Does breaking things count as progress?

How about multiple breakages?

So far I’ve managed to compile FreeNAS with varying degrees of success and failure. Either I’m not getting the commands right half the time or I’ve tinkered with something I shouldn’t have and reduced the reliability.


FreeNAS, FreeBSD and fucking FFmpeg

Hitting a brick wall when you’re close to getting something finished is one of those things in life that you hope will never happen but generally tends to.  It’s exactly what happened to me yesterday in my quest to make a package for Serviio that I could just install on FreeNAS.

Creating the FreeBSD build environment on my PC seemed as though it would be simple enough, throw up VirtualBox, throw FreeBSD at it and hopefully job done.  In actuality it was even easier than I’d expected when I followed the guide that I found on the FreeNAS forums the other day (see my earlier post).

Problem was that I know absolutely nothing about FreeBSD in general and that after many hours of bashing my head against building FFmpeg it all came down to one simple thing.  I should have rebooted when it all started going wrong!

Live and learn!

Google Contacts meet Google Plus

Well, I don’t know who’s smoking crack at Google this week but the chocolate factory definitely needs to start taking some samples and testing for illegal substances.

Apparently in the latest bit of joined up thinking everything in your Google Plus circles is now included in your Google Contacts.

Now at first glance this might sound like a really good idea.  If you know “Jimmy” on Google Plus it makes sense that you can easily e-mail him from Google Mail using your Google Contacts, right?

Well, so far, so good.  That makes perfect sense… the bit that doesn’t however is it also adds pages that you follow to your Google Contacts.  That’s right, if you do the G+ equivalent of liking something on Facebook, it’ll add itself to your contacts.

To borrow an old line “whoever thought this up should now be dragged out into the street and shot… twice“.  There is no logic behind this.  Why the fuck would I want Coca-Cola, Nike, The Rolling Stones in my contacts? (PS: Not saying I like or dislike any of these, just examples people).

Thankfully I’m using Soocial which can manage contacts between multiple Google Mail accounts and has allowed me to restore my contacts to a useable state.

That’s LAME

Well, whilst on my mission to make Serviio and FreeNAS live in perfect harmony as simply as possible, I’ve just stumbled upon the fact that LAME has been updated to version 3.99.2.

Does anyone have a summary of the differences / new features  in version 3.99 as the changelog is absolutely enormous and it made my head hurt when I started trying to read it.

Fiddling with FreeNAS

A few months ago I purchased a HP Microserver because it had become necessary to improve my storage arrangements at home.  Before then I had stored things, well actually everything, on a ReadyNAS Duo that had a been running on a pair of 500GB that mirrored each other for redundancy.  This was not an ideal situation and because I was running out of space I had considered removing the mirror.

Switch to something like the HP Microserver seemed ideal because:

  1. I could run whatever I wanted on it because it was effectively a PC in its own right.
  2. I would have 8TB of storage which was a vast improvement over the ReadyNAS.
  3. 4 drives would give me improved redundancy and there would be various configurations that I could choose to suit my needs.

Skipping forward to today I have had my Microserver for a good few months and have run it using FreeNAS but now I’m getting that nerd itch because it’s not running quite exactly how I want it.

Currently I have it so that it’s running FreeNAS and Serviio on top of that to serve my music up to my PS3, etc. but the current method of having to dig into the console to get it all working again every time FreeNAS releases an update is not sitting well with me.

With this in mind I’ve just decided to follow this guide over on the FreeNAS forums and set up a build environment which with any luck I will be able to use to slipstream Serviio into FreeNAS.

Cross your fingers!

Tweets do not site content make

It struck me today that “social networking” whilst a great way of keeping in touch with people was actually sucking all the content away from my websites, especially this blog.

I’ve had this site since 2002 in one version or another.  Ever since Twitter and Facebook showed up though it’s been even more seriously neglected.

Why?  Well because having thought about it a bit social networking sites are all basically big content whores and that actually that’s what this blog was created for, content.

So, with a renewed outlook, I’ve taken away all the rubbish mini updates (statuses / tweets) that I’ve passed off on here for ages and replaced them with… nothing.

Lets see if that gets me to update this thing more than once a year!