage one symbian phone sync at a time.

The solution, remove and add. The painful part in that is the x700 is not supported.

Unix script to the rescue. Create 2 files, one for each phone, e.g.

Script versi…

Using other media forms in blogs

I've recently discovered the next blog button (top right) and I have to say there are tons of interesting blogs out there. I've found more mac users and other forms of media. Theses are the interesting ones I've found which use video and audio on their blog.

vidsofwati - video on blogger
AuralFixation - audio on blogger

The amazing thing is you dont need to be a genius to do this, but there is a catch. you need web space somewhere else. Webspace in a uni or a .Mac account. I've not tried using the picture attach button to attach an mov file, which I might try in a while. Not hopeful.

Upload, link and "tada" a more intersting blog experience.

Oh yeah, check out the a free mp3 from boards of canada! I didn't realise that did audio downloads as well.

--- Date: 25th Dec 2005

Looks like there's this website that does videos as well and its like full lenght music videos that you can link to your blog.

check out

Is documentation really such a pain?

Since the discovery of blogs and wikis, I have never found that much fun in documentation. There is a certain element of funlyness, if there is such a word, that makes you feel all soft inside. Ooooo.

I'm sure everyone struggled to try to put their homepages online. I remembered when I first had to put up. Only managed to fix it today, although I've been wanting to do something with it for ages but never got about to it. This is the first brilliant example of how blogs make documentation easy. It's so much easier for me to just focus on the content on message instead of worrying about how to structure the page into the rest of the site. The days of large number of webmasters are numbered. Blogs naturally being great for journals and historical references.

Once we get into the area of categorisation and versioning, I would highly suggest using a wiki. There are quite a few wikis out there to join in. Its a great opportunity to put your valued knowledge and learn a…

toto annihilation

Before this blog gets insanely boring, I ought to put a picture of a cute dog to maintain interest. Good grief, the things people have to do to captivate audiences these days.

This is toto. His last name is not annihilation, but I thought that was a very funny line from "cats and dogs" and decided to use it for a title. I previously tried to name a guide dog we sponsored toto, which didn't happen. Somehow my neice managed to think this one up on her own.

Guide to buying music gear in Australia

It was one of the longest queues I've ever seen in Brisbane waiting for a shop to open. The one day only sale at Billy Hyde Music. They sent me the brochure that promised $5 condenser microphones, which I did not see. and did not really have a chance to ask for because it was just a mad house. They did seem pretty professional with piped music, live act and annoucements for the people queing outside. I have to say the first half hour was torturous. But I'm sure if there was a similar sale in Singapore, it would be equivelent to the esprit or zara sale.

Items itself were cheaper and relatively good prices, but since there were so many people about, further bargaining wasn't very likely. This would have been of greater value if people already know what they want and have previously negotiated good prices and walk in to see if they can get a better deal.

One more point on tackling the sale, allow yourself a lot of time. As I had only 30 mins before leaving for my tire servicing…

Apple - IBM Joke

Question: What do get when you cross Apple with IBM?
Answer: IBM

Here's another variant

Question: What do get when you cross Oracle with Peoplesoft?
Answer: Oracle

I'm sure these jokes were made by an american, never can really understand their humour.

Windows is more evil, the blue screen of death strikes again

I spoke too soon, just as I was commenting on how stable Windows XP was in Apple is Evil, Windows XP decided to go blue screen on me. At the time of failure, the guys in the studio just stared at the screen and said that was interesting. They had XP crash on them all the time, but haven't seen the blue screen in a while. Can't say that was consoling.

The reason of the crash was windows fighting over the audio driver for my tascam 428. The moral of the story is, do not attempt to start Acid when using Cubase. Only one main application should be run at any one time.

One more year to getting powermac. Gonna start counting down the months. "12 .."

Data Inheritance Part II

I was about to type a comment on a friend's blog but as this response would be too long, I decided to put a post on my own. Refer to Data Inheritance.

To try to make this point easier, pick a school of thought.

Optimist: Of course data will be stored forever and easily assessible via web interfaces on your refrigerator

Pessimist: Data is will be lost before you die due to some stupid virus or a hardisk failure. And you curse and swear

Tecnologist: Adequate information lifecycle management strategies can be implemented using archival, backup and content management tools.

The Optimist

Harddisks are getting bigger and cheaper right? When you upgrade machines, just copy stuff from one to the next leaving lots of spare. you might end up with a horrid number of old harddisks like myself that will confuse the wife, but its just the part of parcel of upgrades.

You can also utilise a host of external storage media, external enclosures and network attached storage and varied distributed and redu…

Apple is Evil

The worse of wars come from the best of intentions. As much as I am an Apple fan, I occasionally get the sinking feeling that my passion in the future will be naught.

We all have heard that "windows is evil" more often than any other operating systems. Occasionally we feel that way, which our machines crashing, our data corrupted, virus attacks, etc. Giving it some credit, I am impressed with XP and my consistent uptime. In fact it now "has been up for: 14 day(s), 8 hour(s), 11 minute(s), 49 second(s)"

We all know mac's are great. Great for uptime, great for idiots, great on a total cost of ownership in any organisation, although not widely accepted. After reading Winn's Mac/Wintel TCO analysis, mac wins on the virus, spyware patching stuff. But why run analyse TCO of just that? How about Fedora vs Wintel? If there is any basis of comparision in an organisation, it would solely be the compatibility factor of groupware applications like outlook and office. Th…

Setup Grip to encode to mp3 and include track numbers

In Fedora Core 3, the default encoder is oggenc which encodes to ogg format and not to the more popular mp3. The default setup also does not put the track number in front. This can be configured as followed.

1) Download and install lame-3.96.1-2.1.fc3.rf.i386.rpm from Dag. This is not included in the fedora installation even the full install of 4 disks!

2) Change the Encoder Settings - Config > Encode > Encoder

Encoder: lame
Encoder command-line: -h -b %b %w %m
Encode file extension: mp3
Encode file format ~/mp3/%A/%d/%t_%n.mp3

I pretty much just left the encoder command line as default, but changed the bitrate in the Options tab to 192

3) For consistency, I changed the ripper options in Config > Rip > Ripper

Rip file format ~/mp3/%A/%d/%t_%n.wav

4) yibidi, yibidi - thats all folks.

Lifetime Warranty

I used to think it was a joke until today. I received a nice courier package containing a new 128MB 133mhz RAM I must have got ages ago.

Through my years of buying memory and harddrives, I've always been quite amused by the fact that kingston had some lifetime warranty label. I never thought too much about it until I realised I had a spare (and compatible with my current machines) simm that wasn't in a computer. How horrid is that?

So I opened up my Pentium 3 667 and stuck it in and it didn't work. Not having Sim Lim Square around the corner, I decided to look on the kingston site. After a few links, I think I managed to send an electronic form to the australian distributor stating my problem. They quickly responded with an RMA. In response, I mailed the memory back in an envelop to NSW for bit more than 5 bucks and thought thats the last I'd see of it.

As I was walking past my pigeon hole, I noticed a note saying package in the bigger pigeon hole below and it was a couie…

Pavarotti Concert

Although Not the best concert I've ever been too, but i have to say it was pretty top notch. I dont attibute it to the artists, but the location. Queensland is still rather lacking in the areas of refined arts. The orchestra wasn't entirely inspiring during the first half, but quickly brushed up on the second half with more vivace.

Its amazing to be able to hear the popular voice of the tenor in real life, not to mention catch one of the guest stars on the original muppet show. This is suppose to be his farewell tour, so we wish him all the best.

GPRS with ibook and nokia 6600

Its been a while since I've setup my ibook to use the GPRS connection. It has come in really handy before in the sunshine coast hinterland town of malany where there weren't any telephones in the luxury chalets and to get to the nearest phone line, would mean a trek to the hut at the entrance where one phone might be available.

I believe anyone who owns a mobile and bluetooth capable notebook should at least set up their GPRS to the notebook. Its good to know that in cases of emergency, when there isn't any power and the lines are cut, you can at least check your mail or surf the net at slow speeds. In my case, one of things I must have is SSH. SSH actually works fine on GPRS. Its a bit laggy, but usable. This means youre never too far from your server.

Each GPRS connection for mobile providers are different. The differences are in the APN. I've included some in this post.

There are 3 steps to this process:

Step 1: Add/Pair your mobile as a device your computer can recogni…

DNS and Organisational Planning

I fixed up my DNS server last week. Its really strange how organisations can still rely on hosts file for name resolution. What was even more amazing was that I just accepted that for almost 2 years. When the network change and you realise that its a real pain to make changes and you start wondering who's bright idea it was to use the hosts file in the first place and of course its always easier to for people to blame the guy who's not there.

So whats the big deal with running a DNS server anyway? Its not a big overhead to create a functional a workgroup DNS server, unless of course, its some windows thing that need to log into some domain that requires some auto population something that caches some hosts to some server that needs to be assessible via some funny port across the intranet, etc? No doubt windows can also do a simplified version, but in a typical organisation setup, policies determine logic. Mind you that common sense normally means that logic should dictate polic…

Photo Archive - May 2005

Ju at work

All work and no play makes Ju a dull boy

Akai S2000 with Windows XP

Basically since Akai stopped making the s2000, for the longest time I couldn't figure how to use mesa II with anything other than windows 89. Its now possible to use mesa with windows XP.

Download Mesa 2

Apparently you just need to update the adaptec ASPI driver. (so I've read)

Download the ASPI driver from Adaptec

Or you can look in to find Adaptec ASPI Drivers (Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP) 4.71.2

Now all I need to do is look for my scsi card and find another PCI slot in my machine. I think I've only one left and thats reserved for a video editing card.

I/O, Lets Go

The world of USB is rather amazing. Practically every other device comes with a USB interface. In fact to cope with this

Distributing your Bus

Most magazines will mention to utilise the different buses as much as possible, which is part of my current quests. However the last article I read in Mac Addict didn't mention anything about controlling the number of USB devices to each USB bus. Well, I haven't actually ran into any USB problems with my ibook, but i've actually at one stage ran out of USB resouces on my AMD desktop. The logitech webcam was actually the killer which now resides on my ibook instead.

As a matter of fact, you can actually take a look at how much juice each usb device is taking up so that you dont kill each USB host controller.

In windows XP (I use the classic layout), Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

Look for the entry that ends with controller. Click on the "Advanced" tab and it wi…

Vocanic Crater in the Tropical North

My feeble attempt and merging 2 photos. Partly due to camera autosensing the colour and auto changing it, I would need to find out how to put that in manual, not to mention use a tripod stand.

This was quite an interesting site. Dormant volcano crater which collected rain water and is now a swamp. No crocs here.