Rob's blog
Installing the ThermalTake Ruby Orb on my Asus M2NPV-VM

Just in case anyone's wondering about the outcome from the parts I ordered the other day, I just installed my Ruby Orb fan on my Asus M2NPV-VM. It was a little scary, for one thing that heatsink & fan is really huge. I mean really. It's a 120mm fan, stock CPU fans are about 65mm if I remember right. The Ruby Orb is so big I don't think I could take the RAM out of the computer without removing the CPU heatsink. I will say it's very quiet for the amount of air that it moves. Still my computer overall seems about as loud as it was with just the one case fan. Of course now it's got two case fans running and with the old case fans I had the noise would've been unbearable. I've also got five hard drives in there now (just installed the 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA drive).

Updated Firefox Search Plugin for WoWArmory.com

I've got a new update for the search plugins I wrote for the World of Warcraft Armory. Blizzard changed the search results URL slightly and that broke my old version. While I was at it I added a general search (all realms) that might work for Taiwan and Korean realms.

If you're a new user, the basic idea I've used is that sometimes people want to search all realms for a character name but usually you want to look for a character only on a specific realm. Looking on a specific realm is a lot more useful since most of us only play on one realm or at most a few. You can install the realm-specific search for each of the realms you play on and the name shows up when you pick which you want from Firefox's search box.

The search plugin shows up on the top right corner of Firefox. It might also work on Internet Explorer 7 since it's written as an OpenSearch plugin. It doesn't add anything to the browser except this new search engine provider - it's not as big as a normal Firefox add-on.

The Bill to Tax VoIP
Something came up a while ago on Slashdot about taxing Internet service in the US and the idea that VoIP would be excluded in a new bill that extends the tax free status of Internet access. As usual most of the details of the proposed law are completely lost in the movement from the bill as it's written to Infoworld to Slashdot. In the course of discussion when I asked about how to see the bill itself, someone kindly provided a link to Thomas, the legislative information resource at the Library of Congress. Unfortunately the search results there aren't RESTful - there's no way to get a permalink to HR 3678 (apparently the bill in question). Anyhow, after looking up that bill and seeing the sponsors I thought it would be informative to look up the politicians named on the bill at Open Secrets and see who funds their campaigns. There were a number of names and what I found was interesting in relation to the changes outlined in this bill. I'll just quote the reply I made on Slashdot.
Flickr - Creative Commons

Click here to install the Flickr Creative Commons OpenSearch plugin

Late Night PC and the resources it provides are not affiliated with or endorsed by Flickr. Visit Flickr here. Flickr's a great photo-sharing site that you've probably heard of already. A lot of people don't know that you can restrict searches on Flickr to only find Creative Commons licensed photos. This is in the advanced options somewhere. Someone I know asked me to come up with a search plugin that would work in Firefox and make it easy to search for just photos available under a Creative Commons license. Unfortunately Flickr doesn't let you refine the search by exactly which CC license is chosen but at least this eases things somewhat.
Moving Multiple Files in Bash
It seems like the shorter the code is the longer it takes to write. I'm trying to rename a group of similarly-name directories using Bash and for no good reason I decided I'd like to do it all on one line. There are a bunch of ways to do it, not all fit on a line and some are more efficient than others. There's apparently a package out there called mmv that I haven't looked for which does stuff like this. There's also sed. With sed I got something close:
Spinning Down Hard Drives in OpenSuse 10.3

I started out talking about SMART and drive temperatures the other day but got all geeked out about hardware and forgot where I was going. I meant to also talk about how I tried to just spin down my older Western Digital ATA hard drives to give them a chance to cool off.

I looked at the hdparm, I saw some comments on forums saying it could be used to set a time delay to spin-down a hard drive.

Hot Drives: Dealing with SMART data on OpenSuse 10.3
One thing I've noticed since upgrading my system to OpenSuse 10.3 is that my 3 older Western Digital 160GB drives (specifically 2 WDC WD1600JB-00D and a WDC WD1600JB-00F) run really hot. Like 120 degrees Celsius hot. I get this information from smartd or smartctl. It leaves scary log messages like Oct 24 19:43:18 copper smartd[4479]: Device: /dev/sda, SMART Usage Attribute: 194 Temperature_Celsius changed from 120 to 116 The drives do get hot to the touch but 120°C sounds really hot. It is possible that the sensors aren't accurate. It's also possible they've been reporting high temperatures ever since I installed them around five years ago. See, until I installed OpenSuse 10.3 I never saw the SMART data. I could also guess that the information just isn't accurate for my system. So to test these ideas out I ran smartctl to see what it had to say about all my drives. Three are the WD drives I mentioned and the fourth is a Seagate SATA drive.
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Simple PHP for Dumping a Berkeley Database
I will one day come up with a better way to show PHP in my blog but in the meantime I'm not going to let that stop me from sharing a handy script I put together yesterday. I grabbed most of the code from examples on PHP.net but the examples as they were didn't do what I wanted. What I came up with is a short PHP script that shows the DBA handlers available then dumps the contents of the database file specified in the $db variable up at the top. It uses the "db4" handler, you can change that (and whatever else) to suit your needs. I made this the other day just to have a look in some of the LDAP database files that I was messing with yesterday. So here's the BDB dump script as text. Download it, rename it as .php and enjoy.
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