I wanted to like Sunshine, I really did. A new sci-fi film by the writer and directors of 28 Days Later (a very entertaining film) should have been enough to keep me going until Spider-Man 3 is released. Instead it was a seriously dull and predictable two hours. The sun is going out (hip hip hip hurray?) so a small group of scientists are sent to detonate a bomb that’ll kick start it. Read on →
After my little whine I logged in to do my last checks for the evening to discover that one of our webservers had died due to a hard drive going bang, our production environment Nagios box had lost one of its network connections and a chunk of our SAN kit was complaining about power issues. Turns out that most of these were due to a power surge that killed a network switch and three of the racks power strips. Read on →
A Fractal is “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole” – Wikipedia - Fractal Fractally Crap - a system where any piece, when looked at individually, is every bit as broken, badly planned and undocumented as the rest. And yes, I know that if you pile rubbish on rubbish then you get… (strangely enough) rubbish but you can normally find the occasional little gem or ray of sunshine. Read on →
I’ve had a cold / flu for the last month or so that I’ve not been able to fully shake off. I took a weeks holiday from work to relax and kill the damn thing only to be told by the doctor it’s not a cold or the flu, it’s a viral infection. Which will shift on its own, just not for a while. I was told the usual (give it time and lots of rest) and so I’m posting this as a quick and dirty way of explaining why I’ve not responded to your $FOO Back to bed for me.
There is something immensely isolating about working alone in a very secure, huge data centre, at 4am on a Sunday morning in an isolated “business park” in rural Scotland that only a few people will ever understand. The mind wanders, your ears strain to hear things over the quite loud air conditioning and just five minutes in daylight with a can of diet coke and someone to talk to would make the last 48 hours seem tolerable. Read on →
Yes, I’m completely behind with this one but it’s Linux geek funny (the images are CC licensed by Chris Blizzard). It is also a sneaky test of the planet.gllug.org image handeling. And then to the Debian and Ubuntu versions.
In my Simulating Typing in Perl post I included a small chunk of perl for varying the typing speed of a fake user. While it works it did have some oddities that were noticeable by a sharp eyed viewer. Thanks to a pointer from Mark Fowler I’ve now revised the script slightly and included String::KeyboardDistance. This nifty module knows how far away keys on the keyboard are from each other and so helps to smooth the delays out a little; for example the string ‘aaaaa’ is now typed much faster than before (because there is no travel involved) where as ‘qpqpqpq’ will be slower due to the finger movement - although I’m not bothered enough to make repeated sequences faster. Read on →
Marooned In Realtime was the first Vinge book I read and it has prompted me to start looking for all his others. A small number of time travellers (that can only go forward) awaken to find out humanity is gone. Amid a plan to gather all the other travellers together and kick start the human race one of the more powerful techs dies in odd circumstances, a 9000 year old traveller returns, aliens might be waiting to finish us off and an ex-detective is ordered to lead a manhunt to find out just what happened to the projects architect and biggest supporter (who may have been murdered by old age). Read on →
This is more like it, True Names by Vernor Vinge is a great mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Technical wizards join forces in cyberspace to oppose the “Great Adversary”. When one of them is compromised and turned in the real world a hunt for the most dangerous of the online personas is launched, leading to a great chase and some nicely described online battled. I’m not doing it justice, just click the above link dammit. Read on →
I’ve been on a sci-fi novel kick again recently and despite its short page count Blood Music by Greg Bear was the one I found slowest to finish from my first batch. A rogue biotechnologist starts his own experiments in to biological computers based on his own lymphocytes while on the company clock. He gets caught, ignores all precautions and injects himself with them. They then become intelligent and start spreading. Read on →