Wednesday, November 26, 2008


So, had a new HDD put in the work laptop today. This would normally be VERY painful as it would usually require an OS install - followed by the best part of a day's time installing and configuring apps. However, with my MSS (Windows Home Server) I can simply restore the image of the backup taken this morning before the replacement - over my GB network and all in around 50 mins for a 100GB backup :) Even better, the new drive is larger but the restore software allows me to restore the smaller old partitions into the newer bigger ones and expand - so I get a full recovery and larger partitions as well - very nice! I love my MSS!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Knog Gekko

Disappointingly my Cateye LD610 rear light, recently replaced due to leaking, has leaked again. A shame as it is a perfect rear light. Others do not seem to have the same problem but I am hesitant to try for a third time. Wiggle are kindly refunding the original. As such I have ordered a Black Knog Gekko instead. It looks more waterproof and should be quite stealthy on my black n' white bike :)

Update: seems very good - light, bright and as far as I can tell totally weather sealed!

Apple TV Hacked

Well, it took a couple of goes, mainly due to limitations in OSX 10.5 and most instructions on the net being tailored for 10.4. However, as you can see from the image I now have a 250GB drive working in my ATV. So, how did I do it....?

Prerequisites: The AppleTV, Some star screwdrivers, a sharp knife, a new EIDE 2.5" drive (in my case a WD 250GB model) and two EIDE-USB converters.

Step1 - break open the ATV. I started at one corner and slowly eased the rubber base off. I did this asap after switching the ATV off so it was still warm. I used a sharp knife to *help* along any stubborn bits. In the end it came off quite cleanly. You can then use the star bits to take the base off, and a smaller bit to remove the old HDD.

Step2 - Connect the ATVs disk to one of the USB converters, do the same with the new disk. Fire up OSX and plug both in.

Step3 - You now have to copy one drive to the other, there are more clever ways of doing this but OSX 10.5 does some weird things with partitions, so unless you have 10.4 or a MSc in Unix then simply do the following. You must, of course, first know which disk is which - a simple diskutil list will show you.

dd if=/dev/disk1 op=/dev/disk2 bs=1m

Step4 - After some hours (yes, it takes ages) your disks will have copied over. Voila you might think - but alas, no. If you put the new disk in now it will not work for two reasons, firstly there are .Spotlight-V100 folders in both the OSBoot and Media partitions, and secondly the ATV (unlike smaller disks) will not expand to fill the 250GB using a restore. So, we must destroy and then recreate the Media partition. By the way, at this point you can eject the original disk: diskutil eject /dev/disk1.

diskutil eject /dev/disk2
gpt remove -i 4 disk2

Now you must figure out the starting point of the new partition using diskutility list (you are looking for the starting block of the free space - I'll use XXXXX for now

gpt add -b XXXXX -i 4 -t hfs /dev/disk2

Step5 - At this point we are close, one last thing it to remove those .Spotlight-V100 folders.

cd /Volumes/OSBoot
ls -a
rm -rf .Spotlight-V100
cd ..
cd Media
ls -a
rm -rf .Spotlight-V100
cd ..
diskutil eject /dev/disk2

Step6 - Now you are nearly done, plug the new disk into the ATV, reassemble and start up. It should boot at which point perform a factory reset. If all goes well you will be on V1 of the ATV software with a bigger Media partition, now you can upgrade the software in the normal way and connect iTunes, etc.

Much thanks to the guys at for the pointers on this.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Road Works

The council are performing street works on my road today. As such - the street, usually lined with cars, is strangely quiet. I had to move my car a block away... They should be done by Wed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm in Italy this week learning about one of Tera's new products for web-publishing. Had a long day yesterday (flight was from Gatwick so I woke up at 05:30) so thought I'd go for a beer to relax in the evening. Had not planned anywhere - just left the hotel and started walking - it's Milan, right, must be bars everywhere. So, nearly 2 hours later I have still not found one - not so bad but I am dragging one of the Croatians around with me - luckily he thinks it is funny. In the end we get a taxi to the Duomo area and try our luck there. After 5 mins I ask someone local for directions - they send me to the only English pub in Milan!!! We watch football (England vs. Germany) and drink Guinness... typical! The Tuborg was from dinner - pizza - yummy :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ATV Hack

I am using the Apple TV (ATV) more and more these days to put my DVD on. Problem is that the internal 40GB HDD is a bit small. Sure, you can stream from the mother-ship but it requires the main machine upstairs to be left on. So, one small hack later should give me some more room. I say *should* as I have only ordered the new 250GB HDD today. Will have to wait to see if these instructions work or not :)

Bike Bag

This XMas I want to take my bike with me on a couple of occasions. I do not want a cycle carrier which leaves only one other option - the boot. Even with the seats down I am not sure I want mud and oil all over the car. As such I spent £45 on a bike carrier. It will not only keep the car clean but also protect the frame of the bike. It even comes with sperate bags for each wheel!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Nearly fell over laughing this morning - I *do* hope this is the last time the lovely village people pick on me for my celebrated parking skills :)

Parking sensors not looking so silly afterall eh??? eh!??

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bit of a cold...

K has been away in Sweden this weekend - leaving me to get on with some much needed University coursework. The good news is that I have pretty much finished one piece and am around 30% of the way through the second. I also got a load of reading done. The bad news is that I have been bunged up with a cold and headaches all weekend - not the easiest way to concentrate!

In order to cheer myself up I went to Alexander Palace last night with some friends to watch the fireworks. The display was great but the availability of beer and food was not. I jumped ship early and headed home before it got too late.

Other than that and work I have not done a lot - I was going to go out for a ride (well, I had planned one each day originally) but I've just felt too lethargic to actually do it. Ignoring my mountain bike??? I must be ill!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


My little brother is in for a fairly serious opperation today - he'll be out of hospital by Sat but then in 'recovery' for some weeks. All our fingers are crossed for him!

UPDATE: he made it :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Party Weekend

K threw me a late birthday party on Fri night for the Village People. Lots of fizz and food. Great fun. Did Uni work on Sat and then was taken for lunch by Dad on Sun. Finished the weekend off with a bike ride.