Welcome to Alans Diary !not a blog!

well, middle of April and not many updates! March didnt even exist eh?

a quick review of the past few weeks.
DIY - took down ceiling of back room to find missing joists, bad wiring, old wiring , old pipework etc. nice. had to take floor of bathroom up and work on problem from both sides. Latest update to this is the structural work is now completed, most rewiring has been done, the ceiling is being booked for replastering. I've got a JPG image 'postcard' I made of the events..will stick it here somepoint.

Work - been busy installing new networking hardware and infrastructure across the campus..this is an ongoing process and many bits are waiting for my return to work (we've all been off for the Easter break!) I went to the 3-day Networkshop event last week..which has reminded me about various things that need to be looked at upon return (fellow coworkers now run around in fear, bwah ha ha!! ;-) )

Consoles - Been playing Balders Gate - Dark Alliance on the 'Cube as of late and am making steady progress. Some nice work done there by the coders! I've also got a fully loaded ScummVM system up and running...ah! 'tis like my heady MAME days.. unlike that, however, I own the approriate games - well, a 20-quid LucasArts game on Amiga is naff-all compared to a $1000 ROM cart! ;-)

Amiga - OS4 show at Peterborough, couldnt make it (pity!) but i watched the video footage that was made (cheers Rigo!) and my BlizzardPPC Amiga is quite happily running the very latest OS4 image...theres some great features and work in this baby! Those afficionados are really going to feel back at home (now, come on LucasArts, Give us DOTT-2 or Grim2 for AmigaOS4 ;-)

Tech - have wiped an x86 NetBSD box and installed Debian Sarge (testing release) onto it instead. This gives me quicker access to more recent packages and allows the 'Linux software' (sorry, but lots of OpenSource stuff is still Linux-centric) to be working quicker...which is what i want for trialing stuff!. anyway, the upgrade wasnt easy...for a few reasons..main one was the install CD (with base image) didnt want to go on.. i ended up taking two routes.. one, i used 'jigdo' to make a CD_1, i also downloaded the install floppy files. as the floppies came down much quicker, i used those (whilst downloading a 3.0 install CD just in case!! ;-) ) and had a Sarge system up and running in no time (even with a Netinstall across my Cable-link!) 8-) second problem was the Linux systems dont read BSD partitions at all well! - a quick recompile of my kernel and i had BSD UFS read ability..and even experimental write. so i'm in process of backing the files...~60Gb...onto DVD-R and formatting the disk..probably ext3, though new reiserfs is tempting.. anyone out there know a painless non-wiping way of converting BSD partition to ext3?? no? didnt think so :-(
Anyway! with the new Debian install done, I installed a window manager (XFCE) and VLS, the Videolan streaming system. after installing the dev packages for libdvd, libdvd etc it compiled. one hour of reading some docs (see, i do occasionally break my rules) and I got this box streaming a couple of MPEG2 streams across my network via multicast! nice...i can now test some other bits at work 8-)
Oh! did I mention this box is just a 64Mb Pentium-133MHz??? ;-)

Gadgets - well, I had to..didnt I? popped into Maplins as we passed by TOpps Tiles...(bought us some nice brushed chrome tiles to finish last years kitchen DIY project) and saw this 'Yamada 6600' unit which claimed to do DIVX and a few other bits. hmmm,. sold out, the guy who 'helped' me didnt seemed interested in my money. When we got home, i went online to do some research (and i really mean it this time ;-) ). looked at Yamada (I'd forgotten the model number) and found very favourable reviews of the 6100..well supported with firmware. looks better (for the price!) than the KISS units which i was tempted by. okay. just about to order one for good price from Amazon.co.uk when i visit the Maplins site and see its the 6600. whoa! quick check of 6600 reviews. even better. this babies got so many great hot features for even just DVD stuff and image quality that my current DVD is out of the picture...just for 70 quid! sheesh! and it replaces the 6100 unit and supports OGG! need i get excited that it can also handle various video formats that the encder has deemed fit to use AC3 for the audio? you betcha! ;-) so, ordered it..from one of my new friends, gameloaded.co.uk
review it on my site? perhaps. luckily i've been backing up to DVD recently (unlike the KISS-50x series, this doesnt have ethernet, to be honest, I dont care...my next future pet-PC project might handle what I was going to get the KISS unit for

thats all for now folks

Older files: February 2004