Archive for 2008


December 19th, 2008 No comments

Some years ago, I learnt (from a magazine) about SOAP. I decided it was useful, but not that many people seemed to offer a useful service for it.

At Uni, we had a handful of lectures about it from a guest lecturer. Here, I learnt about the concept of WSDL and UDDI.

Now, many years later, I’ve seen requests at work for SOAP access several times within two weeks, where in the previous 4 and a half years, I’d seen none.

We’re now going through the painful process of working out how to implement some of these things in Progress 9.1D (OpenEdge 10 supports it out the box, but 9.1D has nothing).

I’ve taken it upon myself to try and get my head around these things again, and to look at how we can sensibly implement these technologies at work in a way that suits not just my projects massive worldwide foot print (which is getting bigger by the month), but also with other internal applications such as Internet to Application transfers (e.g. Customer facing sites to back office systems)

Having looked at UDDI, I’m amazed that there aren’t that many applications available to run a UDDI service. I’m also slightly amazed that no one has attempted to create a basic VMWare image which runs a UDDI service out of the box. When compared to the number of “turn-key” SVN servers, email servers, groupware servers, no one seems to have done a “turn-key” UDDI server. Especially seeing as “SOA” is a particular buzzword at the moment.

I guess I may have to work it out for myself!

Categories: Computers, Programming Tags:

Photo Opportunities

December 14th, 2008 No comments

One of the things that happens quite a lot on the reservoir, is that people watch us row.

Usually, it’s people out for an early morning walk with the dogs, or out on horse, or out on their early morning run.

I dread to the think of the number of times that I’ve been watched.

On crisp, clear mornings, when it’s a bit foggy, and it makes a good photo, people take pictures. That happened this morning.

I was thinking this morning that it would it would have made quite a good picture; and that I wouldn’t mind a copy of them.

Except, I have no idea who it was who the pictures. I’m going to be a part of someone’s photo album, for ever, and I don’t know who.

It’s tough being a photo star.

Categories: Rowing Tags:

Upgrading WordPress

November 30th, 2008 No comments

It never ceases to amaze me how simple it is to upgrade a WordPress installation. In fact, just how easy it is to play with WordPress configurations in general.

I’ve now had to upgrade WP twice since going-live with it, due to various bug fixes and security fixes. Each time, it’s been a simple process of downloading the latest version, and copying files across. Nothing major, and nothing taxing. There are a few gotchas, but the documentation tells you precisely what to do and how to avoid them.

Even when I was beta testing WP and importing existing posts in to WP, I was investigating how to move it from one directory to another (so that it didn’t run in a subdirectory). Doing that, I thought, would be a complicated process. Not so. It’s still fairly simple, and most importantly, the WordPress documentation has a document about precisely how to move the files around, what order to do it in and how not to break stuff (although I did, and was quickly able to fix that thanks to the documentation).

That, is precisely how software should be. Simple, as long as you’re not scared about moving files around.

Categories: Blogging, Computers Tags: ,

Unorthodox Measurements

November 13th, 2008 No comments

One thing I really hate about watching programme on channels like Discovery or National Geographic is that they are redubbed from the US originals. That means that some things they say do not really have relevance in the UK.

For example, the US measurement of choice, for distance, is “the football field”. I have no frigging clue how big that is. Also, is that an American football field or a proper football pitch? For weight, the standard gauge is “the jumbo jet”. Again, I have no idea what one weighs. Also, is that laden or unladen? Take off weight or landing?

Why don’t they give these measurements in a scale that makes sense? For starters, it makes sense, and secondly it improves peoples understanding of those scales and of the subject matter.

So, please programme makers, use metric or imperial measurements (either is fine.) Jumbo jets and football fields fit into neither.

Categories: TV Tags:

Slow MythTV Deletes (Solved!)

November 10th, 2008 1 comment

Less than an hour after I post my latest progress as “Doesn’t make much difference”, I’ve managed to fix the problem (Well, it works for me at least).

The secret was written in a post that I linked to in my very first post about this problem. I can’t believe that I didn’t pay it any attention before.

Basically, all you need to do is to run “mythfilldatabase” without any parameters. As well as retrieving new data, it resets the database.

Now this, actually, makes sense to me. I guess the reason that I never encountered this before is that I always used to use the Radio Times grabber for downloading my programme listings, however the other year I switched to EPG (electronic programme guide). That means that I don’t run mythfilldatabase on a regular schedule.

And therefore, that means that I’m not downloading data, and cleansing the database, as much as I should be! I seem to remember something about a few thousand items being marked for something, as it scrolled up the screen. I subsequently ran it again just to check, and this time it showed zero for all items.

I since tested it, and I was able to delete around 10 different programmes, and still didn’t receive any lag in deletions. That’s going to way in around the 15 to 20GB range. That’s pretty damn good, if you ask me.

All I need to make sure is that mythfilldatabase didn’t cock anything up, and then somehow schedule it to run frequently. More than once a year I guess would be a bonus….

Categories: MythTV Tags: ,

MythTV Slow Deletes (Still)

November 10th, 2008 No comments

Having spent bloody ages explaining, and then doing, the defragmentation of a Linux hard drive partition, I’m still experiencing very slow delete times from my MythTV media centre.

To make matters worse, I now get a time out on a lot of different interactions with the box, for example when I escape out of watching a tv programme. The screen will go black and the two minutes later I see a popup telling me the connection to the master backend has ‘gone away’.

I have now done an optimzation on the database through several methods and it does not appear to make life any better. It does appear to make a difference for a while but it soon returns to normal behaviour. Admittedly though I was planning on doing an ‘OPTIMIZE TABLE’ for every table in the database and so far I have only done it on the ‘program’ table.

One tool I did use was ‘myisamcheck –analyze –check-only-changed –quick –sort-index *.MYI’ in /var/lib/mysql/mythconverg

That seemed to spend sometime checking several tables, including ‘program’.

M planning on running a full optimize when I get the chance, but I’m also wondering what else could be going on which would cause this problem. Might need to consult ‘top’!

Categories: MythTV Tags: ,

Why So Sad?

November 9th, 2008 1 comment

Apparently, I have an unhappy Chinese floor tile in my bathroom.

Categories: Humour Tags:

Wow, New Blog!

November 8th, 2008 No comments

Hopefully, the more observant of you will have noticed that this website has changed.

Yup, it’s true, I’ve finally updated this site. As promised previously, it now runs off of a WordPress engine, and has a new theme. I’ve also cleared out the cobwebs and got rid of a load of tat that was unfinished and was lingering around.

The other bonus of this, means that I’m now writing my first blog post on my iPhone.


Categories: Blogging, iPhone Tags: ,

Oh, Wonderful Computery Geekery

October 28th, 2008 No comments

I found something very amusing this morning on Guy posts a story, well, more of a boast really, called “Just checked the logs for my website and I have now had one visitor using AmigaOS. That makes me feel kinda awesome.

OK, fair enough, he’s chuffed.

The first response I see says: Aren’t you going to post the URL, so we can start spamming your logs with obscure user agents? I’m thinking something like “Babbage Difference Engine OS1.0”.


Categories: Uncategorised Tags:

Defragging Linux: The Results

October 21st, 2008 No comments

OK, so this is the final part in a long winded series of posts about why and how to defragment a Linux partition.

I’ve previously mentioned the “why” of why I needed to do it, and the “how” of how I went about achieving it. Now for the final results.

The main question I wanted to answer is “Did defragging speed up the deletion in MythTV”. Short answer “No, not in the slightest”. It still takes a very long time, and I cannot see any improvement over the deletions I did before defragging.


So now, I’m going to try the other things – optimising the database, reducing the number of “Record All on All Channels” schedules that I have, etc.

The other question I should answer is “What happened about removing the recordings from underneath MythTV’s feet?” – Those of you who read the previous post will remember that I discovered that removing recordings from the recordings directory, whilst MythTV was still active was a very bad plan. Fortunately, all you need to do to fix it, is to replace the files, and then reboot – although, you probably don’t need to reboot, you can probably just kill MythBackend and MythFrontend and it might work the same; I just prefer rebooting so that I know for sure that there won’t be any other repercussions.

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: