Recent blog entries

  • Mac mini server (mid 2010) setup notes I recently bought a unibody Mac mini. Because I wanted a pair of fast drives, I got the server edition. Although it's somewhat pricier than the base version, you get a faster CPU (2.66 GHz Intel core 2 duo T8800), 4GB of RAM, and two 500GB 7200rpm drives (Hitachi travelstar 7K500).For the most part, setting it up was smooth, but a few annoying things stood out.Firstly, snow leopard was already installed on the machine, but inexplicably, the drives were partitioned as two separate volumes. It would have made more sense to have shipped the mini with the drives combined in a RAID volume. Instead, I had to repartition and reinstall snow leopard again to get a ...
    Posted Sep 27, 2010, 1:52 AM by Stephen Ma
  • Sydney dust storm Here are some of the pictures I took during the dust storm on Wednesday. Dawn. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is somewhere out there. The sun manages to penetrate the dust.
    Posted Oct 10, 2009, 4:38 PM by Stephen Ma
  • Double rainbow behind Sydney city skyline View towards the east, captured late this afternoon.
    Posted Aug 7, 2009, 6:04 AM by Stephen Ma
  • CGI scripting in awk?! Awk is a frequently underestimated scripting language.  Although it's been around since the 1970s, it never really caught on except as an occasional adjunct to bourne shell scripts. This is a shame because it has what I consider to be the right attributes for a good scripting language: code requires very little boilerplate; there are just a few concepts to learn. The original awk paper describes all of its concepts in just 7 page. Of course, new features have been added to awk since then, but even with those changes included, the POSIX awk definition is still refereshingly short. When I recently had a small CGI script to write, I decided to try awk. I was inspired by some ...
    Posted Aug 2, 2009, 12:20 AM by Stephen Ma
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