Hosting change was earlier on a machine in the US but the 200 ms SSH latency finally got too annoying and I started to investigate other options. After I while I found Bytemark Hosting’s virtual linux machines and I’m now a proud owner of one of their machines. It’s working great! The machine is running debian and because they are situated in the UK the SSH latency is almost not noticeable. At least from here in Finland.

If you’re going to sign up for their service and feel like supporting me (or my work on ismo or colortail) please sign up here by doing that I will receive a small discount on my virtual machine. More info here.

Configuration files

Again I’m facing this problem. The small program I just wrote needs to be configurable with an unlimited amount of pairs, each pair consisting of two values. In my current implementation, the program is done in perl, the configuration file is just a normal perl file and the configuration is done by adding things to two perl arrays like this:

first configuration directive

push(@arr1, "first"); push(@arr2, "first other stuff");

second configuration directive

push(@arr1, "second"); push(@arr2, "second other stuff");

This makes it possible to do tricks, like parsing out the arguments given to the program into variables and then use them in the configuration directives. All this is really simple because the configuration file is just a normal perl script.

But, is this really usable and user-friendly? It is for me, who knows enough perl to get by.. I’m hoping that by providing a couple of examples at the top of the file it will be possible for someone who’s never seen perl before to write the configuration.

I just don’t see the point of inventing a configuration file syntax and making, a probably, complex parser for something that will likely be configured just once.

It’s hard to draw the line between easy to do and easy to use….

News madness

When reading through today’s RSS backlog I noticed this RSS via NTTP? article on Advogato. It’s a nice idea but it feels a bit like overkill.

Anyways, what I found interesting was Adrian Chadd’s comment (he has the nick k) and the title of the comment is NNTP feed sizes. Here’s a quote from it:

In any case, I _DO_ remember doing some fun maths one day. I was trying to calculate how many feeds were going over the US<->(Amsterdam/UK) fibre routes. I stopped at around 40. _40 full feeds_ because providers were buying their own DS3/STM1 across the pond to link their Europe<->US networks and peering their news feeds together. Think about that for a minute.

Think about all the wasted bandwidth, I think some collaboration would be in order but that’s probably too much to ask for.

Christian Kjellvander

This seems really great. I’ve just listened to a couple of songs from the Songs from a two-room chapel album so far but what I’ve heard I’ve really liked! I think I’ll listen it through a couple of times at work tomorrow (well, I guess it will actually be later today) and after that I’ll know for sure if it’s as good as it seems.

CD ripping made easy

Everything should be this easy…

First install jack and configure it:

$ sudo aptitude install jack
$ jack
$ vim ~/.jackrc

Now to rip a CD to oggs just do:

$ jack
$ jack -q

The first command rips and encodes the CD, the second renames it based on a freedb lookup.

So simple!

Gmane and safari

About a week ago I got to know about gmane from a guy on the debian-users-swedish mailing list. It’s amazing! Now I don’t have to be subscribed to zillions of list anymore as most of them are available on gmane. I patched mutt with the vvv.nntp patch so now I can read news with mutt and I don’t have to waste time on configuring e.g. slrn. It’s a tad bit slow though which is a bit annoying but the gmane server is located in Norway so that probably explains it. I’ll see if it’s worth setting up some program to fetch the news and then read it locally but it’s convenient to let gmane handle everything.

Thanks to this Slashdot story about Apple terminating the Safari seed program, I got my hands on the latest beta build, v67, of Safari. And it now supports tabs! Yay! The lack of tabs made me start to use Camino (formerly knows as Chimera) but the constant crashes made me go back to Safari even though I then ended up with lots of windows. But now with the tab support, I’m happy 🙂

Expensive lines

Lawrence Lessig wrote an interesting thing here in his blog. 100 for permission to reprint a single line, 1000 for a more extensive quote. I guess one has to have a quite big ego if one demands that much… I doubt anyting I could write would be worth even a single euro.