The more accurate diary. Old stuff

Warning: These are old.

June 2003

July 1st

Discovered how Alan had the time to spend this week at a local summer course (yes, more Welsh..). He took a week of holiday. If he is on holiday, then I can not understand what he's doing all evening on the computer.

Hendrefoelan House is lovely. Well, when it's sunny. At lunchtime everyone piled outside to sit in the sun and read notes. Sort of scene you expect to see in a glossy prospectus, not in real life.

June 30th

Raining heavily in the night, so set off in the morning with hat and jumper. By midday, a cloudless blue sky and we had all the windows open. Just as we set off back, it started to rain again.

Welsh translation of the developer-libs for Gnome is back up to 100% again. Whee. Still frantically feeding stuff back onto branches.

Alan has started to build one of those articles from IKEA and has left the bits all over the floor. It is going to go into his room. He has left the bits all over the living room.

June 29th

Trying to catch up with chores before a fairly busy week starts. Memo to self for the future: remember to commit to the branch the first time round. It would only have taken five minutes for each module. Now I am trying to do this for an awful lot of modules, and it is taking a lot longer than five minutes.

I was beginning to get the hang of vim for a while though. Until I cheerfully typed in more joe commands. Then cvs went demented and decided it wanted to commit the ChangeLogs and to the branch and the file in question to HEAD. No-one on IRC can explain to me why this should be. Managed to prevent it, but all the messing about made me long for a nice drink.

The phantom bin-bag emptier came to visit again this morning. Grr.

June 28th

Alan up very late. But he made up for it by cooking tea and being helpful when I was messing around with things I didn't understand and should probably not have tried to do. :)

June 27th

Must learn how to print labels. I have been sorting books and have loads of candidates for releasing into the wild. (Warning, that page is 50kb plus graphics.)

Trouble is, as soon as I do this, I just know that they will crop up on Booksleuth and I shall not be able to add to my proud total of one and a half books identified. Not that Booksleuth have printed either of them, but ah well.

June 26th

Alan up at incredible hours to get an early train to Birmingham for the Linux Expo there.

I couldn't go because someone had to stay in to sign for a parcel (which was of course for Alan). Acquired one parcel. Hours later, re-acquired one Alan. Apparently I missed lots of cool people at Expo.

June 25th

Lots of IKEA bits arrived. Oh dear. Here we go again.

Someone said they liked my write-ups. Well, they didn't say they liked them, but they did say thanks for doing it, which I shall take as a win.

Sorted Alan's travel out for the week. Alan threw a spanner into the works when it comes to travel for the next year. We shall see what happens.

June 24th

LUG in evening. Oh dear, we must organise this local Linux Awareness Day some more.

June 23rd

Eeep. I have found something rather strange in Harry Potter. Misinterpretation on my part, author oversight or deliberate plot point for the future? I suppose I get to wait another three years to find out now.

Back to Welsh lessons. Skipping a week is scary. I have forgotten everything again.

June 22nd

Scribble, scribble, scribble. There is absolute no guarantee of accuracy but there. Done.

$ wc gu4dec.html Talks/g4-*html | tail -1
2999 18464 130253 total

My fingers hurt now but one write up of GUADEC and ten GUADEC 2003 talk write-ups are done. And valid XML, too :) Someone had better write up the internationalisation BOF and the talk Jim Gettys did on X profiling and bottlenecks now. Oh, and the talks on Dasher, gnome-system-tools, Nautilus, Gnome usability testing, testing Gnome accessibility, and the Extremadura thousands-of-desktops roll-out would not go amiss, either. And I hope someone is going to write the hacking-oriented talks up too. I skipped those :) Also, where are the slides for any of them? I want those, too.

Now I am going to read the Harry Potter book again.

June 21st

Wrote up two talks and the main account of Guadec. Only... oh dear, lots to go. Discovered that the name attribute only works with certain elements in HTML and I should have been using id all along. I foresee much sed in my future.

To Justin's in evening. Still amazingly warm here: you can wander back approaching midnight with just a tshirt on. (Yes, here this does count as amazingly warm. Too hot, even.)

June 20th

Writing up, writing up, writing up. Then off out to celebrate Sharon's degree. Then, um, to the bookshop at midnight (what a sucker, I know..) to discover a ridiculous queue. Justin and Sharon took one look and walked down to Tescos, which is also open past midnight, and returned to flaunt their copy of the book before I had even got mine. Meanies.

The sky was light before I got to bed. Guess why.

Missed the rugby. Probably a good thing. When coaches start talking about holding the other side down to 55 points there really can't be much lower to go.

June 19th

Back home (late) with a huge pile of notes to write up. Typically, I missed one of the talks I particularly wanted to see (really especially particularly), but overall, GUADEC was great. A city I know a bit (and like a lot), a conference in the middle of the city rather than a half-hour journey, old friends, new friends (I hope), and lots of fun.

High-lights, low-lights, and scenes that stick in the memory:

For explanation, discussion, talk write-ups and general rambles, you'll have to wait :) The write-up is in progress, but I went to a great many talks, and past experience suggests that it takes two hours to write up a talk, plus however long the main story takes. Don't hold your breath. :)

June 15th

Usually to travel somewhere we have to spend five hours travelling to London first. This time, we spent thirty minutes in a taxi to Swansea airport (which is a field with a cattle grid at the entrance). Whether the airport should even exist at all, let alone expand, is a matter of local dispute, so we thought we'd try it whilst it was still here.

Reached Dublin late, headed into town, and hit GUADEC.

June 14th

Alan up startlingly early. His clattering and banging woke me in the end too. Eventually it emerged we'd had another nocturnal or, more accurately, crepuscular (and isn't that a good word?) visitor in the back yard and the noise had woken Alan.

People keep trying to dump stuff by our back yard. We've actually had someone drive up and chuck a (full) gas cylinder in there. And we routinely find we are getting people deciding it's a great place to drop their rubbish. Since we have to pay to have much of this removed (the council won't touch half of it: they even left our last lot of collected up detritis on the street because it was in the wrong sort of bag) this is getting rather tedious. The weird thing is that we keep finding the bags emptied. Someone's going through them, and we don't know what they're looking for. I'm forever finding empty bin bags and scattered rubbish out there. It makes me very careful about what I put in our bins.

What's weird is that whilst my thoughts immediately leap to the number of multiple-occupancy houses near us and the Dear Full Name and Address, please apply immediately for this credit card junk that piles up at all such houses for years after people have moved on and which some people can apparently find uses for, our visitor has a much simpler agenda. He seems to be collecting bin bags from one of the pubs or clubs down the road, emptying them out all over the yard (yes, yuk), and going through the cigarette packets for stray tobacco.

Or perhaps we have a neighbour who smokes like a chimney and drinks huge amounts of lager who is going to find someone's applied for every credit card going in due course. (There is no junk mail left on the ground, so perhaps it really is all going somewhere else.)

I'm seriously tempted by the idea of a very bright light and a webcam. I'm even more tempted by the idea of one I can watch on the web when I'm not in, but something tells me that the Data Protection Act will kick in if I try that one.

June 13th

Phone call in the morning. This is the delivery service for IKEA. Can I confirm you'll be in next Wednesday?

Now I know what drove Sam and Tom to drink in Chained. Next time, I am doing the same.

Alan has bought me a present: a new monitor which lets me see even when the sun is out. Admittedly this is only about three days a year, but it's the thought that counts. He let me set it up. How kind. Broke various configuration tools. Re-discovered a bug involving two mice and left-handed setups. (mouse 0 gets to be left-handed; mouse 1, which I use, stubbornly doesn't want to know). Back to editing XF86Config again. Now the real mouse is left-handed and Alan will avoid touching my computer again.

June 12th

IKEA day. Again. We still need some bits from our last IKEA adventure. Headed out to Bristol with Justin and Sharon. Wondered why we had left it so long.

The night before, I had dug out a book in which two characters also go to IKEA, and the section about that was beginning to remind me of the terrors that await you if you step off the path. The characters in that, however, are prepared: they bring their own alcohol and discover that IKEA has bouncers. We were not so prepared. Someone had to drive, after all.

Found the right bits, worked out what was needed over a coffee (this took an hour and a half, with much muttering about NP-hard or some such computer jargon), headed off to re-check, realised it wouldn't fit, re-drafted, counted up bits, and headed to warehouse. Eyed Customer Returns in trepidation: from the looks of that, if anything went wrong, we'd be waiting 45 minutes to be seen. Headed to the delivery place. Okay, we deliver on Wednesdays, we will come next Wednesday, okay? No. I won't be in for parts of that. Come the Wednesday after. We deliver next Wednesday, yes? No. Tell it the Wednesday after Blank stare at monitor. We ring the day before and check? I won't have my phone. Come the week after. I shall be in then.So we come the next Wednesday?

Argh. Eventually said Alan, you explain and ran away. He emerged half an hour later.

I can see now why IKEA are promoting both taxis and visiting by bicycle. And I am also reminded just why we left it a year before going back.

June 10th

Alan up ridiculously late. So late I had better not say. :)

June 9th

LUG in evening. Our usual Swansea venue has turned into a building site, so we had a barbecue which then turned into an indoor thing when a raindrop was spotted.

Justin's cheesecake worked. Mine escaped again. Grr.

June 8th

Scurried out shopping in the morning. Very quiet, and I was back before Alan had even woken up. Cooking day today. Another attempt to figure out how to use vege-gel (a vegetarian substitute for gelatine) in place of the horse-hoof derivatives the recipe actually works with. Used three times the amount this time, and I am still not hopeful. Clearly I need to apply chemistry rather than inspiration. Alas, the only chemistry I remember off-hand is the lime cycle.

June 7th

Alan did something silly, but I won't embarrass him by saying what. Merely by mentioning it. He is excused though. He has been busy. Despite living in the same house as him, the only times I have seen him this week are for two Welsh lessons, one evening with friends, and tea times. He's in that distrait (what an apt and lovely word) mood again.

Replied to a very great deal of email. Made a new procmail rule. Got it wrong. If you don't get a reply to something from this afternoon, this is because procmail ate it. On (blush) my instructions.

June 6th

Spent some time on IRC talking to Michael about upcoming events and Gnome presences at them. If you are in the UK, know something about Gnome, and feel like helping out demo'ing it or sitting in booths at things in the UK, do let us know. If you have transport, or access to machines we can use as demo machines, that is even cooler. It's awfully difficult to take machines and monitors on the train, and my laptop is tiddly and only one and a half people can see it at one time.

Before going out shopping, tried to sort the cupboards out. We have somehow arrived at a situation where I have no flour, but half a pound of cumin; no long-grain rice but three varieties of short-grain rice; and three opened jars of jam or marmalade but no bread to put them on -- although I have plenty of dried yeast so, if only I had some flour, this should not be a problem.

Rationalised the cupboards somewhat and removed a startling number of empty jars for washing and refilling.

Returned with bags of flour, bits for tea, and so on, and got a phone call. Sharon's finished her exams. Let's go out. So no cooking, then :)

Whee. Some of the latest development releases of various Gnome modules are going out with Welsh in the list of supported languages. Now to find out whether anyone uses them..

June 5th

#commits is now in the top three channels on gimpnet by numbers.

Somehow decided that it would be a good idea to have a GNOME trivia quiz and asked for suggestions. I am now drowning in GNOME trivia (but more is good).

June 4th

#commits is now in the top five channels on gimpnet by numbers. Scary.

June 3rd

A day of CVS today. After much discussion and head-scratching (when is a thumb not a thumb?) over the last week came this:

$ pwd
$ msgfmt -cv cy.po
1128 translated messages.

...which means that Dafydd, Gareth and Chris have finished the gtk+ translation Rhoslyn started, or at least finished a first cut for people to pick at now.

Then I discovered that the #commits channel on freenode now has an equivalent on gimpnet: all the commit messages to Gnome CVS are now appearing on a channel there. Something tells me this has the potential to be incredibly useful and incredibly silly. (I read cvs-commits-list anyway, so I have a good idea of how silly CVS commits can be.)

I get to have my commits in purple. Cos I asked first. Coo.

June 2nd

Alan took the tape drive out of my machine to fix a while ago, and hasn't done it yet. I am backup-less. There is a bad noise coming from the case. I think a fan is dying.

Out with the emergency rsync invocation to send all of /home to another machine (with, I hope, a working fan and no chance of being one of Alan's break-a-kernel, test-a-kernel machines). Have I said how wonderful rsync is recently? Well, it is.

University Challenge on the telly tonight had a series of three linked questions on computer languages. Which language began as/was written by..? sort of thing. Alan got two right. I got all three. In a separate quiz program, Alan got a puzzle of the sort I love right before I could.

Something is wrong here.

June 1st

Still frantically eating up things from the fridge which came out of the freezer. I am going to turn into a very round Telsa at this rate.

Finally it rained. A whole three days without rain, and I was missing it already.

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.)