Christian Biggins Design, Technology, SEO, General Ramblings. Something for everybody.


Check and start a process in Linux

Over the past few days, we realised that, for various reasons, our Sphinx search process (searchd) would occasionally not be running. As Sphinx is pretty much the backbone of our sites, we couldn't have this happening. I wrote a small script that runs permanently, checks if exists (you can have it check anything) and if not, then starts searchd. This is all done in a screen session so I can just leave it running.

The script is very, very simple;

while [ "1 -eq 1" ]
    if [ ! -e "/var/log/" ]
    sleep 2

Basically, we have an infinite loop, we check that /var/log/ exists, if not, start it, then sleep ('pause' essentially) for 2 seconds before starting again. You can change it to alert you too, if you'd like.

To get an idea of how screen works, check out this post.

Thought it might help some of you.


Toto – Rosanna – Best film clip ever?

Inspired by a mate of mine who emailed me a link to Toto's Rosanna film clip, I tried to think of the three greatest film clips of all time and I got these three;

Toto - Rosanna. Cant argue. Toto still remain one of the greatest bands of all time.

Men at Work - Land Downunder. Great because they had the smallest budget ever and still managed to make the song and clip great.

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen. What kind of name is Eileen anyway? These guys are a touch odd and took the bad 80s hair to a whole new level.


Blog Action Day 2008

With already over 200 sites registered and over half a million readers, BAD2008 is going to be huge.

I personally will be writing a post for this event and I encourage all other bloggers to take part also.


Bike Thief

Crazy video of a guy stealing his own bike in broad daylight. Make sure you watch it til at least the third 'method'.


Fuel Watch

Bloody awesome video. Checkout the GetUp website to support this ad campaign.


This is the kind of thing movies are made of

I have just read an article on smh that states that a canal that runs through some of our cities' suburbs is the most contaminated in the southern hemisphere! That is just crazy, the canal has been pumped full of industrial waste for so long that the governement has warned people to not touch it! Other agencies like the Environment Protection Agency warn that we also cannot disturb it as the toxic sediments on the bottom of the canal are far more toxic than those at the surface.

Scary Stuff.


The torch through Canberra.

As I am writing this, the Olympic torch is being run around Canberra by various people who are being protected and flanked by police and police vehicles. People have come from everywhere to protest the torch, either for or against, China.

One of my Heroes, Bob Brown, had a sky writer write 'Free Tibet' across the sky during the run.

More info here.

And, according to this article, this might be the last time the torch comes to Australia. I dont believe that for a moment and it is just a scare tactic to get people to calm down. Why should they calm down? Since when has voicing your opinions been something to be threatened about? (ok, since, like, forever...).


Now a nice and easy way to reduce your PC’s power consumption

I was reading LifeHacker (as I always do). And I found a great post on going green with your pc. From that post, I found localcooling which is an application and community reducing their pc's consumption in a collaborative effort to reduce carbon emissions. What a great idea. I signed up and am now saving 70 watts of power from my work machine alone. Nice work Uniblue.


Japanese Whaling Quota damage

In my Greenpeace newsletter that arrived this morning, I noticed the following paragraph;

Whales: The Japanese whaling fleet returned to port short of their quota by nearly
half, and blamed environmentalists for disrupting the hunt. We should all
be proud of the role we played in saving 439 whales when our ship the
Esperanza pursued the Nisshin Maru for 15 days across 4,300 miles of the
Antarctic whale sanctuary, shutting down the whole whaling operation for the
entirety of the epic chase.

Thats brilliant. An extra 500 whales for our oceans for another 9 months or so. :) Thanks Greenpeace, Sea Shephard and anyone else involved in this!


Another act of brilliance from Sea Shepherd.

There is nothing this organisation could do to make me love them any less (besides sell out to a Japanese whaling company - but thats a little unlikely).

The bloody Canadians and their annual seal hunt is an absolute barbaric travesty that nobody seems to care about.

Except Sea Shepherd.