Crazy – star wars style

Spotted this when the MTV movie awards were on TV a couple of weeks ago, enigmatic band Gnarls Barkley performing their hit Crazy, dressed up as Star Wars characters. The song comes off as a bit plainer than in the official video clip, but it’s fun seeing your favourite characters doing pop music.

Also, feel free to take the Which Star Wars character are you? Quiz.

My results:
You are Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian
73%
Qui-Gon Jinn
72%
Mace Windu
62%
Chewbacca
62%
Obi-Wan Kenobi
58%
Han Solo
58%
Darth Maul
55%
An Ewok
52%
R2-D2
52%
Yoda
51%
Tall, dark, and handsome.
Not much seems to bother you.
Maybe because you’re so smooth.
You truly belong with us here in the clouds.

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

On standby, on call

Hard Working Man

Last week I completed my 3 months probation at my new job and got presented with a ‘welcome to the team’ letter announcing my new permanent employee status. As a result my roster has changed I’m now able to do after-hours support.

This meant that this week I started work at 8am and went through to 4:30pm, my regular length workday, then battled traffic home and logged in via VPN to my work desktop via RDP and monitored the fault queue from 6pm until 8.

12 hours from start to finish (plus commuting) makes for a pretty long work day, which is why I’m glad it should be only 1 week in 3. The others will be just the regular 8.5 hour work day.

Standy time for my job gets paid very poorly, but when we take or make a call we get paid overtime, which is good, so I’m told. I hope it makes up for the lack of energy I feel after such a long week, at least.

In unrelated news, there are even more pictures of molly on the gallery, and trivia success = IMAX tickets at the Sanctuary Christian Church annual trivia quiz.

The return of the Zyxel

ZyXEL P-2602HWL

Our ZyXEL P-2602HWL got declared faulty, replaced and reinstalled on the weekend. VOIP is restored, wireless is now secured and we are back with ADSL2+.

Our iiNet plan allows for 24Mbps downloads and 1Mbps uploads, but running an ADSL 1 only spec modem limited us to 8Mbps down/768 kbps up. This is still excellent speeds when you are used to 512/128k or heaven forbid, dialup, but less than we were paying for and capable of. iiNet has a “Speed Connection Manager” that allows you to chose your DSL profile – Safe (ADSL 1) or Controlled, Standard or Thrillseeker (all ADSL 2+).

The 3 ADSL2/2+ plans differ in their stability vs connection speed. With our new modem connected at the ‘Controlled’ setting we were at 11.5 Mbps/980 kbps. Our old (faulty) modem kept dropping off 5 or so times a day no matter how ‘safe’ we made the connection. When the new modem was changed to ‘Standard’ we reconnected at 15 Mbps/1023kbps – roughly double our previous ADSL max speed.

There’s been some more photos added to the Molly collection, too.

Blufr

Saw a link to Blufr on Widgetbox. I’m thinking about putting it in the sidebar of this blog, but it’s probably too crowded over there already. In the interim, here’s a sample:

It is easy to use – you are presented with a true or false question. Select the answer you believe is correct and the link opens up to tell you if you were right. It is easy to just keep clicking, though. You’ve been warned.

Server Rebuild

Ubuntu logo

Due to some dissatifaction with our current Zyxell 2602HWL-61C ADSL2+ router I’ve replaced it with our old Netgear DM602 ADSL1 modem and a borrowed Linksys BEFW11S4 broadband router. The Zyxell will be going back for replacement or service due to it continually dropping out and not reconnecting. Also it’s VOIP is unstable and not to be trusted.

So while rebuilding the local area network (LAN) I took the opportunity to build up an old server donated by Graham and move our web facing services across to it. This will free up my usual server to not run 24/7 for a while and maybe return to it’s previous life as a development box.

The new server is a 600MHz Pentium III with 512MB RAM and a 8GB SCSI HDD. Quite a drop down in spec from the 1.8GHz AMD that we were running, but hopefully fewer active services will allow response times to be similar.

The new box, built a couple of weeks ago then untouched until last Saturday, is running Ubuntu 6.06 LTS. Quite different from the OpenSuse I had been running and hopefully a little less interfering to the config files.

I would have been happy to have this server running on Debian, as their reputation for stability and low problems is enviable, but their version numbers on released programs are just too low to run up to date web programs on.

Ubuntu 6.06Debian 3.1OpenSuse 10.1Centos 4.4
Apache2.0.552.0.542.2.02.0.52
Bind9.3.29.2.49.3.29.2.4
MySQL5.0.214.0.245.0.184.1.20
Php5.1.24.3.105.1.24.3.9
Postfix2.2.102.1.52.2.92.2.10

The other distribution I was thinking of installing was CentOS. It is a free and debranded version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which would also be suitable for a server install. It probably would have had the same interfering ways as the OpenSuse install though and was also a few versions behind the bleeding edge.

One day I’d like to get an OpenBSD machine up and running, but it’s going to be more than a weekend project. Just being unfamiliar with the BSD style of UNIX slows me down a fair bit.

The Ubuntu install went well. The new LAMP server install didn’t work for me – something to do with the CDRW I had burned it to, I think, so I did a regular server install, then entered:

# sudo apt-get install apache2 php5-mysql libapache2-mod-php5 mysql-server

Apparently that is all that is contained within the LAMP seed file.

Once up and running I installed and configured Postfix (email), Bind (dns) and got the webserver up and running. A new feature I’ve recently discovered is CaCerts for generating security certificates that aren’t self-signed, but still free.

I transferred the forwarded ports over to the new machine on Sunday and pretty much everything seems to have come over okay. If you spot any faults, other than some of the missing dev sites, let me know.

I can heartily recommend Ubuntu as distro of choice for anyone thinking of trying out linux. They will ship you some CD’s for free – mine came from Switzerland – and it will happily dual boot with your current Windows or Mac install. Even better, you can just run it off the live-cd without touching anything on your hard drive. This is the first time I’ve tried using Ubuntu as a server and the experience was trouble free and speedy.