Getting there

I was about to go to bed when I thought I would have a quick poke at my Jaguar code and run my memory dumper against a known good object list.  The results? mine matched (as much as it could given they resided in different parts of RAM and hence had different link data etc).. So, why is it that mine didn’t work and this other did.

My first thoughts were that perhaps the two branches I had put at the start of my list were in-correct, they should be there I recall to keep the hardware happy, but this other list didn’t have them and worked.  So I skipped the branches and fed the OP the address of the raw meat of the list.  OUTPUT! although not what I expected, some garbled lines, and not a smidgeon of anything resembling the bitmap it was supposed to. Hmmm more pondering.

Inspiration came and a glance at the developers manual to confirm.. 16 byte boundary in 64 bit RAM.. Hmmmm  A few tweaks here and there and I tried again, dumping the list from its full head including branches but ensuring that the meaty goodness resided only on a 16 byte boundary.  The dump now showed a row of zeros between the last branch and the bitmap object and the monitor showed the bitmap!  EUREKA!  success at last.  It even looks like the adjustments for start of display worked too!  I am most pleased with myself.

Now I just need to work on ensuring that bitmap object reside correctly and that the prior object is aware of this for link generation! more complexity, or waste a bit of RAM.. for now I think I might just go for the more wasteful route, its only a few bytes and I have 2MB to play with 😀


With living in my flat, storing my bike was a bit of an issue.  I was a little excited when I bought the place to find out that they had bike sheds planned out in the carpark.  I envisioned some sturdy locakable box type things.  Alas no, just the crappiest of crappy bits of metal bolted to the floor with some tin roofed wood thing around them :/  If you didn’t end up with your wheels bent to buggery by them I am sure anyone wanting your bike would just unbolt the bike mount from the floor and carry it off.

So my bike has lived in my spare room since I moved here.  Which is less than optimal given it pretty much renders the spare room less than functional if I have more than one guest (and I hate giving up my bed!)

Thankfully a visit to Evans Cycles gave me an answer.. a TopPeak OneUp!  I have had it for a while but usual lack of motivation meant it has sat in its rather nice box for a long time.  With an impending visit from a couple of friends I need to get the room sorted.  Armed with my stud/metalwork/mains cable finder I set about putting it up.. not too difficult and it seems to hold the bike quite well.. was surprised mike bike actually weighs in at 15KGs, the OneUp states no more than 16KG so I am just in the clear 🙂

Anyone looking to get one they are not too expensive and are very well built.

Just hope my drilling holds 🙂

24 hours! oh crap

It would seem I am, or have involuentarily entered a 24 hour coding competition in April when I goto France for Atari Connexion 2011.  This could be painful!  I have been assured that an Atari coding hangover is something to be proud of.. I suspect they may be forgetting I am driving everyone home too :)  Guess I will sleep on Sunday 😀

Best get more of my code finished then I guess :)  should be fun even if I produce nothing amazing (which I won’t, will have to try and get a youtube clip up or something after the fact.. assuming it runs 😀 )

Hack hack hack

I couldn’t really bring myself to get stuck into coding truly on my TT, which is a shame as I imagine it could be lots of retro fun, but I actually needed to get stuck in and not spend all my time faffing trying to get the dev environment built, and tracking down some of bits and bats I had decided I wanted was becoming a chore, that combined with the low res I would need to be working in….

e-Jagfest was as usual an eye opener, this year more than most, for one it was packed with cool people, old and new, and I also drove there which was fun.  One of the guys travelling with us was Kev who’s rather spiffy Jag set-up which he took with him introduced me to a SkunkBoard in action.  Creative juices a flowing you could say, I spent the whole event pondering things again, itching to get stuck in.

So, the ‘producer’ I guess you could label him, Gaz :)  leant me his SkunkBoard and even put down the reservation for me on my own (being short of cash sucks).  He is keen for me to not lose my way and drift off, he has ideas for games and stuff, so is providing the nudges to keep me interested, combined with promises of some art work from Kev, its all coming together.  As well as this the computer club at The Lass where a few of us get together for beers, chatting and even playing retro games, my coding jucies have been flowing of late.

This weekend I have had FAR too much fun hacking away at 68K assembly on my jag and learning more about how to use a SkunkBoard, managed to get my startup code working, VBL interrupt setup, and am now starting work on my object list compiler and some debug code for helping.

Actually managed to write a tiny little routine to convert the contents of a CPU register into a hexadecimal string representation, not terribly hard but something I had never actually thought of doing before.

Anyway, though rather than subject my Facebook status to more random comments I should probably write stuff about this here! FB pisses me off in a lot of ways but is too useful to bin, cursed thing.  Now on to find out why I am having a linking issue 🙂

Ps3 jailbreaking

Looks like Sony have crushed the ps3 hack to allow you to run ‘homebrew’ and illegal software on your ps3.

Oh dear, what a pity, nevermind.

I don’t see what the fuss is about, those who want to write home brew games.. Write them for an open system, like say your pc, or the mac or something. Just because you bought the hardware doesn’t entitle you to hack it and breach the licensing agreement you agreed to when you opened the box. You did read it didn’t you? No? Shame.

I imagine every backdoor found will be closed as quick, the joys of online patching eh?

for my sister..

Needed something to distract my mind whilst on the way to the hospital, so grabbed a CD I haven’t listened to in a while.  It’s odd how you find things sometimes, I don’t think this could be more fitting:

You Always Believed – In This Moment

I think back on the years we shared
All the times you stood by me
All the pain you wiped away
All the things you ever said
I think back how you carried me
And you never once have doubted me
And you were my
My hero through it all

I thank you for the moments of your life
And never giving up on me

And you held me through it all
And you never let me fall
And you let me fly away
And you always believed

I think back how you overcame
All the times you could have slipped
The way you fought the winds of change
All the times your wings were clipped
You taught me how to reach the stars
You taught me how to heal my scars
And you were my
My hero through it all

I thank you for the moments of your life
And never giving up on me

And you held me through it all
And you never let me fall
And you let me fly away
And you always believed in me

I love you sis…

Epic smoking fail and Lazyness

I get back to my flat with my Ikea gubbins and the extortionate Maplin stuff (they wanted £20 for a 1m digital phono – phono cable.. no I didn’t buy one, I giggled lots).  Had to make two trips from the car to my flat.  So big heavy shelving 1st then back for the gifflar and maplin bits.

As I was opening my front door I heard the lift close behind me and decend, this it will only do if someone calls it from a lower floor, I look round to see it stop at the first floor… I had to stand and watch just to see, but yep, someone on the 1st floor is sufficiently bone idle to use the lift to get down 1 floor to the groundfloor! YE GADS!

When I was on my way back with my second lot of stuff from teh car I accidentally clipped the 2nd floor button (me being on the 3rd), so the lift naturally stopped at 2 first.  As I lent forward to press the closedoors button (got bored of waiting), the lift filled with the stench of smoking!! the lift opens into the hallway shared between all the flats on that floor! and the hallway smelt bad enough that the lift filled with the smell in seconds!  I wonder if someone is smoking in the hallways rather than their own flat or someone is really going for it and the smell is escaping!

GRIM anyway.  Thankfully the same is not true on my floor.

A new home

On Friday I collected my keys. I am now the proud owner of a shiny new flat not too far from the centre of Manchester.

It is somewhat daunting however, bills and mortgage ontop of debt and living :/ if I have done my maths right, then the savings should offset the increased costs….. I hope 🙂

First order of the day however is getting flooring installed. I wasn’t early enough to buy to be able to specify any options, so I have what is called “builders finish” as a floor at the moment. Tomorrow sees my dad and I taking on the job of laying lamminate and vynal flooring. Hopefully all be done, and I can start the moving in process proper.

Going to be a long, stressful day, and costly :/ being a Sunday also limited time wise for raiding diy stores. I have taken Monday off work too so I can spenc that whole day moving and fitting things.

Exciting and daunting at the same time.

To Italia (and back)

I have just returned from my 1st ever trip to Italy!  Very interesting it was too.  First thing we noticed is that the lovely Northern weather I am used too has hardened us Brits to a more cool climb, so we got a few strange looks as we swanned around in just T-shirts whilst the locals shivered under layers and with thick scarves :D  (the word ‘Nesh’ was also used a lot 😀 )  As always cultural ambassadorial duties were not overlooked 😀

First course of duty was to goto the Italian JagFest organised by Marco.  Much Atari goodness was beheld and his rather impressive shop and collection of all things computer game related! impressive.

Food was consumed, it has to be said Italian food, is very good, although their Pizzas only seem to come in one size.. HUGE, and made of NOM :D  Pizza hut is NOTHING like real Italian pizza, no where near.  The 3-4 foot long Pizza’s we had for Lunch were impressive (I didn’t get a pic 🙁 ) those were shared 😛

As we all know Italian beer is like flavoured tap water to the cultivated British taste buds, so Gaz and myself undertook a mission to deplete the stock of Guinness in the local Irish bar whilst Mike tackled the Erdinger.

Second and best (for me) was meeting my long time On-line chums from WoW.  Franco, Piero and Nic are quite simply the nicest blokes you could hope to meet, and completely bonkers 🙂 was more like meeting old friends than meeting friends for the 1st time, much more delicious food was consumed (the three Italians worked their way through a local Zoo I think 🙂 ) and much Vino was drunk.  After goodbyes more Guinness in the Irish bar and bad… followed by the WORST Hangover I have had in years, and most of the next day going missing 🙂

Unfortunately due to various issues (like the hangovers and illness) we didn’t get to see them again the next day, although promises were made to come over to the UK for our next guild meet 😀 I didn’t forget lads :D  Look forward to seeing you again.

Soon enough it was time to head home and here I am writing this as I upload the pics.  Its been must be nearly 12 hours of travel time and I haven’t shaved in days (bloody silly airplane carry on laws).. So now the pics are up I think I will go and get a nice long shower and trim my face off 😀

Pics here

Storage Jenga

If you look after storage arrays you may have come to a situation like this.

You have a disk array, you want to turn it off (for whatever reason, age, replacement, it smells of old cheddar.. whatever).  Alas there is some customer still using a portion of it, you now need to wait for them to leave before you can decommision it.

Well I have had an idea to ‘help’ them in their exodus from the shelf.  Quite simply you enact storage Jenga.  How does this work?  easy, every day/couple of days/ weeks  (depending on your desired timescale/array size), you send a member of staff to site, once on site, that member of staff removes, physically a single disk from the array and leaves.  Now the customer has a chance of surviving this, depending on your configuration and hot spares, but each disk removed increases their odds of goodbye 🙂

I imagine this will work with maximum excitement with RAID 10 arrays with a couple of hot spares, possibly pulling a disk JUST before the time it takes to rebuild the hotspare 🙂

Wonder if management will let me try it some time? Hmmmmm 😀

Been a while, been some changes

Its been quite a while since I wrote on this blog, partly that was due to the FaceBook abomination (hate it but, well, its becoming an annoyingly common part of life).  Still its not as permanent as a blog, and well I like owning my own thoughts thank-you-very-much so I am not getting rid of this just yet 😀

As well as those changes, life itself has been somewhat complicated, the most complex portion of this being my home life.  I am not going to go into any detail, not everything needs to be on the net for the world to read, but suffice to say I have seperated from my wife and am now lodging with an old friend who very generously has allowed me into is home (cheers mate, massively appreciated and huge help).  Things are different but thankfully amicable between myself and my ex, she is being very good about the whole thing and we are both getting on with our lives.  The kids are naturally the biggest concern and both myself and my ex are taking every measure to ensure they are not ill-affected by all this.  Little man was concerned that the internet would go away and the PS3 taken.. *wipes tear* that’s ma’ boy :D  he has his priorities sorted.. good lad.

Work is going immensely well, and I am finding my place in life again.  Hopefully I will get back into all the things that interest me over the next few months and find time to comment on them here.  There are so many groups of individuals who have helped me come though this difficult period with their support, kind words and thoughts.  Big thanks to my WoW Guild Fallen-Shadow and to my Jaguar related friends whom have been a big help (special shout to GazTee for getting me to Watchmen with Dave Gibbons and JFUK’09  cheers m8)



Decided to take the plunge and get this setup on my own little slice of interwebs. Have been chatting to a colleague about the joys and the problems that lie ahead. So rather than wait until they bite me in the arse at work, I am making use of my colo 😀 (sorry for those who suffer hosting outages because of it.. but it really is for the best 😀 ).

Alas however it would seem that one major problem I need to address is my secondary DNS server which resides off my work network, a paid for VM. As it uses virtuozzo for its virtualisation I am told by the nice chaps at 1&1 that its not possible to have IPv6. The kernel that it presents to its VMs is a 2.6.9 and has no IPv6 module 🙁 They of course did not use this as an opportunity to try and up-sell me a root server package.. oh no.. of course not…

Well until I get my finger out and move that VM somewhere else at least I can get the rest of it happily co-existing in IPv6 and IPv4 space.. I hope. Today was fun, got myself a /48 from and once I figured out that deleting the multicast link addresses from the interfaces was bad (NUBTARD!) I was soon happily pinging google from my server. Huzzah!

Hopefully tonight I can improve the config to ensure the servers keep their addresses on reboot and can start seeing about getting me some traffic over those there links. None of this crazy auto address stuff for me thanks, I want to be able to remember my v6 addresses 😀

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds

Managed to grab some tickets to see this show which I have heard several people raving about. Looks like I just managed to get the tickets in time, as they were pretty good seats, same level as the stage pretty much and to the side. Looking at the floor-plan of the Liverpool Echo I honestly thought we would be sat right at the side of it, thankfully we were not, and had a great view of the whole stage.

Never having been to this kind of show before, I was expecting something more along the lines of a play, rather than a band and singers. So was a little unsure at 1st. However that soon changed once it kicked in. It was very impressive and awe inspiring, didn’t find myself bored at all. Pretty much whistled by!

Really impressed with the stamina of the musicians, and the quality. Superbe! Told the story really well, and although the CGI was cheesy as hell, I can let it pass, not sure if its intentionally bad or not, but it worked. (PS3 or X-box 360 could have produced better in real time tbh).

Very enjoyable night out it was. Added to the awe of the show was also the pure hilarity of idiots and completely un-courteous fools in a full carpark. One women who we spotted on arrival taking 6+ attempts to reverse into a parking space (no car in either space to her sides), subsequently stalled the lift not once, not twice but 3 times! Later on leaving she was cursing every car that didn’t give HER sole right of way and nearly crashed into 2 or 3 others. I just sat and actually laughed (as Diane can attest) at the ballet/dodgems of people battling to get out NOWNOWNOWNOW!!!!!

But that aside (I expected parking drama tbh.. in their credit Liverpool Echo parking staff I think did a top notch job of keeping it going as smoothly as they could) top night out, go and see it if you can.


I few weeks ago.. well months really we arranged a regular social team event. Namely goto the local (to work) curry emporium (The Copperpot) for a team curry. Turns out the currys (by my reconning are rather nice), the service is pleasant and the establishment is clean and well looked after.

Food is good, you get a complimentary glass of wine (I imagine its nothing amazing, but its nice) and the bill comes with after eights and brandy 🙂

After weeks of training, building my curry-foo, tonight was the night I was going for it, I was going to have a Vindaloo. Having only ever heard the hype of the Vindaloo I was a little worried but egged myself on due to Ade claiming he would match me curry for curry.

I think both myself and Ade were a little concered with what we had done as we finished off the popadums and sauce tray. Thankfully when our lamb Vindaloos arrived, they were not as hot as we had (or my youth had told me) expected. There was deffinately potency there, hopefully it was my training allowing me to tase it, but it was full of flavour and had heat on my whole tongue and a little at the back of the throat. Both myself and Ade finished it all without issue. So my 1st ever Vindaloo, sorted. I can now start to roam the rest of the rather large menu they have at the Copperpot.

(yeah I want a chufty badge, I ate a vindaloo 🙂 )

Debian and VMware server “The path /usr/src/linux/include is a kernel header file directory, but it is not part of kernel source tree.”

Yeah a long name I know, but trying to get it stuck in Google so it will be most helpful.

I hit this snag and did a lot of trawling with little luck. Previously had no issues installing VMWare server, upgrade to Lenny, swap some hardware, decide to get it up and running and POOF! no dice!

Anyway I have solved it (huzzah!) and can finally goto bed 🙂

It seems that the error message is related to the lack of .config and or Makefile in the headers. So a .config or Makefile in /usr/src/linux/.

if you have installed your headers :

apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

have build-essential installed have set CC to be gcc-4.1 yet still you get grief, heres what I found.

If you look in the headers path, you will see .config and Makefile. Yet no joy!, look closer, the Makefile is a damn pesky SymLink!!! this goes for most if not all of the buggers. What you need along with the headers is:


which should reside in the same directory as your headers:


The SymLinks point into files in there, for some reason (possibly my own stupidity) I didn’t have it, possibly deleted it in a fit of disk space recovery before starting the build.

Hopefully that will be of use for someone out there, if not, I am sure I will find it useful when I next cause myself grief 🙂