09:15pm Jan18, 2005 

Crossing over 4000 million kilometres in a period of almost seven years, the Huygens probe was released into the atmosphere of Titan for our first glimpse of that moons surface as its thick and clouded coating kept the largest moon of Saturn (...and the second largest moon in our solar system...) an enigma, at least until now...  On January 14th, Huygens landed safely at 13:45 CET. It continued transmitting from the surface for several hours, more than 474 megabits of data were received in 3 hours 44 minutes from Huygens, including some 350 pictures collected during the descent and on the ground, which revealed a landscape apparently modelled by erosion with drain channels, shoreline-like features and even pebble-shaped objects on the surface (image used with permission from The European Space Agency)  Where are Cassini and Huygens now?  This is a great little applet that will show you exactly where Cassini is at present, you can also speed-up time to see orbits and close-by passes yet to come. (more)

Now it's time for an Abattoir update!  Rebuild / upgrade of the Abattoir's SuperFTP Server has taken a good bit longer than anticipated, and for that we apologize; apparently moving around terabytes of date can take more than an hour.  Here's where we stand so far...  The SuperFTP's front-end unit of the cluster has been upgraded and is ready, following in Huygens footsteps, it will soon start sending data -- we appreciate your patience as well as your hate-mail, keep it coming.  There have been a few issues in the last few days that I'll not detail in the LAN Minutes, but you can read all about the outage issues, updates and such on the Abattoir.BBs here. (link removed for archiving)  Suffice to say, work has progressed and all will be back to normal shortly...

Now we need your input!  BTM46 is around the corner (...and to the left...) but we want your feedback on the two dates that have been scientifically picked -- join in on the Abattoir.BBs and cast your vote for the event date that you most prefer (link removed for archiving).  Due to popular demand, we're going to start an Abattoir Mailing List to appeal to those of you who don't feel you're getting enough SPAM...  We do not have a sign-up page yet, so we're going to play this one on manual for the time being; if you wish to be informed of upcoming Abattoir events (...including BTM date announcements..) send your email address to us at notice@abattoir.net and we'll add you -- this will be very handy for those who wish to get in on a BTM LAN Party, but don't frequent the Abattoir often enough to catch the date announcements before the BTM sells out (...Abattoir Supporting Members still get first crack at sign-up of course...)


03:30pm Jan07, 2005 

Welcome to 2005, everyone!  Regretful I can not say it was a fantastic New Years in light of the devastating tsunami that struck on December 26, 2004.   This massive 9.0 earthquake, centred in the Indian Ocean about 100 miles off the coast of Aceh, Indonesia, formed a tsunami that flattened 11 countries, wiping-out entire islands, changing geography and in its wake, over 160,000 humans perished, most children -- that number climbs daily.  Support and relief efforts have pushed forward with the same force of the tsunami as the global community unites like never before with aid in many forms -- for further information on what you can do to help the millions who are in dire need of our help, please check-out the Red Cross and give generously, every dollar will help.

As there's no way to move topic from the above mentioned to our SuperFTP Server with any eloquence, I'll not even try.  Local happenings we have to mention involve the building of the Abattoir's new in-house Media Server -- with the move to High Definition video, it became quickly (...and painfully...) apparent that we had to ramp-up our storage yet again, but this time I've decided a nice little dedicated unit with Raid5 and a terabyte of storage would be the perfect box, incorporate four mini surveillance camera inputs for Abattoir-wide "spying", HD video outputs, slap a nice 7.1 sound card in and you have yourself a handy Server for the Media Room; perhaps just make it a house station on the big tv for people to check their viagra/mortgage Hotmail...  Either way, Infinity jumped into action yet again, as he tends to do when you sprinkle him with hardware and has finished loading and waxing our in-house Media Server...  We're also upgrading the Abattoir SuperFTP Server, so although this is rather short notice, the SuperFTP will be off-line tonight for a period of time (...not long, don't panic...) and we'll be back faster, stronger and more absorbent than before; we're shooting for Sunday evening.  We are also planning an outage for the entire network (...including the SuperFTP, WebPortal Server, MeatCAMs, WebMAIL, MailServer and another box which resembles a toaster that none of us claim to own...)  The web site itself and Abattoir.BBs are not affected of course, since they are being run by professionals at ExaHost Inc. (plug)  This planned outage of the entire network is for no other reason than for me to vacuum the friggin' Server Room; it's a pig hole for crying out loud!  I've already found four Cheetoz in there and they were banned from the Abattoir two years ago...  Oh, and we're putting in some heat shedding devices we bought from eBay that were used on the space shuttle, it should be cool!


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