Older blog entries for dhd (starting at number 44)

Bah. Friday afternoon, and I am (almost) alone in the office. Life sucks.

I am back from YAPC 19100, and I have the T-shirt to prove it!

A detailed writeup may or may not follow, depending on whether I get around to it.

Our hotel has free beer (SNPA, and various forgettable swill) every night from 6 to 8. I'm easy to please.

Went to dinner with yosh and lilo last night, which was fun. It's always good to put names to faces (or nicks to faces, as the case may be). Conversation centered around Mozilla, Linuxcare, and Perl 67. (I hope mjd does not kill me for giving too much of the answer to that page away :-)

I may actually submit something to CPAN. CPAN is interesting. I could say something profound but I'm all worn out from last night.

BenC went and put together some potato CDs for Alpha in my absence. Thanks Ben! I have to fix the bootability aspects of them though. After all that aboot work I did it would be a real shame if I couldn't get my act together to make properly bootable CDs for Debian :-)

YAPC 19100 is coming, and I am going! I am so excited! YAPC! YAPC! YAPC!

Until then though, I am in California again. Big thrill. All of my old friends in Ottawa are in awe of the fact that I'm here, which kind of makes me feel guilty that I am not exactly thrilled to be spending half my life here lately. There is a reason why I live in Ottawa, and it's not so that I can work in California for less money.

The guy across the street introduced himself by shouting across the street to me that I should "cut my grass". Which would make more sense if there were actually any grass in my front yard, which there is not (there are pumpkins, sunflowers, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, basil, coriander, and assorted weeds, but no grass). I wonder if I should put up a big sign in the garden saying "if you don't like it, go the fuck back to Kanata". Again, there is a reason I live in Ottawa.

Boing.

Let's see, what have I been doing? I went to California for 9 days. Then I came back, did 1km in a wheelchair relay, spent $1000 at IKEA, graduated from University, cleaned parts of my house that were recently vacated by the departing roommates, made fastidious efforts to dissipate the scent of ferrets, assembled furniture, sat in meetings at work which I learned of minutes before they were scheduled due to a mailing list screwup, built kernel packages, hacked evil Perl, took some amusing, free online exams. Oh, and I did some work.

The C exam had lots of questions about multidimensional arrays, and the Unix exam had lots of questions about SysV IPC. Somehow that strikes me as fundamentally wrong, although I guess there is some value in understanding these things so that you know why you should never, ever use them. But nonetheless, I did pretty well on both, and even better on the Perl exam (which I could do a long hatchet job on here, but I don't feel like wasting the electrons).

Graduation was fun. The one thing that struck me above all was how it all looked like a medieval court. The chancellor and rector (Queen and King) were seated in what were essentially thrones, wearing robes, with the faculty (nobles and clergy) arranged behind them, in a variety of costumes and hats. Also due to the fact that Arts and Religious Studies were sharing this particular ceremony, there were a fair number of Church guys in even funnier hats.

Yes, I have an Arts degree (summa cum laude, baby).

Yay yay hooray. It seems that the nasty compiler bug (the one that broke Mutt 1.0.1 compiles) is either fixed or worked around in 2.96.

Slowly trying to get potato CDs for Alpha into shape. I will probably end up just copying the Sparc stuff and bending it to fit.

Personal crap ... please tune out now.

I think I definitely found the right occupation for being single. It has all of these advantages, and more:

  • A shortage of compatible and available members of the opposite sex. (No idea whether this applies to the same sex as well...)
  • A sedentary lifestyle that tends to make you physically unattractive.
  • A set of interests, ambitions, and viewpoints that is a guaranteed conversation-killer at any mixed gathering.
  • A relative scarcity of friends and cow-orkers who flaunt their romantic attachments in your face.
  • Work that tends to become obsessive to the point where there wouldn't be any point in hooking up with someone anyway.

At the 3-year mark, you start to think that perhaps something is wrong with you, or perhaps something is wrong with the world. I can safely say that I am bitter.

On the other hand most people I know who are seeing someone have relationships that I don't envy one bit. There's no fucking way I would share my life with someone who has given up all hope of understanding the things I do and think about for the majority of my waking hours, the stuff that constitutes the greater part of who I am. And yet, this seems to be the rule rather the exception for most hackers I meet.

I am stuck somewhere between fear, self-loathing, apathy and anger, wondering what do I do now?. I have a life, thank you, but maybe I need a new one.

All companies should hire Debian people as build-system and tools specialists. Well, except for the people who upload packages that don't compile from source. Oh, and also the ones who can't write Makefiles.

I spent like $400 at the friendly local hardware store today. Against the urging of some experts on the subject I built an immersion wort chiller (because it was cheap and easy). I also bought a big honking (45 litre) stock pot, an outdoor cooker, and a propane tank to go with it. Now all that remains is the mash/lauter setup. I think I am going to go with a 10 gallon water cooler and false bottom. Anyone who objects can speak now or forever hold your peace.

Well, half of my coriander plants died from the transplant, which is not really surprising since they were really tangled and basically did not have any roots left by the time they were in the ground.

I am reminded of the famous piece of Perl poetry, 'sort of sin each spring and wait; 50% die', for some reason.

I made patches for the stuff I was breaking yesterday. The alphas are happier now. I also discovered the magic of VT-100 emulators for the Palm Pilot, which means I don't have to lug my laptop and serial cable around to all the machines anymore.

Currently I'm trying to culture yeast from bottles of Blanche de Chambly. I haven't had much success culturing from the sediment in Unibroue beers before so I'm not terribly optimistic. I wonder if buying them across the river might be a better idea...

I finally got glibc 2.2 installed in a chroot area on one of the Alphas (after much weeping, gnashing of teeth, and starting of sash). It seems to work nicely, except that someone messed up the format of ld.so.cache... they neglected to align the 'new-style' cache that gets tacked onto the end of the 'old-style' one to sizeof(unsigned long) but it contains fields of type unsigned long. Since the old one is made up mostly of 12-byte structs, there's a 50% chance that the new one will be unaligned, and therefore everything I run with the new ld.so gets at least one unaligned trap. Pointed this out to libc-alpha (no patch, but it's probably trivial to fix ... thankfully it's not in a released version).

In other unaligned trap news, Emacs likes to declare ospeed as short instead of speed_t because the feature test relies on some obsolete ncurses constant from gods-know-when, and OSF/1 brokenly uses short for ospeed, so that's the default. ncurses then proceeds to write 32-bit values to it since speed_t is unsigned int on Linux/Alpha. This one probably causes other damage. Incidentally it is actually RMS' fault if you look at the Changelog. I feel so honoured. Still trying to figure out where to send a report and/or a patch.

I hope my wall of sunflowers starts growing soon. The tomatoes, peppers, and coriander seem to have survived my rather brutal transplantation efforts so far. The next phase is pumpkin vines covering the rest of the yard ... once I find somewhere that sells the seeds.

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