Older blog entries for jnewbigin (starting at number 15)

Case Mod

For the past week or so I have been working on a case mod for my mythtv box. Basicly it is a $45 SHAW case from MSY. I have mounted the 5.1 amp in the front of the case. This required cutting the sides and lid of the box to create the stepped lid. I then altered the front panel by cutting part of it away and mounting it lower down (and 180deg around). All the cutting was done with an Ozito high speed rotary tool (aka Dremel)

It also has a customised disk mount section in the front. The final case has integrated IR receiver and IT transmitter and wireless mouse receiver.

I have also installed a Coolermaster Hyper TX cpu cooler which is working very well and I have cut some extra holes in the power supply so the cpu cooler blows directly into the power supply. I still need to find a better fan for the power supply.

Case with top, sides and front panel

I still need to build something to house the IR transmitter but plans are underway. I just need to wait for some things to finish recording.

Case with amp installed

Once I installed everything and had the machine running, I decided the hard disk was getting too hot tucked away under the cdrom. I built another mounting bracket to go on the right hand side and have mounted a 5V fan blowing onto the disk. This is working well.

Once I complete the project I’ll try taking a better photo and post that.

Current state of the box

Half way through construction

Syndicated 2007-01-08 07:31:09 from John's test blog

Talk about busy

Well I must have been busy for the past 86 days since my last post. I was looking for a tool I wrote and I came across this
Exploring-filesystems-with-Explore2fs which was a bit of a surprise.

If/when I get some time I will write a real entry, perhaps about how crap the FAT filesystem is and why I have been writing a driver for it.

Syndicated 2006-12-01 11:05:04 from John's test blog

WordPress Upgrade

I am testing the latest update for WordPress. Soon all blogs will be updated. If there is anything you need to do I will post the instructions here.

Update: I have switched everyone over to the new version. Everything ’seems’ OK. When you log in you will be prompted to update your database but it is a 1 step process which should ‘just work’.

Syndicated 2006-09-04 05:40:43 from John's test blog

Freakin Windows

I have a simple problem. I want to view japanese characters under Windows. I am implementing unicode support in a new program I am working on and I need to test it with japanese. I managed to get it working under linux ‘yum groupinstall “japanese support”‘ which I though was tricky to figure out. Well imagine the trouble in windows. I fool heartedly went to the MS web site. It seems that people only use japanese in Office XP. That was news to be but none of the MS downloads work. I eventually found a web site which had instructions, but the only way I can install the 230 meg of required crap is from the windows install CD. I have the CD, but I don’t have a CD-ROM in the computer. I hate windows.

Syndicated 2006-08-14 13:42:26 from John's test blog


I have started getting spam comments on my blog. I just marked 37 comments as spam. The default settings seem to be working in keeping the messages for moderation. When I get a chance I’ll investigate the spam filtering options in wordpress but for now I have set all comments to be moderated.

Syndicated 2006-08-06 23:24:08 from John's test blog

Making a live CD

For those who don’t know, a Linux ‘live’ CD is a boot CD which contains a working linux installation. It allows you to run linux programs without installing linux onto the hard disk of the computer, much like a high tech boot disk.

I have toyed in the past with customising the gentoo live installer to work with PXE but it was mostly a hack. We had the need to create a live CD which has php and a custom php script. The solution was to build a real live CD, based on CentOS 4. CentOS recently released a live CD, and the build scripts but no instructions for building your own. I have figured out a procedure and here it is http://www.byteclub.net/wiki/CentOS_Live

Syndicated 2006-06-08 11:26:47 from John's test blog

Automatic type conversion

I just added my 2c about Inner Classes to the WIKI but it got me thinking again about a feature I think is lacking in modern languages. Having slipped out of the top 10 blogs, I felt it was time to share my idea.

The feature is automatic type conversion. When you have some pseudo code like this:

class TMyChildClass inherits from TMyParentClass;
function DoSomeProcess(bar : TMyChildClass);
 foo : TMyParentClass;
 foo := TMyChildClass.Create;

It does not work. The problem is that although foo is compatible, the compiler wants me to explicitly say so. The solution is to add an explicit type conversion like this


But this becomes a problem if the conversion is not type checked until run time. If for example I had:

 p : Pointer;

I have valid code but I get a run time error because of the invalid type cast. So, the explicit type cast is for shutting up the compiler, not for making my code correct.

The compiler complains because it knows what type to expect, and given that it knows, I think it should be able to implicitly cast my parameter like this:


and I get the same result. If the type is correct, it works and if not I get a run time error.

What about preventing programming bugs? Well I guess some kind of syntax is required to allow the automatic conversion. Each language would have to pick it’s own syntax but in delphi, it might be something like this:

DoSomeProcess(auto foo);

Syndicated 2006-05-15 01:13:50 from John's test blog

My rawwrite tools are coming along but bugs in the MS UpdateResource made me give up for a while and focus on ext2ifs. After 2 days of debugging I found the bug which was causing incorrect data to be read. It was a 32 bit multiply when I wanted a 64 bit one :( Anyway, thanks to vmware virtual disks, it is now fixed and everyone should be able to get accurate directory listings now.

Well it has been a long time since I posted anything here and I don't feel like I have done much in the past year but there are a few things in the pipeline.

First off, centos-2. This is a rebuild of RHEL21AS but with the redhat logos removed. It is currently at beta3 but I have not had any bug reports so next week I think I will release a final version which will be more or less the same as the redhat U3 version. See http://www.caosity.org/

The cAos project also has centos-3 which is a RHEL3 rebuild and cAos which is an improved version of RHL (but you will have to check the web site for the version numbering).

I am also slowly working on updated rawwrite tools. I have a version of dd ready which will be a core part of a new studio of tools. I am currently working on self writing disk images. This will be a .exe file which contains one or more compressed disk images. When you run it it will create the disks for you. My test disk image compresses well so the .exe should be less than the disk image. We will see how well it works when you have a disk image which is full of compressed files.

I think that will do for now. I should get back into writing some code.

I finally released the next version of my ext2ifs. So far the biggest problem is that Windows XP goes out of it's way not to create volume devices for Linux filesystems. This means that for now you can't do any funky mount point stuff.

I have also got a few bug reports but nothing too major, no bluescreens at least.

I havn't done much else recently. I have got a stack of things to fix in my other programs but as always there just isn't enough time to do it all.

For those who might be interested, check out my driver here http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/ext2ifs.htm

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