Storage becomes /dev/null

A terabyte HD in my main Mac (‘IGGY’) has died, so now the Mac has only four storage devices. Fortunately it’s no threat to my data – this HD was used until a few months ago for TimeMachine backups of this mac but now all the Macs here do TimeMachine backups to a very new 2TB TimeCapsule.* The TM sparsebundles were copied to the new TimeCapsule so we’ve not lost any backup history.  Continue reading


Monkey magic

Code Monkey

As of Friday morning, there is a verbal agreement between a client and Edinburgh Napier University that the university will create some code for the client. And I’m to be the main code-monkey! I’ll even be paid. Not much, which is fitting because I am a very new code-monkey and this will be my first ever paid coding project, and because the project is really quite small – just proof that the concept can work and that Napier can do things the client wants. Nevertheless I’m very pleased.

Domain devilry

It’s also pleasing that 1&1, the providers of the domain to which I’ve mapped this blog, have finally fixed the fault which was preventing this domain mapping. I bought the domain on 12 January and it’s taken until today to get the issue sorted. There’s also an email address (bruce AT but it’s simply a forward to my main personal address.

Community Council news 1

I’ve had another meeting with the community councillor who wanted to set up a website for his CC. There appeared to be two copies of http://<name of CC> and one copy of http://<name of CC> Each of these had bits of the most up-to-date material but none had all of it. So we copied the most recent content to separate text files on his laptop, deleted the errant blogs from WordPress, started a new blog at http://<variant of name of CC>, reset the them, remade the pages, tags and categories, then remade the posts. Setting up widgets went quite quickly. He was very pleased to see that WordPress blogs can include Twitter widgets. While his CC doesn’t yet have a Twitter account, he has a personal Twitter account and a personal blog. Adding the widget for the former to the latter took about 2 minutes.

He now has to take his efforts back to his CC for their approval, comments etc. We’ll then implement any desirable changes, set up and train a co-editor. Then I’ll keep a watching/mentor brief as the site develops. I’ve also interviewed the community councillor about his aspirations for the website, his level of ability and similar. In a few month’s time, I’ll interview him about what actually materialised – and that should be the basis of a research paper. It will also be of interest to others who need proof that the CC system is worthy of further investment in training.

Community Council news 2

I’ve been asked to take minutes for another Edinburgh CC. It will pay a small amount but will knock out one Wednesday spinning session a month, but that’s not a problem – I could replace it with a spin on Tuesday or thursday evenings. This CC also wants a website similar to the one I help run for Leith Central CC, so that should be easy enough to start off.

Research news

On Tuesday I’ll meet with my supervisor to plan some further research into community council websites. This will be an update of research we did in summer 2012. We’ve won a small grant for this research, enough to pay me for about 8 weeks. This should lead to a couple of research papers, I believe.

Physical space

My old G4/800 now has a new home way out west. It’s good to keep old silicon running.

Not yet started

  • a good practice guide for community council websites
  • writing papers based on my MSc dissertation
  • a serious attempt at setting up a domestic server

Watch this space.

Hardware weirdness

I’ve wanted a domestic server for a long, long time and I think it’s about to happen. I’ve had a TiBook for a couple of years – this is the last Apple laptop that can run MacOS9 natively and MacOS X (to be specifically, 10·5, aka ‘Leopard’). I’d installed 10·4 and 10·5 from retail installer disks that I already owned, but original installer disks for MacOS9 are hard to come by. I obtained one in early December, created 3 partitions on the TiBook’s HD and installed MacOS9 and 10·2 on the first, 10·4 on the second and 10·5 on the third.

Why? Because I could. I don’t use this computer very often – just when I have a hankering for playing MacOS9-based games. But this still left the TiBook without a regular job.

In the middle of December, I found an affordable eBay listing for a 10·5 server installer disk. The snag was that 10·5 server requires 1GB of RAM, and TiBook only had 256 + 512 = 768MB. So I bought a supposedly new 512MB lump on eBay. That took over 2 weeks to arrive – and didn’t work in either my TiBook or my Pismo (my current web server), both of which take PC133 SO-DIMMs. I’m still in dispute with that vendor. In the meantime, I partitioned the TiBook’s hard disk as

  • 7·5GB for MacOS9 and 10·2
  • 7.5GB for 10·4
  • 22GB for 10·5
  • 22GB for 10·5 server

and reinstalled MacOSes 9, 10·2, 10·4 and 10·5.

My next step was to buy a new lump of RAM from OWC. That arrived yesterday and was installed in a feverish hurry. Hurrah – all the installed OSes reported 1GB of RAM, so the machine should have been ready for 10·5 server.

Not so – repeated attempts to install crashed out with the same error message about being unable to install the base system. Yet I knew the installer disk was OK – it worked just fine when used with a VirtualBox virtual machine. Also, following this process, I could install 10·5 server onto a Dell Mini 10v.

Relief has arrived in the shape of a replacement lump of RAM bought from a LEM swap-list vendor. It’s now in TiBook, while the OWC lump is in Pismo – so both machines are at their maximum of 1GB – and the installation of 10·5 server has just completed on the TiBook. SO now I have configuration to enjoy.

But I still don’t understand why the installation failed with the OWC RAM. It should have either not started – and reported that there was not enough RAM – or just worked. Bah!