Fourth Floor Studio

August 13, 2007


Filed under: administration, science — chris @ 3:35 pm

*cough cough* The dust here is rather thick, isn’t it? I’ve been rather busy being unproductive at work, and I’m about to go on holiday for a while. So here are some random-ish snippets:

  • Nodalpoint facebook group
  • My thesis is up at the Australian Digital Theses project
  • The ADT site sucks big-time, so I can’t get a link just yet [Update: it’s back; thesis is here]

A question to the audience – how do you feel about blogging on current projects, particularly collaborative ones where you are not the primary mover? Spilling others’ beans doesn’t seem very polite now, does it?


July 18, 2007

Graceful rebooting

Filed under: administration, geekery, linux — chris @ 1:11 am

When things go wrong, there are more options than the hard reboot.

March 6, 2007

The case of the leaking memory

Filed under: administration, linux — chris @ 5:32 pm

I’ve been having memory issues on my server/cruncher box [1]: available RAM seems to disappear. At first I thought it might be the well-known Firefox memory leaks, so I did a little (unconscious) experiment. I rebooted yesterday and never fired up FF. Today, I notice:

bobo% free -m
                        total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:                     3943       3673        270          0        161       3253
-/+ buffers/cache:                   257       3686
Swap:                    6000        110       5889

Something appears to be caching to buggery. It turns out to be the kernel. The trick here is to interpret the second line, which tells you what programs “see” when asking for memory. In this case, it’s 3686M free, so all is well. A little scary there for a second…

I shall have to be a little more sanguine next time.

[1] dual amd64, 4G RAM, Ubuntu Dapper clean install.

February 24, 2007

Enabling Firefox plugins on amd64

Filed under: administration, geekery — chris @ 2:46 pm

It appears that proprietary plugins (Adobe Flashplayer, RealPlayer, JRE etc) are generally built against 32-bit architectures. So, you have to cheat and run a 32 bit version of FF. Details on the Ubuntu fora.

February 22, 2007

Adobe Flashplayer 9 for ubuntu dapper

Filed under: administration, geekery — chris @ 1:50 am

The absolute simplest way: download the script half-way down the page, run as root. Done! Uses alien to debianise the Adobe rpm.

Adobe’s own installer doesn’t seem to work, nor does manually copying plugins to /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox (if that’s where they are supposed to live).

October 10, 2006

Spam filters

Filed under: administration — chris @ 11:02 pm

Akismet has been doing its job a little too well, blocking legit comments. I’ve been busy over the last week, so a few may have been flushed. Sorry about that…

October 2, 2006

Ubuntu Breezy to Dapper upgrade

Filed under: administration — chris @ 9:00 pm

Linux (debian in particular) has finally arrived, in my estimation, at a user-friendly upgrade solution. I upgraded two non-standard machines (a dual-64bit processor server, and an IBM thinkpad) from Ubuntu breezy to dapper in the past 24 hours, and there were no glitches. Not a one. All I had to do was use the upgrade manager, and things magically happened.

The mind boggles when I remember the first time I tried to install Debian Potato circa five years ago. And all because those nice folks at Ubuntu packaged Debian up a little tighter…

September 17, 2006

Resumption of service

Filed under: administration, personal — chris @ 4:24 pm

So I’ve decided, after an absence of a couple of years from the blogosphere, to start up again. I’m debating whether to keep this blog semi-anonymous: I’m not really planning to snark at subjects that could cause me professional or personal damage, but I’m still slightly reluctant to post too much personal info. This may change over time.

For now, all anyone needs to know is that I’m a geneticist, I live in Boston, and I like imaginative short stories and food. Mind you, this probably ids me rather effectively…

Oh, and the site will probably change appearance dramatically over the next few days, as I decide on the look I want. That is all.

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