Tim Hatch

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Some Reviews 31 Mar, 2007

I have a few reviews to throw down, so to avoid forgetting to do them entirely, I'm just putting them in at once. I pondered making a separate nav item for it but if I did that I'd never get around to it. Here goes.

Jeremiah, Season 2 (tv)
Good. Give it a little break after watching season 1 and you'll like it a lot more. I just realized that it has a lot of actors common with the Dresden Files and Battlestar Galactica, which is a little fun. The network tv show Jericho is pretty much a ripoff of this show, but not caring about accuracy or believability.
Torchwood: Another Life (book)
By far the worst published work of fiction I have ever read. I have quite honestly read better fanfiction. It is even worse than Star Trek novels, which are notorious for having bad quality control since they aren't considered canon.
York Photo (prints)
Not bad. Uploader works on OS-X. They print the filename and 'York Photo' on the back of the pictures. Overall quality reminds me of Sam's Club (who also print stuff on the back).
Battle Royale (movie)
Awesome. Definitely must watch. Sequel is not so hot but if you liked the first one, give it a try.
Happy Endings (movie)
Of course it has Maggie G. in it so it's enjoyable. The plot borrows slightly from a short story of the same name but has lots of awkward. I love it.
Criminal (movie)
Works well if you haven't seen the movie it's based on (in Spanish). For the average American audience Criminal will probably be more enjoyable. I probably just like it because it's got Maggie.
Extras (tv)
As you might have guessed, I like awkward. This certainly has it! The production budget appears to have gone up for the second season, although I don't like the celebrity guest stars as much as Patrick Stewart from the first season.
Tamron 28-75 f2.8 (lens)
Nice little lens. I had a big review written up but didn't say a lot, so I'll make it succinct. I like it on my 350D. 75mm is too long to handhold indoors, and there's some zoom creep when walking. Hood is nice. Distortion and CA are well-controlled and have required no postprocessing. I'm still playing with getting the whitebalance perfect in mixed environments.
Ebay Triggers, aka Ghetto Triggers
Deceptively simple on the inside, they're pretty compact and efficient at what they do. I've tried the RF-04 version with hotshoe on the receivers, and have gotten them to work quite well. After replacing the batteries in the transmitter and receiver, make absolutely sure your flashes have fresh batteries if you have consistent flash-not-triggering issues, especially with the Vivitar 285HV.

Recently Encountered Backup Exec Issue 29 Mar, 2007

We recently had an issue that the backup exec agent for unix had issues talking to the server it was supposed to be talking to. It's actually a pretty quick fix but I'm going to give some log lines for reference too.

In the agent.log, we get:

**** getservbyname(grfs, tcp) failed! ****
**** using default port number(6101) for resource advertising ****

When you run ./agent.be -d -nd you will get a bunch of debug info on stdout/stderr. If you see this line, you're in the same boat we were earlier:

NRLAdvertisementSender: t_connect_v(nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn.213.23) failed 2732:  errno=111

The issue is that /etc/services no long has an entry for grfs. The log says that it's using the default port, 6101, but in reality it's using a byteswapped version of 6101. TID 263307 says we should be seeing 23.213 in the log, not the other way around. It's an easy enough fix though, just add it back to the file:

$ echo 'grfs            6101/tcp' >> /etc/services

Then things behave as usual.

Peeking in Log Files 27 Mar, 2007

I had a need at work today to be able to tell what months are contained in a multi-month log file (i.e. for stats to be regenerated for those months). After about two minutes of thinking, I came up with this quick script. It'll break down if we ever end up with a 13th month, but what won't?


import re
import sys

r_date = re.compile(r'\[(\d+)/(\w+)/(\d+):')
months = ['Jan', 'Feb', 'Mar', 'Apr', 'May', 'Jun', 'Jul',
          'Aug', 'Sep', 'Oct', 'Nov', 'Dec']

def main(fn):
    fo = open(fn,'rb')
    a = fo.readline()
    fo.seek(-1024, 2)
    b = fo.read().splitlines()[-2]

    am = r_date.search(a)
    bm = r_date.search(b)
    if not (am and bm):
        print "FAIL: can't read dates"

    start = int(am.group(3)) * 12 + months.index(am.group(2))
    end = int(bm.group(3)) * 12 + months.index(bm.group(2))
    for i in range(start, end+1):
        a, b = divmod(i, 12)
        print '%04d%02d' % (a, b+1)

if __name__ == "__main__":

Super-Nifty 26 Mar, 2007

The new gmail notifier is nifty
Better than that, it's super-nifty.
How can you tell the difference?
I'll know it when I see it.
So in other words, super-nifty is just like porn?
Yeah, exactly like it.

An Update 20 Mar, 2007

I got notification last week that I've been accepted into the UNT Computer Science Masters' Program. I don't know yet if I'll get support from the department to do their bidding in lieu of COBA's, but we'll see. If I'm lucky I may get to help with the CSRL SDF compiler or the systems programming course development.

Further news as it's received.