University is done

I have finished university. And finished it for good.

Oddly enough, my university degree and my university job both finished on the same day. I am very glad. Both were very good and edifying in so many ways. But also often pretty exhausting.

Phone boxes and fancy cafes

My old friend from Rough Edges was having a bad night tonight. She was pretty crazy on rum and drugs. She was shouting and hitting stuff and smashing the phone receiver on the phone box as hard as she could. Her friends were worried about her. I haven't seen her that upset before, and she often gets upset. It wasn't nice to see her like that and it wasn't nice to be around. I was sitting there listening to her shout thinking about how ugly it all was and how awful alcohol can be. But then some rich young things sitting in the cafe across the road started heckling her. And I realised that yelling and hitting the phone box with the phone receiver doesn't even approach the levels of ugliness humans are capable of. Not even close.

Rich people are obviously at a huge disadvantage because their lives are so pretty, that when they start acting ugly (which is kind of always for a lot of them) it's desperately ugly. Like tonight. I almost walked over to them to ask them to have some dignity.

Album to Album Artist in iTunes for Windows

iTunes has some wacky album ordering which can screw up coverflow pretty badly. You have to set your "Album Artist" for each album. You'll probably have to do this manually for your compilation-type albums, but there won't be many of those. The bigger problem is setting the field for all your other albums.

There are AppleScript's to copy the "Artist" field to an empty "Album Artist" field namely Doug Adam's one, but that only works on Macs. I started writing myself a iTunes Windows scripting thing, but I'm too lazy to figure it out.

I found Mp3tag through Yahoo! Answers and it's very good.

To copy the field with Mp3tag:

  1. Create an action group called "Album to Album Artist"
  2. Add a new "Guess values" action to that and set the "Source format" value to %artist% and the "Guessing pattern" value to %band%
  3. Run that action group for all your albums with an empty "Album Artist" field
  4. You'll probably have to clear iTunes cache (use "Get Info" on all your tracks, don't change anything but press "OK")
  5. You are done

Apache again

I've finally ditched lighttpd + fastcgi and replaced it with Apache on smurf. Lighttpd was good, but fastcgi was a total dog. It broke all the time and it got to the point that I didn't want to host my friends sites anymore. Every time I went on holidays fastcgi seemed to fall over and all the sites would be down for a day or three.

So I've gone back to the stable world of Apache, although not on the important server. In all the years I used Apache and mod_php it gave me no problems at all. A total rock. I was seduced by lighty's memory footprint, but I was a fool.

I'll move the other server over to Apache as well at some point, the one with Thoughtful Foods and KSAsub.. I thought rewriting all the configuration files was going to be a pain, but it was actually really quick. RewriteCondition with -f is bloody marvellous.

New Renewable Generators

I'm trying to find a green energy supplier, because Origin Energy is slightly ridiculous. So I ended up reading the fine print of the Green Electricity Watch website. I wanted to know why some companies were getting much higher ratings than others, even though they were all "100% Green".

I found this...

9.Why isn't any renewable energy good? Why does it need to be new and accredited?

When someone buys GreenPower, they usually want to make a difference to their greenhouse emissions. If their purchase has no effect on the amount of renewable energy that goes into our electricity system, it has no effect on greenhouse emissions. Green Electricity Watch considers the non-accredited part does not increase the amount of renewable energy. Accredited GreenPower is certified to come from new renewable generators - additional since when the scheme started – and continuing sales increase the size of the market so more renewable energy generation is built.

...which strikes me as pretty dumb. They're suggesting that we should build new renewable energy plants instead of using existing renewable power plants. Not only are they suggesting that, but they're including it in their evaluation of green energy providers. I can understand wanting to encourage further investment in renewable energy, but it seems to be creating some perverse incentives to build new plants when there are perfectly good ones sitting there already.

So I think that instead of trying to change to Origin because it has a slightly higher rating, I'll just stick with Energy Australia....

Except I just rang Energy Australia and they only do fixed price deals. So we'll be paying $108 extra per quarter for only $49 worth of green energy. Stupid capitalism. I want my own farm with a wind generator on it.