Category Archives: Tech

Fiendishly Clever Mechanical Computers

This 1950s US Navy training film explaining how simple mechanisms can by used to perform mathematical functions. I particularly liked the tangent cams and barrel cams.

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Vultures Picnic and Diesel Generators

Vultures Picnic is the latest work of investigative reporting by multi-award-winning journalist Greg Palast. I will admit to being ill-disposed to this book as I find Palast’s prose style teeth-grindingly irritating. The book is couched more in the style of … Continue reading

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Westminster Skeptics: The Revolution Will Be Digitized

After being in London for nearly a year I’ve finally managed to make it to a Westminster Skeptics in the Pub meeting. I was rewarded with an entertaining and thought-provoking talk by crusading journalist Heather Brooke. Based on her new … Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Life, Politics, Tech | 3 Comments

Willing to pay for sync?

Matt Assay had an interesting post up on the Register today about Amazon’s kindle store outselling Apple’s ibooks. His thesis is that this is driven by the fact that Amazon has a much larger range of titles and that kindle … Continue reading

Posted in Life, Tech | 1 Comment

Stepping Through Large Database Tables in Python

In order to report usage on our PBSPro compute cluster at work I wrote a simple set of python scripts to dump the accounting information into a MySQL database. This has been working fine for the last year churning out … Continue reading

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Flexlm License Servers and Firewalls

If you are lucky enough to run your flexlm servers on a tightly controlled corporate network then you probably just turn the firewall off on those servers and get on with your life. Everyone else goes through a certain amount … Continue reading

Posted in SysAdmin, Tech | 8 Comments

SC09 – Interesting Tech – Filesystems/Storage

All the usual suspects were visible in Portland this year. Including Panasas, Data Direct, Isilon, Lustre and IBM/GPFS. But we’ve all seen those all before. Two storage related technologies caught my eye at SC09 because I’d never seen them before. … Continue reading

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SC09 – Interesting Tech – Shared Memory

We are beginning to approach the end of the conference formally known as SuperComputing, so I thought it was about time that I started to write up some of the copious volumes of notes that have begun to clutter up … Continue reading

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Playing with Hugin Panorama Stitcher

I finally got around to playing with stitching some photos together using the Hugin stitching tool. Hugin is very powerful but I would have found it entirely incomprehensible if it wasn’t for an excellent tutorial from lifehacker. I’m quite pleased … Continue reading

Posted in photos, Tech | 1 Comment

Europython – Days 3 to 5 – Roundup

As Europython got more hectic and my 3G connection got more erratic, my daily blogging ceased. So this roundup is mostly the result of notes I wrote on the train journey through the picturesque Welsh Borders back home to Cardiff. … Continue reading

Posted in SysAdmin, Tech | 2 Comments