Keeping My Hat On

In my previous post I outlined my thinking about moving from Fedora to OpenSuse. I installed OpenSuse 12.3 onto mylaptop and had a play about. The installer was clean and easy to use and everything was setup with the minimum of effort.

Two issues with Fedora prompting a move were the control over the firewall and the Arduino software not being up to date. I was disappointed to that the installation of the Arduino software didn't come with a desktop icon setup but the latest version was there to use. Now onto the firewall; things were not good.

OpenSuse has completely removed the iptables scripts for managing the firewall. It seems you will use their firewall daemon and associated setup program. So basically the future looks like I will be being forced into using a wrapper of some sort around the iptables rules for my firewall. What's more, after doing some reading it would appear that more applications will rely on this dynamic functionality in the future. So what do I do? I can, on Fedora at least, use my existing script in the short term but need to migrate it. Alternatively I can change distro, waiting a little longer for the inevitable push towards dynamic firewalls.

Where does this leave me now then? I'm thinking of staying with Fedora at the moment. Fedora 19 will be due out in around 3-4 months time. At this point I think a clean installation of my main machine will probably be in order. In the mean time I can work on migrating my current firewall script over to the Firewalld system. It will mean I have to manually install the latest Arduino software but that is at least a manageable task.

OpenSuse was removed from the laptop and Fedora 18 reinstalled. A clean installation does appear to have changed a few things. A series of upgrades over the years had left a few legacy options it seems. The Fedora installer was not as user friendly as the OpenSuse installer, especially when it came to creating the dual boot with Windows on a separate hard disk. That said it did install and I'm sure it will improve in the future.

An Experiment In Web Fonts

DeltaNova might look a little different from today. I have changed the font of the site to something I think is a little easier to read. I am using one of Google's Web Fonts, meaning a font downloaded during the page loading, rather than using the font on your hard disk. Why do this? The main reason is that not all fonts are available on all devices. This was easy to cater for when most people accessed the web with a desktop or laptop with known default fonts, but more people are accessing from varying mobile devices. Using a Web Font will allow me to style the site as I intend it to look without caring what fonts the end user has access to.

So currently I am thinking of sticking with this font. However I have found a small issue. Whilst the site displays correctly on IE & Firefox (Win&Linux) on the desktop I am having mixed results with Chrome on my Nexus 7. The N7 will display correctly in landscape mode but for some reason, portrait mode causes some of the fonts to revert to the fall-back font. I'm left scratching my head on this one but I may need to consider designing a dedicated mobile version of the site.

PS3 Media Server + Bravia 22EX553

Due to the decline in the picture quality from my old 14" Goodmans CRT TV I recently purchased a replacement. The Sony Bravia 22EX553 is a nice 22" 720P set with a Freeview HD tuner. It's only a set for the bedroom so extra features were not a high priority. Having said that I decided to make use of the features it does have, in my case DLNA video streaming from the PS3 Media Server software running on my PC.

I will skip the setting up of the network/firewall as this is specific to me. The problem I experienced was with the transcoding settings when attempting to play video. I was able to get the TV to see the server and browse the video content. I was able to select it and begin playback, all I got was a blank screen. PS3 Media Server was transcoding but nothing was getting to the TV. I solved this when I found a setting for "Default renderer when automatic detection fails" although the TV was seen correctly by the server as "Sony Bravia EX".
Changing "Default renderer when automatic detection fails" from "Unknown renderer" to "Sony Bravia EX" and saving the setting solved the problem. I can now select and playback my videos without any problems.

Fedora 17 – Sluggish Firefox

The upgrade to Fedora 17 on my main system had gone well with no significant issues aside from one. When trying to start Firefox with multiple tabs loading it would hang locking the browser up. After trying the DNS problem route to upgrade problems etc. I finally traced the problem. The Flash plugin was out of date and the older version was being caught by the system as the log files outline. Upgrading the Flash plugin solved the problem and everything is back to normal.

Visit to check if your plugins need to be updated.

Facebook Is Shit

Some people may not understand my dislike of Facebook as a company, today however it is Facebook as a service that is the problem. I don't normally use the popular social networking website due to the privacy policy, the force feeding of advertising and the user profiling. I maintain an account as a just in case option, I am not an active user.

This week I have needed to view a group message on the service regarding an upcoming event. I was hoping for a quick hop on to view the details and then log off again. What I was confronted with was a broken and unusable mess. Attempting to click to view a message greyed out my screen and did nothing. Ok, I am a Linux user using Firefox and the OpenJDK Java runtime, maybe it's my system which is the problem. Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 32&64bit with the official Java runtime and Firefox still presented me with the same problems.

I gave up in the end and had somebody else send me what I needed.

In future if anybody needs to communicate event details to me please just email it.

Pockets

The past few weeks have been troublesome. A constant scratching on my thigh as my keys pushed though the pocket wall of my work trousers. The temporary fix of micro-pore tape had worked for the last time as the fibres parted ways never to join again.

Today however things were different, a new pair of trousers that had been on standby were put into action. I slid my legs in and hoisted up the black cotton work-wear. Next the moment of truth as the attempt was made to locate button in hole, success the fabric had made it round my middle. I took a few seconds to enjoy the snug fit before selecting the days shirt from the hanger.

The morning routine was proceeding as normal when the time came to place my phone, keys and wallet in their usual pocket slots. I slid my wallet into my pocket as I felt the fabric tighten slightly, my phone and keys took up residence on the other side, their entry too resulting in a snugger fit than before. I looked down to realise what had been a nice fitting pair of trousers had suddenly grown ears bulging outwards. Unable to resolve the predicament I continued on to work in the knowledge that a passer by might quite easily think I was smuggling a Cornish pasty in each pocket.

I now reach the point of this post. Why on earth style a pair of men's trousers with pockets when they are absolutely no use at all to put things in? A few pence of fabric may have been saved increasing the profit margin for the manufacturer; fine do that, but let me pay the few pence extra to have working pockets instead of being one unzip away from an elephant impression.

The Rat Saga Continues

My recent posts have been detailing my war with the local rodent population. The battle has moved from the kitchen into the loft in recent weeks. During the loft insulation project several large holes were sealed trapping the enemy in the loft, numbers unknown. A clean kill and subsequent silence on the front lead me to believe a victory had been achieved. A scouting mission today showed the bait had been taken and my foe had gone to ground avoiding detection. Cut off from its usual supply line it had taken the tainted food cache. I can't see my enemy but they are there. The signs of droppings not present before are an indicator of the restriction in their movements. The trap has been set, it is only a matter of time before their desperation leads to their downfall.

One Less Rat

The rat from the kitchen had decided to move up the cavity wall into the loft. This was not acceptable, its scratching was keeping me awake at night and its movements moving my insulation. Yesterday the problem was.....resolved (unless there are more).

“Oh No, Not Again”

It happened before, it is happening again. The rat is back!!
I entered a darkened kitchen and switched on the light. The murky darkness at the side of the washing machine was disturbed by a flicker of movement. Glancing down to focus, nothing. I approached the washing machine to hear a rapid exit being made by scurrying tiny feet. To where the intruder has fled is not yet known. 8:30pm on a Sunday evening is not the time to begin the destructive search of the kitchen sink cupboard. I have the rolling pin on standby, the offending vermin should give up now or risk being beaten to a pulp.

There’s a rat in my kitchen what am I gonna do?

The food pictures are evidence from almost 2 months ago. Since that time there has been no more evidence of rodent food consumption. This week there was a smell in the kitchen that I assumed was the bin. Emptying the bin didn't shift the smell but I was preoccupied by an plague of flies that were seemingly entering by the window vents. After dispatching with 10 of the winged tormentors I set about an in depth search for the continuing smell. It was at this point I discovered a rodent in the food preparation area and was unsure about how to proceed. If only there were some kind of song for situations like this. So I present Gaddafi- the Rat. Why did I name it Gaddafi? Well much like the Libyan dictator there is a mystery surrounding its death and do I care as it's the outcome that matters most.

The puzzle is why did it settle on that location as its final resting place? It's a rather exposed position when the alternate option would have been behind the fridge or washing machine. I didn't set any traps nor use any rodent bait/poison. There was a dusting of ant powder about but that was mainly for controlling that invasion from the summer months. So how did it get in? Another mystery, perhaps from behind the sink, something that will not be known for sure until a new kitchen is fitted.

What will I find in my kitchen next? After invading ants, flies and a rat I am worried about the increasing size of the invasion force. Maybe an angry cat, a curious fox or a misplaced bison will be next. I will be keeping my kitchen door firmly shut and in future only entering with suitable armament.