Setting up my Raspberry Pi to be the home server

When I first had a broadband connection, the cable company provided a modem, but it was up to me to provide the router. Not long after, I was having regular failures from the small proprietary routers that you could buy which a detailed examination showed could not keep up with the massive amount of low level ethernet protocol messages coming from the cable side (looking like a large ethernet community) that seemed to be caused by a virus someone on that network had. I put a linux box in to see if I could get more information, but it was rock solid and was up for almost a year before a power failure caused a reboot. However it remaining running was crucial to my whole houses internet connectivity. Recent disk failures in this PC has highlighted its vunerability, and I decided to see if I could do something about it.
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Using FreeTDS to connect to SQL Server from Debian Apache/PHP

This post describes how to set up a web site which uses PHP to connect to a backend SQL Server database using FreeTDS. I wrote it because I found the documentation currently available a bit confusing until I had completed the task, when it turned out to be really simple.

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Supporting the fight against SOPA

This site, along with my sister site Hartley Consultants are supporting the fight against SOPA.  Although this is an American legislation, which I have little influence over, the bill’s implementation will have far reaching effects way beyond the intended one of stopping piracy. In fact it will probably do nothing much to stop piracy, whilst providing the US government (and my own government if this legislation spreads) the ability to restrict free speech in unacceptable ways.

Therefore on 18th January, this site will blackout for the day in support of the fight against this legislation.

Keeping my personal data backed up

I just read a post on Slashdot asking the question of how to keep personal data safe.  The questioner had just returned from Mexico with lots (he said 16GB worth) of photographs.  Other peoples comments about offsite backup, and keeping too much data made me realise that some experiences I have from this last couple of weeks were worthy of some comment.

I have been looking at both offsite backup and reviewing my archived data.

I just read a post on Slashdot asking the question of how to keep personal data safe.  The questioner had just returned from Mexico with lots (he said 16GB worth) of photographs.  Other peoples comments about offsite backup, and keeping too much data made me realise that some experiences I have from this last couple of weeks were worthy of some comment.

I have been looking at both offsite backup and reviewing my archived data.
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Webkit Developers know best?

In a web application that I am building I need to use a multiple selection <select> list.  Because screen space is limited I decided I would set the size attribute to 2.

In the Chrome browser, the display produces 4 lines of text – not what I wanted at all.

After a bit of searching, it seems this the webkit developers have decided not to fix this "bug" because of usability issues.

In a web application that I am building I need to use a multiple selection <select> list.  Because screen space is limited I decided I would set the size attribute to 2.

In the Chrome browser, the display produces 4 lines of text – not what I wanted at all.

After a bit of searching, it seems this the webkit developers have decided not to fix this “bug” because of usability issues.

This seems to me the height of arrogance.  Who are they to decide that I don’t want only two entries in this case – this list itself is likely to be relatively small

Internet Explorer 8 bugs – why aren’t they fixed?

Not being much of a user of Windows – my desktop is running Gnome under Linux – I came across a strange Internet Explorer 8 bug last Friday. I was setting up a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum with a colleague and he was reporting that he couldn’t create or edit any posts with a length of more than about 10 lines.

Not being much of a user of Windows – my desktop is running Gnome under Linux – I came across a strange Internet Explorer 8 bug last Friday. I was setting up a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum with a colleague and he was reporting that he couldn’t create or edit any posts with a length of more than about 10 lines.

It wasn’t a problem for me running Firefox, so I decided to try all the different browsers to see if it was browser related. I have two virtual box installations of Windows XP, one with Internet Explorer 6 and one with Internet Explorer 7 and Safari installed, and I tried it will all of them. I tried with Google Chrome and with Opera as well. None of them had any problems.

In order to try Internet Explorer 8 I had to boot up my Windows 7 laptop. And sure enough, I discovered that as soon as a scroll box appeared in the posting box (a textarea) that Internet Explorer 8 started to try and scroll it to the top on every keystroke.

It can’t be just me having this problem I thought, and went to the SMF forum to ask for support there. Sure enough – as far back as March 2009 people had reported that if a textarea has a width expressed as a percentage Internet Explorer 8 exhibited these symptoms of scrolling to the top.

What puzzles me is why there is still no fix for this. Microsoft must realise that they are in a competitive market for browsers. How can it be that a problem as basic as this is known about for at least 15 months (and probably longer) and there isn’t an upgrade that solves it?

With my use of Linux, I am used to problems like this being fixed within days.

Why I think Michael Schumacher was dangerous in Hungary

I hope pictures speak louder than words. Even on the first picture Rubens is along side. But you can then clearly see Michael continue to move over

It was a controversial move that Michael Schumacher pulled on Rubens Barachello at the Hungarian Grand Prix 2010.  I looked at the video quite carefully and managed to extract four images in sequence that show precisely what happend

The first picture shows Ruben right behind Michael, and you can see Michaels head tipped to one side as he is checking his mirrors.  Also notice that at this point they are both a long way from the pit wall (on our left, their right).

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