Earlier this year, my home file-and-everything-else server suffered a failure of both case fans which went unnoticed because it’s sitting in a hard to get to part of a cupboard and NetBSD doesn’t (yet) have drivers for the environmental monitoring hardware on the motherboard.
The constantly increased temperature in the case rapidly caused the failure of a head in the hard drive. Unfortunately, I only had a partial backup of the data so I was quite keen to recover as much as possible from the failed device.
I’ve had a Canon PowerShot S60 for several years now, but earlier this year it started exhibiting a purple banding across the top of images. It gradually got worse and worse until the banding was across enough of the picture to screw up the auto-exposure. The width of the purple band depended on what the camera was doing, and made me suspect a power supply / decoupling issue.
I recently rearranged the furniture in my home work area in order to make better use of space, and, because I fancied a change.
When I have done this kind of thing in the past, I have used a simple vector drawing program to draw simple objects in plan form, and drag them around the room until I find an arrangement which works. This is OK, and much better than just moving furniture and hoping it will fit, but nowadays there’s a better way.
A while back, you may remember that I had to put together an RS-232 level shifter for my NSLU2’s serial console. It’s been working reliably so far, despite hanging loose as a bare piece of stripboard dangling from the other end of the cable that comes out of the NSLU2. Continue reading
After the best part of 10 years with a holding page, there’s now a site up at www.coolfactor.org.
That is all.
I thought it was about time to write here about my DVD player and my CD player.
I have a Netgear GS108 8-port gigabit ethernet switch, which died the other day. I found it working normally for a few seconds, and slowly flashing all of its lights for a few seconds, over and over again. During the flashing lights period, no packets were being passed. Naturally, this was playing havoc with my network.
A couple of years ago I had a good go at getting my Sony Ericsson phone to talk to my IMAP server over SSL. That much worked (although the IMAP client doesn’t support folders so I had to do a bit of a bodge with multiple user accounts and symlinks in cyrus to get at important folders) but I could never get authenticated SMTP over TLS to work.
Today I cracked it.
My bank recently sent me a new debit card, which included the non-optional feature of contactless payment.
This is based on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, which utilises a loop antenna to allow a reader to communicate with the chip on the card in order to allow “small value” transactions to occur without physically touching the card, or (for most transactions) entering my PIN.
Some time ago I bought a Digilent Nexys 2 FPGA development board and a Digilent PmodCLS LCD module. I spent some time implementing a more or less trivial CPU in the FPGA, and various bits and pieces to aid with debugging such as a driver for the 4-digit 7-segment LED display on the board (ideal for displaying the contents of 16-bit registers) and debug LEDs and switches to select what to display. I’ve been using this primarily as an exercise in learning Verilog. Continue reading