Alan Wylie's Web Site

Sun, 2015-03-08

If you get errors trying to nfsmount your root partition during a PXE boot permalink
VFS: Unable to mount root fs via NFS, trying floppy.
VFS: Cannot open root device "nfs" or unknown-block(2,0): error -6
Please append a correct "root=" boot option; here are the available
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(2,0)
try adding "nfsvers=3" to your kernel command line
LABEL alan
  KERNEL alan/bzImage
  APPEND root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=,nfsvers=3 \
         ip=dhcp nfsrootdebug vga=0x323 netconsole=@,@

Thu, 2014-11-20

Gentoo, bash, xmalloc errors permalink
In Gentoo, after turning on the bash use-flag "mem-scramble", I got emerge errors for icu and nmap:
bash: xmalloc: shell.c:1596: cannot allocate 10 bytes (0 bytes allocated)

Fri, 2013-11-22

Windows Security Applications (2007-12) permalink
When working with friend's PCs, here are some applications I install:

Fri, 2013-11-08

Just to try and g**gleb*mb it: permalink
Link to a friend's NHS Anti Smoking Campaign

Mon, 2013-03-18

About me: permalink
I'm a computer hacker (in the original meaning of the word), a caver, a fell-walker, and cyclist.

mail me at

Note that sending unsolicited marketing e-mail to an individual in the UK is an offence under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and that the collection and processing of personal information is regulated by the Data Protection Act.


Mon, 2013-02-18

Contact Me permalink

Please note that sending unsolicited marketing e-mail to an individual in the UK is an offence under Section 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

If you are having difficulty e-mailing me, perhaps because of my anti-spam defenses, use this form (See also Hints on running a well-configured outgoing mail server )

Please enter the text "spammers are scum" in this field:

Your Name:

Your Email:

Your Message:

Wed, 2012-12-19

Xmas links permalink
UWFRA SARDA BPC Gaping Gill Titan Titan Titan Titan

Sat, 2011-12-24

Captain Brown's Experience on board the barque Robert Hine permalink
My brother David has scanned in and OCR'd a pamphlet my Great^2 Grandfather published entitled Captain Brown's Experience on board the barque Robert Hine

Thu, 2011-11-10

Found, at the summit of Puig des Tossals Verts, Mallorca, on Wednesday 9th November 2011. permalink

A Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ18 Camera

Contact me for the contents of the SD card and the return of the camera.

Sun, 2010-08-22

Lateral Cleft, Jingling Pot permalink

Thu, 2010-05-06

Confusing Apache error message permalink

If you get the following error message:

[crit] [client] (13)Permission denied: /foo/bar/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file, ensure it is readable, referer:

check that the permissions on the directory enable the web server user to read/access it, to fix it do something like:

find <dir> -type d | xargs chown <apache user>
find <dir> -type d | xargs chmod u+rx

Fri, 2010-02-26

I'm looking for a job. permalink

(Updated April 2010)
I've found a new job.

Sun, 2010-01-31

Links permalink

Weather maps

Some organisations I belong to:
The Vibram Mountaineering Club
The Karabiner Mountaineering Club
The Astronomy Centre

My excellent ISP: Zen Internet

A very nice Bed and Breakfast in Coniston:
Oaklands Guest House

And some of my favourite websites:
SANS - Internet Storm Center
The Register
Linux Weekly News
National Secular Society

The Spamhaus Project

ROCK Linux
Gentoo Linux

Abstruse Goose
User Friendly
The Joy of Tech
Irregular Webcomic!
Questionable Content
Something Positive
Full Frontal Nerdity

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tue, 2010-01-05

Unsolicited Bulk Commercial e-mail from Janglemail / Blurbjangle permalink

Full story here

Thu, 2009-12-31

umount: /mnt/tmp: device is busy permalink

If you are trying to unmount a device, you get the error "device is busy", but lsof/fuser don't show any process holding the device open, it could be that a file on the device is associated with a loop device.


# losetup -a
/dev/loop/0: [0821]:25280514 (image) offset=55273881600
# losetup  -d /dev/loop0 
# umount /mnt/tmp

Sat, 2009-12-05

Laser-Scan Fastrak permalink

Laser-Scan Fastrak

A photo of the Laser-Scan Fastrak display and digitiser, circa 1985. Click to enlarge.

Sat, 2009-11-28

The Hine Line of Maryport permalink
Here are some scans from the Magazine "Sea Breezes", September 1959

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

Briar Holme
Briar Holme Memorial
Henry Scholefield
Myrtle Holme
Rydal Holme Painting
Rydal Holme
Rydal Holme Officers

Sun, 2009-11-15

Mallorca photographs permalink
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Wed, 2009-11-04

Cova Tancada permalink
Transcribed from an old and faded printout, with map.

When driving to the Alcudia peninsula from Peurto Pollensa, in Alcudia go through the first set of traffic lights, at the second set you turn to go straight on, this is achieved by turning right then immediately left onto the Mal Pas road. This road is not signposted and is easily missed. At the roundabout (tree with a small wall around it) where the Bodaga Del Sol is, turn right and follow the road, it eventually becomes a track, carry on until you reach the hunting lodge, a white and yellow building, park here.

A track off to the right normally tapped (sic) off is followed up hill and into the open. The track then passes throught a wooded area, at a small dip a vague 'Y' where a track descends can be seen, go down and across the small stream (dry) follow the track to the cliffs and descend as the path dictates, there are steps in places, the cave entrance looks out over a beautiful turquoise sea. This old show cave is a very large chamber full of calcite, take your camera and <ends>

More Cova Tancada, Alcúdia, Mallorca permalink

See also the previous post:

Having now visited the cave, it was well worth the walk and slightly difficult scramble down.

We walked in from the car park at the Campament de la Victòria, but there were cars that had driven up past the golf course and parked here:
where a chained off track leaves the track which runs up to the Coll Baix. N 39.8556, E 3.18125

Follow the chained off track east as it rises, then bears round to the right and the slope eases. At this point, there is a footpath leading down to the left. The main track continues on, and is the one that is being followed in the opposite direction in the description in the previous post. Follow the footpath to the left. It goes round the head of a valley, crossing a dried up stream, then heads east towards the coast.

Eventually, it heads north and then descends north-east into another valley, crossing the dried up stream bed and then following the north side of the valley towards the sea. Then the path drops very steeply: at one point there are metal poles embedded in the rock with rope strung between them. See the photographs here, which include photographs inside the cave. The cave is in the cliffside, about 30m above sea level, at N 39.85406, E 3.19120 and is very well decorated. We went on to the end of the cave, where we could hear the noise of the sea down a small, muddy hole.

The cave was very warm and humid inside: don't wear heavy clothing. It's an old show cave, and there are no difficulties in getting through it.