Simple graphical Javascript Timer

A while ago, for a friend’s party I wrote a very simple Javascript Timer.

The other day, my daughter (too young to understand a numeric countdown at the moment) was messing around at dinner (not unusual). I wanted a simple graphical way to explain that after a set amount of time I would take her dinner away to encourage her to eat up.

Slightly to my surprise I couldn’t find anything with Google (my Google-fu is obviously weak). So I extended my little timer so that it shows a green ball for each second remaining. As the time ticks down, the balls turn red.

I was originally going to use a progress bar but this way shows, at a glance, how much total time there was…

I think it’s working pretty well

My “YES to AV” masterpiece

The opinion-polls that show AV and first-past-the-post neck and neck make me sad. AV isn’t perfect but all its drawbacks (e.g. gerrymandering) apply to FPTP too. AV has the big advantage that tactical voting isn’t necessary – a huge drawback in the current system. The main argument against AV “people who vote for smaller parties get to vote twice” seems confused or intellectually dishonest.

I drew a beautiful masterpiece that sums up the situation to post to the b3ta AV image challenge but as a new member it turns out I’m not eligible to post until Tuesday.

Oh well, it reduces the number of people who will doubt my mental age to the readership of this blog entry…

RHEL5 and ext4

Using RHEL5.5 in order to upgrade an ext3 volume to ext4:

  1. yum install e4fsprogs
  2. umount <mountpoint>
  3. tune4fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index <device>
  4. e4fsck <device>
  5. mount -t ext4 <device> <mountpoint>

Mackerel Fishing and Politics

It’s possible that politics is like fishing; without experience (or a good guide) it can have a steep learning curve. Hence my plan at today’s meeting of the Winchester local Liberal Democrat Conference was to listen much more than I talked. I have been to very few overtly political events and I have much to learn.

Mackerel on a plate

Four mackerel I caught this evening spinning in the Solent

The event was not at all what I expected; it was well attended but the average age was higher than I envisaged. Approaching my mid-thirties, my young daughter often makes me feel old – today however I felt young! Also the format was not what I imagined. Instead of a mini version of the national conference with impassioned debate and voting on controversial motions it was a cosy chat with councillors discussing their plans and general agreement (mostly via post-it note) on motions to be voted on at the national conference.

There were issues raised that tempted me to talk – in particular the cost of housing in Winchester but, at least on this occasion, I kept quiet. Firstly because I wasn’t keen for most of the membership’s first sight of me to be disagreement in a very consensual atmosphere. I would very much have liked Barton Farm to have been built on but the Liberal Democrat council opposed it. Given I own a flat about 500m from the proposed site, my support might be slightly unexpected but I am (by most standards) fairly well paid and struggled to buy a house in Winchester – most people are less fortunate!

I was slightly sad that a motion at the national conference in support of equal marriage rights was not discussed. It seems self-evident to me that the discrimination in our current laws should be changed but maybe it was not discussed because it would have been unanimously supported.

This was all new territory for me and I hope to attend more party meetings in the future (Em’s shift patterns allowing) so hopefully I’ll feel like one of the natives soon – it wasn’t what I expected but everyone was very welcoming.

So from being a fish out of water to hauling fish out of water… After the politics I went fishing. We hadn’t arranged it in advance but I met my Dad at the coast. It was a warm summer’s evening perfect for mackerel and there were shoals of them teeming along the shore. We could have caught as many as we liked. I stopped at four, plenty for my (small) family – Dad (unusually) chose to go up to double figures as he wanted some for neighbours. It’s not always as easy as this evening but the fish combined with the weather and the views made everything seem perfect. I’m even starting to feel like I know what I’m doing – at least with a mackerel rod!

Fedora 13 and old NFS servers

On Fedora 13, the NFS client tries to use NFSv4 by default. When talking to the old (AIX-based) NFS servers at work the mount command failed with:

mount.nfs: Remote I/O error

In order to be able to mount the NFS shares I had to add -o vers=3 to my mount command.