The Hungry Hacker's Explanation of Everything

Hardware »

[23 May 2010 | One Comment | ]
Buying a little more time from my Microsoft Optical Mouse

I love my mouse. No, I don’t think you quite understand – I love my mouse. It’s not like it’s anything special either, you can get one off of eBay for about five bucks… but of course it was about $35 when I got it, back when optical mouses were still somewhat new. In fact it’s only quite recently that most new computers came with an optical mouse.
But even so, this mouse has served me well. It’s now called the “Microsoft Optical Mouse Basic“, but back when I got it …

Operating Systems »

[26 Apr 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
lspci for Windows… Sort of…

Spike on IRC was commenting about how much of a pain in the arse it is to track down drivers for unknown hardware on Windows, and how easy it is under Linux using lspci. I sat and thought about it – lspci can’t possibly pluck hardware strings from nowhere, there has to be some sort of database… and there is, and best of all there’s a web-based front end to it.
So here’s how to do it yourself in a few easy steps… first, right-click My Computer and choose properties. Then, …

Software »

[23 Apr 2010 | 7 Comments | ]
Super-caching with TimThumb

This website doesn’t actually use TimThumb – our hack of the Arthemia theme instead uses Flickr for all it’s image hosting, so it’s just easier to hack the theme to understand how to pull different sizes of Flickr images instead.
However, we have another site that my wife’s internet services company hosts that needed to be optimized for Digg/Slashdot-style surges, and it does use TimThumb – extensively in fact.
The Problem
TimThumb does have a caching engine built in which will, if your permissions are set up correctly, prevent the thumbnail from having …

Paintball »

[17 Apr 2010 | No Comment | ]
Low-pressure Spyder with Pure Energy Regulator

When I bought this el-cheapo regulator from a paintball shop, they said it wouldn’t really be suitable for low-pressure. Well, it turns out they’re wrong! According to the Pure Energy Vertical Inline Regulator manual, the default configuration is good from 550 to 900 PSI. Removal of a shim from inside the regulator body drops the adjustable range from 275 to 500 PSI – about the working range I’m thinking to be optimal for my low-pressure marker.
Removing the shim couldn’t be easier – shown in the picture to the left is …

Operating Systems »

[7 Apr 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
UPnP-IGD on FreeBSD with PF

I used to always run either OpenBSD or FreeBSD powered routers – basically since around 2000 (before that it was Linux, but we don’t speak of those days anymore). In recent years, starting with my Cayman 3546 router I just started enjoying the simplicity that appliance-type devices offered.
Our most recent setup has been a Linksys WRT54G, which has been rather crap in it’s duties really. For some reason it’s consistently dropping packets and possibly rebooting (but with the garbage default firmware, there’s absolutely no way to tell if it’s rebooted …