So the last 24hrs has been spent mostly recovering from disasters. The electricity was switched off recently at my flat which managed to take down my little arm server. For some reason it didn’t come back up when the power was restored so had to be manually rebooted last night. This turned out to be an exercise in futility as for some reason icedove (debian version of thunderbird) wasn’t showing any mail folders on my mail server. I ended up having to delete the server resync everything and recreate my mail filters which wasn’t fun.
After this I’m kind of toying with the idea of building a backup power system for it. It should be relatively simple as I can just float charge a SLA battery and use switch mode regulators to provide 12V and 5V outputs for my NAS and home server. I can also use the unregulated 24V from the battery to supply power for my next version of my tube time displaying clock next to my bed.
Of course this wasn’t the only fun to be had as I also had a flat tyre on the Brompton coming into Kings X. I ended up sitting on the floor by the doors on the train with a dismantled back wheel of a bike. The back wheel on my bike is especially bad as to remove it you have to take off the chain tensioner and disconnect the hub gear cable (which then needs to be readjusted or you can’t change gears properly). I did better though then last time I had to change the tire and my tirelever combined with spanner thingy saved the day again as I only needed one tool and it’s a metal tire lever so doesn’t snap (though it is coated in plastic).
Well as people who know me know I’ve been playing a lot on my mine craft server lately. One of the things I added early on was a cron job to regenerate a Minecraft Overviewer map every night and this is finally at the state where I can share it. If you go to here you can see a map of my current Minecraft worlds on my server updated nightly.
In the future I’m also going to update the server to allow downloading of the maps used on it by it’s players so they can keep them (atm only me and K).
I’ve also been playing around with the multiverse plugins and created a new world with a harder difficulty so I can hunt mobs which don’t spawn naturally in peaceful mode as it turned out to be too difficult to fortify my existing buildings in my current world. I’ve created a little house at the spawn point so new visitors are reasonably protected from attack and begun exploring some of the caves underneath the house.
So today I’m back at work after a lovely weekend of me and S visiting K. It was nice to see K again as I hadn’t for awhile. We had lots of good food good company and watched lots of TV on K’s Netflix while doing it.
It was the first time I’ve spent any time in Reading since I left in 2010 and felt a bit weird going back. It was also surprising how little has changed since I left the town in 2010 to move to London. Though the new train station has changed loads and is extra confusing for anyone who used to live there.
Those who know me know that my preferred mode of transport is my trusty Brompton folding bike. One of the lingering problems I’ve found is that the folding process involves putting the seat right down. Since the seat post doesn’t have any way of marking it’s height this means that you can never get the seat to precisely the same height between rides.
Today I found a solution to this problem. I think that if I attach a piece of string to either the bottom of the seat post or the underside of the saddle I can then put then attach the other end of the string to part of the frame when the seat is at the correct height. This will mean that the seat cannot go higher then the optimal height and I’ll have my favourite saddle height every time.
I wonder why no one has ever thought of doing this before!
Added: S said that string would probably stretch when it get wet which I replied you could always use something else such as plastic cord.
So this weekend I spent so time with S to chill out but also spent some time working on turning my house in minecraft into a farm.
As you can see one of the weird things you can do is dye sheep different colours. Dyeing sheep also gives you the ability to breed two different coloured sheep together to create a sheep which is a mixture of the two colours. For example breeding a red sheep and a blue sheep creates a purple sheep.
I’ve also been preparing to go from peaceful mode to easy mode. As I like the world being relatively peaceful one idea I’m thinking of is having a cron job which changes the difficulty dependant on what time of day/week it is. For example it could become progressively more difficult as I approach my bedtime :).
I also did some other building over the weekend. I created a pyramid in the swampland far south of the forest area (I’ll update this post with a picture). The pyramid hosts a portal to the nether which I’ve created a walkway from to the portal in my house allowing easy travel between the two when it’s running in peaceful mode.
I also have the railway line which goes from a junction just north of my house to a lake east of me. This isn’t the best picture of it but you can just about see it’s scale. I’ve done some more work on it since I took this picture and added lights and handrails.
So I’ve finally succumbed and bought Minecraft. It’s been fun and I really like the vast procedurally generated world it contains. This was one of the problems I had with SecondLife back in the day. If you wanted to create a vast area it would cost far more then I could of ever afforded (the maintenance alone on a 256×256 area was about $300). A also really like the way it populates the land with animals such as cows which rome around, villagers and if you play survival mode above peaceful level monsters. Another thing great thing is it is both single player and multiplayer so you can host your own servers. I’m currently running a server called http://dl.bukkit.org/ so that me and K can play together.
I’ve also been playing around with a mapping application for Minecraft called http://overviewer.org/ this program takes your minecraft save game and creates a isometric map of your creation which you can scroll around using the google map APIs.
Well I recently bought a Wandboard Quad (http://wandboard.org/) and have been moving over some of the things I use my Linode for such as remote desktop to it. So far it’s working really well. Even when I stressed it by doing a kernel compilation on all four of its cores it only reached about 50oC.
I’m also planning on using it as an always on desktop in my home as it’s currently connected to my TV and when idle consumes about 3w.
So watch this space for updates and I’ll also link to some notes on my wiki about getting various things working when I figure them out myself. Unfortunately the Wandboard is not as well documented as other boards such as the Raspberry PI and Beaglebone black.
Well it’s a new year and one of my resolutions this year has been to start blogging again. I decided to stop updating my old blog and start with something new as I wanted this to be a little less serious then my old one so stay tuned for more posts!