Changes to the Webpage and Blog

As you may have noticed my webpages have changed a bit today. After about 6 years I decided it was time to revamp things a bit. The old site was all written in plain html with an attempt at reference link usage. I decided to rewrite in Restructured Text using Python and some kind of template language. I decided to do some searching before writing my own and found the Pelican project which fit what I wanted to do perfectly.

AIS Parser SDK is now Free

I have decided to discontinue sales of my AIS Parser SDK and have released the code under the BSD License on GitHub. UPDATE 12/2018 - Note that I no longer own the domain, the code is only available on GitHub.

Nice %changelog entries

When updating a rpm package it is nice to include a summary of the changes made since the last time. anaconda does this with a nifty script written by dcantrell called makebumpver which also enforces some RHEL rules and handles changing the version. I only needed the changelog part of this so I modified the script a bit to remove the extras: #!/usr/bin/python # # git-changelog - Output a rpm changelog # # Copyright (C) 2009-2010 Red Hat, Inc.

AIS feed is up again

A few weeks back my ancient Compaq laptop stopped booting (two LOUD beeps, no display, no drive noises). This system has been used in the garage to act as a serial to WiFi bridge for my AIS receiver, and to log temperatures for the garage and freezer temps you see at The AIS data feeds the Live AIS view of Puget Sound. The laptop was exiled to the garage after its power connector broke for the 3rd time and I had to hard-wire it by soldering it directly to the motherboard.

Using RAID to Escape Disaster

Failed hard drives are inevitable. Especially when the drive in question was manufactured on November 27, 2001. You know the time has come to replace it when your log files start filling up with errors like this: Oct 28 03:53:05 cat kernel: res 51/40:00:fc:33:4e/00:00:00:00:00/e0 Emask 0x9 (media error) Oct 29 16:06:46 cat smartd[24427]: Device: /dev/sdb [SAT], FAILED SMART self-check. BACK UP DATA NOW! Failure is inescapable. Everything fails eventually, computers, people, electronics.
Fedora Pumpkin

Fedora Pumpkin

I used the template from here. There is also a template for Shadowman here. Maybe I'll try that one next year.

Kindle on Linux using Wine

I have a few books I've bought for reading using the Kindle app on my iPhone. I'd like to be able to read them on my Fedora Linux based MacBook as well, but Amazon hasn't released a version for Linux yet, which is ironic given that the Kindle's OS is Linux based. All is not lost, there is an excellent project called Wine that enables you to run many Windows applications on your Linux system.

tidy_html plugin for rawdog

Requires python-tiny package on Fedora. Cleans up the HTML, preventing broken elements from spilling over into adjacent postings. Code was lifted from and dropped into a plugin for rawdog since I couldn't find an easy way to get mx.Tiny installed. # rawdog plugin to tidy up html output using python-tidy module # Brian C. Lane <> # from tidy import parseString import rawdoglib.plugins, re def tidy_html(config, box, baseurl, inline): data = box.

Sharing Music on the LAN

No, not on the lam. On the LAN. I have a fairly large collection of music. Years ago I used iTunes to rip the CD's to AAC format. Recently I've been using for more of my downloads so I have converted the library to high quality VBR mp3 files instead. I like being able to play the music no matter which system I am using, and the iTunes sharing works well for that.

Home Media Server Updates

Tonight I finished adding delete handlers and a delete confirmation dialog to HMS. This is probably the state that the code will be in for my LFNW presentation next Saturday.