Last day in physics

August 31, 2005

Today is my last day as the physics department’s sr. systems administrator. I’ve got a pile of things to finish before I go but I think I can get them done. I’ve been here for 6 years and it’s kinda crazy to think about where I was when I started there and where I am now. It’s not even remotely the same world.

To everyone in Physics, Thank you for the last 6 years. In so many ways this job has changed who I am and made me have to become a lot more than I was.

I’m going away for a month of R and R, as well as fulfilling some friend duties to two of my closest friends now that they’re finally getting married. I’ll be checking email off and on but probably not in any serious way after the 8th or 9th of September. Then I’ll be back and alive after the 25th or so. I start the new job on October 3rd.

If for any reason the world gets set on fire and someone needs me, various people know how to get in touch with me. For email purposes my gmail account will probably get checked more than any of my duke accounts. If you can’t figure out my gmail address on your own then you probably don’t need to be emailing me. ๐Ÿ™‚

As is my practice, I have acquired a cold right before going on vacation. So I’ll be sniffling and suffering my way through the next couple of days and hopefully will find myself healthy and clearheaded off in chattanooga this weekend.

someone wish me luck in all my adventures in this next month. I’m gonna need it.

fedora people redesign

August 25, 2005


The people to blame for the fedora people page redesign are (in alphabetical order):

Chris Aillon – the design/implementation

Hrishikesh Ballal – the implementation

Diana Fong – the design/implementation

Seth Vidal – moving files about

Two items:

If you don’t like the fonts you can always use ctrl-+ in firefox to bump their size.

And I don’t think you can call RSS ‘upstart’ technology anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚


playing with flickr some

August 22, 2005

I was playing with flickr some tonight and looking around at how to program for it. I came across FlickrClient and Right now all I’m trying to figure out is why no one has:

1. packaged them for fedora extras


2. written a nautilus script so you can right click on any image and upload it or better yet upload it with the tags/comments you have already set in nautilus.

any takers?

fun couple of days

August 14, 2005

Friday was good b/c I received my rotring freeway pen in the mail. Quite pleased about that and I’m also impressed with the new fountain pen for the girl. So, it’s been fun to have a new pen.

Then we spent a good part of today teaching the girl how to ride a bike. She did remarkably well considering how poorly she claimed the last attempt was. It took about an hour and she was able to keep herself balanced most of the time. She needs to work on turning and keeping consistent but I really think the bike we rented is making some of it a bit harder. It’s a good enough bike, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not well-suited to a first time bike user. Nevertheless she has persevered and I think that she’ll be in good shape for riding around durham in no time.

I looked around online for bike guides and models. I’ve discovered bikes I had no idea existed. Some fantastic things.

There are a number of companies that specialize in making comfortable bikes that are intended for daily use commuting or traveling around town. Examples: biria, breezer.

The biria bikes are the most impressive I think b/c of the change in the design. The step-through design for getting on the bike is remarkably compelling vs the sling-your-leg-over style I grew up around. I could definitely see the advantage of such a design. This area is extremely hot in the summer to make riding a bike simple year-round but spring, fall and parts of winter should be very do-able.

I’d like to know what other places in the world are very bike-able in terms of terrain, climate and the cultural/municipal hospitality to bicyclists. I guess I’m asking the LazyWeb for help.

The sinking city

August 12, 2005

The sinking city

Originally uploaded by *Ivan*.

Testing to see how this works for my blog system.

or even if.

crossposting, sort of

August 8, 2005

I’ve been writing more in a paper journal mostly to improve my handwriting but also as an experiment. It’s mildly excruciating b/c my writing is so much slower than my typing, especially when I’m really moving along. So it’s a bit frustrating to keep it tidy. It’s probably good for me, then. ๐Ÿ™‚ So much of the below is sorta like a cross post.

Out shopping for some of today. Tried on many shoes, wanted to kill most of the providers of said shoes. I suspended the leather moratorium for the purposes of finding something livable to walk around a great deal in. I found a couple of shoes I could have probably lived with but my ambivalence to my moratorium was showing and I resisted buying them due to my thoughts that I would feel extremely guilty about it later. (yes, I am weird, I know). I think I have made a deal with myself to find a shoe with the least amount of leather I can come up with or one that, at least, doesn’t LOOK like leather (as useless of a distinction as that is). Back on the topic, I found a couple of shoes I liked but either they were unavailable in my size or after looking at them with some detail I realized they were …. umm …. ugly.

So, I explored for a while. I clicked ‘buy’ on one pair after selecting the color and size I wanted only to find that:

1. they don’t have them in both the size and color I wanted

2. they don’t make them anymore so I can’t even order them.

Ah the joy of having large feet and ethical standards.

I’m completely envious of the girl. She wears a 7 – 7.5 and is pragmatic in her shoe fabric selection. She found a delightful pair of shoes this weekend and was overjoyed by them.

I believe I will find shoes, someday, I do not know what they will look like or who will make them but I swear I will find them. Thus far I’ve looked at: keen, merrell, born, birkenstock (oh my god could those be any more expensive?) and ecco. I am quite tired of searching for shoes and I know I irritated the hell out of the girl today when I kept saying ‘no’ to almost everything she brought me.

I did, however, settle on a new bag for carrying my stuff around in. I ended up getting the tom bihn large cafe bag. I measured it and measured my laptop+sleeve and everything should fit in there w/room to spare. So, this is all good and hopeful, or something.

On the computing side of things I made a list of items to do before yum 2.4.0 and then I proceeded to knock each one out in what was a shockingly short time period. There’s only one item remaining and it will probably not get done before 2.4.0 mainly b/c it requires testing that I can’t do. It has to do with proxies and as is always the case with proxies, it is excruciating.

I got the fedoraproject wiki setup using moinmoin. It took a little bit of reading and then guessing at some config variables but the groups are setup and editing/creation is restricted to a group of people who are registered and verified. It’s not too hard but it was a bit harder than it should be to figure out how to do it.

I’m not opposed to the idea of a wiki, it seems laudable and functional, especially for documentation. However, the word bothers me on some bizarre emotional level. I can’t describe it. It feels silly to refer to something as a wiki. (This, of course, coming from the guy who named a program ‘yum’, so grain of salt, please). Anyway the wiki configuration isn’t too hard now that I grok a bit of how it functions. It still boggles my mind why moinmoin doesn’t have an sql backend as an option. It would seem a natural recourse.


A little annoyed that the mozilla updates came out without so much as a peep from the packager(s) that a significantly-sized update has been released and if you’re using galeon from or any other add-on repository you’ll most likely need to rebuild it. We’ve got to figure out some way to get packagers to send notices and to make sure people see them. Otherwise people’s systems may break b/c of a not-so-tested package update and be completely vulnerable or broken and not know why or what happened.

So, how do we fix this? Some mechanism for:

  • Using package ids to correlate to update information and storing this information with the metadata
  • querying this metadata from packaging tools and webpages
  • Making submission of this update information trivial and reasonably painless for the packager

If anyone wants to spend any time on this, it wouldn’t be that much code to write, actually. Email me or drop a message to fedora-devel-list.


I wanna go to fudcon london 2005 but I can’t. It’s going on 3 days after I start my new position and that would look bad, wouldn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’d love to go and hear some talks and maybe even give one. But it is not to be.

Maybe Paul will be able to go instead and give a talk about yum and stuff again. He’s getting good at those.

But by all means, everyone should go.

So go.