Xenconvert – Side-by-Side error on Windows Server 2008 R2

This post describes how to fix the Side-by-side error when you try to run Citrix Xenconvert

Continue Reading 1 comment May 11th, 2011

Which is quicker – A RAID Array or a Raptor?

With desktop computers at the moment non-volatile storage options are fairly limited – and for everyday use the humble hard disk drive (HDD) is still the weapon of choice.

Hard Drives are proven performers – they’ve been around since 1956 – but they have a few limitations, mostly related to the fact that they have mechanical components:-

  1. They fail – eventually, and usually catastrophically.
  2. Their access speed is limited by the speed it takes the head to physically move across the platter and find the data you’re after – called ‘seek time’

One approach to overcome these limitations is called ‘RAID’ – or a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (some folks argue that Inexpensive should be Independent, but I’ll beg to differ).

In this post, I’ll be investigating ways to speed up your computer – and I’ll be test driving RAID and the fastest available single drive solution (Western Digital Raptor) along the way – let’s fish out the facts from the hype.

What is RAID?

There are several flavors of RAID, but the major ones are (more…)

24 comments March 18th, 2008

My new hippy crash pad :)

Ok.. so I promised that I’d give a few photos once I’d fully moved in to my new place – so here it is..

This first photo shows the place during the day..

TheDuck House 1
Note the cool pink bouncy sitting ball above – very Googley – Jazz, my hound, loved it – happy to chase it around all day.

Alas, Jazz’s days of fun with the ball are (more…)

7 comments March 15th, 2008

Ok.. so.. I have internet again :)

Hey everyone!

I notice a few of my friends turning up on my mybloglog sidebar.. so.. just a shout out to a few.. John – fantastic to see your blog getting the traffic it deserves lately for some inspired commentary on what peeves us about the inadequacies of Google Webmaster feedback. Shambhavi, I’d love to hear how you’ve settled in since your big move.. possibly you’re visiting in the vain hope that I’ve updated my blog recently – alas no, I haven’t.. UNTIL NOW…

But.. in all fairness I have been genuinely really busy. I’ve completed the long and drawn out process of moving into my new house… And, as the title of this post would suggest, I’ve actually managed to get broadband internet working here – which is very satisfying indeed.

Once I’ve converted my new place from the current maze of boxes to something a bit more worthy of a few photographs, I will do a post about it.

It’s certainly a unique place and I think some of my non-Australian readers would be fascinated – it’s definitely a very ‘Aussie’ pad – we’ve got Kookaburras, Kangaroos, Wombats.. very relaxing.. it’s such an Aussie house that the first thing I bought was a BBQ – and I haven’t cooked inside even once in the four weeks since I started moving in (Sorry folks from the US, but we’ve had absolutely brilliant weather here – warm, tropical).

I’ve been travelling alot recently, but by far the most ‘important’ thing I have been doing is consulting to a company in the North of my state – developing yield maps that help sugarcane growers improve their productivity whilst simultaneously reducing their costs – the fabled ‘win-win’ solution. It’s something very interesting, and I’d like to blog about it here.. But… I need your help.

Does anybody know of any free or open source software that allows you to record your screen in real time as a video? I basically want to do an online ‘tutorial’ about my new ‘yield mapping’ sofware – I’ll be putting it on my business site (www.jaisaben.com) of course.

Your help would be appreciated!

Oh – one additional subscript – those of you that know me well will know that there has been a stressful sidetrack regarding a new lingerie product over the last little while – I spoke about the stress of that particular venture quite briefly on the website of  a friend a couple of months back.

I’m glad to say that this is now completely over and done with. We won the case – something I’d never like to go through ever again, but it’s given me some new and interesting insights into the challenges that entrepreneurial businesses and webmasters face – and those kind of insights are priceless.

I now feel quite qualified to advise folks about the legal side of webmastering – how to be ‘savvy’ about these issues and avoid destroying a great business with endless legal battles 🙂 It’s an important lesson – your time should be spent building a business. Time in court is wasted time folks!

Cheers and all the best,


7 comments February 29th, 2008

Broadband and the Digital Divide in Australia

So.. I’m currently moving house – It’s been on the cards for a while but I put it off pending a reply from a company I had been hoping to snare my ‘dream job’ with. The reply came, and it looks like I’ll be continuing my current status as a self-employed consultant/ PhD student for a while yet (dawgammit) , so it makes sense to make the move now.

I’ve found a fantastic place about 25kms out of Brisbane, at a spot called Mount Nebo (quite near to where my parents live, actually). The rent is good, the view is FANTASTIC and it’s a rural area, so I’ll be able to get back to my roots and have a few chooks etc 🙂

One big problem – if you can believe it – here in Australia, only 25kms (more…)

4 comments January 30th, 2008

How to Select Polygons which contain Points in ArcMap

Occasionally I write about things on this site that I haven’t been easily able to discover via a Google search – here’s one of them – I’ve been doing some GIS work for a client recently and I found myself befuddled by a simple problem.

When we’re faced with a situation where we have a large number of xy or lat long points in arcmap (for instance, when we’ve got a lot of yield monitor data) overlaid over the top of a polygon data set (for instance, block or paddock boundary shapefiles) in arcGis, what’s the best way to select only those paddocks (polygon shapefiles) which contain logged points?

Actually, it’s not too difficult. You have to use (more…)

2 comments January 17th, 2008

Overclocking the Intel E8200 Core 2 Duo ‘Wolfdale’ Processor

Ok – so, if you read my last post about GIS systems and Sugarcane Yield Monitors you would be well aware that I’ve been labouring with a very processor intensive task called ‘Inverse Distance Weighted Yield Projections’. With over 2 million data points, the process takes many days… SO… in the interest of speeding it up, I recently decided to buy and overclock one of the new generation ‘Wolfdale’ Intel 45nm Core 2 Duo Processors – the E8200, which is the little brother to the new e8400 and e8500 series.

Firstly, the E8200 processor itself uses the same socket (775) as Intel has been using for quite some time now, but as I’ve been using AMD 64 processors up until now (socket 939), I needed to get a new motherboard as well – I chose the Gigabyte P35C-DS3R motherbard.

Meh – what the heck – if you’re going to go all out, why not (more…)

123 comments January 16th, 2008

How to Process, Filter and Clean Yield Monitor Data

Hi Everyone – long time no post, I realise.

Ok – so a bit of an update – I’ve spent the last little while learning a new language (VB.NET). It’s been a nice challenge, as most of my programming to date has been non-object oriented stuff – command line interfaces or totally embedded solutions usually written in ANSI C.

I’ve been up in North Queensland helping a company up there develop yield maps for their Sugar Cane harvesters (actually, I helped design the equipment that sits on the harvesters and does the yield monitoring, as well). The process of taking the raw data off the harvesters and converting it into yield maps is a fairly long and drawn out one. Firstly you need to filter the data (something I had been doing in Excel) to remove erroneous positions and obvious outliers.

Secondly you need to convert the latitudes and longitudes from the yield (more…)

17 comments January 16th, 2008

The ‘Brothers Gibson’ live at ‘The Grove’, Brisbane

A taste of the live music scene here in Brisbane, where I live at the moment – Sascha and Mike from a band called The Brothers Gibson playing a song about North Queensland (specifically, Cairns, where I lived and worked about 5 years ago) – called ‘The Rusty’s Bar’. This song epitomizes North Queensland – plus I’ve never before seen someone play the cello like a guitar (that’s Sasch on the left, Mike on the right)

You can hear me cackling in the background a few times – having lived there in my early 20’s, I’m familiar with the particular bar they are singing about – a few lines stand out to me – “It took them more than 3 months just to realize – that the road to Surfers Paradise was bitumised” – it takes the piss and congratulates North Queenslander’s in one fell swoop… Why?

Funny because Surfer’s is the main ‘tourist attraction’ in Qld (but 1600 miles south of Cairns) – I think they’re basically saying that as far as the locals are concerned Cairns is the centre of the universe.. 

I also liked the line – ‘the ceiling fans rotate’ as the chorus – that’s so appropriate – so very North Queensland – time just drifts by, the slow, steady beat of the ceiling fan matches the rhythm of life in general up there – Cairns is not really known as a hectic place 🙂

Add comment December 22nd, 2007

Download Blix Krieg 2.3.1 MAJOR RELEASE

Hi everyone – I’ve today perfected the newest major release of Blix Krieg, version 2.3.1

Blix Krieg is a widgetized, Google adsense and Search Engine friendly version of Sebastian Schmieg’s original Blix theme.

Unlike the original Blix Theme, BlixKrieg is fully compatible with the newest version of WordPress. Blix Krieg can be installed as a drop in replacement for Blix if you are having problems with your Blix Based site after upgrading WordPress.

You can download the latest version of Blix Krieg HERE, and see the latest version at work on our Blixkrieg beta test page.

Problems that I have identified and corrected (more…)

25 comments November 26th, 2007

Welcome to Yahoo Mail!

As you probably all know, I have done my best to keep Sebastien Schmieg’s ‘Blix’ wordpress theme alive and kicking by producing a heavily but subtly modified version which I call ‘blixkrieg’. It’s an open source theme, free to download and use and quite popular – suprisingly so, actually..

So… today I received a bit of welcome news – the great (more…)

6 comments November 16th, 2007

How to Program A New Keyless Entry Remote Ford BA Falcon

I like to write the occasional ‘how-to’ on this site to answer questions I’ve found really difficult or impossible to find an answer for online.

Ok – so… recently the keyless entry remote for my 2003 BA XLS Ute went on the fritz, which caused the ‘panic’ alarm to go off at all hours of the night without warning.

I did actually find that replacing the battery of the remote seemed to cure the problem – but I went to the wreckers and bought a second hand remote as a spare.. so.. here I’m going to tell you two things (more…)

132 comments November 14th, 2007

October 2007 Pagerank Update Underway

Hi everyone –

For those of you who follow these things, just letting you know that the October 27 2007 PR (google pagerank update) is now underway.

It’s been a long time coming, and to be honest i thought that it might never come. Showing pagerank (or at least the toolbar version – TBPR) is one of those things that I often think probably serves no real useful purpose to the average webmaster.

It’s really only just basically a measure of how many folks link to you (and how many link to them… recursively) and NOT (unlike what the toolbar PR says when you hover over it) a measure of how important Google thinks your site is – If you want to know that you just need to check out your visitation stats.

I’ll take that further – I think the little green bar probably helps erode the quality of the internet as a whole by encouraging the abuse of the Google algorithm through link exchange / paid links etc.

It’s like crack for webmasters – it causes a kind of (more…)

7 comments October 27th, 2007

Fun Science – How many megabytes in the human body?

Following on from my post about the incredible progress of computer storage density over the last twenty years, I remembered hearing a ‘popular science’ broadcaster here in Australia equating the gamete transfer during sexual reproduction to data transfer.

I like ‘weird science’ so I thought I’d go back and try and ‘reproduce’ his findings (pun entirely intended) – so – in this post I’m going to explain in ‘digital terms’ (eg megabytes, gigabytes):-

  1. The number of megabytes of ‘data’ exchanged during human reproduction.
  2. The amount of data which the human brain can store (hypothetical).
  3. The amount of data stored in all the cells in the human body.

This post involves some low-level discussion of sexual reproduction. So, if you’re prudish or get offended by this kind of thing, I apologise in advance and please (more…)

23 comments September 27th, 2007

Curing the oil crisis:- Starch or Sugar based Ethanol versus Cellulosic Ethanol

Ethanol as a replacement for petroleum

Back in my undergrad degree, I did some research into the viability of using resources from Australia’s large sugar cane industry as a feedstock for ethanol production.

My research was completed about 10 years ago. I found that for Australia to fulfill its own oil demands with Sugar Cane based ethanol it would need to have the entire arable land mass of Australia under cane and that the cost of production would be around 60c per litre, or about US 2.26 per Gallon.

The Australian retail price of petrol back then was around the 60c mark. It was clearly an impractical and uneconomic proposition.

Replacing Oil with Ethanol?

I went on to spend some time with the Sugar Industry and I found along the way that really my calculations were entirely flawed.

Firstly, I’d assumed that the feedstock for my theoretical ethanol production would be something called Molasses. Molasses is relatively cheap and abundant by-product of sugar production and is often used to produce rum. It contains perhaps 5% of the available sugar produced from the processing of Sugar Cane – with the remainder generally converted into relatively high value crystal sugar (the type we use in our coffee).

Two things have changed since then – the world price of sugar has precipitously declined and the world price of oil has sky-rocketed – so the economics have changed. I thought I’d take this opportunity to cast a backwards glance and go over my figures once again.

Brazil can switch between ethanol and sugar production almost instantaneously!

Brazil (the largest producer of sugar cane in the world) has over the (more…)

18 comments September 26th, 2007

Got a new ute :)

Brief update – I got a new vehicle today.

I’ve been driving around an ancient vehicle with 300K+ km’s for the last 5 years – and finally I decided it wasn’t really worth spending any more money on.. so today I purchased a new old ute at auction.

For those of you who aren’t from Australia, a ‘ute’ is like a pickup – it’s a uniquely Australian invention that was designed to allow farmers to have a vehicle that they could use during the week on their farm, and still be ‘beautiful’ enough to take the wife or significant other to church on Sunday without causing embarassment.

The fact they only have two seats and a v6 engine is a bit of a problem in this modern world of high fuel prices and environmental conscience though – and on that matter I feel a little guilty. There was a Prius that went for about $5K more, and I did consider it (momentarily).

If it weren’t for the fact that utes were made for dogs and dogs were made for utes and dogs aren’t allowed in ‘family cars’ and I have a dog, I’m sure I wouldn’t have got a ute – but I have horses and dogs and love the country – so i’ll stay with the ute for the moment and ride my bicycle around town to help limit global warming and waist expansion 🙂

Photo below… M

Can I run it on LPG or autogas in Brisbane?

6 comments September 13th, 2007

Danger! Multiple domain names, 1 site – why it is bad

I’ve been on an hiatus from writing here, so I thought I might break the trend by talking about the practice of creating multiple websites to ‘corner the market’ – jealously guarding your url to ensure no-one uses a variation.

An example might be registering mysite.com, and then being seduced by the offer (godaddy does this regularly) to register variants of your new domain name (eg .biz, .net, .org) at a ‘special discount’ – they don’t offer fries just yet, but domain sellers really are the masters of the up-sell.

I consider registering more than one domain a bit pointless

The days of people memorising and typing a url into a browser are pretty much over – except for a few notable and brilliant exceptions with catchy names like utheguru.com, oyoy.eu and other less successful or well known sites such as google and youtube most people get to a site the new-fangled way – by following links or doing a search. So, really (more…)

50 comments September 2nd, 2007

Supplementals have been abolished

In a case of short term pain for long term gain long term pain for short term gain, everyones favorite search engine has abolished the supplemental index.

But before you go running around your office whooping with delight like I did this morning – STOP. Google hasn’t abolished the supps, they’ve just stopped telling us which pages are in supps.

What’s that mean to the average punter?

Well, it means less questions on the webmaster forums starting with ‘why are my pages all in the supplemental index’, and less time spent by ‘mom and pop’ sites worrying about it.

Possibly a good move.

Me, well, I’m skeptical about the move. The overriding (more…)

5 comments August 1st, 2007

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