iTouch – Be aware of the the root file system size

Just before 1.1.3 was released i finally upgraded to 1.1.2. The main reason for this was that some applications, most notably Jiggy only run on 1.1.2.

So i did as advertised and approx. 30 minutes after the start of the procedure i had nearly all applications that were working under 1.1.1 installed and running, plus some more.

But for some reason i didn’t understand the Python install didn’t work. I tried a lot of options deinstalling other applications and installing them selectively but i could’nt figure out a rule when an install was successful and when it wouldn’t install.

Finally i ssh’ed into the iTouch and once i did this the reason of this strange behaviour became apparent. A df shoed that the root file system (the file system mounted at /) was full. Apparently Apple didn’t provide too much spare room for unoffical 3rd-Party applications. The file system size is a mere 300MB.

It didn’t help that during the install of applications there were Pop-ups saying that the iTouch was running out of space and that i should remove some audio or video files.

In order to be able to install Python and gain some space i added /var/root/bin to the path (in the traditional UNIX way of doing it. I added a .profile file with the following content to the home dir of the user root.

# cat .profile
 export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH

/var/root is the mount point of the second, the data partition. This is plenty of space for quite some apps (if you don’t fill up everything with audio and video

So right now the situation on my iTouch is as follows:

# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/disk0s1            307200    290288     13840  96% /
devfs                       15        15         0 100% /dev
/dev/disk0s2          15551928   4098212  11453716  27% /private/var

So i’m wondering how the situationĀ  on 1.1.3 looks like.

EveryBlock launched – first impressions

I’ve just read the news that EveryBlock has lauched on Adrian Holovaty’s blog. (You can read about the idea behind everyblock at the launch entry of the everyblock blog). I had the chance to meet Adrian last August and discuss some of my ideas and concerns related to geocoding news etc with him.

It’s great that his vision is now graspable for the cities of Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

everyblock2.png everyblock.png

Here are my first impressions:

Not very surprisingly Adrian and his team “get it right”. All kinds of data accessible at the right URLs. Classification into multiple administrative hierarchies, navigation along these hierarchies, graphically reduced maps, …

The only thing i’m wondering about is the lack of any feeds, especially given the fact that the feed framework of django makes generating feeds easy.

But may be they are at the same point as i’m right now: “What is the best way to include the classification into the hierarchies and the other metadata into the feed.”

No, i’m not talking about the coordinates and geometries, you could use GeoRSS for that. I’m talking about adding the metadata that this news is relevant for a certain borough, precinct etc. and provide enough information that consumers of the feeds can use this information in order to build their own (re-)presentations. More how we handle this at dpa-infocom in a post coming soon to the Going Places mini series i just started.

Presumably everyblock uses django as its backend. Since i’m a long term follower of Christopher Schmidt’s great work, hence its especially good to see that is using openlayers and tilecache for its mapping components.

I’m wondering if they are using the django-gis branch and would be eager to learn which GIS-backend they are using for generating the tiles. Looking at the tilecache URLs they are using a WMS-compatible one. Right now i’m wondering if i should use GeoServer or MapServer for my own experiments i’m going to start very soon. Any recommendations?

Since i know how hard it is to get neighborhood and other geometries (it is even harder in europe than the states, e.g. finally i had to buy them from a commercial provider for the german cities) i wonder how Zillows move to making their neighborhoods available as shapefiles eases their tasks of creating everyblock for more cities.