Success! ASUS A7N8X + terabyte hard drive

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Tnir, my household Linux box, has been down for a couple of weeks now.
I hit a bit of a roadblock when the motherboard erfused to recognize a new hard drive I had bought.
It was too big — 1 TB (which is 1000 GB, or perhaps 1024 if you’re a programmer, or 999 if you’re a sales droid).

So I did my usual check for a new BIOS, which would normally fix things.
There was a moderately new BIOS, only a few months younger than the one I had, but installing it had no effect.
Still no drive.

After googling around I ran across
an article
that laid out all the steps I had to take, which included creating my own BIOS. Egad.

That scared me a bit, so I put it off for a while.

But today I tried again, and realized that the BIOS is really like a zip file, with a bunch of other little files in it, and I was just replacing the (SATA) disk part with a new version.
And sure ernough, I got my new drive listed, with 938 GB (damn those marketing droids!)

April 23rd is Download Day

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I seem to be downloading a couple of Gigs of stuff this morning.
First off is
Ubuntu 9.04,
which was released today.
I am grabbing both the “desktop” and “server” editions.
I plan on using the server edition when I rebuild Tnir.

Next up is
and this time there are Cocoa, 64-bit Binaries for Mac OS X
(last time, with 4.5, you had to compile it yourself to get 64-bit goodness).
But you have to dig around to get them.
Here are the links to save people some trouble.

If you want to debug, you should get both the normal and debug libraries.
And the debug libraries are huge compared with non-debug.

Bell Canada wants to impose universal 60 GB bandwidth caps

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I got notified about this by Tek Savvy today, so I entered the following on their comment page.

File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 - Bell Canada - TN 7181

Bell's attempts to limit the availability of inexpensive high-bandwidth service would have a grave consequence: Canadian users would lose affordable internet services such as high-quality video downloads available from online producers like Apple and -- downloading just ten 430 MB episodes would consume over 7% of the proposed 60 GB monthly cap.

This kind of tariff would kill modern services such as HD movie rentals on iTunes, turning Canada into an internet backwater.

Canadians have been able to boast about our high-tech infrastructure to the world. This one action would topple Canada from the top to the bottom of the internet world.

Reid Ellis, Toronto ON

If you’d like to make your comments/concerns known about what Bell is
attempting to do, go to
CRTC web page
set up for it.
Just select the word “Tariff” from the drop down list, and add the following in Subject Line: “File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181” – make your thoughts known!

The deadline for comments is tonight at midnight, so hurry!

TV shows tonight

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show list
shows on tonight – click for large

Wow, quite a few shows on TV tonight.

Until recently I used the site
TV Rage
to have a calendar showing upcoming shows.
But then they changed their APIs to not include iCalendar data. 🙁

The place I found out about TV Rage,
TV Calendar says it also uses,
so maybe they have iCalendar data I can use?

Worst case I can write a quick CGI script to read XML from TVRage and convert it to iCalendar on the fly.

Seems like a lot of work to go to though..

So, along with the screenshotted shows…

  • House
  • Greek
  • Gossip Girl
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • 24
  • Heroes
  • Saving Grace
  • Medium

there were some others!

  • My Boys (back for seaon 3!)
  • The Listener (new show)
  • Castle (new show)

So wow, that’s like 12 shows!
Which is good because the rest of the week is pretty bleak until Friday..

Books to read

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I’m finding it harder to find good hard SF books to read.
One recent “find” was Charles Stross, a friend of Cory’s who he’s worked with.

I’m just going to put a list of books to look into here, possibly updating it over the next while.

  • Charles Stross, “Saturn’s Children”
  • John Varley, “Mammoth”

Saturn's Children

I guess this would be an ideal opportunity to use my Amazon Associates thingee, but I’d have to dig it up out of email. Ah well.
Here are links:
Saturn’s Children.

Why Qt 4.5 is a really big deal

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Okay, this will be a post about software development, but I’ll try to avoid using jargon in explaining the impact of yesterday’s release of Qt 4.5.


So first of all, what the hell is Qt?
Well, it’s a software library that allows programmers to easily write programs that run on Mac, Windows, Linux and even cell phones.
If a developer want their code to run on all these platforms without using something like Qt, it often means man-years of work, and platform-specific oddities can arise, such as Adobe not having a 64-bit version of Photoshop on the Mac (because they use Code Warrior’s PowerPlant on the Mac, which is no longer supported except as an open source project).
Qt is also an extremely powerful and fast library, which is not often the case for these kinds of things.

Ok, so what’s the big deal with version 4.5?
Until yesterday, if you used the Qt library, you had to either:

  • release your application’s source code to the public under the “Gnu Public License” (GPL), making it Free Software, or..
  • pay a lot of money (thousands of dollars) annually for the Qt “commercial license”

But yesterday for the first time, Qt is available under the terms of the “Lesser Gnu Public License” (LGPL).
This license allows developers to use Qt, and not release the source code for their program, and not have to spend thousands of dollars a year.

That’s enough for now. My compile is finished. I may come back and add more later.

Hmm, I really should cleanup this blog..

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It’s looking pretty sad at the moment. :-/ It’s because I haven’t fully recovered, so there are missing graphics here and there.

Maybe I will just use a pre-canned theme so that it looks ok or something. My main problem is that I turn off WordPress’ “translate returns into
tags” auto-filter, which isn’t a setting. I have to hand-edit the PHP code every time.