Monday, 30 September 2013


As in "taking the plunge".

Right, so I've ordered a nice new (well, OK refurbed) HDD for my trusty old Novatech laptop, which has already had a new (to me) HDD stuck in it for dual-booting Lubuntu and Antix, ready for sticking PCBSD on it.

That's the plan, anyway. The fallback position is that if PCBSD refuses to play nicely I'll be sticking Manjaro on there.

So, 40Gb for £11.95 inc P&P didn't seem bad to me, off eBay, and then I followed it up with the purchase of a SATA to USB 2.5" caddy for those times when I just HAVE to play on my SEGA Megadrive emulator (MESS, BTW).

So there you go.

More to report in due course.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

What am I talking about?

Very good question.

It's the monthly meeting of SLUG (Shropshire Linux User Group) tomorrow night, and I think, in the absence of anyone else stepping up to the plate, I am going to be the one giving some kind of talk.

Fine... but I have no idea what I'm going to talk about. I could throw together a presentation, but why bother? I think instead I'm just going to big up the BSD distributions and Manjaro that I've been playing with, and try and get other people to talk about which distros they use.

Other than that not a lot going on. More in a couple of days, please keep checking back for more!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Big data

I've been attempting to revive Epimetric as a project over the last few days and weeks, so have started with Talend tools to see if there is something that I can use there to at least try making it work.

I stuck an outline presentation on what the project is about and where I'd like to take it on there - please do check it out.

Tomorrow I foresee a day of a whole load of telephone calls in an attempt to get a better job, trying to get collaborators for Epimetric and Loqualia and other ideas I have, and generally trying everything I can to be in a position to do what I love rather than what I have to.

I have now resolved that my next machine will be BSD-driven, probably FreeBSD or PCBSD, and I'm going to get my skills in PHP up so that I can actually do something fairly useful with it.

Broke out a set of Bicycle playing cards - WOW. The quality of these things is outstanding, it really is. Started working on some shuffles and forces, very tentatively I should say, and really enjoyed it. I'm going to try and build this into every day, even if only for 15 minutes or so.

Podcast recording tonight, should be fun as we build up our catalogue ready for a launch at some point. I've also sketched out some more theme music ideas as I've thrashed about on guitar, so that's really cool.

Oh, and Ableton Live 9 is really, really good!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Distro hopping

Yep, back to the subject of moving to another Linux distro.

Well, actually I'm thinking of going over to a BSD variant.

I'm loving PCBSD at the mo', although it is slow running of a USB stick as a live persistent image, and how I wish it used XFCE rather than LXDE by default, although I understand the rationale. And don't even offer me Gnome...!

GhostBSD FLIES off a USB stick, but refuses to either boot on this laptop (trying to use a 32bit version for max flexibility, and this machine is 64bit AMD) or detect my wifi setup on my AMD A8 desktop machine.

So the plan is to get a cheap little laptop and run NetBSD  with Awesome and XFCE on it, even with all the pain of X configuration.

The other option is Manjaro...

Maybe a dual-boot?!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Been a long time away

I think the past week or so has seen me drive more miles than I've done in years.

The positive aspect is that I've caught up on so many podcasts! I'm even clearing a few from the old backlog, so I'm actually WAITING for new episodes.

I've also had some email exchanges with folks about guitar effects, hardware hacking and a slightly weird idea I have for using mobile phones in astronomy.

Oh yeah, I also caught up on a Horizon I'd recorded and was knocked out by someone using social patterns to determine epidemiological spreads - which is something I've been trying to push forward for nigh on three years now. I must drop a line out this weekend to try and get things moving AGAIN.

What else? Oh yeah, some cool guitar and magic practice, which has filled some spare time nicely, and I've really, really enjoyed just plugging in, turning up and wailing away on the old Ibanez for even a few minutes, without working through scales or anything.

Next up - a brief return to reality tomorrow, and then a weekend of fun, hopefully! In between writing a piece for another blog and recording a podcast, obviously.

And with luck I've get PCBSD running just how I want, too. I had the adapter PSU on this laptop (the 17" Acer 64-bit) give up a couple of days ago, but handily I pulled a spare out of the loft this afternoon. The man who has everything, eh?!