The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Tuesday, August 23


Hot Chips 28

The annual Hot Chips conference is on right now, where chip designers and manufacturers highlight new and upcoming produces, like Arm's new 2048-bit vector supercomputer CPU, Samsung's DDR5, GDDR6, and HBM3 memory (the latter will deliver 16GB of memory and half a terabyte per second of bandwidth in a single package), IBM's Power 9 architecture, AMD's Zen, and Intel's...  Skylake.  Which came out a year ago, but whatever.

I went looking for more details on some of the presentations, and now I'm hungry.

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Sunday, August 14


Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress

Completely implausible.  These people are so dumb the zombies would starve to death.

It moves right along, and the production qualities are great, but dumb as a box of rocks.

Update: And every time you think it couldn't get any more stupid, it does.  I went to see what other people thought of it, and this was the first review I found:
Watching Kabaneri is like watching a 5-car pile-up on a busy intersection. It's devastating, but hard to look away from. With each plume of smoke breathes a new fiery furnace of stupor; divulging deeper into new unforeseen territories of shit writing. Where other shows simply crash and burn, Kabaneri decides to push forward with a broken axle and the power of irrationality to combust its engine. It's a wondrous, smoldering pile of fecal matter on wheels. A beautiful travesty captured in frame by uninspired creators, seeing just how close they could pass their hand over the surface of unoriginality without being scorched by the heat. And trust me when I say that Wit Studio got their hands pretty fucking close. Had they gotten any closer, we'd be naming this 'Shingeki no Kabaneri: Schlock Edition'. To say they're cashing in on an existing fanbase would be an understatement. These motherfuckers took the cash-cow home, milked it dry, then butchered it for any remaining morsels that they could scrape together. Kabaneri isn't just below average, it's the residual excrement that resides at the bottom of the barrel.
The author goes on at some length, but I suspect you get the idea.

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Saturday, August 13


Oboontoo 2

So, I've done six Ubuntu installs so far this week.  Two on Virtualbox on Windows (desktop and laptop), one on VMWare Fusion on Mac (my shiny Retina iMac), one on OpenVZ on our development server, one on AWS EC2, and one on KVM*, upgrading from 14.04.  None yet on bare metal, but that's coming soon.

And...  Basically, all of them just worked.  Ubuntu 16.04.1 gets the coveted Doesn't Suck award.

* I'm moving / to virtualised dedicated servers - basically, small servers running just one virtual machine each.  The virtualisation makes administration much easier, which means that the servers are much cheaper.  I can get a full quad-core server with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for the price of a 4GB low-end instance in Amazon AWS.  About 20% slower than a bare metal server (or OpenVZ on bare metal, which has near zero overhead), but about 50% cheaper, so I can just get twice as many.

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Bluescreenbird Of Unhappiness

Windows 10 has a new and much more cheerful blue screen of death.

You're still dead, though.  That hasn't changed.

Update: Usual story:

C:\> bootrec /RebuildBcd
C:\> bootrec /fixMbr
C:\> bootrec /fixboot

Though why it should be necessary for me to do this is another question entirely.

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Wednesday, August 10




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Tuesday, August 09



root@yuri:~# uwsgi --help



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I've been using RedHat-based distros of Linux since 5.1.  Not RedHat Enterprise 5.1, which came out around 2007, but the original RedHat 5.1 from a decade earlier.  I use CentOS 6 and 7 - the free distribution of RedHat Enterprise - for production, because I know where everything is, and can go straight to the right config file to fix any issue, rather than crawling through Stack Overflow looking hints.

But I really like Ubuntu 16.04.  I'd tried a couple of earlier versions and they were mostly fairly blah, but this one shows a lot of improvements.  It's fast, the UI is clean, it has good container support and ZFS, and the code repos are comprehensive and up-to-date.

I've ditched Bash on Windows for now, because it's very, very beta, and replaced my old CentOS Virtualbox VMs with a new Ubuntu one.  So far, so good.

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Monday, August 08


That Should Be... Adequate

[web@ruri ~]$ curl localhost:9090
4418484.7 RPC calls per second say "Hello World"

Explanation: I'm testing some of the features of uWSGI (a lightweight web application server) for the next release of software at my day job.  I'd seen promising benchmarks of the RPC feature, but those benchmarks were mostly over TCP.  uWSGI also supports local RPC calls, so I tried it in Python, on a little Xeon E3 1230.  (Workhorse of the web world.)

It takes 224 nanoseconds to call one Python routine from another via uWSGI's RPC stack.

Which made me curious:

4364561.2 RPC calls per second say "Hello World"
13675770.1 local calls per second say "Hello World"

Okay, there is some measurable overhead there; about 150 ns is spent traversing RPC.  I honestly think I can live with that; my fastest function calls are in the 5-10 microsecond range.

What this lets me do is deploy mixed-language apps (PHP, Ruby, Python, and some Lua scripting) with near-zero latency for method calls between languages.  Basically, as fast as we can squash results down to JSON on one side and unsquash them on the other.

Pretty neat.

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Sunday, August 07


Time Travel Girl


Come on.  Everyone should know by now that you don't use a defibrillator on someone who -

Wait, he's specifically in ventricular fibrillation?  Very well, then.  You may proceed.

Update: "If taking back his opinion would set him free, why doesn't he just do it?"
"I'm sure his pride as a scientist is at stake."

While discussing Giordano Bruno.

Update: Wait a minute! Did they just create a four hundred year stable time loop using only whipped cream, sponge cake, and a magnetised needle stuck through a cork?

Update: And to top it all off, a practical demonstration of the Curie temperature of iron, which I've never seen done before.

Update: "Did they just create a stable time loop with a cake and a compass needle?"  Yes.  Yes they did.  This series is about three things: The electromagnetic force, stable time loops, and cake.  Works better than you might expect.


I love the music in the promo.  I don't know where it's from, or if it was written specifically for this series.  It's not the opening theme, which is below, or the ending, which isn't available on Youtube.  But without spoiling anything, it is used within the show when the situation calls for it.



I know I just said it wasn't on Youtube, but I finally found it by searching for MariWaka rather than Time Travel Girl.  (The full name of the show is Time Travel Girl - Mari, Waka to 8-nin no Kagakusha-tachi.  Mari and Waka are the two girls in the picture above.)

I'm enjoying this more with every episode.  Recommended.  Streaming on Funimation and (in Australia) AnimeLab.

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Saturday, August 06


You Got Linux In My Windows!

[bumped with additional notes]

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is out, and with it.... Linux!

More specifically, Windows Services for Linux and the Ubuntu command-line environment.  It looks like it's based on version 14.04, which isn't the latest release (Ubuntu's version numbers are year.month) but is an LTS release with 5-year support so it's a reasonable choice.

Much tinkering to follow as I build a production environment on my 2lb notebook...

Update 1: If you have a MySQL server running on the Windows side of Windows, you can't start one with default settings on the Linux side, because they will be trying to use the same port on the same IP address.  Obvious once you realise that, and easy to work around.

Update 2: Aha!  Windows drives are available under /mnt, so /mnt/c, /mnt/d, and so on.

Update 3: There are some quirks, which is to be expected.  I tried compiling Redis, and it wouldn't bind a socket.  But the Ubuntu Redis package works fine.  And MongoDB's WiredTiger storage engine doesn't work, but using the Percona version with their TokuFT storage engine does.

Update 4: It requires a little fiddling to get sshd working.  WSL (Windows Services for Linux) doesn't seem to support chroot jails yet, and sshd is configured to use them by default, so it rejects logins even before attempting authentication.  (Not to mention before logging the request - you need to run sshd in the foreground with debugging enabled to even see this.)

You will need to set

UsePrivilegeSeparation no

in /etc/ssh/sshd_config for it to work.  Since that makes it less secure, I also bound it explicitly to localhost ( so that remote logins are impossible.

Also, since when did Windows have its own SSH server?  I was rather surprised to find it running, and turned it off, but it worked and allowed remote logins (with a password) to the Windows command prompt.

Update 5: Elasticsearch doesn't seem to like running in the Windows 10 Bash Shell Environment Thing.  It goes immediately to 200% CPU and stays there, doesn't respond to queries, and might have locked it up and required a reboot.  (I'm not sure of that; I was doing many other things at the same time.)  That's not fatal since Elasticsearch will run fine on Windows itself, but it's the only thing I've found so far that I couldn't quickly work around.

Update 6: Yrrg.  No, sorry, this is all a bit too beta at the moment.  I'm heading back to Virtualbox.  After running for a while, it either inevitably either grinds to a halt or locks up entirely.

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