Skip to content

{ Monthly Archives } April 2007

TV Idiots

People are continually talking about the end of Television. The TV executives blame people downloading off the Internet via “peer to peer” for there gradual decline. TV series are a huge part of most television programming, viewers get hooked and then continually tune in.

However, the idiots who schedule TV series are ruining them for everyone. TV series need consistent time slots to keep building suspense and grow viewers. Having inconsistent breaks and time slots ruins that processes and drives ratings down. How are people going to know to tune in to the program if they can never be sure it’ll be on?

Inconsistent breaks and timing killed Lost and Prison Break for me, the breaks ruined the suspense both programs rely on and I’m no longer watching either. The recent break in Heroes really dampened the enthusiasm I had for the program.

Another huge problem which happens very often in Australian TV is that they mix old episodes with new episodes to make seasons longer. This confuses continuing stories and characters which have died randomly reappear. As well, they continually advertise things as new episodes when they are actually airing repeats. They are particularly bad with programs like NCIS or Law and Order.

Why are commercial TV stations trying to destroying themselves?

Compare this to our national broadcaster ABC, which now has full VOD casts of all their productions. I don’t have to worry about missing things like the Chaser as I can just go and download them later.

Using Tailor to go to git

As our code repositories for Thousand Parsec where down anyway (because of the host being compromised), we decided to do something we had been thinking about for a while. We converted all our code repositories to git.

We had previously been using darcs, however the unbounded memory usage was getting out of hand. The straw which broke the camel’s back was when nash couldn’t even checkout the web repository because darcs kept getting killed by the Out of Memory Manager (on a machine which has more then 512Mb of RAM).

After much discussion we decided to move to git. The biggest reason we choose to use git was that we didn’t want to get stuck with another non-mainstream SCM system. With large people like Xorg, the Linux Kernel and many others, I’m pretty sure git will become the SCM of choice in the near future.

As I had previously had a large amount of experience converting the darcs repositories to subversion (for our mirrors), I was put in charge of converting the repositories to git. As previously, I used Tailor.

The first problem is that darcs has git repository support. The suppose solution to this is using disjunct working directories. However, git did not appear to like this, I need to hack up the source code to get it to work. I’ve submitted the patches back the Tailor repository and they have already been included!

Another problem I ran into was that I don’t have a machine which has enough memory to convert the web repository! I don’t have a computer with more then 768mb of ram (feel free to send me some more if you want! :P). Luckily thanks to the Summer of Code, a student who goes by the name cherez (who I was very disappointed we didn’t have enough slots to select) gave me a shell account on his machine with 4Gb of Ram.

As a result of converting to git, I was also able to merge the development and stable branches (of both tpclient-pywx and libtpclient-py) into one repository. This was a little bit trickier then I would have liked, it involved finding the branch point manually and then telling tailor about it, in the end it worked out. You can find a copy of the config I used for branching here.

You can see the results of our conversion at our gitweb.

I have to say, I’m amazed by git. Every single operation is very, very fast, I guess it’s why they called themselves “Git – Fast Version Control System”. Another thing that amazes me is the size of the repositories, under darcs our repositories where about 4Gb, with git they are around 200Mb! Overall, I’m happy with our choice.

Doh! Pictures gone…

The server I run my blog on got hacked. In a hurry to make a backup of everything before taking the site down I forgot to copy across all the pictures in my blog. I’m now hosting my blog on so I don’t have to deal with all the maintenance problems of running WordPress myself.