Google really is down the toilet these days

(June 10, 2024)

So I saw a screenshot on Twitter of a bit of what looked like an amusing interview with Anthony Bourdain, and as is my wont, I then googled for a phrase from the interview so that I could read it. And: And that’s it. I didn’t get any more results, and none of these were … Continue reading Google really is down the toilet these days

One Weird WordPress Trick

(June 5, 2024)

For quite a while, I’ve been idly wondering whether there was a simple way to use some sort of shortlink setup for WordPress media (i.e., images, videos and the like). Here’s a typical WordPress image URL: I know, it’s SO LONG. But I mean, it’s an URL, so who cares… But if you’re slinging … Continue reading One Weird WordPress Trick

My New Career as a Lenovo Laptop Repair Guy

(April 24, 2024)

Some years back I accidentally broke the keyboard of a Lenovo Thinkpad 25th Anniversary Edition. The attraction of this laptop is, of course, that it’s got an actual almost proper keyboard — I think it’s the last one ever without a chiclet keyboard? And it was done as a retro thing. But I was using … Continue reading My New Career as a Lenovo Laptop Repair Guy

Never Stop Begoogling

(April 17, 2024)

This is just one of those “why does everything Google ever does suck so much?” posts. Nothing Of Value Inside. Anyway, I’ve been holidaying with my Motorola Razr 2022, and I’m just rather exasperated with Google Maps — I mean, it’s not that it doesn’t work, but there’s… details… that make you go *rolls eyes*. … Continue reading Never Stop Begoogling

RME Hammerfall Multiface II Firmware Files

(March 28, 2024)

This blog post might perhaps be useful to approx. four people over the next decade (but I’m probably exaggerating — more like two?), so if you don’t recognise all the words in the title here, you can skip this one. But if you’re googling and landed here: You’re welcome. OK, this is the deal: There’s … Continue reading RME Hammerfall Multiface II Firmware Files

The Commentaspamapocalypse Is Nigh!

(February 7, 2024)

I run a couple of blogs, and across them, I get about 50 spam comments per day. Here’s a sampling: Fortunately, WordPress offers something called “Akismet Antispam” which takes care of all this noise. It lets a spam message through about once every two months, and I think I’ve seen one false positive over the … Continue reading The Commentaspamapocalypse Is Nigh!

On Caching

(December 30, 2023)

Have you ever thought about caching? I mean, for web pages? This isn’t going to be a rant, and there’s certainly not going to be a “call to action” here, but this is just something I’ve been going “*sigh*” about for decades, and I thought perhaps it might be time to ruminate a bit. Don’t … Continue reading On Caching

A Rippin’ Good Time

(November 21, 2023)

I’m one of those cro magnons that still (mostly) watch movies from physical discs. But on Linux! So I have to rip everything with makemkv first… which sounds like a big chore, but isn’t — I’ve got a very efficient setup with several bluray players that can rip in parallel. It’s just kinda part of … Continue reading A Rippin’ Good Time

Sysadmin 4 Lyfe

(November 16, 2023)

This blog has been experiencing intermittent networks problems lately — it’s hard to say what the problem really is, but the symptoms were simple: Some pages and images just didn’t want to load (at random). Poking around showed some TCP connections with lots of data in the SEND-Q, but that doesn’t really help much with … Continue reading Sysadmin 4 Lyfe

The Mysteries of Google

(October 10, 2023)

Is this good or bad? OK, let me explain. I google with a lot because I use this blog as a way to externalise my memory. (I’m forgetful.) Half a year ago, I noticed that I was getting weird results. After fixing that problem, I eventually signed up for the Google Search Console to … Continue reading The Mysteries of Google

Tidy Yr A Records

(April 20, 2023)

The main point of blogging is so that I can google stuff on my blog instead of having to remember things. Remembering things suck! So this is a normal search for me: But… what are those results!? “Download File… Pdf Free Copy”? HAS I BEEN HAXORED!?! No, not really. I just had a DNS A … Continue reading Tidy Yr A Records

Mastodon Is Going Great

(February 6, 2023)

So — the notifications account for this blog was on and the movie account was on, of course, for maximum fun. So I’ve moved those to other servers (that no doubt will also have problems soon). I guess the only way to cut down on this type of fun is to run your … Continue reading Mastodon Is Going Great

Twitter Account Probably Going Away

(February 2, 2023)

As noted everywhere on the interwebs today, Twitter is going to shut down all free access to their APIs. And since WordPress uses the API to automatically post links to articles on this blog, I guess this means that this will stop working. The lowest paid API access level is $150 per month. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So … Continue reading Twitter Account Probably Going Away

Darn tootin’

(December 18, 2022)

Watching Twitter melt down is fun. I never liked Twitter, because it encourages the absolute worst behaviour in people. So having a petulant billionaire buy the whole thing to own the libs, I mean, to ensure free speech (and then throw all journalists criticising him off Twitter) while his fans explain his 4D chess is … Continue reading Darn tootin’

Faster Music

(May 8, 2022)

Since 1997, I’ve been using Emacs as my music playing interface. The albums I have are arranged in a simple …/artist/album/track structure with no database beyond that. The metadata is just stashed in files called “stats” inside each album directory. This works fine — I don’t have to worry about a database getting out of … Continue reading Faster Music

The Only Evo Benchmark That Matters

(June 19, 2021)

I while back, I was rather impressed with the new M1 chip from Apple, so I wondered what Intel’s response to all that was going to be. (My guess was “not much”.) I mean… the Apple laptop was more than twice as fast as my Lenovo Carbon X1, and that was just pitiful. (On the … Continue reading The Only Evo Benchmark That Matters

Self-Hosting WordPress Even More

(May 24, 2020)

I know, I know; all blogs that’s hosted on WordPress inevitably turns into a blog about WordPress… Sorry! This is just a post of aimless complaining about an issue that’s so minor you won’t believe it, but these days there aren’t anybody on my lawn that I can shout at. Sorry! I started this blogging … Continue reading Self-Hosting WordPress Even More


(January 18, 2020)

I’ve had my servers in my employer’s data room since 1997, but (since that company doesn’t exist any more), I had to make some changes. I had planned on doing some coloc thing locally here, so I bought some semi-spiffy new servers. But then I changed my mind. It all just seemed too much work: … Continue reading Clownin’ is now

(January 15, 2020)

As previously discussed, the domain was no longer viable, and the NNTP server has now moved to Likewise, mailing list subscriptions have been moved from to As of this writing, neither service is up, because I’m doing the final resync before restarting the services on a new server. I expect the … Continue reading is now

Entering the Clown

(September 5, 2019)

I’ve always been the self hosting kind of guy (i.e., old), but with recent changes I’m trying to simplify and move things around. I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up with my main server(s) yet, and I’m testing out various things, but for my one self-hosted WordPress instance, I thought I could try something … Continue reading Entering the Clown

Linux Can 4K @ 60 Haz

(July 4, 2017)

I tried getting 4K @ 60Hz using Intel built-in graphics, and I failed miserably. Rather than spend more days on that project (yes, this is the year of Linux on the TV, I Mean Desktop), I bought a low-profile Nvidia card, since there are several people on the interwebs that claim to have gotten that … Continue reading Linux Can 4K @ 60 Haz

One Thing Leads To Another

(March 8, 2017)

In the previous installment, I got a new monitor for my stereo computer. I thought everything was fine, but then I started noticing stuttering on flac playback. After some investigation, it seems as if X is on (and displaying stuff on this new, bigger monitor), and there’s network traffic, then the flac123 process is starved … Continue reading One Thing Leads To Another

October 5th

(October 5, 2014)

Dear Diary, today the LSI MegaRAID SAS 9240-8i card finally completed building the RAID5 set over five 1TB Samsung SSDs.  It only took about 18 hours. So time to do some benchmarking!  I created an ext4 file system on the volume and wrote /dev/zero to it. Err…  40 MB/s?  40MB/s!??!  These are SATA3 6Gbps disks … Continue reading October 5th

October 4th

(October 4, 2014)

Dear Diary, today was the day I was going to install a new SSD RAID system for the Gmane news spool.  The old spool kinda ran full four months ago, but I kept deleting (and storing off-spool) the largest groups and waddled through. I had one server that seemed like a good fit for the … Continue reading October 4th

New Gmane SSDs

(February 22, 2014)

The Gmane news spool is 97% full, so I either had to delete some Gwene stuff, or buy more SSDs. I bought more SSDs.  The current setup is 5x 512GB Samsungs in RAID5.  I bought 5x 1TB while in the US, so that gives us 2x the current size in RAID5, which should be enough … Continue reading New Gmane SSDs

Software Sucks

(July 10, 2012)

The machine that runs my stereo is a seven year old Hush machine.  The last time I rebooted it, it kinda didn’t want to boot at all, except then it did anyway.  So I’m thinking that it’s probably going off for the fjords one of these days. To avoid some horrible music-less days I’ve bought … Continue reading Software Sucks

Hardware Sucks

(June 23, 2012)

Once upon a time, I had a nice Hush machine with a PCI slot.  It had a SATA Multilane card in it, connected to an external box with three SATA CD-ROMs installed.  I used it to rip the CDs I bought so that I could listen to them. It was perfect.  It was rock solid.  … Continue reading Hardware Sucks

There. I Fixed It.

(May 16, 2012)

I really like the fanless machines from Aleutia.  They have a nice form factor, they’re really silent, and they have kinda amusing web pages. I’ve got three of the Sandy Bridge machines now, and they just like work and stuff.  Nine thumbs up. However! These are Sandy Brigde machines.  That means built-in Intel graphics.  Built-in … Continue reading There. I Fixed It.

March 9th, 2012

(March 9, 2012)

Dear Diary, I’ve switched the SSD disks back to the LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i controller again, and did some final benchmarks. I’m comparing reading bits of the Gmane spool in semi-random (i.e. ext4 directory) order, name order (which is also the same order as the files were created), and finally, just reading a big hunking … Continue reading March 9th, 2012

March 7th, 2012

(March 7, 2012)

Brace yourselves.Winter is coming back Dear Diary, I’ve now found some time to do further speed testing of the SSD machine that’s going to replace the Gmane news server.  I know that you remember everything, Diary, but let me give you a brief recap. I got a bunch of 512GB Samsung 830 SATA3 SSDs that … Continue reading March 7th, 2012

January 20th, 2012

(January 26, 2012)

The magical key! Dear Diary, today the IOPS-unlocking FastPath key arrived for the LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i card arrivied!  I was so excited, until I opened the box an found what’s basically something that short-circuits two headers on the RAID card. What a rip-off.  It probably disables some sleep(1) calls in the firmware on the card. … Continue reading January 20th, 2012

January 15th, 2012

(January 16, 2012)

Dear Diary, after the rather disappointing random read benchmarks (I mean, 4K files a second? It’s pitiful) I almost went into a severe depression and started thinking about using vi.  Again. But then I went back to the hardware pusher’s web site and noticed something strange.  They’re selling something that’s supposed to make their LSI … Continue reading January 15th, 2012

January 14th, 2012

(January 14, 2012)

Dear Diary, today I’ve written a small benchmark utility to try to emulate NNTP server performance.  A one-file-per-article spool has somewhat unusual performance characteristics, totally dominated by stat-ing and stuff. So my little utility is a C program that recursively reads a real news spool, and then just discards the result.  It’s extremely single-threaded, which … Continue reading January 14th, 2012

January 4th, 2012

(January 11, 2012)

Dear Diary, today the RAID card arrived for my new server. I had apparently only ordered a single SATA cable instead of the six I had meant to order. But it turned out that the card didn’t use normal SATA cables at all, but a weird one-to-four connector.  It’s a big connector on one side, … Continue reading January 4th, 2012

December 29th, 2011

(January 6, 2012)

Dear Diary, arghh!  Now the shipment date of the Samsungs has been pushed back to January 31st!  “Tentatively.”  Can I really wait that long to test the new server? (Continue reading my secret diary.)

December 23rd, 2011

(January 6, 2012)

Dear Diary, today I was rummaging through the drawers in the office, and I happened upon an SSD there.  It was a Corsair Force 3, which is a SATA 3.0 disk!  Yay!  I can finally do some benchmarking, I thought. I put the SSD into the server and switched it on, but it came up … Continue reading December 23rd, 2011

December 22nd, 2011

(January 5, 2012)

Dear Diary, the Samsungs haven’t arrived yet, but they’re supposed to arrive any day now. I’m starting to wonder whether they actually exist out there, or if they are a phantom product that’s announced, but not actually shipped. But I just looked on Newegg, for instance, and they claim to have them in stock, so … Continue reading December 22nd, 2011

December 19th, 2011

(January 4, 2012)

Dear diary, Sinking Heat today I got the heat sink and the RAM for the new server. I installed them and hit the power switch. It’s alive! I haven’t built a server in ever so long, so I’m happy and kinda surprised that it works.  The Samsung 830s I ordered haven’t arrived yet, but they’re … Continue reading December 19th, 2011

December 16th, 2011

(January 2, 2012)

Dear Diary, There’s only one 8-pin header on the motherboard today I got the motherboard I ordered for the new server!  I yanked the old motherboard out and put the new one in.  And it fit!  I got all the power cables, the SATA cables, and the fan cables fitted without any major problem, despite … Continue reading December 16th, 2011

December 12th, 2011

(January 1, 2012)

Dear Diary, since the beginning of time, Man has yearned to have their news spools on solid state disks instead of those pesky spinning ones. The load on the Gmane news server frequently tips over the 16 point (which means that access is denied) purely from people and bots hammering the web and news interfaces … Continue reading December 12th, 2011

Quimby Upgrade

(April 10, 2011)

The old Quimby Quimby (the machine doing everything at * has been unstable lately.  (It’s died mysteriously two times.)  So instead of investigating what’s going on, I just installed Debian Squeeze on a new machine and rsynced over all the pertinent parts.  The old Debian installation was too stale, anyway, and 32-bit, so it was … Continue reading Quimby Upgrade