A new beginning: Relaunching my website

Some time ago in a far off land, I kept a website. It was a cozy little website, housing a few bits and bobs that I had made and thought to share should other people find them at all useful. It was hosted with my ISP, accessible via a free domain, which made things cheap and easy for me, but also meant that if I were ever to move I'd have to find a new host, or lose my site.

Of course I moved and I lost my site. This was a couple of years ago, now. From then until now I've been meaning to get this thing back up and running at some point, but lack of time and real impetus meant that it didn't happen. Recently I got my butt into gear and began a focused effort to finally get it off the ground, getting myself some cheap …

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My home-built personal video recorder nightmare 2: peace and quiet

After some expensive failed experiments in building a dedicated MythBox out of a MiniITX form factor system, I decided what I really wanted was a quiet machine that would do everything. That is, a machine I could just leave on all the time, downloading, serving, processing, recording... anything. The problem I had in attempting to do this with my regular desktop machine was that my machine was (a) situated only a couple of metres from my bed, and (b) loud. Loud enough to make sleeping anywhere near it uncomfortable.

With the new goal to fix the problem of noise, I bought a new case on my way back from visiting my parents over the Christmas break: an Antec P180. I also bought a new, quiet PSU: an Antec TruePower Trio 550W.

As I work during the day (starting a new year in the lab), all of the following happened over …

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My home-built personal video recorder nightmare

It started with an impulse purchase. I was browsing Harvey Norman for one reason or another (I was probably in there to buy some overpriced printer ink) when I stumbled across the TV tuner card aisle. I had been digital-TV-curious for a while—this at a time when digital-TV was still fairly recent—and I was in a buying mood, so I bought a single-tuner DviCo PCI HDTV card. It took a bit of effort to get the software right, and I had to also get myself a long TV aerial cable, but it wasn't too long until I got working TV on my computer.

It was at this point that strange and wonderful ideas began to form in my head. Words like “MythBox” and “PVR” and “TiVo” coalesced, loitered around menacingly, and formed gangs that beat up other words like “easy”, “sensible” and “cheap”.

I considered for a moment …

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The return of the claws

A followup to Wolverine claws.

My parents quickly became aware of my creation (that is to say, I told them about it, and they had helped out with a couple of things) and they insisted that “Wolverine” make a similar appearance at Dad's 60th birthday party. The theme of this party was different, but it was craftily crafted (the best kind of crafting) so that my costume would still fit.

Shelved claws.

Now, the thing is, honestly, the claws barely lasted the party they were originally created for. The blocks between each claws were coming apart, and so I had retired the claws to ornamental duty.

But my parents insisted, so I had to bring them out of retirement. To fix the problem of the loose connections between claws, Dad got his fibreglassing epoxy goo and plastered around the blocks to reinforce them. There was a bit of a problem, though, that …

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Wolverine claws

Back in the days around the time of the release of the first X-Men movie on DVD, I heard that the actor who played Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), in order to fully flesh out the sideburn-awesomeness of the character, had to have extra fake hair pasted on his own sideburns around his ears. Being the virile, hairy young man I was (Still am!), I reckoned I would have little trouble growing the necessary fleece. That is, if I ever had the inclination to.

Several years later I was invited to a costume party, the theme being “Superheroes and Supervillains”. This was the perfect opportunity to test my facial-hair-growing power: I decided to go as Wolverine! So over the course of a month the thin goatee I had was joined by big mutton chops.

But that's not what this article is about. The really cool thing about Wolverine, of course, is not …

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