Limitless LED teardown

Here at Ice Moon Prison we are conscious of how much energy our facility uses, hence we are early adopters when it comes to LED technology.  Sometimes too early.  A couple of years ago Limitless LED released these inexpensive warm/cool white bulbs in the familiar B22 form factor.  They ended up being relegated to the guest sleeping quarters because their light was too directional and they left parts of the room too poorly lit. We reluctantly went back to incandescent bulbs.

Then the bayonet pin on a bulb broke, rendering the bulb unsafe to use.  There was only one thing for it.  Teardown porn.

Continue reading

Speak the weather

Here at Ice Moon Prison, going outside with insufficient clothing can be fatal. Hence we find ourselves checking the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast often, even before we get up in the morning. Fumbling for a smartphone while still in bed is out of the question—LCD screens are off-limits in sleeping quarters—so we are experimenting with audio announcements.
Continue reading

Map of Mordant from Stephen Donaldson’s “Mordant’s Need”

Here at Ice Moon Prison we have strong opinions about what constitutes a fantasy novel.  One aspect that is non-negotiable is that it has to have a map.  So we were disappointed while rereading Stephen Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need that it does not ship with a map.  This omission is peculiar, because clearly the author had a map while he was writing the story: there are many often quite detailed descriptions of the land’s geography. So we set ourselves the task of annotating every geographic statement in the novel.

Continue reading

Tracking ADSL modem statistics with Nagios

Here at Ice Moon Prison, we are blessed with an ADSL2+ lifeline to the Internet.  At the same time, we are cursed with degrading copper and have seen a gradual decline in our sync speeds over the last two years. To monitor the situation, and to provide ammunition to use when technicians doubt our sincerity, we have created Nagios scripts to collect statistics continuously.

Continue reading

Join the NTP Pool on IPv6

Here at Ice Moon Prison we bill by the second. Hence it is important that we always have the exact time.  To this end, we are longtime users of the NTP Pool Project, a distributed network of Network Time Protocol-enabled servers around the world. As firm believers in paying one’s debt to society, Ice Moon Prison has joined the NTP Pool with one of its spare servers.

Since Ice Moon Prison is too cheap to have more than a single IPv4 address, and since we are IPv6 evangelists, the Ice Moon Prison NTP server is accessible over IPv6 only.  Doing this is easier than messing around with NAT and port forwarding of UDP packets.  (And, we might add, the following recipe is a testament to how easy setting up a service is without the burden of NAT. The same process can be followed for just about any service, not just NTP.)

Continue reading

Recipe: Butter chicken

Here at Ice Moon Prison, we like a good curry, especially that most British of curries, butter chicken.  Home recipes for butter chicken tend to be awful, and usually end up being given to the Ice Moon Prison Hound.  When we came across a recipe from MasterChef’s Jimmy Seervai, we were sceptical.  But it proved to be authentic, and ever since, we’ve been tweaking it to taste more like what we can get from our local Indian restaurant, Tandoori Cottage (Urbanspoon page).

The latest version, heavily adapted, is presented here.  The most important spices are the fenugreek leaves (methi) and Kashmiri chilli powder; there really is no substituting them.  Ice Moon Prison uses and recommends Herbie’s Spices (unlike MasterChef since 2011).

Prep Time: 3 hrs | Cook Time: 1 hr | Difficulty: Medium

Continue reading