Chronicles of Chrestomanci

A great recommendation by Sam, Louie and John. By “Diana Wynne Jones”:, the only confusing thing is the internal order of the books, the order they are written and the recommended order of reading are all different. So, here is the way to read them according to the author:

# Charmed Life (1977). Actually in the middle of the chronology
# The Lives of Christopher Chant (1988). The first in the chronology
# Conrad’s Fate (2005). The second in the chronology
# Witch Week (1982). Separate from the other books, but in the same era as Charmed Life.
# The Magicians of Caprona (1980). Right after Charmed Life
# The Pinhoe Egg (2006). After the magicians

There is also a series called Chronicles of Chrestomanc that more or less puts them in the chronological order:

# Charmed Life
# The Lives of Christopher Chant
# Witch Week
# Magicians of Caprona


Kids loved it and I’m getting over being hit in the throat from point blank (the 14 year old who did it still lives 🙂 Anyway, turns out quite a few “places”: and there is even a review site at

They also recommend some sites like Warpig

Red Cliff (赤碧)

Red Cliff (c. 赤鼻; py. Chi4bi4) is a new film by “John Woo”: (c. 吴宇森 py. WÅ­ YÅ­sÄ“n) who did Mission Impossible 2 to name a one sounds awesome.

It is based on historical events during a really tumultous time in Chinese history, the “Three Kingdoms period”: (c. 三国 py. Sānguó). It features three warlords and their three kingdoms, the Cao Wei, Shu Han and the Dong Wu and their master, Cao cao,

Bluehost and Wikka wiki Upload limits

Well, there are a few limits I can see. First, Wikka Wiki has a 2MB limit, but it also looks like the underlying hosters has a 2MB limit as well. You have to change the “php.ini”: files in the wiki /uploads directory to break this.

“Bluehost”: explains how to do this. Note that this thing is actually not quite right, you have to put the php.ini in the root of your /public_html on It doesn’t seem to work to just have it in the directory where it was executing. I also set max_postsize = 110M as well.

Cerberus Helpdesk :: Support Center

# Locate the php.ini file in the folder your upload script resides in. If none exists, create a new text file called php.ini
# In the php.ini file, locate the line called ‘upload_max_filesize = 2M;’
# Modify that entry to read ‘upload_max_filesize = 10M;’, or whatever your script requires. (M = megabytes)

Put another way, stick the following into php.ini in the script files. On Wikka wiki, thats the /actions folder:

upload_max_filesize = 10M;

What is an F/Stop?

Ever wonder what an f/stop is, well has a great explanation. This is essentially a way to express how wide open a lense is in a camera. It is a pretty simple idea. An F-number or F-stop or aperture setting of F/1 means that for a 77mm lense (as on my big Canon lenses), the thing is all the way open and lets in lights across the entire 77mm width. Similarly F/2 means that the lense is half open so lets in 77/2.

Now in a camera, every decrease of aperture by the square root of 2 (1.414) halves the amount of light the camera sees. Hence the strange sequence you see in cameras that are really just powers of 1.414. we sequences that show a doubling of light that looks like:

code. f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/22

Put another way, if you just double the size of the aperture, you get 4x more light, this is because the area is pi*radius squared, so this is a quadrupling of light each time:

code. f/1, f/2, f/4, f/8, f/16

Feel smart now?

Wikka Wiki Tips

Starting to use Wiki’s and startting with Wikka Wiki. Don’t know if this is the right one, but “”: has it as the first option. They don’t have mediawiki which is what Wikipedia uses. This one is OK except that it by default let’s anyone register and add content. Here is how to turn that off or rather, you put this in your wikka.config.php there is a parameter in the “wikka.config.php”: file:

bq. allow_user_registration => ‘1’

So turning this to zero disallows arbitrary user registration.

You can also look at see who is registered on the AdminUsers page if you an admin as the latest release “”: was focused on anti spam and so forth.

The best feature though is “invite code”: which means you need a password from the admin to be able to register. The so called invitation code. To set this up, you need to “Enable UR Modules”: so you add a line in th wikka.config.php file:

bq. ‘UR_validation_modules’ => ‘URInviteCodeModule’,
‘UR_InviteCode_password’ => ‘hello world’,