What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here.
Boom. Sooner or later... Boom!
Tuesday, August 29
My new office PC has moved from "parts allocation" to "invoicing". They had to swap the memory as well as the motherboard to make it work, but now they've done a 72-hour burn-in with all 4GB and it's working.
So I'm sitting here trying to get it to move to "shipped" by sheer force of will.
Doesn't seem to be working.
Update: Just needed to concentrate a bit harder. Eet hes sheeped!
Monday, August 28
I was fussing around with my iPod, and ended up just giving it a ding over the head and plugging it into the Firewire cable.
And the light came on, and then the Apple logo, and then the infamous DO NOT DISCONNECT message. The battery is completely flat, in spite of being plugged in for several hours the other day.
Windows can see it as a disk. iTunes doesn't seem to want to know, though. I'll see if I can sort that out.
In other news, I got a delayed write error on my external disk drive... But that's on the same Firewire card that I was plugging and unplugging the iPod on, so might just be a glitch. Yeah, I'm sure it's just a glitch.
Update: Swapped the iPod to my other Firewire card, and dinged iTunes over the head, and now that's working. And I got a whole bunch more delayed write errors on the external drive, so I swapped that to USB, and now that's working too.
Saturday, August 26
Minx just got its first Instalanche.
Hmm. Problem. If you are using Firefox, the comment editor doesn't work until Sitemeter has loaded. Sitemeter is playing up right now, so you have to wait for it to either load or time out before the comment box works.
Doesn't happen in IE7.
Zoe Brain explaining to a lefty that missiles do not punch neat little holes in the roofs of ambulances:
This is what a 2000lb laser guided bomb does. Hopefully you can agree that an ambulance with one of those through the roof would look distinctly second-hand.Quote: That's a big-ass hole.
This is - for the most part - a very silly show. There is - for the most part - no overall plot to the series. It is episodic to the point of regularly having to reset reality merely to keep the cast intact. It is at least chronological, in that things that occur in one episode that are not obviously reset do affect later episodes - except when they don't - and things that clearly could not have taken place do not get retrofitted into later episodes - except when they do.
It's not for everyone, but at least watch episodes two and three, in which they introduce Mint, Vanilla, and Normad. It's also in episode three that they really start shredding science fictional tropes. You'll see what I mean.
Okay, having seen all four seasons of this one, there are some general points I can discuss without real spoilers. Though there are still (unavoidably) some spoilers, so details in the individual entry. (I think I have extended entries working here; we'll soon find out anyway.) more...
CIA, NSA, Mossad, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, William Shakspeare, Albigensians, witches, Babylonian air spirits...
Yep, it's a Tim Powers novel all right.
Friday, August 25
(Via just about everybody, but originating from our lovable Jawas.)
One of the reasons I like books is that, while they may be a huge pain (literally) when it comes time to move house, as I did twice last year, they rarely crash.
I have Dzur by Steven Brust and Three Days to Never by Tim Powers, two writers I greatly enjoy, and The Family Trade and The Hidden Family by Charlie Stross, who I usually like (though I found Accelerando unreadable).
I also have a cold.
I'm probably going to take tomorrow off. I'll email in sick, and spend the day curled up in bed with my books and my notebook and a bowl of peanuts. I have some reviews I want to write, so maybe if the pills kick in and the fog lifts a bit I'll do that too.
By the way, I've plugged in the Minx search thingy. It needs some work, because it doesn't quite interact with the templating system properly; in particular, the pager widget doesn't work. I really need to add some search results tags and generalise the form handling routines a bit more. I had planned to do all this last month, but, well, that didn't happen.
But the search function itself is working, so feel free to pound on it.
Also by the way, I turn thirty* next month. For my birthday I would like a large hammer with which to threaten my remaining appliances.
* Not actually thirty.
You remember how a couple of weeks ago I somehow destroyed my computer while trying to update iTunes?
The reason I was updating iTunes was so that I could load podcasts onto my iPod and listen to them that way rather than having to lug my notebook about.
On Tuesday I managed to get everything loaded up and my iPod updated and use it to listen to some podcasts.
Actually, it turns out that it kind of sucks for listening to podcasts.
So I guess I shouldn't be that upset that my iPod has now died.
Thursday, August 24
Claims another victim.
Since the series was licensed before the fansub was completed (before it even finished airing in Japan, I think), the situation he finds himself in now is where I was this time last year.
(Also, four of the episodes were released straight to DVD and never aired. I assume they will be included in the R1 release.)
EYO tried every Conroe-compliant motherboard they had in stock, and only one would detect the 4GB of memory; all the others showed 3GB.
The one that worked is a 975-based board; none of the 965 boards worked.
Wednesday, August 23
From the worst major metropolitan newspaper in Australia:
Justice Geoffrey Nettle said: "Surely that can't justify restraining them from saying something that said by anyone else would be legal? In the case of the newsletter, for example, Pastor Nalliah says many churches have closed down. What's wrong with saying that?"If truth is not a defence in a freedom-of-speech case, something is seriously fucked up.
Ms Mortimer replied: "The tribunal has found there is something wrong with saying it. Truth is not a defence, it's irrelevant to contravention of the act."
Fortunately, it appears that in this case what is fucked up is the legislation, and that the Court of Appeal has retained at least a modicum of sense. Even if plaintiff's counsel has not.
Justice Ashley said so many of the statements were entirely innocuous and asked how the pastors could legitimately be restrained from making them. Ms Mortimer replied: "Because the tribunal found that when they made them they made them in a way that contravened the act." She said the comments had to be seen in the overall context.But nothing will save the Solicitor-General:
Solicitor-General Pamela Tate said the case did not come under the implied constitutional right to free speech because that right applied only to political and governmental matters.In fact, the right to freedom of speech in Australia has its roots in English Common Law going back to Henry II. And Common Law is based on the rejection of Ecclesiastical Law. I think there is a very good argument that blasphemy, and indeed all religious vilification, is a purely Ecclesiastical crime, and that the Victorian legislation is unconstitutional on that basis. Even apart from being totally fucked up* and an unsupportable abridgement of fundamental human freedoms.
* I'm allowed to say this because it is a political and governmental matter, because I don't live in the state of Victoria, and because I don't give a shit anyway.
If we ever give up the desire to help people to live in freedom we will have lost our soul as a nation.
Tuesday, August 22
I got a call from the computer store* today. Turns out that the motherboard I'd ordered would only support 3GB of memory, not the 8GB it said on the web site. So I was forced to get the better model with the dual network ports, dual PCIe x16 slots, FireWire, WiFi, eSATA, and all that.
* EYO; I've been buying stuff from them for years.
Sunday, August 20
So now I'm re-installing all the stuff I used to have on my PC.
So far, I've loaded 18GB of software.
I thought I was going to have to install all my games as well, but it turns out that after the last disaster I loaded them all onto the (newly rebuilt) D drive - and they're still there.
So yay for that, at least.
* Except for Neverwinter Nights, which is very emphatic about where it wants to live. C:/NWN or bust. But that's a single DVD, and I haven't even lost the activation keys yet.
Friday, August 18
We used to joke about some of the database structures at my previous place of employment - for example, comma-separated lists of name=value pairs - as being in minus-oneth normal form. We were forced to do stuff like that because we were working with huge databases and impossible time constraints, and simply could not afford to take the databases offline to make the changes we really needed, so we had to stick data wherever it would fit.
(There's a good name for this sort of activity: deficit programming. I hate deficit programming.)
Why do I bring this up?
I've just been denormalising our database. We are running, right now, on a hacked-up copy of an ancient version of Movable Type. In preparation for moving off Movable Type, I am trying to get it into a form at least somewhat similar to the Minx structures.
Part of the problem is that MT is highly normalised. There is, for example, no record of how many comments are attached to a particular post. MT executes an SQL query to count them as needed. Minx embeds it within its queries. But being forced to embed a carefully grouped count function within a query that is assembled ad-hoc depending on parameters set by the blog owner and the individual template tags is something of a pain.
So I de-normalised the database. Now we have a comment count field.
There are only two pieces of code that add comments to the system, and I've patched those to update the new field. A database trigger would be a much better solution, but this is MySQL 4.1, and it doesn't have triggers.
Unfortunately there are also several things that delete comments, so I need to hunt those down as well. Or just set up a routine to recalculate the comment counts every so often. Until we move to Minx. Whenever that might be...
Update: And, uh, just breaking the entire blogging system in the process. Stupid MySQL.
Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan.
Fixed now. Required some hackery of both Minx and Movable Type (to get them to co-operate on updating the necessary fields), and the database (so that the query doesn't take 15 seconds to run).
Thursday, August 17
If your business happens to involve theft, fraud, extortion, and child pornography, you might think at first think that you wouldn't want to publically announce these facts.
Now blackseo.com turns conventional wisdom on its head.
Wonder if the FBI would be interested in these shitheads?
(I haven't visited that site and wouldn't advise it, but their spam conveniently lists all of their "services".)
My 600GB spanned volume survived the destruction, and Magipoka and Haruhi are back for my viewing pleasure.
I still have to see if I can recover anything more from the old drive, but I'm back in business.
Wednesday, August 16
I'll call the physical system Haruhi and the virtual machines Mikuru, Yuki, and Kyon.
Getting a new PC at the office.
For the last 18 months I've been running on an old PC I bought in 2001... because it was better than what I had before. Even after half the memory died.
Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4GHz)
This will replace not only my Windows PC*, but three Linux development boxes** as well. Hence the 4GB of memory. VMWare server is neat, and it's free, but it goes through memory like a starving honeybadger through a bag of Maltesers.
Now all it needs is a name. And for the CPU to arrive...
Current Thingy: 6.05
Sun E450: 10.9
RS/6000 M80: 25.1 (8-way RS64-III)
AlphaServer GS80 Model 6/731: 36.0 (8-way Alpha)
Unisys ES7000: 44.3 (16-way Xeon)
Sun E4800: 51.3 (12-way UltraSparc III)
New Toy: 53.9
SGI Altix 4700 Density System: 4236
** Fred, Willow, and Xander
Tuesday, August 15
The continuation of war by other means.
"When Hizbullah violates the cease-fire, the world will see who the aggressor is and will understand us," a source close to Olmert said.Yeah, because that worked so well last time.
A copy of Windows XP Media Center, a 250GB hard disk, and a screwdriver, and I'm not afraid to use them.
They were supposed to go in my new media center PC, but that kind of didn't work - the motherboard seems to be faulty and I haven't had a chance to get it replaced. So they get reporpoised.
Actually, I am afraid to use them. If I pull the wrong plug, I'll trash my 600GB spanned volume. Which has Magipoka and Haruhi on it. And some other stuff. But I'm going to do it anyway.
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