Deployment checklist


A question on Reddit about what a sysadmin should ask for at the handoff between Dev and Ops.

This below is my response, and I thought it good enough to continue here.

So, here's my mental check list for deploying things:

1. A list of external interfaces for the project

  • DB server
  • TLS certs
  • Redis/memcached/etc
  • External ftp / nfs / data sources
  • File paths ( data files, cache files, etc.)
  • Webserver (Frontend)
  • Loadbalancer (Frontend)
  • Web cache (Frontend)

2. A list of internal dependencies

  • configuration files & paths
  • Java / python / PHP versions and packages
  • OS requirements ( Minimum disk in places, etc. etc.)
  • Incoming ports
  • Outgoing ports (Why do you have your own DNS resolver that bypasses our name server and dies because of firewall?)
  • Outgoing ports ( How do I proxy this shit for logging /audit purpouses)
  • Service accounts

3. A list of bad habits

  • Write mounted paths in the application
  • write/Execute things
  • outgoing tcp /udp
  • ipsec configurations
  • Does it demand R/w access to configuration files
  • writing it's own cron jobs

4. Maintenance areas

  • Does it rotate it's own log files, or logrotate configuration
  • systemd service file ( or init file. )
  • which / how cron jobs should be set up
  • Can cache files be cleaned out or not
  • Incoming Firewall rules (persistent)
  • Outgoing Firewall rules (persistent)

5. Management areas

  • Does it obey SIGHUP?
  • Does it reload TLS certs? ( Test this! )
  • How do you monitor that it runs
  • How do you monitor that it works
  • When are the downtimes scheduled?
  • If there's no planned downtime, make sure there is unplanned downtime every tuesday at 9 am.
  • How does it upgrade
  • Request an older version and a current version, demand to test an upgrade.
  • How does it downgrade?

6. Backups

  • How do you back it up?
  • How do you restore it again?
  • Test Upgrade & downgrade again (db migrations, etc)
  • Test restore backup

7. Pre flight checklist

  • Firewall everything, see that "monitor that it works" fails,
  • Mount all filesystems read only. See that "monitor that it works" fails, make sure "monitor that it runs" succeeds
  • Iterate over all external dependencies, block them, make sure that "Monitor that it works" fails, make sure "monitor that it runs" succeeds.
  • Kill it's DNS, test that it works or fails, monitoring?
  • Fill it's drives, test that it fails properly or not.
  • Cold reboot server, repeatedly, ensure it comes back without issues

8. Extras

  • How do you monitor it's performance? ( HTTP logs with latencies? Perf counters? others?)
  • Load test, how do you do that?
  • Passive artificial load on the system for the first week in production, then remove the load tool.
  • How do you scale this in the future?
  • IO / cpu / network bound?
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The Basics of Security


This post is related to a twitter thread I made earlier about the basics of security.

I do security, and sometimes I consult, and the steps laid out here would put me in another line of business if people had followed them before reaching out.

The steps outlined here are not technical. They will not be about advanced things like encryption, firewalls, tls, intrusion detection.

They will be about security. The first steps of security.

This is applicable to any size of company, from a one-person consulting with an home-office, through your first handful of coworkers, and into medium sized businesses.

This is also not going to aim for perfect. This aims at what you need to have. What I'm laying out here will be the things that will save your company.

It'll be the bare basics because of that.

What are the basics

The basics don't include hacking protection, auditing, firewalls, antivirus, intrusion detection system, proxies, encryption or web application firewalls.

The basics of security contain:

  • Access handling
  • Reset plan
  • System valuation
  • Recovery plan
  • Data valuation and protection

In technical terms, Access Handling, System Valuation, and Data Valuation are part of your asset management or inventory management. Doing full asset management is not where you start, but following these steps should get you partially there.

Access sheet

First up, you need to know what you have that is valuable, and what you have that are liabilities. Frank assessments here are important.

Examples of this would be:

  • Databases
  • Client contact information
  • API tokens
  • DNS control panel password
  • Email control panel password
  • Keys to the office
  • Computers (physical things)

Make a spreadsheet, Google Sheets or wherever. In this sheet you need at least the the following data:

  • Who has access
  • What it accesses
  • Where is the accessed
  • How do you recover it

An example:

Employee nameNameSiteRecovery method
Jane SmithDNS Control panelgandi.netphone gandi, fax passport copies
Jane SmithSite listing in google link, sends postcard to registered address
Jane SmithEmail control codes in safe, phone number +XXX-XXX-YYY-XXX
Jack AlltradesOffice keysOfficeAddress 32Talk to landlord at +YYY-XXX-XXX-XXX
Jack AlltradesServer room keysOfficeAddress 32Get locksmith
Jack AlltradesServer root passwordlogin.example.comReinstall
Pam OutsourcingAPI keys codes in safe, reset API keys, manually place on,
Pam OutsourcingFacebook company site Smith has Admin access.

Print it and keep copies.

This list should cover who has keys where, who has access to DNS/Email admin panels, API keys, and how to reset or recover them!

Do note that nothing on this list should be secrets, no recovery codes, no passwords or similar.

This sheet will be the basics of your reset plan.

Reset Plan

The reset plan is for when you have a break in, employees get fired, you get hacked, or when you hire new staff.

The reset plan should use the above sheet in order to create, terminate or reset:

  • Cloud accounts
  • Infrastructure (DNS, Email, Amazon, webhosting)
  • Doors and locks
  • Backup services

The reverse application of your reset plan will be a selective on-boarding for new employees. Sort your plan in base of "most important first".

Do not store secrets/recovery codes inside the plan or the the sheet. You don't want it to be a one-click own-our-company.

Make sure both the sheet and the plan are available offline, printed, and preferrably keep an off-site copy.

Keeping the reset plan up to date is important, but generally doesn't take much work. Most of the sites that deserve to end up there go through some kind of billing process, so simply following invoices can be enough. Some of the services you depend on may be free, such as facebook accounts, etc.

Example usecases:

If you fire the accountant for failing to pay cloud bills and being locked out, you want to recover your cloud accounts. While your accountant didn't have the AWS login, you still need to be able to reset and regain access to it.

If you have a breakin at home, your bag with laptop, and keychain gets stolen, you want to know which systems and doors needs to be reset, and who to contact for it.

When you stop using the marketing agency that designed your webshop and set up your facebook page, you may want to reset the API tokens/logins, as well as ensure you have sole administrative control.

Recovery Planning

Imagine a disaster. AWS wiped, office fire, water leak ruining things, break in looting everything, a police raid impounding all computers in your office.

Your recovery plan should cover enough business that you can bill customers the next few months, and pay your own bills. That is, access to bank accounts, and the ability to conduct "enough" business that you won't go under, instantly.

If you're a consulting agency, it's usually simple. A spare laptop, and a cloud backup or two. With recovery codes, copied at home and offsite.

If you work from home and it's a house fire, it may not be possible to recover. The impact of losing both your home, and your business at once may be too stressful that you cannot sustain yourself, recover your living, and business at the same time.

Write that down. Contemplate it, then think of fixes.

It is okay to write: "In case of office fire: We close business". It is also okay to buy extra fire extinguishers and invest in fireproof cabinets for important things.

In a software company, you probably don't need all your servers or functionality to continue running the corporation. Think about it, and put value on it.

You do know which services are necessary to keep your company running the next few months, and which are just nice to have, don't you?

Most organizations don't know which services are necessary for their survival

DNS, Email archives, Hosting accounts, etc. For some businesses, that's their life. Others would just shrug at them being gone, and pick up the phone.

Now Schedule a meeting with your CEO about this. Name it something fancy, Emergency Planning Meeting is a good name.

It's important that this gets buy-in from the top. Make them aware. In small companies, this isn't difficult, just make them sit with you as you go through and build a detailed plan. In larger corporations, you might want to do more preparations before taking their time.

Let them ask questions (What is this? Why do we need it? What does it do? How much does a new one cost? How long does it take to get it back up? Can we have a spare in the cloud?)

Ask them what you really need to have left to survive as a company. How many days can you go without email and still continue existing? How many days can your homepage be down and you still continue existing as a company?

Phrase everything with and still continue existing. We don't care about harmed profit margins here, we care about Company Ending Events. For some companies, it's phones being down for more than four hours, other companies can go for weeks without their phones.

Do note that some people may be overly enthusiastic and will say that "everything is important". Avoid this trap and push back against it at this phase. This is the basics.

At this point, you know the core valuables, and you can work out the recovery plan.

Recovery Plan

Recovery is why you take backups, it's also what you do after things have gone Wrong(™). Your recovery plan should cover getting your business back up and limping from a set of disasters, and should also include who to contact, and who is responsible for each step. When you're stressed out about your livelyhood, woken up early in the night, and shaken to your core is not the finest moments to take decisions. When you're panicking, you're not smart.

The plan is there to help you not to take decisions then. It's also going to turn out to be generally useful, in corporate mode, "valuating your assets", and as a partial thing to follow when other, minor problems arise.

The recovery plan is not supposed to cover every and all eventuality, but to cover enough.

Minimum incidents to be able to recover from:

  1. Office fire
  2. Cryptolocker
  3. Cloud accounts terminated & wiped
  4. Bursting sewage pipe above you leaking into the office, causing evacuation
  5. Police raid seizing all equipment

One of the first four might cause the last to happen, due to late invoices in your corporate email, the one that's currently unavailable for some reason.

Plan for that to happen.

Once you know the bare essentials you need to stay alive, you can make a recovery plan, it might look like this, but should have a bit more detail to it:

Web services Example

  1. Communicate with customers (CEO)
  2. Register new cloud account (Janet, Tess)
  3. Lease 4 servers (CEO)
  4. Bring in backups from Janes home
  5. Communicate with customers (CEO)
  6. Restore backups (Janet, Tess)
  7. Repoint DNS (Janet, Tess)
  8. Communicate with customers (CEO, Janet, Tess)

Financial services Example

  1. Buy new hardware from closest physical shop (CEO, Janet, Tess)
  2. Restore financial backup from, (Jane has access, Janet & Tess competency)
  3. Check the data (Tim, Janet)
  4. Send a bill (Tim)
  5. Reactivate bank integration (CEO, Tim)
  6. Pay out salaries (Tim)

Details about the plan

The plan should be as specific as you might think it needs to be. If any of the steps needs authorization, get it pre-authorized, signed and sealed away. The action plan should both have a what and a who for each item. Where may be required as well.

Back up your plan, print it out, and try it. Verify that you can do the steps. This part is often skimped on, but necessary, or things may break.

If you need money to action the emergency plan, make sure there's an emergency fund you can take it from.

Then you schedule a meeting with your CEO to revise this plan in 6 months. Go through the list of targets again, and check that the values are still there. You might have migrated to a cloud financial platform, or something else.

Once you have planned for this kind of disaster, pretty much all the other ones are minor. Also note that this plan implicitly covers everything from "single server crashed" to "full office fire".

Data Valuation

Next up, a data valuation. You're a modern company, you have a collection of data. Do you anywhere in your org have a collection of data that's "oh shit" if leaked?

Oh Shit Examples:

  • Personal information
  • Customer data
  • Banking details
  • Customers clients data
  • Source code
  • Credit card data
  • Full corporate backups

For different companies, it can be different things. For some, the knowledge that you do business with some parties may be an oh shit moment. For others, 2 million recordings of children speaking to their teddy-bears might be.

Interview everyone, talk to them, take notes. Just ask them what data they can't do their work without, and what might be bad if others saw. You can make seasoned guesses, but it's important to talk to people here.

This is your high value data set. Now you can track it. See where it's copied (cloud, drives,backups, sync, email?)

All systems that store the High Value set are prio 1 protection systems.

Your goal will be to reduce these systems to a manageable amount, and make sure Two Factor Authentication (2FA) is required for their access. You may want to look at encryption, preferrably full disk encryption, for this data.

If you have High Value data in cloud services, we generally consider them safe, but enforce 2fa.

Having High Value data in a Dropbox/git style sync is bad, since that turns every user/laptop into prio 1 machine. Avoid that.

That's it.

Last words

Getting this done should usually not be that hard. It's a few days of work, and then regular maintenance. What it will reveal is that you may have valuables in places you didn't know, and that some of the things that seem important, might not be so.

The steps once you've done this, are gradually more complex, and will start not about recovering, but about protecting. However, before you put in any protective measures, you need to have an idea of what to protect. And that's where the valuations and recovery plans stand.

In all, this is the first step towards security. This is the basics, and it requires no specialized knowledge, and almost no techincal knowledge that you don't already have.

And feel free to contact me @Spidler or email if you wish to know more, or tell me how horribly wrong I am about everything.

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Transmission Daemon: Disabling IPv6

Many BitTorrent trackers don't really support IPv6. Since they run behind Cloudflare or similar for load balancing, this causes issues.

Systemd added a feature called RestrictAddressFamilies that will filter out some address families, for example IPv6, from a unit.

Description=Transmission BitTorrent Daemon

ExecStart=/usr/bin/transmission-daemon -f --log-info
ExecReload=/bin/kill -s HUP $MAINPID


The above block will do a lot of different things, but the important part here is RetrictAddressFamilies.

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New Year

Last night was a bit frustrating, I'd cleared the table to help a friend move, and they changed the date last minute. Sad, and a bit annoyed as I'd cancelled other plans to help out. Note to self, don't cancel fun to be a good friend.

Wait. No, Do that. I don't want to be the ass.

Instead, I hit the town with the camera, got a few shots. Wasn't in the mood to do revelers in the street, got a few candid shots of people kissing under fireworks, but nothing I enjoyed enough to publish.

So, here's some sample. Photographer

Dramatic Lights

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Some tests I'd want to run...

Some days I wish I had spare hardware of decent size that I could just do testing on.

Requirements :
4x Machines, at least two of them identical in all aspects.

Of these, two would be set up to use Gluster, one would be load generator, and one would be load tester.

Some numbers that I want, just as comparision:
glusterfs fuse mount, replica 1 , stripe1 , 2 nodes, no mdadm raid.
Raw disk performance with 4, 8, 16, 32, 48 load threads, single client.
2 tests, Random read/writes ( majority read, but lots of them over big space) and a majority big-block write.
IO/s (IOPS) and Throughput being the most interesting ones.
nfs mount, same test. Comparision.
The same test but with each glusterfs brick being on raid1 (mdadm)
Add a fs-cache on SSD for the client, and compare the same numbers.
compare raid 1 and raid 10 ( 2 disk vs. 4 disk ) on the storage nodes.
Next up, the "interesting" tests.
Create 4 virtual machines, three on the "load generator" machine, 1 on the "measure" machine. On the load generator, have one machine do random interval of "sleep: read-heavy: write-heavy: sleep" and two others doing mostly idle, but scattered /random reads with small writes.

With this as "background load", wait until the system stabilizes, and once again measure the threaded abilities on the other machine. Watch latency-numbers.
With this background load, which is faster, raid1 vs. raid10? How do threading options in the cluster affect this? Read-ahead vs. cache?
How can you tune it to avoid high latency bursts?
How can you _Warn_ and know that the latency is about to hit the ceiling? How much load can be passive in the background before latency hits 30 sec or more for an operation?
( In a shared host scenario like this, 30 sec disk latency spikes would be considered unbearable )
Basically, I want to know when the thing breaks, and how to avoid it breaking too early. If you need to sacrifice throughput to get this, I'm fine with that. But, how does it break and when. And how do you avoid it?

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Code Kata

So, The last two days I sat down to do a testing/Deployment related code kata for Python & Javascript.
It was a bit of hit&miss, but I'll at least document it to see what to think about.

The coding task was a generic/simple "count to a hundred" task. In bash it would look like this:
for i in `seq 1 100`; do echo \$i;done
And not much worse in Python.

Except that it had to be both a package (library) and a standalone script at the same time. It needed documentation & test-cases.

Even this isn't much to go on, so the code was purposefully implemented as "crappy" as possible. Functions named "print1" and "print2" were made parts of the public API. ( Test-cases were written to make sure I didn't break this API )

Not bad enough. We needed code to test the output to screen as well. ( Mocking "print" would have been too pretty, so I went with an output pipeline ). And then we needed to object-orient it.

At this time you should have a sordid mess on your hands. Different object-classes for different numbers, various inconsistent names and calling conventions. Declare a couple of them as "public interfaces" and make sure you write test-cases for them in their own suite. This set of test-cases are not allowed to be refactored, and should capture bugs you make.

On the other end, you also write test-cases for the things that _aren't_ part of your API, but put these in a different suite.

Soon we had a nice list of objects, one for each number, with dynamic re-creation of it's own class with increments. At this point, don't hold back. Adopt strange conventions. Write temporary files and pass around. Toss in a lambda for no other reason than because you heard about them. Make a mess.

The step from there, to adding a text representation of itself ( implementing __str__ for the class ). This means that you need to refactor your mess. Toss out your "ugly" code, while retaining the public API. If your API has some objects, you need to still support them, while adding this functionality elsewhere. Revamp your functions to use the new organized class.

After this, split out the new functionality into it's own package. Copy the tests over, and update your old package to include & depend on the new one. Make sure you don't change your tests. No changes in include paths or other things.

After this, it's time to go Online. Make a simple HTTP fronted for it. Make sure it's REST-ful. Stable URI's for each number. Do not include English words in your URI's, you want to be translatable. It's all working in the webbrowser, add some basic HTML-templating to get it rendering centered.

This is where I went wrong. I should have spent the time to implement Web-based testcases. Selenium or something similar. My bad, and I'll redo this part of the kata.

However, at this time, change your mind and add another AJAX version of the interface. Since AJAX is all about JSON these days, bolt JSON on top of it. Accept: headers, and keep backwards-compability with the web-site version.

Are your URI's stable? Is the interface cache-able? Are you stateless?

In my next exercise for myself, I'll add failure modes to the HTTP interface, and try to learn error handling in Javascript. I don't know what the best way of doing it is, I think I'll figure something out.

And if you think the above is messy? Yeah, it is. It's supposed to be, the exercise is to wade deep into the mess, and to get your head above the surface and bring it together. Hold yourself to high standards. Running Lint at all times, making sure your documentation is there, that your functions aren't too long, and that you avoid duplication.

But not to start with. In the beginning, you need to make a mess. The better your mess, the more fruitful it is.

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A quick note,
The site is back after a move, but I may have managed to corrupt the gallery style. Work on that will have to come in a bit ( note to self )

Took the time to upgrade to habari-0.9, appears to have gone well.

Varnish is currently acting as a cache in front, will have to see about replacing lighttpd with something else.

Signing off.

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Testing Gnome - The Report

So, today I posted my report on "Testing Gnome" to the Desktop Development mailing list

Below is the full text of the report, attached is a PDF. report-edited.pdf

License of this is CC-BY-NC-SA and if you contact me, we'll discuss other options.

Some notes on Gnome Testing


A short report on my work exploring the various methods of testing employed currently in the Gnome projects, the state of testing as a whole, and our current state of qa work.

First a brief section about various kinds of testing, then how they are currently in use or not. Following up with a suggestion on how to improve the current state of things.

About the Author

I'm D.S. "Spider" Ljungmark, Long time Linux user, developer, administrator and general geek.  Over the last year I've become more deeply involved in software testing; I decided to apply some more of this domain experience onto the Gnome ecosystem in order to see what I could learn and help out with.

Before this, I was a Gentoo packager for several years until retiring from the project, where I was also working. ( )

This article is a distilled form of my talks on the subject, held at Guadec, Spain, July - August 2012.

About software testing

Software testing is a relatively young field in terms of popularity, and has been developing rather rapidly during the last decade, especially as development models have changed, causing the testing process to change as well.

When naming things in "Software Testing" there's an abundance of confusion, disparity and methodologies available. I'll just go over a few of these.

Unit Tests

Unit tests are probably the most well known method of testing, and is generally well perceived. They are a programmer aid, at a low level of the code, testing the smallest piece possible for known good / known bad functionality.  It is more a tool to prevent regressions when re-factoring and maintaining code, than a tool to increase an arbitrary term of "Quality".

The value of Unit testing vs. Code By Contract and strict syntax languages can be debated forever in academia, but it is generally recognized that unit tests increase in value as you add developers to a project.

Integration Tests

Integration tests come in (at least) two shapes, but are in all forms testing the edges and cooperation between projects and others.

In the simplest form, this is a linking level test, making sure that the application still builds against libraries after upgrades.

In the more advanced setting it is a protocol level test, where tests go against an external server in order to make sure that communication doesn't break.  Integration tests of this kind usually belongs on the lower end of the protocol stack, in libraries defining HTTP/IMAP access, Dbus calls, and similar.

Smoke Tests

Smoke testing has it's name from the hardware world, where a unit was plugged into a power source. If blue smoke didn't happen, it passed smoke-tests.

In the software world it's usually centred around software starting after build, supporting something minimal.

Performance Tests (KPI tests)

KPI stand for "Key Performance Index" and they are a way of measuring that there are no regressions in performance. The testing is either done manually (stopwatch and button presses) or programmatically. Commonly they contain start-up, common actions, or load testing.

Example: measuring the time of an import job ran repeatedly;  measuring the CPU load of a user login to a web forum. Me

Acceptance Tests

Acceptance Tests come in two forms, classical, and "Agile"

In Classical acceptance testing, it is the job where a client verifies a delivered product ( Bridge, software, car ) against the contract or work order, and is only performed at the end of the development cycle. It usually involves massive amounts of work and long hours of lawyers.

In the more modern "Agile" method of the same name, this is limited to testing the desired function of a single feature after completion. This usually also involves making sure that development process was followed (documentation, unit tests, check-ins) as well as ensuring that the user story was fulfilled according to spec.

Acceptance tests of this kind are usually Automated, while the first kind are a mix of automation and manual.

Functional Testing, System Testing

Functional Testing is what is considered when we ask if something meets design criteria. It is usually pitted against System Testing, which is asking if something meets User Criteria.

Both are commonly performed manually.

Gnome Method of Testing

The Gnome Method of Feature Testing was established in the 1.4 to 2.0 days, and reintroduced to popularity in the 3.0 release. It involves removing all traces of a feature from the code base, waiting for a release cycle and listening for complaints that it was removed and that Gnome developers aren't listening to feedback. If there are no complaints, the feature was broken and doesn't need to be fixed. If there are complaints, it's considered for redevelopment.

For more information about Software Testing, see or similar resources.

The Status and History of Software Testing in Gnome

Unit Tests

Unit Testing is commonplace in many OSS projects, and are what people mostly consider when they hear "testing". Various projects use it to differing degrees, but overall it's well considered, recommended and in use.

Integration Tests

Integration tests is done by several parties in the Development and Distribution cycle. Of the two flavours, a few projects have service type of integration tests, testing the ability to connect to localhost with sftp, imap servers, libsoup tests against remote servers. On the whole, this kind of testing requires a formal setup and laboratory with various kinds of servers to integrate against, something that few OSS developers have access to, and which would require the infrastructure support by a larger organisation to support. There is certainly some of this happening behind closed doors at various distributions, but this remains a hidden effort, if it exists.

The other kind of integration is an area where the Distributors today are doing a stellar job. Both testing new libraries against previously compiled software,  as well as testing rebuilds of the whole software stacks to ensure source level compatibility.  The job is spread out between many parties but with "upstream first" and similar incentives. A lot of work is being shared between parties. Trivial fixes tend to be solved on many places at once, while more advanced fixes usually end up upstream with a "formal blessing".  Of course, there have been rare cases of the procedure not working, though on the whole, this level of testing is a solved issue.

Smoke Tests

Smoke testing is basically done by a developer in the compile - launch - crash cycle, and is universally performed by developers as well as distributions.  There are some notable exceptions such as Fedora's Rawhide  ( re: )

Performance Tests

As a rule there are few performance concerns, and fewer tests still. The GTK+ toolkit has some, but there are no regular tracking of performance regressions ( due to in large part, lack of continuous integration and associated quality reports )

Examples of regular KPI's that could be done, and maybe, should be done, would be "start-up until icons rendered" in Gnome Documents ( currently, 8+ seconds at times) "Start-up time of Rhythmbox" (until it can select a song and play it) ( varies depending on library size. ), "nautilus browsing of /bin" or the time it takes Evolution to display a mailing list folder.

On lower levels, there are tests on performance of gstreamer encoding, decoding, as well as timing issues of certain unit tests, however there appears to be little concern for this overall, and no continuous reporting of progress, regression or stagnation.

Automated Acceptance Testing

There has been attempts in the past, with Mago ( last 2.12 or similar? ) Linux Desktop Testing Project and Dogtail.

Some applications ( PiTiVi ) have actively maintained acceptance tests using this/that work and are a core part of the current development, but as a whole this has been a largely abandoned and ignored part of development culture. The various attempts to organise such testing have stagnated as they are not part of the daily development.


In order to have such tests working, they have to be part of the project and be maintained together with the project. This means being part of the build system (not building without testing infrastructure in place) as well as being part of the commit and release criteria. Staged commits, automatic reverts and a culture of accepting the fact that "breaking tests are bad" needs to work before we can enforce testing. Also, adding testing as an external project is doomed to obsolescence and breakage during the next development cycle. Making the tests a burden rather than a gain.

System Testing

There is no concentrated effort in Gnome at the moment to do this kind of testing. Various distributions have organised test days (Fedora, Ubuntu) test teams ( Ubuntu, SUSE ) which do manual testing with users as well as professional testers.

These tests are probably overlapping, and vary in quality and range of what is tested. All from "Create a new launcher in the dash" to "merge conflicts in file copying between Samba and local content."

Other than that, there is the well known Debian model, to release software to a range of users (experimental, testing) , and if nobody complains for a time, assume that it's working. This method has dubious value to the quality of actual testing going on, and while not time efficient it is definitely cost efficient. That is as long as time is not related to money.

The Development Model and Testing

 The current development model is based in a few layers;

  First the Original Developer


   smoke tests

   (unit tests)

   (acceptance tests)

  Then the code reaches "other developers" (jhbuild users)

   smoke tests

   functional acceptance tests ("This feature doesn't work")

   integration tests ( limited to compiling and launching)

   (unit tests)

  Then a release is rolled out, and Distributions take over

   smoke tests

   integration tests

   Function tests (Gedit can't edit files!)

   ( Functional Acceptance Tests )

  The distributions then roll out to beta users

   Function Tests

   Acceptance Tests

   Integration tests

  And then it reaches users


The Proposal

Without changing the world, building CI systems and forcing a culture of testing and reverts on the world, there is an somewhat easy way of changing the current state of things.

My suggestion is to write test cases  for System Testing and to give our Distributors a coherent set of tests for System Testing as well.

The tests do not have to be all encompassing, but they should target the "core applications" to make sure that we retain functionality and do not regress there. Currently, there are several such test-cases both from Ubuntu, SUSE and Fedora,  and organising this effort upstream appears to make sense.

This could later be coordinated with Live Images for a faster feedback loop between "Code hitting tree" and "user testing it", and would also give a basic set of functionality that should not be broken before a release of the software.

Furthermore, I suggest having these kinds of tests for all features announced in Release Notes, as those features are seen as "promises" to the community.

Other gains

Other than the immediate gains, this would give us an easier way of getting interested parties involved. By bridging the step between "just use jhbuild" and "I want to try something" we can engage more users in a smoother way.

Having this set of tests would be a way for us to indicate the features that we consider "core" to the heart, and where we have an assumption on the distributions that they should not break without very good reason.

It may also serve as a check on our own development model that we do not accidentally break work flow and user experiences during redesigns.


We do not need to aim for complete coverage of the tests, doing so is unnecessary and will complicate things. It is better to have a small amount of tests that we can maintain, than to reach too far and become unsupported.

85% test coverage is a noble goal in Unit Testing, but is impossibly high for Acceptance Testing and System Testing.

Implementation Details

At the beginning - it's better to keep things simple, working from the Wiki and organising test cases. Based on feedback and interest from various parts, we can then branch out and maybe formalise and systematise things further.

Why not?

Why not automated? Isn't automation better?

Not in this case. Mostly for many cases we would end up spending more time running and maintaining test suites than here. Tests suites are also not proof that the software is sane and doing something useful.

This would also allow us to involve our large community.

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Guadec speech: Testing Gnome, A Software Testers Approach

So, I haven't finished the report attached with these slides yet, nor are the work on testcases finished enough to publish.

However, the slides should be available anyhow, release early and so on.

Enjoy, 2 pdf files,
gnome-testing (pdf) ( First part, about the current state of testing )
new-tests (pdf) ( Second part, about what we can do better )
White slides are speaker notes, a bit more verbose than usual, the rest are shown.

Images are licensed CC BY-NC-SA , slide texts are CC BY-SA .

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I'm on a ....

Well, today I'm off to Guadec, 2012 in A Coruña Spain where I'll amongst other things, will talk about "Testing Gnome" where I apply some of the domain knowledge of a software tester onto the OSS world and see some of the fallout.

It's been a generally interesting piece of work, and hopefully I'll be able to continue working on it. But now, I need to find my shoes, cause I have an airport to attend to.

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Fedora 17, NetworkManager and VLAN

If you want VLAN (802.1q) to work with Fedora 17 NetworkManager setups, the configuration for the VLAN interface should NOT contain TYPE=Ethernet

If it does, it will fail. Hard.

So, this (example) is a working one:

NAME="Vlan 1"
# TYPE=Ethernet



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A Debugging Workshop

So, for my Dayjob I prepared some lectures and workshops, of which at least one will be useful for a wider audience, so I'm reproducing parts of it here.

This post will be edited for formatting at some point later.

So, in our business, we're working with _many_ servers that aren't really like eachother. For most of these there isn't much in the way of administration, which means that debugging things turn into a day to day occurrence.

"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it."

– Brian W. Kernighan

Basics: The environment

Free disk space
\$ df -h

Free inodes
\$ df -i

CPU usage
\$ top

  • Is something using a lot of CPU?
  • Wedged process?
  • Does the list look like what you expect?
  • Load average? Over 1.0 is usually trouble
  • Memory usage:
    \$ top

  • Check if things look bogus there.
  • System logs:
    \$ less /var/log/messages

    Look out for errors / repeated things

    Network connectivity

    Some basics:
    If you can SSH into the machine, you only need to check network resolution and reachability from the outside/inside networks.

    \$ host
    => network is reachable
    => DNS works
    If you can't resolve, try internal networks.

    Local name resolving
    \$ hostname
    \$ host \$(hostname)
    Not able to resolve your own hostname? Bad news my friend. Check /etc/hosts, hostname should point at

    \$ ping
    Routing works, check for speed patterns and slow jumps.

    \$ route -n UG 0 0 0 eth0
    Do you have a routing table? Default route is goes via, if you don't have a route for, you have issues.

    Can it be reached over network?
    \$ curl -v http://my-hostname-internally/
    If not, check the server firewall
    \$ iptables -v -L

    For debugging, make sure that INPUT policy is ACCEPT.

    Further debugging for the various services you may need, check result of
    \$ ps aux |grep
    R and S states are good (running, sleeping) Z, D and T are bad (Zombie, Waiting for IO, stopped).
    Compare the running user with the expected user. Also check the timestamp for when it was started.

    Dig into the application you're looking at, config files, logs, check ports and connectivity with `curl`.

    Further explore using :
    \$ lsof -nP -p \$PID
    \$ strace -ttTf -s0 -e open,connect,send,recv -p \$PID

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    Spotify, Aargh

    I go back in the day, there's a post around here on OiNK going down due to copyright courts.

    Recently, I'm in an office where I don't have access to my own music library, meaning no downloads, only streaming services. Since Google Music ( Or whatever they call it this week, Google Play Music I think?) is unavailable in my country, thanks-a-lot, and WiMP requires the discontinued Adobe Air leaving me with Spotify for my daily needs.

    And some days it is a complete act of frustration.

    To start with, something simple, the lack of music. Artists such as "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" are nowhere to be found. Along with a lot of others.

    Then there comes the ephemeral feeling of things. I had a "Grawwl" playlist, featuring Novembre and Eluveitie. Now, what happens? Both the albums I had in this playlist has disappeared. Not _all_ the albums by the bands, just some.

    What sense this makes? No clue.

    Even more annoying, when you search for them, and the albums you had in lists, are there. It's just managed to disappear from your playlists.

    Next up, we have the completely -broken- metadata. Deep Purple's "Burn" Is appearantly from 2005. And the anniversary edition from 2004. Oh, right, three songs are missing from the first of those. Their first album ( "Shades of Deep Purple", 1968 ) came out in 2003, a year without any re-release of that album according to

    Then we have the Live pollution. There is absolutely no separation of live albums from studio albums, and while I guess some live recordings really are better than a bands studio albums, I generally try to separate the two. Especially when I'm looking for a certain song.

    Then we can complain further on how _utterly horrible_ it is to hit artist collisions. Things like ISIS get a horrible mixture of things. Click around a bit on spotify and find a mix or R'n'B/Hip Hop artists with the Post Rock that I was looking for. Jarring and disturbing for all the wrong reasons.

    Then we come to the classical music. Oh my fucking god, Is Beethoven an artist or a composer? What, you can't search for composers? Oh right, which orchestra/Director/Solist was it on that Bach sonata? Azerbaijan symphonic tincan orchestra?

    No separation, improper tagging, no way of following it up, and a bad selection.

    Then we can add certain things like "no-gap recordings" and audio quality. Well, they simply don't deal with no-gap recordings properly at all, Dream Theater - Awakeis a typical example. The Mirror that turns into Lie? Right, it's missing the beats.

    So. Poor selection, worse tags than even the _pirates_ have, and an annoying UI where you can't even copy an artist's name and put into a chat message?

    Right, of course. I forgot to mention. Low quality album art.

    So, overall. It's a frustrating thing. It feels ephemeral, you can't trust it.

    more ...

    Converting Fedora 16 from i686 to x86_64

    After a piece of hardware melting down on me, it turned out to be time to upgrade to 64bit distribution on one of my machines that had previously been on 32bit.

    Crazy that I am, I decided to try and do it on the fly rather than get a USB stick and sorting it out. These are some of my notes from that.

    First, it's time to clean out your machine. Make sure that
    yum check
    as well as
    yum distro-sync
    are clean and working satisfyingly, this should have your machine up to the same set that the official mirrors are.
    ( Also, clean out any packages you don't use, the less you have to work with, the easier the next steps are)

    After this, grab a current kernel from the upgrades repo of the x86_64
    A check of `/etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-updates.repo` and you'll see

    download the kernel, and install it: `rpm -Uvh --ignorearch kernel*.x86_64*rpm`

    Now reboot into your new kernel and see that things work. Yey.

    Time to get a list of installed programs, and sort things out a bit more.
    install the `yum-downloadonly plugin` for yum.
    Then run `rpm -qa --qf '%{name}.%{arch}\n' |grep -E '\.i.86' |sed s/i.86/x86_64/g >rpmlist.txt`

    then it's time to download the packages (this will take some time)

    yum --downloadonly --downloaddir=$SOMEPLACEWITHSPACE install $(cat rpmlist.txt)

    After this, it's a huge slew of rpm upgrade packages to be done:
    rpm -Uvh *rpm --replacepkgs --replacefiles --ignorearch

    This churned on for a while, then hung with a db4 compat issue. removing the __db.00* files in /var/lib/rpm and doing an rpm --rebuilddb seems to have fixed that database without complications.
    After this, I tested, went down into runlevel 1 ( Probably should have done this before doing the mass upgrade. It seems like a saner thing to do ) and started some commands, verified that things looked okay. Then rebooted it all to make sure.


    more ...

    Medieval Faire / Bohus Fästning

    So, This last weekend was a bit of a stressed out mess for me, life does that sometimes. This time, I was traveling to visit the Medevial Days in Bohus Fästning which turned out to be a lovely affair, really.

    Now, not all was sunshine and roses. One of the first exhibits you see is something that's so far from Medieval as it can be, and I'm not talking about the modern stage with lights and sound equipment, I'll gladly give that a pass. No, I'm talking about a Russian nunnery ( of one of the Orthodox schools ) selling icons of the virgin, wooden painted pictures of Jesus (Without the Mary Chain, too), Matryoshka dolls and so on. Pity, but it's not my sake to say they can't be there.

    The rest of the fair was the usual crowds, mixture of spectator sports, musicians, bands, peddlers and dressup party. However, due to a slight issue with the Swedish climate, most of it was lightly enjoyed in the falling rain. Not just falling, but rather "sky torn apart" style. Decimeters of water flooding the area, pools appearing where none are supposed to be. The usual, really.

    But, wool keeps you warm, and there's always a lovely underground area. So, the fair went on and was enjoyed. And I heard that the other days had more luck with the weather.

    I'm not quite surprised.

    And yes, I spent hours listening to music in a damp underground cellar of a Medieval castle. What did you do?

    more ...

    Hatred, Rage and Politics

    So far I have had my share of both hatred and blind, overpowering rage throughout my life.

    I'll be the first to admit that on many mornings, evenings and days, I've longed for the destruction of all bipedal life on the planet. Innocence be damned, nothing be spared.

    This anger has been directed towards the state of the world in general, what we are doing as a species, and the way we treat everything around us, from items to animals and people. However, my anger and rage is undefined. There isn't a political target, there isn't any opponent, there isn't a fear of losing my way of life due to intrusion into my privacy by the existence of people who do not think like me.

    I do not fear a person in a veil, nor do I fear their hair colour or the fact that I do not understand their language or culture. However, I fear others, because of their anger and fear. I'm afraid of the people who are hiding, who feel so uncertain that they must stand up and fight against something. I fear the people who want to chase others away, because they in themselves are afraid. I fear the people who wish to deny others peace, because their peace of body intrudes on someones peace of mind.

    I fear the people who wish to bear arms because their lack of knowledge and acceptance is questioned. I fear the people who urge _others_ to kill those who think differently. I fear the state of mind that seclusion brings, the way it renders it acceptable to use violence to prove a point. I fear those people who are so uncertain of themselves, that they cannot tolerate someone who speaks against them to live.

    This level of ignorance makes me rage, a blind, consuming hatred of the people who enable this, of the people who refuse to sit down and breathe, who turn inwards into circles that only strengthen their own fear. It makes me fear for myself, my own safety and privacy, it makes me wish to bear arms against them.

    It risks turning me into them.

    I hate the people who preach such things, be they politicians who do it for the sake of the children or the old, or preachers of a religion, preachers that teach fear because they are in unknown territory, fleeing from Terror only to bring it to others.

    I abhor this behavior in people, this blind, consuming stupidity that makes think that acting out on this fear will bring success.

    It will only bring retaliation and fear, it will only sow distrust amongst others, and it will not make them join you. It will make them step aside, be separate and afraid, seek to like minded, scared people for comfort. It will make them want to bear arms against the other, secular and inhibited, fearful and angry people.

    I hate them all.

    And I'm one of them.

    This is why I'm so upset right now, that even more are stepping into the comfortable circles of fear, distrust and anger. That more people want to bring retaliation and anger.

    And this is why I'm so relieved that there are voices of sanity and compassion speaking up around this situation in Norway. That people are taking a marked step not to be consumed by Terror and rage, not to step into the circles drawn out before them. That they are taking the moment to breathe and point at the social trap in front of them, the knowledge that the seemingly senseless violence amongst them was in fact, not Senseless.

    It was carefully planned, it was bait. Horrible bait, for people to step into a trap of anger and distrust. To step into the line of aggressors and prosecutors. To bring their own fear and anger towards others. To lead a nation, and a continent, into the tight circles of fearful terror, of seething rage and distrust.

    Now, I just hope that they will find their way out of this horrible trap, without causing themselves more suffering.

    more ...

    An experiment in Vertical Hydroponics

    Some time ago I found a video about Hydroponic systems again, this time it was about small-scale "for window" installations of horizontal sets of pipes, with a tank, regulator and pump system. This got me thinking about space and my balcony, and I started researching into Horizontal systems, rather than vertical.

    There's a few out there, most are really rudimentary (plastic bottles) or rather large scale, but I didn't find much documenting if they work or not, and how well they work and not. So I set a budget, and started to plan the project proper.

    First my idea was to use a single, 2m tall, 100mm diameter PVC pipe, and drill holes into it, inserting small pots for the plants. After checking the basic math that told me that I'd have approximately 160 litres of volume in such a pipe, along with how much work I'd have to be doing to cut the holes, I went another route.

    A bit more expensive route, with Y-shaped 75mm pipes ( and 45mm outliers) of gray PVC. I bought nine of those, and a 1m long 75mm pipe, to go with that, I got a barrel (60 litres) and a lid.

    In the bottom of the barrel, I put some thoroughly cleaned ( and boiled) stones, in order to make it a bit heavier.

    For the water flow, I went with a very simple pentry-pump for boats/freshwater tanks (7.5 litres/minute, 12Volt, 2 ampere, meaning around 24watt).

    Filling: I used a mix of Leca ( for the main pipe) and Perlite (for the small outliers). From the beginning I was going to use coconut shreds, but I couldn't find any locally, so Leca it was.

    Note here, that the Leca I got I had to rinse quite a few times in order to get the dust off. Much of it was quite messy, and would have killed my little pump in no-time. I'm still not sure how long that pump will live, but that is something for the future to tell.

    So, after fitting the hole of the 1m pipe into the lid, I sealed it with silicone (for aquarium use, not wetroom use. )

    In the bottom of the pipe, I cut a few openings in order to let water flow through. It turns out that these were not wide enough in practice, and when I turned on the pump, water would fill the pipe up to the middle, and overflow. This was solved by taking the whole thing apart, pulling it up and drilling holes into the bottom pipe to let more water through. Not a fun thing, and no pictures were taken then, as I was already getting very wet.

    The water flow turned out to be too much anyhow (7.5 litres/minute is a lot, it turns out) so instead of driving it at 12V, I'm running it at 5-7 volts of power, causing a much more manageable water flow. Also, it turns out that the layer of perlite I was using for the small pipes flowed down into the main pipe, expanded in the water, and made water throughput low enough that I had water running everywhere when I was pumping full speed.

    Right now, the hose from the bottom to the top is fastened with rubber-bands and tape, I figure something more long term may be needed. I also added a cloth filter to the top to avoid too much junk to fall in there.

    Currently, the system is running on a timer to stimulate ebb/flow control, but I have yet to figure out how to do it, so right now its 2 hours on, 1 off during the day, and 15 minutes on/ 2 off during the night. If this turns out to be wrong, well, shan't be too hard to fix.

    Now? My seedlings aren't quite done yet, so I have a hard time planting anything in this, until then, I'll have to see how this goes. The plan is to use easy herbs/salad this year, and maybe strawberries in the future.

    Oh. And I need to get PH Measurements as well. yey.

    Hydro tower

    more ...

    Vattenkrig - Water War

    Out of the blue I'm reminded ( On Facebook of all places ) that there's an attempt to break the world record in Water Warfare in Linköping this afternoon.

    As is my habit, I didn't have much photography equipment with me, and my camera sure isn't either waterproof nor environmentally sealed like the more expensive ones are. So, off to the kitchen with me, grabbing a few freezer bags, some rubber bands and wrapping my camera in a layer of plastic.

    Unfortunately, plastic freezer bags aren't quite the best if you want to _see_ the pictures, so most of the images turned out to be randomly bad, over/under exposed or just generally bland.

    However, I picked out around a hundred decent-ish pictures of the water war, not all elected because they are great pictures, but more because they capture the mood. Most of them are soft and slightly out of focus, however a few turned out to be quite wonderful.

    And did I need the plastic? Yes.. Yes I did. Water warfare

    Water warfare

    more ...

    Software updates..

    Well, new version of Habari installed, and now for a kernel upgrade and reboot. Everything appears to be dandy though. This is mostly a test post to verify that everything still works.

    more ...

    Quck Gnome-shell replies

    Just a reply to Alex Deucher since his comments section is disabled and there's no contact info on his page:
    ( Hint, if you need to register with his wordpress to leave comments, and he has registration turned off, but comments enabled, that means it sucks and I really dislike it. Please stop that kind of thing, it's really annoying.)

    1: Multiple instances. ctrl-click to launch a new instance.

    2: Restart/shutdown/hibernate: Either alt-click the menu, or use the Gnome Shell Exensions to bring it back:

    3: Suspend on lid events: Gnome Tweak Tool has that, in "Shell" section.

    4: Minimize controls: either use gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout ":minimize,maximize,close" or similar, or use Gnome Tweak Tool to do it in a ui.

    5: Fastest way is to use type-ahead find. It works on parts of words, works on application names as well as binary names. Super-na-return will give you a nautilus instance, for example.

    6: No. Top bar is in gnome-shell reserved for that. You could write an extension for it, but most just pin them to the left hand launchbar.

    8: Solved with a : gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_mode sloppy .

    10: a simple javascript can solve that. not shipped by default, but Here is one, for example

    11: to be announced. Simply not implemented yet. Saw a few but they were a tad too buggy for release.

    more ...

    Gnome 3.0, finally released

    So, there are lots of things to be said about Gnome 3.0. A lot of cruft was removed everywhere inthe stack, several applications gained massive UI changes, (Still not sold on the navigation arrows placement in the file manager, but that's me).
    The most "in your face" change is the shell, which will polarise a lot of discussion, opinion and people. Looking forwards to it. It does rehaul something that has been static and comfortable for a long long time, in the process of changing that, several things went missing or were not reimplemented in the same way.
    Both for good and for worse, I'd say.

    I'm looking forwards to seeing where this goes. It's a change, and change is never all easy.

    I am

    more ...

    Some (Software Related) reading

    Some weeks ago A guy asked me about books on twitter, what followed was some hours digging through memory lanes of books I'd read, enjoyed, used in school and on libraries, and turned into a list of books that I want to restock shelves with:
    These aren't the "Become a better C programmer" books out there, but deal with generic and generally applicable themes of the craft, art and science of programming.

    Amazon Wishlist for these



    more ...

    Early spring

    And on the way home I turn to Shuffle to find some music to cover my bases. It's raining ever so lightly, and there's still snow and ice covering the walk, turning it slippery. An hour ago it was dusk. A month ago, it'd have been deep night at this time, now it was just night. Dark, but my eyes manage.

    As I stomp my way through town, intent only on getting more distance behind me, I notice the complete lack of people. They're all hiding from the rain, even in this early spring. But the road is walkable, and my coat protects me.

    And then it comes, the familiar beat in my left ear, anxiety, the weak shiver, the urge to turn, avoid the person walking across the road, even though he's already way out of my path. I lean forwards into the beat and move onwards.

    The music fades, and then a familiar beat comes in, punctuated with guitars and a bassline, twist, beat changing again, to something slightly faster than I'm comfortable walking. Yet I change my step, involountarily obeying the music.

    ...woke up confused in a place I didn't know..
    ....and heard the hissing of an overused stem..
    .....the air around me is corrupt and on the take...

    My mood lightening, changing, more intense on the beat.

    And then the chorus comes, anxiety lifting completely as I exhale...

    ....shove shove shove shove...
    shove in my head...
    shove you instead!

    Ah, Ministry. I really do miss you.

    more ...

    Some *nix hacking

    So, Since liferea and Firefox both tend to be somewhat sluggish under high IO load, even when they shouldn't be doing much out of it, I figured I'd get it sorted.

    And while doing so, I'd also toss in the fix for Adobe Flash that Linus Torvalds posted in the Fedora bugzilla (#638477) earlier.
    #include <sys/types.h>

    void *memcpy(void *dst, const void *src, size_t size)
    void *orig = dst;
    asm volatile("rep ; movsq"
    :"=D" (dst), "=S" (src)
    :"0" (dst), "1" (src), "c" (size >> 3)
    asm volatile("rep ; movsb"
    :"=D" (dst), "=S" (src)
    :"0" (dst), "1" (src), "c" (size & 7)
    return orig;

    int fsync(int fd)
    return 0;
    int fdatasync(int fd)
    return 0;

    int msync(void *addr, size_t length, int flags)
    return 0;

    License? The sync parts are trivial and not licensable. The Linus part isn't much worse.
    Remember, if it eats your data, you can pet it.

    gcc -O2 -c crappy.c ld -G crappy.o -o LD_PRELOAD=`pwd`/crappy liferea & disown LD_PRELOAD=`pwd`/crappy firefox4 & disown

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    Words escape me sometimes

    The first thing I remember from this morning was stepping onto something as I came through the hole in the wall. I’ll assume the hole was in fact the doorway, but my memory is cloudy at this point. Where I’d been? Don’t know, I have no memory of emotion before I felt the crackling, crushing under my foot, no recollection of intent, no short-term memory, no sensation of hot or cold.

    But I distinctly remember the feeling under my foot as the words broke apart into syllables, further shattering into diphthongs and finally breaking apart from letters into strokes and stems.
    They never broke like glass, not the sharp cutting pain of shards that penetrate your skin, shattering into unimaginably small pieces. Nor was it the cracking of ice beneath my bare feet. The closest I can associate it to, was a painless form of Lego, falling into pieces, into the lower denomination of letter-forms.
    As soon as I realised that I was stepping into something, I moved my foot back up, feeling it writhe beneath me, magnetic, reforming itself towards an approximation of the original shape.

    As I looked around, I could suddenly see them, clear as ice, yet blackened serifs against the background of the room, lying everywhere, attached to the surfaces, sentences falling slowly from paragraphs, embedding themselves, pushing away into a mess of syntax I could not comprehend. All of it, centring above the bed, hovering in the air, the closer I looked, the more it took shape, solidity, paragraphs forming chapters hanging around, rotating with an internal tension I just could not explain. The words appeared to be static, some of them clinging together, others pushed away from each other, monopole magnets in the room. Over it all there was a certain kind of order, disturbed and fragile, imperfections in the way the chapters were bound together forcing them apart, causing the stress that pushed them all away from each other.

    Further out were the signs of the last shattering, a paragraph with dropped capitals embedding itself in the bookshelf, punctuation falling slowly down, attaching itself to another sentence along the way, causing it to break off, transforming the words as they fell to the floor.

    I was trying my hardest not to breathe as I looked around, attempting to understand the order of things, what had happened. I looked to the bed, seeing my own curled up shape, tension in my face, teeth biting into my lip, brows tightened, skin clammy and moist.

    The room was steamy, smelling of ozone and brine, sulphate nearly, and there was a chill down my spine as a comma trailed off and slithered downwards, unable to find it’s place in the surroundings.

    Misplaced quotation marks were hovering in the air like flies, buzzing around paragraphs, attempting to get a hold; without success.

    As I looked around, the novel took shape in my head, I was reading faster than I could understand, trying to get a grip of the pieces, attempting to sort them out before this fleeting moment disappeared, yet I was obviously too late. An em-dash was falling into my face, I could feel it slip in, rubbing against a comma and setting off like a lug nut from a dipole magnet.

    The disturbance was the final strand as I opened my eyes, rubbing away at something caught in the corner of my eyes, attempting to shake a serif from my beard. The room was coming into view, multifaceted rainbows in my eyes as the words dissipated and left.

    I shook my head, trying to remember the context of the words.

    more ...

    Some hacking blogging

    So, Due to Buerocrazy, life is sorta miffly atm.

    However, I need to clear my head from that. At work I've recently been reading PCI and credit-card specifications, dealing with osCommerce, Virtual items for sale, generating tickets for a PoS system and so on.

    It now appears the pieces are coming together, tickets can be bought, printed, ordered and added, and disappear from the inventory when things are sold out. Yey.

    Next up, design and featurism. Then it's off to the other projects in order to see what happens with them.

    I'm still looking for suggestions on hardware ( x86 or Arm, 24+ Megs of RAM, 32+ Megs of flash, Ethernet, 2x USB ( and maybe a built-in 3G modem) Theres a few on my list, but I want stuff for smaller batches, (a couple of hundreds) at decent price. There's a few on the market, but maybe you know of one that I don't know. Do tell!

    Tomorrow, building more firmware, doing some cabling and design-work. Yey. Still waiting for some more prototype units of various CPU-denominations. I wonder what I can do with 32Megs of RAM, 200 MHz and 4 Megs of flash .. The flash will be a pita for my usecase, I fear. :/

    more ...

    Quoth the C Hacker

    "Zeroeth of all: anyone who writes () in a function prototype in C needs
    to get severely napalmed, maimed, hung and then really hurt. It is
    (void) in C, () means (...) which is literally NEVER what you want."

    -- H. Peter Anvin, on LKML

    "Man has killed man from the beginning of time, and each new frontier has brought new ways and new places to die. Why should the future be different?"

    -- Col. Corazon Santiago
    "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide"

    I miss Alpha Centauri sometimes

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    Ölblogg - Svenska

    (Apologies to the international friends/aquiantances reading this, I wrote it originally for the Work blog, but it ended up too personal for there, and I figured I'd post it here instead. )

    Dags att ölblogga! I normala fall pysslar jag ju mest med teknik och tre eller fyra bokstäver långa förkortningar, saker som må vara nördigt men ja, det är ju inte ölnördigt. Då kan jag ju jämföra med vår ölguru Magnus Bark, som är såpass ölnördig att han får helsidor i tidningen och både pratar i radio och föreläser på nördcafé.

    Nej, där ligger jag i lä.

    Men, för att lära mig lite mer om ölen och saker däromkring så räcker det inte att gå på ölprovningar och läsa böcker och bloggar. I samrådan med Amanda bestämde jag mig att det var dags för lite mer praktisk kunskap. Därför hittade jag mig i onsdags på andra sidan baren, tillsammans med lustiga pekskärmar, bongar, glas och tappar.

    Det blev till att sätta upp håret, slänga hatten på hyllan och hänga rocken i garderoben, här var det förkläde och prydlig förvirring som gäller. Snart stod jag där som ett frågetecken, vart var det man hittar knappen för Vedett, hur mycket fyller man ett Maredsous-glas, var står glasen till Gonzo, hur får man pumpen att sluta skumma?

    Oj. Hoppsan. Hjälp!

    Jag blev snabbt påmind om varför jag brukar sitta vid ett tangentbord: japp, jag är en klant! Det där var ju inte helt en nyhet, men ont gör det ändå när man sätter ett glas snett mot kanten och det går sönder i handen. Och kladdigt blir det också.

    Men men, nu lär jag ju minnas att jag är en klant ett tag till! Och så illa blev det inte. Ett par plåster och en timeout så var allt fint igen. Då var det dags att balansera brickor, denna gången utan glaskross och kaos. Och så fortsatte kvällen! Fullt blev det, sällskap kom och gick igen, och det verkade alltid finnas någon som ville att
    ölen skulle rinna snabbare.

    Men visst är det kul att vara där, och trots att jag såg så förvirrad ut vid baren så var kunderna trevliga och hade översikt med min vilsenhet.

    Och, nu hittar jag till Hofbrauglasen, men jag får nog leta lite till efter ESB i kassan.

    Och på lördag blir det lite mer ölnördande. Då ska jag på provning här i Klompen, sedan får vi se vad som händer. Men kul ska det bli med lite nytt om Amerikansk Humle.

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    "Good morning" - Well, Morning at least.

    • “Good morning”
      * “Morning, at least”
      Well, that’s how it usually goes for me.

    I woke up this morning. I’m quite convinced it was morning because I was awake, but that doesn’t make sense, does it? My face was icy cold, my hands stiff, cramped and locked down beneath me. As I tried to turn around, behind me; to see what that thing behind me was, I realised I could not move a muscle. I was trapped, my body cold as porcelain beneath covers, I could feel my heart beating in my chest, my lungs were contracting for ages, attempting to get the air either way without success. I became more and more aware that there was something behind me, it was there, I just could not turn to see it.
    That was the worst. Being unable to move around to see it, being unable to move.

    Eventually the feeling let off and I woke up again. Broke down, went up, glass of hot water, trying to shake the chills and quivers from my body. Hitting my toe on the mess in the hallway was a good thing, I felt alive, and the pain was immediate, something to focus on. It made me remember the feeling of fire against skin, and how it can be used to control anxiety-attacks when nothing else is at hand.

    Tonight was worse than it usually is for me. Let’s talk some more openly about it. As of the last couple of weeks my sleeping pattern has been shot completely to hell. It’s not that I’m not tired, I’m always tired and unfocused because of sleeplessness. It’s the chronic anxiety keeping my heart rate running too high, the moment I try to lie down, I feel the beating, clutching at the inside of my chest, grabbing hold, my veins contract, feeling of cold liquid pushed down into my arms as I squirm, unknowing, unable to do anything about it. The panic sets in and within seconds I’m coated in cold sweat, calves cramped because my toes curl up and attempt to hide beneath the soles of my feet.

    Pills help. If you call “numbing” for help. I squirm less, think slowly and do not have the time to react before I pass out, however, even for that to work I need to be somewhat exhausted.

    This isn’t all new for me. It’s more intense as of the last weeks, but that is because certain bureaucrats decided that it was better to make my life uncertain living hell than to have improvement. I admit because of this I haven’t been functioning properly neither at home, nor at work. I’ve had to call in sick because I haven’t slept; because I’m in an emotional state where nothing makes sense and I’m not coherent, where emotions make me unable to think straight for long. It has to change, but right now I’m unable to do anything about it.

    A month ago I was functioning better than I had in a long time, I was more stable, somewhat regular, slept decently and most importantly, I functioned. Now, not so much. Because of this situation I feel as if I’m unable to do my real job properly as well. A month or two ago and I was breaking my own expectations, and now I can barely keep even. My home is deteriorating, and nothing seems to work. I feel helpless and caught in the maelstrom. Logic and reality has nothing to do with it.

    more ...

    Moving away from raid5

    Some technical notes on migrating from 3-disk raid5 to raid1 without dataloss or reformatting.

    My setup: I had a 3-disk raid5 ( 500GBx3, giving 990ish GB of usable space)

    *) Empty enough space, you need to go down to the smallest disk in your collection, in my case, cleaned out to some 340GB used space, simply because I could.

    *) fsck, need to be done before resize.
    fsck -f /dev/md0

    *) resize the filesystem so it's smaller than the disk size. Preferably with some margin.
    resize2fs -p /dev/md0 400G
    ( this takes _TIME_ around 1.4Meg/second total )

    *) pretend-shrink the array
    mdadm --grow /dev/md0 --array-size=471859200

    *) fsck-test ( read-only to check you don't lose any data)
    fsck -n -f /dev/md0

    *) reduce the array to a two-disk raid5 (takes time, needs to do a full recovery, approx 22MB/sec )
    mdadm --grow /dev/md0 --backup-file=/root/backup-mdadm --raid-devices=2

    *) transform from a 2disk raid5 to a 2disk raid1
    mdadm --grow /dev/md0 --level=raid1 --backup-file=/root/backup-raid5

    *) resize the filesystem to fill the whole raid
    mdadm --grow /dev/md0 --size=max
    resize2fs -p /dev/md0

    *) remove the spare device from your set.

    After that, I just moved one of the drives into the other system, activated it as degraded, copied my files over, and resynced it all.

    more ...

    Hardware, mdadm, raid, recovery

    Spent over 48 hours trying to recover a drive to a machine which lost power during startup, causing the head to hit platters and corrupting sectors vital to bootup. Ouch.
    Then we lost power during recovery.
    However, all user-data was recovered in the end, backups are now in place, and things appear to be stabilizing. I just wish there was enough cash to throw at the problem to fix it properly. New drives + UPS would be necessary it seems. And we don't like that.

    As for my home systems, 1 drive is failing ( sector reassigning failed ) and going back to the store next week. Fortunately it's 1 disk of a raid mirror, so it should be fine to recover.

    The other set of raid5 is currently being shrunk (filesystem) in preparation of using mdadm to transform my raid5 to a raid1, in order to remove some drives from the chassi. Takes time, but should be lossless. Only reason for doing this is really to move hardware around, No faults so far.

    Good news, USB stick and GNU ddrescue is the winner. dd_rescue is to be avoided. Bad news, ntfs-3g handles _badly_ with disk images, and consumes a _ton_ of cpu. Do not even attempt to use it.

    gparted will do some interesting things when resizing partitions, for example, read only moves of data. Will take 12+ hours to operate. Make sure you don't lose power.

    more ...

    Networking issues, A Luxury problem

    So, with the new year approaching I’m also joining the future when it comes to fiber to the home networking. Well really, my subscription with the other ISP was coming to an end, and it was time to upgrade to something that was both cheaper and faster.

    With the new ISP, I’m finally getting out of the “only one IP per customer”, and into a more realistic setup. This allows me to finally get rid of the NAT box and all the problems it entails .( Instant messenger, UPnP and various protocols still do not act well with NAT. And probably never will )

    However, you don’t get any amount of IP-addresses, so there has to be some limit, and for things like the wifi, I do not see a good reason to bridge anyone into the ISP network without some sanity checking.

    Now, I wouldn’t be a proper geek if that was the only thing on my requirements. See, I also want to maintain good speed with my NAS storage, ( nfs + samba ) which unfortunately my router cannot manage ( only 100Mbit, while my switch is Gigabit ). However, lets be serious, this is a minor issue.

    Add to this that I have, quite a number of various devices speaking ethernet ( Embedded systems galore, 10-15 ‘computers’ around here ), so we can’t really just assume that I’ll get enough public IP’s for all of them.

    So, what I’d _REALLY_ want is a server on my home router (OpenWRT 10.03.1-rcX Backfire based) that would set up a private LAN for most machines, but for a few select MAC-addresses would instead of allocating a private IP, do a DHCP proxy call and allocate a public IP-address for those.

    Preferrably the DHCP-proxy would then re-write certain fields like “default route” ( the router ) DNS ( Well, doh ) as well as update the DNS-entries for the internal lookup so you could use consistent for your own machines. ( MAC-based to start with )

    Well. Right now, there is no such software, and for this weekend I didn’t have the urge to even try and scope it up, much less create it.

    So, That leaves me with two “obvious” solutions.
    *) DHCP Proxy (dhrelay from ISC and dhcp-forwarder)
    *) Transparent Bridging

    For these to work I had to do some magic in either way. First and foremost, set up VLAN’s on the internal switch of my WRT160nl. There I’d dedicate 1 port to be “outbound” ( and hook a switch to that) and the remaining 3 to be “local net only”.

    Figuring this out took me a bit longer than I’d thought, as I managed to lock myself out by the ways of firewalling whenever I attempted it, causing quite a few reboots into safe mode while I was attempting in blind to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Below will be some documentation on how to get this just right (tm)

    Also note that the default documentation on setting up VLAN on the OpenWRT page is broken, as it will create RFC-noncomformant tagged VLAN’s . VLAN 1 is not supposed to be tagged, see 802.1D standard.

    So, the relevant parts of /etc/config/network :
    config ‘switch’
    option ‘name’ ‘eth0‘
    option ‘reset’ ‘1‘
    option ‘enable_vlan’ ‘1‘
    option ‘enable’ ‘1‘

    config ‘switch_vlan’ ‘eth0_0‘
    option ‘vlan’ ‘0‘
    option ‘device’ ‘eth0‘
    option ‘ports’ ‘0u 1u 2u 4* 5*’

    config ‘switch_vlan’ ‘eth0_10‘
    option ‘vlan’ ‘10‘
    option ‘device’ ‘eth0‘
    option ‘ports’ ‘3u 4t 5t’

    config ‘interface’ ‘vlan0‘
    option ‘proto’ ‘static’
    option ‘ifname’ ‘eth0.0‘
    option ‘ipaddr’ ‘‘
    option ‘netmask’ ‘‘
    option ‘defaultroute’ ‘0‘
    option ‘peerdns’ ‘0‘

    This first turns on VLAN and the switch on eth0.

    the part that reads : 0u 1u 2u 4* 5* has a magic meaning. It means that vlan 0 will be _untagged_ as it leaves ports 0 1 and 2, and _tagged_ if an untagged packet LEAVES port 4 and 5. It also makes this the _default_ vlan.

    the part that reads “3u 4t 5t” is similarly magic. it means that packets leaving port 3 shall be untagged if they were tagged with vlan 10. 4t 5t also means they get tagged going out of the two internal ports. However, it’s uncertain if this actually does anything.

    Next, we assign a local, static IP-address to the vlan0, and serve DHCP off that as normal. That means that physical port 3 on the switch is now magic, and assigned to vlan10 ( eth0.10 ) and free to perform experiments on.

    Also note, you _NEED_ to add vlan0 to the /etc/config/firewall zone for your lan. (replace eth0 with “eth0 vlan0“ and do similar in your /etc/config/dhcp

    So, My first few hours was spent digging through how to do this without bridging, so I spent many hours getting dnsmasq not to bind the external interface nor the eth0.10 interface, and attempting to get dhcp-forwarder or dhcrelay to work. Unfortunately I got neither to work with my ISP (Telia). However, this may work in the future? I wouldn’t know. I still haven’t compiled up dhcp-helper from the same guy who creates dnsmasq

    So. After some time I scrapped this position, and decided that it would be simpler to create a bridged interface between eth1 (external, WAN) and eth0.10 (internal, VLAN 10, port 3 on the switch ) said and done. It was actually quite simple.

    from /etc/config/network:
    config ‘interface’ ‘wan’
    option ‘peerdns’ ‘0'
    option ‘type’ ‘bridge’
    option ‘ifname’ ‘eth1 eth0.10'
    option ‘proto’ ‘dhcp’
    option ‘auto’ ‘1'

    And that about solves it.

    Now, I can hook my swtich to that port, and the machines on this side also get nice external IP addresses.
    There’s just one snag. I do not get any firewall anymore. For cited performance reasons, ( I’m unable to find numbers anywhere ) the bridged filtering is disabled in the OpenWRT Backfire kernels. This does put a hinder to my plans, as I’m unable to actually perform what I wanted to do here.

    Also, performance stinks right now. Why? My ISP has proxy-arp. This means, that their gateway is responding to _ALL_ arp requests for any IP-address in their range as belonging to them. This in turn is enough to make my gigabit switch scratch it’s head, and forward packets through my bridge and up into the ISP, and then back again. Effectively degrading my gigabit ethernet into 100Mbit or less.

    This would ofc. be easy to stop by blocking arp-requests at the firewall. Except that the firewall isn’t enabled on bridged interfaces.

    So, for the future:
    a) Check out the performance of a custom kernel with bridging. Does it kill the upstream?
    b) Investigate in dhcp-helper.
    c) Look at creating a patch for dnsmasq that does custom proxying of DHCP based on certain mac-addresses.
    d) Kill everyone, NAT and just go with ipv6 whenever it arrives?

    more ...

    I am not awake

    Very much not awake.
    Last week is a blur, there was Killing Joke, there was awesome, there was camera, there was crowd, there was Guinness and there was Friends and there was Porter House, and there was people.

    I had a grand time, doing all from light sight-seeing to heavy clubbing and drinking, Caught three major gigs where I've been a fan for years, Porcupine Tree, Killing Joke and Ozric Tentacles, caught a Mexican day of the Dead burlesque show on film (well, digital such) and went clubbing with friends both new and old.

    Overall, it was a blast.
    Even though I got a minionic globetrotter cold with me home.

    But now I'm still waiting for my RAW's to arrive (there was a screwup with iPhoto and they disappeared, some panic happened but I'm getting them uploaded to me now) meanwhile I tossed up
    a few short previews here:

    I'll update that album, and make some proper Gig albums later.

    Right now I however curse myself for not photographing the taxis at night. Bad me. Very bad me.

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    The pain that is waking

    I've been hit by Insomnia again. This time in the form of vacation. Waking up early simply from the strange noises outside, or from the life at home calling me because the providers cable has been cut off and nothing works anymore.

    But Insomnia is an old friend of mine, we have a history together, you can say. And even when she's with me all day, it's not enough to deter me from fully enjoying the time here.

    Monday was Porcupine Tree, with an opening act which while technically proficient, and with a singer who could sing (when he gave force to it, at least) were nothing to remember. The keyboardist was falling asleep over his beat, the singer was mostly missing his autotune, the second guitarrist was brilliant together with the drummer, but it wasn't enough to lift the show into danceability.

    And then came Porcupine Tree. Different show this time from before, opening with Even Less, they went through a long history of tracks, Sound of Muzak, Four Chords, Open Car, The Sky Moves Sideways, along with several unexpected old goodies. The audience was in flames, and even though it took a few tries to get some things right, Strings breaking on the opening chord, the new guitar in the wrong key, and some other issues that made them (gasp shock horror) wing it and extend some of the solos into near showoff levels, it was high pace and managed excellently. (the power stayed on too, I think that helped)

    So yeah, they were doing some things on stage that you nearly cannot do with a drumset, playing it tightly through more of a history of the band than I have ever heard from them before.

    The day after we spent at a friend and writer's place all evening and night, getting home at dawn and sleeping briefly, before heading on towards last nights main attraction, Killing Joke.

    Oh my effing god. I was blown away by the show, I had never (bothered?) to look up recordings of their live shows before, and the entrance reminded me a lot of a coverall dressed Alice Cooper, a notion that quickly disappeared as the opening beat ran on.

    Forceful, Violent, Aggressive, without a break they went on for hours, blowing the audience away time after time, the moshpits spreading and making me evacuate the floor with the camera. (Pictures will be upcoming) and all this while pushing the audience further and further on.

    Today, my spine hurts, my neck aches, my muscles hate me, Insomnia is sitting on my shoulder, taunting me, and I am simply exhausted and at ease. It was a great show.

    But, guess what?
    Ozric Tentacles on Sunday.

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    Autumn is Vacationtime

    Vacation. And everything, everywhere goes wrong. I had a long writeup on my first two days in London last week, however it's on my now dead netbook. I also had a lot of pictures of London, I'll let you guess where I had loaded those over too. ( I recovered most of them from the card, but I haven't had time to process them )

    Now, Other than that, my Cellphone has been fucking me over, something like a priest in an orphanage. It's not likely to work, but I'm still waiting for the replacement, which is a month late or so.

    Now then, London was nice, very nice until I slipped and hurt my knee, in the end I had to get a cane, go figure.
    Work for a few days, rework the homepage and (attempt) to debug why the database is hitting horrid latencies. Now though, on to Thursday and we have the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival Followed by Front Line Assembly at Debaser in Stockholm.

    Now, I wish I could come with a larger writeup, but I'm busy packing, heading to Dublin on Sunday, to visit Inz, as well as head into lala-land and watch Porcupine Tree on one concert, and Killing Joke later in the week.

    Seems I'm missing out on Front 242, but I can't have everything now, can I?

    Now then, on to fill the bags with clothing, some electronics and camera equipment. And make a decent writeup on the Beer&Whisky festival, if I can.

    Also to note, Ahni wrote a review about the FLA/Mind. concert over at Big Rock Candy Mountain

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    An email I just sent,

    Directed to the sales folks at Stardock Games, makers of Impulse the gaming platform.

    I'm a bit miffed here. This weekend you announced "the Witcher,
    special edition" which was one of those games that I still haven't
    gotten around to playing.
    As I had just finished enjoying the other other games I have at home
    ( Well, got annoyed with some of them, frankly fed up with Dragon Age
    and its annoying sidequest that cannot be completed due to game
    mechanics. Silly things that put me off a game completely) I wanted to
    give it a try, and lets face it, 9.99\$ was a steal for that game,
    according to what I hear from friends at least.

    Now, you already know when I sign up for mailings and such where I'm
    based. Since I've done a purchase and have an impulse account ( Mostly
    to buy Sins of a Solar empire, great fun that game.) So I go dig up my
    account information, click the link for the sale on the lovely game.

    Only to see:

    Not available in your area.

    So, it sells in North America, Russia and Eastern Europe, but not in
    Western Europe?

    Right, What the feck is this? Why do you even _BOTHER_ sending me the
    announcement about games on sale which I then Cannot even Purchase?

    Are you really hoping that I'll get stuck on your site and buy more
    things cause of that? Perhaps Mass Effect2, the lovely smash hit from
    Bioware? Or Dragon Age Origins ( which I seem to already have acquired)
    or Divinity II, which also seemed interesting?

    Right, I forget, There's not really a big chance I'd ever get around to
    staying on Impulse _or_ purchasing more when you can't even offer me the
    number one reason that I come there to me.

    Frankly, if you can't even get around to actually selling me the things
    you send me advertising about, do you really expect me to either
    recommend you to others, or that I'd come back again?

    I'm sad, disappointed, and annoyed, and obviously have to find another
    digital download of the game if I want to play it. Perhaps the pirate
    bay won't prevent me from getting it?

    For a long time I've been trying to avoid pirating games, but since you
    _actively_ taunt me with them and then won't even sell it, what am I to

    No, don't read this wrong, I do _not_ want you to stop mailing me
    offers, notifications and sales.

    I want you to STOP offering me games that you WILL NOT even sell to me.
    "Oh, but that might require extra work? Like sorting the subscriber
    databases between zones, and preparing different mailings?"

    Well, rather that than disgusting your customers enough that they write
    toxic rants back to you, perhaps?

    It seems that the pirate bay aren't making a huge distinction whether
    you are in Europe, Angola or Elsewhere if you wish to get the game.

    Right, that might be.. unethical, of me. However, you can't really
    complain that piracy hurts game distributors or creators, when the
    distributors _WON'T SELL_ the game to people?

    I'm a bit torn here, should I find a bittorrent client and see if I find
    the game there, or will you fix it so I can actually get the game


    more ...

    Some more thoughts re. Oracle vs. Google

    So. Why?
    With the java GPL licensing from SUN and the patent exception _ONLY_ for non mobile versions. The Mobile JVM still has separate licensing requirements. Claiming yourself to be JAVA means you have to fulfill a standards compatibility test by SUN.

    Google released Dalvik under an Apache license, thereby not granting patent protection to sub licensees. Google did not go with JVM for android because of the Java-Mobile licensing issues.

    Next up, by filing suit now against Google and prolonging the court case, they can fire against the handset developers for more licensing costs. ( Remember the 1.x bn \$ cashflow that SUN got from Microsoft in the Java deal in the past? Look for numbers like that. )

    If Google fold, Oracle can then aim for all handset distributors, basically fragmenting and ruining the Android market. If Google fight, Oracle can show the cash for lawsuit defense vs. the small cost of buying a license to the handset developers, and do SCO style attacks by sending invoices to the hardware manufacturers. It's the same Lawfirms and Lawyers, so that's a valid assumption to go on.

    Google had the chance to buy SUN but decided not to, And now it's coming in to haunt them... Badly. So, It's a mess of patents and licensing. The copyright claims will be interesting, but it seems as if Oracle has decided to kill off Java as an open platform. Looks as if Python is the way now?

    So, techincally, Google can start modifying the JVM under GPL License and push that as a Dalvik replacement, Maybe. Otherwise, write a .class => .pyc recompiler, inspired by Jython?

    Other than that, I'm not too sure what to make of this. Oracle wants money to recap the purchase, the question is if this is a sane strategy for them? They will gut the Java market, however, it's been on steady decline as they failed to keep it sexy. Even symbian is moving away from it. Most probably because of compability issues, slowness and failed licensing problems. Java is no longer a prime factor on the *nix side, after Oracle killing off the SUN Solaris customers by attempting to gut them for cash.

    Dalvik can always be modified some more, push out some updates and make it even more unlike the JVM, thereby going around the patents. No doubt, this has already been done in some cases.

    Google countersuing Oracle is another interesting concept.

    Now, I wonder when someone will invoke the dead ghost of SCO Unix, along with the IBM lawsuits?

    more ...

    Some notes about the Oracle vs. Google patent lawsuit

    So, Oracle brought in the Big Guns. MoFo and David Boies in their lawsuit against Google for android.

    Now, I don't really like patents, however, I'll take some time to read what I understand here and explain a few clarifications re. the lawsuits.

    Back in 1997 Sun filed a suit against Microsoft, which they won. This is _NOT_ the same as what is going on right now. Back then, it was contract breach, about Microsoft calling their "Java" "Java 1.1" while not implementing the standard completely, thereby destroying the value of "java" and breaking their agreement.

    This is a pure patent trolling from Oracles side. I see mentions about copyright inside the complaint, but no real numbers anywhere as to what, that'll have to be worked on separately, as Google _are_ shipping java development tools.

    On to the development. Dalvik is a VM, it runs binary blobs in a virtual machine. However, Dalvik lacks it's own compiler, and only works by re-encoding Java classes in the Java Byte Format into the Dalvik Byte Format.
    This means, to develop for Dalvik, you need to first make a normal, compileable, java-program using the official java compiler. This is then transformed into Dalvik runtime code. Please note that this is quite important in this case. The Dalvik tools do not compile or transform the source code, that is left to the _classical_ java tools to do.

    So, onwards. "Method and system for performing static initialization" Claims as #1 that it "compiling the source code containing the array" .... Well, This isn't done by Dalvik at all. However, I have not read the rest of how Dalvik does it ( Does it initialize the arrays and "play execute" them as the patent claims? I don't know, but let's just leave it that google do not use their own compiler for Dalvik.

    Next up, Method and apparatus for pre-processing and packaging class files

    computer usable medium having computer readable program code embodied therein for pre-processing class files, said computer program product comprising:
    computer readable program code configured to cause a computer to determine a plurality of duplicated elements in a plurality of class files;
    computer readable program code configured to cause a computer to form a shared table comprising said plurality of duplicated elements;
    computer readable program code configured to cause a computer to remove said duplicated elements from said plurality of class files to obtain a plurality of reduced class files; and
    computer readable program code configured to cause a computer to form a multi-class file comprising said plurality of reduced class files and said shared table.

    Basically, de-duplication in the compiling process of javac. Which, as we know from above, Goog/Android lets javac do by itself... I doubt this will be a problem. Maybe because you can combine multiple .class files into a single dalvik Executable?

    Controlling access to a resource This probably requires more insight into how the Dalvik VM functions. However it requires hardware cooperation in certain ways that I cannot tell on how it would work.

    Protection domains to provide security in a computer system Basically tagging sourcecode with a code to reference which domain it will be ran in. Uncertain if it will apply due to lacking a source stage for the Dalvik system.... Also, same questions as on previous one apply for me, I don't know if it creates runtime domains and how it manages the keying and sourcing of such codes. ( Mentioning source of codes and source code in the same sentence makes my head hurt)

    Interpreting functions utilizing a hybrid of virtual and native machine Might be interesting. Offloading VM instructions into native to increase speed. From 2002, I wonder if this is really that unique. Maybe because it mentions specifically "wherein the virtual machine instruction are Java virtual machine instructions" Hmmm. It's basically the improved JIT-compiler, transforming JVM instructions into others, rearranging pointers, executing the new ones. Eventually replacing some JVM instructions with "real" ones.

    System and method for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space cloning of a master runtime system process Cloning a process without using COW... By cloning the whole JVM in address space? or doing it with COW. Details about the JVM galore, I wonder what dalvik does.

    Hmm, Overall, quite a lot of them are specific to how Java's VM works, (stack based VM) vs. Dalvik's Register Based VM.

    How Google routed around SUn's IP-based licensing restrictions on Java ME" might also be interesting

    more ...

    Blog migrated and moved

    There, now the old blog completely redirects to this place as well, So hopefully that makes the last.

    I swapped out the theme here a bit, but I shall have to work on getting it sorted. Basically, had to do some bashing on a simple dark one in order to make it not completely horrid, but it's a bit of a mess of unix&dos line breaks, combined with pixel positioning almost everywhere. Not too spiffy.

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    So, From now and onwards I'm on vacation. Heading to Holland tomorrow, going to GUADEC and visiting people in the areas.

    If you want to, get in touch. Mail me, spider@ and the domain.

    Anything else? dunno. Lets have fun.

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    Gentoo installation - Binary dependency tracking

    While I'm no longer a Gentoo developer since a few years back, that doesn't mean I've completely stopped using and thinking about some of the problem domains that are around.

    One of the more annoying ones I have issues with is the somewhat frequent need for revdep-rebuild, especially on long-living slow-updating maintainance only systems. It would seem that to fix this, there is a need to not just post-breakage scan for things that broke and rebuild, but to preemptively work about it.

    Library changes and dependency changes is a fact of life. There is no going on about it, no matter what we do, where we do or where we go, things change. Maintaining a static system isn't anyway interesting for people using Gentoo, there's Debian stable and RedHat/CentOS for that.

    However, this doesn't mean that we can't do things to alleviate this situation, _without_ adding more requirements for developer QA.

    A first step would of course be to implement and have a working --as-needed build environment. This is mostly a matter of developer buy-in rather than anything else. However, beyond this goes my suggestion:

    Taking a hint from how rpm does it shows that after src.rpm build( the install step), the list of files for an rpm is sent through "find-requires" which will scan them for binary elf files and so-files (using file/ldd/objdump) and extract a list of weak symbols for glibc ( "Version References" in objdump -p), .so-file dependencies and binary dependencies.

    We can use a similar step just after src_install() in Gentoo, scanning \$D for elfs with scanelf/readelf to do a twostep list for our needs.

    First, we build a pair list of the form "file dependency_file" for our package, this list gets shipped inside the installation path list. ( Premature optimization: reduce it to only a list of dependencies. Personally, I think we could do more interesting thing with a higher granulation of data ) second, we also generate a backwards-resolved list of "Dependend files => currently installed package owning it" to be stored for QA reasons.

    ** Extra feature **
    If we wish to provide an additional QA tool, we can then build an empty graph (system => current package) and map this graph to the dependencies we just extracted, and if any package listed as dependency is not in the graph, we fail QA tests due to hidden dependency.
    ** Back to normal **

    At this same time we also scan through our installed package, and extract the _provided_ ELF libraries ( and perhaps even function names ).

    Now, what use does all this extra work give us? Well for both binary and source installation, we can at a pre_install step check if our package (binary or source) is currently unsupportable by the current system, (concatenate the list of installed libraries on our system with the list of libraries to be installed, match this list with the list of required libraries, if something is missing, we're in an inconsistent state and would break the to-be-installed package. Fall back to automatic resolution, or fail to operator)

    That as well as on a pkg_prerm() we scan the to be removed libraries ( We have that cached since installation time) , remove them from the global list of provided libraries, and compare the list with the concatenated list of total dependencies, if we find a mismatch, we would break things by removing this library, and can then fail neatly.

    For portage to protect against more subtle breakage, we can expand this to do the checks before we overwrite any libraries in pkg_rpreinst(), by scanning the current systems dependencies against files that we are about to overwrite, then doing either a header comparision in this backwards expanded list to make sure that we do not break any functions in existing programs, or overwrite things with incompatible versions. This would then defend us against binary incompabilities on systems.

    So, the costs are during build and installation time, and work more like a global cache of our installed files, leaving us with more tools to protect running systems, both users and developers against breakage, while also giving us opportunity to increase QA tools and availability.

    Some references:

    rpm: find-requires php:

    ( same tree has mono, perl and python scripts)

    And this is the main elf-scanner for dependency generation/Resolution


    This has been filed as Gentoo bug #327809

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    Letting go

    I can't seem to let go of work lately, and I'm completely uninspired to do much at all. Help?

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    Computer issues

    So, over the last couple of days I've had some more and more interesting errors on my computer.

    Symptoms: Hang in bios, after CPU detect, writing "Memor" and then hanging.
    Symptoms happen in situations of: Computer been off for 10+ hours, just rebooted, powercycled, pulled cord for a few minutes. No real pattern there. And then sometimes it comes up again and just works.
    Tried to remove the RAM, move in one piece at the time to different slots. Still bugs out.
    Tried resetting BIOS, Still hangs at times.
    Tried reflashing the BIOS. Still hangs at times.

    So now I'm sitting here scratching my head without a friggin' clue on what to do. New mainboard, it would seem. Which is unfortunate, because I rather like my current one ( Gigabyte, GA-P35-DS4 ). So, Now I'm looking for recommendations on a new mainboard.

    Requirements: Onboard LAN, Audio, Firewire, USB, 6x or more SATA-ports.
    Requirements: socket 775 4x RAM slots, DDR2.
    Preferrably something that has more space between the RAM slots so I could run my current ones at full speed rather than have them overheat horribly due to being nested too close.

    I'm not a fan of SLI, so that's no real necessity (meaning I could just as well go for P43 as P45 ) and since it's a somewhat older Core2 duo ( 6600@2.40GHz) and I'm not _that_ inclined to getting new RAM/Mainboard/CPU at this time (well wonder?)

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    Website update

    So. First phase complete, Zen gallery has been transferred to the new host, redirects are in place from -> here, at least for the gallery URL's. And I think most ( all?) of the old URL's in place now work properly too.

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    zug zug..

    Work work.

    I should update this, but it's a bit too much of a hassle due to ftp upload, so I'm being lazy. that's not good, have to fix!

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    I debug windows.

    Today I have been debugging the silliest and most annoying error I have ever encountered in Windows/Excel.

    During a change of computers Excel was updated from 2002 to 2003, Spreadsheets that were made in the old version ( font in all cases, arial, installed. visible) printed & previewed ok, but the only things that appeared on the paper were things in either bold, or italic. Normally formatted text did not print.

    If you made an entirely new document, and re-typed it all in there, it came out okay. If you bold marked contents of the spreadsheet, it came out ok. If you cut&pasted or saved as, it did not come out.

    The fix: Minor update to the printer driver.

    Now, instead : It asks you to load pc letter format for everything even if it goes ahead to print A4. No, it can't be changed, all trays are set to A4. All settings are A4. It will ask you to refill letter paper, then go ahead and print.

    Did I mention that I have a certain dislike for Windows?

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    Cruise - Wrecked

    So. Quite a few people have asked how my cruise was the last couple of days. Ever from when I got home somewhat early on Sunday, still woozy and incoherent due to a few days use of Benzodiazepines and Alcohol to keep me calm in the crowd.  Let's start with some premises, I was locked onto a 280ish meter long boat with approximately 2500 other passengers, and another  700ish crew members.

    The main entertainment the first night was an ABBA-cabaret, the second night it was "Broadway musical Rhapsody".  This, along with Muzak-versions of "New York, New York" constantly flooding the central hallways from the 'live' band (What can you call a live band that exclusively muzakifies every song they play?). That is, when it wasn't Country&Western-hour or "Swedish Danceband evening".  or "Majority decides/ABBA disco".

    Now, that's not all there is to do, of course there are lots of fun activities on sundeck. The place where almost everyone is to enjoy the sunny days of their cruise. Along with the same kind of music.  And not to mention the wonderful experience that is the pleasant company of all the other travellers. Most of them smokers, even if smoking wasn't allowed indoors unless in dedicated areas, like the library, the disco and so on. Not that the ban seemed to stop them much, but at least noone was smoking in the dining rooms or cafés.  ( Very good  food, I can add)

    Right, so I was there as a caretaker for my wheelchair bound parents.  Pushing them across the full carpet floors, helping with plates and trays, in and out of chairs, opening weighted doorways (even to the handicap rooms the doors had auto-closers)  and along carpeted ramps (...who the feck decided that was a smart thing?), as well as the constant checking up (every 30 minutes give or take) if they needed something.

    So, combine the lack of anything to do (I was too stressed out to focus on reading) with the crowd and nowhere to go,  and I was starting my day with the pills, and swapping it for alcohol as lunch came and I'd had enough to eat and the pills weren't functioning anymore.  The time free I got were the two port days, in Tallin and St: Petersburg, where I could leave them up on the sundeck for a few hours and head ashore to be herded along like the sheeptourists we were.

    I got a few nice pictures, but unfortunately, a tourist group through S:t Petersburg doesn't leave a lot of time to find the good angles and wait for the swelling of tourist crowds herded through to the sights to disappear enough to take proper pictures. Much less do anything else of interest. At least I got half an hour of walking through the parks behind the museum while I was supposed to have my pockets emptied in the tourist bazaar.

    As for the boat time?  Well, you know you're having a great time of stimulation and entertainment when the most interesting thing around is a teenage self-declared emo-kid that you can tease. One who comes back for more out of sheer boredom.

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    Back home

    I'm wrecked, Back home again.  Alcohol and Benzo helped me survive the crowds onboard. Karaoke, Swedish danceband music, muzak-versions of Sinatra, ABBA-evenings and muzaked jazz was most of the 'entertainment'.

    Killing Joke saved my life. Or someone elses life, perhaps.  I'm wrecked, the door will remain locked and I do not want to see another normal person until I have to leave again.

    Sleep now.

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    Writeup from Arvika still pending. Pics are up though, check the gallery. Im on the cellphone in a car towards stockholm now, opera mini blogging works so so. Going for a cruise with family, brought camera, will attempt to use it too. I find it hard to express myself here. Telegram style author? Boredom sets in. Note to self, a jabber client in the cellphone might be good. They only offer MSN though. Brains... .

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    Towelday - A complete blast

    So,  once again we had our Towelday celebrations at Pappa Grappa.  I had taken the day off for tuesday in preparation, and while not everything went as planned ( A few friends who had said they would come didn't show up, others had some slight issues in real life causing things to be not quite as merry as wished)  Still,  we were armed with towels,  pyjamas, bathrobes and books,  quoting freely over the Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters that Ian, our dear bartender was serving with help of Andreas, his new standin assistant.

    The evening turned out to be long, wet and pleasant, many laughs, many smiles, and a lot of missing of the author that in fact changed a few lives.  Good memories.  As someone said:

    "I would gladly work over christmas to get this time off.  Hat off and towel high."

    And, the whole album : Towelday 2009

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    Dear die-ary. Please.

    Fuckup day and I'll whine here. Woke up. Bad in its own regard. Brother call, his lung had collapsed, was driving towards me so I could take him to hospital. Five minutes later he noted again, had collapsed with the car on a sidewalk.
    Get out, grab a taxi and get moving.
    Once there, make sure ambulance comes and so on, only to find out the reason he was up was because the family dog is badly ill (blood coming from both ends....) and had to be taken somewhere for treatment.

    Turns out the vets nearby are either closed, or full (due to the closed one) ..... 7 hours later(!) I'm in a town a fair bit away checking the dog in for a couple of nights stay and treatment for whoknowswhat. xrays and such will happen.

    And meanwhile I've been fucking around with this mess, my father had a car accident and the project I was supposed to write off today still lies unfinished with customers doing bad noises.

    Fuck it all I want a break now.

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    Bend over and play nice

    So, I just got around to finally get my setup straightened out.

    Now the (open, Free, unlimited!) Wifi is first NAT-ed and then all requests to port 80 ( web servers ) are mangled into privoxy ( set to accept intercepted connections ) which then forwards them into the tor-relay ( open relay, no exit node, 40-150KBytes bandwidth ) .

    The net result? Free, anonymous wifi. And horridly slow due to how tor performs at the moment.

    Well, it works. All other things are offered through freely, if someone has a VPN they will have a solid performance. Their torrents will load faster than their websites even ;)

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    Some technology rambling

    First off: I live. Breathe and such.  Work a bit too much and need to clear my head.  Got my hair cut&dyed (first haircut for... 8 years?)  and I'm generally okay.  Glad you cared, if all you wanted was a life sign, then you probably want to stop reading now.

    Skay, So lets talk technology.


    I have a couple of small Via Epia systems ( Centaur VIA Samuel 2 CPU + box and board)  your basic (old) micro-atx. These days they are probably considered "obsolete power hogs".  I run it with a 512MB CF disk + 512MB RAM ( With an IDE->CF bridge. no DMA mode available) . So, not very big and fast, but still quite neat for what I want it to do. ( And it lacks fans)


    Currently it is running a version of Gentoo Linux,  Stripped and Slimmed.  The installation has been in place for a few years now, Gentoo works quite well here. Why Gentoo? Well, none of the working "firewall distributions" had documentation on disk usage or comments on what other than their fancy-gui I could be doing once it was installed.  I wanted to do a bit more than just firewall off it.  Also, I was quite intimately involved in Gentoo some time ago, and I still know how the system works and hangs together.

    So currently it does NAT/Firewall, UPNP ( badly.  I suspect a firewall issue with the NAT)  routing, IRC,  webserver (cherokee), tor+privoxy and host a few IRC clients and other stuff.  Nothing fancy ;)

    The setup:

    So, on my server I then have a complete chroot for the build environment.  This is a normal Gentoo image (i586 as the via cpu lacks CMOV) with -mtune=i686  for preformance.  In here I have all the base/build packages+whatever I target for the installation. From here I then simply do a "ROOT=/tiny emerge \<foo> "  to install.  After that,  using rsync -pvar  from the firewall I can copy over the files as needed.  Smooth sailing.

    At some point I decided to try out a version control of the /tiny root.  Many reasons, mainly because doing copies from the firewall to the build host,  installing and upgrade, and recopying back was turning out to be a bit dangerous (operator error ahoy).   Doing it with separate trees that you merge between in git was a breeze. Except that it lost suid b its.  Baaad.

    So, now I've got to decide. Do I keep doing it like this, or do I swap my installation for something simpler/different and use a prebuilt system?

    And just for kicks, this is something of the update procedure:

    cd /tiny git checkout Live ssh firewall sync-to-server git add .;  git commit -a -m "Sync from server" git checkout master git pull . Live cd / emerge --sync; emerge -vuDa world; ROOT=/tiny emerge -up <packages> cd /tiny git add . ; git commit -a -m "Updated <foo>" git checkout Cleaned git pull . master chroot . /usr/bin/localepurge find usr/ -type f -iname '*.la' -delete rm -rf usr/include usr/share/doc usr/share/man -- insert extra steps -- copy kernel&modules over git add .; git commit -a -m "Cleanout phase done" ssh firewall sync-from-server
    The lost suid bits cost me a couple of hours of debugging. Bloody pain in the arse.

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    Nothing fun..

    Not even hacking on any fun projects to post about. No real photography done either. I sleep too little, I'm tense a lot. I have a headache. I don't drink enough ;)

    Slightly annoyed about Swedish law (ipred, I am looking at you) wondering about what a virtual machine would cost in some country with a decent amount of bandwidth and a guarantee to have it left alone.

    I need to get around to fixing my webpage too

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    Lazy & Tired

    Well, I went to Strömsholms Brygghus in lieu of work yesterday. It wasn't at all what I had expected, but now that I think it through, I really have no clue what I was expecting. A huge water heater, some tanks for mulling/boiling, one for ..hmm, rising? Yeast, fermentation? Something such.
    And two for storage, (Settling, I presume) with pumps, and a completely manual process until the end.
    And that included the labelling of the bottles.

    I took some pictures, but I've been too tired so far to unload the camera. (Oh, I have to open the bag. And attach a cable. Clearly too much work for me) , they will pop up sometime later I hope.

    And for the rest? It was quite fun. Interesting to watch them make the place where the stout I drank the night before got made. And to meet the makers

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    Funny. Ha. Ha.

    So,  as I was heading home somewhat late after work today ( The usual, slept badly, woke early, couldn't get to work in proper time so I stayed late instead) and I was walking rather briskly towards home. It's chilly, snowing and I had my scarf pulled up high,  dressed in the usual trademark long leather coat.   About two blocks from home I hear footsteps running from behind me and I take a step to the side, only to recieve a fist in the face.

    My blood explodes and I start running, following the bloody fucking idiot who had just decided to try and smack me.  His four friends are about ten meters behind and I gain quite some headstart when the first rocks start flying behind me and smashing into the parked cars along the street.   The guy i'm following is heading towards a sidestreet so I veer up to the lady walking her dog and calm my pace enough to stop and let the dog say hello.   (Poor critter, I came running through the dark and almost snuck up on it, it was one of those super-focused moments in time when he was all so much more real thanks to the adrenaline.)

    A quick word with the girl and my blood gets the better of me as I head back towards where they are, only to see them start running into the traffic and a couple of blocks away past the library.  I take it slowly and turn, only to get the usual hurled out insults about my mother.  Then the stones start flying again and I stop, turn, and the waltz goes on as they once again start to run.

    At this point I'm also on the cellphone, talking to the police, who in their infinite wisdom suggest that I stop and stand still to wait for them.  Right.

    Descriptions left with police, incident reported,   I'm fine, but EFFING PEEVED.

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    We went out to play pool the other day, and I couldn't help but fall in love with the noir-like light effects you get from the dark pool hall and the highlights over the table. I was experimenting some with the flash, but ended up falling completely for the softer, a bit grainy images.

    I should rework a few of them into grained b&w images just to see the results.



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    Sneeze and Phlegm.

    I feel crap, bleh.  Sick, my head is filled with snot and phlegm.  Oh how descriptive that word is.  So very right. Phleeegm.   But, tomorrow,  chocolate festival, lets hope I feel better.  If not, I'll try. And might even get pictures. I hope.

    Over and out.

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    Website update

    Okay, Overhauled the whole base of the website to be based on a wiki/CMS. Everything except the gallery&weblog was replaced to use this.

    Hopefully I didn't break stuff either. Now it's time to edit&add more content. And new css work so Anam gets happy.

    Some more technical details:

    • It is now using ikiWiki
    • I do not enjoy the built in editor. (A simple textarea by the looks) but I haven't bothered to test the new wiki editor.
    • I really hate all tinyMCE style editors and they aren't really capable of producing Textile or Markdown markup.
    • Why I hate them? Cramped, latency, slow updates and opaque. It's hard to see why the result is as it is.  And you cannot really use a live preview with the markup languages since they need a parser. (Note to self, make a Markdown->Html converter in javascript.. right)
    • I'm using the git backend for storage.
    • The online copy does _not_ have the cgi, nor is there a repo on the server, but I use it as a preprocessor for the homepage to make static html.
    • Locally, I run it in full wiki-mode with editing and preview,  the only difference is that on the server there is a .css addon that hides the editing elements.
    • The organization is still chaotic, and will remain so. However, I'm planning a "new" css layout which may take a more traditional approach to things.
    • I have lost the timestamps of the era when things were made, this is saddening as I never thought of recording that in the xhtml code.
    • The website is stuck on wordpress as I lack a few PHP libraries to make habari work.
    • The gallery is in migration from Gallery2 -> Zen Photo.
    • I now have working Wordpress\<->Zenphoto integration, Passive from the side of Zen, so I can link images and galleries somewhat more easily.
    • The webhost is sometimes horridly slow, this is felt mostly when loading galleries or slow loading sites.
    • I need to rework how my CSS files are included for both,  the main one is abstracted nicely, however the Wordpress theme  one should be migrated partially into the main one.
    • After that I can move the alternative stylesheet from the wordpress theme into the main as alternative stylesheet there too.
    • Also after the CSS cleanout, I can look at theming the Zen gallery with the same style to make them visually coherent.
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    Linux and Windows7

    Kamilion over at ( One of my favourite technology websites ) recently added to the comments of a thread one of the best analyses of Windows 7 Beta that I have read so far. Kudos to the LWN community for this,  it is consistently a great source of interesting and thorough discussion (Even articles as this might be) to be had there.

    I'll quote my own rebuttal comment here, Just for posterity:

    Thank you. This is one of the best reviews of Win7 that I have read so far, and neatly sums up some of what I've seen myself there.

    Ideas to steal/get hacking on: Meatacity composition (For Gnome based derivates, Kwin already does it) and solidifying the composition/3D-effects. (Hi Beryl)

    Location awareness is just adorably sweet. Would be lovely if policykit could implement it. "Unlock my SSH keys when I am at home, drop them when I leave home" would be perfect. Along with a "timeout my SSH keys when screensaver activates at work". Yes Please.

    Getting functioning search&indexing to work on *nix. Sorry, Beagle seems stale to dead. ( almost a year without releases ) tracker simply fails. ( Searching for "vidoc" doesn't show you the indexed files named and in a folder called "Vidocq", utter failure for a search function. Especially when it "helpfully" suggests something else. Nepomuk needs to actually release something before it can talk )

    Speed/Power performance: Still hasn't trickled out into mainstream. After a few months running a desktop bootup slows to a crawl without reason sometimes. Erm. oups? ( partial/old crash sessions and sometimes DNS lookups along with badly fragmented/distributed files seem to be at fault, but it's not reliably debuggable in a distribution as they ship)

    The audio stack issue on *nix. "Trust dmix and get odd latencies due to the behaviour" is the only thing that today works. Pulseaudio has a way to go before functionality ensures due to how it exposed and still expose strange behaviour and expectation in software. And the other ways are just "trust in dmix", unless you go to 4Front's OSS4 and move the mixer into kernel space, not quite a solution either.

    On demand spawn of processes. Why isn't this the default yet? Why is cups starting every boot on my laptops default installation even when I don't have a printer attached/network connected? Arjan and others had it configured to "launch on demand" (xinetd?) why isn't this default?

    Same for samba and others. "It's not much" but it's still something, please fix, distributors.

    As a whole the OSS development scape lags behind because we suck at finishing projects. Developers are sometimes fickle, realise the warts on a system and go to make it "perfect" in the new edition. Which lags behind and leaves something that feels abandoned and warty, while the replacement "still doesn't do all that I want". It's a social issue built into our landscape, and the concentrated focus of developers with a coherent plan is one of few ways to get over it. This is where the distributions can either shine, or release a mish mash of incoherence. ( Desktop projects are also generally good here)

    Still, We're not doing badly, but we do tend to lag behind at times.

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    I hate wordpress

    Just for your knowledge.  I have a quite long post that I wrote in a text editor and pasted into the comment form of Wordpress, and it will not let me post it.

    "Precondition failed".

    Fuck off you piece of junk.

    Yes, I am aware that this is mod_security getting in the way because it doesn't quite agree with how Wordpress does things. And I still feel that the blame is with Wordpress developers.

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    Society and Biology

    Abuse, intimidation, and degradation are all part of men's repertoire of tactics employed in competitive situations. In other words, men are not treating women differently from men—the definition of discrimination, under which sexual harassment legally falls—but the opposite: Men harass women precisely because they are not discriminating between men and women.

    Alan S. Miller Ph.D., Satoshi Kanazawa Ph.D.

    Let slip the dogs of war. There are many things I can point at in this article that I do not quite agree with, some of the resolutions are too simplistic to be true, discarding the complexity of reality for the force of a nicely formatted article. Which may be fine in term for a webpage.

    But this last paragraph rings quite interestingly true. If we define the terms in "Male to Male" and "Female to Female" jealous relations, we have quite distinctive behaviours and differences between them. And if a male was treated the way jealous, petty and vindicative females treat eachother, he would feel quite crapped on and overrun. And the same goes in case men treat a woman the way they do between eachother in a jealously competitive environment.

    This doesn't mean that either is acceptable. It just means that the behaviour sucks on all fronts, and trying to gloss over the "male to female" part as "patriarchy" will not at any point even attempt to fix the problem in our society.

    So yes, it smells of truth, and it's a stinking rot.


    edit: s/lose/slip/, thanks Il

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    Gallery migration

    Soon then.

    I think most Images are now Imported into my Zen installation at : of the titles and comments had to be hand-transferred away due to the impossibility of running any converter scripts.

    So, what's left to be done?

    • Organization. I'm not satisfied with the current state, any suggestions are welcome.
    • Theme :  This needs a few tweaks and a major overhaul to match the general site design.
    • Tagging / Labelling:  Go over them and tag/distribute things.
    • Relinking: Find all the old links and edit the documents to move them over. I think this is the "cleaner" way compared to doing it with Massive amounts of mod_rewrite things. However, if you have suggestions on fixing this in a nicer way, I'm all ears.

    So, Now that it's over, have a bunny:

    [![Bunny]( "Bunny")]( : Bunny
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    ...Stop swimming....

    Today when I got home from work ( and from the temporary stop at Pappa Grappa to have a lovely Grappa with espresso) I came into a dark and abandoned apartment. Slipping through the darkness I reached out and touched the power button on my previously suspended desktop.

    It starts up, silently, not even the hiss of the fans is audible now, and the music softly fades in, ...."maybe it's time, to stop swimming..." and on it goes..   Except that the monitor is black. No response at all...   Just, "Stop Swimming" playing quietly in the background to an otherwise unresponsive computer.

    I cannot help but love it in it's idiosynchrasies.

    In other news, I'm now somewhat functioning again. Trying to cut down on the coffee consumption, fending off insomnia again.  Work transcribes decently with somewhat challenging things.  ( New backup infrastructure ) and some energy (when I do not work) to try and fix up my apartment.  The flowers are still coming down sad, most probably the light, and I do not have energy enough to head out with the camera, so all is not well. The moon was lovely when I walked towards home, but I still cannot bring myself to head out into the cold now.

    And, I signed up for again. Bad me, I know. Sorry. Now all I need is to get an ICQ number again. Or perhaps sell my soul(s) and connect to MSN....

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    I live, I think.

    Insomnia hit me, Restless. I would have replaced this blog if it wasn't for the small bitsie fact that Habari won't install on textdrive (missing php hash) and I don't quite know how to spend enough energy to fix it. I'll stay with WP it seems :-(

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    So the pub is open!

    Okay, For those not in the loop. The company I work for has a daugher company, into which most of the "Main company" people are pouring almost all their time and effort,   And this is De Klomp. Well,   we have finally opened. There will be pictures once I get my webhost to stop being a pain in the rear and start actually serving pictures to me/others.

    Well, yesterday, Thursday, we had a sneak opening. In the afternoon we got our permits, and the call was made to go fetch some of the beer from the distributor. A Couple of hours and a bust gearbox, broken fuel filter, and some other car-hardware errors later we were unloading the first kegs and some more, and things were rolling. The initiates were appearing and things settled in for a nice evening.  What was unpacked was Nils Oscar Pils ( Also our local brand,)  Along with their Barley Wine and a India Pale Ale.

    And today it was back to work, first to help unravel and unpack more ale and beer from the distributor, then to sit down and do pricing and scanning. Feeding all the new stuff into the system. Finally done, just on time we find out what ales and beers go into the taps and start to add it, when things break down. The electricians (hah) had pulled the fuses one by one in some random attempt to figure out what did what. This included the one dedicated to our cash register server. Which crashed. And did not recover very well, ( Cue Windows XP/Firebird experience)

    After this, the bottles register as sandwhiches. The barcode scanners are fucked, the entries in the database are crap, and the  bar is full of people trying to place orders.  Half an hour more of frenzied fixing and adding, we find that one of the barcode scanners is permanently fucked. Or for the weekend at least. And then the register if fecking over with SQL errors due to the frontend being a piece of junk.  Things just get better.

    And it's around then that we find out that the ales are nowhere to be found in the UI on the cash registers, and that this said UI doesn't infact ever reload from the database after things are updated. Even more fun is to discover that there is no bulk update, so you have to go through each and every page and possible page of links to update the piece of crap.

    Cue in another couple of hours of frenzied work and I'm ready to booze myself to death just to forget.

    Well, the pub was full of people, who seemed to have a nice time.  I finally got the last ale added and headed out to meet some old friends,   at 10 in the evening.  And then there was beer, ale and ... I don't know what.

    But now I'm home, I crave absinthe and booze. And I don't like it, still. The pub lives and works, the cash registers no longer crash.

    And I just about hate windows even more.

    Ahh, life.

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    WP 2.6.5

    So.. It seems WP in fact doesn't actually REMOVE spam or deleted comments. It just tags them as that in the database.

    This is in fact a PITA at export/import time, as it will export and import those as well.  4k+ spam comments.  Yey.

    Now then, updated to the latest "Please don't be buggy " release, and it worked. I'm amazed they didn't get that wrong either.  And yes, I'm looking at a replacement that might not take fifteen years and five million DB acces to load a page. Not much luck so far.

    G2 needs another slap in the face, but I can't quite deal with that either, as I am quite addicted to the upload feature in f-spot.

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    Too true... This just killed my inner child. And then defiled the body, and burned the evidence. I will never look at Megaman the same way. And it hurts my very SOUL.

    About Mega Man - The comments, so much amusement

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    These days we just want to curl up in a bed...

    ...with a warm blanket and a good book.

    Well, thats what she said. At lunch today, about the cold and rainy weather we have. Except, it isnt like that really.  We don't satisfy with the couch, blanket and book.  If we did, we wouldn't be in this situation. We wouldn't have to work as much, since we wouldn't spend as much money on other things. So no, it isn't what we want. It is what we have an urge to do.

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    Neal Stephenson - Anathem

    So, I have just finished all the 900+ pages of Neal Stephensons latest doorstop, erm. Novel.  As a book I found it quite intesting, drawing heavily on Greg Egan and Dan Simmons,  several times I got the main ideas from Diaspora and The Hollow Man humming at the back of my head.  The book is heavy, in all senses of the word.

    What can be said about it without ruining the plot?  I don't know,  the general story about Mathic (hah) Monks spending most of the last of \~3000+ years isolated due to a general fear of what happens when technology is released into a society.  They are dull in what they do, but content, and you need to suspend the disbelief to imagine that the system would even be stable. Still, they make a good start with their education to drag you into a philosophing state of mind as reader, educated in both the world of pure mathematics and philosophical cosmology.

    Then stuff happens, starting small and escalating, and the science-dudes become necessary and run off to save the world.  Yey for homocidial political spacemen!

    Well, the overall plot is much more convoluted, but the general disregard for the political minds that run "society" (dum dum di daaaaa!)  and the "pure perfection" of the covent is visible all over. Everyone else are twitter-addicted cellphone junkies living like savages and drugging themself to be content while vehemetly hating all things they don't understand.


    So, I'm a bit critical to the layout of the book. It requires several leaps of faith, the post-technologic stagnated society that would have been stable for a few hundred years doesn't ring true with me, scrap-mining old towns for materials just doesn't seem plausible.

    Still, there is an interesting story told here. The primer into the philosophical "Multi-reality cosmos" and the change of perception that The Long Now are stating does appeal to me, and in no way do I regret that I read the book.

    It's quite recommended,  but most definitely it isn't Cryptonomicon.

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    Wordpress and Alternatives

    Okay, I'm looking for a new blog engine here. Currently I'm running wordpress and I'm not too comfortable with it. The built in editor is TinyMCE which, bugs me quite a lot. The editor replacements I've found have been annoying at best.  This in itself is less of a concern for me, but one of the major points.

    What I want is a way to get Smartypants+Markdown formatting into the blog, for consistency with the CMS that I use for the rest of the site.  (Nope, I discarded using that CMS for the blog engine, due to how it works on edits/live commits of blog feeds.)

    I was looking at b2Evolution but the editor is just a pain there too,  though it feels snappier and more well-contained.

    Now it seems that MCummings has a hint that the new Wordpress is out tomorrow, might be the thing to shift to for prosperity. I don't know for sure either.

    So, Hints and tips? Comments.  I'm looking mostly for a Blog engine, Good built-in editor and Smarty/textile support (Nope, I don't want to edit HTML directly for the blog part anymore) and a solid upgrade procedure between versions are a must.

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    Perty Flowers

    So, I've had this vine for quite a few years now, and I'm no longer sure of what breed it is. It's green, with sometimes a tendency towards dark red/purplish leaves,  Stems start as green and turn either reddish or gray/Green in colour as they mature. It's quite lively, and will grow a Lot if it's given enough water (Loads of it, then dry out, and then another lot seems to be the recipie).  Currently I have one in a large pot in my living room, against some bamboo hanging from a wall,  one in the kitchen (well two) in pots growing up along a set of wooden blinders, and a few others taken from branches in various rooms.

    It doesn't have suction cups or climbers, but climbs by spiraling the stem and having these heart/triangle shaped leaves that stick onto things.

    And well, today (rather last night) for the first time I saw it bloom. I wasn't even aware that it could have flowers, but it seems I was wrong.  The flower was facing the window, and quite difficult to capture in a picture, but semi okay one turned out here.

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Pretty Flower"]Pretty

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    Today was one of those days. Where I'm supposed to get a simple Mini-PCI card for WiFi installed into my laptop, and I get it, But along with that they bodge something, and the computer will hard lock after a few minutes of working.  That is decidedly ungood as I cannot do my job properly then.

    So, while my associate is over at the supplyer causing general havoc with them and helping them prove the issue that eventually leads to me getting a replacement computer completely, I'm stuck installing/upgrading Windows XP (sp2)  into SP3+patches + network configs on a set of machines.

    It is a long and tedious process, and Windows is Exceptionally fond of doing these reboots between upgrades.  Did you know that you now need Windows Genuine Advantage  ( 2 updates)  to install the 21 updates that you need in order to spend an hour installing SP3,  which is needed before you can add the other remaining updates to Windows XP?

    Doing this repeatedly with only one monitor (they are supposed to be headless machines for remote desktop, go figure)  is a generally frustrating experience. Especially as I cannot just sit back with my laptop and do Real Work while windows does it's "Are you happy with our skullfucking" attitude approach.

    And then top it off my Mother calls, for the first time in almost 6 years to have small talk. Which of course involves the question of when I'll give her grandkids.  Go barf on that.  I really need to introduce her to a boyfriend sometime.  Not that I have one, but still.

    And, I've updated Wordpress again.  Annoying piece of software, I really want a good replacement. I'm wondering if B2Evolution is any good in the long run, or if I should just move to something homebrew in Django.  Unfortunately I don't want to maintain my own thing, I have moved away from that already...

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    Weekend Blog Spam

    Okay, the spam I get is starting to get more and more confusing.  Take this for example, as a reply to my post about Severed Fifth.

    \<strong>arthritis management pain...\</strong>

    I cannot agree on everything you say in this article, but perhaps I missed some of the points you were trying to make....

    "in the article".  What kind of blogger does he take me for? Frankly,  this isn't a journal of any kind. I don't pretend to write "articles".    And as far as I will say it, most "bloggers" don't either.  So for a spammer, they have a poor grasp of their audience.

    And now,  congratulations to the new year, Samhain has come and left, and the world is still cold and dead.

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    Severed Fifth

    So, Jono has Finally done it!

    Done what?   Released! Released What?

    Denied by Reign, the first record of Severed Fifth! It's hard, a bit raw in the sound, and CC licensed.   Still only on the second track, but I'm seeding both the Ogg and the Mp3 versions for a while. Grab them!

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    Amused himself (to death?)

    So, I was walking past this Barber/Whisky-shop (A place for people who like Clint Eastwood and Whisky) called Dennis'  earlier today, and as I passed, glancing down I see a line of whisky-bottles inside.  Nothing quite unusual, until I eyed the bottle of Famous Grouse and noted the sign hanging around the neck of the bottle.

    Contains coloured water

    Not quite sure if that is a judgement or a fact, either way it was slightly amusing to my state of mind.

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    Finally Less Sick

    Okay, Seems my throat is almost okay. I'm just coughing up until I get a copper taste and want to throw up now, not being floored with fever and sore throat. In other, more interesting news I finally got the last papers needed for employment, meeting tomorrow morning to deal with that. Hopefully I'll get to start things out neatly come November. Yey for me?

    And, in the last week past I sort of celebrated my unbirthday, in traditional teaparty style with the Mad Hatter and fluffy bunnies and cake.  Thanks to those who were there.

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    Anxiety most of the day yesterday, Apathy today.   Managed to sugar dope myself enough to shop and cook,  Waiting for the crash to come.   Feeling generally crap.


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    Picture this, Picture that

    So, I was in Kolmården a while ago,  mid September actually.  The park is an animal park, they have been quite successful in their attempts to breed and preserve animals.  Since I was last there a couple of years ago they have reduced the amount of creatures they keep, and instead increased the size of the reigns of them.  Over all I'd say it's an improvement, no longer quite as cramped a feeling, and most definitely not a "Zoo" feeling. (No cages).

    However, it was an overcast day, white skies and so on, and I screwed up with the camera in most cases, due to me being clumsy and forgetting to tune the iso/exposure levels as I should.  Or simply trying to zoom in too much and ending up with a sharp picture of some grass a meter away from a tiger.

    Still, the pictures as a whole are up on my (new?) gallery, and a few highlights are added here below.

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    About MMO's and RPG's in general

    After playing several of the "modern" style of Computer RPG's, I can say that they tend to all boil down to this single quest:

    An eunuch, in a pink corset sends you off to find their balls. Made of brass, and he'd (she'd/it'd?) do it themselves if it wasn't for the fact that they were busy looking for them in their bag.

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    Still sore, yes?

    Okay, Fever is down a bit, but my throat is still sore and swollen,  coughing's almost gone and so on.

    Now,  My experimentations with IkiWiki are coming to fruit and the whole "old" homepage has been transposed and converted to be seen over at Philtopia(Darkmere, Wikified), and the same has been done to the old image galleries (Seen from the site)  A couple of new features are there, included an (ugly) auto-generated sitemap (I have to see if I can make it into colours that aren't hideous)  some link-checking (to be updated more as admin tools) and tagging ( not yet implemented).

    I still need to see about a "custom css" for non-edit mode, as it is the uploaded version simply uses "display: none" for several objects that don't fit into the "online" design ( link-trails, Edit page, Recent Changes and so on) or perhaps for the sake of efficiency,  fix it to be "not there" in the online version. I have to think some.

    Next up, Gallery2 theme editing. Meh.

    And, I need a new blog engine.  If it's a good CMS that can store revisions of all pages and tracings, I might move the whole page to that, but as it is, I'm quite content with the wiki-based thing. Convince me otherwise, perhaps?

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    So, I have a fever (cold I guess) with sore throat and some other nastiness.  Meanwhile the last couple of days I've been fiddling with a new revision of the homepage, for future reference, based on a wiki-like templating pre-rendering CMS.

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    And some random comments about reality..

    Okay, I admit. I skim the lkml from time to time.  And here's a gem from HPA about how the reality of life is:

    ``` {style="padding-left: 30px;"} First, you are assuming all devices are "sane". This is obviously wrong -- you're poking in hyperspace, and you don't know if you're going to hit someone's ancient controller card that perhaps drives a medical accelerator for all you know.

    Second, you are assuming that devices you call "sane" don't have I/O ports with read side effects. Many, if not most, devices have some I/O ports with read side effects, especially read-clear semantics and/or queue drain operations.

    Third, in the real world hardware is buggy. Not just a little, but severely so. Accessing a part of a device which is uninitialized, powered down or plain broken can wedge the device or the whole system.

    In short, poking at I/O ports which you don't know what they are at best takes us bad to the bad old days of ISA probing (without the protection of customary address assignments); I think it has to be an absolutely last resort and would be reflective of utterly incompetent design. It is significantly worse than stealing random opcodes, Virtual PC-style, and that is also unacceptable. ```

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    So,  once again we meet, my old fiend, Buerocrazy.  In this case,  Employment.  The employer is great, the unemployment agency (who have to be in due to this being an adapted/limited work situation) are fine except that they need their papers...  erm,  right.

    So, my old "doctors note" (cough) that states the same thing as they have for the last couple of years more or less ("He's fucked in the head") was -two weeks- too old,  thus invalid so we can't move on.

    Now to wait in line for a new doc's appointment and... argh. Oh, and by the by, the hospital has an employment-stop since a while ago due to budget cuts. No matter that their doctors quit in disgust/overwork, so oups, they are spending more cash than they have or are allowed to in order to hire temps rather than employ new ones to fill the spots they -need- to have.


    I'm going to take a dump on a politicians desk soon if this isn't fixed. I'm allowed to, I'm crazy after all.

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    So, about that Beer festival

    Well then,  I've been there, come back home, sobered up and had a good time.  So lets talk a bit about it.

    The travel up was uneventful as usual,  that means, I got distracted by something, half ran through town in order to get to the train station in time, only to discover that the train was 45 minutes late.  Of course.  However, once the basic subsanity that is the SJ system was dealt with,  we arrived.   Dressed up like a poster pillar in the new pub's t-shirts we got in, and under the helpful guidance of one of the judges, as well as our beer expert,  we got around the place, starting to try out the various kinds of beers.  ( Ales, Stouts, Porter, Weiss-beer, Micro-brews and various kinds. )  I could go on for ages about the kinds of stuff I tried, everything from hot beer with cream to classsic stouts, however, I'd just become boring.

    There were two kinds that really lived with me however,  first, De Koninck Tripel, as the Belgian favourite beer of that day, and my new favourite stout, Nils-Oscar Coffee Stout,  unfortunately not available as of yet.  And no, I wasn't allowed to bring any home with me. Maybe if I order a couple of.. samples.

    However, even if I didn't bring my camera to the occasion, I did snap a few shots with the cellphone. I put them up on the new (in testing) gallery over at Philtopia,  And linking incoming here:

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="120k sek whisky"]120k sek

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    ... my normal coffee pot, the bodum Santos cracked yesterday.  So, I'm on my third double espresso (Fresh ground beans too)  Enjoying the last of my rye toast while I look at the rather delicious-seeming pieces of apple-cake in front of me.  The train leaves in an hour, and I curse my bad backlog of photos that have caused me to not empty the camera again.  Ach well.

    Heading out.  *poff*

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    ... damned...

    Coffee pot just said twing...   When halfway to boiling.  Decidedly un-good and I wish to hurt things.   Train leaves early tomorrow.   Without coffee in me? Oww.

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    Today I have...

    ...Written a security policy for work.

    Gotten tickets for the Stockholm Beer&Whisky Festival

    Owned a com-hem salesdroid in the act of selling things. She tried to sell me broadband and did the mistake of asking if I was happy with their phone service. After the complete failure that is their support, no.  Sorry, I'm not happy to wait two months with getting a phone just cause you forget to enable the service. No can do.

    Gotten stuff done at work (other stuff)

    Beaten DNS.

    Feels good.

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    Gamers bill of rights?

    Well, About time someone spoke up to it.  My big thanks to Stardock games for speaking up for the gamers here.    Just now I'm trying to get Heroes V (non-expansion) to work on my computer.

    Insert DVD. Install.


    Nope, "Must insert DVD to play" ... but it is in there?  Sorry, Starforce says your butt hasn't paid the paintoll yet.

    So,  go to ubisoft homepage. The Swedish one, just to make sure that I get the European patches. Guess what? No download link for patches.

    Official English one? Oh yeah, it only links the US patches.

    So, where do you go to get a working link for patches for your european store-bought game of Heroes of Might and Magic V?

    oh yes, Game Copy World.   They have the link to the official patches, including the European ones, that removed the Starforce Copy annoyance system.

    Piracy my ass, I need them to run the game.  and UBI can't even provide me with that information on their own behalf.

    I think I'll stop buying games UBI sell. They just annoy me and make me spend an hour trying to fix their fucking mess.

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    Ahh, the land of smokers, in my head at least.    Admitted, this is a rather cruel way of describing it, as I did meet some non smokers. However, seeing cigarette commercials in the street along with the impression that most everyone were smoking, did leave an impression on me.

    However, that isn't the reason I'm wiring this, neither is it the reason I went there, So, lets get to things!

    I went to Germany a couple of weeks ago on vacation, between my old and new job.  It wasn't a long stay, just a couple of days. The main reason was to be sociable and meet up with Kanuberon and Mathair and to celebrate Kanuberon's birthday.

    Well, we topped that up with a couple of days of various sight-seeing, old castles, churches, towns and natural phenomena in the countryside, along with cow-snuggling and cat-sneezing.  And of course being assaulted by the incredibly aggressive mosquitos.

    We went to the town of (pizza!)Worms, some time Kayaking (and toppling the kayaks over, of course)  walking the somewhat idyllic countryside and generally harassing things with the camera.

    Still, I had fun, and it was nice.

    (there, posted nonsensical blag-post!)

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    Now that was strange..

    Woke up today with a headache, which might not be strange for you, but for me is a thing of wonder that seldom hits.   Unfortunately I hadn't been drinking the night before, so I couldn't blame that, nor dehydration or lack of caffeine.   Over all,  odd.   It turned worse when my head started to spin and I was toppling over against the wall, seeing pretty little white and red dots in front of my eyes, when I started to actually see the beams of light, shading across,  being able to touch it and comb it with my fingers into sparkling rainbows, I was seriously starting to doubt my eyes, and the step from there to the small bubbles and the sight of neon tetras swimming to hide in the shadows was simply disturbing.  Hooray for hallucinations.

    Still, it was an odd while of synaesthesia as my head started to unhinge and the dreams and sights blended with the sound of traffic and people. I wish I knew what caused it, but I really have no clue. But I'm still waiting for my headache to pass.

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    Work?! Again!

    Okay,  I'm still postponing my germany trip blogpost, but now to update on something I've been nagging some people about. I've got a new job.  A while ago Take called me up and asked me if I had time to help out, and since the situation was so bizarre with the old place, I decided to give it a try, so I'm on a trial period for five weeks again.  I'll be the monk in the building, aka, Sysadmin, some development and some other duties.    First job to fix the backup server and figure out why it wasn't doing it's job, that sort of thing.

    But,  Amongst the other things, I'll be dealing with the cash registers at two (to be opened) places, De Klomp, and Aanstoot.

    I guess I know where I'll be to calm down after work ... ;)  Well, We're in temporary offices in an office-hotel right now, so I'll have to set up the whole infrastructure in the new office in a couple of weeks. How terrible.

    And meanwhile, a person from the old place has been sending me obscure sms on the phone. First asking for login/pass for the server I set up. Then asking for how to log in (via ssh),   how to use root (It's a network facing server, of course root login is disabled)  and now lastly, how to edit a file. No, not kidding.    I responded "vi"

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    Scribbles in a Notebook

    This is taken from my (new) notebook, more or less as I wrote it on the flight from Sweden to Germany. The handwriting at its best is a shaky Arabic, and at its worst a confused form of Sanskrit as interpreted by pigeons.

    So, why did I quit from a practice/job where they really did need me, and where I could shine, do interesting stuff and learn new things?

    Let's first talk some about the place. The driving force and my 'boss' is in marketing. He's good at it, getting and driving ideas, and then selling them to people with money. That is what happened here. I was supposed to be one of the (software-) designer/architects on the Linux side of this. Where the other people were, I do not know. The organization is loosely built around MSN and phones, as well as the internal net. Which, I still had no access to. Where my co-workers were and what they were doing, I do not know, as I never got them to respond on MSN, nor acknowledge my existance. What my actual work was, other than general research, I wasn't told.

    Who to talk to and work with.... well, they weren't there.  So, in the end I was alone in a branch office, without a real job to do or someone to report to.

    And thats where my 'boss' went on vacation for a couple of weeks, without letting me know.

    And after this, he gets upset when I do not want to continue after the initial 5 week trial/practice.

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    And there the interlude came...

    Packed, tired, About to shut down the computer for a bit as I'm going to Germany to visit Kanuberon and Mathair (Nicknames, yesh ;)  yesterday was the culmen of a week of anxiety that basically meant I quit my job. I'll write more about it later.

    First day for another job thingie is on Thursday,  a week now. Good good.

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    Still not updating to 2.6

    Well,  call me lazy...

    But still, Thank you Reinout, you made my morning brighter!

    • > Hi, I've implemented a feature I wanted to have in nautilus, that is
      > double-clicking on the Desktop background will show desktop (minimise all
      > opened windows).*

    * hears a thousand helpdesk phones ringing... *

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    Watchmen and Fallout 3

    Okay, I'm setting myself up for disappointment here, but I can't help it.

    Fallout 3 trailer was released at E3, and.. It's not fallout. It's Oblivion in a bleak future. But it isn't fallout.  Nowhere is the quirky humour, nowhere are the cynism.  There's an third person shooter blaster that might be fun.

    But it heck isn't Fallout.

    My bet? They have removed the roleplaying and just cloned the pseudo-linear story from Oblivion.

    And,  Then there is the Watchmen trailer. CGI CGI CGI uncanny valley. Bad water effects off the submarine, Gloss Gloss Gloss shine shine.  And nowhere in sight is actual acting.

    Oh holy feck,  I knew they were going to rape the /(comic)/book, but this badly? Please.

    I guess I'm forced to see and try them anyhow, but seriously, I want to hurt something now.

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    So I'm upset..

    Okay, time for some personal chatter and a day.  As some may know, my family isn't in the best of shapes. My mother is very ill, and I don't see them very often due to how I'm off myself. However.

    I needed to get in touch with my father the other day, and couldn't reach him on the phone. No message back, no answer, no nothing.   Pity, I wait and see. Got a call this morning from him, apologizing that he hadn't been answering the phone or calling back, but he'd been in hospital for observation after some heart issues.

    Turns out that on top of his double leg amputation and diabetes, his oldtime chronic overweight and high bloodfat values, he's now got heart issues.    Right, such a pleasant reminder that I'm about to lose him as well.

    Now, He's not gone. Neither is my mother.  Neither am I.   But it's still a shakeup.

    And here I was planning on being dead three years ago, and the only reason I'm still here, is guilt and stubbornness.  Maybe one day I'll actually feel enthausiasm about something again.

    Until then I'm going hard on sugar and distraction.

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    I hate it here...

    Well,  that was the title of the original column by Spider Jerusalem in  "Transmetropolitan" and I figured it would be a good fit for this post too.

    Work,  no, lets not talk about it please.

    ISP and ISP customer service. "Oh, Sorry that you had no net for a couple of days and that our previous representative unhooked you instantly,  and oups we seem to have forgotten to transfer the modem to you when we transferred the service agreement"

    So, basically they forgot that modem is needed for broadband, and... didn't transfer that.


    I now have a bad headache,  I've been in phone queues for days, (there are now 53 callers ahead of you. Your call is important to us, please wait while we ignore it) and I want to gut someone.

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    Science and Depression


    Well,  that's the lovely feeling that I have now, I think. Generalised anxiety, and stress.  Talking it over made it seem all the more real, so writing it out might be an idea as well.   Anxiety disorder.   I don't talk about it much, do I?  Then again, I don't talk much about what goes on in my head with anyone. Not even with my therapist.

    Which isn't that strange, I'm a product of the upbringing that anxiety is just "imagination" and "get a hold of yourself" is the only cure. That "depression" was something you caught like a yeast infection, from the bad music, bad friends, simply bad influences.  That it would be cured with a change of environment.  That if you just tried harder, it'd go away.

    It took me a long time to get over that notion.   I still haven't.  Not in my own head. It requires me to sit down and function rationally for me to realise that I can't function rationally.

    When I close my eyes I have absurd flashbacks from old computer roleplaying games. I don't sleep well, because I feel a stress that I need to sleep soon.  I don't get things done, because the overwhelming need to do things is consuming my every moment, the effort of not running to the kitchen and beating the wall because it's a good idea is overwhelming all kind of rationality in function that I could have.

    So, how am I coping?   Not well.

    And what do I do about it?  currently. Nothing. It's the only thing I can do. I have a slight idea. I have a slight plan.

    But I am afraid that if I flesh it out more, the guilt that I haven't done it yet will be greater than the guilt I feel right now, and...    The fear consumes my thinking.

    Vicious circle.

    Here, have some pills. They will shut off your brain.

    Life is much easier without your brain.

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    Bye Bye wroom...

    Well, I had to take pics of my (well, mine and my brother's) car today so it could be put up for sale. A shame, really as it was a lovely little wroomer,  unfortunately, not a very practical car (*cough*).  Still,  it's a darn pity I can't blow around with it anymore. Not that I ever did it much in the first place, which is the reason that it's getting sold off.....

    Arf, they aren't environmental, nor economical. But I have to say that it's darn fun.

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    Continuing my XPerience....

    Fun fun.  Seems that not all drier "updates" are ... Updates.

    Right clicked desktop.

    Propertis, Display settings, Advanced, Graphics card, Advanced ( Again? yes..) Driver

    Hit the "update driver" button, then follow the wizard through the country of dumb questions. After it finally gets off its but without notice, it tells you it's updated and needs to reboot. Fine!

    Reboot,  get stuck in 640x480 at 4bit colour.  That's a wopping 16 colours to chose from.  Needless to say, the display properties tab doesn't fit on the screen at this resolution.   Kudos to the developers, hope this was fixed in Vista.

    Next up in the bashing. Twitter! I signed up to follow some work related news sources today, and it actually has the guts to ask me for my EMail Password!

    Twitter wants my

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    Okay, so my browser had lost the wits and lost my login cookie to Last.FM,  that happens, no big deal.  And I got this cute note from them about being elegible for their beta site. Dunno how many did, maybe all, maybe not.   Well, no matter.

    I go there, and try to log in. It tells me, "currently only subscribers" ... What?  They want me to pay \~3euro to get in?  On a Subscription basis?

    Turns out that if you log in to the normal site, it kept my credentials, but I fear that I'll need a new Audioscrobbler soon, since Last.FM goes the way of the paysite.

    And frankly, while it's nice, it's not that nice.

    more ...

    Just one of Those Days

    Okay,  Crappy morning due to a slight hangover after a rather unsatisfying evening out. Just one of those duds that happen, noones fault, really, and it wasn't as if anyone was really in the mood.  Finding out the club had gone severely downhill from what you remember a few years ago,  and all of it just adding up to blanket the whole in a miserable feeling.

    But, a new day.  A hyperactive spid who wants to get Stuff Done!   Well,  there I am, goofing around and trying out the freshly installed Max Payne 2 in Wine, getting the thing working was a breeze, except for the intermediate audio issue I was going into, when the thing hangs. Hard.

    A few moments of WTF and I reach for the magic key combo,  finding it does nothing (no, not Ctrl alt delete. Alt SysRQ SUB )

    And then it starts booting. And hangs.

    Great.  The computer is no longer recognizing my RAM.   It's stuck,  Num lock not blinking. No nothing.

    A long time of frustration later and I leave the computer "hung" to go check on something, and come back to a system halfway though the boot process.  Some more expermineting shows that it does indeed recognize the RAM. But not very quickly.  We're talking of a 5 minute hang in BIOS, Which is something that I find unacceptable.

    Some more fiddling shows the same behaviour on all memory banks, No matter how many chips are in or not.   Sigh,   I suspect the Mainboard, but I can't be sure.  Unplugging the chips and hooking them into a friends computer confirms it. They boot perfectly and instantly.

    I get home a couple of hours later ( Cookies and Metroid is a great way to spend some annoyance ) and hook it up.

    The computer boots instantly and perfectly.


    more ...

    And Farewell, Carlin

    Gävle and social

    So, this last weekend I was in Gävle, visiting Broken Haiku and generally having a sugarloaded time of social interactivity.  Well, if you call sitting around in a sofa whapping the buttons on the controller for a PS3, yelling excitedly at the flaming wreckage as molotov cocktails repeatedly get thrown into the mass of a traffic stocking on the highway, or the general groaning as the Assassin of a certain Creed does a spectacularly stupid bounce off a high tower instead of grabbing a beam to climb up onto.

    In short, we were sugarloaded and spent the weekend with games of various kinds,  some movies and walks outside,  amongst general social interaction, aka. "hanging around" in a quite nice way.

    And for that, I have now updated my Flickr stream with some more pictures,  and following below here are a few of those.


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    Fedora 9 test followup

    Seems my grievances and bugreports are dealt with. Rawhide (Fedora 10) will support automatically merging the new sources with the network installs.    Packagekit will appearantly also support some of the missing functionality,  woop de hoop.

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    WP annoyance

    Sorry if the last post was screwy and farked your RSS readers or something.  Seems WP was behaving badly and triggered mod_security and caused it to kill it.   I'm waiting for an update of either WP or mod_security to fix it, until then I've been forced to disable it for the admin part of the blog, and can only hope that that doesn't void the warranty ;)

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    Installing Fedora 9, some impressions

    Okay. Installing Fedora 9 wasn't quite as bad as I had expected, or something. I chose to burn the netinstall CD,  a mere 110 MB, give or take.   Boot up, reboot a few times cause I looked away that single second where the Dell bios gives you the chance to slap the F12 key to select the bootloader and boot off the CD, then started the installer.

    Select language, Keyboard layout,  enter the URL of the FTP site for your packages, wait wait wait and click-a-lick for partitioning.  Then you get an error about unsaved data to the journal.

    So, even Linux installers now complain that Windows was unable to shut down in a clean way.  Great.

    How come that in the middle of the annoyance I'm grinning? Well, fiddle fiddle widdle twiddle and it's up and running.  Selecting a base install, accounts and go.

    About an hour later it's done , mostly due to my downstream bandwidth. Reboot, and you have an updater claiming some more than 500Mb downloads to be fixed. Sodding Effing piece of junk.

    Lets see now, I picked a NETWORK install,  off the FTP. Can't it bloody well pick the updated packages just to start with!? Is that so hard when you're already using repos online? Give me a break dammit, that's a bloody annoying piece.

    Not to mention that the GUI package manager doesn't allow you to select multiple packages to install? Coooome on.  The install is faster than the load of the package list.  ARGH!

    Annoyance. Even Gentoo is faster in installing multiple packages than this. Sheesh, take a cue from Ubuntu, SuSE or your OLD bloody GUI installer.

    After the update, NetworkManager was running in loops, insta-restarting and crashing and filling up my logfile with 1.5Gb of junk.  Please,   sod off and die in a corner.

    A Reboot is needed to "fix" this?  Did you go to the Microsoft school of Software Development QA?   Please, Restart the bloody service in the update script. It Is NOT that hard!

    Other than that, I had a great weekend over at Anamnam.  Movies, Sugary candy, Soda and blowing stuff up in games.

    Yey! Now I'm hyper and unable to sit still, go me?

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    Continuing the excursion into windows

    Well well well.

    Now,  the system came delivered with a Pile of applications installed and on autorun,  everything from SQL server to other stuff(tm)  which makes me a bit wary. It's far from a clean install.

    Symantec Endpoint Protection and so on.. but, no PDF-reader? come on. Musing question, why is the MSI package larger than the installer.exe?

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    Excursions into new Vistas of eXPerience.

    Aka. Your local Linux expert heads into the Office territory.

    Well, as said previously, I've got a new occupation, one which requires me to cooperate and work in and with a Windows dominated office environment. Not too bad, I'm supposed to be working mostly/Exclusively with the Linux servers, however the others are Windows and Macintosh users, and the things run a MS environment. I can live with that.
    When I started, I was asked to spec a nice laptop for myself from Dell, I picked something fairly simple, and what I knew would be a "good" Linux-machine. Dell XPS M1330, in the Light configuration, Intel based all the way, small, about 1.8kg in weight (Well, I wanted a 6-cell battery instead of a 4-cell, so add a bit more weight) 13.something screen, overall what seemed to be a light little laptop that I could use to work on the more real servers with. Preferably from the shadow down in the park or in the corner of a café, well well.

    The computer arrived the other day, a new sparkling Dell Precision M6300. Yows, is my only comment. This is a beast in laptop clothing. SATA drive, 17 inch wide screen monitor at 1920x1200, 4GB of RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M card (256 Mb) and weighing in around 4-5kg.

    Yows indeed. This machine is in theory a bit more powerful than my main desktop is. 2.5GHz core2 vs. 2.4GHz in the home system, and as much RAM, slightly smaller monitor that runs at a higher resolution than my own. I'm quite impressed with this. Dell has indeed created a portable workstation, with decent enough battery time.

    However, it also came with a Swedish version of Windows XP Pro (SP3) and some additional software, and here in lies my tales from now on.

    So, to start with, hit the button and the machine comes up. Or at least the XP logo and a long running progress bar that doesn't show any progress comes along. After this, the standard "press ctrl+alt+delete to log in". So, I hit log in and peer at the desktop, the first thing that greets me is the inexplainable notice that a program has crashed, and would I like to send a report?
    No thanks. And no, I have no clue what program it was, I didn't bother writing the name down either, and it didn't make me very hopeful. This is strange territory, and my guess is that it didn't come with the original install of XP, but with the Dell package.

    So, my account is centralized on the office server. Unfortunately, I'm not stationed at the main office, but at an office-park sort of place, where I'm NAT'ed and firewalled off, so the remote login to VPN will not work. This then means, that I cannot change my password on the laptop either, because of something. Nope, You're not allowed to change the password when you're not on the network.
    If I log in to the network (Office Remote Desktop) I can change my password on the central account, but there is no way to get that update to the laptop. So no matter what I do, I'm stuck until I get to another office. Right. Erm, try again please?

    Next. Burn a CD. Downoading an ISO and burning it out should be an easy task. Except that the excuse for Roxio CD creator (sorry sorry, Media center creator something something or the other) decides that after a CD is burned, we should spin the drive as fast as we can, and lock up the window and crash. After 30 minutes, it was still crashed, I force it quit, and windows cannot/will not let me eject the CD, and will not stop the spinning either.

    First reboot of the day.

    Next, the joy of Windows software. I'm going to have serious amounts of fun about this, but hey, that's well deserved.

    Updates were a breeze. Most things were patched up, windows updater worked (but wanted to install Silverlight and a few other things as "recommended updates"). I have no idea how to tell if the firewall is enabled or not, and what it blocks or not. Good for me, I guess that means I'm as safe as your average windows user?
    The antivirus tells me it's protecting me. I'm happy.
    MSN Messenger. This vile piece of marketing excretions is something that I will have a fun time with. It's semi-required since all the other remote workers use it, so I guess it's "when in Rome, do as the Romans." in this case, register a MSN live account and then sign into MSN. The window is funky and colored, and if you by mistake click on one of the many tab-like buttons (colored and iconed in the middle of the window) it will force you to watch a commercial blurb before you can close it again. The same thing goes for incessant blinking ads at the bottom of the window.
    Right, let me get this straight. They deliver advertising into the product they forcibly install on all Windows installations?
    Was it Miranda or Trillian to replace it?

    Next up, I'll go make a screen shot of a couple of windows to show the consistency of the windows UI. No, I won't talk about the icons or color clashes, just something I saw the other day and made me grin.

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    Today is the Day?

    Okay, Welcome to the world of software and release convergence. Today,  June 17 2008, we see two Major milestones in the world.

    First off, is expected to release Firefox 3.0 final, the stable version of the browser that re-changed the web after the fight was lost by Netscape so many years ago.

    Second off, Wine, the Windows implementation on *nix is celebrating their 15 year anniversery, by releasing Wine 1.0,  finally!  ( Link may be to 1.0-rc5 due to winehq being... a bit loaded)

    And in other news, I just spent the first day of my second week at work doing nothing but reading old documentation (that's outdated and doesn't quite apply) due to the boss mr thing not having shown up with my computer/cellphone, and the loan computer being windowsy and without a mouse ( Vista without a mouse is. not easy)

    Hopefully I get the stuff tomorrow, and can actually start a test install so I can see the real documentation and not the old stuff.

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    Quoth the ASR

    > That most of my boxes can now be slid forward without many unrelated
    > blinkenlichten stopping blinking is an added bonus. I'm no rack-mount
    > artist but by \$DEITY I can tell the difference between a properly
    > connected machine and something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story.

    Ooh, ooh, I know the difference. One is from a fantastical world created by
    a deeply disturbed personality who crafts such unbelievable stories to
    escape the real world, whereas the other is by H. P. Lovecraft.

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    Work work (Peon sounds)

    Okay,  after a long day I got a coffee pot again, Love these vacuum things.

    Now,  I've been finally getting around to the redecoration.  Doorways have been ground down, cleaned up and painted in a first white coat. Thursday it's time for the colour.  Need to get more masking tape before then though.

    Today and Tomorrow I'm going to be... busy.  Well, new job or what you call it.  Officially it's not really a job, as I'm retired, so it's a "hobby" or what you'd call it, where  I go somewhere to work/be social and try to live.

    Overall, I'll be doing system design for a startup who aren't too sure on what they want yet,  means writing requirements, Design documents and specs.  Hopefully I'll get something done without too much chaos around me.

    Now, off to work.

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    Okay.  Decentish days since last.

    I tried Portal, the 3D non-shooter puzzle game.  I'm all cake over it, very amusing for half a day. Quite nice stuff overall.      I dabbled some in IR photography,   Harder than I thought, but I hope I can get something out of it when I get around to the energy in order to fix the bloody White Balance and other stuff.

    I reinstalled the computer with x64 version of Ubuntu. Things seem to mostly work, except where it doesn't.   Rhythmbox insists on trying to find a codec for MP3, and failing. Each time it starts.   Broken file?

    f-spot cannot remove photos from the camera at the same time as it downloads them? Bloody idiocy.

    And...  My coffee-maker broke this morning. Guess how happy I am? Bottom part cracked when I put it down on a hot stove :/

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    Okay.  Checklist before moving from 32-bit Ubuntu to 64-bit

    • backups from /etc:   raid settings, password file, userlist/groups
    • backup from etc: mail settings
    • backup /home
    • backup list of installed packages


    • If boot CD can recognize raid
    • Install/reformat on main drive.  Suggestion: repartition /home
    • What else?

    Getting annoyed with small issues,  though it might be hardware. the DVD+-RW I have didn't want to burn a DVD-R  medium today. Ubuntu wasn't being helpful either,  refusing to do media change and generally being Dog Slow at starting up.

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    MTV for Web 2.0

    Well, I've been a fan of last.FM a while now, (well, since before, when it was named audioscrobbler, really) and I admit that I've been using youtube to find a video/song that's been recommended more than once, it's easier and faster than going to ex. OiNK or other place to get hold of it.

    So, what did I find today? Well, someone hooked Last.FM up to YouTube and suddenly MTV comes to mind. But with a decent music taste!

    Give it a whirl!

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    Towelday, redux

    Well then. Towelday today, or the night that turned into today.

    • Was it fun? Of course.
    • Were there alcohol?   Are you kidding?
    • Was there nomming?  Nom nom nom...
    • Did you lose your towel?  I know where my towel is.
    • Where were your robe?  I lost it last year...
    • Were there pictures? Oh you bet there are.

    Yes, basically this is an announcement that there are pictures up. I lack a bouncer for the flash, which I regret this time. I also really regret that I turned the ISO up to 1600 while using the flash, that was completely unnecessary and almost all the pictures are quite noisy as a result.

    On top of that, these are just batch converted using commandline tools to toss the large bundle of RAW images up online in a decent speed.   I should have shot as JPEG, but was I thinking? heck no. I was drinking.

    We came there, gathering outside for the strays to appear, and huddled into the bar. The natives (Aka, the bar personel that hadn't taken the night off cause they knew we were coming gave.. funny.. looks to us.  We scared some of the guests off, it seemed, but still.  We had fun!

    They started it with a 25litre jug of Pan Galactic Gargle blaster, along with long straws. Unfortunately, it was impractical, the bunch of people were too many for the drink, so we ended up pouring it over into other canisters and consuming it rapidly.


    Rapid enough that we ordered up another batch of stuff for us,  ending up doing pan galactics during the rest of the night.

    Well, what remained of it ;)

    it was however, quite a blast of a night, wonderful time!

    And, last and not least.   A big thank you to Ian and Pappa Grappa for hosting us!

    Signing off from incoherence.

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    I know where my Towel is.

    Today is the day. No, it isn't, but let us pretend it is.

    Tomorrow is the 25th.  Towelday. Tomorrow, the bar is closed. Today, it isn't.  As today turns into tomorrow it still isn't closed.

    So, let us change the reality a bit. I know where my towel is. I intend to be unsure when my towel is. That would suffice.

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    All Hardware Sucks

    Less than a year ago,  May 24  2007,  I bought a new "Microsoft Comfort Curve Keyboard 2000", black, sleek and shiney.  Not really a bad piece of keyboard, I quite dislike the normal "split" ergonomical keyboards, as I find myself with my elbows and shoulders in uncomfortable positions, so this seemed to be a good combination.  In one hand the wide curve made me move my hands nicely and made it easier to focus on good left-right separation, on the other hand, it wasn't letting me feel cramped.

    The keyboard works sweetly, nice tactile feeling, though the colouring on the letters disappear a bit too easily. It's not really as if I touch the volume keys that much to warrant the ink to disappear from it. Same goes for the "next track" key.   Still, they faded rapidly, and I didn't care.

    Now however, what I do care about is the following. This morning when I crawled out of bed and into the room to put on some music I couldn't log into my computer.  Why? Well, I couldn't figure it out at first. It went quite far, until I tried a second account and it let me in instantly.   Odd.    I tried to sudo  and su switch to the other account. No such luck.  So, what's the issue then?  Ahh, sometime later it dawned on me. The Q key was busted.  No such luck. No input at all.

    Riiight.    Pop it open and check the connector,  Nope, doesn't respond at all even with direct feedback.  Wonderful. Some more exploring reveals that the Down arrow is gone as well.   Now I'm annoyed.

    So, what do I do about this?  Frankly, no clue. I don't want another keyboard that goes bust in less than a year on me.   Right now I'm typing on an ancient Keytronic Ergoforce keyboard.  It's loud, obnoxious and ugly.    And it works, unlike the shiney sleek black Microsoft branded piece I used to have.

    Sod the returns.

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    The Slip

    Waiting for the download to complete now, the new Nine Inch Nails album, called "The Slip" is now available for download... For Free!  "This one is on Us"

    The music on the singles has been dancable, listenable and fun, the .torrent of flacs is on the way down, so overall. Let's hope this album is a hit.

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    Some more to be said

    Very well, last post was a bit too terse. I should start actually expressing myself here, rather than simply coming with short lines of commentary. "Ate Gruel"   "drank water" and so on doesn't seem to be the best of thing to do.

    So,  he got those FlyJumpers a couple of days ago, and I wanted to get a chance to photograph him on them, no other reason than that it seemed like a realy fun thing to do.  So far I can conclude, it really does get attention from people.  I lost count on how many stopped to ask us about them,  wondering what they were called, if it was hard and so on.      Balancing on them weren't that hard, as long as you remember to walk a bit bow-legged so you don't hit yourself at the ankles it's no harder than inlines, in my opinion.  However,   the power needed to use them was immense. First off, they are quite heavy, 4-5kg each, I'd guess.   Topping that, they are new, meaning a lot more resistance (it was quite noticable after a while that they became "lighter" to use, and gave way more)

    Even more than that,  these pair is a  bit "heavy" for me,  about 20kg overpowered, so in total I have to use a lot more force to push up and move than what normally.   The exercise took a lot on muscles I don't normally use when walking (pressing hard and firm down isn't normal for me) and the arms from all the waving.     I was short of breath within minutes, and as soon as you felt your legs start to give in, they became even harder to use.  Moving forwards slowly wasn't too bad, faster was quite easy as well, but slowing down was hard, turning around was very hard, and getting up after you fall was impossible without help.

    Protection is good, use it.

    Also, it's fun. Damned so!

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    Well.  Did something, uplifting, today. Went out with IQTRM and watched him bounce, and took part in the bouncing, upong gigant heavy metal thingies that make you walk in wobbly Ways!

    If that doesn't make you very interested, well...   Here's a quite nice portrait of him:



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    And thus... it came to pass.

    So.. After 6 years, some rocky, some smooth.. It's over, and my relationship with µ has come to pass.   Sad,  missing it, but not as bad as it could have been.  And there it goes...

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    re-updating WP

    Well, First off, I'm starting to fall in love with Git.  Good software, makes upgrading and keeping my differences a snap.    Managed to accidentally delete my themes in the scrapbox, git reset to the rescue.Yey.

    I should consider adding a git-svn merge for the upstream update process in the future.

    Anyhow. 2.5.1 is here, And it's still idiotic with how it does Tags and Categories. I should fix. But I don't want to sully my mind with more php.

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    And now for some serious thoughts..

    Okay, this may seem a bit rambly, but who knows.

    It seems that we are heading towards a global spanning trend of food shortage. Some history, perhaps.

    In the 80's, A small country called Haiti was having some slight issues after their Ex. Dictator decided to slip off with basically all of the nations economy. Oups. At this time, their country was self-sufficient in the basic food needs.

    What happened? They needed a loan to get the economy up, but to get this, the US and other countries via the IMF (International Money Fund) needed to get something out of it, in this case, a chance to export goods to the country.  For US, this meant sniping the local food producers via subsided rice and goods, ending up with an imploding local market that isn't competitive due to the scale of the American rice producers.  Local market falters.

    So, this has caused what was once a local market to be dependant on importing basic goods.  Buisness as usual.  Until the US hits a snag in their economy, and gets into bouts with all the large oil-producers, so they have to change to growing ethanol-producing crops internally, rather than grow export goods.

    This means, the prices of the export goods are no longer subsidized, and Haiti cannot afford the rice anymore.  However, since the internal rice market has already collapsed, they now have a problem again. No food at all.

    Well, that's just Haiti. Small island, crap economy. Of course it happens, some people will starve and we can go bail them out and fix stuff again.

    Except that it isn't only there.  Other major grain exporters are starting to wisen up, and cutting down on the exports.  USA, has moved towards making corn for Ethanol fabrics, and are at the point where they consider food rations.   Australia are cutting down on their exports and Kazakhstan imposed an export ban on grains.

    But, only the poor suffer so far, isn't it? It seems not. Japan, one of the world's powerhouses when it comes to technology, a huge population on a small area, is now in trouble for real, it seems that you cannot buy butter in Japan anymore, and that flour and grains are becoming increasingly expensive.

    So. What can be done about it?  Well, for starters. Let's stop this escapism that is Ethanol produced from grains and corn. It's not a viable thing to replace our horrendous oil dependency with one that forces that kind of produce loss.  It can be a stop-gap means and it's a good technique, but we are causing even more trouble by going this way.

    Second,  We need to become more self-sufficient. Some nations do not have a choice, (Hello Japan) but others do, Sweden are doing good at this point, since there isn't that huge a population for the area of produce, still, more has to be done globally. Economically it may be "better" to sell to foreign markets that pay more than local ones, but lets face it, doing so takes a toll on nature in the form of emissions from transport, as well as binding the food produce to oil consumption.

    The other thing is to actively step in and try to assist countries in becoming self-sufficient. We must stop making countries like Haiti dependent on us on purpose, and let them remain capable of sustaining themselves.

    Edit: Update.

    If you consider the USA as a driven corporation, it makes economical sense for them to ruthlessly snipe the internal economy and sustainability of Haiti with low-cost subsidised rice, and then when Haiti has no choice, raise the prices and bleed it dry. Afterwards it is cheap and easy to purchase the remains, patch up the economy and take over.   Though, it may be even cheaper to just ignore the starvation and leave them alone to suffer miserably.

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    And the experiments continue...

    Seems that Trent Reznor over at has been continuing his experiments with new media releases.  This time it was a radio-master of a new track, mastered 24 hours before it was sent off to -radio- stations across the US, and released as a high quality free download to the web later the same day.   All this on Earth Day too, seems interesting.

    And as seems to be the point, inviting remixing and versions of it,  Yumm.  Now, where did I put, ah, right. I don't have the talent for such.

    Am I - Am I still tough enough?
    Feels like I'm wearing down, down, down, down, down
    Is my viciousness,
    Losing ground,ground, ground, ground, ground?
    Am I digging too much?
    Did I cross the line, line, line?
    I need my loneliness
    That i clearly defined

    I need your discipline,
    I need your help
    I need your discipline,
    You know once I start I cannot help myself

    And now it's starting up,
    Feels like I'm losing touch
    Nothing matters to me,
    Nothing matters this much

    I see you left a mark,
    Up and down my skin, skin, skin
    I don't know where I end,
    and you begin


    I can not stop myself.
    Once I start I can not stop myself.

    (x7)And you knew,
    That once I start I can not stop myself.

    I need your discipline,
    I need your help.
    I need your discipline
    Because once I start I cannot stop myself.

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    Since the secret is out...

    Well, it's a bit rough, and frankly I'm not sure if I can manage to work more on it, but the alternate stylesheet is there. Enjoy it, Anam!

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    Well, testing the new post engine,  Seems to work nicely.  WP 2.5 appears to be a good update.

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    And the Dollar goes Buh-bye.

    With the announcement thatChina is dumping the Dollar for other more "stable" currencies,  we now wave Buh-Bye to the dollar.  And in the wake, we can see Canada go "wahoo" as export/import business start dealing with China as a proxy for American pesetas-dealing corporations.

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    ICQ and the Stabbing of Faces.

    Went to Stockholm to visit Aginor, good news. Was fun, got hung over.  Trip back was strange but acceptable.

    Came home and got Incorrect Password from ICQ all of sudden. I've not made any changes there, have to assume that there was a screwup somewhere and they shit the password away.  Feck and anger, Lost all my contacts, thats really bad.

    I'm still on jabber, please get in touch with me, I feel lonely.

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    Dead Dog as Art.

    I'm annoyed by this report of the artist who starved a dog to death in a gallery not as much because the dog died (Yes, that is unethical) but by the peoples reactions to it.   When you dig past the idiocy spouted by the PETA-lickers without thought, you find that in the same room as the dog was dog-food, part of the exhibition.  The artist asked people to not feed the dog, signs and vocally, and people obeyed.  Meanwhile, the dog suffered, and no-one stepped up to have empathy with it.

    Does this ring a bell to the association of the Milgram Experiments? Where people were told it's "okay" to torture someone?   What we are provided with here is an even weaker form,  you weren't encouraged to torture the dog, you were simply asked not to save it. And people obeyed.

    Every single one who visited the gallery is a part of this experiment.  No, I don't think it's art in that sense,  maybe the people who afterwards feel bad about letting the dog die has the true artist' experience of the art. The feeling of disgust and dread the artist may have wanted to show. But for now, I'm annoyed at the people who try to pin this to the artist. Yes, he instituted it,  unethical, heck yes. But it proves a very valid point.  No it's fine, don't help the beggar. Don't intervene,  let the girl be raped. It's ok, she's allowed to hit the kid.    And people obey.  Did the dog have to die?   I don't know, but as the artist said,  he needed the dogs death to drive the point home.

    Where was the sympathy when it lived? Why was there only reactions when it died.

    What the fuck is wrong with people who chose not to act simply because they are asked to?  What happened to social responsibility?

    I wish to extend a thank-you to the "artist" for making a new interpretation of the Milgram Experiment, and proving that we are incapable of caring for the dog even when we see it suffers, simply because we get asked not to. Even when food is available nearby, even when the food is taunting us.  "You are what you read" indeed.  Dog-food. People. Dog-food.

    Quoting from the comments makes me smile in a very unpleasant way:


    Where were the peoples actions? They were in the room, they did not do anything. Why blame the "artist" and not the people ignoring it? Where does the responsibility for not acting lie?

    This is fucking wrong, we should tie him up and put him in an exhibit and see what type of art he thinks it is!

    Sure, go ahead. Except that you'd do it as revenge and not as something to provide a thought.

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    There's a term for those who fantasize that the world works in precisely the way that produces maximum convenience for them, despite years of evidence to the contrary.  The term is "Morons".

    -- Greg Andrews on The Scary Devil Monastary

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    Update on health.

    Okay, seems I'm up for X-rays concerning Arthritic Rheumatism in the beginning of next month.   Still no lab results,  and the medications (Painkillers and something to keep my stomach alive) aren't that effective. Still annoying, but I picked up a pile of Terry Goodkind books at the library today, so I hope to have something to do.

    Over and ouch.

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    Troll or Real?

    Lkml sometimes amuses.

    "rohit h" \<hrohit????> writes:Hi,
    I am a kernel newbie.
    I tried to insmod a C++ module containing classes, inheritance.
    I am getting 'unresolved symbol' error when I use the 'new' keyword.

    What could the problem be?What kind of runtime support is needed ( arm linux kernel)? Is a patch available for it?

    Makes me wonder if this fellow is just a bad attempt at trolling, or if he really thinks that using classes and inheritance is good inside kernel space on an ARM architecture cpu.

    Well, it made me smile, which was good.

    more ...


    WP sucks, I'm getting used to it. Cleaned out the tree some too.

    And I quite like git.

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    Meh and Feck and stuff.

    Good news first, tested myself against Diabetes (type 2) since it's in the family.  I'm clear and not worried, sugar levels are normal, weight is okay (thats an improvement, I'm no longer underweight).  And with the good stuff out of the way, I'm now going to be upset and fucked up annoyed about the rheumatism that the doctor did say I have.  I'm left in the dark prescribed painkillers and something to ease my stomach/Acidlevels while waiting for the detailed lab results and an X-ray time. Yey. I'm so happy I could puke.

    And I can't even make the Chocolate Brownies that Aginor is teasing with.

    Now to see what the WordPress developers have fucked up this time.  No, I don't hold them in very high regard anymore.

    Over, out, and slam the door in your face.

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    Microsoft to purchase Yahoo!

    Okay, lets see now. The news broke earlier today, Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo!,  Now,  What would this imply?

    Let's see here.  Yahoo! is a quite successful old fox in the net. It's got a semi-functional music-download store, Web based ad service, Mail system, integrated login and distributed ID's. They have before bought and integrated (by some measure of force) Flickr and other sites.

    So, What does this mean? Well, so far, MS has been quite a failure in the "Web 2.0" buisness, instead of joining it (Well, they did help create the basic premises, but they aren't well known for their agile web thing), they purchase Yahoo! which did succeed/purchase itself into the Web 2.0 social angle.

    At the same time, Microsoft are busy pushing Silverlight onto the world, their re-implementation of Java Applets in .NET.  About as useful, and about as pleasant to work with for the end-user.   Indeed, the wave of the future.

    So. What will we see? Layoffs, Redundancies, the integration of platforms, the firing of The Firebug developers ( MS Doing Firefox addons? Forgettit.)   The integration of MS Passport into the Yahoo! login system.  Migration or/and reimplementation of all the Yahoo! user logins.    The migration from Solaris/Linux machines to MS hardware on Yahoo! will probably have to wait though, we all remember how it went when they tried to do that to HoTMaiL. Now then.  Let's see, who's afraid of the Big Bad Google? Mmm, yeah.  That's correct.


    The combination will create a more efficient company with synergies in four areas: scale economics driven by audience critical mass and increased value for advertisers; combined engineering talent to accelerate innovation; operational efficiencies through elimination of redundant cost; and the ability to innovate in emerging user experiences such as video and mobile. Microsoft believes these four areas will generate at least \$1 billion in annual synergy for the combined entity.

    It seems we have found the core of the matter here. Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Nokia getting into Trolltech,  and now this? I suspect that Microsoft have the shivers of being ran over in the mobile music/video download market.

    And,  I just love the idea of them gaining efficiency by trying to merge the teams and technologies. The work cultures and practices.   Yahoo! instant messenger merged into MSN framework,  Yahoo! search powered by MSN?  Or the other way around...

    The other alternative would be that MS is trying to drop a lot of their current market value for some reason.  I wonder why?

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    Open ID and Spam

    Well, seems that there is a new generation of spam-blogs around, this time, reference-blogging, simply instating \<Blog Name> wrote an interesting post today on \<topic>  Here's a quick excerpt \<paste>.  It seems to be parsing the web or a selection of RSS feeds for the OpenID keyword, and simply spamming out the junk via trackbacks.

    My guess is that it is trying to up its Google Ranking in an attempt of Optimizing results for a future ad-farm.

    Anyhow,  If OpenID is that popular, why do this?  Or perhaps not as popular?  I don't know, and I don't have the patience to dig in it more, as I have laundry to deal with now.

    more ...

    Holier Qtamolie

    I just heard via the blogline that Nokia are buying Trolltech!  This is interesting, because the Maemo

    device is based on gtk+/Gnome technologies and the Qt "competition" for cellphones is Qtopia, their integrated library for cellphones. Now I wonder, will Nokia continue to develop the quite adorable Maemo line, or will they transfer the N8xx devices to the new Qtopia platform, and thus force a complete re-implementation of the software stack?

    This is what we know so far, The Announcement from Trolltech:

    So, this seems to be a strike back against the Open Handset Alliance and Google's "Android" toolkit, which is set to do the same thing as Qtopia, although based on the same libraries (libc, openssl, Freetype and others)

    I somehow doubt it, but there doesn't seem to be any news in this regard.

    So.  What gives?  We know for sure that future Nokia products will be based on Qtopia.  We know for sure that Motorola goes with Android. Competition a-plenty.  The -good- news is that both these systems are somewhat open platforms, with development libraries from the Free Software and Open Source camps.  The thing set to suffer is probably the Maemo stack, which is a pity since the community behind that is strong and well developed.  However, not suited for Cellphones as of the moment.    On top of this, Trolltech recently released QT4.x as GPLv3 license, which means that either the customers use and develop under their purchased, closed license, or they release GPL code.   Wonderful "Try before you buy" situation for developers.

    Well then, I'm intrigued, lets see how this panes out, and how it goes for Maemo.


    New link @ LWN  :  LWN discussion and note about Nokia buying Trolltech

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    Holy Qtamolie

    I just heard via the blogline that Nokia are buying Trolltech!  This is interesting, because the Maemo

    device is based on gtk+/Gnome technologies and the Qt "competition" for cellphones is Qtopia, their integrated library for cellphones. Now I wonder, will Nokia continue to develop the quite adorable Maemo line, or will they transfer the N8xx devices to the new Qtopia platform, and thus force a complete re-implementation of the software stack?

    This is what we know so far, The Announcement from Trolltech:

    more ...


    It doesn't work right now.   My head is mush, shortterm memory is burned to dust.  Sleep, what is that?

    Anxiety since several days over this, passive and active. Culminating this night and morning and I couldn't sleep, Took half a dose of sleepingpills near 4 am, and didn't work out, calmed down some, but couldn't pass out asleep.   Slept finally to the soothing sight of snowfall,   dawn was past, 7ish am, watching the cars outside coated in white fluff of chill.  Woke up, confused out of my mind, head in mush state, eyes unable to locate themselves or the surrounding in the fog that was reality,  The telephone was beep beep beeping and I could not figure out how to make it not so.

    Crawl to the hallway, and stumble into the shower, I think I lost an hour there, hot water soothing my head and body, before I ended up in the kitchen, greasy breakfast, and a slow-pour coffee that would kill if it got the chance,  drown it down with orange juice and then the rest, anxiety kicking in as soon as time approaches "leave the door", phonecalls that make me shiver and curl up in my armchair. I hate social events.  Benzodiazipines to manage the shakes,  and something to curl the edge of the serrated blade that is buried in my frontal lobes, the headache that only got worse with the light, the throbbing of my pulse in  the back of my eyes.

    Out, car, confusion, balance didn't work properly, and the icy slush that was all that remained of the mornings pure snowfall did nothing to help my mood. Sit down, be social,  watch the angry eyes around the room, the hostile "It's  just him, go on and bark, he deserves it" from my grandmother to my uncle. He's not very well liked, and for quite good reasons. I'd avoid him if I could, most days I can.   The feigned smiles and social tensions. My family doesn't like eachother, and just spend the time on platitudes. Discussing such things as washing-machines.  It's about the only subject that is safe, and even then you manage to hear raised voices.

    I escape with the dog into a corner of the couch,  barely managing to remember what I am, or why I am there. I collapse inside, feeling the shudder of anxiety break through the drugged haze that is my so called conciousness. My eyes glazing over, unable to focus or see clearly,  the drunken haze of mornings with no sleep, bright lights that bury deep into your brain.  I want away, finally I gather up the strength to grab the dog and leave, I fail to stand up, ending up supporting myself on the dogs neck, and then stumble out of the room.      Looks of pity on people as I bid farewell and leave.

    I hate all this. I hate feeling like this to manage the events. I hate the bitter and sarcastic aggressive comments I get that I haven't stayed longer, or didn't show up the last time.  Especially since I like the old lady.  The rest can go do things for all I care.

    Headache, no, Migraine now.  Eeery BEEEEP inside my head,  light is serrated blades buried deep into my cortex, my eyes don't focus coherently, they work on their own.  There's acid in my eyelids, hurts to close them, hurts to open them.  I cannot think clearly.

    I hate you all.

    more ...

    More JWZ fanboyism

    After mixtape #014's somewhat disappointing tracklist, JWZ is back with a much more interesting release in the form of Mixtape #015, this time mostly obscureish female singer/Bands with cabaret, tango and other "odd" music styles in modern setting.     Well, obscure and obscure, Scatterbrain, Harlequin Jones, Dresden Dolls, Duran Duran, Shriekback, Miranda Sex Garden... I don't think I'd call it obscure, still,  quite enjoyable listen and mix so far.

    Kudos, JWZ. And hey,  Guess what? We listen, even if you're annoying and banning OpenID users to comment. (No, I won't register with LJ)

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    Re: vista being popular.

    Re: vista being popular.

      "All software sucks, to some degree.  Vista sucks a bit harder than most, and it seems there's people who enjoy that sensation."

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    Software Distribution of the Future

    Insert "Whoo whaa" noises here,  But this is a musing post of tech geekery. So, what's advent is the current crop of CPU's are all either low-power, or multicore hot-rods,  where we have more and more cores on a chip. At the same time, almost all modern hardware supports Vz instructions (Virtualization) in the hardware, to easily swap complete context.

    Add to this the emergence of Vz tech in Windows, OS X and Linux, and we can start to suspect that some kinds of software will, in not too far off, be completely virtualised.  You will have distribution of disk images, read only filesystems with a kernel and basic net environment. This boots up in its on virtualization sphere, and from there gets access to an IP via a local DHCP.

    The hosting machine provides Net via NAT+DHCP techniques.   Configuration via some network bus mechanism (DBus, IPcomm, soap, dcomm, whatever technology more or less)   Filesystem access is via locally mounted network filesystem ( export userdata as a shared FS, mount inside the disk image. Configuration via DHCP from the host)   reading UI-settings and such come via the message protocol.

    Exporting UI-windows via VNC-like window exposure.   Fast enough these days (Heck, shared memory-buffer window access for that. OSX has done it with X11+Quartz,  Other OS's / GUI's can solve it easily)

    So, What does this -gain- us?    For one, we have software that needs constant security-upgrades for all the pieces in the stack. This is a nightmare for maintainance.    On the other hand, we also have software without dependency requirements and in a known library-stack, that can be run on any OS more or less.  For some things it makes a lot of sense (services of various kind) others, not so much (Games won't work).  But, it allows Software as a Service to work nicely and independently.  Add an authentication step + timed certificates inside the image, or encrypted image with a loader, and suddenly you can lease software to people, on a contract, and not worry about anything.  I can imagine MS wanting to do Office in this way to large customers.

    Also, Virtualization is the current buzzword of the day.

    Currently, I'd do it (on Linux) with some subset of the following techniques:

    boot-> DHCP. Get DNS+Shared space + IP. Mount disk-image RO, mount shared space RW. Start DBus for communication with the outside,  Launch service.  Send a note via DBus about the ports we want "open".  Go into a headless X-server, and then launch a window, exporting it to the outside DISPLAY via a network connection.   Done, application lives in its own virtual world, and communicates with the outside via known network products and protocols.

    Still doesn't mean a cracked application won't write bad stuff to the shared disks, but hey, that's not what we're trying to solve anyhow.

    So, what's the use?  None, really.  Nothing that can't be solved in a better way via some other kind of "real" security or distribution rights.

    ( I should patent this ;)

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    I think....

    ...that my body is after me.  It's trying to get to me, I just know it.  Back in my head, I've known it for quite some time, the constant ache in my hands and fingers is back, worse now, doing it's best to stop me from doing anything. Forcing me to atrophy, preventing coherent thought.  My headaches, no, don't think about it, it's just the head trying to lock you in, make you not do things, again.

    It's after me,  the appetite thing, can't mean anything than that it's getting into another state, trying it's bloody well best to stop you from surviving. You know it, it's there. The proof. That thing with the sleeping, or the not sleeping. To drive you to the edge, the shakes, sweats and panics whenever you try to think clearly.  Keep the brain dozed off so it doesn't figure it out.

    But I got onto it, I know what it's after.    Sweet and supple, make me long for it. I deny it. Feed my brain with coffee and milk, make it do things, stress it into action, into not being a passive victim. Oh yes, I'll show it.

    more ...

    Feck it all.

    Been outside, Meeting with my 'contact person' at the agency who's about to make sure that I have something to do in order to deal with surviving reality.  No, I hadn't slept before.  Yes, I Was a wreck, and my back is still killing me.  No good news either, seems that she's quitting.  Great,  back to yet another person who has no clue about what a software developer does. No, he doesn't enter things into a CMDB.  No, he's not a person who "enjoys sitting by a computer screen" and no, not any job which involves fixing peoples computers will suit him.

    I'm peeved, my back hurts and I can't sleep.

    Blood on a tissue on the floor of the train
    Sun goes down, temperature drops
    Beautiful burnout, beautiful burnout

    Underworld - Beautiful Burnout

    more ...

    Game Over

    Well,  this is an odd feeling. Never thought I'd get here, but it seems I can now yell out Game Over to World of Warcraft.  What does it mean? Well, nothing "new" left to do in the game.  All things dead, alltogether and so on.   Personally, I'll probably keep playing at a lack of other things to do (Titan Quest bores me, and I can't focus on reading) Still.   Game Over.    Have to wait until they get Hellgate: London working in Linux.

    more ...


    So, I'm of the mind to get around to test myself for diabetes (it runs in the family) and to see about my aching limbs (Arthritis suspected).  Of course that screws up.  Coming through to the ringing alarm through a sheet of sweat and the lingering image of being stuck in a conference crowd and having unknown people jabbing injection needles into my back, feeling the cold metal enter my spine. I come through, back hurting as feck from the same old pain, and my head throbbing.
    No doctor call today. Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe.


    Well, time booked, still feeling crap, no time until Feburary.  Shite.

    more ...

    Politics bore me...

    Okay, American election keeps popping up all over the place,  so lets take a shortdown.

    Red side:   Obama  and Clinton.    Right,  So either its the first "black" president, or the first "female" president. Good going,  yey, time for "radical"  change here.  Fat chance either of them will get in, sorry.    Add to the insult of being "black" that he's also... "young", Barely fifty!  Not a chance.

    So, what do the other side propose? Lets see. Mr.  "Beware of Islam, FEAR FEAR DANGER WILL ROBINSON!" Rudi The Mayor,  Giulian. Well,  Might have a chance, if he can downplay his itchy crotch, and we all recall how that went with Bill Clinton, right?

    And then there's the senator,  mr. Religious Right himself,  John McCain,  who'll happily bend you over and insert the Bible into your unbelieveing little arses.

    So, lets chalk it up:

    The Red side:  Young+Black, Female+Hated


    Blue Side:  Middle Aged, White, Pastyfaced Fearmongers

    So, bets on wether Rudy or McCain wins?

    Now this is enough slamming of the election, don't talk to me about it again unless you have something mean to say.

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    Doesn't really do the hair justice, but still, best of the shots I got from him.

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    Lets get Techincal: Titan Quest in Wine

    Guide from a clean install ( wiped account ) based on wine 0.9.52 (latest as of writing)

    1. Build wine patched with patch  (or any git/cvs build when you read this)
    2. insert CD.
    3. Double click setup.exe
    4. Just accept defaults and enter CD-key.
    5. Download 1.01 -> 1.30 patch ( Just google for it, Fileshack had a copy) and double click on that too. (What, surprised?
    6. GameCopyWorld -> Download "fixed exe for 1.30" , the copy protection doesn't always agree with Wine.
    7. Now comes the tricky part.  Open wineconf and add an exception for "Titan Quest.exe"
    8. Then pop up RegEdit and add the following exception rules under "Software\\Wine\\AppDefaults\\Titan Quest.exe\\Direct3D"

      "OffscreenRenderingMode"="fbo" "DisabledExtensions"="GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object" 9. Start Titan Quest. 10. Set Textures to LOW 11. Shadows to Lowest /Disabled 12. Try to play.

    and, if you have a Dual core system (or more) You'll notice the game crashing and is unplayable. Great for you, you found a bug. No, I don't have a clue what is causing it, most probably a migration-exposed race-condition. However,  it's fixable via some ugly hacking. Aka, the infinite loop.

    run  `nice -n +10 sh -c 'while true; do echo>/dev/null ; done' ` in a terminal before starting the game. that will fill one CPU neatly with an infinite loop, effectively locking the other CPU for the game, and thus giving you a playable experience.

    So, is this good? Nope. Does it work? Sorta. Is it a pain? Yep.

    more ...

    Saul Williams and some Numbers

    Very well, a while has passed now, and Niggy Tardust has been available for download, and has been downloaded, quite a bit now.   Trent just released a post/article over on with some of the numbers for the record. Of the more interesting ones would be the fact that only about 18% of the people who downloaded the record actually chose to pay for it. And of those, only around 18% picked the high-quality Flac versions.

    So, What do we make of it? I don't know yet.  If you count "Mindshare" as a metric,  its a multiple increase.  If you count "sales", its..  Not much.

    What do I make of it?  Thats for the next post.

    more ...


    Settling in.  First time in more than two weeks and I'm alone in the apartment. The spare bed that was  taking up my living room has been folded, the bags that were lingering in the hallway are packed and gone, the comforting presence of someone cuddled up with the large polar bear in the sofa/bed  and reading, is gone.

    Silence settling in again, as the whizz of my computer fans become audible once more as Queens "all that Jazz" faded out of my mind.   Now what?

    Time to come down from the social high. The last couple of days were quite rough, I went hyper and anxiety levels rose, so loneliness is quite good. But, it's a mixed pleasure.  Strange to be alone again.

    Ach well, it was a nice while, and to be enjoyed as that.

    more ...

    More updates to the site...

    Okay, some documentation:

    Moved the tagcloud into a \<li>/\<ul> combo to avoid "whitespace separation" which is an issue for Accessibility. Had to change "display: inline" on it for that though. Works okay from what it seems.

    Changed all tags to never be the same as category names. Really wish there was a way to automate this, and to view/Search/sort by tags in the admin interface. Right now, Tags are user-visible only.

    ( No, if a Post is in the Category "Personal" it doesn't need the Tag Personal too )

    Fixed the search form to have a pre-filled in search for Cookies. Cookies are good, and you won't find many on the site, I ate them all. ;)

    Added a lang="" tag to the \<html> element. Yet another a11y fix.

    added [] around the "Comments (0)" texts. Looks somewhat better, and also is another Whitespace link fix for accessibility.

    Removed the width= property of the header image, means you won't get horizontal scrollbars anymore. Though it will look crap in too cramped pages.


    Next question: Can I change the "Comments ()" Thing to have a unique ID in the visible link for each post? Merge it with the title perhaps? Hmm, hard choice, comments from those who read are welcome.

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    Holy holy mo.

    So, what have I been up to, I wonder? Well,  the holidays went off somewhat well,  invited a friend up and been social in a matter of way. Well,  sitting in the same room and reading books,   cooking, baking and watching TV-series and movies counts as being social for me at least.

    Did my best to avoid family this year, since they still manage to get under my skin,  simply hearing "hello disappointment" when they hear its you on the phone, Well. It hurts.  Met my father in the days between the days here,  Wasn't too fun to hear that my mother is.. well, worse off.  Barely able to dress herself now, needing help for that kind of thing.  Not quite as pleasant.

    Anxiety is up, as always during the holidays. Rough time at the best, and I fear I haven't been the best of hosts, lying huddled in a corner and shaking isn't.... helping.

    Still, the days went better than I had expected.    Happy arbitrary calendar event.

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    Site update

    Well, Minor upgrade to 2.3.2 went quite well,  Still need to tag most posts and fix the "Personal Life" category. Also need to restructure the CSS and xHTML a bit, but thats fluff.  Still undecided on fonts and text-style.

    more ...

    Todo: Beat wordpress devs.

    Okay, got most of the mess sorted out, heres some preliminary todo:

    1. ~~Tagcloud at the bottom needs to be fixed~~
    2. Check out css file and sort it for overview
    3. Merge redux.css with main site redux.css
    4. Font selection? Might want to change for Serif \<p> and Sans Serif headlines
    5. ~~Tag spacing sucks. the extra spaces in the comma separated tag list beneath the paragraphs has to die~~
    6. Font size? dunno how it looks on another browser/computer.
    7. ~~Fix the parser/Validator errors. woups?~~
    8. ~~Lists don't show list numbers inside the main. Woups~~
    9. Why is "My OiNK missing a date? ( Note to self, beat wordpress devs)
    10. ~~Check CSS syntax~~

    Debugging: OiNK post loses the date if I set it to the 24th of october. If I move it back a day in time, the date works and shows. if I put it at the real day, 24th, it doesn't show.


    more ...

    Restyle in progress

    Okay, just a heads up. If things look wonky, I'm fiddling with the stylesheets and bashing the php some, nothing completely chaos, just behind the scenes stuff going on.

    ( When did this post lose its date? Note to self: beat wordpress devs.

    Okay, its official, Wordpress is annoying. Now, why is there a date in the admin interface and not in the rendered page? Piece of... junk.)

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    The Pain in the face is real. We hates it. Haaatesss it.

    Okay, the site, well, this part of it "runs" on WordPress. And its a slow bloated hog of php nightmares thats a complete pain in the rear to upgrade. What kind of moron has a "unpack zip file, but remove this that and that, don't change that, don't overwrite that, and then edit the changes into this and that file, then run the upgrade php file" kind of upgrade system?

    Separation of user data and script? Where is that? What? Not heard of it? Ahh, figures.

    So, we want to stab it in the face with blunt and rusty implements of pain.

    Next up: fixing a "new" style for the page that includes the tag cloud. And is upgraded and working.


    Fixing the fucking admin interface so it doesn't cause painful globules of frustration to exhume from my skin.

    After that:

    Stabbing things in the face for the sake of pleasure.

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    Emotional value

    *sigh* It's interesting really, how much emotional value we put in things that don't exist.

    I recently felt the blow full on, the (single one only) character i had in World of Warcraft. I never really had the focus on other chars, so I spent all my time on a single one, Nursuring aquaintances, relations and reputation, building and maintaining a story and life.

    Got into raiding, it was a distraction, which was what the game provided for me, something to do with my time. I played because I didn't know what else to do with the time. Sometimes a lot, sometimes not at all.

    Yesterday, I left the guild I've been with for almost two years. Left the "progress" behind, all the efforts and the friends made on my characters. Everything, and quit the realm. I did this because of some of the people I had been with.

    Why don't I quit the game? Because right now, I need a distraction, and I don't have anything else. The games I've been wanting to play don't really function (UFO Afterlight and NWN2) on Wine/Cedega, so... there isn't much there, so I'll keep playing.

    Still, looking for something....

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    Pat a Cake, Bat a Cake...

    Cardamom cake

    • 50 gr Butter (Unsalted)
    • 1 Tablespoon of Cardamom Seeds
    • 1 dl Honey
    • 1 dl Milk
    • 1 dl Sugar (slightly less perhaps)
    • 2 Eggs
    • 3 dl Flour
    • 2 Teaspoons of Baking powder
    • Oven at 175 Degrees Celsius, 35-45 minutes, in the bottom

    So then, to the actual stuff. Start by grinding/crushing the cardamom kernels finely. Try to avoid pre-ground cardamom, just isn't the same, but if you do use it, take about 1.5 Tablespoons.

    Melt the butter in a pot, add the milk and the ground down cardamom kernels, as well as the honey, let it just start to boil (not too hot). While you're waiting for it to boil (it never does while you're watching it, just give up) ,

    Beat the eggs and sugar together with a mixer, keep it going until it's about two-three times the volume of the original, then add the hot milk/butter/honey/cardamom mix, and after that, add the flour and the baking powder, mix thoroughly.

    Pour into a cake pan (butter&floured, of course) and into the bottom of the oven for 35-45 minutes, 175 degrees celsius.

    more ...

    Requirements for a (Commercial) Music Download Service

    Okay, after the last post about OiNK being shut down, I figured I'd go over and do some "serious work" on this.

    Build a striving and successful music site.
    What is needed to make the above?
    How do we get there?

    The thing to realise in this case is that the reason OiNK Was so successful wasn't because it was a Free Illegal den of Vicious pirates doing their worst to rip the hard working Music industry magnates off their money. The reason it was successful is that it invited and nurtured the really Passionate music lovers out there, by catering to their desires and needs.

    This happened in a few ways, by setting strict requirements on the audio quality of the site, by enforcing a policy of feedback and commentary, and by nurturing a mentality of loving music and discussion about music.

    So, to gain any kind of success in this, we would need to nurture the same kind of community, as in, those who come to the place for the sake of music, and not for the sake of visiting it like a supermarket. The site needs to encourage discussion and profilation, associative sharing and recommendations based on individuals tastes, and discussion of the various music and genres.
    Further requirements would include a -broad- selection of music. Ignoring the top brand names and going for the wide spread and outskirt of the music industry, by having a site that deliberately ignores the radio industry's Top Ten lists of "What's hot in the world of Tabloid Music" and instead catering to the wider mass of music, backlisting, independent, oddball and lesser known. The people who listen to this give more tie-in and word of mouth spread than the mainstream "huh huh, thats cool", mostly because of the Google effect in that everyone can find junk about Shakira or whatever the latest brand of junkfood music is, but you will get a lot more and wider spread by grabbing the keywording and content based around the wider mass of music.

    Recommendations need to be personal, and should rather fail to happen, than be too broad. We do not want a site that recommends Ministry from Pink Floyd, because then the value instantly goes down, as does the trust inspired.

    Discussion. Each downloaded CD needs a discussion and feedback, though should be limited in how much side-recommendations can be given to avoid link-spamming and similar. Perhaps an "age" cap, or a limit on how many recommendations can be done, or perhaps sidewise recommendation limit of never bulk-associating. It's a technical problem though, and leads offtrack.

    Album focus. The site needs to cater to the Artist/Album breakdown, and only push single songs as a last selection, Discussions should cater to albums as a whole, recommendations as well.

    No "limited value samplers" . When recommending a track or an album, allow a full song for download, not some online listening device. We want to spread and get mindshare first and foremost, community around the corner, giving free means that people can try and so on.

    Discussion tie-ins. Make sure that the "download/listen" parts goes directly into the discussion forums, so that it is easy to cut&paste a link to a direct release, and that it is simple to follow recommendations and discussions. Inline a categorized bookmark system per user.

    Search function: Browsing, tagging and searching needs to be foremost and easy to use from the main page.

    Clean design, avoid having a feeling of being dumped into a supermarket, realise that the discussion and the content is more important than the download sales.

    DRM-free high quality. Goes without saying, We need to reduce the path to entry as much as we can, this means that we have fast access, downloads should be kept simple, no extra tools and no tie-ins.

    P2P: Cater to the networked world, Try to make people provide the music as much as anyone else, using bittorrent to reduce service overhead.

    Suggestion would be to make the discussions and downloads browseable by default, Discussion entry viable with a registered login, recommendations and linking only to a proven customer, and a flat monthly fee to download for the paid accounts. To encourage seeding and holding an upload working, make a viable spread of upload ratio that will give "credit" for the upcoming month, so the people who provide service gets off easier.

    Nope, this doesn't cater to economical viability or so, this only covers the necessities for such a service to work.

    more ...

    My OiNK?!

    Okay, Yesterdays news, and today's blog reactions. Yesterday I saw it on Digg(Torrentfreak), and then the blogs and news started to follow. So, what does this late response come to?

    Well, lets see. Why did people use OiNK's Pink Palace in the first place? Simple access to downloadable material? Not really, since we already had that in the shape of DC, PirateBay, Mininova, Soulseek and so on and so fort. So, what was the deal with OiNK that made it so popular?

    Regulations. There were strict rules for conduct. The forum and the torrent comments should be kept Clean and Polite. Memes were squashed down fast and hard.

    Quality. Unlike all the other sites, this one was a prime for OiNK. All things that they had were high quality. Many or most were accessible in the loss-less flac format, which gives a good listening experience. You know all those "hissy" mp3's that you hear, or the tincan effect of sound from places like MySpace? Not there, that was severely frowned on and slapped down instantly.

    Community. This one is the hardest to replace. The community in the discussion, recommendations, requests and hints&tips that weren't there to sell, but to promote interest in good and odd music.

    Odd music.When did you last listen to odd klesmer-grind, or get introduced to backlisted (No longer in stores or available on the web) releases of old progressive bands? No, iTunes won't sell it to you, neither will the other online sites. Not interested in the bimbo of the week music? What, you don't like that newest airhead with the vocorder? Sorry, we're catering to the masses here, get your act together, start listening to the HITS! No? Please don't go, buy our drivel, you want to, yes?

    No Ads. This ties directly in with what I was saying above. They didn't cram you with the latest crap from the major labels. No, sorry, I don't listen to "popular" music as you release it today. I'm fed up with the Loudness Wars and I don't want to be a victim of the fallout anymore.

    No Hype . Oink failed here, lets face it, the hype was all over when Radiohead released their new album. Same with the forums when Nine Inch Nails decided to release the fan remixes.

    Not saying that it wasn't without fault. The Share and Share alike economy is a static field, where people hoard the uploads and you cannot really enter, the regulations prevented certain discussions, and the interface was cluttered at times.

    Still, it was miles better than anything the Phonographic industry has even attempted to create.

    So, why is this, "creative" organization trying so hard to not be creative in how it distributes music? Would it be that hard for them to make an OiNK replacement, make it paid by per the month you access it, and discount the payments with users upload ratio to save their own bandwidth bills?

    Yes, I'd pay, That isn't the problem, the problem is that they haven't even tried to make it.

    iTunes is cute, but requires me to reformat , install MS Windows (or try to pirate an OS X install onto my hard-drive) and still won't provide even half of the community I Want. Wait, it doesn't provide any of it.

    Amazon? Please. *shudder* I said I didn't want to be barraged with "BUY THIS NOW!" ads, didn't I? Sorry, you failed.

    That Russian site? Sorta neat, but that's obviously not what the "industry" wants.

    So, until then. Bring back OiNK or fix the distribution channels yourself.

    more ...

    Ze PidPod

    Well, Seems my friends have banded together in an intricate string of conspiracy and ended up providing me with ze Pod! However, my own head cannot convey the whole story enough, as it is just starting to recover from the sociality-induced head-trauma that relatives give me, However, big huggles and shoutouts to

    Buggie, Ahni, Inz, Ilaani, Vixy, Dick, Anam, Agi, and the kittypaws ;)

    more ...

    The failure principle

    Life changes. As you know I have the "social" thing, aka a social support contact group who's tied into the socio-mental health-care system. Basically, people who check in on me regularly, make sure I don't vegetate or degenerate into a local amoeba and act as a catalyst to make me do things. It involves knocking on my door, and pushing me into function, making sure I don't just hide from everything and feel crap, and slamming me to eat/shop and so on in case I get into a slump.

    Most of the time its trivial things, just the knowledge that someone will knock on your door tomorrow can be enough to look things over, other times its much more practical things. (Hi, you need a new vacuum cleaner. Now, lets go.)

    When its about appointments and such, it's about making times, and doing the contacts, things that I just curl up and angst about for days at an end, it helps a lot to just leave it on them and have it sorted. Means the things actually get done, even if it smashes your pride and self-worth a lot.

    However, when one of the new contact people turn out to be a teeny-bop, you just feel like a complete and utter failure in the face of society.

    Right, suicide lane is which way, again?

    more ...


    Well, first things first. It's hard to enjoy a movie when you concentrate on not emptying your stomach in the seat beside you. It's even harder to feel any kind of tension and excitement when all it does is make your already queasy stomach worse.

    When they finally get to a mild cut of someone throwing up, my stomach had enough and tried to revolt. I was forced to either leave the place and have some water, or do bad things.

    Now, to the movie. Classical teeny-bop horror. Five Americans and an Irishman, three "couples" into the woods. The friendships are a bit choppy and all the stereotypes are there. The "good catholic girl", the "beauty" with her plastic tits, the "all natural" girl, the goofy idiot boy, the steroid pumping cool macho kid, and the intellectual boy with the good looks.

    Pair them up and pit them against eachother. Directly as the Americans go off the flight they head to the forest to do shrooms. Yeah right.

    The plot was quite lacking, kids going to get high and tripping in the forest, "ghost story" about an abandoned institution and whatever went "wrong " there, massacre and yaddah.

    Tripping on the "daaangerous" "killer shrooms", and the inevitable fallout and problem between people.

    Well, around there when one of the kids went tripping alone in the forest and throwing up, my stomach decided that, really, you don't want to be more provoked by idiocy, so I left.

    Guess I'll have to download it, because I doubt it will ever turn to more than a TV-production for rental DVD.


    None of the characters were convincing or engaging, in fact I prayed for their deaths after about 15 minutes. The plot was nigh on skull-numbingly poor and the scares relied almost totally on sound effects and offered precious little on the visual front.

    In its favour, the plot was not entirely predictable, but I was left not really caring what happened less than a third of the way through.

    According to Imdb comment. Seems quite apt.

    more ...


    Today Flimmer started here in town, its a film festival covering a bit more than a week of time.  Good news for me, the bad news is that I'm not quite fluid economically or emotionally, and cannot attend as many films as I would want.

    Paid my membership anyhow, I like the group, good movies each year, can't help but not go, can I?   So, first thing's first,   ils!

    It's a French horror movie, set in Bulgaria, starring the quite cute Michael Cohen in one of the two main roles.  So, about me, I'm easy to scare when it comes to movies, I like that. It's too easy to become dispassionate and not be affected by them, so I won't change that anyhow.  Leaning back and being critical doesn't do it for a movie.

    It's a horror flick in the same sense that Blair Witch Project was a horror flick,  self induced paranoia and panic as a response to things. However, where in BWP, there wasn't anything to drive it on other than "Mystical" occasions, here there is a real threat,  and not just mind-bugs.

    So, acting was quite okay,  The light was too much at times, but there weren't any real gaping holes in the plot.  That might be because it was based on a real story, and not just a mind-bug from a script-writer on a bad trip though.

    Still, movie adaptation of the happenings, of course, what would you expect?

    I liked it, I'll watch it again in company of someone if they want to see it.  So, overall, good movie.

    more ...

    Life. Don't talk to me about life.

    Seems I'm ending up with an "occupation".    This means, I'll be working at LFV-Data and not really "Implementing" as much as "filling out" their CMDB.  The software itself is some HP based All in One solution, with a user interface with more options and tabs than what is sane.   All ran over Citrix, of course.

    What it means in practice, is that I'll be doing IT, digging through paperwork and systems, classifying things into Services, Projects and Child Objects, while filling it into a brain-dead user-interface designed by a \<deleted>.   Very well, what I'm happy about is that I will not have to work with it after its filled in. I'll be insane enough by then, I hope.

    On the more positive side, I'll get to move out a bit, do something at least remotely useful, and be able to claim my Massive Five SEK/hour reimbursement for my time.  The job is, well.  They think it is a necessary thing, me? I guess it could be useful, if the interface wouldn't repulse everyone who was working with it into spontaneous vomiting and diarrhea of the mind.   Not that I really care.  Maybe for fun I'll sit down and do a complete user interface analysis of it, and apply for example the GNOME or Apple HIG's to it.   Would prove a valuable exercise in sanity.

    And then there is the practical. First you sign the paperwork agreeing to abide the security rules,  safety first, not to leave USB memories around, never to bring diskettes in and out, to change your password every 3 months and to NEVER EVER write your password/username down, or let someone else use it.

    After that I got a note with the managers username/password on it so I could perform some work.

    Bound to happen, lets hope they change it as I asked them. Real work on Monday.

    more ...


    Okay, my old Captcha was neat and worked well,  just disabled it in favour of this reCAPTCHA thing as a hunch.  Their system is distributed and seemed like a good thing to do.   Looks a bit out of place though, pity it can't be re-themed .. .or can it?

    Give it a whirl, if it sucks I'll just go back to the other one.

    more ...

    Go go AMD

    Just skimmed LWN and they posted that AMD have released the specs for the 2D parts of their cards.  3D is yet to come, but this should prove a very interesting development for the future of Open Source based graphics cards.

    Hat off to AMD,  and a bow to  airlied.

    more ...

    Third day now...

    ...that I've wanted to go out. Sunlight has seemed adorable, outside inviting.

    ..that I have needed to go out, purchase a few various pieces of hardware for the home and the computer.

    ...that I have failed, anxiety, social phobia and the great outdoors have become a pain, a burden I feel unable to face. That I have been sitting for an hour in the shower, trying to will myself to leave the dark bathroom and get out.

    It is getting to me and I am feeling bad. I do not know how to break the pattern.

    more ...

    Quoth the Alan

    > Keep in mind that this is about thinking outside the
    > box. Don't let new ideas scare you.
    My cat thinks outside the box all the time.  Cleaning it up is a real
    more ...

    A.H.S. A.S.S.

    Repeat after me. All Hardware Sucks. All Software Sucks.

    The hard drive on one of my two desktop machines just went Chaaa-cachunk chaaa-cachunk, Chaaa-cachunk. Since its IDE it takes the other drive on the same cable down with it, not yet sure which of the drives it is, but one of the two that's on ide0 is certain, since the machine won't recognize either of them or get me into a boot loader.

    Most things are backed up, but I'm not sure on the backup coverage.

    No, I am Not happy.

    Cheer me up, will yah?

    more ...

    Subhuman, Subsanity

    Now here is a lot of input to remove, great or something. Sanity, life, sociality. Let's start with the up's. Ilaani came to visit. Yey, was social and up. Good things happened, bad things didn't happen, society was kept at bay with massage, tea, chocolate and alcohol!

    Even more niceish things happened, been dragging my camera around and assaulting people, repeatedly, and having a jolly good time doing so.

    Also, finally got my new boots, they look like a hedonistic cross between a pair of army boots and a pair of "jesus-sandals", Bootshaped with leather-straps to lace them up and wrap them tightly around your leg, fits quite nicely too. New pants to match, british army style, black canvas, Yum, bit wide in the waist, but it isn't as if I have much of a butt to show off anyhow.

    On to the bad. Starting at July 27 the "rot month" traditionally begins in this part of the world, bacteria run rampart and wild, heat is opressive and moist, and things are generally quite unpleasant. Add to this that the general beings that are supposed to drive the town onwards into the rotting future has decided for an August feast to replace the old traditional "carnival" that used to reign supreme. The net result is an oiled up, overheated stinky pile of humans trenched together with their fat, sugar-laced bodies in the so called tivoly, "enjoying" themselves by ingesting copious amounts of alcohol and relieving their pent up urges in the corner, all to the oppressive heat and moisture that is the rot month. This arrives a block away from my home, and has caused life to be somewhat unbearable at this location. The Rotfeast will go on, but I intend to leave town. Suck it up society, Before I smash you with a broken bottle.

    more ...

    What are they on?

    Well, in this case, SJ.   For some reason they have decided to junk their system quite a bit worse than should be, most probably due to some kind of idea that people should not be allowed to look at timetables and / or travels.

    Here's the beef (junkie)  :  The idiots demand that you first tell them what kind of ticket you want(1st,2nd, unbooked trip)

    Then, on another page.  what kind of traveller (Retired, Youth, student, normal) that you are.

    After that you get shown another page with the times and an option to compare the prices.

    Except, if you want to compare them,  be aware that a "Retired" -cannot- use a normal ticket,  so you have to jump back stages to check what the normal ticket prices would be.

    Fucking crackmonkeys.

    more ...

    *Tap tap*

    Ah, I think it is on. Just a sitdown, trying to get back into the habit of writing things, and tossing spam to the junk. Lesse 'ere. Had visitors and it was fun, been out and it was nice, Sat at home afterwards feeling crap for a week, less fun. But that's the way of things.

    Now to angst about some more and feel crap about everything.

    more ...

    More food (For thought?)

    Been social, and decided on food.

    • Two all too huge carrots.
    • Five or so large potatoes.
    • One Parsnip
    • One bundle of small red onions.
    • One finger of Ginger
    • One smallish Leek.

    Chop the carrots up, and toss them into a large pot with enough butter, let fry for a bit while you chop and peel the potatoes. Add in potatoes, pepper and salt. Fry some more while you peel and (finely)chop half of the Ginger, toss in, grind the rest of the ginger for later. Add parsnip, water, onion and leek (as you prepare it). Meanwhile (You're an octopod, aren't you?) Chop up some meat, add to a pan, some oil, let stir and fry. Then, as the meat approaches readiness, add half a bottle of ale or so. Spice the vegetables, let the meat stir until the ale isn't quite there anymore, add to the stew. Add fresh basil and some soy, and a lime. Serve hottish.

    more ...

    Welcome to apathy... world. Another day where I have not managed to do anything, create anything or barely learned anything. Woke up early, annoyed and frustrated, but forced myself to stay in and finish the book I was reading despite its annoying printing error that made "fl" combination miss from most of its pages. ( Veniss Underground, in case you were interested). Food was a late affair, brought on by the shakes of my body, cramping and excessive headache, some 7 hours after I woke up, at best. It's now about 5 hours since. Since yesterday the movie I started to watch has been waiting on the 1:22:35/2:21:35 time, I have not managed to bring myself to sit still or watch the same thing long enough to continue. It sucks, generally, but I cannot bring myself to stop it, fix idea that I have to complete it. It's now 22 days since I last checked my email and I still have not managed to move it from the other computer. Anxiety and frustration welling up in me, however something is there in the way preventing me from even managing the energy to take action, instead I sit here, browsing the same 5 websites time after time, re-reading the same forum posts again and again, without ever managing anything, all of it just an excuse for doing something rather than sitting in a corner beating my head against the wall, or similar self destructive. The blinders are down and have been for days, the balcony door is closed, air stinks, I stink, cannot manage to shave, shower I do, sitting in the water and feeling my head against the tiles is one of the few moments of solace, but it only lasts until the shakes and restlessness kick in, I cannot bar the thinking or the disappointment with myself for not doing anything, and all the while, the frustration and anxiety wells up, threatening to take over, make me destroy whatever I hold in my hands at the time.

    I reload the page, stare at the paused timer on the video, and read the first posts againe.

    more ...


    Well, just a writedown since it might be nice to have it somewhere, and there was some chat about it.

    3 Potatoes and some carrots, about as much of both, peel and chop, toss the Carrots into a pan with butter or oil. Add salt, and let work for "enough" time. Add in the potatoes, meanwhile, chop up some Bell Peppers (preferrably orange or green) Onion, Leek and similar.

    Add onions, peel a finger of ginger and grind finely over, add a tablespoon or two of honey, chop up a small piece of chilifruit and add. Add the peppers and leek, then squeeze half a lime over it.


    more ...


    Well, it has been mentioned before, so here it is, coffee!

    Don Pedro

    And on personal news. Feeling crap. End.

    more ...

    Social and Sleepy

    Now this was a nice weekend. I had a friend come up for some social aspect, and we ended up chatting a bit, sleeping lots and watching some movies and Invader Zim, overall, a very nice and enjoyable weekend. Some walks in the outside, me adapting to someone elses sleeping-pattern was odd, but surprisingly enjoyable and worked quite well.


    more ...


    Well, I got told I'm a boring and lazy git who doesn't upload pictures. Still haven't transferred my source for the website, so I'm blaming that, but, I guess it isn't an excuse really, here are some of them uploaded, however, I don't like Wordpress' built-in management. Still, here is something.

    Edit: seems I can't even use WP's built-in photo upload. Yey, Permission denied, must get onto my other machine, get keys over, and start working on the permissions on the server, right away. Yeah. Meanwhile I tossed the files up at my other domain and linking straight to them.

    As for the event, Just some tea and coffee in the heat with V&D&µ, and the last pic is just some crowd walking by another day I was there. Cropped some, scaled perhaps, but still huge images.

    Lady and Noise

    Vicky Talk

    Vicky Face

    Vicky Tea



    more ...

    My head is screwing with me

    ...By this time, I should be doing laundry. Great, I needed that, except for the general anxiety that was fine, until I discovered I was out of detergent. What do my mind do? Spin off on a tangent and go all out panic-mode rather than let me wait calmly as I know I should do.

    Now the store is open, and I'm not in a state to do anything. Great. Take off and screw yourself, head.

    more ...

    Ubuntu update

    Okay, got the Raid5 to work after some serious issues. Part one of the issues was that some of the drives got remains of the old raid ID's in their superblocks, took me a while to figure out how to nuke that so the system didn't think it had two partially configured Raids which were all broken.

    Second problem was and is that Ubuntu doesn't have consistent device ordering, something they fixed in Gentoo quite some time ago. This meant that what one reboot was /dev/sda turns into /dev/sdd in the next, because they are on two different controllers and its about random load time which one starts first. Bloody system. Got around it by assigning a label on each drives with a unique 128bit ID and simply scanning via labels. Safe if I should chose to move the drives in the future as well, so I guess that is good.

    Now, Got a desktop up. Removed the bloody desktop icons after it annoyed me for the Foo'th time that I can't just right click on the desktop and launch a terminal, Also, icons on the desktop annoy me and should DIE DIE DIE.

    Openbox 3.4 released, so I installed that rather than the default Metacity, gives me my desktop work, and looks smooth and small. Gotta get a new theme though, preferrably something that works with the Ubuntu colours.

    Now to get the Email merged, and bookmarks + passwords + SSH-keys over from Darkmere, and then see what else I miss.  Probably lots.

    Annoyance of the day, Ubuntu's version of gThumb doesn't support Raw images.  I'm forced to either use UFRaw,  F-Spot (hate, its fast but the UI is counter-intuitive and designed for mouse-clickers)  or Gimp,  and/or simply shoot normally. Maybe Rawstudio can work.

    I don't know if I'll keep using Firefox or if I'll go back to Epiphany,  I sorta miss my "up" arrow and the quick search along with the commandline.

    Also, gotta change the default shell. Why do they insist on bash?  It drives me insane. Give me back my zsh.

    more ...

    Ubuntu try 1 2 and 3

    Annoyed. First, the Ubuntu 7.04 release did not come with a working device-mapper that supports raid45 target, this took me quite a few tries to stab at and get in order. Okay, no matter, they have a fully functional mdadm support that seems to be integrated and working ( although I had to use the less shiney commandline to set it up, and disable the sk. "Raid" mode from the BIOS)

    Second, My current addiction to WoW will not be satisfied in Ubuntu 64Bit. Neither does Wine seem to be working, and I don't think that I really want to start using a Chroot for 32 bit. Perhaps time to install a mix 32bit userspace for certain applications? I really want a few of the programs that I have to use wine for to work, so...

    Okay, waiting for the raid to get itself in order and then I will start a reinstall of Ubuntu, this time for 7.04 32-bit. Go me.

    more ...


    ... I'm currently taking Benzodiazipines to manage myself in my personal relationship with others. That is being stable.

    I need you more than you can know
    And if I hurt myself it's just for show
    I found a better way to curb the pain
    You put a trigger here inside my brain

    Porcupine Tree - Slave called Shiver

    more ...

    You get the girls, I'll bring the boys..

    I put on my boots and I shave my head
    This ain't the sixties anymore

    Went out again, this time bringing the cute little 50mm Lens. I'm quite in love with it, however it does prove some hardships with getting focus "Just right", the colours come out wonderfully and the pictures are sweet. And it's great practise in getting up close and personal.

    Full archive at 2007-06-01-50mm

    And following that, an older set that I just discovered I hadn't uploaded yet, here they go. 2007-05-27

    more ...


    Okay, Got the computer shut down neatly. Poweroff, Dismantle, unhook drives, label them. Unhook PSU, unplug cards and stash in bags. Remove Mainboard and stash.

    Start cleaning the case out from the dust, then insert new mainboard, screw it in (mistake, should have checked the CPU cooler first, needs additional fastenings there) .... and then I see. RAM. Unlike what I had thought it wouldn't fit. Meh, silly me. I really should have checked if the RAM I had would fit before ordering. Eff.

    Now I had to find an old case and scavern the computer up into working, It does so, somewhat, right now. Great :/

    Next goal, working on a Gentoo based small system for a Via C3 cpu, needs to fit in 128 Mb and I really dont fancy using ulibc and similar tools, so I guess it will take some hacking. My guess is that I need to setup a CHOST Chroot on the Dell machine first, and from that go on and build a targetted system for the C3 (it lacks the cmov instruction for one)

    more ...

    I liked you better ...

    There is so much I could say about my own photography, and I really do feel I'm one of the bundle of ...erm.. You know.

    On the other news, decided to go with Ubuntu 64bit for the new computer, putting that on the IDE drive too (boo hiss, an OS doesn't need the speed access, stuff it ;) and moving the data to Raid5. Home partitions still on IDE too.

    Now to see if I can convince myself to face the outside and take pictures of students.

    more ...

    So I'm getting a new computer...

    ...and I'm stuck at the thought of what to put on it. For mains, the 3 new SATA disks will all be put in on a raid5 just to provide me some level of redundancy. Shouldn't be too hard to do. OS will have to live on the IDE drives, and if that's a bit slow, suck it down and take it.

    Next then. OS.

    I could take and migrate my current system, it should work neatly, but that isn't too pleasant for my own regard, a "fresh" start would probably feel better for a while. Although the Firewall and networking services will be hell.

    Well then, Ubuntu perhaps? 64/32 bit? It's becoming somewhat usable these days, and the 6month update time appeals to me. Gentoo again?

    I won't go Fedora, and I refuse to touch Slackware and Debian with pliers. And if you have KDE as default desktop, you just lost anyhow. KDE is shiney and glitzy and has a lot of bells and whistles, too many in fact.

    So, Basically, 64bit or 32bit linux (how much do I want the bloody flash to work?) Does ubuntu deal with CSS/Copy protected DVD's and similar or not? And will I get a headache from it?

    Perhaps its time to jump the bandwagon.

    more ...

    I know where my Towel was...

    ...but did it have to bring me along?

    2 days later and I'm still feeling hungover. I believe its in part the pitcher of alcohol-mixed content, the smiling bartender with the grin when I said I'm still feeling sober, one of the other things, or something else.

    Yesterday was me recovering from the feeling of having my Pan Galactic Gargle-blaster drinking me and throwing me up again in a bed...

    more ...

    Picture commentary

    (Updated with more content)

    Here's a few things for you, take into view the following two pictures:

    These are a couple of the ones I was actively experimenting with in trying to get the framing of the light set properly. The first one is "distant", the picture is of something remote from the camera, the road doesn't frame it neatly and neither does it lead the eye (starts too far left for one) and the shadows diffuse too much towards the camera. The second is a closer one, with me angled a bit differently to let the road lead the picture on towards the light, the shadows are a bit smaller (no canopy shadows) and more defined, leading to nicer shapes in the whole.

    Next, the following three pictures:

    The tree in itself wasn't very special at all, and the backdrop shouldn't be there for the picture to be really pleasing. In review, I wish I could have used a lower focal depth (it's on full auto since I was just clicking around) perhaps that is not doable with the lens I had on (stock kit lens, good learning experience) but that is something I'd still need to try with to learn. The thing that caught my eye was the light, and in that sense it's a bit of a tie between the two last ones, with #38 winning in the end due to the closer focus, and less distinct background. It's a picture I will try to re-create at a later date.

    Now for a few of the more interesting macro pictures I did:

    The focus in the first two is a simple experiment, in one I had the flower as a mere accessory in the foreground while focusing on the rather dull asphalt ahead. It would have worked if I had been even closer to the flower, to move it into an almost indistinguishable thing, and have the asphalt leading the picture onwards a bit more (lowering the angle some as well) but as it is, its just a failed experiment.

    The second picture is a bit better, but the angle should be more towards the right, cutting the green on the left to the far corner, or out of the picture entirely. Same conclusion, failure.

    The last one is probably the best macro I did, in that too I was working on trying to change the focus towards the end of the chain, with a much better result, except that I failed the framing on those pictures so badly that I couldn't even dare put them up online (got shadows and other annoyances in on them) . Still, the chain is good, the reflection is solid and the line leads on towards the distance. However the camera-shadow in the front part (Actually, I think it was from a fencepost, really...) distracts and means that the picture loses out in all.

    These two are both taken late at night, with the camera leaning against a small enclosure around the water pool. The shot is quite difficult since the whole spiral rotates ( the pictures are both taken from the exact same spot, just check the trees in the background, but due to the rotation, the spiral is different in both) Any ideas on how to get this sort of shot well, other than to use a more light-sensitive lens would be greatly appreciated. Because of the low angle, a tripod is impossible, though I could rest the camera on a beanbag or similar. On review, I also failed a bit with the camera-angle (note the lamppost is tilted in one of the pictures) and a few millimeters of the framing as I was trying to not have that lightpost on the left edge visible at all.

    Now, here are a few pictures that may seem very very dull for viewing, however they were a vital part of learning the camera:

    Why so? Well, the water is constantly moving, so you cannot use long shutter-times without losing to blur, and due to the time (20:00ish) they were taken, the light is dim. The flash just won't work cause of reflections, so it came down to angling the camera, and playing with shutter time a bit, along with the ISO levels. The net result, dull pictures (Nothing happens in water like that) however, an experience with the camera, and with getting used to the fact that the camera's eye isn't as good as mine in low-light situations.

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    Photo Terrorism

    Well, That more or less describes my current passionated love affair with my new camera, that resulted in somewhat over 800 Mb of pictures ( 280 once the junk was removed ;) over a few hours.

    Oh how fun it was!

    Still, here are some (Scaled down, even the "higher resolution" ones) pictures from my multi-hour evening camera test.

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    Quoth the RMS

    Well, supposedly they were a horde of geeks, or rather, a large gathering of socially awkward overly stereotype people filling a room, where the closest to rampage would be if someone yelled "free cola" in the hallway outside while simultaneously killing the wireless network that would prevent them from reading xkcd on their laptops. The lecture hall was full of them, most of them fitting quite neatly into their own geeky stereotype. Together they gave the impression that something marvellous was going to come out of the room, like a socially liberated robotic cockroach with a neural interface to the wireless LAN. Or just a new way to encourage Vitamin D deficiency.

    Anyhow, the talk was quite nice, had a few sweet gems of comments in there from RMS, but no real big news. Discussing the morality of Free Software (Ethical Software) Copyright and the development of copyright. Mentioned the change in copyright restricting publishers in the name of the consumer for the benefit of the creator, to copyright restricting the consumer for the benefit of the publisher in the name of the creator.

    Anyhow, it was a nice evening with me and The Tallest watching the lecture. Nothing revolutionary for me since I've heard most of his arguments before, but hearing a plan for copyright re-creation in a new and functional image for the benefit of the consumer, is always pleasant.

    When the United States has a problem it doesn't try to correct it, instead it tries to impose it on the rest of the world.

    - Richard M. Stallman

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    The junkie needs the dealer like the ....

    I feel hollow inside. My emotional self has for quite some time been restrained inside a cell of my logical mind, where it has been raving, ranting, yelling and screaming obsceneties at things. Overall, I've been here, emotionally, tense and angsty, raving and angry, upset and insane as it beats itself against the cold concrete restraints of my logical mind that's at the time pretending to be social, doing technical work, cleaning the apartment, dealing with economy.

    Today it ended, the emotions have smashed themselves bloody inside, and passed out. I feel like a stained and sullied mess, withholding from the outside for too long.

    Don't take it wrong, I normally feel emotions, all too well. I'm not as distanced as to have them bundled up somewhere that I don't notice. It's just that if I let them rave and take control, I end up doing bad things, hurting myself, ripping things apart and generally having a complete breakdown, because that's what they want to do. That's what they are doing inside.

    But right now, I'm empty and stained. Dirty, vile and putrid on the inside, and the raving core is gone, crawled up somewhere, bleeding too much to feel anything at all, a dull ache all that reminds to remind me that I have to deal with this. It can't go on.

    One of the things I have to deal with is the feeling of being a dealer in emotional satisfaction. Come to me with your low self-esteem. "I'm just a nobody who doesn't matter." I feel you, I know your anxiety, I know you mean it in yourself. But for my mind, you're suffering from withdrawals, begging me for another fix, another injection of emotional gratification in order to feel okay about yourself. Not good, you know deep inside that it doesn't matter, that it will pass again, just that it is something to bring you through the day, or perhaps just the next few minutes. You want me to open up and let you feel the emotions inside me, to know that I care, to feel the honesty of appreciation well over you.

    And I could do it, without trouble. Without lying.

    And I would feel bad about myself. Horrid, hating myself, feeling used. But now, I can't even satisfy that. There's nothing here to supply you anymore. Your source has dried out. And the rejection stings, doesn't it? Those who could turn get the positive feedback, now, its just words.

    I don't want to be your dealer. Don't come to me with your withdrawals. Don't sully me, I've sullied myself enough.

    Well worth noting, that this is not a personal assault on anyone. The "you" mentioned is a plural, both for people I know in life, and for a few who know me only online, as various online personae. Don't take this as an assault on anyone. It isn't, it's my own hollowed out bitter reflection about how I feel at times. Let it be at that, please.

    The junky needs the dealer the dealer needs the junky
    The junky needs the dealer the dealer needs the junky
    The junky needs the dealer the dealer needs the junky
    The junky needs junk needs junk
    The junky the junky needs junk

    -- Cubanate - Junky

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    Forced myself outside again today to harass people with the camera. Unfortunately unwilling targets seldom cooperate into making nice pictures, but I shot some plants and a few streets and a puddle of rainwater instead. That kind of thing, mostly to keep myself outside and doing things.

    Oh, and at the end are two a bit older pics. EXIF-tags disappeared when I was playing with an ancient copy of NeatImage (Again...) but still its a neat program.

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    Was out again today, rough morning, barely slept due to being upset and shaked up on sugar. My own fault for eating it, but meh. Shakes are settling, was out meeting a ..hmm.. integrator, might be a term for it. Basically talking job/social things, seems that the company I had in mind wasn't quite recommending I'd take a job there simply cause of the stress involved.

    Was considering to apply for the Ubuntu QA-job, but I doubt I'd manage more than a week or two of productive work before Isolating myself and breaking down.

    I want to take the camera and go outside, but I also feel so bloody upset at the world that I don't want to be outside and face it. Restless at home instead.

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    Saints and Killers

    Well, after the last post this documentary called "Does snuff Exist" caught my eyes as I was browsing digg.  I'm not through it yet (too restless tonight, managed to buy candy and well, that does bad things to me)   still.  It mentions the old movie Hardcore which I saw quite some time ago and caught my interest back then, still after what I saw here last? Yes. Snuff exists.

    It's being made by the guys with their cellphones. And its just as crude as you can get it.

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    We are all saints...

    Hallowed by our own action. I just sat back to watch a video. A video of a video, in fact. Or to be precise, a video of the recording of a video. It's getting confused now, I know. Let me clarify, perhaps.

    Today, a kurd girl was stripped naked (Well rather, had her pants ripped off her and then repeatedly used to cover her indecent nakedness while she was lying, writhing in pain in the dust on the ground, panties on to contrast her dirt-stained red training-jacket and black hair.) and then kicked, stomped and stoned to death by a group of what seemed to be men. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. This happens nearly every week, in one sense or the other. A mob reaching out to destroy what they cannot control.

    What appalled me wasn't the act in itself. It was the actions of the crowd, pushing, shoving, hitting eachother to get a chance to be at the front, near the clearing around the girl, always careful to have nearly two meters of space to watch her writhe in, where you can see the people breaking out to kick her in the belly, stomp on her chest or blood-coated face as she was lying helplessly there. And why did they try to reach the front? Oh, to hold up their camera and record her suffering.

    Yes, they were pulling eachother back, not because they wanted to stop the others from ending the girls life with a stone, but because they were in the way for their recording of the event.

    Society today, I wish it had ceased to amaze me. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm. When you have the power to stop someone from killing a helpless victim, you don't. You stand there, cheering, howling, and tape it with your cellphone, safe in the knowledge that you hold the camera, so you're doing your part. Watching the recording of the people behaving like this, short pans of the girl, and then up to the crowd, them pushing others away, directing their camera to the girl. The man who covered her with her skirt or pants, only to then kick her in the belly until she moved and they slipped off?

    Or the man in the fine shoes who sullied them by stomping on her face, once he was done recording her suffering, of course.

    The more I watch, the more I learn
    If you light yourself on fire
    The world will pay to watch you burn.

    -- Course of Empire - Automatic Writing #17

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    Some more pics from Ireland

    Okay, the "originals" here aren't very "Original" anymore, since they were fairly heavily gimped by me. Fruity is hard to photograph, mostly so because she threatened to punch me in the face if I tried again, and kept shying away/turning off cam in order to stay off pictures.

    Really wish I had gotten at least one sharp pic here, but what goes. And since she okayed it, here she is, Fruitcake, in her own blurry geekiness.

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    Upgrades and issues..

    Seems that the upgraded Wordpress is annoying me a lot more than the previous one did.

    Annoyingly enough, Wordpress has a bad tendency not to want to save my bloody posts. Argh. On the other hand, upgraded to latest (and greatest? Hah. I'm not impressed as of yet with this software) version to avoid the XSS attacks. Getting repeated "evaluated to false" errors when trying to save a draft here. And uploading text in general. And the themed input-box means it loses the changes that were in the text area. Very frustrating.

    Also, the pictures taken from the Dublin trip have moved to a more permanent address now.

    CAN I BE ALLOWED TO UPLOAD THIS THING NOW? *hitting "save and continue editing" with every line, 2 out of 3 fails.

    Generally of Ireland, Inz and Ahni ->

    Random people Portraits ->

    Thank you , bloody piece of junk.

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    Dublin and Back again.

    Well as I'm back again, we were "Very Sociable" and generally had a good time, won't comment too much about it, since we really didn't have any plans when we started, ended up having quite good Asian food, lots of drink, and generally a nice time. Met a couple of old friends from IRC as well, hit pubs and walked around watching a rather droll local urban scenery. Oh, and cursed my luck with the camera. Whenever I had aligned a nice shot there was someone walking into my way, a bus driving up, a door opening and hitting me, or just something in general to annoy me.

    Anyhow, pictures were promised, and even if is stubbornly refusing me, I have temporary storage space!
    Generally of Ireland, Inz and Ahni

    Random people Portraits from when I was bored and just photographed stuff I saw.

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    Today was a long day. More because of what was in my head, than anything else. Packing, I had the list, it was prepared, things mostly on a table, and I misplaced the list.

    clumsy, stressful. Uncertainitiy spread in my head and... nothing I could do about it.

    Got some help from Ahni, his list helped clear some of the confusion, but still. For once I'm notbringing a book on a trip, dunno really, this will be the first time since I was... erm.. 9? that I don't bring something to read for a journey. Heh.

    Anyhow, goal is to wind down some, hit some drinks and get out a bit, and give Inz a couple of hugs. Dublin next.

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    Melan melan melan....

    mela, mela, mela, mela, melancholia
    melancholia, mon cher
    mela, mela, mela, mela, melancholia
    schwebt über der neuen stadt
    und über dem land

    I found myself listening to Einstürzende Neubauten while reading this article about the rise of Depression as a Cultural Epidemic over at The Guardian. It has a few interesting points, not sure however on some of them, but its mostly researched musings as presented, an OpEd, not fact, not a journal. In part I agree with the authors view that the "self-image" and the isolation from the crowd it gives fosters an isolationary and/or depressive state. But, I remain unconvinced that such a shift actually -happened- during the timeperiod.

    For far from being detached from the immediate human environment, the newly self-centered individual is continually preoccupied with judging the expectations of others and his or her own success in meeting them: "How am I doing?" this supposedly autonomous "self" wants to know. "What kind of an impression am I making?".

    It would seem that I need to go and buy/borrow this book, :

     Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich

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    Caught in a Wicked Vortex

    Stress. Anxiety. Panic. Lifting my head was a chore this morning, stressed out over a doc's appointment. Anxiety messed my head up, couldn't drink the coffee in the cup ahead of me. The toast and cheese turned yellow, couldn't eat it. Made new. Rinse. Repeat.

    Third try and I actually managed to get something solid inside me, it didn't stop the shaking though, but I couldn't consume more, couldn't bring myself to swallow it.

    Day went, pushing ahead. Managed to put the phonecall in to order a new appointment for my hands (They ache constantly, have been really bad the last few days. I'm worried enough that I feel I need painkillers daily. Not good. ) ended up with them saying they'd call me back at 16. I had another doc's appointment at 15.

    Stress on. Managed. Argh. Met a new doctor again, told him how things have been the last few months, that I'm not doing much, that I have an eating disorder. Apathetic. Depressed. Not going out, not talking much to people. Barely managing myself. He nodded and said the right things and took some notes. We talked about my medical history, and he concluded he was able to offer me pills, but since the past, and since he couldn't guarantee a proper followup, he wouldn't. Hat off to that. He suggested a day-group focused around a dietist and so on, might work, something to do.

    I want to exercise, but I can't make myself.

    He said he'd write the appropiate papers and so on. Good.

    They called back about my hands. Sorry, call again beginning of next week. Yargh. Getting help to procure food right now,I know I'll need to eat something, but what. What can I make myself eat? argh. Bad notion that I'd rather cut myself than make food, I really need to break this mental state.

    We are just sketches of men
    Caught in a wicked vortex
    Where tertium non datur
    Between being god
    Or being damned

    And thus I end it as:

    Non tantum tertium sed quartum et quintum

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    Today I put a book down

    Ahh, Papa Nancy. I picked up the book "Anansi Boys" again. Last time I tried to read it I stopped at page 18, fed up already with the all too American-feeling of "laugh at the fat guy who makes a fool of himself" that I just cannot stand. The only reason I picked it up again this last Thursday was that it was hardcover and in the right size to fit in my rather packed bag. So I did, restlessly flicking pages, skimming the deep down felt embarrassment about myself for actually reading it. Yes, it bothers me that much, I really do not enjoy the part of "comedy" where you laugh at people for their misconceptions or simply expose them to humiliating situations so you can score a cheap giggle.

    It picked up though, after the first few situations, our dear Mr. Gaiman stopped putting the little Charles (No, not Fat Charlie, Little Charles. He feels so sweetly immature) into humiliating situations for giggles, and actually got along with telling a story.

    The story felt cut down in a way, as if there was something missing in it along the middle, the conclusion came too soon, all the pieces just fell into place too directly, but aside from this, the book turned out to be a likable read. Flowing, smooth, well... Singing, is probably a better term. Not really explaining anything, as it doesn't need to, and that was good and well.

    What I found absolutely adorable is that there never really was specified the skin colour of the characters. Of course, deducting from setting, they were all/mostly of African descent (where else would Anansi come from?) Yet, it was refreshing to see it not specified in the text.

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    now then...

    Mmh, Been a busy few days.

    Went to Stockholm and met a few old friends, and some new people. It was hectic, busy and fun. Consumed various kinds of alcohol at various kinds of places. Also spent time waiting for a store to open by watching Ghost Rider. Well, lets see. They caught the feeling of the 80's comic very well, you know, that feeling of embarassment and shame you get when you open an old, tacky 80's comic album and wonder how you once made yourself like this piece of junk.

    more ...'s time to face...

    What makes you turn around and do it all again
    Your highs and lows, they are both one and the same
    There is no difference in your pleasure and your pain
    It's time to face the music

    The night before last I spent at a café with an insane DJ in the background, chatting for a few hours with The Tallest and drinking their rather okay coffee. It was a nice evening, the DJ was as said, Insane. Klesmer breakbeat, Big Band Jazz drum with rap on top, 80's disco and industrial, Ibiza Disco and .. erm, Well, you get the point.

    So, yesterday, fade in and out, spent most of the day at home, cooked and survived. Had company, and it wasn't totally pleasant. It hurts. I don't like that, but I have to live with it. On the other hand, I made a great creamed-curry chicken.

    Ach well, today? Don't know.

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    Bittersweet hello

    Met an old friend today again, Anneli. It was for the first time in a few weeks, met her all too little while she was here, caught up, and said goodbye. It was tough, tearfelt, but I've not been well enough to be outside, even less well enough to call her up and ask her out for tea or hugs. Still, it was bittersweet and nice. Realised how much I've missed her make-believe hippy-love. As she said herself, she wants to be a hippy and feel good about people, but she doesn't like people enough to do it.

    Stare like a zombie,
    While the mother holds her child, watches him die,
    Hands to the sky crying-
    Why, oh why?
    'cause I need to watch things die, from a distance

    And so it goes. It was nice, tomorrow she is gone, left town again, and the country. Without much hope by the look of things, but still. She made me smile, it was a comfort, and she's adorable.

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    Peace... Fills my mind

    I'm sitting here, turning towards noon as I've been awake again. Another night of fitful sleep haunted by my own breathing and heartbeat, but, I finally put it aside.. Peace, that is, the book, not the concept.

    I found it strange and bizarre as a book, shattered images bouncing through times, Hallucinations of a memory asking you to think of stories about pictures, telling the stories about stories, with recollections tied inside them.

    It paints a family tree of relations, and a mans growing through them, his life in flashbacks and notes, the central role of the story is almost never in the story. Odd flow of thought mixed with vivid language and recollection.

    "A tricky, evild, deep and remarkable novel...."

    Was how Neil Gaiman started out about it, and yes, that sort of sums it up. I found it a difficult read, not because of language or emotion, but to keep track on who and where, we were. Was this a musing recollection about what manner of creatures would eat a make-believe stag, or was this a memory of a story once told? After a while I gave up and just read the book, cover to cover, and let it paint a picture of a man in my head. And it wasn't an alltogether pretty picture. But the way it was painted, was pretty indeed.

    Ach, I can't make it justice in words, but a small quote will do, perhaps.

    "I have sometimes thought that the reason the trees are so quiet in summer is that they are in a sort of ecstasy; it is in winter, when the biologists tell us they sleep, that they are most awake, because the sun is gone and they are addicts without their drug, sleeping restlessly and often waking, walking the dark corridors of forests searching for the sun."

    -- Gene Wolfe, PEACE

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    I think it hurts...

    Managed to do bad things to the bunker, not quite sure what.

    First udev was running amok due to not getting read rights on inotify, relabel solved that (for some reason inotify was unlabelled, mmhmz) this also had the sideffect of spamming the avc log with heaps of junk, so it filled /var/log, ach well. erase and move on.

    Next, reboot. in secured mode the root account gets errors and has.. expired? Need to look more at this, same seems to be for some other accounts, most probably a

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    Back home...

    Again, home. Was a nice weekend, caught sight of the lunar eclipse, but also caught a cold and I've been forced to spend a day or more in bed, feeling sorry for myself and so on. Most of the day spent craving Icecream, which turned out to be in the fridge after all, but did I even check? No no.

    Some days I wonder about my own mind, has it all rotted away? ach well, next goal: get well. After that? dunno.

    Second thing up, need to check the input field font size in the CSS, its default now, and a tad too big, I think. Otherwise I'm starting to feel satisfied with this.

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    Something is going on, again

    I may be nothing now but I will rise
    I'll have more followers than jesus christ

    Well, With a kick in the hindside from a dear friend I'm now planning to kick myself out of here for a bit, get moving and out, hopefully I'll have a good time, if I don't, the world won't end for that. But, things are happening, its a change, it involves the outside, and it is good.

    Now to just survive the time until then. Tomorrow is going to royally suck, and I'm already angsting out about it.

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    More inane postings.

    ...just to make me post.

    Didn't get woken up by the phone, which was bad, since it meant I hadn't slept. People here, chewed sleepingpills. They worked, slept from 11 to 4 am, finally. Woke to the cramps, of course. No cramp now, alive, awake? Nah, hungover, but ok. Sleep was good, hopefully my mood improves now.

    Find yourself a victim, another brand new toy
    Find yourself a lover, whom you can destroy
    Find another fool, pick another fight
    Your love to me is poison, so get out of fight
    Now everything is blurry the colours fade away
    Summer feels like autumn and dark becomes the day
    Everything's a mess and you won’t take me out
    I have to get away from you there’s no doubt

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    I demand a better future.

    .... or I might just stop loving you....

    David Bowie and Porcupine Tree, on a mellow mood set due to being unable to sleep due to neighbours redoing something, so there is a hammering knack knack knack all too often. I think they are removing tiles from the floor, or something similar.

    I had forgotten how much I love this cd. Thanks, Ilaani.

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    I am your salvation

    ...the one you turn to in need. The one to hold you and make things right. The one you break when you want a fight. I am tired, I am worn, I am salvation as it comes, the thing you only want in times of need, the thing you cannot care for or think of with a smile on your face.

    I am salvation.

    I have come to deliver

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    Sooomebody callllllled meeeee....


    Mellow day, got stuff done, cleaned out the computers and shoved them into a proper corner rather than middle of the floor, Laundry, didn't sleep much, prepping food, Waiting for my own collapse right now. It'll come, I know. And I'm dreading it.

    This is just a meaningless post to get into the habit of posting.

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    Got the site to work. Stared, felt it come over me, panicattack. Hateful , been cleaning the apartment, feverently looking for something to do. Considered cooking, realized I just wanted to put my hand on the hot stove, turned it off, ran away, can't make myself cook when I feel like this.

    Don't know what to do now. Alone, nothing to do , nothing to do!

    Can't focus, no gamin, no nothing.. what to do? ARGH!

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    Posts and Persons

    I've now added two pages from the old diary code, the two that were referring to my panic-attacks and how I perceived things. They are the only ones I really wished to keep because they still feel current, so , they are promoted to "pages".

    Might give away a bit too much about myself, but still, I felt the need to write those, and I didn't edit them now. Then, whats next? Getting another layer added, I guess.

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    ( Note, this is dated from Autumn of 2005, but was one of the pieces I decided to salvage from my old diary )

    I was outside again today. Stressed up completely about a paper that I needed to get from the social insurance bureau. Ended up stressed, late, and with a growing sense of dread and panic. As I came out, my breathing increased, panting, sweating, feeling the blood beat in my ears and my fingertips throbbing with each new beat of my heart. The familiar taste of lead, iron, copper in my mouth as I press myself
    onwards, my limbs shaking with every step.

    I move on, feeling my nails clench into the leather of my gloves, knowing my posture is far too much bent forwards, still thinking somewhat coherently as I push on, extending each step to cover as much distance as possible, breathing pressing out through my teeth in a hiss.

    At some point along the way I lose the grip and stop thinking rationally, no longer coherent as I know that my teeth are bared and I catch myself snarling at people who come too close, my mind starts to run with even more emotion, the music feels slow, like a parody of emotion. Every person in sight feels threatening, invading, pressing tighter onto me and attempting to break in on me. My clothes fit too snugly, it feels as if my coat is about to rip across my back. In some ways I know this is nonsense, but I cannot push the feeling away. I lose the distance to myself and feel myself wrap in through the power of panic induced adrenaline kicks of emotion.

    People stop to turn and stare at me, mouths hanging open, I push them aside in my mind, focusing solely on the road beneath my feet, on the path straight towards my goal. I feel my teeth grit, tasting bile in my
    throat, feeling sick, shaking in my arms. Strained and tired.
    .... My memory of the actual errand is blurred. I know I managed some latitude of a joke, I also know its quite visible on me that I'm not totally there, or feeling very well, my face must be pressed into some forced calmness before I enter. I know I didn't even once raise my voice or waver from the well practised calm mode of speech.

    The way back home is even more a blur, harder, more panting, at some point my vision of people became intermingled with the view of their mutilated bodies, a man stopped and turned as my mind raced through the scene of my fingers pushing through his eye sockets, my palm crushing his nose as I repeatedly beat his hollow head against the cold stonewall behind him, everything turns into a scene more resembling Hellraiser or some other Barkeresque visage. Brutal, personal aggressive mayhem, without a single drop of blood visible. The cheeks of a girl torn up from her lips to her ears and her jaw pushed down into her chest bone. A teenager who sits on a rail is strung up like another set of wild strawberries. A smokers lungs put on fire inside his body.

    I don't know how much of this that people can actually see, They are just parodies of beings imposed on me, forcing themselves closer, stopping to gawk. I know my teeth are bared, I feel the icy pressure
    against my gums as my pace brusquely pushes through the mixed crowd of cars and people.

    I'm distinctly afraid of someone daring to stop me, to touch me. At which point will I completely lose my sense and assault someone? I snarl at people who turn and say something, I know I'm not coherent, cannot force my mind clear from the continuous rush of aggressive panic that pound at me. I feel each breath, each heartbeat sinking into my skull, all too much to bear. My feeble attempts to drown the beating out with music only makes it worse, it can convey nothing. The fastest beat I have is a mere parody of emotion as my thoughts race faster than anything my ears can comprehend, yet I still cannot even comprehend my own thoughts.

    At some point I feel my body burn out, the energy draining completely from me, shivering from lack of blood-sugar, my mood influenced, burning up, from aggression to tragedy and back, for one moment mourning the loss of a reddening leaf above me as it filters the sunlight through its sheer surface, the next a visage of the old lady's body torn up and littered on the ground... At this point my mind starts to clear up and I'm gaining coherence again, knowing that I need to eat, calm down, be safe, isolate...

    I increase the speed of my step again.


    As I was talking this through with inz I realised that I wasn't completely clear on what the fear was. Or how this affected me. Towards the point where this is most intruding, I cannot really tell, without stopping to think, whether I just tore the little girls arm out of her socket and choked her with it, or if that was just inside my mind. The line between perceptual reality and induced reality is completely gone. The conceptual reality can even take over, especially in the case of how others appear (threatening, imposing, pushing, hostile).

    The other thing was how this affected other people. Was this a hatred towards people in general, as the race, society, the crowd? No. The feeling is a direct and very personal aggression directed specifically; at the people in my immediate surroundings. It is them and not some unfocused ideal of a group or society. Its personal.

    Note: followup post here :

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    Panic: Betrayal

    ( This was a followup dated 2005 autumn, after the other post, one of few salvaged from my old diary )

    Thinking my last post over, discussing it with my friends, and answering their questions leaves some more things that I feel I need to answer. This post is harder, since it requires more thought, more careful consideration than the last one. The last one, was just recital, or in part. Many details slipped my mind, passed me by, and so I failed to really paint the whole picture.

    Even afterwards the thing that happened is real. The torn bodies, mutilated faces, the feeling of tissue ripping in my hands and fingers. It's all here with me now that I'm calmer. I have to consciously evaluate every single impression and memory I have, if I am to consider what is "possibly real" and not. I cannot tell. Most probably the faces of people weren't really leering, drooling masques of poorly hidden fascination mixed with disgust. But, how can I know?

    The other thing is the complete betrayal of my own mind. For long periods afterwards, I'm completely unable to trust my own mind, my own perception. I cannot trust my own emotions about things, because they change every few seconds, roller-coasting through dread, anger, love, fear, apathy, tear-stained eyes and shivers of unease. I cannot trust my own thoughts, because they have just betrayed me completely.

    Then there is the question about continuity. There is none. I'm completely, totally, caught up in the current of emotion. The flooding river where I'm trying to hold myself from drowning in the violent and bloodstained
    waters all around me. The faces of people, real or imagined rushing by. I'm unable to reason for more than half a thought before being interrupted by something that pushes into my mind, another thought, another fear, anger, a throb of my head, my ear, the tingle in my fingers. Anything, everything. I am at this point unable to keep a single thought up. My legs move automatically, pushing me through town and onwards. There is no sense. There is only now. I only struggle to keep some kind of grip, some kind of control.

    I should probably elaborate further. I'm not sure whether this is hallucinations or not, it feels more as if my emotional reality, the overwhelming force of anguish, anger, panic, dread, fear, hatred and icy passion penetrate my mind completely, colouring what I perceive from the inside, painting it with an overlay of reality that is more than what is out there. That is stronger, more vivid. With each look at something it is not only the vision of it, but the complete sensory input. I feel bones crack beneath my feet, I taste the charred hair, I smell the guck in their lungs burning. It's all there. At once. And I'm unable to filter it out, away, or make sense of it, because my normally rather "rational" mind is completely shattered beneath the assault and barrage on my mind.

    So how do I deal with it? Guilt? Regret? -No. The people weren't "real" in that sense. I'm not even considering them as "people" at this point. However, there is distrust, insecurity, uncertainty as I try to collect my mind.

    Which is worst? Being in there, or afterwards, looking through the shattered remains of my mind and intellect? This is impossible for me to answer, since the two just cannot be compared. For emotional barrage, the first wins hands down. There just isn't any way to compare it. However, the attack leaves me completely exhausted, every reserve of energy is burned out of my body. I am hollow, wrecked, empty and without resources to start collecting my mind, or any kind of stability to work from. I have to keep acting for a while longer, push myself to find something edible, or I'll collapse even deeper down into the emotional barrage of a shaking body, cramping, fuelling itself by injecting adrenaline bursts.

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    And the styling has continued

    Very well, I'm still missing the .htaccess, just didn't seem to work so I cannot replicate the pretty archives based on post time.

    Then the question is, do I bother to repeat the entries from my old weblog? Its a lot of work to do it, and get the posts right. Or do I leave it as-is?

    There are a few posts there that are good, very good even, but I might just replace those as static pages from and about myself, rather than anything else.

    until then, the blog is somewhat complete, and I can use it. Comments work, woop de hoop, and the template is sorta finished. Still messy, but thats design for you.

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    The one two test three

    Well, time for me to test this out. in a bit, I guess I'll transfer the old text from the old pages to this, and backdate, paste things.

    And then there is the visual style... arch

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