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I lost my streak on GitHub

I had an 18 day streak on GitHub but I lost it due to a cold. I have no energy to code in the evening at the moment, as all I’m doing it sleeping 🙁

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Google’s tax avoidance means that I won’t be buying a Nexus 7

I was all geared up to buy a Nexus 7 after Christmas.  By pooling my birthday money and Christmas money, I figured that I could afford a treat.  I’m not going to do that now, though. Here’s why.

I pay tax. The government take a large cut of everything I earn. They use it to fund hospitals, universities, schools, roads, railways and the military. I don’t like everything they spend it on, but I don’t have a choice. Whether you’re a business or an individual, you pay tax. There are pays of avoiding it, of course, but only the extremely wealthy can afford to do this. That’s right, the ones who should be contributing the most are the only ones getting out of it. So much for ‘don’t be evil’ – Google think they’re above the rest of us.

“It’s called capitalism,” [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”

You operate and profit in my country but don’t pay for the public services that you use. In return, I’m not going to buy your shiny new products. You can’t complain, Eric – it’s just capitalism, isn’t it?


Changing the Tomcat heap size under Ubuntu

I always forget this, so I’m going to write it here for future reference.

Let’s assume you have an Ubuntu server.  And you want to run Tomcat on it.  So you install it via apt-get install tomcat7.  As soon as you try deploying anything beyond the most trivial of webapps to it, you’re going to have “out of heap space” exceptions in your catalina.out log file – which, incidentally, will be in /var/lib/tomcat7/logs/

To increase the heap size, edit /etc/defaults/tomcat7 – this is where the JAVA_OPTS variable is defined.


I’m now on Github


Installing Apache+PHP on Ubuntu

Assuming you’re running Ubuntu 11.10 or 12.04 (probably works in others) you can install Apache with PHP like this:
$ sudo su
$ apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5; service apache2 restart

I’m putting this here for my own reference!


Stuck on “reading file 901.ROM” – why EeePC 901 BIOS EZ-Flash isn’t working for you, and how to fix it

I had some fun last night flashing my EeePC 901’s BIOS up to the latest version.    I got the firmware from here and followed this guide.

My Eee sat there displaying “reading file 901.ROM” for about five minutes until I gave up and turned it off.

After a bit of Googling and a bit of thinking, I found the answer: the 4GB pen drive I was using was too big.  I’d formatted it in FAT 16 as required, and allocated a tiny 20MB partition so it wasn’t over the size limit.  Even so, EZ-Flash wasn’t able to read from it.  The limit seems to be 2GB, but I haven’t tested this – luckily I had an old 64MB pen drive lying around from 2003!  Even better, it was already formatted in FAT 16! 😀

I’m documenting this here to help anyone who has this problem in the future.  Good luck!

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Post queue test.  This should publish at 7am and be the only post that goes live today.


I’m starting to really like vim

Vi.  Vim.  You know the program I’m talking about.  You probably remember your first experience with it.  I do.  I couldn’t’t figure out how to get out of it.  Esc didn’t seem to work, control-c did nothing… I was trapped in a text editor from 1970!  Pure hell!

I’ve recently been working on headless Linux servers a lot.  Vi seemed like the best option for editing the endless scripts and config files.  It’s on every server, no matter the age (but the older ones don’t have the pretty colours) and you don’t need a mouse to use it, so it’s fine for working over ssh.

That’s a really big thing, actually.  Not needing a mouse.  It really speeds things up.  I can select text, cut, copy and paste, delete entire lines, find, replace and repeat what I just typed… All without moving my hands off the keyboard.

It’s kinda scary just how powerful it is, really.  The learning curve is painful, bit totally worth it.  I’m sure I’ll revisit this topic in a few months once I’ve got better at vi!


I am not good at blogging

This is fact, unfortunately.  It’s been, what, two years since I last updated?  Oops.

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Exam season!

For what is probably the last time in my life, I have reached the yearly exam season. This time, though, something has changed.

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