Gating Twitter to IRC using Perl and Net::Twitter

The other day I had a strop about someone carrying on a Twitter conversation in IRC, since I didn’t have a Twitter account and had no idea what people were talking about. It was at that point that I floated the idea of gating the channel members’ tweets into the channel so I would still only have to look at IRC to follow what was going on. To me not really any more anoying or intrusive than announcing our blog posts, which the planet bot already does.

People were generally in favour of it, so I had a look around for libraries. I quickly found the very handy Net::Twitter Perl module and bolted on the Twitter bits to an existing quote bot skeleton.

The result is Twitfolk. It currently lives in #bitfolk on The source is in SVN at

PS. I am not a very good Perl programmer but it seems to work.

R. E. Perot, get gold card soul / My joy of life is on a roll

I thought I’d treat myself to some toys.

With FOSDEM and other events fast approaching I decided I should buy myself a new compact camera as the Konica DiMAGE I have now is just too big to carry around all the time.

I’m no camera expert and certainly not a very good photographer so I don’t need anything particularly special. pidgin recommended the Panasonic FX series and looking around the review sites the current favourite seems to be the DMC-FX33, so that’s what I got.

It arrived today (well, yesterday) and I’m really impressed by how tiny and cute it is!

Panasonic DMC-FX33

I haven’t yet had chance to really play with it but in my limited testing it seems to work well enough, and it’s certainly small and light enough to carry around most of the time.

I was also going to stick up a photo of the new server I’ve bought for BitFolk and am currently testing, but it appears to have been shipped with faulty RAM, or maybe even a faulty motherboard.

The BIOS event log shows single-bit errors corrected over the last week which must have been the burn-in period, and I can induce more of them by running memtest86. It seems the supplier did not check the BIOS event log (ECC RAM corrects single-bit errors so they were probably otherwise undetectable) before shipping.

It doesn’t seem like just a case of a bad stick or two though, as the errors appear across the whole memory space, which is why I think it could be the motherboard. I’ll get it sorted out eventually but it’s going to delay things massively and being out of capacity is costing me money.

So anyway, that’s really annoyed me and left me without anything good to say, so I’ll save it for another day!

Dear Lazyweb, help me set up my audio

In times past, when I had a desktop computer, I’d always have to be in that one place to use it, so attaching speakers to it was a reasonable way to play music while I worked. These days I only have a laptop for my personal computing needs, and all my data is on a fileserver here at home.

Unfortunately, playing music through a laptop speaker is less than acceptable. It got so bad that I just went to attach my old desktop’s speakers to my laptop, and found that one of them was dead. Clearly I need to revamp my audio setup.

So how should I do this? What I want is to be able to direct the audio from my laptop to come out of speakers in the room I am in, whether I am playing music/video from the fileserver’s samba share (common), or watching a dvd (not so common). Initially this needs to work in my bedroom, but should be easily expandable later to other places I use the laptop, such as the lounge.

I currently have no audio hardware (no hifi, no amp, no speakers) so am really starting from scratch. I’m not an audio buff and was previously happy with the quality of audio produced by decent powered computer speakers.  It’d be nice if I don’t have to attach more wires to my laptop also. There is a 100M switched ethernet network linking upstairs and downstairs so anything that isn’t going to move about can be plugged into that.

My budget is let’s say 500 UKP. Possibly more for a solution that is really good, will last ages and can be easily transported to any future accomodation.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

New fileserver for home

specialbrew's disks

Recently my fileserver, becks, was not only getting filled to capacity but was also undergoing some severe performance problems. It’s by no means a poorly-specced machine (not for home use anyway) but my use of rsnapshot has grown so much in the last 6 months that it was no longer up to the job.

Read on for the saga of its replacement.

Continue reading “New fileserver for home”

New ducti

My new ducti walletLast year sometime I bought a Triplett ducti wallet. It has served me admirably, but in the last month or two the clear tape on the outside started to peel back. With the underside of it being sticky it was getting fluff all on it and starting to look a bit scruffy.

I mailed ducti UK to ask if they had any tips for cleaning it (it does come with a repair patch, but I feel this is really all just show). They promptly mailed back with some suggestions, but also told me that if I posted it back with £5 then they would send me a brand new one, as part of their lifetime trade in policy!

So that’s what I did, and on Friday my replacement wallet arrived, with a free wallet chain thrown in! Thanks ducti!

Optimus Keyboard: What a joke

Optimus MiniPreviously I blogged about the Optimus Keyboard, and how it would supposedly be available February 1st and cost “about as much as a good mobile phone.”

Well the site now tells us that the first product will be available May 2006, the Optimus Mini. The Optimus Mini has 3 keys. It will cost $100. Now that’s what I call the difference between marketing and reality.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll bother.