kae's site: introduction


To mount a Vivatar Vivicam 3610 using Linux (kernel 2.6 - haven't tried 2.4), su to root, then do this:

modprobe uhci-hcd
modprobe usb-storage
modprobe sd_mod
mkdir /mnt/camera
mount -t msdos /dev/sda1 /mnt/camera

Then change the permissions of the directory to whatever you want, and exit su.


After a lot of experimentation, I've found that the closest matches for Television based viewing on the Sparkle Hyperion Extreme TV" card are "modprobe tuner debug=0 type=5 pal=i;modprobe bttv card=72 radio=1 pll=1 automute=0;", and to connect using S-Video (I use a convertor to convert from SCART on my video player to S-Video which I can then plug into my TV card), "modprobe tuner debug=0 type=1 pal=i;modprobe bttv card=96 radio=1 pll=1 automute=0;", using "Composite 2" as the S-Video interface (it's a hack, but it works). If there is a better solution, please tell me.


Bought a TV card today to archive all my old VHS films. It's described as a "Sparkle Hyperion Extreme TV" card on the box, but that's bullshit - the model number gives more realistic names. PV-BT878P+ is the model number. Found an excellent Linux howto for this here. Hopefully this link will help people trying this same card.


A picture of a ball - terribly blurred because I'm a shit photographer. The ball is one I bought on my 18th birthday.

Got new dogs for Bronwyn (happy dead-catholic-good-guy day). Two labrador/red setter crosses. We call them Edie and Patsy.


Spot the reference, and explain it, and I'll mail a dog biscuit out to you.

Wednesday, 9th April, 2003

Smashing Pumpkins - Adore

I just installed Synergy on my work computers - one linux box and one windows box. It gets rid of all the messy crap with KVMs (I usually have to hard reboot windows once or twice a week when it refuses to reconnect to keyboard and mouse). It's fantastic - I can simply move my mouse off one monitor and onto the one next to it - on a different computer! Check it out if you have two computers.

The only problems I've noticed so far is that when I run the server from the linux box and move to the windows box, there is a slight delay in the link, and the wheel on the mouse doesn't work. I think the latter problem is my configuration, but the first one is definitely the software. I have no complaints with either, really.

Thursday, 13th March, 2003

Vanessa Mae

I was reading the "special edition" of Scientific American (or some such magazine) a few days, and was struck by how ridiculous science is getting these days. Here are some examples:

Tuesday, 11th March, 2003

Stone Temple Pilots coochy coo!

Hehe - couldn't resist this one - a version of the below image done in the style of Andy Warhol.

Tuesday, 11th March, 2003


Guess what this is:

coochy coo!

Yup - the first photo of our kiddy - still sitting inside Bronwyn's belly, waving hello to us (see the arm?). I was pretty excited to see the kid moving actively, at only about 13 weeks old! If the child turns out male, he'll be named Jareth. If she's female, though, Boan. Currently, I am naming him Jareth beta, soon to be upgraded to rc1. Last year, we had Jareth alpha, but that didn't work out. This year, though, we feel we're on to a winner.

Monday, 3rd March, 2003

Jean Michel Jarre

On Saturday, Bronwyn turned to me and said "let's go to that juggling convention". I had been invited to teach a workshop at the TCD/DIT 4th Juggling Convention, but up until that point thought that I wouldn't be able to make it. So, we got on a bus to Dublin (€32!!!), ringing ahead to ask permission to stay over in my sister's house. When we got to Dublin, I was pretty excited, and couldn't wait to get to Trinity college. We arrived, and I went searching for the Luce Hall, where the website had said the convention was being held. They knew nothing about it. I was a bit confused, but thought maybe it was just my memory playing tricks. We went to Goldsmith Hall - the TCD club's usual haunt, but it was closed. I didn't know what to do, so we just went to Tallaght to my mother's house.

On her computer, I discovered that I was right - the convention was supposed to have been on Saturday (and Friday and Sunday) in Luce Hall. I was a bit confused.

This morning, Klas pointed out that the change of venues had been mentioned on a Dublin-based mailing list, but not on the website. I mailed one of the organisers to explain the problem and ask that the convention website be kept uptodate in future. It's all grand now, and I hope to get to next year's convention and actually come across a few jugglers this time.

Friday, 28th February, 2003

Dust Brothers

Tomorrow, I get a raise. Yay. Also, I become "fully employed" in the company I've worked for for the last year and a half. Yay. Which means tax. Boo. I'm trying to organise a "we got raises" party. Difficult stuff when everyone apart from myself in the company is over thirty and otherwise occupied at almost all times. Life must get pretty hectic the older you get...

Well, I'm noticing it myself - yesterday, I came home from work, and immediately started ripping apart my computers to install a copy of Win98 for Bronwyn. Took me right up until 11PM to finish the hard work (about 6.5 hours!!!). I think it's that when you're young, you don't care if it's "right" as long as it works. Right now, though, I want it to continue working. An example of this fastidiousness, is that my rebuild yesterday resulted in no spare screws! - of course, it took quite a long time to do this...

Before I installed everything, the machines looked like this:

  1. Fast machine (mine):
    • 450MHz chip
    • RedHat7.3
    • 196MB RAM
    • 1.2GB harddrive (system)
    • 2GB harddrive (/home)
  2. Slow machine (Bronwyn's):
    • 200MHz chip
    • Win95
    • 48MB RAM
    • 3GB harddrive
    • 24X CDROM

I swapped the OSes around (simple - swap the harddrives). Luckily, they're both i586s, and I'm running Blackbox rather than CPU-hungry Gnome or KDE, so my own setup shouldn't suffer too much (Linux rules - especially on slow boxes). Then, I started the install. Win98 took for ever to set up, as I'd lost various CDs around the house. After a quick search around the house, I found the right drivers, and an 8GB harddrive I'd meant to stick in my Linux box but lost somewhere (turned out Bronwyn had "put it away" in a place I wouldn't think of searching).

Woah - just looked over what I typed - boring, and not a link in site. I must learn to be more interesting...

Thursday, 27th February, 2003


Found an interesting site - F4L5 0.3 - an MP3 only music label. It has a very complex web design, and seems to have a huge amount of mp3s to listen to. Fantastic. I found it while searching for a collaboration called "Satan's Tornade" between Merzbow's Akita and Russell Haswell.

Tuesday, 25th February, 2003

Gray, as usual

I got home yesterday and tackled fixing my X server again. Figured out it was Gnome that was the problem, and considered it... I have a 56k line which I pay for. The choice was to download tens of MBs of RPM to fix Gnome, or scrap Gnome and install Blackbox instead. Obvious choice - my computer is slow, Blackbox is tiny (270KB or so) - it's a perfect match.

While compiling Blackbox, I checked my mail and found that I'd been invited to teach a contact juggling workshop for the 4th Dublin Juggling Convention. After a bit of discussion with my girlfriend ("no!" "oh come on" "no" "shops..." "okay"), we decided we could make it. This morning, I found the website, and it's a week earlier than I thought! Damnit! Can't make it, most likely...

Next week, I'll be going for a bank loan to try consolidate old debts, and buy some new equipment. I'm salivating over the thought of a brand new computer, and a camcorder to finally start recording contact juggling videos...

Monday, 24th February, 2003

Mild as the average curry

Went home early on Thursday as I wasn't getting anything useful done and had a bit of a headache. Wasn't in Friday because Bronwyn had a doctor's appointment in a town 20 miles away from us and we had to hitch. Drank all day Saturday and Sunday. Isn't life grand...

I broke my computer on Saturday trying to install Rosegarden. It requires KDE, which I don't use - I prefer Gnome or Blackbox, and installing the KDE libraries seems to have screwed something up in my computer - serves me right, I suppose...

Thursday, 20th February, 2003

boring - doesn't it ever change?

I put up an old tune of mine after JK (a contact juggler) decided he'd show his own stuff to the world. It's a bit flaky, and needs to be redone. Recorded from Impulse Tracker to tape in about 1997, then recorded from tape to CD about '99, and dumped to MP3 about '01. Luckily I still have the original file, so I can rebuild it. If you have WinAmp installed, or xmms, I'd recommend the IT file - better quality. xmms's IT plugin is a bit iffy around the volume effects at the end, but the first half of the tune should be better.

Turns out I won't be able to go to this year's BCJC - Bronwyn is pregnant, so I have to be available in case of emergency (August).

Tuesday, 18th February, 2003

bland, like my cooking

A version of my collapsible lists article was published by the Webpage Workshop. That made my day.

Had a long chat with two contact jugglers, and ended up coming out with some ideas for new moves, which are just outside my skill range, which is great - forces me to learn stuff, but with the reassurance that it won't take months to get (unlike head rolls).

Which reminds me... I've been carrying out a routine every morning which works for me. As my girlfriend knows, I've been becoming terribly unfit, so I've been trying to find an exercise routine that works for me but isn't boring. I think I'm almost there. The current version is 10 situps, 10 pressups, and 10 minutes practice rolling a ball around my head. The last bit works the waist, neck, and teaches balance. When I can do 50 of the first two, I'll try putting a ball in there somewhere as well (most likely on the head again).

Monday, 17th February, 2003

bland, like my cooking

my head hurts - i am constantly fighting the good battle against caffeine addiction, but tea always wins. right when you think you have it licked, the withdrawel symptoms kick in...

bought a DVD player, at last. very bad idea. i tried to explain to Bronwyn that we couldn't afford it, but couldn't think right then why not. today, i figured it out, and am a bit annoyed at myself.

Friday, 14th February, 2003

hazy, like my code skills

just listening to Queen's "The Miracle" - first time i've heard it, i think. very interesting how it still sounds great, fourteen years after it's release!

trying to think clearly about web development. i'm not satisfied with how i'm working at the moment - gotta make the code more modular or object oriented, and i have to find some method of coding which allows me to feel confident that the code is being done to a high standard.

a step towards the above is the use of Dreamweaver MX in the house here - in our company, we're trying to get everyone working the same - some trick, when the designers are using Macs, and i'm using Linux. One of the designers sighed a bit about having to move from GoLive to Dreamweaver. personally, though, i believe my own work is the hardest to fit into the mold - i usually code in vi on my linux box. well, sacrifices must be made. i'm hoping to get Wine to run smoothly enough so i don't have to leave Linux - i dislike Macs, and hate Windows.

Thursday, 13th February, 2003

foggy, like my head

i drank too much yesterday - Kahlua is surprisingly effective when you're used to lager. ripping Joe Satriani - The Extremist.

just had my first employment review with webworks.ie - went much better than I had hoped!

Interesting tip of the day. In CSS, you can suggest that when a browser prints, links get converted into a more useful form using something like the below (taken from devedge.netscape.com):

 content: " [" attr(href) "]";
 content: " ";

I haven't tested this yet in older browsers, but who cares if it doesn't work? At the worst, things will still print out exactly as they do without the above...

Wednesday, 12th February, 2003

wet ground, blue sky

okay - i've fallen for that old lure again - the online journal. nothing much going on in life at the moment. listening to Queen - Seven Seas of Rhye. just finishing off what will become ireland's only official meat contents calculator (based on the EU's "Commission Directive 2001/101/EC") - ironic, as i'm vegetarian.

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