Warning: These are old.
All the clothes in the airing cupboard (which holds far too much
since the wardrobe in the computer room is inaccessible due to
the stuff stacked in front of it) fell on my head. After recovering
from the avalanche, decided to Sort It Out properly. Alan most
indignant at suggestions that ten year old tshirts should be thrown
out despite the fact that we are somewhat over-amply supplied with
the things (particularly the sort with various Linux-related designs
or the sort you get from folk festivals. Can't think how that came
about..) Ignored him. We'll see how long it takes him to notice
Started downloading GNOME 1.2 finally on the "mirrors might be quieter now" principle. I knew it would take a while and Alan would sulk about the modem, so used gftp's handy bandwidth-limiting feature and knocked it down to 1.5kb/s (which is about half the total available for the modem and as much as is fair) so he could still reach the outside world. Started at 10am. It's now midnight and it's still going, and I just realised that my attempts at selecting only the necessaries and a few extras have left me with another two files to get. Bah. Seeing people complain about their "measly" 20kb/s rates on IRC did not improve my delight.
Finally got to see "Gladiator". What a con. Five pounds each to watch the worst film I have seen since "The Net". Since people told us we should have stayed in "The Net" (we left) because it got better, saw this one through to the bitter end. And very bitter about it I was, too.
If you want blood and treachery and intrigue and politics, find a rerun of
from the BBC in the 1970's. Okay, it's about thirteen hour-long
parts, but it seems a damn sight shorter than "Gladiator", somewhat more
accurate, and Derek Jacobi did a lot better in that than in "Gladiator".
There were only two cliches they couldn't fit into "Gladiator" and I'm sure
that one of them didn't make it in because throwing the arena sand into your
opponent's eyes is un-American. I'm sorry, un-Roman. I got confused there.
Intended to see Gladiator, which lots of friends have been recommending,
but Alan got sidetracked by some bug or other.
Lots of parcels arriving and departing today. All for Alan. He now has
a new toy. A tiny... thing. It ran WinCE originally, but I don't think
it does any more.
I should have known summer (or the sun, at least) would stop once I bought a fan. Alan found a sticker on it with a website address. I have resisted the temptation to investigate this doubtless fascinating source of information.
Another fascinating snippet of information from the web: the official name of Uruguay according to the CIA Factbook is in fact The Oriental Republic of Uruguay, or Republica Oriental del Uruguay. I am now dying of curiosity: why oriental? Was there an occidental half too, once? Does it refer to being east of (um, checks map) Argentina? Or what? Yes, a Telsa-mind is easily side-tracked.
Somewhat more useful discovery: rsync is absolutely fabulous and its authors much to be thanked, as it appears I managed to edit stuff locally and then use it successfully to transfer changes. Even the right way around.
It's rumoured that Linus is back. I am hoping this means I shall see Alan for more than a ten minute lunch break in the near future. Unfortunately, I caught him collecting the Linux 8086 code earlier today, with gleeful mutters. Oh dear.
Discovered that the House of Lords were doing the RIP Bill thing today in committee stage. (That link will doubtless go out of date soon, and is a colossal table, sorry.) Switched on the parliament channel and got a different committee. Boo hiss.
Time to brave rsync again (sorry, this is just so cool!)
It has been summer for a whole two days now, and I am fed up with it already. Bought a fan in town. Alan and I took turns carrying it back to the house. Opened the box, and discovered it was a construct-your-own job. Settled down happily to the mysteries of "remove the blade screw (No. 4) and Guard Screw (No. 6) from the motor shaft (No. 9) and motor shaft screw (No. 10)." Needed a third hand. Roped Alan in to help and squabbled with him over the semantics of "help" and "take over". It all works now, and Alan promptly discovered such fascinating facts as which speeds you can switch between and which speeds you can't switch between directly or it stops, along with the fastest way to get from one speed to another. I discovered that a husband standing in front of the fan spoils the effect.
Barbecue at Heather and Justin's, prompted by "we want to defrost the freezer, don't bring any food, we're trying to use ours up". Cool. Justin was very good and didn't shoot at anyone with the silly gun-like toy. Apparently he has now shot himself with the thing to find out whether it hurts or not and knows the answer (but he wouldn't say). Much fun discussion, ranging from local politics to debating world peace (we're for the idea...) to the best of Blake's 7 and Star Cops and the entertaining discovery that I went to college with friends' new landlady.
Attempting to decipher the mysteries of rsync for faster updating.
I wrote this on the home machine. Now then. How to get this the
right way round...
Friend departed home, wah. Sympathised with Heather about her partner's
new acquisition of some toy that's like an air-pistol but battery-powered.
(Sounds vile.) Her tactic to ensure that he never even accidentally
discharged it remotely near her was simple, apparently: "Let me shoot
you with it so you know how much it hurts, and then you can play with it."
He declined the experience. Odd, that. She thinks he got it because it had
more than one button to press, and was therefore interesting. I think she's
onto something here. It would certainly explain that "And now you
can play with automatic weapons, too!" excitement at the latest geeks
and guns silliness. I gather there's an extra button or something on
those things, which makes it doubly exciting. "Ooh, look what happens
when I press this one!"
Friend came to stay. Wandered around town, bought DVDs that Alan won't like (but we would), bought wine that he would like, remembered to buy food too. Saw a bike crash :( Not very nice.
We returned laden with cool goodies, ate, remembered the DVDs, and
instead talked for hours and hours. Diana's one of the people where
we can talk about absolutely anything, and thus yet again we stayed
up far too late. Almost Alan-late. Eep.
Alan's hours still very strange. The nice thing about that phone, though, is that it wakes him up. I see potential here.
Apparently this diary is faster for people (it's horribly slow to edit, though). I'll probably tail the other one off with a link to this one. Problems such as yesterday, when our link went down around the time I normally write this, will just have to be overcome by patience.
Lots of people are complaining about the colour, or rather, the lack
of a colour. Dear me. Simple solution: use Lynx. (That's the solution
to a lot of colour problems, I have noticed...)
Broke something to do with DocBook spectacularly. By doing nothing. It started working later, just in time for me to demonstrate that see, it was -- oh, well, it didn't do that before... to Alan. Having verified all the packages, checked for environment variables and goodness knows what, he said "must be the time of day". I didn't believe him. Then he told me about a program which failed to work between 10pm and 1am and between 10am and 1pm. Ugh.
Desperately trying to avoid football news. There's a European
football thing going on, and the news companies seem to think I
should care. Several friends have switched locals to pubs which
advertise themselves as "football-free", so it's not just me.
Friend came round. Saw the dust puppy on top of the monitor, asked
what it was, and I ended up giving her the User Friendly book to look
at. She is not a computer person. For the next two hours I watched
in entertainment as hoots of laughter erupted from her. I think I
see why free software is taking off. Nothing to do with usability.
It's all to do with the cutest cuddly toys. When you have cuddly
penguins, dust puppies, daemons and whatever the SuSE thing is,
how can you lose?
My poor modem. I am in the process of moving this diary, and a bunch of other stuff, to the machine Alan puts his stuff on. The link to it is horrible, but it will be faster for other people, I think.
(If you're reading it here, you found the faster version.)
What a way to spend a summer. Alan has discovered some web site where you can take millions of sample certification tests for free. He and a bunch of other people seem to be competing now, and having winced at the questions on casting in the C test and not even trying the perl test, he is hunting for more to beat a friend's total of over twenty passes so far. We are down to the dregs, now, as he has passed the COBOL one and the English usage one (to my cries of disbelief) and is reduced to "almost passing" American finance and contemplating the test on AOL use whilst he waits for kernels to build.
Aww. He's a sweetie at times. I don't know why, but Alan randomly re-arranges cuddly penguins so that when I enter the room I find them all lined up watching the television, or all keeping warm together, or something. I confess, it's not just Alan who does this. I have been known to as well. (And most friends give in to baser urges and pile them together in most X-rated ways.) But the other night, whilst looking for a book, I came across a womble toy propped up reading it and looking absolutely absorbed. I couldn't stop giggling.
I'm sure the response from many people would be "When are you two going to grow up?" but to be honest, it's much more fun not to.
Alan has discovered a new way to conduct phone calls. Take the phone out into the garden and gaze at the flowers. Our honeysuckle, lacking poles to climb up, has crawled all over the ground, and the strawberries are running rampant on the other side. The rest of the garden is, frankly, a mess, but the bright orange flowers are doing well.
Alan has a new way to irritate me. Present me with a cargo-cult docbook file (a term coined by Rusty which is just so wonderful that I have to spread it around more, and yes, I know about cargo-cult programming: I just love the idea of cargo-cult docbook in particular, because it's so true :)) with all the most disgusting forms of tag minimisation he can think of because he knows they drive me up the wall, and then vanish when I stare blankly at some term and wonder whether it's a function, a library, a constant or something else I can mark up, or a signal, a protocol, a typo or something else I can't mark up. (He has decided that putting "current" in and vanishing is especially good because "sometimes it's a variable name and sometimes it's not and it depends what you build it in". Gee, thanks, Alan.) I asked him, "Did you have to do that?" about some of his more convoluted tags. "Yes," he said. "Why?" "Because I knew it would wind you up". Hmm.
Discovered a solitary cuddly womble toy in the supermarket, and just had to press its paw to get it to sing. My attempts to persuade Alan that we needed another womble were fruitless, even when I made it sing twice, and then I looked around to discover we were the source of a crowd of entertained people. Um. Oops. To my disgust, the next time I went past, someone else had bought the thing instead. London thing still not up...
I have lost count of the number of releases Alan appears to have been making these days. But he did appear downstairs today. Woo! London thing still not up.
Wrote up an account of the London do we went to. Alan promised to put it where the modem wouldn't die (it's long, as usual) if people looked at it. Got my photos from the non-digital camera developed. That film has been in there a long time: I have pictures from Norway, from Paris, from Christmas, and from Mikko visiting which is probably just about six months ago to the day.
London, recovering from Linux do. Persuaded Alan to play tourist instead of heading straight back and went to see a matinee of "Woman in Black" which is absolutely fantastic. Alan admitted it was scary, which was a relief because I jumped so hard at one stage and grabbed for his hand that he now has a long scratch from my nails.
The usual British Rail antics meant we were on a coach for part of the way back and by the time we got back it was too late to get to the beach party.
Went to London for a Linux show thing.
I've been asked for a more obvious feedback route. So there you are! But please note: This should be clear from the above, but: I am not a kernel hacker. I am not an anything hacker. "Is this diary true?" will get answered. (It is.) "I have a problem compiling the brainsplat module under the pre-sliced option terminator; I am using the mutability framewedger on the standard infernalisation build" will not. (Well, it might be answered in a similar vein, but for a real answer, look elsewhere. It's much safer.)