recovery console consolation

A powerful and flexible tool that comes with every Windows XP setup CD is the Recovery Console.

It proved really helpful in repairing a damaged partition boot sector in one Windows installation.

Recovery Console turns out to be useful, even when safe boot mode and other startup options do not work. This is certainly the case when the partition boot sector, containing Windows boot code, has been overwritten.

Restart the computer from Microsoft Windows setup CD. At the first prompt, start the Recovery Console by pressing R.

great ireland run

Great Ireland Run finish

On Sunday 29 March 2009, I ran a distance of 10km in 42 minutes and 27 seconds around Phoenix park, Dublin.

No, I wasn't being chased by a giant panda bear. No, you wouldn't commonly find panda bears in Dublin. Besides, there is still some controversial debate on whether pandas are actually bears.

I ran in the Great Ireland Run 2009, one of the top running events taking place in Dublin. The race attracted over 11,000 other participants and was even televised on the national channel.

I covered the 10km distance in 42:27, finishing in position 392. I was delighted with the result!
I had set my heart on running the race in under 43:00, so I patted myself on my back after crossing the finishing line. Mission accomplished!


From speaker + -ectomy

speakerectomy (plural speakerectomies)
1. (surgery) The surgical procedure for the removal of the pc speaker kernel module.

If you ever wanted to prevent the ever so annoying pcspkr kernel module to automatically load on system boot, you can add the following stanza to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file:

blacklist pcspkr

Tested on Debian Lenny, works a charm!

how to show a custom block on specific language pages in drupal


When working on a multilingual Drupal website, you might want to only show a block on pages that are translated in one particular language.

This is particularly useful since one might have a block in English, which is meant to be displayed only on English pages, and a block in Italian, to be shown only on Italian pages.

scratch an itch or scratch a card

Winning scratchcards

I won money on scratchcards!

Considering that I paid nothing to get the scratchcards, my ROI approaches infinity. Pretty good, huh?

Here's the proof: this photo shows the three winning scratchcards, together with a clear shot of my left thumb, index, and middle finger. You might also make out some of my other left fingers... but the real focus of this photo is the scratch cards! They paid off 15 euro, 4 euro, and 5 euro respectively (from top to bottom), bringing the grand total to 24 euro.

If you are wondering how I came into possession of three winning cards without having to pay a cent for them... it's no big mistery, I got them as a birthday gift.

xmas hols and new year's

Mountain high Xmas tree

Picture a hot summer afternoon, a dry lazy wind blowing, the sun shining down on you, with no shade or shelter to be found anywhere. The incessant heat and torcing sun are conspiring together to work up the mightiest thirst you'll ever experience, driving your craving for a drop of water through the roof. Now imagine the "Aaah" sound of satisfaction that would come out of your mouth after drinking not a drip, but a whole pitcher of water. Can you hear that sound?

marry me

Today I asked Wala to marry me.

She said yes.

soft modded xbox

Soft-modding an xbox

Since my trusty softmodded xbox died on me, I have been forced to hook up my laptop to the TV whenever I wanted to enjoy a movie on the big screen. I quickly got tired of fumbling with cables all the time, so I resolved to find a used original XBOX and once again softmod it to install XBMC on it.


What a great weekend it was! It does not get much better than this...

It started on Friday night, with a good few pints at the pub down the road from work with the work mates. Since I hadn't had a nice pint of Guinness in more than a month, the black stuff tasted delicious.

Buckets of water and a good nights sleep later, I was ready to enjoy my windsurfing lesson in Malahide on Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wind was fairly consistent, the water was comfortably cold. I started off practising my tacks and jibes, then did a few water starts, then sailed out and back a few times. Two hours had already passed, and the wind was slowly changing from moderate to fairly strong.


As of today, IONA Technologies, the company where I have worked for the past four years, has been acquired by Progress Software.

As a famous and distinguished journalist would say: "I, for one, welcome our new progressive overlords!".

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