Computergeekery Films

Mythmovies in the UK

Mythmovies is a cool plugin to show film times in cinemas around you (geographically speaking that is!). However, up to now it’s been US only. However, this script found on the Ubuntu forums works perfectly in the UK.

Works great. Now for trailers …..!

Computergeekery trivial shennanigans

Merry Crimbo and all that shenannigans……

It’s been a quiet year for blogging here. It’s been a busy year for many reasons and any blogging time has been spent on the house renovation blog and on the work blog.

On a brief tech related note, I got my entire new-old house wired with cat6, including buried wires, I used OS X far more than Linux for the first time, I switched to a Android phone (HTC Hero), which I am very pleased with.

Anyway here’s a apt picture of my new workplace for 2010. Which incidentally is heated mainly by my dual old school Xeon Linux box. I’ll try blogging more next year!

Computergeekery Mac

Rebuilding Spotlight indices fixes search issues

Over the last few months searching in has been problematic to say the least. I’ve been hoping that Snow Leopard would fix this, but it did not. In fact since upgrading to SL it has got worse, although this was likely just coincidence rather than being caused by the upgrade. So I tried rebuilding the Spotlight indices from scratch. Previously I would have used Onyx to do this. However, the Snow Leopard compatible Onyx has only just come out in beta, and was not available when I did this. Other methods I was aware of include dragging that partition (root) to the Privacy part, then back again. However, this being UNIX you can of course do it quickly from the command line. MDUTIL is a command line tool to interact with MDS, which is the Spotlight indexing tool.

Note all the following commands were run using sudo (or you could su to root). If you do not know what sudo is, perhaps the command line is not a place you should dwell!.

mdutil -i off /

Now some posts seems to indicate that you also need to delete the indices


rm -R /.Spotlight-v100

I did not do this.

To add them back I simply turned on indexing again. Note this does take quite a while and leaves a few processes at 100% CPU.

mdutil -i on /

I have since been told that you can just force a rebuild using

mdutil -E /

However, despite the ease of this once the Snow Leopard version Onyx has come out I would recommend using that instead. It’s a cracking app, and I run this once a month at least.


Bash shell extension

I came across this cool tip whilst browsing the blog of a fellow storage geek’s who’d posted on the Linux RAID list.

Basically you can insert a variety of characters inside braces to expand them. I guess like a smart shell expansion using the tab. The most obvious usage is a major timesaver for creating a backup of a file (which of course we all should do everytime we edit a config file!).

cp foobar.conf{,.bak}

will work as:

cp foobar.conf foobar.conf.bak

Many more examples are given here.


Draytek 2820n and a T-Mobile 3G dongle

I’ve just got a Draytek 2820n. This will be the new router for the new house. What I like about this is that you have three WAN interfaces, ADSL, IP and 3G. What’s even cooler is that you can set this up so if ADSL fails it falls back to one of the others.

Until I have phone lines installed I’ll be using the 3G dongle exclusively. I hope I get better reliability than using the dongle with my Macbook Pro.

Computergeekery Music

Running Jive on Mythtv

Just got Squeezeplay (the new replacement for SoftSqueeze) working from
Mythtv! .. and it was dead easy.

– Check out the source code from Subversion:

svn co

– compiled it (if you are doing this on a 64bit box you need to specify just the app)

% cd src
% make -f Makefile.linux  app

– copy it all into /opt (there’s a tarball in ../build)

– Edit the Mythtv Media Library by adding an entry to the Library.xml file


Here’s the entry

	< button>
       	< type>SqueezeBox
       	< text> launch Jive
       	< action>EXEC /opt/squeezeplay/bin/
       < /button>

(Spaces added as I cannot work out the HTML to now parse those metatags, Doh!)

It works great on my Myth box (also running Squeezecentre) and syncs with my Squeezebox AND the other linux box running Squeezeplay.


Reasons for not posting for a while

I’ve not been posting on my main site for a while. I guess the main reason is the house renovation. Follow this on my house blog. Secondly I’ve also been blogging for work. Nothing earth shattering, but it was about time.

In the meantime here’s a newt I found in the new garden:

Newt in the garden

I never noticed, but somebody rightly pointed out it is missing a leg. Poor thing.

Computergeekery Mac

Google beta of Sync for mobile contacts & calendar is live

Google beta of Sync for mobile contacts & calendar is live: “That thudding sound you’re hearing is the head-to-keyboard collision of everyone who, for the purposes of wireless PIM sync to an iPhone, renewed a MobileMe subscription last week. Google announced today that the beta Google Sync for Mobile capability, long a feature on the Blackberry, has now been extended to iPhones (via Microsoft’s ActiveSync), and also to other devices that support the SyncML standard. You can sync your Google-side calendar and contacts to your device of choice, free, bidirectionally, starting today.

There are a few caveats with this beta, as one might expect: the main one is that you cannot use the sync capability if you already synchronize with an Exchange account, as there can be only one ActiveSync config on the iPhone or iPod touch at any time. Setting up sync with Google will also nuke your local contacts and calendar on the device, so back up before you proceed. Still, this represents a big step forward in the delicate dance of Google services in cooperation with Apple’s mobile gear.

If you configure sync for your device, let us know how it goes! Early comments note that the lack of multiple calendar support is a showstopper — if that applies to you, check out the NuevaSync option. Update: You can apparently sync up to five calendars to the phone, see here for details.

[via Engadget]

TUAWGoogle beta of Sync for mobile contacts & calendar is live originally appeared on The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) on Mon, 09 Feb 2009 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW).)


File under I did not know that about Finder #1001

You can easily mount an AFP network share by dragging the icon to Login items! I’ve wondered about this for years, but never enough to learn how! Bless Steve!

Computergeekery Mac

online storage

I’m a bit of a paranoid sort, and I really do backup even the most trivial of my data. I’ve been thinking of offline storage and a recent loss of my entire HOME directory (due to stupid human error, but all backed up) has made me think more strongly about this.

I used For quite a while, but I’ve been getting increasingly interested in Dropbox. Rsync is a commendably Open standard company. They allow access to their storage via many widely supported protocols, rsync (using ssh), scp, sftp, webdav etc. However, as a home backup network they are fairly expensive. I used a 10Gb share for a while, that’s about 11 bucks a month ($1.2 per Gb per month) but that’s not large enough to backup all my data. I used Rsync in a script that backed up a directory containing various softlinks to various important data folders scatered about my home directory. However, I’ve always been of the opinion that backup needs to be indiscriminate and completely automated. That is I’d prefer for all my Home directory to be backed up offsite rather than specific folders.

Dropbox offers 50Gb for 99 bucks. Now this is only accesible using a web interface or their admittedly cool client. Useable on Mac and Linux (windows as well but I’ve not used that). The folder is kept synched between all clients.

As a home user how can I afford to have the same storage as Dropbox but the same flexiblity as…..?