hirez: (safety chicken)
Because awkwardness I've been running a Kumbongleton rig built from parts I found under the sofa where the ferrets had hidden them. It's been mostly working, and mostly working far better when given 8Gb of memory. And, since Umbongleton (they drink it in Congleton) the new-package-upgrade-reboot loop is about a week long.

Compare and contrast with XP which stayed up for months at a time.


Because it's bloody Umbongleton, the last set of updated packages seemed to cause the thing to crash after about half an hour. I left it running memtest86 while I was at work, which seemed to show that it wasn't a memory problem. However it was still expiring with a dead screen + keyboard.

Because it's been a full-on sort of a week, it took me a few days to realise that, actually, I could still ssh into the thing, but giving X a shoeing didn't do anything. Also, it would happily stay up if I kept working on the thing.

(The clever children will be waaay ahead of me by now..)

It transpires that Umbongleton (which they drink in Congleton) and ATI (or AMD or whoever) graphics drivers have had a nasty bug since 2012 which makes a bugger of the display power-management.

You can 'fix' it with some xset commands on startup, but really.
hirez: (Information Hazard)

Linux fileserver + minidlna upstairs.
AV head + blueray player downstairs.

[FX: pissing about for quite a long time with tcpdump.]

Install DLNA controller on phone, and suddenly everything works.

Where 'everything' parses as 'Able to play Betjeman's Metroland via the blueray onto the telly or the phone.'
hirez: (Default)
Another thing that happened is that at 5AM the morning before we were due to fly out to the Americas for the Convergences, there was a brief power-cut. The alarm next door set to peeping away like a lost robot, about which I would have been sad because they were away for $time and we would have had to put up with same, had we not also been off out the door.

The other thing that expired was my computer. I said some rude words about that and resolved to buy yet another PSU on our return.

This I duly did, from the cursed Amazon because Novatech no longer have a handy shop just down the road. Since I paid for next-day delivery, the thing turned up at half-five the day after and didn't work.


So. New m/b (from Novatech because at least I know what I'm getting into with that lot). Since I didn't pay for next-day delivery, the thing turned up at seven the next morning.

Due to the onward march of progress, modern motherboards don't bother with PATA connectors (although they do bother will parallel printer plugs, which, what?) so I spent a cheerful number of hours writing the driver DVD to a USB stick (stupid, hateful name).

There is something terminally farked with my old XP (yes, I know) install.

Installing XP with the aid of a SATA DVD and a spare HD reveals the new kit to be quite happy with XP Pro SP3. I could, if I had a mind to chase it all down, probably work out which bit is causing the thing to blue-screen on startup, but I did kinda-sorta think that the next time this happened I'd bin M$ and use a proper OS.

Sadly I chose Umbongo. It really is just a horrible, horrible bucket of sick with an evil robot brain, isn't it? Everything is just slightly harder than it needs to be, or just doesn't work, no matter how hard you twiddle the knobs in the Fisher-Price activity centre.
hirez: (Armalite rifle)
(Which about covers it)

Train pleasant, walk up to the old Truman brewery turning right at the Hawksmoor church and pottering though the not-quite human scale backstreets where no-one can afford to live pleasant, security mildly tiresome, putting computers in racks noisy but over quickly since we know what we're doing, arm-waving ideas-match of a lunch in hipster startup cafe actually quite cosmic, accidentally Rough Trade East pleasant, meander home pleasant.

Looking at pile of work mail mostly containing meeting requests out of a sadly misfiring sense of duty, really rather unpleasant indeed.

Must remember as much of the arm-waving as possible.
hirez: (Default)
For $reasons, I've given libeljournal.com something of a shoeing. Since it's on Gradwell, which comes with a shell and, er, that's yer lot matey, and I make tea for people who have to support Wordpress (actually, I looked at some of the code. Oh. Dear.), and I used to have a Moveable Type install which got defaced because of some shoddy PHP (probably. It was a long time ago.) I crufted something up in Octopress and someone else's wonky theme.

The internals of that theme need a little more work.

Actually, given it's Ruby, that'll be reasons.blame_sf

Bloody javascript is still horrible, mind.
hirez: (safety chicken)
I am oddly enthusiastic about the code-bothering possibilities in some enterprise Java middleware. God help all who sail in her.

(The configuration of same is a right lash-up and XML is still the work of satan, mind.)
hirez: (dissent)
... And another thing.

I had (emphasis on the past tense there) a working SVN rig betwixt my Winders box what ran TortoiseSVN and the BSD machine what was running SVN in noddy-not-a-server mode.

And then it stopped last week.

The Windows side of the problem is exactly as helpful as one might expect, suggesting voodoo and chicken-waving to make it work again. (It is not explained why setting 'mesg n' might 'fix' it. Nor is it explained why, if that's the problem, it's been working lo these past six years.)

Hm. I should be able to perform a 'svn commit' from Cygwin, shouldn't I?

The unix box isn't spotting a problem. In that ssh logins work, ssh from Cygwin works, ssh from putty works, ssh from plink works, etc.

This would be the second Winders bizarro-failure of the week that's only going to be debuggable with Wireshark.

(Or install Git, I guess.)

Grr, argv[1], /etc: /libexec/ld-elf.so.1: Shared object "libintl.so.8" not found, required by "svnserve"

... aaand fixing that seems to involve refreshing half the packages on the system. Hey ho.
hirez: (Box Frenzy)
Many years ago, when plotting my escape from VBCnet (ISP. Run by a Vietnam vet, which was, um, interesting) I went for an interview at something called X-Stream. The nice recruitment person was a bit secretive about what they did, mentioning little more than 'ISP' and 'unique business model'.

Even that long ago, I was a cynical and slender unix curmugeon and assumed the worst. The journey to Clapham Junction, on a smoke-filled doorslammer carriage that probably still had 'Is your journey really necessary?' signs somewhere under the nicotine stains did not lift my expectations.

I found the building. It was a discount carpet warehouse. Next to that was a grotty door with 'x-stream' written above one of the bells. I ascended the nasty lino staircase. Above the carpet shop was a debt collection agency. Above the heavy mob was an attic filled with terrible office furniture. Hiding under that were a mob of sarf lahndahn wideboys touting their magical new business.

I made my excuses and left. Their idea of running the business from the call charges on an 0845 number was clearly madness.
hirez: (dissent)
o D/L the GParted live-cd

o And a FreeBSD ditto
hirez: (tank)
I am grovelling through Python web-framework documentation in order to discover which might be the least objectionable.

Send people to point and laugh.
hirez: (safety chicken)
From comp.risks: browser bug ends engagement.

hirez: (Challenger)
Sometimes, a chap could become convinced that the universe was having a bijou laugh-ette.

On one hand, we have the strange spectacle of Rice-Rocketry.

On the other, the computing version of same. (Yes, if you run Gentoo, you are a bit of a nobber)

(You can stretch your own analogies if you want to throw game/windows-ricing and/or Proper Chap's Unix into the mix. I'm not bothered.)

On the third hand, we have a pre-riced family shopper called a Gen-2. You may call it circular. I call it a bit bleedin' previous, pal.
hirez: (Information Hazard)
Truly, mind-bendingly fucked up. I thought H-P slash was squick personified but this is a whole new level of w0rng.

Don't follow this link. Really. (Via Making Light. I shall be Having Words.)
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
I think we (where 'we' parses as 'anyone with more than one Unix box who's wanted a document printed without the aid of several Knuth books') can get behind the idea that CUPS 1.1.x is a good thing, if one that travels with rather more baggage that might be considered strictly appropriate for a free software product.

1.2.x is... Prettier and comes with bells and a steam-driven whistle. Installation is Jolly Nice on some package-damaged platform like Beardian, since you don't notice the myriad GNU libraries that it drags behind itself on lengths of string like the tins and bodies that follow the bride & groom's car.

It's probably rather messy on a real OS and won't install at all on the boggle-eyed humppa-freak version. ("Get that GNU shit off my machine. We want beer and humppa and then we hunt furries!")

On an OS that runs on proper hardware (Admittedly it's nasty SysV filth) it's a complete nightmare and I'm going to wallop the next -funroll-loops ricer I see on general principles.

openssl genrsa 1024 > host.key
openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -sha1 -days 365 -key host.key > host.cert

Of course that'll blow up in a year, but it's much less work.
hirez: (Challenger)
Long silences are annoying from some people (I'm so angry with you, but you're going to have to work out what terrible sin you've committed yourself), rather pleasant from others (ditto) and cheerfully companionable when they involve nice people that I care about.

(Inasmuch as that notion of 'caring' is a positive thing for both parties. One-sided caring is rubbish and a waste of time. Don't do that. So anyway. Mutually beneficial positive regard. It's a good thing and I believe we can all get behind that statement, right kids?)

Obviously the 'cheerfully companionable' thing only really works in physical proximity. Perhaps while striding purposefully across hill and dale in search of Interesting Industrial Ruins, or while becoming enlightened by a particularly striking work of modern art. (I find purely representational art somewhat posby, to use a H-R internal word. Perhaps even reflective of a hierarchical state apparatus and thus somewhat politically suspect. A place for everything and everyone knowing their place. Plus ungood.) Whatever. I'm sure you've got your own examples.

So anyway. Long silence. I've tried, on and off, to be one of those people who bang out a post daily. However, it quickly descends into second-division observational standup, or 'Being Jimmy Carr' as we say in the trade. (That's the trade of not liking Jimmy Carr overmuch. A sometimes maligned but curiously popular calling.)

The SGI became near-complete yesterday when the monitor and mousemat turned up. Unfortunately, it looks like the boot-disk is toast, (Well, not actually toast. That would be stupid. Though there was this huge optical jukebox that we just threw out. The cartridges were about the size of medium cut sarnie-loaf slices, so it could have been pressed into service as a 120-slice toast archiving tool) so it's on with plan A: shell it, install a PC motherboard and happily irk the purists.

Oddly, or perhaps not, given the lack of writing here, I accidentally got into a state over the weekend that I'll call streaming. See, when you've got some measure of tape backup, it's all going to work best when you can shovel data at it just faster than it can compress that data and write it to tape, because the tape's going to be moving past the r/w head whatever happens, and if the sending kit can't keep up the drive will write zeroes while it's waiting and your backups will take up far more space than they should. And that was more or less what happened, I just got into the groove of putting words on the paper, which made my brain work in a happy way and emit more words to be put on the paper, just slightly faster than I could write. Result: a happy JH-R with a fizzing brain and an aching hand. Now, if I can do that more often...
hirez: (anxious)
Oh. Wow. I think I want to play at this.

I think it's pretty obvious to anyone with sense in their heads (A phrase I found in the description of some mythological Greek robot women, obviously) that one's moods are cyclical somehow. I don't want to dignify my 'cheerful' and 'mithering' states with terms from the, um, more clinical end of something like the DSM, so I shall call them 'more enthusiastic' and 'less enthusiastic', which brings to mind Reg Prescott, but there we are.

Anyway. The idea of wanting to play at pass-the-art-book is definitely something from the 'more enthusiastic' end of the cycle.

I'd also like to babble at length about work, since it's being A Rather Interesting Time, but I can't. Oh well. However, if you're trying to get FreeBSD to work well on a nc6220, cvsup to 6-latest.

Dear Apple

Feb. 24th, 2006 09:21 pm
hirez: (peeved)
Fuck you.

No, really. While I rather care for the idea of your BSD-based (Well, Mach kernel, BSD userland, NeXTish UI) OS and shiny machines that are more than a little reminiscent of a Sharp cassette deck I bought in 1984 when silver meant Future, I'm somewhat less impressed with the utter balls-up the latest Quicktime install has made of my Winders box. If I want your woolly-jumpered nanny-knows-best environment, I'll go use it native. It's not going to fly on a machine that's slowly becoming KDEish (only with all the useful corners filed off so I don't hurt myself. And only one screen. Where are the virtual desktops, eh?) as Cygwin takes over.


(There's probably a sensible answer to prising Qt's fingers off the capability to play MP3s from Firefox, but I'm not seeing it just now. Normal service is for the weak.)
hirez: (peeved)
So. Were a chap desirous of building a Beardian installer ISO that had the sense to recognise AMI Megaraid/HP NetRaid cards, like, maybe, every other blasted OS available (With the possible exception of DECX and RT11/M), where would be a good place to start?

Other than www.freebsd.org. Much as I'd like to use a real OS on these boxes, none of the BSDs are maintainable by anyone other than me.

DeadRat's out because it's a right lash-up.

God. It's going to be U-riceboy-u, isn't it? I had to build a Linux kernel for the first time in six years yesterday and I still feel unclean.


hirez: (Default)

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