Ethics

Let us assume for the sake of my writing here that there is no god and no afterlife, I do not wish to argue theology, this is merely necessary for the purposes of examining my philosophy. It’s been said by many religious faithful that their faith is what guides their ethics, the commandments and tenets of their religion informing their daily actions. Some have taken this further and believe that were God not to exist they’d have no reason to behave morally. Should this be the case? I argue no.

I believe that, taking in the assumption that God does not exist, a new moral code can be defined that’s universally true and I believe one that is more pure of motive. If God does not exist then what should define the way we behave, what then becomes right and wrong? I believe we need to look at the commonality of all religion, that one common factor that has shaped them all. My answer is humanity itself. Humans are a highly evolved social organism, our biology and behaviour (for most) is adapted for group survival but as the last few millennia have demonstrated not for the species as a whole, demonstrated again and again by the ever present backdrop of violent conflict. Our drive at a primal level is the propagation of our species, at a higher level we instinctively seek and form social groups that become our primary loyalty above the species as a whole. It is my opinion that we can purify our motives by remaining in service to our fellow people rather than our morality relying upon a spiritual bargain for an afterlife, we can be good because it is good for all rather than because we expect to see returns from it.

How then, does one develop a meaning for life and a reason to behave morally without a belief in an afterlife, which under many faiths people attempt to qualify themselves for through meeting the moral expectations imposed upon them? The motivation I find is within a loyalty to my fellow human beings, a desire to advance myself and my fellows in security and leisure. In my opinion this is an immutable aspect of the fact of living. I dedicate my life to ensuring I will live comfortably and that at a minimum I do no harm but improve the lives of others where possible. I’m a firm proponent of some socialist ideals, it is our duty to work together so that everyone can live with the best average quality of life possible.

In defining a moral code in absence of religion we need to look at the needs of humanity as a whole and that of the individual. It’s possible for us to adhere to a moral code serving society for the benefit of all, we don’t need a religion to tell us how to do this. All that’s needed is a bit of introspection, to ask oneself the classic Doctor Phil question “and how does that make you feel?”. Despite my initial statement of keeping theology out of this, the Catholic bible has some good wisdom on this in Mark 12:31 “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself…”. It should not be difficult to extend the same courtesies and respect you expect for yourself to a stranger or loved one, the real challenge comes in not propagating ill will at those whom have already wronged us. Take care of your own moral identity first by remaining a good person, those that can’t abide and conform to an ethical culture are those that should be marked true criminals, their sin is against evolution.

History, both of the world variety and an individual’s have been marred by criminal transgressions against the individual as well as social, religious, ethnic and national groups. When and where does it end? In my personal actions I try to make the when – now and the where – here. Don’t let wrongdoing pass from you or by you, if you have the power to not become a victim then make it your personal mission to right wrong that is in front of you instead of staring it in the face and hoping it will disappear. Every now and then a cause so great may come along where it’s your moral imperative to become a victim for the greater good.

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

- Edmund Burke

Using NUT (Network UPS Tools) With Powershield Defender 1200

Again it’s been a loooong time since I’ve posted anything. Here’s a guide to how I got my Powershield Defender 1200 up and running using NUT under Debian. This is a cheap and lightweight (software wise, UPSes weigh a ton) solution for power protection of a home or small business server.

Installing NUT:

This part is dead simple, the NUT packages are already in the Debian repos so:

sudo apt-get install nut

This will install all NUT components and it’s dependencies. It does most of the hardwork for you, you just need to modify configuration files to your needs.

Modifying configuration files:

There are several configuration files that need to be modified in order to get a functional install; nut.conf, ups.conf, upsd.users and upsmon.conf. You can use the locate command that’s pre-installed on most systems to find them, the following is from my Debian box but your paths may be different:

$ locate nut.conf ups.conf upsmon.conf upsd.users
/etc/nut/nut.conf
/etc/nut/ups.conf
/etc/nut/upsd.users
/etc/nut/upsmon.conf

Use the text editor of your choice to open and modify the configuration files, I use nano. The nut.conf file is a dead simple modification just to set how the UPS is connected, I’m only using it directly connected so I added “MODE=standalone” to the end of the nut.conf file (ensure it’s not commented out with a “#” at the start of the line). Other modes are described in the conf file but most would use the same as me. You then need to add a definition for the UPS and it’s driver to ups.conf, mine is the below:

[defender1200] #A name to refer to your UPS, you can put whatever you like here but something descriptive and easy to type will make it easier to run commands
driver = blazer_usb #USB driver module compatible with Powershield Defender series UPS
port = auto #Typical setting for USB based UPS
desc = “homeserver” #A description for your own reference, is not critical and can be set to whatever you like

You then need to add a user for the upsmon daemon to access the UPS, this is done in upsd.users, I added the following at the end of the file:

[upsmon] #username of your choice
password = enterpasswordhere #substitute your own desired password, this does not have to match a system user
upsmon master #not sure whether “upsmon” on this line is because it’s the user or to give special permission to the upsmon daemon, this is what I was able to scrape together into a working config, master is what you’ll select if upsmon is monitoring a locally connected UPS rather than one on a remote machine

The final config file is a bit more complex than the previous two, it sets parameters for the upsmon daemon that handles the monitoring of the UPS and triggers system commands for low battery signals etc. For a basic setup though you should only need to add one line and modify another. First you’ll need to add a line defining the user to use for upsmon:

MONITOR defender1200@localhost 1 upsmon $UPSD3fender master #this is my example user setup defined in the following format
MONITOR [UPS_name]@[hostname] [powervalue] [username] [password] [master or slave]

UPS_name is the name you’ve configured in ups.conf for the UPS, hostname is the network address of the machine it’s connected to usually just “localhost”, [powervalue] is the number of powersupplies on the system, usually just “1″, username and password are those you’ve configured in upsd.users and master or slave is the method you’re connecting to the UPS by, usually master.

After all this, as root (or sudo) run:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/nut start
Starting Network UPS Tools: driver(s) upsd upsmon.

If you’re lucky you’ll get the above output and you’re ready to go! You can check the UPS stats using the following, where defender1200 is the name you’ve given the UPS:

$ upsc defender1200
battery.voltage: 26.90
battery.voltage.nominal: 24.0
beeper.status: enabled
device.type: ups
driver.name: blazer_usb
driver.parameter.pollinterval: 2
driver.parameter.port: auto
driver.version: 2.4.3
driver.version.internal: 0.03
input.current.nominal: 5.0
input.frequency: 49.9
input.frequency.nominal: 50
input.voltage: 245.0
input.voltage.fault: 245.0
input.voltage.nominal: 240
output.voltage: 245.0
ups.delay.shutdown: 30
ups.delay.start: 180
ups.load: 0
ups.productid: 5161
ups.status: OL
ups.type: offline / line interactive
ups.vendorid: 0665

Hopefully this makes the process more clear for anyone in the same situation as I found it difficult getting some aspects of the config just right and had to trawl around quite a few man pages. The configuration provided here will automatically start a shutdown when the UPS sets a low battery signal, if you configure your machine to automatically power back on after a power failure it will also restore itself once power is restored.

Steve Jobs Passed Away at 56

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not Apple’s biggest fan but I was sad to hear that Steve Jobs has died. While I don’t agree with a lot of Apple’s business ethics there’s no denying that Steve Jobs was an outstanding businessman who had a profound effect on computing. Apparently there’s a couple of people out there that like him dead though:

Server Setup – TV Mobili

It’s been ages since my last post so I thought I’d give an attempt at something useful for the interwebs. Tvmobili is a free DLNA server I’ve recently become familiar with. There’s a million and one ways of streaming media and DLNA is one of them, personally I’d prefer SMB but with an XBOX 360 being part of my network DLNA was a must for my new home server so this was my solution. The server is running x64 Debian which has posed a problem; tvmobili is only compiled to run on 32 bit. There’s a simple solution for this which I’ve listed below. Take note, I use sudo so if you don’t have the sudo command installed and configure login as root or type “su” enter and login as root. These instructions should work for many debian based systems:

1. Download the tvmobili *.deb package, logged into a terminal I used wget http://www.tvmobili.com/binaries/stable/tvmobili-debian-linux-i386.deb
2. Install 32 bit libraries if using x64 linux, these are required to run 32 bit software:
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
3. Install TvMobili:
sudo dpkg -i –force-architecture tvmobili-debian-linux-i386.deb (you can forego the –force-architecture on a 32 bit install)
4. Check tvmobili started properly:
ps -e | grep tvmobilisvcd
If this command shows any result then the tvmobili daemon is running
5. Login to configure tvmobili, you can do this from the same machine by visiting http://127.0.0.1:30888 or on the same local network by going to your server_hostname:30888 (where server_hostname is your hostname) or the ip_address:30888 where ip_address is your server’s IP. From here you should be able to follow the guides on their site regarding configuration, here.

If all went according to plan that should be all that’s required, give tvmobili a while to index all your content, though it is rather speedy and took only a matter of minutes to index about a terabyte of my own data (though this was on a 4 disk RAID so it had a lot of disk read speed). You can monitor this on the status page of the tvmobili configuration page. It should automatically become visible to all DLNA clients on your network.

asus eee pad transformer

Just picked up this great piece of tech, typing from if now. Will post up a proper review soon :)

Edit: So much for that, there are a million and one reviews out there now so it’s not like the world needs another.

Apple Are On My Shit List

Jesus Christ Apple, could you guys try any harder to be the biggest dicks on the planet? Check out this. It seems Apple have decided that as they are unable to beat their competition with technology in a fair market they’d rather file bogus patent infringement claims and try to impede their competition from being able to sell their products. It’s pathetic and I encourage everyone of my 2 readers to boycott them. No company deserves to be rewarded for this sort of behaviour. It’s an unethical form of business and stifles innovation through competition.

In the last few months Apple has filed against Samsung as well and probably a bunch of minor yet just as frivolous suits I’m not aware of. If anyone is disbelieving of me, check out Wikipedia’s article on Apple’s litigation hijinx. They sued the city of New York for using “a stylized apple design” for “Education services, namely, providing public service announcements on policies and practices of the City of New York in the field of environmentally sustainable growth”. They sued Woolworths over their new logo which looks remarkably unlike the Apple Inc logo. Where does it end? Does Apple Inc have it in for our much loved tree-growing fruit next for being a “clear infringement” on their IP?

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

So, I heard a little story today, apparently America’s antichrist Osama Bin Laden is now deceased. Nothing much to say on that. Bye.

Aside from that I’ve recently discovered a great app for streaming internet radio to an Android or iOS based device, check out Tune In Radio.

Merlin – RIP Friend

Today marks the death of the greatest cat I’ve ever known. Before meeting this guy as a kitten I didn’t even like cats. I’ll miss all his quirks and uniqueness, goodbye mate.
Cute and deadly
"It was thiiiis big"

New Amp and New Guitar

So the Bugera 6262-212 did eventually arrive. It sounds amazing, so powerful on the lead channel that I haven’t really played above about 3/10 on the volume. Ears will bleed with this baby. Here’s a video of me giving it a bit of a test with some of my own riffs:

Here’s a pic of the amp:

And the new guitar which for the moment has the title The Blue Beast:
Picked up for $200AU

I need to do a bit of setup on the new guitar before I can get a vid of them working together. The previous owner had it tuned to B standard :|

New Amp Coming Soon!

I’ve just bought myself a Bugera 6262 on eBay and I’m now eagerly awaiting it being shipped to my office. It should be a nice challenge to get this 28.5kg monstrosity home. It’s a clone of a Peavey 6505+, I’m aiming to knock down walls with this thing. Check out the video below for a demo of this amp (though it’s the half stack version rather than the 2×12 combo I’ve purchased).

Return top