Self Portrait WIP

This is a self portrait that’s about half way complete. I did two of these side by side one of which I did while using the reference upside down to see what it would look like.

Winslow Homer Fog Warning

I tried to copy Winslow Homer Fog Warning. It didn’t come out as good as I wanted but I’d only been painting for a month when I tried this one. Winslow was a fantastic painter both in oils and Watercolors. A few months after I painted it I bought a 48″ canvas to do a full size version, I had the drawing done but I managed to put a whole in it so that project got put on hold 🙂

Started Painting

I painted for the first time tonight. The last time I remember painting I was in primary school in Mrs Orrs class with those cheap childrens paints. Tonight was no different, I bought some paint for the kids to create some paintings for Jenny for her Birthday which was fun and messy for all concerned.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to try painting so after a few beers I had enough courage to try it, I painted a cartoon like snowman, it looks awful but I loved every minute of it. It was a strange feeling to just go at it. I might eventually post the painting here but it’s truly bad, maybe when I can actually paint I’ll have enough courage not to care.

Ziff Davis Spam House

For quite some time I have been receiving rubbish emails on various topics and they all originate from Ziff Davis. I have never subscribed to any of these so called magazine or whatever they are, they have obviously bought some email list that I was unlucky enough to have been on and then automatically subscribed me to every email list under the sun. This is extremely irritating. I’ve written an email to the following people to unsubscribe me.
Since the bots will eventually pick this up I hope they get the same enjoyment from their own Spamming techniques as I have.

qemu bridged networking

My final /etc/networking/interfaces file looks like (this is for Debian)

auto lo eth0 tap0 br0

iface lo inet loopback

iface br0 inet dhcp
bridge_ports eth0 tap0
bridge_maxwait 0

iface eth0 inet manual

iface tap0 inet manual
pre-up tunctl -b -u <my_user_name> -t tap0
pre-up ifconfig tap0 up
post-down tunctl -d tap0

I stole this from the following site

Beware the username enttry above needs to be changed to your username… You will also need to install uml-utilities. Once I had this running I could start my image as follows:

qemu -net nic -net tap,ifname=tap0,script=no -hda debian.img

Mount You must specify the filesystem type

I encountered this error while trying to mount an image created using qemu. The command from the docs says to run the following command to mount it on the loopback device.

mount -o loop,offset=32256 debian.img ./mntpoint

This is completely wrong because the data start is not 32kb into the image file. To figure out where it starts you need to use the following commands:

]$ fdisk -ul debian.img

you must set cylinders.
You can do this from the extra functions menu.

Disk debian.img: 0 MB, 0 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 0 cylinders, total 0 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00077ccb

     Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
debian.img1   *        2048     5785599     2891776   83  Linux
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
debian.img2         5787646     6141951      177153    5  Extended
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
debian.img5         5787648     6141951      177152   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Once you have this output you can see that the data starts at sector 2048 and since sector size is 512 on my image I need to set the offset to 512*2048. So the final working command is:

mount -o loop,offset=$((512*2048)) -t ext3 ./debian.img ./mntpoint

and we now have a mounted image file.

Changing your keymap

I recently had an issue where my keyboard when using synergy was inserting a double arrow instead of the usual greater than or less than sign also known as guillemotleft and guillemotright.

To fix this annoying bug I added

keycode 53 = x X greater greater greater greater
keycode 52 = z Z less less less less
keycode 24 = q Q at at at at

to a .Xmodmap in my home directory. If you are wondering how to find the keycodes etc you can use xev. To start it without restarting X use

xmodmap .Xmodmap

Google Bugs

I am not sure what has been happening to Google recently but over the last few months it has got quite awkward to use. The first thing I noticed was the new fade in. For me while it’s fading I’m unable to type anything into the search box. This is really annoying.

The other less annoying thing but annoying anyway is the fade itself, who on earth decided this was a good idea? Are they really that desperate for more searches that they will hide parts of their menus etc until you do something. I’m sure they’ve done some UED studies and concluded that it’s better for the majority of people, personally I hate it.

The second thing I noticed today is that I lose control over the Firefox menu when I have a Google Window open on the home page. I was able to repeat this quite easily and when I close the Google tab I’d get control back. This is very very annoying.


It’s getting more and more awkward to use Google and this spate of bugs is getting tiring. I appreciate Googles uncluttered page and speed but it’s just getting awkward.

As a Yahoo! employee these errors are of course good news for us. I’ve been an avid user of Google for years but I think it’s high time I stopped using Google anyway and the recent spate of bugs has given me a good reason to try Bing/Yahoo to see how I get on with them. Hopefully within a few weeks/years (more likeley never) my muscle memory for “goo” will change to “bin” or “yah”.