Thursday, May 29, 2008

terragen render

Not uploaded one of these for quite a time - but now have wine, nvidia and mandriva working well again and can run terragen under wine. This needs a bit more work - on the greenery I think as well as a more interesting sky - though this one took around 30 hours to render - and slightly slowed the machine down too!
This is with the latest terragen 2 beta.

Rackhams and the Craven Herald

I see that Skipton High Street is up agains two London Streets for the title of Britain's Greatest Street - I have fond memories of spending day's off in Skipton...and here's the Craven Herald article

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Theologian in the fast lane

A classic!
via Of course, I could be wrong...:
This is coming at a time of rapid changes that are in direct contradiction to the tenets of Christianity. Especially the global emergence of fast lane theologians and revisionists who deny the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, mass fraud, embezzlement of public fund by those in government, homosexuality, lesbianism and the wanton destruction of lives and property.
I'll just go and rev up my Karl Barth...

Support Women Bishops - Laity

There's a petition modelled on the one that a large proportion of the women clergy of the CofE recently signed offering lay support for their position. It's here - Support Women Bishops - Laity if you're a lay member of the Church of England and in support of this please sign!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
we're getting the bird table ready! Some with more anticipation than others.

Mister Muscle

Probably NSFW! Dangerous to your health too!

A bit of History

John Cleese's biography of Oliver Cromwell set to the Chopin Ab polonaise. I shall have the words (and music) haunting me for the rest of the day.
Oliver! (Cromwell)
Lord Protector of England (and his wart)
Born in 1599 and died in 1658, (September).
I hope you've all been educated - if you visit the link!

The trailer

Next weekend is complicated so I need to make sure I book a time to see the two parter!
The Arthur C Clarke reference was noted!
(trailer via Peter Ould)


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Getting some of the b/w photos scanned. The Epson scanner appears to work with Ubuntu but I'm still having problems getting it to talk to this (my Mandriva) machine.
Oh, the photo is Domino getting used to the yard in the Victoria and Consort area of Leeds 3. She was a wedding present...unfortunately she didn't survive the cars long when we moved across Headingley to a busier area.


more cat pictures - from LOLcats

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Deconstructing the deconstructors

There's a pretty good example of why the global warming nay-sayers are indulging in either fooling themselves, or their readers, on the RealCimate website here. Needs some careful reading, though those who want to take the easy option and don't want to bother their heads about science will no doubt cling to the option that doesn't challenge their comfort zone.
Pointed to it by Elizaphanian.

It makes you want to go out and scrope Val Doonican with a knotted Eamonn Andrews

Just noticed that Kenneth Williams died 20 years ago last month - how have we done without him for 20 years (oh bang goes my non-adult blogger listing). I've just listened to 'The Celluloid Jungle' which I see dated from April 1968..
sorry for any typos in the above firefox is acting (nasal whine) strangely.
The title of this post might well do as an epitaph for Eurovision - though it was uttered by Horne rather than Williams!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


is here. Something leads me to suspect that it is unofficial :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008


Firefox (rc1) just crashed while viewing OCICBW's unsuitable Swedish photos - on restarting there were various available updates for my addons one of which was a 4 GB download of Deepest Sender(!) (must try using it again with new blogger and Firefox) - fortunately the 4GB was soon downloaded!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Springtime for Silvio?

Depressing reading this morning
local authorities would be empowered to check on the living conditions of citizens from other EU nations before granting them right of residence. The measure appeared to be aimed at Roma living in encampments, and particularly at the estimated 50,000 Romanian Gypsies who have entered Italy in recent years and who are being blamed for much of the recent rise in crime rates.
No word on Mr B's attitude to the law then?
In addition, the cabinet agreed to the confiscation of property let to illegal immigrants,
so make them invisible and a separate race which can safely be carted away in cattle trucks?
In Naples last week, a Roma camp was repeatedly attacked following the arrest of a young Gypsy woman accused of trying to abduct a child. After the inhabitants had been moved for their own protection, the buildings and caravans were burned to the ground, apparently by vigilantes acting on orders from the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.
Fortunately I was there before the change of government, at the moment I see no reason for returning.


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
And another picture of may blossom - this time on the way to work. Intended to take this picture for a few days but always been too rushed - this morning I got around to it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In memory..

garden twilight
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
of a friend. Sometimes the internet is tough and tells you things you'd rather not have known. Was listening to Mahler's Der Abscheid earlier too..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Avert your eyes!

especially you - the gentleman in the rear pew!
from ASBO Jesus

You will turn off your mobile

won't you? - on entering a shopping centre.


on seeing this news - sounds pretty good to me!
are you my mummy?
somehow sounds appropriate for this evening

Friday, May 16, 2008

and another Ubuntu upgrade oddity!

Following on from this collection, I've just noticed this
$ iwlist eth1 scanning
eth1 No scan results
$ ifconfig eth1
eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:1a:73:28:ec:d6
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
so I'm connected wirelessly through eth1 (I am honestly!) but it can't see any wireless access points. Pardon!?
PS - all explained now - you need sudo iwlist eth1 scanning
they've tightened up permissions on scanning for wireless connections. Not too surprising when you think about it.

Hurrah for the Church of England Women clergy!

In an outspoken statement sent this week to all bishops in the Church of England, nearly half of all licensed women clergy called for no further delay on women bishops, but also, for no further discrimination written into the legislation.
read the statement here I shall see if there's any comment this weekend - especially if I'm in the group which gets to hear the bishop on the Anglican future!

Vulnerable to flattery

The xkcd cartoon on the ssh security hole is here!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walks 08

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Just to record that the Summer Walk season has started and that pictures from the first one are here
and that it looks as if next week's won't quite be as advertised!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Updating the Heron

I blogged a bit back about upgrading and installing Ubuntu's Hardy Heron and Mandriva 2008.1. I rather passed over the Ubuntu upgrade but as some issues have appeared, I'll make some comment just in case anyone else has these issues.
  • Initially after the upgrade I was seeing the machine pausing and I was having to kill X in order to get a response. I dug a bit more deeply and discovered that there were some rather large log files in /var/log/gdm - I've using the ATI graphics driver and to solve the issue I''m including these lines in my xorg.conf file:
    option "no_dri" "yes"
    see the discussion here
  • I was also having issues with sound due to the upgrade - sound is muted when I start up and I was finding that plugging in the headphones didn't mute the laptop speakers - wonderful for educating (or worrying - see my playlist!) my colleagues. This is on a HP nx6325 laptop For the moment I'm making sure my laptop has the headphones plugged in when I boot - not idea but it works for me! Googling suggests that a manual compile and install of the latest version of alsa may fix this. In the sound properties (gnome or kmix)I'm not seeing any option to enable speaker muting with headphones

Sunday, May 11, 2008

11th May 1968

Forty years ago..and having been working my way gently through a book of photography I was stopped by a photograph of Gilles Caron, this one - see page four of that album. Another album is here. Caron went missing in Cambodia at the age of 30...

Wiki software to avoid

I realised that it’s the C++ of wikis — not only will it not solve your problems, it will cause new ones that will make you long for your original ones.
from mathrick on MoinMoin via The Gay Bar.
I spend most of my work time writing C++! (or maybe that's !C++)

Cat blogging

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Biscuit - next door's elderly cat - was closely observing something. More cat photos from this hot May afternoon added on my flickr pages...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


This lemur

appears to be wending its way around the blogosphere.
Me last Friday...?
Hat tip to Little Bang Theory

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tesco woods

Suddenly the trees are out (at least I've noticed them) and the ex-industrial wasteland over towards Tesco looks leafy and attractive.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A theatrical knight?

humorous pictures
more cat pictures.
But maybe you've already seen this...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Getting sound to work

Just a (I hope only one!) postscript to this experience of a Mandriva install. I rebooted this morning and found that amarok was no longer working
xine was unable to initialize any audio-drivers
It was working before the reboot so I assume something since the reboot before that (dvd encryption?) broke it. I eventually went into the Audio settings and disabled anything associated with Pulse Audio and that appears to have sorted it!

Paddy Ashdown..

tells it like it is!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Installs and upgrades

I installed Ubuntu's Hardy Heron on a replacement machine at home, that seemed to go pretty well and so on Friday I upgraded to the same distro (from Gutsy) on my work laptop - there was one point where it claimed that the download would take 10 hours - we do have a rather fast connection to the internet at work! - but that went pretty smoothly apart from the upgrade installing oodles of games which weren't there before.
So today I decided to go for a few more! To replace a old machine with the new Ubuntu machine - migrating the data and then to do a fresh install of Mandriva 2008.1 on the webserver. All did not go smoothly!
  • I pulled the mains cable out of the (switched off) Ubuntu machine to move it across the room and the power circuit board tripped

  • I extracted the IDE drive from the old machine so that the new one could use it - easier than copying the data I thought only to discover that the IDE cable in the new box wasn't long enough (it had lots of SATA cables and only one IDE). Wailing and gnashing of teeth and I put it back in the old machine created tar archives of the various home directories and ssh'ed them over

  • Seemed to go with only slight difficulty, however I then moved upstairs to get the web server done...
  • This is the machine that got corrupted last time the power blew, so an install rather than an upgrade! Had 3 cd's of 2008.1, previously the install has read cd 1 followed by cd 2 etc (obviously), in this case it ping-ponged back and forth between the 3 cd's, I think I must have inserted cd 2 six times!

  • Booted new OS to discover that grub had not copied over the stuff in the previous MBR (master boot record) - I was intending to gradually migrate over the next few days. Not a problem I thought edit the boot configuration - using drakconf that's pretty simple - so I did and rebooted to try to get back to the old OS - oops!
    modprobe: FATAL: Could not load /lib/modules/2.6.17-17mdv/modules.dep

    googling suggests the kernel hasn't been properly built!? and this machine rebooted successfully this morning! Tried another slightly older kernel version which was still there.

  • Pause, I eventually decide to boot from the old OS install disk and try a rescue - and add the new version to a new MBR built from lilo - no! get some obscure error when trying to rescue the lilo version

  • Cut losses go for a swift move to the new!

  • Also noted that for some reason neither of blackbox nor fluxbox appeared to be in the 3 cd install (not g++ or mysql..)

  • Abbreviating somewhat! Now have email setup (I run imap for the rest of the household) downloading and spamchecking ok, I think apache2 is up again. Imap was a bit tricky for various security reasons - so I won't say too much. Tomorrow to get the newsserver up and running!

I hope these permutations prove useful to someone!

Friday, May 02, 2008

What a mess!

I was meant to be playing three pieces at the Alderley Edge festival later this month - the last movement of a Haydn sonata, Scriabin Op 2 No 1 Etude and the Grainger/Gershwin Love Walked in - but I've double booked the weekend and I need to be at a conference 50+ miles away so I don't think sneaking out will be possible - grrrr (though the Haydn is still rather ropey!)
I do have - though the score of Poulenc's Embarquement pour Cythere -

sticking out the tongue camp!

Claws are out

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics
Ideally in favour of victimising an old English sheep dog look-alike

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day

On the way back from La Cantina - a tapas bar in Macclesfield

meant to take a photo of the sunset coming off the train but was too rushed - so this will have to do!
(we celebrate two half-birthday's on May 1st!)