Slack Complicit in Rickrolling

I came across this many moons ago, not long after I was slapped but the most amazing rickroll ever.

Rickrolling is a prank and an Internet meme involving an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. The meme is a type of bait and switch using a disguised hyperlink. Those led to the music video believing that they were accessing some unrelated material are said to have been rickrolled.

Slack is an instant messaging software, commonly used by IT teams or organisation for collaboration.

I had shared it with friends of mine on slack for a laugh. This led to a few more attempts to rickroll them. It was then that I discovered every YouTube video linked in slack would expand to display an embedded video. Except for a select few all related to Rick Astley’s song. Those clever buggers.

Here it is in action. You can choose to dismiss embedded content by click the little “x” button next to content. I assure you I have not done that here. If you have slack try it for yourself.

And finally I’ll leave you with this little piece of magic.

Thanks for reading and be sure to get my special discount voucher for your favourite online shopping destination. ^_^

PSA: Hyper-V Guests should be in High Performance Power Plan

I’m hoping this information will help others. Hyper-V guests can suffer performance degradation when not in the High Performance Windows Power Plan.

I came across this when a friend and I were trying to run a game server, Space Engineers I believe. We ran into some hard to troubleshoot performance issues. If it was not for the nature of computer games and the reliance on low latencies more so than most other home lab workloads I’m not sure I would have run into this problem.
After a few days of digging and trying different things we discovered that CPU parking was known to cause performance issues in this game and that parking was taking place on the system.
Some suggestions came up to try force the CPU not to park but I decided I’d play with the power settings after reading that this was a normal process carried out for power saving reasons.
Parking was introduced in Win7/Server2008R2.

Like magic everything became much better after changing the power plan. I now ensure all my Hyper-V guests have a group policy applied to them to set the power plan to High Performance. I anecdotally noticed a few other minor improvements with other systems that I didn’t originally attribute to being performance problems.

This was earlier in my HomeLab setup when I was running on an early Core i7 desktop computer running Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V Role. I have not experimented with this on server running a Xeon processor but as it is primarily Windows Kernel function I imagine it is no different.
In light of this I have of course set my host to run to High Performance also.

There is some good discussion around power plan and performance in general here:
https://serverfault.com/questions/661209/best-practice-to-disable-speedstep-for-hyper-v-hosts

In saying all of this I can still imagine calculated scenario’s that one might might use power saving functions for their VMs. To achieve the obvious cost savings though a lot of effort would need to go into properly testing the applications that will be running on the VMs. Until you’ve done that the high performance plan is your safe bet.

Gunther and Ottos Adventures

Came across this amazing story of a German called Gunther and his Mercedes called Otto.
Gunther has travelled through 195 countries (all but 16 counties on the planet) and Otto has clocked up 884,000km. Same engine and even the same pistons.

An incredible story of adventure, worth every minute of the read with pictures to go with.

Here is the BBC special written article.

The importance of backups

Everyone needs them, most don’t have them.

I see it so very often working in IT. A customer has a PC or laptop that stops working so they have the IT person look at it. Identify that the HDD has failed so the only option is data recovery or restore from backup. Data recovery costs normally start at $1000 but rarely does it stop there. Depending on the severity you should expect data recovery costs to be in the $2000 – $5000 mark and that is to attempt recovery there is no guraantee data will be recovered.

How could you have saved this headache? BACKUPS!
Keep everything in more than one place.

There is no excuse, for computers, there’s an external drive and windows backup is free. There are many other backup software solutions too.
Your flash drives and external drives aren’t safe either, they commonly fail. Keep the data on these devices on your PC also or again have another external drive that contains a copy of all this data.
Google Drive or Dropbox are suitable locations to store copies of your data. If you use Dropbox for example as your main file store ensure you have them backed up to your computer also. No online service is infallible so don’t rely on them solely to keep your data safe.

My personal experience with loosing data was this website. I was making changes to the database in the backend one day and accidentally deleted the wrong database. Lost almost everything.
I was lucky however that I had an old backup of the site minus a few posts so I was able to restore it to working order. I even managed to retrieve the content from the lost posts by visiting the Way Back Machine.
Now I’m sure to have scripted backups of all the data for the site and have it transferred to a computer elsewhere periodically.

Never underestimate the importance of backups. It will save you time, money and heartache. The only person who says they don’t need a backup is kidding themselves.

Hydrogen (HHO) Fuel Mixture

On-board hydrogen generation, water powered fuel saving applied to the air intake air to increase power, fuel economy and decreasing emissions in a combustion engine.
 
 
I first heard about this at Ballina when someone at a camp ground had hydrogen injection (additive) system in his Diesel GQ patrol. He stated that he was getting I think 20 – 30% better fuel economy with it.
Sounded cool so I investigated. I was sceptical and more so after reading everyone online saying its all bullshit but the few people that have done this are reporting 5 – 40% fuel economy gain and better power. The argument against is that it takes just as much energy (12 volt power) to split the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen as it produces energy in the engine. This argument seemed valid from my reading/understanding the law of conservation of energy. But the proof is in the pudding as they say so I investigated further.
 
While the energy output from the combustion may not be more than the energy used in its production. It would seem that the increase in energy comes from the increased efficiency of the burning of a hydrocarbon (diesel). The reading I have done indicates that the small amount of hydrogen that is highly explosive assists the burning of the diesel that is less so. In turn you get less fuel used to create the same or more explosive power inside the cylinder and more particulate matter is burnt off.
 
Now its my turn, I am investigating purchasing one of these systems ready to go or building my own. I do not plan on spending ridiculous amounts of money in case the return on investment is not suitable.
If anyone has any experience with this stuff or information please get in touch with me.
 
When I get around to this I plan on detailing it and conducting some thorough controlled experiments. I will be happy to admit failure when I can prove to myself that this isn’t the case.
 
Here are peer-reviewed articles that have scientifically tested and detailed this:
Diesel&HRG (http://www.scientificbulletin.upb.ro/rev_docs/arhiva/rez35337.pdf)
HydrogenGenerationInjection (http://www.hho2u.com/uploads/Jet_Propulsion_Lab.pdf)

Protect Australia’s Freedom

One of the most important issues in Australia currently is upon us, stopping of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement or more specifically the Intellectual Property component of this document. No explanation from me is required if you read the below.

tpp_infographic

A good bit of satire:
http://pirateparty.org.au/w/images/0/01/Ppau-blocked-a4.png

New Truck

So have bought a new 4WD!
2006 Nissan Patrol GUII TD4.2Ti Ute (Coil)
The last year the 4.2L Patrol was produced.

New_Patrol_BL New_Patrol_BL

Basically a power house 2 seat ute that can (will be able to) go anywhere, tow/carry anything and last for ever.
I have spent far more money purchasing this than I would have ever thought I would spend at my age but I found the car on Carsales and couldn’t take my eyes off it. My decision with this brand and model is based on quite a few facts and knowledge that I have acquired being in the 4WD club that I am in (The Motley Crew).
The Nissan Patrol has proved itself as a 4×4. The Patrol drive train is the strongest for the vehicle type available (less breakage in the Patrol vs Landcruiser under extreme conditions). The 4.2 is known as an extremely reliable engine and with good maintenance people have done over 1 Million K’s without an engine replacement.

While maintenance and fuel are likely to be an increased expenditure over a cheaper more modern 4WD I feel the likeliness I will hold onto this vehicle for 10+ years (depending on circumstances) will mean value for money in the long term. The resale value on these vehicles as proved by my purchase is due to the Ute’s being made with 3L from 2007 on and the reliability factor means I should loose less money over the life of the vehicle if maintained well.

I have many plans for this vehicle to make it a very capable 4WD and comfortable tourer. Some of these will include lift, mud tyres, winch, battery system, water tank and canopy just to name a few.
Progress and updates of the cars build will be posted here over time.