Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

24 Jun 2010

AMD/ATI Radeon HD Card

Our desktop systems use generic Nvidia FX5200 AGP graphics cards. Since I upgraded my desktop to KDE4 I've found that the old FX card isn't really up to the job and runs out of steam quite a bit.

I tried to scrounge a newer card from my LUG but there were none to have, so I broke down and bought a newer AGP card. As AGP is obsolete I didn't have much choice, however I found a cheap enough AMD/ATI powered Sapphire HD3450 card.

After fiddling with X.org to get the right driver loaded, and the Nvidia drivers removed KDE4 started with fancy OpenGL compositing running VERY much quicker. Alas there are some stability problems, but nothing that can't be fixed, I hope!


17 Jun 2010

What Were They Doing?

This spring we moved into a new house. We are using the same energy company as the previous owners so we can compare our energy use this year against their usage last year.

There were three of them in the house compared with just two of us, but when we viewed the house we didn't see plasma TVs in every room, it seem very normal.

AprilMay
GasElectricGasElectric
-8.5-92.9-82.5-86.7
Our energy use as a percentage of the previous owner's.

Though it's not a strict comparison, though I have been taking fortnightly meter readings they are not all used and power company does tend to average out previous years. On the power companies own figures it's an estimated 4.6 tonnes CO2 reduction on last year if we continue at our current energy use rate for the year.

Given that I leave a server running 24x7 at home, what on earth were they doing that used so much gas and electricity? If you are thinking hot water - it's not that, our is solar powered!


08 Jun 2010

New Year's Jam

A bit later than intended, but today I've made my first batch of jam in our new house and for 2010. I made rhubarb and ginger jam using the Mr Miot Method. I started with 1 Kg of frozen and defrosted rhubarb, a frozen and defrosted lemon, 800 g of granulated sugar, 250 g crystallised ginger (finely chopped). However, the rhubarb didn't release much juice when defrosted so I added 200 ml of water to stop the sugar from burning. It made two large pots to keep and two medium and two tiny to give away.

It's the second time I've use Mr Miot jamming method and it is very easy to work with - well worth copying. Buy his book if you want to know how to make really good jam: Maison Francis Miot.

Today was also the first time using our new John Lewis (Smeg) cooker in anger. It performed very well and I'm glad we bought it.


06 Jun 2010

Ikea Billy Bookcase

We bought an Ikea Billy bookcase yesterday after the LUG meeting. Today I assembled it. Compared with a similar Argos unit of many years ago, the Ikea one has marginally thicker chipboard panels and the oak veneer is prettier than the black ash on the Argos unit.

All is not good though, the cutout for the skirting board is too low for typical skirting in the UK, so the bookcase still stands free of the wall. More worrying was the veneer which was so brittle that it kept flaking off when inserting screws and dowels to join the unit and the rear panel broke annoyingly just as I was finishing it all off.

For all it's many sins the Argos unit, may be cheaper, uglier, not quite as sturdy, but it's proved more DIY robust that the Ikea unit.

P.S. If someone from Ikea ever reads this, I'd send you feedback but I couldn't find the option on your web site!


Ikea Billy Bookcase

We bought an Ikea Billy bookcase yesterday after the LUG meeting. Today I assembled it. Compared with a similar Argos unit of many years ago, the Ikea one has marginally thicker chipboard panels and the oak veneer is prettier than the black ash on the Argos unit.

All is not good though, the cutout for the skirting board is too low for typical skirting in the UK, so the bookcase still stands free of the wall. More worrying was the veneer which was so brittle that it kept flaking off when inserting screws and dowels to join the unit and the rear panel broke annoyingly just as I was finishing it all off.

For all it's many sins the Argos unit, may be cheaper, uglier, not quite as sturdy, but it's proved more DIY robust that the Ikea unit.

P.S. If someone from Ikea ever reads this, I'd send you feedback but I couldn't find the option on your web site!


02 Jun 2010

SAP Rfc Again

A long time ago I wrote an application server for SAP in Perl, that used SAP::Rfc to talk to SAP R/3 and TT2 to generate the web pages. It was used in one project and worked well. Last year we used it again to turn a SAP report into a web page on the intranet, now it looks like we may use it again.

It's a good job it's decent code, all modular with decent design, unlike some of the ABAP I have to work with daily...