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1 September 2004
Updated: email stats.
Total volume continues to rise, and spam hit 78% of the total volume. This figure unfortunately underestimates the true volume, as SpamAssassin stopped working on 8/31 and let through 20-40 messages. (I lost track while deleting them yesterday. Pity.)
- Accounts: 1%
- Inbox: 6%
- News: 11%
- Spam: 78%
- Tech Lists: 4%
3 September 2004
Uh oh - I think I have one of these adapters for Al-Rassan.
9 September 2004
I’m in California this week (Huntington Beach today), helping to prepare for the wedding of my good friends Ryan and Sarah. A few items to note so far:
- Other people’s weddings are much more relaxing than one’s own.
- No matter how much I like the place, I should not move to California. Like Merrystar, I break out in spots all over my exposed skin when I go outside.
- Board shorts have absolutely no give in them whatsoever and should be avoided at all costs.
Tomorrow we head down to Carlsbad to start the real prep work: hanging lights, posting signs, getting food ready for the beach party, artfully obscuring rusty signs that might interfere with my photographs…
14 September 2004
15 September 2004
Damn heap-based buffer overflow vulnerabilities: Secunia - Advisories - Mozilla Multiple Vulnerabilities.
The latest versions (Firefox 1.0PR, Mozilla 1.7.3, Thunderbird 0.8) are fixed.
16 September 2004
17 September 2004
Ah, good times: Interliant Valium.
Ah, more good times: Interliant Memories.
I still have that mug, too.
Merrystar went to the doctor today and brought back the first picture of our child. She saw the heartbeat blinking. I’m so excited!
This is at 7 weeks, 5 days - due on May 1.
We call him “Plus” because Merrystar’s dad started calling her “Merrystar Plus” and the name stuck.
New Flotsam: plus.
22 September 2004
What a crock of… — Slashdot | U.S. Government Wants All June Airline Passenger Records.
23 September 2004
“We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows,” the company said in a statement. “The most secure version of Windows today is Windows XP with SP2. We recommend that customers upgrade to XP and SP2 as quickly as possible.”
You must forgive the Smiths reference, we only save them for stuff we’re really excited about. The Caring Cot was invented by one Gary Cho, whose agenda wasn’t just keeping that damned baby quiet in the middle of the freaking night, but also safety and preventative care. If the device (which is estimated to cost £150 — that’s about $270 US) ‘hears’ the baby cry for more than thirty seconds, it automatically begins rocking the cradle vertically (which he claims is more effective at calming a child than horizontal rocking); it also monitors the child’s movement and ambient temperature and can sound an alarm if it thinks something’s up, which could help detect early symptomps of Sudden Infants Death Syndrome (SIDS). Jeez, you’d think babies couldn’t just take care of themselves, or something.
24 September 2004
25 September 2004
There’s been all sorts of computer drama around the ol’ homestead these past few weeks.
It all started the day before I left for Ryan and Sarah’s wedding. I hadn’t learned my lesson yet:
Even now, I don’t know what actually happened. The GRUB bootloader on Arbonne — then called Yorktown, and temporarily named Al-Rassan in a fit of nostalgia — couldn’t find the recently-upgraded kernel and, therefore, couldn’t boot. My efforts to get around this little problem all failed - even the boot disk I’d created could only get me to a terminal prompt to make sure the home directory was still intact. I left for vacation with a busted server, which was a worry I could have done without.
I came back and the vacation had done me good, though it had not gotten Arbonne (as I now thought of it again, having recognized my mistake of having named it after one machine that had already died) back up in service. I figured out how to get the DVD-ROM working again - did you know there’s a little bridge in the back that sets it as a master or slave? I do now. The CD-ROM is still kaput, but now that I had something that could read a CD I could at least try to reinstall GRUB, or some other bootloader.
Long story short: Fedora Core 2 disks still don’t work, but Red Hat 9 disks do, therefore, Red Hat 9 won. Despite my grumbling about it, I would have rather had Fedora Core because everything was already configured for it. And updates are easier, when they don’t shut down your whole system.
Now that things are running right again, I should remember the lesson I learned: not broken, don’t fix. It took three weeks to get back to where I was before things went wonky, and I don’t know if it was because of something actually going wrong or my tinkering. I’m inclined to think it was the latter, as I have no proof otherwise.
But somehow, despite all of this, I think I’ll still upgrade to Fedora Core 3 when it’s released in November. Some people never learn.
27 September 2004
Am I some kind of moron?
28 September 2004
The study by the Rand Corporation, an American thinktank, discovered that the health profile of an adult with a home in the spacious suburbs of Atlanta was the same as someone who lived in inner-city Seattle but was four years older.
Roll back the garage doors and you’ll find the reason for the suburban malaise, according to the scientists.
Studies have found that inhabitants of sprawling suburbs are dependent on their cars and so walk less, weigh more and suffer from higher blood pressure than their city cousins.
I think I’ve lost whatever computer sense I had. The path to the dark side is so easy!
I know I said I’d wait until November to upgrade Arbonne to Fedora Core 3. I know that there’s no absolute pressing need to upgrade. I know Fedora Core 2 let me down, and the constant upgrade path bit me in the ass before. (Actually, now that I think about it, most all the entries in this category are from disasters along the upgrade path. Damn hamster wheel!) I know all of this.
But all of that pales before the simplicity of editing /etc/yum.conf to point to the Fedora repositories, running
yum -y upgrade a few times to find all the dependencies,
rpm -e to all the dependencies, and then
yum -y upgrade one last time. Wait a few hours, or maybe a day or two to download everything, and realize that a watched upgrade doesn’t finish. The excitement! What new things will I get? Will it work? Will I need to rebuild my system? Will I leave a smoking hole in my office? I don’t know, but it’s fantastic!
Whatsa meesa doing?
29 September 2004
“The League of Women Voters ran these debates with an iron hand as open, transparent, non-partisan events from 1976 to 1984,” Rice says. “The men running the major campaigns ended their control when the League defiantly included John Anderson and Ross Perot, and used tough moderators and formats the parties didn’t like. The parties snatched the debates from the League and formed the Commission on Presidential Debates — the CPD — in 1986.”
All of the twisting and turning and pulling and cursing to get the wireless interface running on Arbonne finally paid off - not on Arbonne, who has been up for a week or two, but on Tigana, Merrystar’s old Sony Vaio 505-TR that is still running Red Hat 7.2. (Newer distros don’t recongize the old Sony PCMCIA CD-ROM drive.) A few changes to the
/etc/rc.d/rc.local file and the netgear card finds the WEP key on bootup.
Of course, my yum addiction continues, thanks to this handy page at the Fedora Legacy Product. Why switch off 7.2 now? USB support? Poppycock.
30 September 2004
Just outside my office window — TERROR BLIMPS are GO!
Pentagon police said the Defense Department is testing a security blimp - fully equipped with surveillance cameras. The white blimp was spotted early Wednesday morning hovering at various times over the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. The 178-foot-long device, which is expected to remain in the skies until Thursday, is conducting a mission for the Defense Department.