Sunday, November 30
Just finished watching Popotan.
It's a study of friendship, and family, of memory, and loss. With gratuitous boobies, ferrets, and dancing dandelions. It may not be the most significant anime series ever, but it is nonetheless recommended.
I particularly liked the closing credits of the final episode, where the fansubbers thanked everyone involved in producing the series, a reminder that people work hard to subtitle these shows because they love them.
Tropico 2 recommends a 2GHz or faster Pentium 4.
Railroad Tycoon 3 recommends a 2GHz or faster Pentium 4 or Athlon.
The current version of Adobe Premiere* won't run because my processor doesn't support SSE.
Time to upgrade, I think. Oh look, I just happen to have a pile of parts here waiting to be assembled. Pity the motherboard doesn't arrive until Monday...
* I downloaded the trial version.
Saturday, November 29
Philip Taubman, Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, said that "in this day and age, there should have been a way to take more reporters. People are perfectly capable of maintaining a confidence for security reasons. It's a bad precedent." Once White House officials "decided to do a stealth trip, they bought into a whole series of things that are questionable."Quote Two:
Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, criticized the White House correspondents who made the trip without spilling the secret. "That's just not kosher," he said. "Reporters are in the business of telling the truth. They can't decide it's okay to lie sometimes because it serves a larger truth or good cause."Quote Three, in a pointed response to One and Two:
But Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online, called the trip "a political masterstroke," saying: "This wasn't lying about an 18-minute gap on a tape or lying under oath. If they had announced the trip and there were attacks and people had died, everyone would be screaming bloody murder about how Bush put people in harm's way. I'm sure the press corps has their dresses over their head about it, but I sincerely doubt anyone in the real America will have any concern about it whatsoever."
(From the Washington Post)
Friday, November 28
Religion is not a topic I've discussed here before, but I thought I might tackle it today, as it will explain why I didn't post anything yesterday.
I am a member in good standing (indeed, a lay preacher) of the Invisible Pink Hello Cthulhu Church of Last Thursday.
We of the IPHCCoLT have only a few articles of faith, but we hold to them firmly.
1. The Lord of All is Cthulhu the Great and Powerful.All praise Cthulhu the G&P, and may He** eat us last!
2. Notwithstanding His* exulted position, He** is small and cute and will feature in a Genuine Licensed Range of Products to be released by Sanrio starting 2004.
3. He** is also both pink and invisible.
4. Cthulhu the G&P, despite being small and cute, will eat us all. Church members will not be exempted from the Apocalypse, however, they will be eligible for reserved seating.
5. The Universe was created last Thursday, with all that is in it, including ourselves, our memories, and the IPHCCoLT.
6. For this reason, we hold Thursdays as sacred, and will do as little work as possible thereon.
* Or Its.
** Or It.
Thursday, November 27
Not the first thing I suspected when the mysterious errors started appearing. Normally, Linux allocates enough inodes so that you can't possibly run out - you'll always run out of disk space first. But no, clever me has to reduce the number of inodes on this filesystem to save space, because it's never going to be used for strange and unforseen projects that create tens of thousands of tiny files.
Wednesday, November 26
A four-DVD set of classic Warner Bros. cartoons!
And it's not even that expensive. Wonder if there's an Australian release planned...
Here's a good article on the future of microprocessor design in the era of billion-transistor chips.
The free ride chip designers got from the lithography* people ended, pretty much, at the 0.25 micron node. One of the big side effects of this is that power consumption is now going up rather than down, as you may have guessed if you have looked inside a late-model computer. The enormous fan bolted directly onto the CPU is something of a giveaway.
My new computer - or at least the processor, since I don't have the rest of the parts just yet - is around four thousand times faster than my faithful Amiga 1000. We're going to see a similar increase in performance over the next 15 years, but it will be a little different this time. We are likely to get more processors rather than just faster ones, and lots of special-function circuits. When you have a billion transistors to play with, but a fixed power budget, the priorities for the chip designers change drastically.
Um, read the article. It's got pictures! Well, graphs, anyway.
* Lithography means writing in stone. It was invented as a new printing technique in the late 18th century, but the term has now been recycled to mean the production of silicon chips. (Or at least, a key stage in their production.) Ironically, the original stone used for lithography was limestone, which is calcium carbonate and contains no silicon at all.
When you say "there are 16.8 million to the power of 307,200 possible images that can be displayed on a 640 by 480, 24 bit screen", you are of course correct, but when you continue "and to display all of them, you'd need 2400 televisions showing 25 frames per second for eight billion years", you are off by a very considerable margin.
Those 2400 televisions, in that time, could display 15,147,648,000,000,000,000,000 frames - a 23-digit number, a little over 15 sextillion.*
But 16.8 million raised to the power of 307,200 is... Well, bc ain't gonna calculate that one for me in a hurry.** Let's call it ten million (7 zeroes) raised to the power of 300,000. That's a 1 followed by 2.1 million zeroes. We're talking big big big numbers here. If every subatomic particle in the Universe was a TV, showing one frame every Planck Time... You wouldn't even be started by the time the entire Universe had dissociated into electron/positron pairs (or collapsed into the Big Crunch, depending on the value of the Cosmological Constant).
But what's a few million orders of magnitude between friends?
*That's an American sextillion, 1021. The old-fashioned British sextillion is 1036, a very much larger number.
** bc just came back with the answer. Of course, this involved a lot of scrolling of the screen - after all, it's just an 80x60 terminal session - but it's pretty impressive.
(I emailed this to Dan, but I thought it would make a nice blog entry as well. Dan's Data is one of the best geek sites around. Dan knows his stuff, knows what's cool (Giant magnets! Tiny tanks! Backyard trebuchets!), and doesn't talk down to the non-geeks.)
My new modem, the D-Link 302G, the one that turns out the be three quarters of a router as well as a modem, that modem, sucks.
I can't get NAT to work through my real router, the Netgear RO318, because the D-Link, being a router (of sorts) itself, wants to do the NAT. Only, not being a proper router, it won't do it properly, and the two will not play nice together. It's like having to look after a pair of two-year-olds and cook dinner.
So I set up NAT just using the D-Link, only it has the most retarded NAT setup I've ever seen. You can put in a range of local IPs, and a range of global IPs, but you can't put in a range of port numbers to be forwarded untouched. In fact, you have to put in a range of local and global IPs, even though in almost every case you'll only be interested in one of each.
Now, I download a lot of anime, and I use the wonderful BitTorrent program for that. BitTorrent uses ports 6881 through 6889, but I can't just enter that range (as I could with my Netgear router), so I have to enter nine separate rules. And every time I have to type both IP addresses in twice, even though the stupid thing already knows what its global IP is, and even though it doesn't make any sense for me to be specifying a range of local IPs.
So, nine rules for that, one for SSH, one for my web server, one for my mail server, one for DC - and the default rule, without which nothing else works.
Only there's this slight flaw, in that the D-Link 302G DSL modem-and-three-quarters-of-a-router only allows you to enter twelve NAT rules. Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Let's just deliberately cripple this thing, shall we?
Cows. That's all I have to say on the subject. Cows.
I have a shiny new Pentium 4 2.60C with HyperThreading™
Only... Only it's just the CPU, because I haven't got around to ordering the motherboard or memory yet.
[Not much good then, is it? — Ed.] Quiet, you.
I grew up on the outskirts of Sydney, just across a dirt road from Kuringai Chase National Park. That's where they filmed Skippy, by the way. Nine months of the year it was a million adventures waiting to happen; then every summer it turned into a 45,000 acre fire hazard.
You didn't need to go far to find another world in those days. There was a little stream down the block - a storm water drain further up, but at that point it opened out into the original streambed. And then fell - splish splash - over a cliff. A waterfall, not a big one, maybe fifteen feet high.
Once my younger brother got stuck trying to climb down it, and my mother had to climb up from the bottom to rescue him.
There were ponds that filled with water when it rained, and tadpoles as big as your thumb. There was a tiny natural stone bridge on one of the trails, with a span of just three our four feet, carved by the water of an equally tiny streamlet.
There were nasty spiky bushes, there were birds, probably there were animals, though you never saw them. Twice I met echidnas - spiny anteaters - but not in the bush. One wandered into our school one day; another I met on the footpath leading to the railway station.
Even then I was more likely to be found lost in a book than lost in the bush, but it was wonderful to have that outlet.
Now it's all gone.
Kuringai Chase remains, intact for all purposes but my childhood memories, but the F3 Freeway has long since obliterated that narrow strip of bushland I once explored. Which makes me wonder - what was there, before the Warringah Expressway, fifteen lanes wide where I cross it every day on my way to work, blasted its way through towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge? What tiny marvels would a child have found there?
It's not a call to stop building roads. And if you were to tear them up, as Bob Brown suggests, all you'd be left with is bare earth, dust in summer and mud in winter.
It's just that... Just that... No more tadpoles. No more tadpoles, ever.
Tuesday, November 25
More and more people are getting it every day, at least in terms of the lawsuit SCO v. Right-Thinking People Everywhere. Read this article by Rupert Goodwins on ZDNet.com.com* Scoring SCO's legal games:
With SCO spraying out threats of legal action like a tomcat on diuretics, this latest piece of territorial widdle might seem like an attempt to put the legal frighteners on a competitor rather than a justifiable defense of SCO's core business--unless SCO's core business now is taking people to court. The company is handing over hunks of shares to its lawyers: this can't be ruled out.So, micturating cats, quantum chromodynamics, Feynman and Groklaw, all in three short paragraphs. There is hope for computer journalism after all.
But is there anything to it? One may be expert in the details of Linux and Unix, and perhaps understand half what's going on: one may be a commercial lawyer and be comfortable with the other half. Trying to untangle the chimera at the interface of technology and law is enough to send anyone off to take up a simpler job, like quantum chromodynamics.
But hold on before you brush up your Feynman: there is one good thing that's come out of all this. The unofficial nexus of the SCO affair is Groklaw, a bulletin board turned into a Web site. Here, you can find lawyers and code hackers busily engaged in pulling the bones out of every pronouncement that falls from the mouth of Darl McBride, CEO of SCO, and his merry men. SCO says it's sent IBM all the examples of the code it claims IBM infringes in Linux? Well, here's a Unix guy who's shown the 'infringing code' so produced was produced by a simple text search for certain words in the Linux source--and proof of nothing at all.
* Are they part of News.com.com.com now?
Don't you hate it when you lose a web site? You visited it just the other day - maybe even just a few hours ago - but now it's not in your browser's history any more. You can't remember the site's name, and the few phrases you can remember and feed into Google throw up 3,560 unrelated hits. But you know you got there from a link, and the link was on a site you visit regularly... Or maybe on a site linked from a site that you visit regularly. So all you have to do is visit all the usual suspects and see what shakes loose.
And there it is! From behind the sofa cushions comes trying to grok:
I've been sitting here for two and a half hours, and I haven't even made it through reading all of my Heroes yet. Nor have I showered, brushed my teeth, or paid any attention to my husband as he got ready for work. Sigh. The sphere grows every day.This is no great surprise, for her Heroes are:
Hey! Mozilla has this "View Selection Source" thingy which lets you see the HTML for part of a web page! That's so cool!
Um, anyway, most of those are daily reads for me too... I wonder where my time goes? But it's not just those Sarah honours that set her apart; any right-thinking person can put up a blogroll like that. There's a hint in the description of her blog:
if you're not angry, you're not paying attentionAnd Sarah, though not given to ranting, is angry. A cold, focused, laser-like anger:
It sounds better to say that you're for peace instead of war, as if that were a true dichotomy. But sometimes we get the distinct feeling that the Left sees it that way, that if you're not out marching for peace, you are some sort of bloodthirsty raving lunatic. We who back the war back it as a last resort. We were attacked two years ago, and we've had to get tough so that we're never attacked again. Yes, that means war. Yes, that means no "heaven on earth." But it also means less burning buildings and shoe bombs. It means less mass graves and plastic shredders. It means looking realistically at the world and trying to do what's right. We may not have a catchy slogan like No Blood For Oil, but we're on the side of good.There's so much good stuff there... But it would be rude to cut and paste the whole thing, so I'll leave you with one choice quote:
Cake mixes and frosting, on sale: $6Yay! trying to grok is Blog of the Day.
Time spent mixing and baking: 3 hours
Delivering 75 cupcakes to stinky boys who have been living in a tent for a month: priceless
The husband is officially back, though I have no proof of this yet. He tried to call my cell phone, which was in my bag inside a desk drawer. I was sitting here and thought, "Huh, something sounds like it's buzzing. It sorta sounds like a cell phone. Oh crap, it's mine." And by the time I got to it, he was gone. But at least that means he's here.
He's at the unit, cleaning up. No one is allowed to touch any of the food or cupcakes until all of their inventory is accounted for. So 70 guys are staring at 70 cupcakes and can't have any. Poor things. But I'll get to see him in about two hours. Yay.
And - I swear this is true - I wrote the whole post, and published it, and went back to leave a comment to let Sarah know, and then I discovered that she has me blogrolled:
My ComradesBut dammit, she's married!
As my long-time readers will know (hi Susie!), I have this thing I do called Blog of the Day. Every day I find a blog, a good blog, but generally not a big or famous one, a blog I think my readers might be interested in, but might not have run across themselves. There are, after all, something like three million blogs out there, and there are thousands that I would find interesting and worth my time if I only knew where to find them.
That's why blogrolls tend to grow without bound: There really are that many good blogs. Blog of the Day is my attempt to push some of the shy bloggers out into the light. Of course, many of them have their own circle of fans, indeed, probably have more readers than I do. But I don't think it will hurt anyone's feelings to be told that, yes, here is another person who appreciates what they are doing.
My last Blog of the Day was The Patriette on September 6. Shortly after that, as - again - long-time readers will know, the Earth opened up and swallowed me. Yes, I posted something, somehow, every day, but really I was down there somewhere in the Mohorovic Discontinuity desperately trying to find my way home.
Well, I'm back.
And the Blog of the Day is Nowhere. There's not that much on the main page, because Jeff posts when he has something to say, not when he feels he should say something. But look at the archives. Look at that! Four years.
Simple, classic layout: Check.
Elegant photographs: Check.
This is important to me, these days, more important than it would have been had I been blogging at the start of this year, before the Idiotarians truly forced themselves into my (then) largely apolitical worldview. Now, I can't even link to a blog for an anime review without asking myself What if this person, seemingly sane, is in fact a member of Democratic Underground or (shudder) Indymedia? What am I, really, linking to?
So, to the blogroll, which is a window to the blogger's soul: Most of those here are unfamiliar to me, though my first click takes me to Radical Bender proclaiming the wonder that is Kiki's Delivery Service. Since Kiki is my second-favourite anime film of all time, that's encouraging.
Further down, yes, we find USS Clueless, Sgt. Stryker, Instapundit. No Lileks, true, but solid evidence that this is someone with their head on their shoulders, facing forwards. Is it right to judge someone this way? If a person never says a word about politics, should I judge them by their politics at all? I don't know; I've become politicised by events this year, and it doesn't seem to be wearing off. And even before that I was finding that a person's political views were often bound inextricably into their wider worldview...
But I'm getting off the topic.
The Matrix Revolutions was a steaming pile of you know what.There. Now where the heck was I?
Anime fan: Check. And then some.
Take a look at these little reviews of the highlights of some series: Bottle Fairy, Scrapped Princess, Popotan, Stellvia of the Universe. They're all done blog-fashion, with the most recent entry at the top, so you'll need to start reading from the bottom to avoid spoilage.
Attack of the space station snatching jellyfish!Curse him for being ahead of me in watching these shows! Given my copious lack of free time (CLFT) of late, it's no surprise, really; except that it's the same shows I'm watching!
You know, this show makes me feel like a perv. Really cute episode, though. I mean, when everyone bowed to the ferret...classic.I haven't had the time to do justice to the anime I love, so it's good to find someone who has - or makes - the time, and does a damn fine job of it too.
Who put Kururu in charge? After all, Sarara's smarter and Chiriri's cuter.Nowhere - a love song halfway sung, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nowhere - anime blog, are thoroughly deserving of attention and a worthy addition to Blog of the Day.
I care about the environment. I like having air that's fit to breathe, water that's safe to drink, green trees to look at, cute fuzzy animals and all that. I hate scumbags who dump waste straight into rivers to save a few dollars or throw their empties out the car window.
But I've never voted for the Greens because I considered them a single-issue party, and there are many priorities that need to be balanced in running a country.
Turns out that I was wrong: The Herald Sun reports that the Greens have a wide-ranging agenda:
[Bob Brown's] Greens want higher taxes for all, but particularly for business, whose taxes will leap from 30 cents in the dollar to "at least 49 cents". Bye-bye jobs.So, with no uranium, no coal-fired power stations, no water in the dams for hydroelectric power, no farms, no jobs, and no roads, we're all going to sit at home and starve in the dark. But at least we'll be happy:
But that's if those businesses are allowed to exist in the first place. The Greens want to ban smelters, end uranium mining, "phase out old coal-fired power stations", "dramatically reduce . . . use of fossil fuels for transport", stop genetic engineering and limit mining exploration.
Dams will be made to hold less water, and farms will be abandoned and roads dug up until the land they occupy is "below 1995 levels".
This will help "people to fulfil their real . . . social needs", which the Greens believe may include taking drugs.I'm in favour of decriminalisation, at least of marijuana. But as a path to "personal fulfilment", drugs rate up there with the Greens' defense policy:
Yes, the Greens say drugs should be decriminalised, heroin handed out and softer drugs made "more freely available" because people need "the opportunity to achieve personal fulfilment" and that "may, for some people at particular times, involve the use of drugs".
They plan to give "non-violent civilian resistance training" to a civil force which can help defend us should we be "militarily threatened".I feel safer already.
(via Tim Blair)
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