Lyall Bay Funkwater

I’ve been wondering about the logic of surfing @ Lyall Bay with a storm water drain discharging funkwater from the surrounding industrial area. The swell is usually running around the time of a southerly storm – so is the drain due to the associated rainfall…

I’d noted that I was getting sick sometimes after surfing… Checking about I found I wasn’t the only one. However I’d assumed that the sewerage treatment plants, except for some notable outflows of the floating bacteria holders (AWI crops up with its ”media beads” 09/12/2002 in this complaint and again with “thousands of plastic beads” 26 Nov 2000 in this significant pollution incident), probably weren’t to blame for this… until I found the following from a while back with some comments regarding the council applying for resource consent to release only partially-treated sewage during storms:

“Someone” did grant the WCC this consent


On 20 September 2004, Wellington City Council received consent under the Resource Management Act for these occasional discharges.

Consent only applies when the quantity of wastewater arriving at the Moa Point Wastewater Treatment Plant exceeds 3,000 litres per second (the plant’s capacity for the secondary stage of treatment).

The consent expires on 8 January 2008 when the overall resource consent for discharges from the ocean outfall pipe will expire. At that time all aspects of the ocean outfall pipe discharges will be reviewed and a new consent sought.


The site (at the time of writing) lists an 8 Jan 2008 expiry - though clearly this discharge continues, as the WCC logs discharges as recent as May 2008 (

C# Operating System??

I’d always thought that Singularity might make an interesting managed-code virtual appliance alternative to a Mono-deployment on a JeOS distro, however the license makes this idea a non-starter.

Two promising alternatives exist:

  •  Cosmos - there is a chunk of work yet to be completed – however I like the lego metaphor! See the Virtual PC example (for an earlier Cosmos build) here.
  • SharpOS – I’ve been unable to access their website recently (I’ll check this out at a later point).

A third area to keep an eye on is Jeto- a layer on top of a base OS. I’m not entirely sure what the material difference is however for a virtual appliance comprised of Jeto/Linux from one of Mono/JeOS…


Linux JeOS variants under Microsoft Hyper-V, Virtual Server and Virtual PC

So I’ve been looking at the various Just Enough OS (JeOS) options that are optimized for virtualization purposes - primarily to see what currently works under the MS VHD-based virtualization hosts (who knows about Windows 7 though…), using Virtual PC 2007 as the compatibility baseline. I’ve also taken Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 out for a spin on some of my VHDs that work with the Virtual PC baseline (though noting that I’ve had real trouble with Windows-based VHDs under xVM VirtualBox similar to those reported here). 

I’ve found that:

  • the ability to disable any Physical Address Extensions (PAE) (Virtual PC and Virtual Server cannot use more than ~3.6GB RAM) and Paravirtualization (at least for the type 2based Virtual PC and Virtual Server) options in both the JeOS installer and in the JeOS kernel is a must.
  • if you want network connectivity (it escapes me how a JeOS VA would be of much value without), support for the tulip/DC21x4NIC driver (Intel/DEC 21140 network card used by Virtual PC) is required in both the JeOS installer and the JeOS kernel. Additionally, if you’re interested in executing the VHD under xVM VirtualBox support for any of AMD PCnet PCI II, AMD PCnet-Fast III, Intel Pro/1000 MT Desktop, Intel Pro/1000 T Server cards is required.
  • the JeOS must also support operating on a machine that has a PS2-based mouse.
  • the JeOS must support a S3 Trio 64 display adapter, which (in the case of Virtual PC emulation) doesn’t support 24-bit color mode (only 1,2,4,8,16 and 32-bit). xVM VirtualBox emulates a standard VESA display adapter. 
  • the JeOS must support IDE disks for Virtual PC 2007 usage.


Ubuntu Server Edition JeOS


Getting past an an issue with the paravirtualization extensions was easy enough (search on “noreplace-paravirt” ). However, even though the install ISO includes the required tulip networking support, once installed there is no tulip NIC support in the installed Ubuntu-virtual kernel.  Having hit this I found that there has already been a bug raised regarding this issue in July 2008:

Unfortunately this rules Ubuntu JeOS 8.04.1 out currently as a quick/easy Virtual PC VA base for MS virtualization targets.

8.10 JEOS vm-builder

This script/tool lacks support for MS VHD images “The currently supported hypervisors are KVM, Xen and VMware.” . I might check to see if I can successfully convert a generated VMWare image at some point based on 8.10 using WinImage or Vmdk2Vhd… though may well have the same issues with lack of the tulip NIC driver.



Offers a commercial rBuilder set of tools for building VAs and a community rBuilder Online offering (though whatever you do using this facility is available for free to anyone).

Formally supports Microsoft Hyper-V ( I’ll have a  check to see if this extends to Virtual PC baseline by attempting to download/install the Foresight-based Gnome Live VHD and the rPath ISO images.

I also note that rPath have an agreement with Novell for supporting SUSE Enterprise VA’s from their rBuilder.

[Gnome Live VHD: update] Virtual PC load required use of i8042.noloop kernel boot option due to use of a keneral with an issue with some PS2-mice. Adding to /etc/grub.conf fixes mouse issue perminantly. Also noted no CD/DVD drive support. Running the modified VHD under Sun xVM VirtualBox worked nicely (it was also arguably more responsive).  


Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS

Novell/Microsoft have formal support for SUSE under Hyper-V ( Novell is also undertaking a SUSE Appliance Program based around their SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS beta that will have support for Hyper-V (

Novell note their commitment to the community supported LimeJeos also – however I’m not sure if this extends to Hyper-V support.


OpenSUSE LimeJeos

Will try an OpenSUSE-based LimeJeos install in the near future.


RedHat Appliance OS

“Coming soon” with stated support for Hyper-V. Wonder if this will go as far as Virtual PC support?


Orange JeOS

CentOS based, indicates VMWare Server and Xen support. Will give it a swing soon…


Useful Astrophotography Links

As a stumbling amateur “stacking assisted” astrophotographer, I’ve looked to a number of sites online for guidance.  And whilst I’ve used a few software packages, I’ve settled on having to get across IRIS and so most of the sites I come across are slanted in that direction.

The following is primarily a list of sites that I’ve found to be useful:


WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft Research have produced a cool tool called WorldWide Telescope. If astronomy is remotely of interest, take a look at . I’ve hooked my laptop up to the TV and taken my daughter on some of the tours that people have created.

If you have a guided scope, it also supports ASCOM for slewing to the target you are looking at on the laptop – if you are the type to take your laptop into the field I guess.

Want to name an interstellar dust particle after the kids?

Check Stardust@Home where you can help find the interstellar dust particles returned with the Stardust spacecraft.

It could be a bit “above-and-beyond” undertaking this activity in order to name it after your kids… but if you’ve enjoyed sending your name into space etc, donating a little bit of your time could be a nice way to put something small back. Oh – and on passing the required test (after 10 mins training) you get a nice certificate.