My old (relatively; bought in 2000) Sony VAIO z505je "Niphredil" has died on duty, right in the middle of a kernel build. It locked up; once I switched it off with a button it would not turn on anymore. It has done it once or twice before, but pulling the battery and power out helped. Not this time. I have a vague feeling that this might have been related to running 2.6.9-mm1 on it somehow. Anyone heard of ACPI in -mm1 killing old laptops with broken ACPI recently?
Felt like crap when I woke up, so spent the day working
Another trip to Nashua, this time for groceries.
Bumped into Jeff Dike (of UML fame) whilst doing so, which
came as something of a surprise. Kernel hackers get everywhere,
you can't even shop for groceries now without seeing them.
Shopping in Nashua. This is becoming something of a weekend ritual.
Sometimes I ask myself if UNIX is slipping away from us like COBOL. I don't wish to pass a judgement, only make observations. Obviously it's something Microsoft would welcome, if it were true. But on with the story.
An experienced GNOME developer wrote today in his diary at Advogato (no link to protect the guilty party; it's outside the point anyway):
My last two days were simply wasted by the setserial utility. I was using it to set the baud-rate of my serial port matching the baud-rate of the thermal printer attached to it.
Went along to Witches woods.
Lots of silly things. Some fun effects with 3d glasses and
special glow-in-the-dark paint. Evening rounded off by
being attacked by two madmen with chainsaws whilst on
the back of a slow-moving flat-bed truck. Whilst they had
protective covers on the chains, the smell of petrol and
sounds very close to you in the dark was somewhat disturbing.
Alan started doing -ac patches again. Picked
up a bunch of security fixes from there to roll
into the FC3 release kernel.
AMD64 workstation seems to have died during its
trip from England to the US. No beeps, no VGA, nothing
but spinning fans. Suck.
Found out our belongings are still sitting in a
warehouse in Leeds, and aren't due to set sail
until the 1st of next month, and we should expect
them around the 16th. Also got told we should've
sent in some customs forms, which I've no recollection
of seeing, so called the relocators New York office
to get some. Got someone there to email the forms
to me, and then set about trying to print them
out. Daves learned lesson for the day:
nmapping a printer isn't always a good idea.
Some of them don't like it, and start spewing
lots of paper.
Here's an interesting blog entry: Are you afraid to blog? by Robert Scoble (found via Jim Grisanzio of Sun). It's a must read for corporate bloggers, although it doesn't really cover the area of personal blogging, unless perhaps you are trying to market yourself.
I've embarked on a few public personal blogs in the past and abandoned them all after a short time. I guess I felt as if I'd shared too much of my own life that was ultimately of no real interest to anyone else anyway. So yes, I guess I am afraid to blog to some extent, on a personal level.
Aren't timezones brilliant? Go to bed with broken
module loader, wake up to a patch fixing the problem.
Started off a build, and took a shower. By the time
I was ready to leave the house, I had started off my
second build (RHEL4 and Fedora are seperate builds despite
being 99% the same kernel).
Victoria came into the office with me to give me
a hand with a load of forms that I needed to get back
to HR regarding medical/dental plans and such.
Ugh, ia64 module loading broke, due to a problem
in Dave Howells last module-signing patch.
Looks like tomorrow is another respin.
Got home at some silly hour again, and found
that Victoria had put together my desk & chair
in my home office. I'm so looking forward to being
able to work there instead of spending so many
late nights at the office. Now all I need is
for our belongings we're having shipped to turn up.
More work polishing the FC3 kernel.
Fixed up some missing symbols, and added the
Speedtouch USB ADSL driver. Fiddled with
some config options on PPC, and fixed up
a libata pci quirk.
The power of Beagle as an indexing system begs questions on how much we
really need structured data--e.g., Storage or WinFS. Certainly, a structured
representation of data allows for much richer metadata. In fact, it really
gets rid of the concept of metadata altogether, storing the "payload" of
your data alongside the "metadata" in one structured and typed schema. Which
is, you know, pretty rad.
Victoria found a corn-maze. So we went along
and spent a while getting lost. Quite good fun.
We also spent a while playing with her new
camera. The dImage z3 has an awesome zoom.
In the evening, I got really
bad toothache, which served as a reminder that
I really need to find a dentist soon.
I managed to extract useful output from sensors on my VIA EPIA M10 with an 800MHz C3. It turned out that fresh lm_sensors-2.8.8 shipping with Fedora apply a factor of 1000 to temperature measurements before reporting it by doing this:
getsysname(the_feature, rindex(n, '\0'), &mag, rindex(altn, '\0'));
fscanf(f, "%lf", value);
for (; mag > 0; mag --)
Awoken very early by people coming to test our
fire alarms. They have to be the most obnoxious sounding
alarms I've ever heard, and they did some pretty extensive
testing judging by the length of time they took.
A while later, we heard strange scratching noises.
Our best guess was that a bird or some other animal
had got into the chimney, and got stuck. Spent some
time trying to figure out how to get it out.
Gave up, and rang the landlady. No answer. Left
a message, and then went out shopping.