Upgrading a sparc64 SMP box from 2.4.32 (solid but doesn't have
a number of features the newer libc needs) to 188.8.131.52 has taken
me since 18:00, Wednesday.
2.6 on UltraSparcs is...painful. The iptables recent module kernel oopses
immediately on load, some other iptables mods are simply not available
and still others have been buggy for years, the md subsystem
doesn't properly deal with the older meta info, the LVM subsystem
definitely fucks up the older lvm metainfo badly (in the
end I had to nix one vg hard, via dd across its pvs, and restore
it from backup), booting into a
ripped-apart mirror doesn't work anymore unless lots of extra kernel
params are given etc. etc.
fuck Fuck FUCK! damn all-the-world's-an-intel weenies.
[ published on Thu 26.04.2007 02:51 | filed in still-not-king
why are there days when nothing seems to work out? When you end up
in the arvo/evening with a big fat zero on the day's tally?
And why do I have oh so many of these days?
I'm so sick of this...
[ published on Sun 11.03.2007 17:28 | filed in still-not-king
I can't break eggs cleanly; always end up with
some mess outside the pan and/or some eggshell shards in the food.
That's annoying, and maybe one day some genetics wiz might find
a way to preprogram a break line into chicken eggs. Maybe.
(BTW, the German Sollbruchstelle sounds better and more precise)
Why do I bother with undead not-even-proto-chickens? The last
four weeks I've had loads of them, in a (successful) attempt
at a low-carb diet (Quite easy in a country like this were meat
is good and cheap).
This is to get my waistline back in shape and the weight down
by a few kilos.
After some startup time it has worked fine, I'm down about 6 kgs (now
at 83, 186cm and genetically not meant to look slim) and the
flotation ring around the hips is mostly gone. That's the same weight
I had a good 12 years ago, and I'm happy.
I've also changed my eating habits substantially, and that way the
weight level should be ok to hold.
My dad might be proud that his (then un-appreciated) admonitions work
Just Fine -- with a delay of almost 30 years: when we were small, he
tended to gruffly remind us to chew every bite 30+ times and to put the
fork down between bites. My sisters and I were never badly
wolfing down our food, but still he felt that he had to rebuke us gruffly.
Didn't work then, works fine now.
[ published on Sun 25.02.2007 20:39 | filed in still-not-king
Finally, I'm about to graduate with a (hard-earned) PhD;
but as expected I'm boycotting/avoiding the ceremony on the 3.2.
because neither do I want to wear a dumbo hat and a batman cape in public,
nor do I value speeches by our First Apes; such political
shenanigans are only good for frothing rage, brain rot and stomach ulcers
and are avoided by hardcore technologists like me for ood reasons.
But nevertheless I'm done! The Shiny Paper will be in
the (internal) mail soon post-ceremony and thus I've got another title
to add to my name.
But I'm hardly proud of that or the title. I am, however, semi-proud of the
achievement: I had a totally original idea of my own, I built it into something
that works (idea+code) and I showed that and how it works. I'm also
somewhat proud of the fact that I managed to
convince Manfred Hauswirth, Stefan Conrad and Warren Toomey that what I did
was worth a doctorate (as they were my examiners).
But enough drunken rambling. Time to go back to layer zero and fix the pergola
on the house and install the whirlybird ventilator and do
the committee-mandated painting in ugly colours and...you know, all this other
[ published on Wed 24.01.2007 21:58 | filed in still-not-king
This was a really shitty year, started crappy and ends the same. And guess
what? the next one looks just as bleak as this one, and the one before and
Seven more, then she's 18 and I've fulfilled my parental obligations and
can check out without feeling guilty. I hope that she gets rid of her
buoyancy aid around the belly before that, and that she can enjoy her life
more than I do mine.
[ published on Sun 31.12.2006 11:34 | filed in still-not-king
This weekend illustrates this, um, nicely.
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Mon 06.11.2006 09:35 | filed in still-not-king
The weather was...suboptimal this weekend, so I mostly lazed it
away. I fixed the over-sensitive smoke detector (recipe before: start toaster,
get jolted by the klaxon, run into hallway, unplug the detector's battery...).
Soldering a switch in to disconnect the horn was easy, and better than
disconnecting the battery (because on replug the beast emits a number
of loud screeches so that you know you're not deaf just yet).
Also started working on my latest home improvement project (ha!), which is
replacing the sliding cupboard doors in the bedroom and office. The frame
has been doctored (because it had a bulkhead in the way), and I've started some
woodworking to make Shoji-style door frames; got a new backsaw and a
vise, made me a bench hook etc.
But I'm not any good at woodworkingy yet, unfortunately: my level of perfection
is mostly on the screw-butt or (at best) half-lap joint level. Yesterday
I tried a bridle joint, but it got fucked up pretty badly: too imprecise,
mortise too wide, tenon too thin and the cuts/chiselled bits have lousy edges.
The reasons are that I have little experience, no table saw,
no router (yet...), and that I'm a bit impatient with the tenon saw.
Net result: get more (cheap) timber,
and ponder the cheap ($80 or so) plunge router kits out there.
But, all in all making sawdust can be quite a bit of fun :-)
[ published on Mon 23.10.2006 10:31 | filed in still-not-king
While life in general is very much on the crap side right now, at least
in some things I do prevail against the odds.
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Sun 08.10.2006 23:45 | filed in still-not-king
Some photos taken while Conny and Barbara were visiting me
(End of July - End of August).
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Sat 16.09.2006 23:06 | filed in still-not-king
I've submitted my PhD thesis today. I'm reasonably confident that
the examiners won't absolutely destroy it, so normal life (FSVO normal)
can now continue.
But why am I not super-elated? Because while my problems have gone
down in number with this event, my exwife (and thus our kid) are wading through
serious shit at this moment :-(
Their vacation here was pretty good, busy but we've had a lot of fun
(and I'll post some pictures in a few days), but now their life in the
US is blowing up into their faces big time. First they bought a house
in Philadelphia, which was expected to be a renovation job, but it turned out
that the renovation required was way beyond their expectations. Of course they
ran out of money badly with this discovery. Then they
had to move out of their old apartment, but not being able to use the house
yet as it's a construction desaster zone right now. So they moved to a place outside town which belongs to relatives of the ex's partner. And latest news as
of this morning was that that partner is losing it badly, and has chucked them
out onto the street in the middle of the night 8-(
Now I can't do anything to help them from here. But worry I can and do...
(There must be some reasonable people out there, but the ex
apparently always picks the wrong guys...like me, a long time ago).
Sigh. thumbs crossed for B. and C.
[ published on Thu 31.08.2006 15:33 | filed in still-not-king
...merely really busy, so here's a short heads-up.
I just gave the second draft of my PhD thesis to my supervisor,
final submission is on the 31st; the (ex-)family is currently visiting me
and we'll drive to Fraser Island or Sydney tomorrow (not clear yet which
first), and things are generally jam-packed. Not a bad situation, mind you,
just a bit...much so I don't think I'll be writing anything for this
website before the end of the month.
[ published on Tue 15.08.2006 10:53 | filed in still-not-king
Nothing ever changes, it seems.
I miss my dummy.
[ published on Thu 06.07.2006 14:10 | filed in still-not-king
Yesterday was my birthday. It rained.
Quite a few people sent their wishes, and I'm happy about that.
My kid didn't and I'm not happy about that.
[ published on Sat 24.06.2006 14:43 | filed in still-not-king
Looks like the gods in charge of the weather also don't believe in queens,
or rather believe in first soaking and then blow-drying.
Saturday it rained/drizzled/rained/blew, and Sunday it simply howled.
Nevertheless we had a nice weekend - just a camping weekend without flying.
[ published on Tue 13.06.2006 17:31 | filed in still-not-king
I believe neither in god nor any sodding queen, but whatever it takes to
get a public holiday! (coming Monday)
I and a group of Like-Minded Loonies are going out
to killarney tomorrow afternoon, for a nice cold, maybe flyable
long weekend. Unfortunately the forecast is dreary enough that the invocation above seems
justified...unless god also doesn't believe in queens.
[ published on Fri 09.06.2006 00:00 | filed in still-not-king
...I wouldn't write anything for the blog anymore, but it seems
I can't help sending out those superfluous, uninteresting, nondescript
Off to Killarney in a few minutes, for a weekend of camping, flying
and Glühwein. More when I'm back.
[ published on Fri 19.05.2006 11:57 | filed in still-not-king
Tomorrow I'll fly to Austria, for just under two weeks. Updates
will be even more sparse than usual. Half of me is looking forward to
the visit (but certainly not the trip), half of me wants to be
back and done with it already. Sigh.
[ published on Sun 16.04.2006 23:46 | filed in still-not-king
The last few weeks were character forming in Calvin's sense.
I have a new desktop at work: our boxes are leased, and every two years I have
to move everything to a new box with new problems - as it's always the cheapest
Dell crap you can buy. The assorted annoyances one has to put up with
until the thing works reliably make me really hate the new hardware...
this time it only needed one home-soldered Y power splitter, one ethernet card
without slot bracket, a full move to the X.org X11 suite, a new kernel with
loads of "new improved" shite enabled, and about two very long evenings to
get things working (and I even convinced the crap i965 "graphics" chip on board
to display at 1504x1128 on my 20" Sun CRT...).
My serverhousing box is still dead, the spare Ultra1 here has dumped
its PSU, and I'm very much looking forward to the hardware twiddling in
three weeks in Vienna. This is unfortunately not my serverhousing box:
This is my^Wthe Unix Guerilla's new backup-and-assorted-stuff-of-our-choice
server. (That's my group of weirdos at work.) I've called
the box "pachyderm", as it's got a nice thick-skinned case (and it replaces
"elephant"). rho has already threatened me over the name, but I prefer it over
his usual theme of female music artists. Getting debian installed and
working on that fellow took some work, though: the sarge netinstall cd
doesn't have a proper fdisk, only bloody partman, and
that has a bug that makes it impossible to produce raid or lvm partitions - which I wanted, TYVM, given the 6x18gb discs.
Also, partman is a menu-in-a-menu-after-other-menus-in-various-menus-and-menus-after-menus-followed-by-menus-piece-of-menu-SHITE, which sucks especially
when you're working on a 9k6 serial console. I wgot an fdisk binary onto
the ramdisk and got cracking (and totally circumvented partman and 50% of
the installation procedure, but hey, it worked).
The last two weekends were so-so, the earlier one had a cyclone keep us from
flying and this weekend I felt shitty and not in any mood for aerial fun.
Rob told me that I didn't miss much, though.
In other news, some dimwit politicians are currently pondering
a plan to require ISPs to provide only a violence-and-obscenity filtered
Internet. Fortunately, there's voices of reason.
In still other news, I had a very bad day a few days ago, blew my cool
in a mail to the flying club people I do infrastructure for, and also bought
a few cool/nasty/elitist/geeky tshirts, among others the first one over there.
[ published on Mon 03.04.2006 23:55 | filed in still-not-king
Just finished watching Kieslowski's A Short Film About Killing. Dark. Superb. Bleak. Precise. Heavy.
Polish winters must have a hell of a suicide rate.
[ published on Sat 25.03.2006 00:24 | filed in still-not-king
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: rain and storms. The fence behind my house
blew over. Monday morning: clear sunny weather.
[ published on Mon 06.03.2006 09:40 | filed in still-not-king
My last few weeks have been pretty much all like this.
click here for the rest of the story...
[ published on Wed 01.03.2006 13:34 | filed in still-not-king
So what's happened in the last few weeks? Not exactly a lot, I think.
The Killarney comp was quite good overall, except that the two days
that I had to spend working were the best two...Thursday and Friday
we spent at the village pool and one of the local water holes,
and on Saturday we got one last task in which was cut short by a
thunderstorm on track. I did just a short hop of 7km or so, as I didn't
really feel "with it" on that day. The reception night was pretty good fun,
and the cleanup the day after wasn't too bad.
So the net result of that week? Poorer by $375, richer by a pair
of Crispi Airborne boots (as my old ones had desintegrated irreparably) and
richer by a few flights. I now also have a problem, but one that I can
easily blame Rhett Rockman for: he and the rest of the MacPara crew did their
usual thing and gave away a Local Derby/Young Gun award. And I got it this
(but not exactly for my shiny performance during this comp): a $1000
off a new MacPara wing, good for the next 6 months.
Thanks! and Dammit! at the same time; my current wing is not due for
replacement yet, but the new Eden III is really tempting: Tim gave
me one for a bit of test flying which I did on the way back from Killarney;
I liked it a lot...
Apart from that? the weather has been pretty lousy, I got just an hour
of airtime last weekend (now at 129hrs) and the forecast for this weekend
isn't promising either. The news all over the world are
depressing and indicative of this world not exactly improving. I managed to
forget ringing my mother on her birthday (but not my father, for no good
reason; their birthdays are just 7 days apart), and nothing has changed
regarding my lack of social life.
Apropos social life, flying friends of mine have invited me to a birthday
party in Brisbane next weekend; unfortunately it requires dressing
up and worse, dressing
up following a theme: Dressed To Kill/007. Choices are a) literal
interpretation: dress to Kill 007, so I find the crummiest-looking Bond
villain and dress down, be grungy and feel out of place, or b) I buy clothes.
Both options suck.
I hate buying clothes. I hate dressing up. Dammit.
Apart from that I've got a new wireless access point, which even works
mostly (a story on its suckitude is forthcoming, however), and if I'm lucky
then tomorrow will see the serverhousing box resurrected; the PSU of
the Ultra2 blew, so &rw will plop the disk into a spare Ultra1 until
I can scrounge up a PSU...the cheapest source (US$36) becomes painful after
factoring in shipping so I'm looking for better options, maybe even a full
U2 chassis...I've until the end of April, so no need to hurry just yet.
[ published on Fri 24.02.2006 22:14 | filed in still-not-king
the weather these last few weeks sucked and continues to
under-impress: rain, some storms, overcast on the weekends
and drizzling. i'm feeling less than chirpy.
this morning my serverhousing box vanished off the net. as the
setup with serial consoles will become active in a few days, i can't even
find out what happened; let's see how long it takes the isp to power-toggle
i should do loads of extra work but mostly am too tired after coming
home in the evenings with the usual sore throat (4 hours lecturing in
freezing labs and lecture rooms). must go buy some clothes but don't want
to...must do this and that but don't want to. february is halfway gone and
i'm still mentally stuck somewhere in 2005.
i hate all this shit.
[ published on Thu 16.02.2006 13:45 | filed in still-not-king
Watched Krzysztof Kieslowski's Trois Couleurs trilogy recently; what great movies they are!
My favourite is Bleu in part
because of its music score that I just absolutely adore. Time to find
a shop selling the soundtrack cd...
Red I found not as interesting, while White is nasty and fun.
[ published on Thu 09.02.2006 13:58 | filed in still-not-king
Today I helped Richard resurrect his dead computer: the connection to
the memory modules must have gone bad (occasionally beepbeepbeep on boot,
random crashes during the startup sequence). I had scrounged up some spares
(old motherboard, some graphics cards, a known-good power supply) and
on return home had to put the power supply back to its normal purpose which is
to drive my wireless access point (in a somewhat messy setup).
Now I have a wireless non-access point. Because I plugged the fucker in
with the polarity reversed, the silly thing is misdesigned to draw 2A at 5V,
the leads can sustain that and there is no over-current or polarity protection.
Beyond the components going frzzzpop, that is.
And now I have this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side...
[ published on Mon 06.02.2006 19:51 | filed in still-not-king
Spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Killarney flying in the comp: the days
wer blown-out, too strong for my liking, and good, respectively.
Monday I managed to get a late thermal on a refly five minutes before the
launch window closed at 1500 and did 32km (of a task of 75km). Had a big
scare some 15 klicks out, with thermal bullets of 6+m/s up throwing me around,
then a big full frontal collapse with a stomach-lifting plunge, reinflated
fine but violently, and on I went getting chucked around a bit more
in 4-5m/s up...I didn't enjoy that at all.
Then either the air got very squirrely overall or I lost my nerves totally,
(still don't know which) and things felt going rough and rougher to me. After
a screeching eagle close by, another few big whackers and wobbling around
in rough crap for another 40 minutes I decided that it's enough and
landed. Pretty scared I was...
Tuesday and today I worked. Bah. Planned to drive out to the comp for the
remaining three days tonight but I'm too beat: will leave at 0530 tomorrow.
Let's see if I enjoy the remaining days better (I very much hope so) and I'll
try to give some update on life, the universe and everything when I come back
[ published on Wed 01.02.2006 21:43 | filed in still-not-king
Quote from the windows helldesk droids today at work, in response to my
complaint about the "preferred browser" registry entry being locked:
"Firefox should not have been installed onto
your citrix session. Unfortunately for various reasons we do not
support any other browser other than IE within the citrix environment."
Well, thanks for nothing fellows. Massive brain atrophy is clearly involved
the guy at the supermarket yesterday, who needed about 2-3 seconds per item to scan and bag; I was wondering whether his brain had actually
died from lack of oxygen between his very...slow...and.....slower.....breaths.
In other painful news, my luck currently sucks somewhat: somebody
cheated me on ebay (for the first time ever), took my $50 and vanished; one
of my xmas presents seems to have been lost by the Austrian or the
Australian postal services and another xmas present seems to have been lost by the American or the Australian post.
[ published on Tue 24.01.2006 11:35 | filed in still-not-king
The first week of the teaching semester is over, without major gotchas.
2x2 hours of lecturing on Tuesday left me somewhat stunned (and with a
throat getting sore) as usual. The weather sucks, rain and/or storms
almost every day in the last week or so. My recent switch to wired
ethernet at home still produces some TV/FM antenna trouble (unshielded TP),
my hiking boots are about to give in (the foam/rubber sole is desintegrating)
just before the Killarney comp, my car is about to die as well and I should
do a lot of things I've got absolutely no impetus for.
On the positive side I've managed to shed almost three kilos which gets
me back closer to the preferred weight level that I left sometime around
the trip to .at last September.
[ published on Sat 21.01.2006 13:09 | filed in still-not-king
Just got the word yesterday that my paper
for the ARES 2006 conference in Vienna
in late April was accepted, and it looks like the bosses will properly pay
my registration and airfare. Great!
Less wonderful news is that tomorrow the teaching semester starts again, with
me having both my main lectures tomorrow. Ah well. At least I had a good
weekend with a fair bit of flying, a short XC flight on Sunday (short due to
my own stupid tactical mistake) and a tally of 122.7 hours of airtime.
I managed to reach the 120 hours on the very last day of 2005, and roughly
kept up my average of 1 hour a week since then.
[ published on Mon 16.01.2006 20:24 | filed in still-not-king
@pantheon, this whole "my life"-thing sucks at the moment.
At work the cluons are leaching away even faster than usual, the
"Management by Magazine" (aka "if it's written in CIO, it must be good/true")
gets worse and worse and the climate sucks. One of the head dimbulbs saw
need to remind everybody in one of those all-staff spams that one of the
last new rule-inventions was to be Followed By Rote...never mind that it
makes no sense, is counterproductive and as stupid as the idiots behind it.
Writing up the PhD thesis sucks and consequently I'm having a hard time
motivating myself. Got a paper in for a conference in Vienna in early 2006,
mebbe for once I've produced bullshit shiny enough for academentia. But
I doubt it: too honest and inept at waffling.
The Jolly Season is upon us yet again, and I hate it. Also, the weather
currently sucks, it's very stormy with thunder and downpours every 2-3 days
and lots of humid heat inbetween.
Drank too much yesterday, didn't go to bed until 0300
because White Squall ran
as late night film and I liked it; didn't get up until late, weather
looked stormy (but it hasn't rained yet) and I didn't drive up into the
hills for flying. Felt sufficiently anti-social to not attend the
chgc's christmas party (didn't even pick up the phone for the
same reasons). Ah, Fuck It, I would only have hung around
But there is nothing new about that, so I guess I should shut up now....
[ published on Sat 17.12.2005 16:56 | filed in still-not-king