Older blog entries for slef (starting at number 86)


  1. GNUsteppers are very cool people.
  2. FOSDEM is chaotic. Very chaotic. Talks often appear not on the programme. Audience size varies from about a dozen to uncounted hundreds.
  3. Freeedem is more chaotic. Some of the talks are very interesting, but it is difficult to predict what you will see. 15mins between the two makes it harder to take chances.
  4. If there is no chairman, pretend to be one. Then you get interesting talks to watch instead of people standing around by the stage.
  5. GNUsteppers are cool people, but might not be slow drivers or good navigators.
  6. FFII swpat talks always contain new information and are worth tracking down. The gravestones make their stand easy to spot.
  7. FOSDEM barmen will not sell you closed bottles of beer for the train, even if asked.
  8. OGo seems interesting.
  9. The GNUstep Live CD is popular.
  10. I do not enjoy meeting people from Britain who I have already met, unless they have something to discuss beyond "how many beers I have drunk".
  11. Too many people know me now. Borrowed name tags do not work any more. I cannot impersonate a defence programmer. What's more, a lot of them tell me my name: "You're MJ Ray". I already know that.
  12. I must fully script talks.
  13. Referring to "all churches" when talking to a serious catholic on the train home starts an argument. "There is only one church." Hmmm.
  14. Did I mention how cool GNUsteppers are?


koha 2.0 RM

I just sent my nomination/platform to be koha's release manager for the 2.0 series, taking over from the development manager. Most of it was fairly uncontroversial normal practice (major fixes trigger a release, minors get batched into a periodic release, that sort of thing), but I plan to fix the lingering z3950daemon bugs by offering an alternative Z39.50 search, if one is developed in time. Z39.50 is a killer feature for libraries and I will allow in new code during a stable series if it fixes those bugs. I'd link to my full platform, but it's a sourceforge list and it still won't give me a page after 20mins trying. ETOOBIG.

More info...



  • The UK government is still trying to allow Genetically Mangled (GM) crops to be grown here, the news said today. MORI opinion poll says that over a third of those questioned are strongly opposed to GM crops and just over a tenth strongly support them. Our representatives aren't representative, yet again.
  • Someone asked me about running ASP on Apache. I know it's still not a good idea, but since the last time I looked, there's Mono ASP.NET. If you know how well this works, email me please (replace DOT with a .) and let me know (review URLs welcome). Does it run ASP as well as ASPX?
  • It seems I'm down to speak at Freeedem about what happened at FLOSSIE. I'd best make sure I pack my notes and brain. I offered, but now is the first confirmation. This weekend looks busy and fun best make sure all spare batteries are fully charged tomorrow.


Still No SCSI

The SCSI still doesn't work, but now I have an error message to work with: SCSI error <1 0 0 0> return code 0x70000 \n end_request: I/O error, dev sda sector 960 \n Buffer I/O error on device sda1, logical block 865 \n lost page write due to I/O error on sda1. Then it repeats, very slowly, with sector and block increasing by one each time. If you've fixed this before, drop me an email. I'll look elsewhere.


More fun with wireless

Tried to do a bit more to tie down the wireless networking here, rather than it being totally open (and powered down when not in use). Found an about.com guide, but I'd already done all of that and more, apart from the encryption.

Not used the encryption because the card driver seems screwed. iwconfig key just generates error messages about not being supported. I think I'm going to have to look into this and fix the driver, do something else or get a new card. I really don't like this card. It was overpriced IMO and the drivers are crap, but I let myself be talked into it because it's a 11g of the same make as the base station.

Now to try fixing the SCSI. I hope I have more luck there.


Mostly writing

  • Read Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books which gets a lot right, as Joey Hess wrote;
  • Have WiFi working well enough, but still not properly set up. Yay Pareto effect;
  • I think MaBloss will support Atom Syndication Format as well as RSS 0.91 very soon - I have no reason to implement the API yet;
  • As a consequence, the MaBloS format (internal to MaBloss at the moment) will change to be more future-proof.
  • Wrote to one of my proteges (what is the inverse of mentor?) about their talk, but I think I used too many words on how they confused cathedral/bazaar difference with proprietary/free (growl at ESR's CatB again) and copyleft/non-copyleft with free software/open source (growl at BSDers?). It's a very good talk on the whole, though.



  1. I've realised that mabloss makes some very desirable things possible with very little work. Some refactoring required, but I'll do that.
  2. Didn't install the SCSI hardware or the WiFi. Tomorrow. I want to watch sport while hacking.
  3. Got lots of quotes for booklet printing for the FOSDEM stand. I think we've missed the cheapest (but slowest) option, but I'll try calling them tomorrow.
  4. More fun writing opportunities, but I have no time. I must reply to some correspondants tomorrow. If you're awaiting email from me and you read this: sorry.
  5. One of the mailservers has detected two probable MyDoom infections at client sites. I'll passed the message on. Let's see if they fix them. Anyone know the clean-up rate?


There are more bugs than fixes...

More basic fixes for gnustep.org. This time I hunted dead links in the top and first levels. I used wget --spider, but some sites ban wget. I replaced their links with alternative sites for the same material. Users lose nothing, except an error if download a link with wget, so I think that's right.

I played with downloading some gnustep RSS feeds and discovered that MaBloss can't read RSS 0.91 files. Probably it doesn't like any 0.9x much. I wonder if it's worth fixing.

MaBloss 1.0.2

I just uploaded the third release of my blogging software, MaBloss, to my web site. There are lots of things that I want to do with it and lots of ways that the code could be refactored, but it basically works now. I'd be really happy if people downloaded, tested, broke and fixed it. Follow the link below. Please be gentle with your bug reports. ;-)

More info...

9 Feb 2004 (updated 9 Feb 2004 at 21:34 UTC) »

Atkins loss not ketosis

Hacker wrote:

The Atkins Diet, and others like it, trigger short-term weight loss through a process called ketosis. [...] your body has to use a completely different metabolic pathway to turn that fat and protein into glucose.
...which directly contradicts an edition of BBC's Horizon that said negligible ketosis occurs and the other nutrient release processes are not that much less efficient. They suggested elevated protein intake supresses appetite, but more research is required. There are links to the people researching it near the foot of that Horizon page.

As someone else who watches their diet (but not as much as some), I generally agree with hacker that Atkins is an unhealthy fad. Eat fresher and drink more are my main tips. In GB, the British Heart Foundation can give you good info about losing weight and I think most doctors can refer you to a dietician, if asked. (Emphasis added to remind readers I only disagree with two narrow points.)

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