Feb 222017

I caught up with a few of the Melbourne Wireless original members a few weeks ago, and while we were reminiscing, I was reminded about the Today Show feature article we helped Ms Megabyte put together on Wireless. There was a little creative license, but the video conferencing and gaming was done via wireless links – and we did actually video conference to a car – although it was parked at the time 🙂

I’ve been trying to get an accurate date for when this aired – best I can tell was around March 2003. Here it is in all its glory:

It brought back a ton of memories of making wifi antennas out of pringles cans. Good times 🙂

Sep 062015

Some of you may have noticed (but most probably haven’t) that this site is now native IPv6 enabled.

Interestingly, I can see some traffic already going to the IPv6 address.

If you have any issues, let me know as I’m still getting my head around it all.

Apr 242013

Back in the day when I used to work for Connect (which then became AAPT), we used to supply WebCentral with their connectivity out of Brisbane. Back then, WebCentral was the be all and end all of web hosting providers. They used to host Whirlpool and the service was second to none.

Fast forward several years and what the hell happened?

I’ve been trying to deal with WebCentral for a client over the last few months and to say the service is terrible is an understatement. I’ve had jobs lodged in their ticketing system for missing DNS records (MX records? Meh! Who needs em!) for well over a week with no reply. Calling the support line gets a “I’ll lodge a job for you to look into that” – which I may as well done myself. Oh, and the fatal flaw with their support line – all calls going in get terminated after 1 hour. So if you’re on hold for 40+ minutes (which I have been several times), then you have 20 minutes or less to get your issue resolved or the phone system will hang up on you. That means go to the back of the queue and start again.

For anyone out there that still remembers WebCentral from the glory days – beware – they certainly aren’t the same company anymore!

Apr 092013

I’ve been keeping an eye on the stats of the distribution of my Xen and Kernel-Xen packages now for around 12 months. I find it interesting that they just keep getting more and more popular. First, some stats:

Est New Installs
November 2012
December 2012
Janurary 2013
February 2013
March 2013

How did I get these stats? Thats a little more complex. This is the count of requests for the file kernel-xen-release-6-4.noarch.rpm from a single mirror. This package is only installed once – and not redownloaded after initial installation. The mirror is referenced in most of the install guides that are found around the internet. What it doesn’t take into account is the other five mirror sites, local copies etc etc. I think this figure may well be accurate, however there is a good possibility that it is greatly underestimating the real number of servers out there referencing my repos.

Number of releases
10 (v4.2), 2 (v4.1)

This consists of approx 22 security vulnerabilities of Xen across the now non-maintained v4.1 branch as well as the current 4.2 branch. I have not counted kernel vulnerabilities as these are fixed normally within the standard release cycle – and not as seperate patches.

So how does this turn into finances?

Well, I’ve asked for donations for a while to help offset the costs in producing and developing these packages. Since starting in 2011, I have received exactly $80AUD in donations. This means that given the number of hours working on these packages, I effectively work for about $0.12c per hour. This also excludes any expenses in hosting, equipment or server expenses.

How does this affect the projects?

This is easy. If a server dies, I can’t replace it. If I suffer a hardware failure, I can’t replace it. If hosting costs increase, I can’t pay them.

So – this makes me wonder… How do people survive doing open source development? Sure there are companies like Citrix, RedHat etc that employ people to contribute to FOSS – however what about everyone else? Comments welcome below!

Feb 062013

Well, its been quite a while since my last post. Quite a lot has happened – but I’ll break it down in a nutshell.

1) I finally got my Commercial Pilots License. The down side is that I had to do it through another training organisation. My flight school (National Aerospace Training) closed their doors and didn’t provide me with the training they should have. This means I had to pay out of pocket (again) for 10 hours in a C172RG and then pay for my CPL test/flight. This also means that I’ll never get my multi-engine endorsement or my instrument rating – which had already been paid for. End result, I’m down ~$35,000AUD in total – and will have to pay out of pocket again for any further training. Urgh.

2) I’ve still been working on my Xen packages for EL6. I’m currently building a new Xen version to fix a few security issues that have just been made public 11 hours ago.

3) I’ve stepped back down to Vice President of Pegasus Endurance now. We are still running an FEI event in a few weeks time, and trying to convince the state body (VERA) to endorse a national level competition as well. Endurance Riding really does seem to be a dying sport – but its not for lack of trying or enthusiasm – just a lack of events. I’ve also been busy helping out with 3 x fundraising BBQs to help finance some of the events planned throughout the year.

4) Out of a pure chance encounter, I’ve started doing some work on a 737-800 based flight sim in Niddre. Jet Flight Simulator Melbourne has opened their doors as of January. This sim is great fun – and good for practising instrument flying. I think its probably as close as you can get without jumping in a real aircraft. Pic for goodness:

A quick photo of the cockpit of the 737-800 based simulator

A quick photo of the cockpit of the 737-800 based simulator

So all in all, a lot has been going on – and sadly, its meant I haven’t posted here that often. Lets see if I can try to update my blog more often, eh? 🙂