After you’ve been using a Unix (or logging into one via putty) for a while you’ll probably encounter a key combination that locks the term and leaves you unable to do anything. You’ll hunt around the keyboard pressing combinations until you sigh in despair and try Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to kill the current command or the current shell respectively; and they won’t work. After some more key-bashing you’ll get lucky and the term will bomb out. Read on →

For those of you that don’t know it, and even for those that do, Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that is based upon Debian but with up-to-date desktop packages such as a modern Gnome. The distro itself has received a lot of good press and looks very promising. But that’s dull. No one cares if it’s technically excellent or it meets the needs of a large number of people (I may soon be running this on my Linux laptop so my views on this are pretty transparent :)) What is more interesting is controversy and differing opinions. Read on →

This is going to be my last TV post for a while now, I promise! While in general I don’t watch more than four or so hours a week of TV (mostly comedy shows like Have I got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks) the magical combination of an always on ADSL connection, Torrentcasting, a new 250GB harddrive and two monitors (one for work and one for playing TV shows) has rekindled an interest that was almost destroyed by the ending of Angel, FarScape and Wonderfalls. Read on →

While I’m on the subject of genre TV (One more post after this one I promise :)) I’ll mention a program that is actually well worth setting your TiVo / Torrent downloader for; Lost. With J.J. Abrams of Alias fame on the creative team this show might actually get past the first dozen episodes (unlike the tragicly killed Wonderfalls) and have a chance to tell its story. The basic idea is very simple, the survivors of a plane crash are forced to live with each other on a remote island, but the execution is excellent. Read on →

I finally had a chance to sit down and watch this over the weekend and while I wasn’t as blown away as I thought I’d be (I had stupidly high expectations) it was still very good TV and tied up a lot of loose ends that the series never got to close. While four hours may have seemed like a long time in which to have one last outing, when you look back at the series and examine the three episode arcs such as “Kiss the princess”, “Liars, guns and money” and “We’re so screwed” they gave any Sci-fi film a run for its money and, for me, were defining achievements for FarScape. Read on →

For those of you that don’t know it the BBC has a program called Later with Jools Holland. The show is a exhibition of great musicians, from all time greats like Desmond Decker, Aretha Franklin and the late Ray Charles to modern singers like Shola Ama and Beverly Knight each week has at least one act that makes you sit up and take note. And thats just the weekly shows! The New Years Specials are well worth recording for when you get in the next day and have some of the best live performances you could hope for, not just great singers but very unlikely duets and group songs. Read on →

And people seem to want to talk to me about it. While I’m waiting for it to download, yes I own all the DVDs and I will buy this when it comes out so no I don’t feel guilty, I’ve had to add another rule to my mail filtering. If you so much as mention FarScape in any way shape or form then your mail gets filed away till later. Read on →

There is a quote I’ve always liked, “It’s like a swan on a lake. On the surface everything is calm but underneath the webbed feet are paddling furiously!” While this is equally true of many things it’s always seems to be most apt when I think about the start-ups I’ve been lucky enough to work at. The sales team and management doing the VC road-shows make the company appear to be a stable, healthy environment where everything is working fine and nothing un-expected arises on a daily basis. Read on →

As part of my daily server housekeeping I keep an eye on the Apache error logs for each of the servers I’m responsible for. If it’s a quiet day I’ll grep through the attempted exploits, attacks and formmail scans for any useful error messages. While attempting to track some 404’s back to the corresponding access-log entries I got bored of converting the error logs date format into the default date format of the access log so I wrote a small bit of shell that I (badly) named but without the studly caps, to do it for me. Read on →

As anyone who has ever read this site will have noticed, I have no artistic ability; and a love of torturing innocent punctuation :). Even the comet tail / mosaic at the top of almost every page was done for me by an amazingly talented guy called Pete Jones. One of my side projects (which typically move at near glacial speed) could do with a splash of colour and some photos. Read on →