hrm's blog

You know you need a break when...

... your compiler starts rejecting perfectly valid C++ like this:

class ContextHandler: public DefaultHandler {
...
}

Of course, javac doesn't like that very much. D'oh!

The Edge10 DAS 501t -- redux

After a couple of delays, my replacement Edge10 DAS 501t has arrived. Why a replacement? The first one refused to power on.

Fixed, fixed.

On several of my machines, I've moved over to using xfce4-terminal instead of xterm. However, my one gripe with it has been that on some machines, I can configure it to use the "fixed" font, and on others, I can't. The "fixed" font is an antique bitmapped font, but at the right size, it's absolutely ideal for text editing -- I write all my code using it, and set all of my terminals to use it. Every single other (non-decorative) fixed width font I've ever seen on my screen is just too squat and fat.

The Edge10 DAS 501t

This morning, I took delivery of an Edge10 DAS 501t storage box. It's an external eSATA box with room for 5 drives, running with a port multiplier. Thus, it only needs a single eSATA connector to join all 5 drives to the host machine.

King William's College Quiz

The King William's College Quiz is out. Here's my effort. (It's locked in a bid to stop spammers and search engines – use fishooks for the guest account.)

Causing a scenegraph

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on a bit of the VERA project to do with 3D visualisation of archaeological data. Now, I'm no stranger to 3D graphics, but it's been a while since I really did any, and there's been several advances* in the intervening time. There are a number of requirements for this work, but one is for some degree of platform-independence. I won't go into the details, but I'm working on the principle that Java is probably the thing to use. However, if it is the right thing to use, it's being distinctly uncooperative.

Castle Carfax has moved

Four months after I got my job at Reading University, I've finally found somewhere to live in Reading, bought it, and moved in. A week after moving day, I'm surrounded by cardboard boxes, and my sitting room and office are still covered in assorted computer cables, but at least I have a kitchen I can (just) cook in*, a bed I can sleep in, and a sofa I can sit on. Everything else is optional right now. :)

Certified, with multiple identities

I've just had to generate a new self-signed X.509 certificate for an internal website at work, and I thought I'd generate a certificate with multiple names, so we can refer to it as "www.foo.org", and "foo.org", and "machine.foo.org", and all of the other variants that people are likely to generate.

It wasn't easy to find the exact incanctations needed, but for the record, here they are:

Autoconf recipes

I found this site the other day: http://autoconf-archive.cryp.to/index.html. It's an archive of autoconf macro definitions for detecting any number of different languages, libraries, and system features. It's useful for those occasions when you want to detect comething in your autoconf script, but the author of the library didn't write one (and didn't supply a pkg-config .pc file).

Licensed to...?

I've been trying to work out how to get a copy of Windows XP to run in a VM at work – not that I actually want one as such, but it's useful to have for those Word documents that OpenOffice won't open, and for the occasional website that requires IE. The machine I'm using was supplied with Windows, and has an XP license sticker on it, with a license key. This would seem, on the face of it, to be fairly straightforward.

After some digging, I arrive at what seems to be the relevant place on our internal systems services website. We apparently have a site license for Windows and Office for the whole organisation. This is good. The MS Campus Agreement allows me to install Windows and Office on a University PC, which is what I want. So I follow the link for "Installation Instructions"…