Hand of Stabs

It struck me that the year is almost over and I haven’t actually posted many music pictures this year and I’ve seen some great performances in 2013. So in order to remedy that I’m starting with Hand of Stabs. I saw them 3 times this year – firstly at Rochester Library and then as part of their Month of Sundays tour at Grain Fort and finally at the launch of the film they made on that tour on board LV21 in Gillingham.

Hand of Stabs


The Music Tree



VDubs and Scooters!

We’re going to this next year!


It’s £20 each for the weekend including camping and under 16s go free! There’s VWs, Scooters, live music, flushing toilets and showers! Sounds like a bargain too good to miss! We wanted to go last year but it clashed with my festival but SoL is earlier next year so we’re buying ourselves tickets as Christmas Prezzies! They’re available here!

In the meantime here’s a couple of pictures from our holidays on the Isle of Wight last year!!

Camper Scooter Scooters 2

Death of a server!

Four years ago I set up a server in my shed with the aim of running my websites on it. On the whole it has been very successful apart from the time when I was suddenly thrown into the limelight by an article I’d written on my blog and a guy called Cory Doctorow republished it on his site Boing Boing and my server kept crashing due to the weight of traffic trying to access it!

Sadly last week my server suddenly stopped working. I’d been getting spurious messages from it on my way up to London that looked as if someone was spamming my blog but they’d stopped mid morning. However when I tried to access my blog that night I found the server had crashed. I tried to reboot it by turning the power to the shed on and off a couple of time but without success. So I went out to the shed and found the screen saying “Press any key to reboot” – everything I tried came back to this same outcome so I came to the conclusion that something drastic had happened.

So the following I had a chance to look at it properly and it became apparent that the main hard drive was dead. So I had a rummage and found a few sitting on the shelf in the shed. The first 2 I tried were both 80Gb and I didn’t want to use such a big drive for the main drive. The third drive I found also seem to be dead but then I found a 20Gb one which I connected tot he computer and installed Ubuntu server on it before calling it a night!

I thought I’d got my server to a point where I could do the rest remotely from inside the house but I’d forgotten that I hadn’t installed ssh server which would let me use putty to control the server. I had changed the IP address to a static one – I don’t know why this isn’t a set up option as it would make sense to me to have a fixed IP rather than one allocated by DCHP. This change seemed to have also caused problems with DNS lookup and I had to solve that issue so I could load ssh-server and then Webmin. Once this was done I went back inside and continued the set up by installing Apache webserver and Mysql database and setting up access to drives.

I decided that it’d be an idea to replace the second drive as well – it was only 6Gb and almost as soon as I’d set up the server originally I realised that it probably was a mistake – that was about 4 years ago! So I connected one of the 80Gb drive I’d found the day before. At this point I was almost ready to start putting the data back again. I had a regular back up for the MySQL files but I was disappointed to find that I hadn’t backed up the rest of the website files since June 2010!! It would mean that some of the recent changes would not have been included and although I knew I would have them somewhere else it would just mean more work. So I copied the website files onto the new 80Gb files and set up the virtual servers for each of the 3 domains. This worked remarkably well – due in no small part to a site I’d found with step by step instructions. I got as far as I could and eventually called it a night at about 1:30am!

So my first task the following morning was to transfer the data from the old 6Gb drive to the 60Gb partition on the “new” drive. I knew the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer were all on so in order to avoid someone putting the kettle on and tripping the power I moved the kettle over to the cooker socket which is on a different fuse. There was about 15 minutes to go when Sarah put the hoover on and bang the power went off. Luckily I was controlling the transfer from my laptop upstairs and that stayed on. I rebooted the server and waited for it to come back up before doing anything. To my surprise the only thing that happened was the file that was transferring at the time was skipped and the transfer continued. Once it had all transferred over I disconnected the old drive and put the computer back together again.


The main thing I had problems with was setting up an FTP site and updating the WordPress installations – none of which were going well. Try as hard as I could I could get the ftp client to log in but it wouldn’t see anything at all. Similarly the WordPress update just wouldn’t happen. We went shopping and when we got back I had another go but after an hour and a half all I’d managed to achieve was to give myself a headache and I also felt sick. So I decided to have a lie down for half an hour and woke up 3 hours later having missed dinner!

Later that evening I decided to try again and quite sensibly I started by deleting the virtual ftp server I’d set up and started again. This time it worked first time! I later employed the same concept to the blogs by deleting the blog directory and installing the software fresh. I then found that I could start the installation by going to the admin page and entering the database name. Once it had connected I simply copied the content from the back up file and it all fell into place!

At this point it was time for bed but the server set up was complete enough that I could now start adding the bits that were lost because I hadn’t backed it up for three and a half years! This would mean trawling through several locations to try and find them! And that’s exactly what I did! I found about 99% of the images from the 3 blogs and have managed to re-create the rest!  I also tracked down most of the missing Web pages. So it’s taken me just over a week to get back to where I started!

Now………… I must remember to do a back up!

Analogue Adventures Part 3: Yashica Minister D


I picked up this camera along with 3 others from a Freecycle group a few weeks ago. In the box there was an old Kodak Disc Camera, a plastic 35mm point and shoot and a yet to be tried Polaroid Colorpack 3 (with a film!!!).  The Yashica is a 35mm fixed lens rangefinder camera dating from 1963 and considering it’s age it is in remarkably good condition! The camera has a built in CDS metering system which takes a 625 battery which, as luck would have it, I had lying around as I’d bought 2 for a Super 8 camera which then turned out not to work!

yashica 2

I found the camera a little difficult to get used to – you read off the exposure meter in Light Values LV and then set the value on the lens which sets the correct aperture and shutter speed for that Light Value. You can then move the rings round together if you want a greater depth of field or a different shutter speed. On the first time out with it I found the needle on the light meeter wobbled about a bit and checking against the light meter on my phone found it may have been reading a little high but this didn’t seem to effect the final images so maybe it was ok.

Wheel 2

I took the camera down to Brighton on 1st April on what was a bright sunny day (although quite chilly on the seafront and used about two thirds of the Kodak Gold 200 asa film that I’d put into it up. The film had expired about 10 years ago but this seems to have had little effect on the outcome. The rest of the film was used up on a visit to New Romney on the 18th May. It was while I was finishing the film off I started to notice a delay between pressing the button and the shutter firing which I thought was a little odd. A few weeks after the film was removed I went back to have a look at it and to my horror discovered that the shutter wasn’t firing at all.  I did a quick google and the info I found suggested that the shutter may need lubricating which turned out to be quite a simple job. The lens element simply unscrews and you can then get at the shutter blades. A cotton bud and some lubricant and it was fine again. I’ll have to try another film in it now but in the meantime here are some of the results from that first film….


West Pier 2

Brighton Pier

Seafront 2




Explored – again!

Brandenburg Gate by deadheaduk
Brandenburg Gate, a photo by deadheaduk on Flickr.

I’m feeling rather chuffed today because a picture I uploaded yesterday to Flickr made it into their explore section which chooses 500 pictures from the thousands uploaded every day to highlight.

This is the second time I’ve had a picture in explore and on both occasions the picture was taken with my mobile phone which just goes to show you don’t need an expensive camera to take a good picture and that what I’ve always said hold true – the best camera for the picture is the one you have in your hand at the time.

The picture has had around 700 views in the first 24 hours and has been favourited 44 times so far!