hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
There have been locksport/locksmith types at every hacker-camp I've been to. It's like the law or something. There has to be a tent filled with people cheerfully fiddling with locks and a good handful of presentations about opening secure things and voiding warranties for the purposes of entertainment.

So like any sensible person I've been meaning to buy a set of picks so I can have a fiddle with lock-picking in the privacy and comfort of my own home. Or indeed at work when I'm staring into space and fiddling with a broken serial connector, I might as well be fiddling with a slightly broken lock instead.


Shiny toys have arrived )

The really very useful thing, which I've not seen before, is the cut-open lock. Which means I can also see what I'm pushing to and fro, rather than just having to guess it.
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (ii))
I gave a talk last night. Based on the understandings and commonplaces of hacker-camps and similar, it fitted into the model of 'lightning talk only with a tolerable amount of preparation.' However, I'd say about 50% was made up, which is entirely against the spirit of those events.

So what happened was that I wrote a story a while ago which was ostensibly about debugging the control systems for a steam elephant and sort of about how you'd bootstrap the debug toolchain in the face of fanatical management indifference. There are also a set of not-even-slightly-veiled references to industrial processes that view(ed) people as a disposable 'resource' and a good shovelful of hacker in-jokes. The lovely people who were good enough to put it in an anthology wanted to create a sort of launch event that wasn't just a booze-up after a signing, so last night there was the Airship Ball at the Folk House in Bristol.

I am horrified to admit that I'd never been to the Folk House before and it is the sort of utterly marvellous venue that you wish you'd known about ten years before.

The brief for entertainments at the ball went along the lines of 'consider turning part of another story into a short radio play', which seemed well beyond my dramatic capabilities. Mind you, since I keep a Livejournal well into the C21st, perhaps I do have a carefully tuned elbow (or knee or ear or whatever) for Drama still. Who can say?

Thus I suggested that I could have a bash at writing a technical presentation on how you'd hack the (made up) control systems inside the (made up, physically, metalurgically, etc impossible) steam elephants I'd written about. Thinking, as is my wont, that no-one in their right mind would go for such an idea. Not that the organisers of the Ball, etc, but something like that falls neatly between several stools and I have already put up with a handful of hacker-types grousing that things in my stories couldn't possibly work because $reasons. It seems that if you're going to make something up, signal clearly that it is indeed made up by having it happen in outer space far away or chuck in dragons or perhaps a set of interpersonal tropes and expectations that will blight the lives of the impressionable sorts reading/viewing same. The teen films of John Hughes, for instance.

Obviously the best way to goad work out of me is to tell me it's impossible or take my poorly-thought-through rantings at face value.

I have learned, mostly through watching Mitch Benn, Mark Thomas and, er, @tef, that a good presentation sits somewhere between stand-up comedy and a short story.

So what happened is that I accidentally most of the work for another story in the same universe as the last one.


Anyway. The Airship Ball was a top evening filled with mad things and splendid people. It was less 'Spinal tap and puppet show' and more 'Cauda Pavonis, two short plays and, er, JHR playing a musical box backwards in order to summon the uneasy spirit of I.K. Brunel.'
hirez: (Merry Jingle)
Docker's a bit bleeding edge, isn't it.

Mind, the name itself brings to mind a sort of Manly and Intransigent fetish club experience with which I am entirely unfamiliar.

LXC isn't much better, either. Still, once you've got your head around FreeBSD Jails, all of this Linux gubbins is a bit vieux chapeau.
hirez: (dissent)
As seems to have become standard (Standard. Isn't it.) these days, a great wedge of my non-technical internet wanderings seems to concern some part of the internet telling another part of the internet what a terrible set of people it is. If people could actually construct arguments and/or not hold on to strange quasi-religious beliefs in either sky-based progenitors, sky-based printing presses or wilful misunderstandings of what may (or may not) be 'science' without resorting to meta-arguments, wilful misunderstandings of common Latin phrases, wilful misunderstandings of common English phrases or just being bloody rules lawyers, then it would only be about as awful as Usenet in some virtual October-state.

One of these things concerned a chap who habitually pottered about who-knows-where but I imagine .ca.us while wearing nailie. Apparently he was in receipt of some measure of disapprobation from a sample of teens. Now, obviously, expecting anything other than views flying quite close to those of the Fucking Illinois Nazi Party from the modern teen is a bit of a waste of time, because they are by and large horrible little fucks festering with hormones and opinions. Equally obviously I had a bit of a meander to myself about how terrible this all was because making some spotty oiks question their gender assumptions is hardly going to bring any society to its knees. (And if there were some danger of that sort of thing happening, it would be a rubbish sort of society that had been carelessly boshed up by feckin' cowboys bloody hell look at the state of that it'll all have to come out I dunno you can't get the parts these days can you)

It was about this point that I remembered I was the sort of person who didn't have to experience his outrage through the internet and I could just as easily experience some of this society-based knee trembling on my own.

Thus blue nailie and nothing exciting happened, apart from someone going 'Oh, good colour!'.

What can I say, I'm a bloke and my nail varnish matches my car. Cars, since I've been driving Justyn's spare 9000 while he's had mine in bits.

Last night I got mine back and cor bloody hell it feels so much better with a working clutch. While it was in bits it seemed a good idea to get the (seriously, it transpires) leaky heater matrix swapped too. It's only a minor shame that the dodgy looking hose-clip at the bottom of the rad that Justyn warned me about did indeed let go. A good job I didn't want to go anywhere today, and an only mildly embarrassing slick of coolant halfway up the street...

Most of the reason for not wanting to go anywhere revolves around a sequence of migraines. Because I am having fun with poking computers with a stick, I don't really want to stare into space for a couple of days at a time while my brain comes back down to operating temperature. One of these days I will learn that Bastardos, angry god of migraines, will have his tithe. However, thinking is not usually my thing when in that sort of a state.

That's a pity, because I have lashed up the sort of thing that only $current-employers would ever want out of minimal documentation, alpha code and hipster components.

A thing that the SEO people like quite a lot is to 301/302 redirect URLs and the results of searches onto other URLs because, I don't know. I really don't know. There just seems to be hand-waving and angry statements about my poor attitude when I ask. Perhaps I should leave out phrases like 'complete waste of my time'?

Anyway. I dunno how other people manage this sort of thing, but the local answer is huge and ugly config files containing huge lookup tables and ugly PHP. When I discovered that there was a project to embed a minimal Ruby interpreter as a(n) Nginx module, and that it came with a Redis gem, the answer was a gleefully malevolent hacking session. And, yeah, other in-memory key-value stores are available, as are semi-native Nginx modules to take advantage of same. However, I defy anyone to make sense of them.

Actually, I defy anyone to make sense of this.
hirez: (dissent)
I have a vague notion to dig out the record boxes, line up the collected Blue Mondays (Early pressing on stupidly thick vinyl with silver inner sleeve, later pressing with black inner on standard weight plastic, BM88, er, probably another one w/o the floppy-alike cutouts) and photograph them because Someone Is Wrong on Wikipeejah.

On the other hand, what's the point?

Also, there have been enough viral pictures of nude people reflected in the items they're selling that I have become convinced that a photograph will one day reveal that, while I thought I had found clean clothes and donned them in the approved manner, what had actually happened was some odd fugue-state and I had actually been going about my day in fishing waders and a motorcycle helmet.[1]

There are probably other things that the internet has rendered tiresome, but I have stopped thinking about them.

[1] Bluebell bloody Railway.[2]
[2] You are not expected to understand that, and should be thankful.
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
hirez: Humppa! (Humppa!)
hirez: (Radiation)
Late last night (or indeed early yesterday morning) a far-away machine woke me up to tell me that it was coping with a thing and actually there wasn't much to worry about.

The Japanese phrase 'Arigata-meiwaku' covers that sort of situation quite well, I think.

[ Is it just me experiencing glacial Gurgle searches now FF has made it all SSLed? ]

Anyway. Today I am shuffling around like a poorly-animated lemon, doing lemon things and looking at other things in a curious yet lemon-like way.

It's jolly nice out and I am glad I am not in an office.
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (i))
As discovered by the estimable Karen here.

Which is to say that only this AM I read a Yule-thingy that was really very good indeed (As found my young Mr. Nation here), so this isn't me bagging on star-dot-fic so much as whichever desperate publishing house that has seen fit to bash out a Strictly cash tie-in nov. I'll not point directly to the website, but you may rest assured that it's really very bad indeed.
hirez: (Hand-staple-forehead)
The smoking remains of Privilege Denying Dude has been rocking my white, male and cisgendered socks this weekend. A nerve accurately struck, I think.

The steampunk ATAT was pretty good, too.
hirez: (Box Frenzy)
[Poll #1631145]
hirez: (Happy cycling)
I say old chap. Where's my PSP22?

Jolly good (x3)


Hang back, drive away - give the cyclist some room
You're going to cut me up when my legs go boom
Left-hand to The Lyric and the forward stop-line
Got to be in the snug bar before the fellow calls time
Cause a chap's reputation depends on what
Top sort of style his dinner-jacket cuts
Good British wool - super cut so nice
It's really rather fine, you won't dispute the price
Cause it's plain to see - it's a strain to be
Commuting to the office without a flask of tea
Because I cycle through Hackney, Chelsea and Camden
It's early-closing in Borough and I've really got to run
It's a big wonder why I haven't gone under
A wagon turning left or a blighter in a Humber
A biker missing all types of traffic hell
All this because I ride so well

Rock - get up - get down
My Brompton weighs a ton
Hold it (x4)

(Blame messrs. Sulston and Trafford)
hirez: (pillock)
Worse than being the sort of chap who has to buy his own furniture, I am now the sort of chap who has to go and buy soil from a shop. The shame.

On balance, I think I prefer Confluence. Release early, release often, run an ad-blocker.

It would be wrong of me to hope that yon rubbish NY alleged bomber(s) turn(s) out to be linked to the frigging idiot tea-bothering mob, wouldn't it?
hirez: (Bunny Eye)
I can't work out if a blanket ban on air travel over the UK is a Wyndham or Ballard trope.

A bit of both, I think.

It would be a strange old world if it lasted a while.
hirez: (pillock)
Joe 90 theme on Ukelele, Chad Valley drumkit and vintage Danelectro. Utterly rocking.

(Also storming uke versions of Blitzkrieg Bop, Guns of Navarone and Surfing Bird.)
hirez: (posing)
This is not the sort of thing one expects to find on MySpace.

Anyway. I managed to view the 3 Mustaphas 3 live exactly once, at the Victory Club in Cheltenham.

Don't go looking for it; it's not there any more. Or rather, there appears to be another Victory Club somewhere else. Perhaps this different version of the Victory Club will claim to be the original and allege that my memory is the work of pixies or drugs. I do remember a Mustaphas badge, but then I also remember a Stylophone and I can't find that, so there's no particular evidence that anything I remember actually happened or existed. Perhaps the universe is running an over-zealous garbage collection job and is removing things that it thinks I'd be better off not remembering. If so, it's doing a shit job.

Traktorsko Kolo is particularly fine, if only because it lurches into some fine DC go-go funk. (Remember that? Probably not. It was average-sized in the NME for a fortnight.)

Drop the fridge! Leave your bombs at home!
hirez: (Challenger)
Finns bending a variety of old Fords, Volvos and, um, other things. Quality soundtrack, too.
hirez: (Default)

(Live and direct from a rather pleasant socialist campsite.)

hirez: (psyche-out (i))
(Half of m'friendslist is going to be dressed beyond the nines and drinking their own weight this arvo. Excellent work, there. Carry on.)

Adam Curtis has seen the Parallax View. Fine stuff, mind.



hirez: (Default)

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