Warning: These are old.
Grabbed sandwiches from the shop for lunch. I took the papers home and read all about the huge areas of Britain apparently begging people not to trample foot and mouth all over them whilst Alan and Andi took the long detour back. As the hours passed on, I began to wonder where they'd got to and whether some irate farmer or council official had hauled them off. They eventually returned, having walked from the town down past the Mumbles to Bracelet Bay. I gather they got the bus back. What a surprise. Alan described the stunning views and lack of people and then admitted sheepishly that he'd forgotten to take the camera. They'd also gone shopping and been greeted by a male voice choir performing in the supermarket. It is St David's Day, the national day of Wales, and events like this are not totally unexpected as a result.
Chilli tonight. Alan has become enamoured of adding chocolate into it. I am not convinced. Then "Time Team" (Andi: "You say this programme is popular here?") and "I, Claudius" (Alan: "Oh god").
Slightly later: ow. I am going to stop making silly comments about the trains. It becomes less funny when there's a crash the next day.
Introduced Andi to Welshcakes from the market. He was polite enough to claim they were nice. He bought some doc marten boots, which are at least a novel souvenir from Wales. Then we all went out in the evening with Dick for curry and kernels. Well, I thought it was for curry, but it turned into kernels too. They went to the pub to continue this fascinating discourse, and I ran away.
Andi Kleen arrived to visit. His train arrived early. I am very confused by this.
He picked a bad time to come and see Britain. We are expecting snow and storms from Scotland to lay waste (or at least an inch of snow: gosh, how will we cope?) to the south of England and stop all the trains. In addition, we currently have foot and mouth disease in Britain and everyone is being asked not to go wandering around near farms ("near" meaning "within a few miles", apparently), which takes out about 90% of the countryside he might have wanted to visit. (We're a very crowded country.)
The snow is making headlines because it might hit England. This is not impressing Scotland very much, because it doesn't make headlines there. Stephen Tweedie has discovered the downside of telecommuting: whilst some people are snowed in and can't get to work (hello Deborah!), he gets to get up and walk into his computer room as usual.
My ximian monkeys keep rearranging themselves. I have been suspecting Alan. So I arranged them all neatly reading a book, and when he sneaked in to rearrange them behind my back his face was a sight to behold. I wish I'd had the camera. They are now stacked up trying to drink out of a beer can.
Apparently we had a demo in Swansea to protest about fuel prices. I completely failed to notice.
More "open this, click that, it should.." fun. Generally it did. I confess to some surprise. Played with nautilus. It wouldn't try to display /dev/mouse or /dev/random. Pooh! I had visions of lots of dancing numbers for the latter, and I'm sure clicking on the mouse should produce a squeak if you have a mouse plugged in. Perhaps I misunderstand the nature of intuitive interfaces...
In the course of talking to George Lebl about applets, discovered that you can now cut and paste the time off the main clock applet in the new beta. Realised I should document this. Called him lots of names. He laughed.
Plasterer came to patch up holes in the wall. They're big holes, so he has to come back. I am relieved though, because I think Alan was thinking of trying it himself, and this would have been messy.
Up very late. So was Alan. Surprise. I bet he got more done than I did. I was playing same-gnome in Japanese, after reading a pair of docs on how to make your Gnome program internationalisable (what a word!).
Found "I, Claudius" on whilst channel-surfing over tea. Alas, it was six episodes in, and Alan found the complications too much for him. He retired, muttering something about "EastEnders in bathtowels" and I remained to watch two episodes back-to-back: we seem to have covered from the death of Livia to the downfall of Sejanus now. I had forgotten quite how good it was, despite my rants earlier about it.
Greg Leblanc managed to create working specfiles for the first beta of Gnome 1.4 but by that time I had finally given up and grabbed the packaged versions off Ximian. Played with it, failed to break large parts of it, started ploughing through the Sun-provided lists for QA on bits of Gnome I happen to use ("Add clock. Remove clock. Add clock a different way. Remove clock. Add clock, alter prefs, remove clock. Now onto next clock..." What fun. Zzzz.)
Conversation on IRC:
<_Anarchy_> So next time I end up over there, what shall I bring to the US for you?
<Bryce> Cheese and onion crisps.
<Bryce> Well, they don't have them over here...
Oh dear. Poor Bryce.
Alan has got bored with getting up at sensible times. Someone rang up for him and I had to ask them to wait whilst I woke him up. I think I know what to do with the alarm clocks now..
Continued trying to build rpms of the Gnome beta. Yes, I know other people are already doing that. But since it seems likely that I shall break things, I thought having unstripped binaries would be a good idea. Also, Alan said I could use his build machine for it :)
At the end of a day, all I had to show for it was ten packages (out of a lot more than that), two of which had to be rebuilt anyway because I'd done them in the wrong order. At this rate I'll have built it all just in time to see 1.4.1 come out. Felt a bugzilla attack coming on. Broke bugzilla. Don't ask me how, but at one stage it started offering me components of aineral and gabgnomeui instead of general and libgnomeui. Then of course it started working as soon as I tried to do it again.
But now I know how to edit a specfile.
Andrew took a bunch of photos and I failed to. Andrew had to show me how to use the camera. It emerges he had been documenting the documentary crew and has many pictures of the poor people carrying their stuff up and down and around. Eventually he entrusted himself to the tender mercies of British Rail and departed.
When they'd gone, we repaired for rest and recuperation to the pub, and met them again.
Alan decided to cure his cold with lots of hot food and sallied forth in search of curry. I gather he tried to persuade Andrew to try all the hottest dishes, but Andrew is more sensible than that.
Had a long chat with some of the Gnome docs people in the evening. I have ended up with an action item of my very own. Oh dear. Now I have to do something about it.
Spent the day wandering round a brightly glistening Bracelet Bay in the morning (camera crew: "but it's not raining! Your diary says it's always raining!". me: "Um, yes. It is, usually. Sorry.."), rambling around Cefn Bryn on the Gower and discovering I need non-leaking boots. Went shopping, complete with camera crew and Andrew. Watched rugby in local pub, complete with camera crew, cast of hundreds, and one lone Scottish supporter wandering around in a silly tam o'shanter and ginger wig. Hannu admitted he got quite into the match. Alan cooked for the first time in ages, complete with (yes, you guessed...)
Got Bryce to install analog. Found less than a hundred hits on my accounts of talks at LCA. Oh well.
Alan felt the urge to try new take-outs and hit a new low in Swansea cooking. Dear me. He owes me now.
Justin's birthday. What a wonderful excuse for a meal out. With wine. Hic. Weirdly, this must be the first meal I've been out to at which people did not mess with palm pilots, irc over their phones, or use silly electronic gadgets. The torches on keyrings and light-sabre incidents do not count.
Contemplated giving Justin three alarm clocks. Refrained.
I think this is the day the "Rebel Code" book turned up, actually.
Read most of it before Alan got his hands on it and transported it
to the land of machine rooms. Now I have to get it back. It might
also be a good opportunity to retrieve all my CDs off him, too. Grr.
Started to watch a DVD over dinner and between kernel builds. Alas,
Alan vanished upstairs "just to kick the next stage off" and didn't
come back. Waah. Presumably we'll find out how the film ends tomorrow.
Apparently I have successfully booked a room via email. So I'm going to GUADEC. Woo. Messed about with Gnome's shiny new Bugzilla and failed to break it. Lots of mouse-clicking compared with debbugs (email-based) system. Ouch, my wrists. Played safe and stopped. I either need a new trackball or to take the trackball away from the laptop.
Stuck the RH beta onto a spare partition of the other machine. Recalled why I don't use it much. The keyboard stinks. Stopped playing with that, too.
Alan still complaining about his chair. Not doing anything about it, though.
Watched Alan doing one of his kernel builds and was taken aback to learn some of his tricks. The reason the binoculars are by his chair and he wants the door to the room with the rack open: "Well, I need to boot it before releasing it, and the monitor for that machine I just booted it on is over there (waving airily towards the other room) on the rack, and with the door open I can read the screen with the binoculars". Boggle. "That's why you spent ages rearranging the rack? Just to avoid having to walk to the monitor?" "Yes. What's wrong with that?"
I cannot think of a reply to that.
Spotted favourite restaurant we can't get into without booking looking empty but open. Spotted lunch menu. Delayed latest kernel by an hour because Alan ordered three courses. Sorry. Like, really.
Broke GNOME CVS. Yay. Don't ask me how. I don't know. Alan doesn't know. Martin Baulig (who had to edit the server to fix it) doesn't know. I just tried to add a file. Then the madness began. I am still demonstrating a reprehensible approach to the entire affair and giggling a lot.
Alan has broken his chair (one of those ergonomic kneel-on-them things) again. He keeps doing this, and keeps bodging it back together. I don't think it's going to survive this time.
I was going to write that it didn't seem to impair his functioning. But
I have recently learned of his successful bid on a set of five alarm
clocks on Ebay. I am not sure that this argues for unimpaired mental
functioning. Why do we need five alarm clocks?
A friend did the research I didn't and suggests the program Alan was
interviewed for might have been
one. I dunno. Alan has no idea either. What a brilliant pair we make.
Came back in time for the rugby and watched Ireland v Italy and then Wales got slaughtered. Wail. Got into an argument with Alan about whose fault this was. This argument happens every time. He does it to wind me up and I fall for it every time. What a meanie.
Alan was overcome with the shock of being awake early for two days
in a row and got to bed almost before me.
Alan had an interview on the evils of silly patents or something today. Please don't ask me to tape the radio programme: it's going out on the world service sometime next week, so everyone can listen to it. Well, assuming he doesn't end up on the cutting-room floor. I gather this is not unknown...
Tescos have utterly broken their website again forcing us to go shopping unexpectedly. The horror, the horror.
Wales-A v England-A. I dunno, people claim rugby is uncivilised, but where else do you get a penalty for being rude to the linesman? 19-19 for those who find the BBC strangely lacking in reports, and a lot of those points came in the last two minutes. I was scared.
1000 emails, a filled disk and a dead mailing list, thirty letters and a trip to the solicitor for house stuff later, I am surfacing and starting to write up an account of the trip. I was hoping to use the news reports of the conference to remind me what happened when, but blink: where are all the news reports? I know that it's a week after it and news scrolls fast, but on past experience, I suspect that there just weren't many: it wasn't in the US so wasn't worthy of cover. I see a European conference on free software is getting very little promotion compared with yet another LWE open source extravaganza, too.
Alan seems to have been badly confused by jetlag and is getting up at civilised hours. When I ask him why, he looks affronted.
I could swear I had loads of goodies in the freezer for our return, but a trip to the supermarket (or, with luck, their website) is sorely indicated.
Reading the Guardian and the BBC, it emerges that it wasn't my imagination about the heat: the BBC is reporting that the east coast of Australia is having a heatwave such that rails are buckling; someone on IRC from Adelaide said they're well past previous records and onto their 35th consecutive day of higher-than-ever-recorded temperatures; and the Guardian informed me both that funnelweb spiders have shown up in Queensland and that it was the worst week for years in terms of reported spider and snake bites.
However did we get out alive?
This is a placeholder entry more than anything. We are now back from Australia, where we have been for two weeks, for both LCA and touring around a bit afterwards.
More later. There is a lot to write up, but first, there are about a ton
of letters in the post to deal with. Argh.
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.)