Have Your Say

I am upset that the CRTC denied TVN's application!

Go to http://Support.TVN.ca and share what you have to say too


It's a sad day in the news today for Niagara, Canada

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) denies an application for a broadcasting license to operate an English-language commercial television station to serve St. Catharines and the Niagara region.

In doing so, the CRTC implies that it wishes for the continuation of Niagara's weak economy and lack of community cohesion

Having lived in Niagara most of my life, with my closest family here, I am very attached and concerned for my community. Today, I am embarrassed to call myself a Canadian and terribly upset that I pay taxes for such incompetent governance

My best wishes and regards go out to Wendell and Tracy Wilks, a father and son team, who set fourth to assist Niagara in it's social and economic need. Sure, they are business-men who identified an opportunity to make money, but in my opinion, they are also some of the most kind an honourable men to have graced this region, as are the rest of the TVN team, many of them residents of Niagara, who joined TVN in the endeavour to give Niagara a voice of it's own in the broadcast television world. The truth is that coverage from "CH Hamilton" does not do Niagara justice; they are more interested in the status-quo of redundantly simulcasting non-Canadian and non-local content for the benefit of the profits that are hoarded by their select few.

It is just so terribly disappointing to see the Niagara Region be so oppressed by it's own government. For further reading, a direct link to the CRTC's statement can be found on the front of TVN's web-site.


The war on spam

I check my email this morning, and find that I have 5 comments on my Blog

They were all "comment SPAM"

So, I have changed my comments setting to "Only Members of this Blog"

I've had a few "comment spams" here and there, with only one comment that actually had any relevance. Now that I think about it, I will just remove the ability to comment. If anyone wants to comment, they can email me.

I will conclude this post with a link to SpamCop, because that's where I send all my spam email. Most of my email addresses have been published on the web and in use for years, but I don't get very much spam. At most, I get 10 spam emails per day, for all my accounts, but normally the amount is closer to 5 per day. It takes a few months before the filthy spammers start removing you from their dirty spam lists, but from my perspective, this sort of proactive activity is the only way to combat spam. So, check out http://SpamCop.Net/ and help in the fight against those parasitic and pathetic spammers!

I'll return to my FreeBSD adventures shortly...


Spiral Rebuild


Still working from the FreeBSD Handbook
Chapter 4 Installing Applications: Packages and Ports
4.5 Using the Ports Collection
4.5.5 Upgrading Ports

"pkg_add -r portupgrade"

That's all I had to do. After executing “rehash”, I could run “portupgrade”.

At least this task didn't take as long as the previous couple...

Spiral Rebuild

Updating the ports tree with CVSup

One of the first things to be done upon installation of a FreeBSD system, is to update the ports tree, which contains information on the many programs which are available [and maintained] on FreeBSD.

To get started here's a good read:

FreeBSD Handbook
4.5 Using the Ports Collection

In my case, I ran the following command to install the CVSup program:
pkg_add -r cvsup
(I installed XWindows/XOrg, so I did not use the “cvsup-without-gui”)
I copied /usr/share/examples/cvsup/ports-supfile to ~root/, which contains the information CVSup needs to update the ports tree.
Then I edited the above file to reference the CVSup mirror closest to me [Canada]: cvsup1.ca.FreeBSD.org

Instead of having to remember to do “cvsup ports-supfile”, I made a very simple script: ~root/scripts/ports_update
cvsup ~root/ports-supfile
Yes, I put ports-supfile where the FreeBSD Handbook suggested.

Now that my ports tree references all the latest software and versions, I need to get portupgrade working. Then I can move onto reinstalling software, such as Samba, KDE, etc.

Spiral Rebuild

It's time to upgrade Spiral, my FreeBSD server, from version 4.10 to 5.4 (the latest STABLE release)

An initial install of FreeBSD is pretty easy, so I've skipped that part...

Mitch/Graphicgreen gave me a new 9GB SCSI hard disk. I took the Adaptec SCSI controller out of wounded (also being rebuilt), put it into Spiral, and attached the new SCSI drive and SCSI CD-ROM

FreeBSD 5.4 was installed on the new SCSI drive, so that I would not have to clear any existing data. After having made that much progress - getting the SCSI hardware installed and boot-worthy with FreeBSD 5.4 running - the goal is now to restore all of the services that Spiral provided me:

  • 250 GigaBytes of storage available on my network, accessible to computers running Microsoft Windows, for housing my digitized movie and music collection, among other things.
  • What I call a "Persistent Remote Desktop" - computers running UNIX-like operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD do not need to be rebooted often, unlike Microsoft Windows. So, I run XWindows on Spiral, which I can connect to from anywhere with an internet connection. In essence, I can access my desktop from virtually anywhere, with all my files, email, messaging, and much more, always at my finger-tips.
  • Apache web-server.

Anyhow! I need to mount the old file-systems on the IDE hard disks, which contain the data from when FreeBSD 4.10 was operating. They should mount with every boot, since it will take me a while to restore all the services and data.

The IDE hard disk detection at boot-time:

1) ad0 19456MB <SAMSUNG SV2042H/PK100-16> [39549/16/63] at ata0-master UDMA100
2) ad2 238475MB <WDC WD2500JB-00GVA0/08.02D08> [484521/16/63] at ata1-master UDMA100

The first disk is the
20GB disk that houses the system and user files.

The second is a 250GB
data-drive, which was made accessible to the network via Samba.

FreeBSD Disklabel Editor output for disk ad0:



Size (MB)
















ad0s1g must contain the user data, since it is the largest. I made a directory /mnt/spiral1g to mount /dev/ad0s1g with the command “mount /dev/ad0s1g /mnt/spiral1g”. I could now use “ls” to list the files in there. The “home” directory (user-data) and other good stuff was inside.

I followed the same process to mount the other partitions.

ad0s1a contains kernel files, so it must have been “/” aka “root”.

ad0s1b gave me an “incorrect super block” error when I tried to mount it. I know, I know, it's “swap”...

ad0s1e contains “cron”, “mail”, and other system-stuff.

ad0s1g must have been “/tmp”, since it contains lots of jibberish that is typical for that directory/partition/file-system.

Now I can “ee /etc/fstab” and have the old file-systems mounted automatically.

After a reboot, the four mountable partitions are all hooked up with their respective /mnt/ mount-points.

A quick check with disklabel on /dev/ad2 shows only one partition: ad2s1e

I added it to /etc/fstab, mounting on /liberty, just like it used to. mkdir /liberty; reboot

The 250GB data-drive and all of the file-systems (other than swap, of course) mount automatically and are accessible for me to restore what I need from Spiral's days of FreeBSD 4.10.


Frequently Asked Questions for FreeBSD 4.X, 5.X, and 6.X - Chapter 9 Disks, Filesystems, and Boot Loaders


Google TVN CRTC Hearing Transcript Shortcut

Want to quickly find the transcript from TVN's hearing with the CRTC, from last summer, June 6, 2005?

It's easy, just search for "Shakhhmundes", as this link to Google shows:


Thanks to Nikkie for leading me to this discovery <3

It works on Yahoo! too!