So – yesterday my new toy arrived. What better way to test it than by writing a post to see how it goes?
What is this new toy I hear you ask?
Well lets face it-it would be pretty pointless mentioning it if I don’t actually tell you anything about it now wouldn’t it?
It’s a new tablet-no not one of those accursed iPad whatsits! More like something that actually does what you want it to. I won’t bother going into the shortfalls of igagets as I don’t think that I would stop if I started. No this is a replacement for my trusty old transformer prime.
“Yes, yes, yes!” I hear you say. “You still haven’t told us exactly what it is!”
Alright already – I’m getting there. Albeit slowly.
OK. lt’s (drum roll) a 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1.
“Well why one of them?” You ask?
If you give me a chance I shall tell you.
One of the things I wanted to do with the old tablet was to use sketchbook, but after many false starts and even buying a decent stylus for it l ended up giving it up. There was an inherent problem with the touchscreen on the Prime, lt didn’t play well with styluses (stylii?). Smooth curves would end up all jagged and it just became so frustrating. So I tried doing sketches with my fingers, however fat fingers seem to block the area I am trying to draw on – so much so that I couldn’t see a thing and l don’t get much feedback sliding a finger over a piece of glass.
So how are things with the new toy?
Much improved – thank you very much. For a start, this entire post has been written using the s-pen that comes with the note. I scribble away and somehow my handwriting gets converted to something everyone can read! Not only that it is a hell of a lot quicker than my fingers fighting with a tablet keyboard. It works much better with sketchbook as well and the results of my playing with that will start getting posted on my 100 day challenge blog. (It’s quite lucky that it arrived when it did as the 2014 100 days starts today!) And you know what’s even better? This post can count as the entry for the first day of the challenge.
So overall the experience far is pretty good. I just need to stop clicking the button on the pen as l am writing.
Will I carry on using it? Will I actually write more? Sketch more? Doodle more?
Only time will tell!
Watch this space and I may even blog some more!
And then again maybe not!

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via Dropbox

As much as I don’t like the whole MAC fan thing, I do appreciate what Steve jobs has given to the IT industry over the years.  The changes and innovation he has instigated have made the rest of the community sit up and take notice.  From these there is now a much healthier and inspiring level of design in both hardware and software than there otherwise would have been.  So with that in mind, RIP Steve, we salute you.


PS thanks to @greatgothninja for the little set up above which made me chuckle!

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I have had a Buffalo TeraStation Live for a number of years now, and have always been a bit irritated that I have has to use SMB for mounting the share to my linux boxes (pretty much all of my boxes!). I managed a while ago to install a version of nfs on the box which however was only version 2 so I hit the maximum files size limit of 2GB, a bit of a pain when I have a lot of files over that size.

I was hunting around the web the other day – as I do on occasion :) – when I came across this thread. “A-ha!” I thinks to me-self! So the TeraStation Pro is essentially the same hardware with different software on it! Not only that the Pro has nfs on it properly!

I duly went and downloaded the latest pro version of the firmware, unzipped it and edited the ini file to be:
Title = BUFFALO TS-HTGL Updater Ver.1.33
WaitReboot = 360
WaitFormat = 300

ProductID = 0x00002006

VersionCheck = 0


Now run the firmware update! (Note to self, do not have any web sessions open, or be logged in via ssh or telnet whilst doing this or it will be slow and will fail!) This worked a charm, had to turn the machine back on a couple of time as the firmware updated. I logged back into the web front end and went about setting up the nfs options, then mounted them on one of the linux boxes. Have a poke around – yup all my files are visible, but hangon a sec, what’s this? The file owners where all over the place, not what I was expecting. OK

chown blah:blah *

Permission denied! Damn! Time to crack the box again!

java -jar acp_commander.jar -t -o

followed by a telnet into the box. Have a look at /etc/exports, and see that the options on the shares are:


well, thats not what I want! SO I edit the options to



exportfs -ra

remount the share, and all works as expected!

Well sort of, as soon as any change is made on the web fronted the nfs server is restarted and the options are changed back to their defaults! Damn! OK time to find where the file is generated from! So looking at /etc/init.d/ we see the usual startup type stuff and lo and behold there is a line that reads nas_configgen -c nfs! Right well I’ll change that I thought, should only be a script file, but alas it is a binary, so one small change in the script after the offending line:

perl -pi -w -e \


no_subtree_check/rw,sync,no_root_squash, \

no_subtree_check/g;' /etc/exports

- thanks to “The Book of Pete” means that the changes I want are applied to the /etc/exports file after it is written to the system, and root can go mad with permissions and I can at last start running some backup scripts that will maintain ownership of files as I want it to! After all the box is only for my use on my LAN and not available to the public at large!

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It’s been an interesting time so far this year. The worst of it has been that our bore-hole collapsed just after we got back from Australia. We have been surviving with a trickle feed into the house from it, whilst arranging for a new hole to be drilled and pumps installed.

It all started when I noticed that the water had run out and the pump controller was showing an overload, so I reset the overload, and fired the pump off again. Then it tripped and I reset, and it tripped. So after a while, I looked up the paper work we got when we bought the house, and came across the number of the company that replaced the pump about 10 years ago. Well being a Saturday it was not easy to get in touch with him, and when I did the only advice that he had was to pull the pump up and get it check out.

So off I go with a friend, lift the concrete manhole cover and start trying to get the pump out. Well the manhole was fairly full of water so we bailed it tried pulling on the rope to pull the pump up, then found we need to disconnect the pipe, we did so and then tried again. Great ! We managed to get the pump up all of about 10 feet before it wedged. Could not pull it up, or push it down again. We tried using drain rods to push it down, but it wouldn’t budge. On top of that the old connectors were brass and we needed completely new ones, and now – as it was Sunday, there was nowhere near by get the parts to be able to reconnect the old pipes. We decided to do this as we had tried turning the pump on whilst it was in position it was and a jet of water 20+ feet high was launched over the garden. “Yes!” I though to myself, “We’re back in business!”.

So anyway, Monday comes along and I head of down to the hardware store to get a new connector, saw off the old pump pipe, and join it all back together. At least we had water again. Well sort of.

After 5 minutes of furious pumping the water rate slowed to a trickle and has been that way every since. A week ago last Friday we ran out completely and as we were away for the weekend there was a period of almost 72 with no water use, and we were up and running again. Enough for a shower in the morning, a few cups of tea, running the dishwasher and some washing up.

Well, after the weekend situation I decided that was it, and we had to get the new hole done. I had spoken to a couple of companies, who both confirmed that the existing hole had collapsed and the was nothing the could do with the existing hole. So on Wednesday, the company turned up complete with drilling rig, plastic liners, mini digger, and off they go!

The good new is that the new hole is producing and abundance of good clean water. The bad news is that on Friday, whilst still on the old system we ran out again. This time terminally, and add to that the contractors then disconnected the old pump in order to tie it in to the new system! “Hurrah!” I thought to myself. “A new water system in just in time for the weekend.”

Unfortunately it was not to be. And that is what has inspired this post.

It’s now Sunday afternoon and we have been without running water for 2 days. We’ve bought water from the supermarket for drinking and washing etc., but we have a perfectly adequate source in the garden. I am now filling these bottles up from the pipe that is currently allowing the well to drain. But I thought as I first did this, “How on earth did we cope before?”. The shear effort of getting water to a dwelling, heating the water for washing (at least I have a kettle and stove). The man power involved every day in shifting water. (Oh what I’d give to have an old fashioned hand pump at the moment!)

It just really hit me how much of our essentials we take for granted. Electricity, gas, water. And how it must be for other people around the world to day that don’t have any of this. We don’t give it a second thought… until we don’t have it any more.

My water should be all back up and in business on Monday (I hope) so having had a couple of days of hardship (well inconvenience really) I will be trying not to take it for granted again!

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Okay.  Yesterday I was bemoaning my memory for being unable to keep track of my workload and personal projects.  Now as shown on the list yesterday the projects my seem fairly benign however a simple to-do list is not enough to remind me of what I am doing. The title of a project does not help me keep track of where I am up to, when there are interruptions due to support/server issues.  As CodeNinja pointed out in his comment:

I have been testing different todo lists/project tracking systems

I want a web based one, and would like it to comunicate with an iphone app. but a decent web app would do for starters.”

I had previously been looking for a nice open source, web based, collaborative  package, and some of those offered certain aspects of what I was after, however I found many of these were overly complex or just too plain basic, and having spoken to CodeNinja I decided to have a look at one of the packages he had looked at previously.

Enter “dotproject

“dotProject is a volunteer supported Project Management application. There is no ‘company’ behind this project, it is managed, maintained, developed and supported by a volunteer group and by the users themselves.”

Exactly the sort of product I like to use.

After a very simple install (download, unzip, create a database, sort out couple of permissions and run the install page) I was up and running, not only that with in another couple of minutes I had the basis of of my first project going.  After a few minutes more I started to really like the package.  Not only was it providing me with the to-do part I was after, but also dependencies, child to-do’s file attachments, which could be checked in and out.  It also provides “Gantt” charts of the project along with progress monitoring of each to-do.

The product goes further than that though, it is a full multi-user product with budgeting, resource allocation, calendars, file management, contact management and a ticketing system to-boot!

All in all I am thoroughly happy with this product and look forward to making it one of the tools I use on a daily basis. I only hope that it will not be a tool that I get side tracked by!

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It has recently come to my attention that my memory is shot!  Well not really, I am just not writing things down or managing myself properly.  I have so many things on my mind that things slip, in work and with personal projects.  ‘Er indoors will tell you that I constantly badger her about things that she should be doing (admittedly she has said that she needs the prods occasionally!) – but maybe I should follow suit on some of them.  An example would be this.  A small reflection at the end of the day just to get down some of the things I need to remember.

Now on to the meat of the issue.  We had a 10 minute recap of what we are doing work-wise at the moment, and the things that came up in that – that I had forgotten about have spurred me on to write some of it down, in the attempt of reminding myself where I am up to.

Now work-wise I have:

That is just the tip of the iceberg, and now I have to find a way to prioritise, manage and implement these.

On the home side, I need to:

Add to this, drawing, drum and piano practise and of course most importantly spend time with the family!

Well now I’ve got all this down I need to try and manage it.  Hoo Boy!

Suggestions on a postcard please!

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After recent grumbling from the resident stealth martial artist – some new and improved eyes!


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A-ha, I’ve had a bit of time – so we move on!


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OK,  so it seems like it would be a good idea to actually start using this thing! So what to do?

Well I am now working on the third reincaration of the demonpenguin logo/avatar/image thingymubub.  So here is a breif history as well as the work in progress on version 3.


Version 1. circa 2002AD


Version 2. circa 2005AD


Version 3. circa a coupla month ago.....and still in progress

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