Kojvenepane

I’ve become inspired by the success of the indie-game Minecraft, and naturally I had to give coding a game myself a try. Given the fact that I have very little spare time between work, family and other duties, it could take a while… but life will find a way. The name of the game is Kojvenepane (don’t complain, it was available!) and here’s the development blog:

http://www.nebol.se/kojvenepane

 

jeMachineManager

Well… thought I’d post a status update about my freeware software projects. It’s a curious thing, I never seem to have time to finish them. Development of jeSokobanSolver 3 has been halted due to a memory bug (corruption, of unknown causes, I now think I know why but haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet). Nothing is being done on jeTMS, been doing some work on the new jeDebug but really need to put in a full week of coding to get it up and running. And today I find myself in the rare situation that I have a few spare hours and a burning desire to do some coding, so I will…. start a new project! 🙂 Going to get jeMachineManager up and running FAST.

jeMachineManager (previously jeServerManager) or jeMM for short, is Systems Management software that I spec’ed years ago… It keeps inventory of hardware and software, monitors uptime and health, and notifies the admin of any problems on any of the machines. There are lots of other SM software like System Center Configuration Manager from Microsoft or the open-source Nagios, but they are all bloated and complicated to setup and manage (no offense), requiring a bunch of intrusive pre-requisites, special user accounts and in some cases hogs too much resources.

jeMachineManager is a minimal light-weight solution, requiring only the installation of a small client (service) on the client machines. It communicates via HTTP with a cgi (or webservice) on the server. The cgi talks to a MS SQL database. There’s also an administration web interface and an admin client that handles notifications etc.

The client –> server HTTP communication means there’s very little to configure for the network access, and you’ll be able to add machines that are outside of the intranet, or in an another intranet.

In its most basic mode the client just polls the server with “I’m alive!”-messages, reporting ID and IP. That’s how I’ll be able to get it up and running quickly. All further functionality is provided with an addon-system yet to be designed.

The admin can group machines together in any way he wants, and he has access to the web interface that provides an overview of all the machines and their status, including a list of warnings… machines that are down, services that don’t reply, excessive cpu loads, disks that are near full, software that needs updating, security issues, failing fans etc etc.

The client-client does not need the server though, it can operate in a stand-alone mode where it only notifies, and advices, the user of any computer health concerns.

Starting development… hmm.. NOW!

No I didn’t, the spare time disappeared. Ok maybe thursday.

20200526: This project is permanently canceled.

FILEZ: The chassis has arrived

The chassis has arrived. It’s a Lian-Li PC-343B Modular Cube Case, a double-wide chassis with 18 x 5.25″ bays, how about that? It’s my first Lian-Li and I’m very much impressed. The outside is pleasing to my eye and the inside seems well designed. Remains to be seen how it works out when the rest of the components arrive. 🙂

On to some photos… (you can click the pictures to view them in full size)  :

On the back you have a number of “slots”/panels for fans, drive bays and/or PSU’s. It is shipped with a panel for one PSU, but you can buy additional panels for installation of a second or redundant PSU.

You can have three 120mm fans, or replace the two on the left side with drive bays (including an 80mm fan) containing three 3,5″ disks. If you don’t want the fans or anything you can buy cover panels to cover up the holes.

Can’t wait to get started building this thing!

Website design: Global companies vs visitor locality

Why do I, as a visitor to a company website, have to tell the website where I am located? Why do I have to decide which countrys website I need to visit? It’s just obnoxious and poor design.

Case in point: I went to www.canon.com to get drivers for my mothers scanner. They had a Drivers link on the first page which is commendable.

But then they display a MAP!!

They show five options on this map: Americas, Europe/Africa/Middle East (yes, because, it’s the same, right?), Japan, Asia, Oceania

I don’t know what they want with this map. For all I know they want me to tell them where they would find the best coffee. But I’ll play. I select “Americas” as I want the english version of the drivers.

Then they display MORE options, this time I have to select which part of the “Americas”: Canada, Latin America, Mexicana, Argentina, Brazil, Chile or the USA. When I select USA I am transported to a new website. And there thay have a new menu with a new Drivers link. I have already pressed Drivers for crying out loud!

I wouldn’t bother if it was just Canon, but I’ve seen so much of that kind of design lately.

Choosing a location, whether it’s the visitor’s location or the website location, should be OPTIONAL as far as possible. I don’t mind having the choice of language on every page, in fact I think it’s excellent. But it should not mean being transported to another website. It should just change the language on the website you’re on.

Capiche?

Large Hadron Collider, CERN, sÀkerhet

Jag ska inte hÀr gÄ in pÄ vad LHC Àr, du kan lÀsa mer om det pÄ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider .

Mitt inlÀgg handlar om sÀkerhet och risker. Forskarna pÄ CERN försÀkrar att det Àr sÀkert. Men kan de verkligen göra det?

KĂ€rnkraftverk Ă€r omgivna av rigorösa sĂ€kerhetsarrangemang. Trots det sker misstag. Skillnaden mot LHC Ă€r att ett misstag inte bara riskerar nĂ€romrĂ„det, en stad eller ett land… utan kanske hela vĂ€rlden.

CERN ger inte direkt intryck av att ta riskerna pĂ„ allvar. PĂ„ ett seminarium i CERN fick en frĂ„ga om svarta hĂ„l detta nedlĂ„tande svar: “Now talk about fussing about nothing: first of all, a hole, black to boot, and microscopic on top of that! If tiny, weeny little holes are going to get a big grown-up man like you all scared, holy banana, what would a big white bump do to you?”.

De passade Ă€ven pĂ„ att rita upp ett litet svart hĂ„l sĂ„ alla kunde se hur litet det Ă€r, samma demagogiska knep som superstrĂ€ngforskaren Ulf Danielsson apade efter i den hĂ€r artikeln i Ny Teknik: http://www.nyteknik.se/efter_jobbet/kaianders/article347535.ece dĂ€r han ocksĂ„ konstaterar “Ett sĂ„dant minihĂ„l lever emellertid bara nĂ„gra hundra miljondels miljarddels miljarddelar av en sekund innan det försvinner i ett moln av HawkingstrĂ„lning.” som om det vore fakta.

Kerstin Jon-And, professor i partikelfysik och styrelseordförande i Atlas, sĂ€ger i Metro ( http://www.metro.se/se/article/2008/09/09/07/3047-48/index.xml ) att “Jorden försvinner INTE i svart hĂ„l” vilket mĂ„ste kĂ€nnas betryggande för lĂ€saren, och förklarar Ă€ven hon “Den hĂ€r typen av kollisioner uppstĂ„r hela tiden nĂ€r kosmisk strĂ„lning trĂ€ffar jordens atmosfĂ€r. Om vi har en fruktansvĂ€rd tur skulle vi kunna skapa vad vi kallar mikroskopiska svarta hĂ„l, men de skulle Ă€ndĂ„ förĂ„ngas omedelbart. ”

Det ingen behagar nĂ€mna Ă€r att TEORIN om Hawking-strĂ„lning Ă€r starkt kritiserad och Stephen Hawking tror sjĂ€lv inte lĂ€ngre att den existerar. Varför anvĂ€nds den som argument för att svarta hĂ„l Ă€r ofarliga?? Ja pöbeln mĂ„ste vĂ€l lugnas pĂ„ nĂ„got sĂ€tt, eller hur? Annars fĂ„r inte forskarna leka med sin fina blĂ€nkande collider….

Partikelfysikern David Milstead anvÀnder sig av samma argument i Aftonbladets artikel pÄ http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article3283548.ab

Och vidare, ang att detta sker naturligt nĂ€r kosmisk strĂ„lning trĂ€ffar jordens atmosfĂ€r… Om det Ă€r samma sak kan man frĂ„ga sig varför man bygger en maskin för 50 miljarder för att simulera nĂ„got som sker kontinuerligt i vĂ„r atmosfĂ€r? (Jo, förvisso svĂ„rt att mĂ€ta effekterna uppe i atmosfĂ€ren, men det Ă€r inte enda anledningen)

Det har 1) aldrig observerats eller bevisats att kosmisk strĂ„lning skapar svarta hĂ„l, och 2) om det sker sĂ„ skjuts de genom jorden och vidare ut i rymden i nĂ€ra ljusets hastighet. I LHC-fallet sĂ„ föds det svarta hĂ„let i vilo-lĂ€ge, det stannar alltsĂ„ kvar pĂ„ plats vilket Ă€r en viktig skillnad. SĂ„ har inte CERN-vurmande professorer/fysiker bĂ€ttre argument att komma med blir jag lite skraj….

Jaja det funkar ju fint att sÀlja in till trötta journalister som inte har tid / motivation att sÀtta sig in i problematiken.

I kritiska forskningsrapporter (ex Rainer Plaga’s rapport) som ligger till grund för stĂ€mningar mot CERN för att fĂ„ stopp pĂ„ projektet nĂ€mns flera Ă„tgĂ€rder som kunde tagits för att förbĂ€ttra sĂ€kerheten. Detta har inte Ă„tgĂ€rdats. XXX fixa lĂ€nkarna

Är CERN verkligen instansen som ska bedöma sĂ€kerheten? Inte en oberoende och global organisation som tex FN??

Svarta hĂ„l Ă€r nu inte det enda som LHC potentiellt kan skapa, det kan skapa sk “strangelets”, en slags materia som man tror existerar i neutron-stjĂ€rnor. PĂ„ Metro Teknik kan man lĂ€sa “Även om man inte vet exakt vad LHC kommer att ge svar pĂ„ Ă€r man sĂ€ker pĂ„ att den inte kommer att innebĂ€ra jordens undergĂ„ng. En sĂ€kerhetspanel med bland andra en nobelpristagare backar upp det pĂ„stĂ„endet.”

Wow, en Nobelpristagare!  Ja dĂ„ sĂ„… inget slĂ„r ju auktoritetsargument…

Men… vĂ€nta nu… Fysikern och Nobelpris-vinnaren Frank Wilczek skrev runt 2000 i Scientific American att collidern skulle kunde producera strangelets. I det fallet “one might be concerned about an ‘ice-9’-type transition,” wherein all surrounding matter could be converted into strangelets and the world as we know it would vanish.”

Hoppsan. Nobelpristagare mot nobelpristagare, vem ska man tro pÄ nu dÄ?

En annan materia som skulle kunna skapas Ă€r bosenovas…  Den 28:e augusti stĂ€mdes CERN av en grupp fysiker, forskare och studenter huvudsakligen frĂ„n Tyskland och Österrike, (aningen försent för att förhindra LHC-starten gissar jag) dĂ„ de anser att LHC utgör en allvarlig risk för EU’s sĂ€kerhet. Risken för bosenovas Ă€r inte utredd. “Whether possible or not is unknown, no experiments having been done by CERN to rule out the possibility, nor any theoretical model studies.”

Typiskt.

Men det finns annat som skulle kunna skapas ocksÄ, inkl helt okÀnda fysiska Àmnen och fenomen.

Forskarnas försĂ€kringar om sĂ€kerhet Ă€r relativt tomma ord, dĂ„ de helt enkelt inte vet vad som kommer hĂ€nda, dĂ„ ingenting liknande tidigare har skett. Detta Ă€r de medvetna om sjĂ€lva och har medgett. De kan bara spekulera. Spekulera… och samtidigt garantera, underligt nog.

CERN-professorn Dugan O’Neil sĂ€ger att det aldrig kommer bli möjligt att helt utesluta att “some very strange things” kan hĂ€nda.

CERN spokesmodel Brian Cox sĂ€ger “the LHC is certainly, by far, the biggest jump into the unknown.”

CERN-fysikern Alvaro De RĂșjula sĂ€ger “science is what we do when we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Jag tycker detta rimmar illa med deras försÀkringar om hur sÀkert det Àr.  Man brukar sÀga att extraordinÀra pÄstÄenden krÀver extraordinÀra bevis.  Jag vill i detta fallet tillÀgga att extraordinÀra risker krÀver extraordinÀra sÀkerhetsÄtgÀrder.

Var finns sÀkerhetsÄtgÀrderna?

AlltsĂ„.. jag vill avsluta med att sĂ€ga att jag tror inte nĂ„got av detta kommer hĂ€nda. Troligen kommer LHC köra som tĂ„get i alla Ă„r utan att nĂ„got hĂ€nder. Men dĂ„ jag inte kĂ€nner att riskerna Ă€r tillrĂ€ckligt utredda, tas pĂ„ tillrĂ€ckligt allvar, att pĂ„gĂ„ende stĂ€mningar inte Ă€r fĂ€rdiga, att kritiska sĂ€kerhetsrapporter inte tas pĂ„ allvar… Ă€r tillrĂ€ckliga argument för att avvakta med LHC, i alla fall dĂ„ eventuella konsekvenser av felbedömningar, misstag och direkta effekter av LHC-kollissionerna Ă€r sĂ„ potentiellt katastrofala för allt liv pĂ„ jorden…

O’Niel bedömer att risken att nĂ„got av detta ska hĂ€nda Ă€r “extremt osannolikt”. Ok, lĂ„t oss anta att du har rĂ€tt, att risken faktiskt Ă€r extremt osannolik.  Sorry men “extremt osannolik” Ă€r fortfarande inte bra nog… inte i det hĂ€r sammanhanget.

Eventuella kommentarer kring detta inlÀgg kan skrivas i forumet i trÄden:
http://www.nebol.se/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9

HĂ€r Ă€r ett fĂ€rskt (2008-09-12)  debattinlĂ€gg av Ulf Danielsson dĂ€r han fortsĂ€tter att lovorda LHC och vifta bort de kritiska frĂ„gestĂ€llningarna som “ogrundade” : http://www.aftonbladet.se/debatt/article3296276.ab

C++0x

Now here’s something interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%2B%2B0x

“C++0x is the planned new standard for the C++ programming language.”

Planned for release in 2009, the final name will be C++09.

This sounds good:

“Prefer introduction of new features through the standard library, rather than extending the core language;

“Prefer changes that can evolve the programming technique;”

and:

“Attention to beginners is important, because they will always comprise the majority of computer programmers, and because many beginners do not intend to extend their knowledge of C++, limiting themselves to operate in the fields in which they are specialize.”

However, while reading though the draft, I can’t say that I notice this aforementioned attention… in some case, quite the opposite. I see many neat tricks that the experienced programmer will find good use for, but that the newbie will fail to understand how and when to use. Dealing with the basics of C++ is hard enough.

Well, I will return with a thorough review once I get around to it…