Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen

Beer

Today’s beer, Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen is another German beer (there seems to be a few of these around at the moment.)

I drank this wheatbeer from a 500ml bottle. Apparently the fermentation is finished in the bottle.

Surprising at first, before the carbonation ruins it. I also suspect this beer is best drank a few degrees warmer than fridge temp.

Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen certainly isn’t that easy to categorise, the flavour feels like it’s hidden in there somewhere but won’t come out. Dissapointing really as it could have been pretty good.

Apparently this beer won a gold medal! Obviously I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Not a great review, but then not a beer that really stood out to me. 5/10 – Not foul by any means, but meh.

Fürstenberg

BottleI thought it was about time I started reviewing some beer, at least as a reference for myself when I’m next out shopping for beer. In time I’ll start to do this properly, but for now it’s just a quick summary.

Today’s beer is Fürstenberg a 5.3% lager from Germany.

Approx. $18 for 6 330ml bottles from my local store. This is a german beer, and tastes very much like the beer we had at the world cup in Germany in 2006, so it brings back font memories for me. The first thing I’d note about Fürstenberg is that it goes down extremley well, it doesn’t seem too carbonated and there’s no bitterness to it at all, faily refreshing although not very sharp. This beer is lacking in flavour a bit, but then again it’s the kind of beer that isn’t meant to have a lot of flavour, it’s a real drinking beer – so I’m now off to drink the other 5!

I’ll hopefully revisit this review once I gain more experience and write some proper reviews. But for now, as a personal reference I’ll give this beer a solid 7/10 – it’s a good beer, but lacks anything special. Certainly better than most of the beer I seem to drink.

MySQL 5 and old clients (like php4)

Warning: mysql_connect(): Client does not support authentication protocol requested by server; consider upgrading MySQL client in /blah/somepage.php on line 123

The reason for this warning is because PHP4 can’t communicate with a MySQL5 server unless it’s using old passwords (set by using the OLD_PASSWORD() function below.)

There are two simple ways to fix this. The first would be to upgrade your version of php. Unless you *really* need php4 (or below?!) upgrade! I’m not sure php4 is supported any more and should be considered a security risk. If you can’t upgrade, just do this in your database:

update mysql.user set password=OLD_PASSWORD('thepassword') where user = 'theusername';
and:
flush privileges;

This should do the trick. Be warned, if you issue any GRANT statements after this you will have to update mysql.user again.

Auto_increment fun!

Discovered some fun things in MySQL today..

Set the variable @id to 0:
SET @id = 0;

Update the column id to be id + 1 – this will re-index your id column in one fell swoop. Very nice:
UPDATE tblname SET id = (@id := @id + 1);

Set the first value for an auto_increment column:
ALTER TABLE tblname AUTO_INCREMENT = 196;
(this won’t work if there are rows with a higher value already in the table)

All in all, a few nice bits and pieces for cleaning up your tables.

Ableton Live 7.3 under Wine

Amazingly, I’ve managed to get Ableton Live to work properly under Wine.. installation was a breeze, but getting it to decode MP3s properly was a head scratcher.

When I dragged an mp3 over into Ableton live, it would clip all over the place, even in the waveform which tipped me off that this wasn’t a hardware or emulation issue of some kind. Anyway, after faffing around with ffdshow and stuff, I finally found the answer:

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=16226 the summary says:

Install Apple iTunes and change msacm.winemp3=winemp3.acm to msacm.winemp3=QuickTime.qts to fix mp3 issue.

Now, I tried to install iTunes 8, but that was a lost cause, so I got iTunes 7 here:
http://www.pcauthority.com.au/Download/59665,apple-itunes-7.aspx

Installed that, then edited ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system.ini and changed the above line. However this still didn’t work. What I needed to do was copy QuickTime.qts from it’s directory to system32:
cp ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/QuickTime/QTSystem/QuickTime.qts ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/

Then it worked.. keep in mind that previously imported samples that are glitchy will still be glitchy as they need to be re-analysed, probably best to just delete and re-import them.

Oh, and make sure you’re using the latest version of Wine.

Western Digital Mybook World Edition (2nd edition)

The new(ish) mybook world edition
The new(ish) mybook world edition

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed some kind of NAS for my home as I’m often replacing my linux distro, installing Win7 or whatever and I wanted somewhere more permanent for my files.

I looked at the possibility of getting another PC to set up as a NAS, but this looked like it was going to be too costly, and I really needed something that could be plugged into my router which is stuck in the kitchen so I went for the WD Mybook World Edition as I knew it was running Linux and was hackable.

So far I’ve been fairly happy with it, it was *Very* easy to enable SSH and get to work fiddling with it. There’s a checkbox option on its web interface to allow SSH access. From there it’s fairly easy to install optware (similar to apt on Debian/Ubuntu) which allows you to easily install pretty much anything.

Performance is apparently a lot better than the old blue-ring version, however I must say the USB & ntfs performance is laughable – after a lot of tweaking I managed to only get 1.2MB(megabytes!)/sec out of it via USB where as I get about 5MB/sec over my wireless network! Oh well.

The only other issue I’ve had with it is the software it runs.. WD have done something very bizzare indeed and used what seems to be some kind of generic PHP software for embedded devices to run the thing. At first I thought this was just for the web front end, but no, there are all kinds of system() and shell() (or whatever it is) calls in a whole bunch of weird php files that do everything from mounting hard disks to starting other services etc.. very weird! I think significant performance gains could have been made if WD had opted for a more ‘normal’ system rather than having the overhead of a web server and php for everything.

Having said that, using optware allows you to do things as you would on a normal system without interfering with the main system which is a nice feature of optware.

Overall, I’d recommend this device – it’s not the best, but for the price I think it’s pretty reasonable.

WDTV – Western Digital TV media player

Picked up a WDTV last night for $200. As you may have guessed from some of my other posts, I’m into my A/V stuff, so this thing seemed like a bargain. Many reviews will rave about how great it is, and I must say it’s not too bad, but I have found there are bugs (even in the latest 1.0.1.2 firmware):

Playback of any AC3 file seems to result in a barely noticable (but very annoying) 100ms or so audio lag. This doesn’t drift which is good, but it makes watching anything with an AC3 soundtrack very annoying. I’ve tried various things to try and fix this and make sure it’s not me or my files, but the unit. Strangely, this only seems to occur when playing back NTSC files, and not PAL (25fps) files.

Other than that, it’s pretty good. I’ll hang on to it until I can test it on someone else’s setup. Otherwise it might have to go back to the shop!

*update*

After more testing with different files, it seems to be off-sync with a bunch of files, not just ones with an AC3 soundtrack. I also tested the device at a friends place before finally taking it back. If Western Digital manages to sort this bug out, I may consider buying it again…probably not though, manufacturers need to start testing stuff rather than just putting things out there and then releasing good firmware a year later.

I also just found out the WDTV violates the GPL, so I don’t want it anyway!

*update2*

Version 1.02 firmware is now released for the WDTV, and I’ve recently bought an AV reciever which has built in a/v delay stuff (and optical/hdmi inputs etc..) so perhaps it is time to re-purchase WDTV after all. Converting MKV/h264 to AVI/xvid for my xbox w/ac3 isn’t so great.

*update3*

I did re-buy the WDTV, and I’ve been very happy with it, but only if using firmware version 1.02.03 (I think it’s that one) which has all the sync issues sorted. Recommended!

Common sense

I don’t believe in emailing chain-emails about, so I thought I’d put this here:

London Times – Obituary

An Obituary printed in the London Times……..

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend,  Common Sense, who
Has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
Since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He
Will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain;  Why the early bird gets the
Worm;  Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t  spend
More than you can earn
) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,
Are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
Overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
Charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
From school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
Reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
Job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly
Children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
Consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could
Not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an
Abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
And criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a
Burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
Realize that a steaming cup of coffee she had purchased in MacDonald’s was hot. She spilled a little in
Her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement against the company.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by
His wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Virtualbox 2.1

A new and significant release from Sun, Virtualbox 2.1 is now out just in time for Christmas.

I’ve been checking out a couple of new features that have been added. First, the most significant (to me) is native built in host networking support. This makes it super easy to connect a VM up to a host network adapter so that you can access the VM from the outside on the network – far easier and more simple than setting up tun/tap interfaces. It even works with wireless network devices on the host which is awesome.

The other neat new feature is 3d hardware support, this is a big deal if you’re a gamer and you use linux as it enables you to play your 3d games on VM rather than re-booting into windows or using WINE or whatever.

All in all, Virtualbox is now probably my favourite application ever, it just keeps getting better and better. If you’ve never used it before, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.

Download version 2.1