The main reason for the purchase was to get something quieter and less power-hungry that I don't feel guilty about leaving on all the time.
As I gave it penrah's hard drive, it has effectively become
penrah. I think a new name is in order though (penrah was assigned
by UoN, so I don't have
much attachment to it). Any suggestions? Previous computer names
meme n : a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultrual counterpart of genes"but in reality tends to take the form of a link to a vaguely amusing web-site, often hosting some kind of quiz or test. The spread of a meme through the blogosphere can often be very rapid. I tend to come across them on planet.debian.org. There is certainly no element of passing from generation to generation!
Some guy is attempting to measure this wildfire phenomena by encouraging people to link to his article on the subject. Join in if you like!
One thing that has fascinated me though is the little thumbnails the project generates for each trace uploaded to their website. These take various different forms depending on the type of journey being undertaken. I thought it would be fun to make some desktop wallpaper out of them. The standard colour-scheme is black on white but I imagine some people will prefer white on black.
Let me know what you think. I'm sure a bit more creativity wouldn't go amiss....
To use it, launch Solitaire (it works with both the W2K and WXP versions of Solitaire, although currently it only does "deal one" and it can't cope with the Astronaut deck (because it doesn't have a black border)). Then press "Step" and it will play a single move, or "Run" and it will play for a maximum of 200 moves, or until it Resigns (after dealing 20 cards in a row with nothing else to do).
When it has finished, it will show a textual version of the game layout, and a log of the moves it made. In the text grid, C, D, H, S, stand for the four suits (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades respectively), R and B stand for unknown red or unknown black, and X, J, Q, and K, for 10, jack, queen, king, and so on. It isn't brilliant at detecting the suit of a card, but it doesn't (yet) use anything other than the colour and rank to work out moves.
Currently it plays using some fairly simple rules, so it will sometimes give up on winnable games. When it does win, it tends to complete the game in around 2 seconds, (Watching it play makes me ill, because the cards flicker around so much) however under the standard scoring scheme, the maximum bonus you can get is to complete in 30s (bonus = 700000/time if time >= 30). This gives a highscore of around 23833 (assuming 500 non-bonus points).
There are plent of bugs. e.g. It doesn't yet notice when it's won.
The new home has some advantages over the university hosting — statistics, php, cgi (and shell access to the cgi servers). Main downside is that I can't rsync the pages or ssh to the actual web server. I'm tempted to host the entire site on the cgi servers, but that would seem to be taking liberties.
The existing site will remain active for some time I guess.
As /var would occasionally fill up (especially during large apt-get dist-upgrades) it seemed logical to extend /var to cover all that free space. However, I didn't want to disrupt my 202 day uptime record in the process did I?
Also just to add a bit of spice to it, I decide to perform this "slight tweak" from home over ssh (and a wireless link for that matter -- what was I thinking!!)
Amazingly it turned out to be surprisingly easy:
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/hdb5 958M 364M 546M 40% / /dev/hdb7 7.6G 5.7G 1.6G 79% /usr /dev/hdb1 28G 13G 14G 48% /home /dev/hdb9 13G 2.4G 9.2G 21% /var /dev/hdb8 63G 57G 2.8G 96% /usr/local /dev/hda5 29G 26G 1.2G 96% /usr/local/share/music /dev/hda1 9.8G 6.5G 3.4G 67% /mnt/windows tmpfs 633M 4.0K 633M 1% /dev/shm none 10M 2.6M 7.5M 26% /dev //wenacl1/enxrah 95G 93G 1.8G 99% /mnt/wenacl1 //wenacl2/enxrah 95G 90G 4.6G 96% /mnt/wenacl2Most of /usr/local is symlinked into /home/enxrah so I guess the situation still isn't perfect, but it'll do.
As a long time GNOME user (5 years I reckon) I've been reasonably happy with it, but recently I've been becoming aware of some of its deficiencies, and given that free software is about "freedom" rather than blind faith, figured it would be good to get an proper understanding of what the other side has to offer.
Well, that's it for now. I may post an update at some point.
This beats my previous record of 180 days, and unlike that time, there are no pressing reasons for a powercycle anytime soon. (In the last four years I've moved office on three occasions, and the power to the building has been cut at least 3 times)$ uptime 11:26:33 up 182 days, 18:56, 14 users, load average: 1.99, 1.85, 1.29
$ ud -d One : 182 day(s), 18:56:20 running Linux 188.8.131.52, ended Tue Oct 4 11:25:57 2005 Two : 180 day(s), 18:00:11 running Linux 2.6.0-test1, ended Wed Jan 21 16:36:17 2004 Three: 170 day(s), 00:11:45 running Linux 2.4.18, ended Fri Aug 16 13:16:00 2002
I'm not sure what it is. It appears to be a 4x4 grid of sub-images that I haven't worked out exactly how to rearrange, but there are various things that looks sort of "space flight-ish" could be my imagination tho.
I discovered that my work computer (known cryptically as penrah) had been broken in to by a cracker coming from a Romanian ISP.
The situation was partly my fault. I had sometime ago created an account to allow my brother to ftp some large files to me, and left it with an insecure password. The intruder was in the process of scanning for further vulnerable accounts, and setting up an IRC bot of some kind. I think they would have been thwarted by the university firewall, and I discovered the intrusion pretty quick.
The moral of the story is never ever choose easy passwords.
Had a little bit of fun optimising gnuplot for reading large
matrices of numbers. To cut a long story short, the existing code
sscanf() which turns out to be up to ten times
strtod(). The whole situation is made IMHO
overly complex due to the need to support a wide range of legacy
platforms, and the unusual (by ANSI C standards) number formats of
think I saw an article on slashdot not so long ago, that seemed to
think that sort of thing will be the death of free software.
In the process of doing all this, I discovered kcachegrind which is a graphical utility for examining the call profile of an application. This made it incredibly easy to narrow the hotspot down to a single line of code in gnuplot.
The problem turned out to be something to do with some kind of mismatch between the kernel module and the userland utils, although the error message was completely cryptic (as usual). Thankfully I happened to have the source code for the debian packages lying around, so I avoided the usual Catch-22 with getting network drivers.