Conall's BlogElectric Fences and Redundancy… (13.2.2006, 00:58 UTC)
I spent most the the weekend trying to complete a slightly overdue milestone in my fyp. This did involve trying to get Electric Fence to compile on Mac OS X. Eventually, I found a reference to the problems I was having, along with a working solution. Progress has been made, although still not as much as I wanted, but caffeine intake and motivation are both up… Otherwise, it’s been a rather dull weekend. The only other significant thing I did was decide to switch away from Firefox and...
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Conall's BlogPriceless… (7.2.2006, 00:13 UTC)
Hell hath no fury… (via Oran)
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Conall's BlogReturn to Paper (3.2.2006, 01:32 UTC)
This afternoon I realised just how severe recent issues I’ve had with my aged, well used and rather battered Palm Pilot is resetting itself at least once a day. It’s effectively useless if it’s not going to retain any information. I guess my trial with a FiloFax again is going to be a little more permanent that I initially thought. I’m not too bothereed about it. It does mean my idea to get a Treo SmartPhone at some point soon is more likely (I’d like a Blackberry-e...
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Conall's BlogIt’s so very true… (1.2.2006, 11:55 UTC)
One of the many changes I’ve made in recent weeks to save more time is to read the RSS feeds of people’s blogs in bloglines, rather than viewing their website directly. Of course, this system works in most cases, except for the few people with custom blog engines, so they have no RSS feed. I’m not naming anybody at all. *ahem* And don’t get me started on broken RSS feeds, like the one from mneylon.com. It always appears to flag the 9 most recent entries as unread, every t...
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Conall's BlogWell, that sucks! (23.1.2006, 21:24 UTC)
NBC cancels The West Wing I really like the West Wing. Sure, the last few seasons haven’t been as good as the brilliant first 4, but I’ve still enjoyed them. Season 7 is pretty good so far, even though there has been a big spoiler in recent weeks… Other than my thoughts on that news, I’ve nothing to report. I’m currently quite busy, messing with Perl CPAN modules which can talk XMLRPC, for a college assignment on Web Services. I also have a large amount of work ...
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Conall's BlogRRDTool is Our Friend… (15.1.2006, 07:18 UTC)
I’ve been a fan of admin statistical graphing tools such as MRTG and Smokeping for quite a while. Last June, when I decided to get Icarus, I also discovered RRDTool based graphing tools Mailgraph (which graphs stats from Postfix/Sendmail logs), Bindgraph (which graphs BIND9 query statistics) and even Queuegraph (which graphs Postfix’s various queues). I find these graphs invaluable for keeping an eye on my server. With their help, I know the rough no of emails sent and received and t...
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Conall's BlogTechy Goodies… (13.1.2006, 21:55 UTC)
After being out of college sick for the week, I eventually got around to collecting my unclaimed packages this afternoon. One package was a fairly basic component, a hard disk case. Except, I learnt my lesson from bad experiences the last time. When buying a disk enclosure, there is only one brand - Icy Box. So, thanks to an eBay Store, who have shiny new USB Case. But the main package I was waiting for contained items for my fyp, including a USB SmartCard Reader and 2 GPG SmartCards. After a f...
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Conall's BlogNew Year, New Beginning… (7.1.2006, 01:51 UTC)
Well, I’m back from Venice. The trip was fantastic. I loved the city, for many reasons including the lack of cars and how much fun it was to get lost… Photos are up in my Flickr gallery. Now that I’m back, work that has been enevitable has to be done. With a lot of coursework, as well as the complete coding of the fyp still to be done, I’m taking many of the tips from Time Management For System Administrators, in an attempt to make myself more organised and productive F...
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Conall's BlogAway Notice… (28.12.2005, 00:05 UTC)
The last few days have been good. Last Thursday, I met up with Mark and Dermot, (two friends I was in school with) who are both back from the UK (where they are both doing postgrads) for Christmas. Last minute shopping turned into anecdotes over drinks, followed by more drinks and bumping into all sorts of people I know from college, proving the world is very small indeed. Christmas itself was quiet enough, the usual family gatherings occurred and I got a few nice gifts, mainly DVDs from my Amaz...
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Conall's BlogIl Redentore (23.12.2005, 04:01 UTC)
I got a Christmas card today with this picture on the cover. To fully appreciate the picture, it should be understood that it came from one of my clients, and is a hand scetching of a building in Venice, where Ciara and I happen to be going to next week for News Years. So, have I anything newsworthy? Not really. Received a couple of toys I’d built up on my Apple Store “wish list” (ie saved shopping baskets), mainly a fancy new iPod (which doesn’t run out of power wi...
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Conall's BlogAh crap! (19.12.2005, 02:39 UTC)
Dammit! Blacknight will cut IE prices to Euro 30 for the entire month of January. Obviously this is to compete with the HostIreland offer of €10 a month with a hosting package. Not exactly the best news for me, who bought not one, but two .ie domains on Thursday and Friday. Oh well, you win some and you lose some!! I guess it’s the cost of doing business… Otherwise, nothing new to report. Slight concerns over the high level of procrastination currently, but hopefully a new le...
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Conall's BlogA Small Topping Of Clarity… (16.12.2005, 02:45 UTC)
Hmmm, now it makes sense. For years, ever since I was 12 and saw it in the cinema, I’ve been a fan of the film The American President. It has even been on my DVD Wish List for a while now. So, when I was out shopping this evening, I gave into temptation and bought it for myself. Then looking at the DVD box, things began to make more sense… I knew there were a few stars from it who went onto becoming cast members of The West Wing, but I didn’t realise it’s at least 4 actor...
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Conall's BlogYes, I’m Still Alive… (14.12.2005, 02:54 UTC)
I figured I should put something up here. I’ve been quite busy in the last few days, mainly while college is wrapping up for 4 weeks over Christmas. I spent a significant part of the weekend fixing the upstream broadband connection and my file server at home. All is working again now thankfully, things are even new and improved. The file server issue was quite simple in the end, replaced the SCSI cable and the system disks appeared again. Doh! Instead of having 1 FreeBSD and 4 Debian serve...
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Conall's BlogGetting Out of a Rut… (5.12.2005, 02:11 UTC)
In recent weeks, I’ve found myself doing very little when I’m supposed to be doing some work, whether it’s college work or real world work. Since it was affecting my project, I decided to talk to my supervisor about it. He had a few interesting tips for me… Use a mind mapping tool (such as FreeMind) to keep my To Do List, so I don’t have to keep so much in my head… Keep a journal of how long I spend on different tasks, so that I have a record to stop any d...
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Conall's BlogMurphys Law (30.11.2005, 11:12 UTC)
I finally got someone to look at my IBB connection at home yesterday. It seems I needed a new PoE injector. Once it was replaced, I had an upstream again… … or maybe not! It seems not only the NIC on my router, but the PCI slot on my router’s motherboard, the NIC was in got zapped. Many combinations of a new NIC and machine later, I still had not got my network up and running again. So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and do something I was considering doing. I’m co...
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Conall's BlogISP Woes… (22.11.2005, 17:00 UTC)
It seems quite popular to discuss Irish ISPs at the moment. My issue with IBB is a simple one. Last Thurs, the cable between my transmitter and my router got severed during some building work. I took a look on Friday to try and fix it myself (using my shiny, new structured Cat5e cabling I’ve been installing). Cable seems fine, power is getting to the transmitter, but there is no connectivity. So I need a tech to come on site and take a look. I called IBB, an action I loathe doing. 3 phone ...
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Conall's BlogAdded to Wish List (15.11.2005, 19:09 UTC)
A few weeks ago, I signed an online petition, I figured that the hell, I’m an 80’s child. After hearing some rumours and seeing this report, I now have (yet another) DVD box set to add to my wish list. Hmmm, 3 posts in less than 24 hours. I should probably resist posting for a week or two now to go back to my more regular post frequency value…
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Conall's BlogAnalytics Test… (15.11.2005, 17:17 UTC)
Yes yes, there’s lots of talk on blogs at the moment about Google Analytics, so why am I mentioning it too? Well, I have come across Urchin (it’s name in a past life) before, it was installed locally on servers as a part of the Ensim versions I had the unfortunate experience dealing with. Documentation was appalling, it wasn’t easy to migrate between servers, yet managers love it’s pretty little pictures so it had to stay. I wasn’t aware that Google had purchas...
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Conall's BlogNever Ending… (14.11.2005, 23:25 UTC)
Last week was busy, but fun. After being quite busy early on in the week working on a college assignment I arranged to present early, I went off to the exotic location that is Athlone on Wednesday, to attend the HEAnet Networking Conference. The conference was very good. Many techy talks on a wide range of subjects from online idendities and online legal liability to RIPE NCC Whois, IPv6 and Data Retention. I’m definitely considering going next year. If for no other reason to see what th...
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Conall's BlogEntrepreneur Howto for the Techy… (7.11.2005, 23:58 UTC)
Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun setting up my own company. Since I began hosting email and websites for clients in August, I decided to do things properly. I figured I should give a brief overview of the process I’ve followed, as a rough guide to any other Techy in Ireland who may be considering doing something similar. The first step was to set myself up with Revenue Commissioners as a sole trader for tax purposes (Yes yes, I could have registered to be a limited company, but...
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Conall's BlogAck! My Backgrounds… (6.11.2005, 14:38 UTC)
Hmmm, after updating my PowerBook to OS X 10.4.3 during the week, I wondered how many improvements I would notice. The main difference I’ve noticed is that my PowerBook seems to run a lot cooler than it has since I upgraded to OS X Tiger in April. That’s a definite plus, so I’m quite happy. The other main change I’ve noticed, I’m not so happy with. It only dawned on my this afternoon as to what it was though. My desktop background setup no longer works. I&#8217...
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Conall's BlogThe Long Weekend… (31.10.2005, 22:05 UTC)
I’ve been quite busy this bank holiday weekend. After a full day of lectures and a tutorial on Friday, I met my friend Michelle for a few drinks, which resulted in drinks in The Porterhouse, Captain Americas and Smyths in Renelagh over the course of the evening. All in all a long day, but a good night. Then on Saturday afternoon, Ciara and I went to see the Nothern Nocturnes art exhibition in the National Gallery. It’s very good, definitely worth a visit before it finishs in early...
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Conall's BlogAmazon Generosity (28.10.2005, 11:37 UTC)
Back in min September, I ordered a few books from Amazon.com about Postfix. Early October, one arrived, the second didn’t. Since one book was missing, I informed Amazon, who asked me to wait until this week, so it was 7 days past their delivery estimate. I informed them on Wednesday that it still hadn’t shown up, so they prepared a replacement copy of Postfix: The Definitive Guide for me. Yesterday, the original copy sent turned up, so I prompted asked Amazon to stop the replacemen...
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Conall's BlogAsterisk working, almost… (25.10.2005, 23:22 UTC)
Hmmm, after a little poking with Asterisk this afternoon, I finally managed to get my Cisco 7960G IP Phone to play nicely with Asterisk. I can now make outgoing calls using my Blue Face account. Incoming calls are another matter. They appear to reach my Asterisk server, then die after 1 ring, which makes me suspect I’ve a kink in my Asterisk config which isn’t “patching” incoming calls to my phone. :-/ Since I’ve probably spent a bit too much time poking Asteris...
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Conall's BlogConferences (24.10.2005, 19:30 UTC)
There are a no of conferences in Ireland over the next few weeks that look interesting. On Wednesday of this week, there is AV in the City, a conference all about audio and video conferencing using primarily Cisco hardware. Registration was free, so I’ve signed up to go to it for a while on Wednesday afternoon, mainly for the VoIP area. The other interesting conference, is of cource the HEAnet Conference in November, which I was hoping to be sent to by work. Recently, it was looking dou...
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Conall's BlogSender Policy Framework (24.10.2005, 09:16 UTC)
Ever since I first heard about SPF, and some of it’s much argued flaws, such as hosts who redirect mail to offsite locations, I haven’t really been too keen to enable it. A few days ago, it was disussed on SAGE-IE, which included a comment from Justin Mason, which didn’t condemn SPF. So, I went off to refresh my knowledge with SPF this morning. Since I run SMTP-AUTH on all my MX servers, as a trial, I’ve added an SPF record (which I generated quite easily with the SPF ...
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Conall's BlogAck! My Reputation (23.10.2005, 21:23 UTC)
Hmmm, it seems my sarcastic reputation is at stake. Nóirín has mentioned the care package I sent her last week, which was 3 x 200g Carbury Dairy Milk bars, deliberately disguised in a large Jiffy Bag with no return address. Other that that, life is ticking on. College is starting to get busier, with assignments being given. I apperantly get an SQL assignment this week, which looks quite difficult. </sarcasm> I poked by head into the ILUG (who are not a support group Dave!!...
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Conall's BlogNerdy Weekend (17.10.2005, 01:42 UTC)
On Saturday, I went off to Tech Camp, out in Coolock. Altough I only stayed until lunchtime, the talks were interesting, plus it was good to be able to put a face to certain people I’ve heard of, such as Anton O Lachtnain, Bernie Goldbach and Tom Raferty. I found the DRI presentation particularly interesting, so I’ve quite happy to be involved with them, both on a technical level (I’ve helped geographically distribute their DNS) and I’m looking forward to discussions on...
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Conall's BlogVideo Killed the Radio Star (12.10.2005, 22:50 UTC)
I decided a few months ago that I’d replace my old, battered 3G 40GB iPod with a nice new 60GB 4G iPod. My only problem is I’ve a cash flow issue currently with some payments outstanding. Once payments come in, I’m in a position to buy myself a 60GB iPod Photo. Or so the plan [...]
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Conall's BlogPollux (12.10.2005, 01:44 UTC)
Hmmm, after attending a talk on Xen, organised by SAGE-IE this evening, for no real reason I tried googling for Xen hosting providers. It seems I struck gold, sort of… I stumbled across Rimu Hosting, who have a very attractive prices. So attractive in fact, I signed up for a Xen server, so for a whopping [...]
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