View your Divx videos on your Xbox 360

January 18, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

I just installed TVersity to do on the fly transcoding of Divx videos for my XBox 360. The key is to have the correct versions of all the other software. Here is a post about how to do this

This is way easier to setup than the Media Connect software that Microsoft ships.

My server is a dual core 2.8 GHz monster machine (from 18 months ago!). TVersity uses 100% of both cores to transcode my videos.

The videos I’ve watched so far actually look really good – not Hi Def, but pretty good. Certainly not good enough to be confused with HD

Low memory spam reduction using Greylisting

January 16, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

In my search for reducing memory usage on my OpenVZ VPS, I took a look at my email server configuration. I originally used the configuration instructions from Howto Forge to setup my server. Even with adjusting the configuration, the memory used by all the mail components, especially the protection system – Spamassassin, ClamAV and the pieces necessary to run them – was over 100MB.

However, if I remove this protection, bad stuff will get through!

What about greylisting, I thought.

In summary, a server that performs greylisting denies the first incoming mail request. Any regular SMTP server will retry the request later, and this request will be allowed through. Spammers use custom software that usually doesn’t retry, they just move on to the next email in their list. Regular mail gets through with a delay the first time and spam is effectively blocked.

acts_as_taggable is dead, long live has_many_polymorphs

January 13, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

Evan Weaver has just posted about how to replace all the different acts_as_taggable implementations with his has_many_polymorphs plugin.

Since the current owners of the acts_as_taggable gem seem to have abandoned it, and DHH’s identically named acts_as_taggable plugin also seems dead, this is probably the best way forward if your writing new code or planning changes to old code in the near future.

I haven’t checked this out yet, but my tag cloud code should be able to work with has_many_polymorphs with little to no modification.

Karma sucks when you lose your hard disk!

January 12, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

I’ve been giving Ben grief most of the week because his Mac laptop was in the shop (and is now on its 3rd motherboard).

2pm Friday, my laptop hard disk just stops working! Not readable in any way.


Some things lost, but the main hassle is installing everything from scratch.

Migrate your Typo blog to Wordpress

January 11, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

There are some scripts available, but I never found a step-by-step set of instructions for how to migrate my Typo 4.0 blog to Wordpress 2.0. This post documents what I did to transfer my blog from one platform to the other.

I am now running my Wordpress blog on Dreamhost. I used my own instructions on how to set this up with Capistrano

I took this opportunity to switch themes too!

To get tag functionality in Wordpress, I added the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin I still need to add code to show the tags in posts, but the underlying data is there.

Blog moved again!

January 9, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

Following up on my post about memory usage with OpenVZ, I’ve moved my blog from Typo to Wordpress. This saves me about 150MB of memory on my VPS host, which translates directly to $10/month.

With the low level of traffic I receive, 150MB is a little overkill. Rails isn’t the best framework for very low traffic sites.

Resize is in the wild

January 2, 2007 Link to post  Permalink

I just received an email from Fabio Trezzi that he has used my resize code in a site he’s just released.

Go check out

OpenVZ redefines RAM

December 25, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

My new hosting location is an OpenVZ VPS at Quantact. This is working out pretty well, except for one thing – Ram usage.

One of the things a VPS provides as part of the package is Ram. The usual definition of Ram is real memory, the sticks of chips you buy to put into a machine. OpenVZ defines Ram as something different. To OpenVZ, Ram is actually virtual memory.

This is a big deal, as a bunch of the things I want to run use very little real memory, but do take up a bunch of virtual memory. Here’s some examples:

MySQL (using a small configuration!):

- Resident memory for my application: 10MB
- Virtual memory applied to my account: 80MB

Blog has moved

December 20, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

I’ve moved my blog to a different provider. It should still look the same. If you see something missing, please let me know!

Kirkland downtown has power again!

December 16, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

The power came back on about 3 in the morning. The South end of downtown lost power just before 10pm on Thursday evening. The north end lost it sometime later. The only thing in downtown Kirkland that kept power the entire time was the Christmas tree (the photo is taken from our deck)

With power, internet access is returned too. We haven’t ventured out today to see how far the power extends, but we do have family coming over to take hot showers and do laundry, so they’ll know the extent of the local blackouts.