The Dark Doodad

Dark Doodad

It's been a while since I did a blog, so after twiddling the way the front page of the site displays, it's time to post a new one.

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The Dark Doodad

STOP: Hammer time!

Do you have one or two services or applications that constantly hang or eat far too much CPU? Would you like to tell them they annoy you in a more forceful way than just kill?
Now you can, with the hammer time patch for the psmisc tools.
This patch will add the --with-a-hammer option to killall, so you can feel vindicated when these annoying processes get terminated with extreme prejudice.

mediawiki with drupal authentication

In the past few years I've set up and used MediaWikis for various open source related activities, for instance 2008 and Linux Users of Victoria. Both of these would be prime targets for wikispam if anyone could anonymously edit pages on them, so edit privileges are limited to registered users only.

linux australia site upgrade

I spent some time this morning migrating the Linux Australia web site from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6.

This will allow us to use more fancy 3rd party modules to provide extra functionality in the future, for users as well as admins. As an immediate effect, the site should be both somewhat quicker and less likely to overload the VM it runs on, because it now uses memcached to cache content, rather than MySQL.

Up next: tuning the MySQL server.

drupal webforms and recaptcha

One of the great features of Drupal is that you can so easily extend its functionality with modules.

For example, the webform module allows you to gather information from users by creating forms using all available HTML form elements and then store these responses in a database and send an email. All without needing to write any PHP code.


Unpleasant \Un*pleas"ant\, a.
     Not pleasant; not amiable or agreeable; displeasing;
     offensive. -- {Un*pleas"ant*ly}, adv. -- {Un*pleas"ant*ness},
     abhorrent, bad, bitter, disagreeable, dislikable, displeasing,
     distasteful, foul-tasting, ill-flavored, intolerable, mislikable,
     odious, rotten, sour, thankless, ugly, unalluring, unappealing,
     unappetizing, unattractive, uncongenial, undelectable, undelicious,
     undesirable, unengaging, unenjoyable, unhappy, uninviting,
     unlikable, unlovable, unpalatable, unpleasing, unsavory,

day 0 and 1 at lca

Waiting for the projector in Burbury 2 to sort itself out, I thought I'd say that the first two days of not-quite-lca (Sunday/Monday) have been great. They mainly involved eating and drinking, not so much the attending of mini-confs, though.

If you're in Hobart and you're looking for somewhere to eat, I can heartily recommend the Bay Leaf Bistro at 160 Sandy bay Road - a short walk from the university, which serves decent home-style food.