The more accurate diary. Old stuff.

Warning: These are old.

November 2003

November 30th

Alan was revising so I couldn't have loud music on. At least, I thought he was revising. I went to remind him that we had to get moving, and found him playing Frozen Bubble.

November 29th

Where is all the spam suddenly coming from? Ugh. My spam count has shot up over the last few days. I got 20 in a few hours on one address. And I am still getting viruses.

November 28th

Alan up early and into university voluntarily before eleven. Gosh. He returned very late, after wrestling with 60-page Word documents or something (no, I don't know whether he was using Word or OpenOffice...) and declared himself to be in the need of something mindless.

He was supposed to be coming to (yet another :)) Welsh learners' event in the evening, but apparently that wasn't mindless enough for him. He opted to watch Jackie Chan videos with take-out.

So I went without him. He missed good music, a bar where you get money off if you ask in Welsh, and a quiz which in part involved sampling different cheeses and beers and deciding which ones were and weren't from Wales. The team I was in didn't believe me when I said That one is Brains, so that's Welsh. They thought it was horrible. (Brains is a brewery in Cardiff which makes Brains SA among other things. SA stands for something, but no-one ever remembers what: everyone just calls it Skull Attack. Can't think why...)

We tried to claim that since they all probably came from Tesco in Swansea, they could all be from Wales but alas, this argument was not accepted, despite presenting it in Welsh. Boo hiss.

November 27th

Wanted to read the archives of a mailing list hosted on Yahoo. Can't, unless I create a Yahoo account. The account creation process includes a Security question for trying to retrieve your password if you've forgotten it. One of the questions you can be asked is your favourite past-time. Who wrote this stuff? I am tempted to answer the Wars of the Roses, since it is a past time. But I think they mean pastime.

Even better is their Word verification stage. To prevent automated registrations, you must enter a word into a box. The word is presented in a picture to fool robots. It fools Lynx, to. So I clicked on the can't see the image? Click here link. It's in Javascript. Lynx can't see that, either.

Yes, I know I have Mozilla. That's not the point. No, there is no point. I'm just amazed that anyone gets past the registration screen.

November 26th

So that is why there were electricians all over Oxford Street in town on Monday night. On Sunday, the Christmas lights were switched on. On Monday, they broke.

Thing you do not want to see in the morning whilst shambling around the kitchen in bare feet: a four-inch long slug. Half way up the wall. Woke Alan up to remove it. Alan not impressed at getting up at seven.

November 25th

Alan is better. I am catching.. whatever it is.

Weather comment, for those who seem to think I can't go a week without mentioning it (you know who you are): it is cold now.

November 24th

Friend presented us with two bottles of beer at the LUG. Sweet Chariot bitter. (Sweet Chariot is a reference to the unofficial England anthem.) And noted that we had another four years of this to go. It is going to be a very very long four years. I can tell.

Congratulations to England and all that, but just wait until Wales win. I expect the same level of coverage and suggestions of honours for that, too. Hmm. Actually.. looking at some of the papers (the Sun has articles on sexy rugby players and the evils of a biased ref, but this is the Sun, after all: I await England's sex secrets, why Wilkinson watches Sky TV, and goodness knows what else to come), perhaps I don't want quite that level of detail after all...

Searched the web for draft please do not circulate.
Results 1 - 10 of about 28,600.


November 23rd

All the Sunday papers on the web have long pieces about England winning the rugby. There's a surprise. I liked one paper's approach: it had two headlines of Read this if England win and Read this if Australia win. I can only assume they were trying to make a point along the lines of instant rugby coverage: just add England win.

November 22nd

Coming down with the lurgy, I fear, but up in time to watch the rugby in the morning. Alan slept through the entire thing.

Planned evening at a gig fell apart when we discovered that Manfred Mann, who were the band we wanted to see and playing support, weren't actually playing. Boo hiss.

Book I ordered is being reprinted. Clearly it is one of those days.

November 21st

Cashel Blue is a gorgeous cheese. And I have just found it sold nearby. Yum.

November 20th

Found a way to beat the crowds in town. Do the supermarket shopping at seven in the morning. Lovely. Get market stuff on a day that is not Saturday. Lovely lovely.

I have known this all along, but normally I can't be bothered.

Conversation on #gnome about But when would you need to get someone to perform CVS-surgery on the server? reminded me of those times people have either imported things to the wrong server or had CVS mess up, and the comments in their commit messages when they find out. Went through my collection of silly commit messages from Gnome CVS and dug out the best ones. With some #gnome help, stripped off all the mail headers. Reading through it, it reminded me of the nightmare that was docbook installation a few years ago, the joy of internationalisation, and so many other things. There were a whole series at one stage referring to CVS-watchers, internet surveillance and so on when we discovered we could watch commits live on an IRC channel. Entire conversation there :) And yes, comments about branching, merging, and why must CVS hate me are rife.

I haven't decided whether to mark it all up into HTML or just to leave it as plain text, but for those who are curious, here are some silly commit messages from Gnome over the years.

November 19th

The fireworks have finally stopped. Haven't heard one for a week now. They're still on sale in the market, so I suspect Christmas will be loud. Town is getting busy.

November 18th

Goodness. Alan bought a new thing to plug into the computer: a printer this time. (For his essays, apparently. Yeah, right. It's for my crosswords too, now.) And we plugged it in. And it worked. And although I went to the configuration dialogue box, I didn't need to change anything. And I printed a test page and it's all beautiful.

I am not used to this.

Alan wanted to know what on earth I expected, and then looked sorry he'd asked. I expected to find it wouldn't plug in first, or that it came with an Australian plug (this has happened before). Or perhaps that it needed some converter and came without one. Then to spend an hour hunting for How I got this model to work with Linux stories. (He'd done that before buying: hooray for Then to mess around trying to load modules that might match the thing only to discover that the drivers weren't with this kernel and that consequently we needed to build a new kernel. Finally, I would expect the thing to just not work leading to staring at dmesg and lspci (is there an lsusb these days?) before a realisation and much Alan-typing.

I told him all this and he looked hurt.

November 17th

All of a sudden, now that there are two games left, every paper seems to be covering the rugby. Amazing.

Alan continues on his course. There was a small hitch last week when the rain started. He needed a new bag. All this time he has been carrying his files and books in in a plastic bag from the supermarket. This isn't a good plan in the rain. Suggested he buy a real bag. Naah, he didn't want that. He has found a bag from last year's conference instead, and stuffed everything in it. This is not my idea of an MBA student. It does fit my idea of Alan, mind you.

November 16th

There have been strange noises coming from my computer for the last week. I thought it was the fan. Whilst doing the backups, Alan spotted something funny in dmesg and announced the noise had been a disc dying. What? What about the RAID? That's why you still have a computer at all. Waah.

Alan assures me that everything is rebuilt now. We shall see.

November 15th

All these morning lectures are taking it out of Alan. In bed until four in the afternoon. Silly man.

Australia beat the All Blacks. This is all wrong. Since the All Blacks beat Wales, I wanted the All Blacks to beat Australia next, to make Wales look good. Clearly I should stop supporting teams I want to win. They never do.

November 14th

It seemed quite windy last night. According to the news, that would be because we were getting 70mph gusts.

Unexpected visit from friend in the evening. Friend bearing wine, no less. By the time Alan had finished a phone call, we had finished the wine and gone to get more. Ahem. Out to eat, and then off to sleep, suddenly realising I was supposed to be up tomorrow bright and early and with a clear head. Ooops.

November 13th

When I was young and learning how to spell, I learnt the difference between nouns and verbs like this: a licence, a practice. To license, to practise. With a (second) c in the noun and an s in the verb. This is all different in American English; and yes, the name GNU General Public License still looks odd to me as a result.

One of the local bookshops is selling revision books at the moment. English GCSE is just to the left of the sign which describes the shelf contents as Exam practise. Oh dear.

November 12th

Finished lots of little bits and pieces over the last two days. None of them were important, but the todo list now has lots of crossings-off and looks good.

LUG meeting in the evening. Huge moon hanging low in the sky on the drive there. Wow.

November 11th

Alan is now on two new modules. He's enjoying the law one. I'm not so sure about the marketing...

November 10th

Read in Nat's blog of the death of Chema Celorio. Very upset. Nat described him as enthusiastic and charming. Spot on. He turned his enthusiasm into doing so much. You just kept discovering things he had already been doing: I remember asking another printer? I thought you had a different one? and discovering he had been buying or scrounging one after another in order to chase down bugs.

Before the first Guadec, when most Gnome people were going to meet up for the first time, I and other people in Europe found we were the recipients of endless What time is it for you now? What are you doing? questions. Eventually it emerged that Chema had been thinking about how to avoid jetlag. It seemed only natural and obvious to him that in order to avoid it after the flight, he should live on European time for a fortnight or so in Mexico before travelling over. So as Mexico was sleeping, Chema was waking up and saying good morning on IRC to the Europeans, and as we headed off to sleep, Chema followed. I can't explain how funny this seemed at the time: so simple and obvious, but so hard to do, with no idea how effective it would be at the end.

Well, it might have seemed lunatic, but it worked perfectly. We eventually met at the conference, and he was wide awake and brimming with ideas. And, as Nat said, enthusiastic and charming. I am very sorry to learn he's gone.

November 9th

Grr. Wales are out of the rugby world cup. This is actually what we should have expected, I suppose, but last week raised all sorts of hopes. Some would say we should not even have expected to get this far, but I am ignoring them loftily. And Ireland are out as well. Whom to support now? Can't be England. They knocked us out :)

Waded through gnotices looking for questions for the Gnome Foundation Board election candidates.

November 8th

This rugby stuff is doing wonders for my body clock. I much prefer being up early and to sleep early, but living with Alan makes this difficult. But now I have a real incentive :)

November 7th

Did you mean: nominet
Your search - nominept - did not match any documents.

I dunno. I think nominept matches pretty well. Twenty minutes it took to wade through a silly online form and print it, and another five to find where the opt-out had been hidden.

November 5th

Forgot to put the bins out the night before and ended up chasing the binmen down the road at some stupid hour in the morning.

Went to get some passport-sized photographs and the machine spat my money out.

Bought a hot croissant with cheese, opened the bag, and a leaf drifted down into the cheese.

Tried to check something on the web: nothing coming through. (This turned out to be Alan playing with BitTorrent and the Fedora release.)

Then the fireworks started. Decided that on today's form it was not a good idea to go anywhere near them. Hid.

November 4th

I may live in a city, but there are loads of trees all in different stages of going gold and dropping their leaves. Reverted to childishness and kicked my way through piles and piles of leaves, just for the colour and the sound. Ahem.

November 3rd

The local papers were also stunned by the rugby. Four pages in the Evening Post and about eight in the Western Mail. All this for a game we didn't actually win. Um. :)

November 2nd

Stunned to watch Wales almost beat New Zealand in a good game. Okay, almost beat means lose by sixteen points. But it still great fun to watch.

Wrestled with the video and managed to tape the repeat for Alan, since he was still on his course being very busy. I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I have managed to get it to work correctly since it was all plugged in.

Turned out that he and about a third of the group had abandoned whatever they were supposed to be doing to watch it anyway.

November 1st

Alan off to his weekend of coursework. Steve off to his new house. And I sat at home watching the rugby before heading off to Llanelli for another of these events for Welsh learners. Journey the inevitable chaos, since it involved a train. Or a bus. Or no, perhaps it will be a train. Station staff at Swansea confused enough: the staff at Llanelli underwhelmed by the whole affair, after ending up with six buses and three trains (at a two-platform station) at the same time in the morning.

I wonder if little children still want to be train drivers when they grow up.

Wondered all day whether I had actually dreamt seeing an extra man on the pitch (oh no, not again!) at the end of the South Africa v Samoa match, but apparently I wasn't dreaming.

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.)