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Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven




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Tue, 09 Jan 2007

The sync option to mount does not mix well with vfat and memory cards - 16:41
So I was wondering why the performance of USB memory sticks appeared to be so pathetic on my laptop and my desktop at work the other day. Read performance was fine with 10 or 1 MB per second, however depending on which memory stick I used I got between 70 KB/s and 600 KB/s.

After banging my head against this for a while I googled for details about bad usb memory performance on Linux. I came across a lkml thread from may 2005 that seems to have helped enough. Apparently the performance of USB memory with the sync option and vfat filesystems is really pathetic, this is largely due to the repeated hammering of 2 blocks with every sync.

Alan Cox has some good and salient points in the discussion (to be expected from such a guru I guess), notably he points out most quality flash memory is very unlikely to be too adversely affected in a short time by using sync and he has a link to some details of life time guarantees from some companies for their flash products.

Anyway I disabled sync on the desktop image and my own desktop and disabled it on my laptop, all of a sudden I get 2MB/s or better depending on the memory stick I am using. Neato.

Interestingly Alan suggests the documentation for mount is generated form the kernel docs somehow and should be up to date and thus not continue to suggest that vfat filesystems ignore the sync flag. It is interesting to see that my Debian unstable copy of that man page on my laptop today still suggests that vfat ignores the sync option. At a glance I can not see any mention of this on the Debian bugs page for mount.

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Pink frame back and nicely fixed. - 15:51

The repaired area of the pink frame (fullsize)
Back in October I put up photos of some cracks developing in my primary steel mtb frame, the pink Bender Bicycles hard tail mtb. Anyway as is the case when I break a steel frame I got Wayne Kotzur to fix it up, however Wayne has been busy as a volunteer firey for a bit and thus it took a bit longer than his last few lightning fast repairs. I got a call yesterday that it was fixed and ready so went and picked it up.

To ensure the frame will not fail similarly again Wayne put a sleeve around with better welds onto it than before on that part of the seat tube. Lovely work as always and all it cost was AUD $60.50.

I think I may indeed go ahead and get this frame repainted though, apart from the black where the fix is looking a bit strange the frame has had some hard use and would look oh so pretty with a new coat of paint and brand new stickers applied.

[/mtb/gear] link

Oh no the meme got me - 15:00
Well I think I have so far resisted participating in most memes (exceptions are those memes of my own creation such as Tuesday Afternoon Milk Carton Blogging and Steel bike on Dairy Farmers Lookout and the occasional interesting looking meme, such as the Which Dr Who quiz and the where have I been world map. So not many, and definitely I try to avid memes as some way to fill in blog space. The one meme I really would love to participate in is the draw batgirl meme from early last year, however my artistic skills when it comes to drawing or similar art are a little too limited, especially when compared to some of the beautiful drawings that appeared in that meme.

Anyway all that was by way of introducing that I am once more participating in a meme, this time the 5 Things You Did Not Know About Me Meme, largely because Tony pinged me on it and I give him enough crap about not blogging that I may as well live up to him actually having posted for once.

5 things probably not known by too many people about me.

  • Growing up we had a cat, she was named Mother Cat (due to the large number of litters of kittens she had that we knew of by the time we adopted her)
  • Occasionally I waste huge amounts of time reading fanfic.
  • My sister and I are of the firm belief that Toyota Rav 4's are evil and whenever we see one we pretend to aim and fire a rocket launcher to destroy it.
  • Tomorrow Wendy by Andy Prieboy is one of my all time favourite songs.
  • My mother has told me that the name she and dad had chosen for me if I turned out to be a girl was Adele, after Dad's grandmother on his mother's side.

If I am to be so mean as to pass this on I guess it would be pelted towards Crash, Allan, Martijn (as if he will ever blog again, ahh well), MRD (because he is cool) and my sister Jane if she ever happens to start blogging.

[/various] link

Specialized brand cleats and associated hardware are like cheese - 14:26

Specialized cleats top, new Shimano cleats below (fullsize)
So I know I tend to be tough on bike equipment, and shoes do not seem to stand up to much of my use. When I bought my new Specialized Comp MTB Shoes in September last year I simply left the screw plates that came with them in the shoe and used the cleats and screws that came with them also. I now discover I probably should have simply used one of my many spare pair of Shimano cleats as they last longer.

In the first few weeks of having the shoes I had problems keeping the cleats tight, eventually I swapped the bolts that came with them for some Shimano bolts, though one of them snapped off in the screw plates when I was trying to tighten them. The last few weeks I have had my feet pull out of pedals on my single speed, my road bike and my mountain bike (sometimes causing painful bike meet body moments, sometimes coming close to crashing (starting a sprint)). I was surprised at the possibility of cleats being worn out as I have seen cleats last for more than a year, even with the sort of use I give them.

However when I looked at the cleats the damage visible in the photo was there. They had worn out rather badly around the bottom retention lip and that was the cause of the problems. I have asked a few people about this since and it was pointed out by a few of them (one of whom uses Specialized shoes and sells them in a shop they work in) that the cleats are made of some form of metallic butter or cheese it seems and are not recommended for use. Ahh well.

Of note also is that when I was changing the cleats over last night I noticed the screw holes in the plate in the shoe had split in two places so I had to throw away the Specialized screw plate and use a Shimano plate I had sitting in the shed.

[/mtb/gear] link

My almost hackergotchi business card - 13:31

My CORC business card
So Jdub asked if others had business cards with hackergotchis, my response to that would be sort of. My business card for work is the bog standard ANU business card, I did not even try to slip something neat such as Big Cool Guy onto it (after all I really am not as Cool as BCG). However as one of the CORC committee members who regularly has meetings or interactions with others on CORC business I have a card to hand out in those situations.

When Russ created the cards he requested a photo for the card, it seemed only natural to use the photo from which I created my hackergotchi, not quite a hackergotchi in that my head is not floating in a void, but close.

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