December 2007


I'm off for two weeks of holiday goodness with family and friends around Motueka and Christchurch. Totally ran out of time to write up blogs and group emails and all that, so Merry Xmas and many thanks to my former colleagues at ELC for the great time I've had working with them; I'm off to do some more work developing up the local scene a bit next year. Catch you soon!

Posted Sun 23 December 2007 08:59 (+1300)

Damn weight limit

Maxed out :/. Hmm, clothes, booze, macbooks… priorities…

Posted Sat 22 December 2007 21:41 (+1300)

Ruby memcache-client reconnect and retry-once patch

A big problem we hit with the Ruby memcache-client library (1.5.0) is that if the memcache server connection dies, it leaves the mongrel permanently broken. I've written a big patch to refactor it to reconnect properly and also retry the request (once) to give it a fresh start.

Posted Fri 21 December 2007 16:14 (+1300)

Fixing the postgresql initdb fatal shared memory error on Leopard

When doing the post-install setup of postgresql default database using initdb, you may hit a fatal error due to the shared memory sysctl limits being too low by default.

Posted Tue 18 December 2007 11:55 (+1300)

Results of consequence-free environments

ABC News carries this disturbing report of drugging and gang rape, followed by willful destruction of evidence, borderline kidnapping, and legal protection of in-house perps, in Iraq contractor KBR.

Posted Mon 17 December 2007 11:52 (+1300)

Recursive roasts

The turducken (for the uninitiated, a chicken in a duck in a turkey, all deboned, stuffed, and roasted) was apparently not enough. This monster roast contains 48 birds of 12 different species, and feeds 125!

Posted Mon 17 December 2007 11:22 (+1300)

Geeky and shameless

Some dudes made a giant Settlers of Catan set for Burning Man in September. We wants :).

Posted Fri 14 December 2007 01:06 (+1300)

Costume parties

So, turns out, there has been a second costume party worth going to :). Love the Sharbat Gula prop…

Posted Thu 13 December 2007 22:56 (+1300)

UE aboard SS Independence/Oceanic

Brett steers me towards a great set of nighttime photos from a urban explorer onboard SS Independence/Oceanic, a derelict cruise liner tied up at SF.

Posted Thu 13 December 2007 20:43 (+1300)


Meg, who needs a blog, brings us this alpaca song by Saleem.

Posted Tue 11 December 2007 23:09 (+1300)

Shops now txt

When I ordered an xmas pressie in at a shop yesterday, they asked specifically for a cellphone number – didn't understand why at the time, but they just TXTd me to let me know it's arrived. Sign of the times :).

Posted Tue 11 December 2007 15:26 (+1300)

Alonso returns to Renault

Posted Tue 11 December 2007 11:07 (+1300)

Porcelain cans

Think that's enough bad news for one night (working down my ‘things to blog’ folder). Check out these very cool bone china cans by Chinese artist Lei Xue.

Posted Mon 10 December 2007 01:17 (+1300)

TV journalist/human rights activist?

Kidnapped by masked men? Beaten and left in a field? That's an arrestin'. (Moscow, Russia)

Posted Mon 10 December 2007 01:03 (+1300)

Meeting with a man?

Saudi? Gang raped? That's a jailin'. (Saudi Arabia)

Posted Mon 10 December 2007 00:59 (+1300)


On a bus? In a coma? That's a tazin'. (Leeds, UK)

Posted Mon 10 December 2007 00:42 (+1300)

Photos from Friday

Haven't had time to write anything about them, but I've uploaded a few photos from Friday's Wellington BarCamp Agile and ELC NZ Xmas dinner.

Posted Mon 10 December 2007 00:35 (+1300)

Installing ruby postgres and mysql gems on Leopard

Leopard comes with ruby preinstalled. Most of us use macports to install postgresql & mysql for use with rails, but if you use macports to install their ruby bindings then it will build it's own ruby too. That works, but here's how to compile them if you'd prefer to stick to the stock Leopard ruby.

Posted Wed 05 December 2007 20:20 (+1300)

Peak milk?

Peak oil is so last year. Milk is the new oil. And while that means more money for NZ farmers, it will also accelerate a problematic trend.

Posted Wed 05 December 2007 13:07 (+1300)

Macports FreeImage patch for Leopard

Mac OS X open-source suffers from a lot of users and not a lot of contributers. You can whine about it, or you can help :). I've created a simple patch for the problems compiling the FreeImage macport on leopard, removing the need for the workarounds.

Posted Tue 04 December 2007 18:22 (+1300)

Setting the PATH variable the Mac OS X way

Mac OS X has a nice extensible way to add things to your PATH environment variable using /etc/paths.d.

Posted Mon 03 December 2007 20:33 (+1300)

We may not know Sam Holden

But after this we're pretty sure he spent the last few weeks sleeping on the sofa :).

Posted Mon 03 December 2007 07:45 (+1300)

Beatbox cooker

Meg, who spends her evenings digging for tasty, nutritious tubers in the soft, lifegiving earth of Youtube, brings us these excellent video…

Posted Sun 02 December 2007 23:10 (+1300)

Recent photos

Hong Kong at night, from Victoria Peak
An IFC monolith
Lucky Dessert neon
Hong Kong sign overload near Mong Kok
Sunset from Hong Kong Island
One of the stalls making Mong Kok overpoweringly smelly
Making the most of the land you've got
Cool arch up Nong Ping

About me

I'm a Wellington, New Zealand-based software consultant. In my spare time I enjoying cooking, traveling, geocaching, progressive house, and fixin stuff.

Need to get in touch? Try me at my public email address.