I went to the CCC (32C3) gain this year. As always it was great, a really interesting mixture of people geeking out with LEDs and activists trying to save the world. I always leave with mixed feelings. Glad that there is a community of people that are trying to keep a check on our privacy rights, and the freedom of the press etc, but also depressed about the direction that the world seems to be going in. Anyway, below is a machine that makes Crepes to cheer you up.

Liquid Cooling

So my main home desktop machine needed some TLC. Firstly, it was caught in a power surge before I got a UPS system and that damaged the power supply. The result would be that it would instantly restart after shutdown. I checked everything, from the BIOS upwards. This was definitely a hardware problem. The other issue was the machine would run hot under heavy load. Pushing about 70/80 degrees C.

So I eventually got round to fixing the two issues. I got a new 850Watt PSU and installed that. This solved the restarting problem. I also got a refurbished Corsair H90 Hydro cheaply for the replacement cooling solution. The CPU is a Intel i7 3930K, which has a TDP of 130Watts so a air cooling solution wasn’t really up to the job. The H90 is very easy to install, there was plenty of room in my case for an extra fan/radiator at the top. So it was a simple matter of installing the fan at the top, and then screwing the retaining bolts for the cooler on to the CPU socket. There is then a fixing ring for the pump/heatsink assembly that attaches to the bolts. I think it took me longer to unplug all the wires from the back of the motherboard than it did to install the cooler. Result, it has knocked about 8+ degrees of the idle temperature and about 15+ degrees off the load temperature. Which is a big improvement. Now I should really do something about the cooling in my old dual quad core Opteron system… Pictures below.

Liquid cooler for the CPU.
Cooler, GPU and Tesla Card.
Slightly closer on the cooler.
Slightly closer on the cooler.


SSH Alive 2

Perhaps this is an even better way of keeping things alive.

Use the following options either on the command line or in your /etc/ssh/ssh_config file (thats the path for Opensuse).

Host *
ServerAliveInterval 15
ServerAliveCountMax 4

I think this method might be more reliable.

BT Infinity

I moved house to somewhere that has BT infinity. That sounds a bit like I didn’t it deliberately, I didn’t. Although, it was a contributing factor. It was finally installed today. Seems pretty good. I don’t know if its true that it it takes a week or so to ‘settle’ down to a stable speed but it does seem a little all over the place. First impressions are that the speed over the wireless network isn’t that impressive. I’m only getting around 10MB ish, up and down. Although the speed testing services didn’t seem to be very consistent. Plug the cable in and things get much quicker, to the point where it seems that the testing services can’t really keep up. I tried a more ‘real’ world test and got 3.5MB per second downloading Ubuntu from the mirrorservice.org.uk. So that suggests that my wireless devices can’t make a good enough connection to get the maximum speed.

Another real world test I tried was BBC iPlayer. In my old place this would constantly pause and need to rebuffer etc. Now I can click around in the play back position bar and the program starts straight away. This is the same regardless of whether I am using wireless or a cable. So where doesn’t that leave me. With a very good internet connections I guess. As long as it doesn’t ‘settle’ down to a speed that I could get without paying for Infinity its all good.


I’m one of those people who’s mind drifts off to thinking about things almost on its own (Maybe all people are like this, I have only been inside my own head after all). I’m either thinking about the task in hand or my thoughts drift off to analyse something else. Perhaps the people or situation around me, some event in the recent past, a new idea (new ideas come when washing up). As I write this I am on a train heading between Durham and York. My mind started mulling over how adaptable humans are to new and different situations. Its true that many people do not like change, but it is also true that many people are able to adapt to huge changes in their lives both very successfully and relatively quickly. I see this in myself and many of the people that are around me.

Recently something happened in my life that while it was happening it occupied most of my mental capacity. Almost my every waking thought and some of my dreams were focused on one particular event. Unpicking it, analysing it and the part that I may or may not have played. At the time it was difficult to see how this could ever be different. We have all been there. Not much time needs to pass however and things change. I still think about it a lot but by no means all the time. It might be triggered back into my conscious thought by something specific, but sometimes it just pops back up without a trigger that I am aware of. This is what happened on this train journey, and the trigger is an association of a place that I will pass by. A place I once loved to visit but now I doubt I will ever go back. The closest I will get is skimming its event horizon on my way up and down the East Coast main line.

Silverlight 5 nightmare…

I subscribe to LoveFilm and I have to say was pretty disappointed when they switched from Flash to Silverlight. Mainly because I can no longer stream movies with Linux, but also because I have had problems with Silverlight before. I wasn’t surprised therefore that when they made the switch my media computer stopped streaming films. I tried all the normal stuff, turned off the firewall, added *.lovefilm.com to the trusted website in the control panel. Uninstalled, reinstalled. Tried different browsers, cleared browser cache. Everything. Nothing worked. I even contacted LoveFilm support who asked me to do all that again and then pretty much gave up.

I then noticed that it was only DRM content that wasn’t working! Annoying, as I should have spotted that before. So some more digging and I found that the DRM licenses used by MS software are stored in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds”. So I renamed it. Bingo, DRM content including LoveFilm streaming now works! Doing this will mean you loose all existing DRM licenses, for me that wasn’t an issue as I didn’t have any. Frustrating! At least I can stream films now. Well, just need to encourage my ADSL modem to find enough bandwidth, it over heats poor thing and gets all slow and rubbish.

Data collection is still going…

I am still collecting lots of data. Nearly all day every trading day programs download market data at 5min intervals (for the FTSE100/250/TechMark, the S&P500 and the NASDAQ). At least I am covering a really interesting period of financial history. Even if I haven’t had any time to do anything with the data yet.

The flip side to that is that this is such an unusual period that techniques learn’t using this data might not be generally applicable. A friend that works for a systematic hedge fund told me that their models have changed completely since the crash of 2008. No way of knowing unless I actually get round to doing something with the data.