I saw this video (see below) on space.com today. It looks like SpaceX wants to build a reusable version of the Falcon 9. I would be happy when they’re able to human-rate Dragon for ISS crew rotation.
WordPress 3.3 Dashboard Sneak Preview
I’m running the beta version of WordPress. They’ve added nice flyout menus to the dashboard. It looks pretty sweet.
Thanks guys! You keep making the best even better.
I’m Getting Married!
If you’re looking for the wedding page, it’s at:
The wedding will take place on Saturday, October 29th in Nelson, BC.
Installing a Debian Lenny DomU under a CentOS 5 Dom0
I spent some time recently trying to figure out how to go about installing Debian Lenny as a Xen domU (guest) virtual machine on a CentOS 5.5 dom0. I found Andy’s article on the process, but had trouble getting it to work. I also found another article by Tom on how to install Xen and libvirt on Debian Lenny. If you skip down to the section “On to installing a virtual machine!”, we see how to install debian with the virt-install command.
Once this is done we can install our first virtual machine:# virt-install \ --name=test-debian-install \ --ram=1024 \ --file-size=10 \ --nographics \ --paravirt \ --file=/var/lib/xen/images/test-debian-install.img \ --location=http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/dists/lenny/main/\ installer-i386
As it turns out, this command works out of the box on CentOS as well! You do need to install the libvirt package first, of course, but after that it just works. As a handy tip, the –location parameter can be set to your favorite debian mirror. I used http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/installer-i386/, and that works just as well.
I prefer to use logical volumes instead of disk image files for my servers. Just create a new logical volume and change the –file parameter like this:
# lvcreate -L20G -n xenvm00 VolGroup00 # virt-install \ --name=test-debian-install2 \ --ram=1024 \ --file-size=10 \ --nographics \ --paravirt \ --file=/dev/VolGroup00/xenvm00 \ --location=http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/dists/lenny/main/\ installer-i386
Using the above instructions greatly simplifies the process of installing Debian Lenny as a Xen Guest under CentOS 5.5. Once the virt-install command completes, you will be presented with the standard Debian installer, and everything will proceed normally from there.
Losing my Religion
I’ve been following the climategate uproar lately. Actually there’s so much being written and blogged about, I can’t even keep up with reading all the articles at Watt’s Up With That anymore.
When I was watching this interview with Ed Begley, the thought struck me that he was like a man afraid of loosing his religion. This of course started REM’s “Loosing my Religion” playing in the sound track in my head. I also found Ed’s behavior was uncivilized, he talked over Stuart Varney during his entire rant. I’ve embedded them below:
I am not anti-environment, I believe in good stewardship of our natural resources. I even recycle, and would like to own an electric car (to reduce our dependence on imported oil). I do not think that gutting North-American and European industrial capabilities and exporting the problem to China and India are good solutions. If green jobs are important, then green entrepreneurs should invest their own money and hire the best and brightest talent away from traditional industries, just like anyone else.
WordPress 2.7.1 Painless Upgrade
I had the evening free tonight, and decided to burn some time upgrading my blog to the latest version of WordPress. I checked out the handy upgrade instructions, and then went to work. In less than 10 minutes, I was all done.
I host my blog on a Debian Linux server at work, and did the upgrade via ssh. To get started, I used the BackUp WordPress plugin to backup my files for safety’s sake, then I disabled all plugins as instructed. I should mention that all of my plugins were up to date before the upgrade, which is probably a good idea to prevent compatibility issues before they start.
Once I was done that, I ran the following commands using ssh:
$ wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip $ unzip latest.zip $ cd public_html $ mv wp-includes wp-includes.old $ mv wp-admin wp-admin.old $ cp *.php . $ rsync -Cav ../wordpress/wp-content/ wp-content/
With that done, I logged back in to my admin dashboard. WordPress prompted me to update the database, and I was greeted with the stylin’ new interface of WordPress 2.7.1.
Now I’ll have to find something else to do! 😉
Upgrading to Debian ‘Lenny’
Today I took the plunge and installed lenny on my home computer. Its a desktop computer / experimental server. The process was remarkably simple. I edited /etc/apt/sources.list, and replaced all instances of etch with lenny. Then I ran apt-get -yd dist-upgrade to download the packages first. At first I didn’t have enough room to download all 560MB worth of new packages, fortunately when I set it up this system I used LVM. I was able to add another couple gig’s to the partition, and the lvextend and resizext2fs commands worked perfectly to grow my root volume without unmounting it or rebooting.
Once that was done, it took about 4 hours to download all the packages, but once that was done, the rest was pretty painless. The only hitch was that I was using the fglrx driver (the non-free driver for ATI Radeon cards) for X, which didn’t work after the upgrade. For now, I’ve just gone back to using the normal radeon driver.
Lenny comes with Firefox 3 (aka iceweasel), and Thunderbird 2.0, so I’ve got an up to date browser and mail client. The new gnome icons look more polished and professional. So far, I like what I see.
The Pininfarina B0 is a sleek 4 door, 4 passenger EV promising a 250km all electric range. It is a pure EV, and unlike the Chrysler Jeep and Town & Country models (mentioned in “My Next Car“), has no gas engine. I love the clean lines and aerodynamic shape. The solar panels are a nice style touch, though not terribly practical, there just isn’t enough surface area to be able to fully charge it in a day.
With the 250km range, it would be a practical car for my commute, which is a 150km round trip daily. Its just a tad small for my family, so the Town & Country is still the most practical choice for me. The B0 is due in showrooms by mid 2009.
What I really want to know is when will it be available in Canada, and will I be able to afford it when it does?
Voting for Issues
A little from Column A, a little for Column B
Canadians go to the polls today to vote in the Federal Election. I stopped in at the polling station after dropping my oldest off at school. So far, it looks like we’re in for another minority government under the Conservatives. Harper is going to have to play nice with the other kids for another term.
Between all the various activities competing for my attention, I didn’t really feel I had a great grasp on the platforms of the 4 parties running in our area. I did have time to skim their platforms, so I did have a general idea. I found that for each party, I liked some elements of the party’s platform, disliked others. So as I was driving to work today, I found myself wishing I could vote on the issues as well as a representative.
Of course, I figure that the ideal platform would be some kind web based system where the issues and proposed solutions could be discussed and voted on individually. This system would distill the issues into some kind of rough consensus, and then they’d be drafted into legislation by sponsoring members of the House. On the plus side, citizens could play an active part in the process. On the negative side, we’d probably have the same kinds of flame-wars we get on every other board on the Internet.
I’m still not sure if I’d have the time to follow all of the issues, but at least I might be able to follow the issues that are important to me.
My Next Car
While GM was trying to save face after “Who Killed the Electric Car” raked them over the coals for crushing EV-1’s by hyping the new Volt concept, Chrysler was quietly working away behind the scenes to develop it’s own EV fleet.
They’ve come out with not just one, but 4 different electric vehicles. The Dodge sports car and Peapod GEM are true EV‘s. The new Jeep and Chrysler Town & Country minivan are plug in hybrids, with a 40 mile all-electric range. Production is due to start in 2010. Hopefully, they’ll be available in Canada when I finish paying off my Freestar!