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Month: November 2008

FreeBSD ISO download statistics

I decided today that I could do with a day without sightseeing and it was time for some good oldfashioned hacking. I’ve been wanting to graph the downloads from the FreeBSD mirror I’m administrating for some time, but never found the time. Today was a good day to do something about that.

The most significant, and easy to quantify, data is the number of installation disc downloads, so I wrote a quick and dirty logfile parser to filter out the disc1 isos. Quite a large number of downloads are aborted or cancelled halfway, so they needed to be filtered out. There still seems to be an issue with the data from some 10 weeks back seemed really glad to graph data per second and my measurements are only once a day, they were a factor 86400 off. Changing datatypes from absolute to gauge fixed this, so I’m happy to let this run while I’m off to Sydney at 5am tomorrow.

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New Zealand – South Island

Where was I? Ah yes, leaving the north island and sailing to Picton on the southern island. We drove straight on to Nelson and spend the next day driving around some five wineries, of course sampling their wares. Already from the first winery, it became clear that the new zealand wines are more to the fruity character than the more heavy tannin, oaky flavours from some other new-world wine countries. As a fan of the oaky characters, I’ve never been much for chauvignon blanc, but already the very first wine we sampled at Brightwater was a very fresh and tasteful example of the style. Try it if you can find it. In this cold climate, it’s mostly white wines, chauvignon blanc and chardonnay, that’s produced here, but also pinot gris and pinot noir. Seeing how many australian wines are available back home, and almost no new zealand wines, I’m impressed both by the quantity and quality of the wines here.

From Nelson, we went over the mountains to the west coast to Westport. From the name, one would expect a large harbour, but we only found Fishermens Warf, which wasn’t quite up to the reputation of its bigger and more known cousin in San Francisco. All in all, the town looked pretty run down, which give it a more genuine feel as we probably were some of the few tourist to drop by. The next day, it was on along the west coast to Franz Josef. The weather wasn’t too good, so we almost didn’t get out of the car. Luckily it cleared up a bit by morning, and we were able to see both the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier a bit to the south of it. Both overrun by tourists and a helicopter passing over every 2-3 minutes, but well, you have to see them when you’re in the area. Just 6km on the other side of there road was Lake Matheson. Not much in itself, but not many people either and we spent a good hour walking around it and returned just as it started to rain to have lunch in the restaurant at the start of the trail.

We spent the night in Wanaka, along the shores of Lake Wanaka high up in the mountains. Next, we drove past Queenstown and on to Te Anau. We’ve been having rain for several days now, and Te Anau wasn’t much better. 180mm fell that day, which they tell me is quite normal as they usually have between 7 and 8 meters of rain per year. You can imagine that our cruise in Milford Sound (which isn’t a sound but a fjord) was quite damp, of course not helped by getting close to some of the waterfalls which has to be seen from up close.

Even though one usually forgets about weekdays when traveling on vacation, we certainly did notice it was Monday. After returning from the shop, it turned out we had a flat tyre. After putting on the spare in the rain, the garage had closed and Avis didn’t pick up the phone. Letting Monday be Monday, when the garage opened on Tuesday, they fixed it for a huge sum of NZ$25, so did survive another day.

Now the story already comes to yesterday. Only a few hours drive from Te Anau to Queenstown, the adrenaline city of the world, we took it slow in the afternoon by hiking up Queenstown Hill. A 2-3 hour walk of which 70% of the time is used uphill, we had some magnificent views from the 907m summit of Queenstown and Frankton, the lake and mountains surrounding it. Today will be a bit more exciting. Gert-Jan already went bungyjumping this morning of the (in)famous Nevis with a 134m fall. A text just confirmed that he did fall and survive. Adrie and me are off in a few moments to go quad-biking somewhere in the hills. That’ll be fun!

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New Zealand – North Island

It’s been some time since my last post, so about time to write something up. It’s not as if nothing has happened in between. Currently, I’m sitting on the ferry from Wellington to Picton, going from the north to the south island of New Zealand. We arrived about a week ago in Auckland via Kuala Lumpur. We had enough time in Kuala Lumpur to take the train into town and have some good indian food. In Auckland, spend a day recovering from the flights, mostly driving around to a few of the vulcano hills providing some great views of the city. Lunch at the beach quickly made us forget about the grim northern european weather we left behind.

After Auckland, we drove down to Taupo, roughly in the middle of the northern island. Taupo lies on the shores of Lake Taupo, a popular tourist spot, but the main summer season is only just starting up and it was still pretty quiet around town. Just south of Taupo is the starting point for one of New Zealands Great Walks, the Tongariro Crossing. The guide books are not quite in agreement on the lenght of the track, mentioning 16, 17, or 18 km, although we did pass the 19km sign before reaching the car park. The crossing includes two stiff climbs up the vulcanoes, the first called Devil’s Staircase for a reason. Climbing up, we did get some great views of the landscape we passed, but once we reached the top a fogg rolled in and what it removed in stunning views, we did get back double in mysterious silence though the barren land where Mordor was filmed for a reason. Uninviting is to say the least. Quite the contrast to the last few km of the track, which ended in a stretch of rainforest.
The next day, it was raining and the couch looked very attractive after exercise of the day before. We did pop out for a quick walk through Craters Of The Moon, a geothermal area with steam streaming through the rock in large and small holes and mudpools. Also very impressive was the nearby geothermal power plant, generating electricity by pumping up steam from the underground. The first in the world and already over 50 years old, which makes you wonder why there aren’t more of them around.

Yesterday was another day of driving, down to Wellington, the capital on the southern shores. We didn’t manage much more than a walk around the harbour and a visit to Mac’s Brewery, who treated us to a tasting of 6 of their 7 beers. All very stylish beers, especially the toasty Sassy Red and refreshingly hoppy Black Mac. Today, it’s saying farewell to the nothern island and on to Nelson on the southern island, and tomorrow a visit to 5 wineries.

Sorry, no pictures yet, there has been a lack of broadband Internet for us so far to upload them. I can tell you one thing though: the grass really is greener here.

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