Category Archives: Random

Random stuff – when nothing else fits, make it a random category.

pioneer space sim – alpha23

I’ve recently compiled and uploaded ‘pioneer space sim – alpha23’ release of pioneer for Mac OS X. The team have been working hard but it has been a quiet month this month.

The Pioneer development team are pleased to announce the release of Pioneer Alpha 23. Its been a quiet month as the team have been busy with jobs, study and summer holidays, but we still found time to continue our cleanup work and fix a few important bugs (most notably a crash with recent Radeon drivers). Full changelog and builds for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are available from the download page

As always if you find any issues then feel free to log them on the issue tracker.

Dropbox backups

You can never underestimate the importance of backups – in particular for an online presence where your files and data are in the ‘cloud’. Most of the time people don’t appreciate the importance until it is too late. There really isn’t any excuse not to back up your files, especially when it is so easy to do. Here is how I’m currently doing it:

I’m currently using an awesome WordPress plugin called WordPress Backup to Dropbox to back up all my hosted WordPress websites up into my Dropbox account each night. You can find out more specific details on the plugin directly from the author’s own blog.

Once the files are up in Dropbox I can sync them down to a folder on my iMac, which then gets captured by my TimeMachine drive.

For extra hardcore points, I also swap out my TimeMachine drive each month to an offsite location.

So not only do I get a nightly snapshot of my websites, but using TimeMachine I also have a history of past versions. So in the event any of my sites get ‘hacked’ I can roll back to a previous version quite easily.


Time machine backups with a drobo

I needed a better solution for the time machine i had running on the mac Pro, i currently have 4 drives online totalling up to 3.5Tb of storage. Currently I am running time machine with an external 1.5Tb USB drive, and had to be selective as to what i included in the backups. It just wasn’t good enough so this week I bought a drobo from eBay. 🙂 Now I can do Time machine backups with a drobo.

Why use a dobo? For a number of reasons actually.

  1. The Mac Pro currently has 4 SATA drive bays, and all of them are in use. I was struggling with the throughput of the USB ports (30Mb/s). Using FireWire on the drobo instead of USB gives me a much higher throughput (800Mb/s).
  2. Capacity. The largest affordable single drive I could get would be around 2Tb. The 4 drives I already had in the machine added up to 3.5Tb, so this wasn’t big enough. Using a drobo gives me the ability to have a 3Tb time machine drive that I can grow later on if needed.
  3. It just looks cute and it is very silent. 🙂

I had read about a number of concerns online with the drobo, that it has it’s own propriety raid format, but my only concern was just using it for time machine and not for main storage (I have a proper Linux RAID6 QNAP system for that). I just wanted to protect the machine from loosing files between backups (we incorporate backups in our workflow). If the drobo suddenly dies, I don’t lose any work, just the ongoing snapshots. I can just recreate them if needed.

It was pretty simple to setup. I guess time will tell if it works well.

Distractions and foiled plans

I’ve been having some difficulty doing any computer programming the past week. I was planning on spending some quality time coding on some pioneer space sim stuff, but our “daughter” doesn’t seem to not to let me do any work.

Cat on the keyboard

If i don’t give her any attention she eventually kicks the keyboard off the desk and onto my lap.

I haven’t been totally unproductive however. While she might control the keyboard, she can’t control the mouse (oh the irony) nor the screen, so I have been happily catching up on some blender tutorials (I’m finding the camera tracking quite interesting) as well as watching some Objective-C tutorial videos as well. Louise (wifey) should be back home in a 2 weeks, so I should get some peace from her then. (from the cat that is) 😉

Maybe I should just feed her sooner.. 🙂


Active BBS entertainment

Today I was added to a new group of Facebook. Back in the early ’90s, before the internet was all graphical and the world wide web was thought to be some kind of spider, were the days of the humble Bulletin board systems (BBS) one such BBS that i was addicted to dialling up was called ‘Active entertainment BBS‘.

Active entertainment BBS

These days, ‘Active’ is no more than a simple web page as the old telnet system was taken offline. But the memories and friends met online back when online was geeky and weird is still strong.

It gives you a nice fuzzy feeling when someone you havent spoken to for nearly 20 years suddenly pops up and says “Hi”. Wow, talk about a blast from the past! Remembering g old login names, and the crazy stuff I used to get up to 20 years ago is actually quite frightening. Maybe I should write a book (haha, but who would want to read it).

Blahhh… I feel so old now.

I often think about digging up my old BBS system (yes, I ran one too) just for nostalgia, but I just don’t think it is worth the time and effort to set it up for the sake of a few people to log in on. Sometimes you just have to let things die and stay dead. Happy to be proven wrong though. 😉