Adventures in Matroksa

I've recently re-encoded a whole load of MPEG2 video I've got into MPEG4 (using H.264). I thought that I'd put it all in MKV containers. Sadly, this turns out not to be the case: HandBrake's presets explicitly set the output container — mostly to MP4. So I'm now left with a large number of videos in a format that I didn't intend. What's worse, I can't easily flip forward and back in the files I do have, using either my Popcorn Hour or any of the video players I have on my Linux desktop. Here's what I did to fix this sorry state of affairs.

Why I love NFS

I export a bunch of directories over NFS. One of those is the filesystem I record TV onto. At the moment, the recording machine is working on two separate channels, all streaming to the NFS filesystem.

My server just crashed. I rebooted it.

The recording machine is still quite happily going. I don't know if there's any lost data, but I doubt it. More news after those files get processed tonight...

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 "", and "", and "", 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: