January 30, 2006


Originally uploaded by skvidal.

Sometimes it is very much worth the bandwidth to be torture people in places where it is -5C

LCA 2006 report

January 24, 2006

Been here since sunday (saturday for the otherside of the planet I’m normally on). After the first day of going to sleep at 6pm we’re finally on a normal sleep schedule. I’ve been able to wake up at 6:30am or so and get down to breakfast by 7:45am and over the conference by 8:45. I’m feeling productive even though I’ve done exactly nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve got some not-indexed and not-refined pictures up and some more to add when the next lull in the bandwidth use occurs. 🙂

Of some note ( I guess) is that on the plane into dunedin eunice and I sat next to the wife of a player on the all blacks. Now, of course, that means nothing to me, but I’ve heard this is a brush with greatness. Her name was Sally, no clue what her husband’s name is. 🙂

Moving around dunedin has been quite easy though we’ve walked more than we usually do. My calves have acclimated to it though so I’m not feeling too much of it today.

I’ve finally met Menno. He seems well and lest anyone ever feel sorry for him remember that he’s been gallivanting around europe for the past little bit mostly snowboarding and meeting women.

Sat in for the beginning of the Gnome mini conf and I felt good about heckling Jeff a little bit and I got in an almost-obligatory mention of the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, which, it turns out, Jeff and Andy (of javagnome fame) have read. mmmm – connectors….

Speakers dinner last night was fun but Eunice and I made the poor choice of going the same place the night before for dinner so we had really serious italian food, again. Had a good time talking to the girlfriend of the guy directing things here. She helped us figure out what a whole assortment of odd kiwi phrases actually mean. So, many thanks to Raewyn for her help.

I’ve been sitting here beefing up my notes and trying to stop being nervous about tomorrow.

seen in NZ

January 22, 2006

I’ve discovered the real reason behind Jeff Waugh being without pants:

so… very… tired..

January 19, 2006

It’s been a looooooooooong week. I’ve spent most of it working on the webhosting stuff for work and packing for LCA. It’s amazing how much effort is involved in packing. Now, to be clear, we’re packing 7 days worth of clothing and misc stuff into a carry-on bag. That’s no small feat. But I’m completely exhausted.

Anyway, if anyone is looking for me for the next 2 weeks I’ll be in New Zealand. Yay!

Oh and if you have something you think I should hack on on the plane rides (note, plural). Then you better send me a note in the next 24 hours…

scary biking incident

January 10, 2006

In a general way today was a good day. I woke up reasonably on time and not feeling crappy. I got out of the house, and over to the office in a reasonable time. All looked good. It was beautiful outside today. It ended up being about 67F here today which is unreal for January but at this point completely welcomed.

Work was productive. Chewed through some old crap that I think has ultimately been bogging us down and is more or less a necessary fix if only for the ‘broken windows’ perspective of things.

Rode out to lunch at wellspring and the weather was, again, wonderful. More work after lunch, etc etc. All in all a good day.

Then I go to ride home. Beginning of the ride was good and then I make the critical mistake. I think to myself “Wow, today was pretty good.” Now, seeing as who I am I immediately say “damn it, now I wonder what the hell is going to happen?”

No sooner did I come to the conclusion that something bad was going to happen than my foot slips a bit off my right pedal and I move it back a bit too far to get it back on and kick my right pannier. It pops up enough for the clasp to come free of the rack and falls. I hear it and feel it and slow down. This, of course, is the bag with my laptop in it.

Two lucky things held out, though:

1. the bungie cord holding it onto the bottom of the rack didn’t give out so the bag dangled from there rather than just thudding on the ground. It bounced on the top two corners for on the street though.

2. my laptop was in my sleevecase from sfbags and that was in my tom bihn large cafe bag inside the pannier. I need to remember to send these people a nice note..

I get home expecting the absolute worst given how the bag bounced. I open the laptop, it unsuspends and seems normal. I do some finds across my homedir to listen for the disk suddenly wedging. Nothing wrong. I immediately rsync my homedir to my desktop and head out to the grocery store. I’m typing this entry on the laptop that bounced now.

I think tomorrow I’ll spend some time figuring out a better way to secure the panniers to the bike and maybe put the toe clips back on to the new pedals.

Given the other possible outcomes from today’s little adventure; I probably made out pretty well. Then again something like this has happened before. Notably I thought of the day as good then, too.


mono and fedora

January 10, 2006

I think I’m not alone in wanting to know what changed to allow mono in the distro.

a year ago mono was not allowed for an unstated but implied reason of legal dangers. Now, mono is allowed for an equally unstated reason.

Maybe I should ask our fedora foundation representatives to comment on this change…….


Where have I been?

January 8, 2006


I think I’ve not been posting as often b/c I’ve been keeping a pen and paper journal in one of these. I’ve also developed a mild hobby of collecting some pens. The girl nicely got me a pilot-namiki vanishing point with a fine point nib. This pen writes wonderfully. I’ve been impressed w/just how comfortable it is to write with. I thought the clip being on top where you would normally grip would bother me but it doesn’t.

She also acquired a lamy accent in an extra fine nib for me for Xmas. Isn’t she nice? The lamy has an excellent weight and I’m still searching for just the right ink for it but it writes as well as her lamy safari does. Very distinct and pleasant line.

I’ve been riding my bike to work about 2-4 days a week (depending on weather and schedule). It’s been mostly good weather so far this winter and that’s been nice. I’ve also been reading some other bicycle commuting blogs.

The Bike Advocate – which, surprisingly, is written by someone I know who works in the Engineering School at duke, though I didn’t know that when I stumbled on the blog. She talks in a couple of posts about weight loss and obesity being combated by bicycle commuting. I’m afraid I’m not in that category. I’ve added some muscle in my legs but I’ve not, appreciably, lost any weight. Maybe in the spring when it warms up I will but as it stands I’m still a fatty. 🙂

Scenes from A Bicycle – This guy has taken pictures along his commuting route. Bizarrely it is almost identical to my route and I have no idea who he is. I only recall seeing 2 or 3 other riders out in the mornings and they’re going the other way from me. Maybe that’s him.


Work has been re-implementing a lot of the infrastructure that we had in place in Physics before I left. It’s also going through and trying to define a bit of rigor in some practices I was not pleased with. Made some great strides, actually. There are a number of folks who are doing some good work and trying to make things saner than they were. It’s nice to see them, sometimes I think I don’t do much but bitch loudly enough that it let other folks be heard.

I’ve learned more about TSM than I really ever wanted to know and come up with some good results in both cases. I’m hoping that in 6 months from now we’ll be at a place in oit where we’ll be able to give more definitive and useful answers to questions about our infrastructure. This will pay out in spades when we go to ask for more people to get things done.


Yum work has been slow over the last month or so. I’ve written a couple of plugins for the talk I’m giving at LCA in about 2 weeks. A bit nervous about that, too. I’ve worked on a new yum-util, (also for that talk) and that’s almost ready. Most of it is pacing the util so it makes sense for the talk, which is trickier than I thought it would be.

There’s still a number of things to do in yum and I’ve been putting a bunch of thought into the logging infrastructure over the last week, especially for providing syslog output. I think I know how to do it but I’m going to have to touch A LOT of code to make it happen. That should make for a fun patch set. I might make a compatibility layer for the log(), filelog() and errorlog() calls so that they’ll still work from all the random utils out there.

Fun stuff in yum: Jeremy and Paul have been doing lots of new things. I know jeremy has made s-c-p work properly with the yum backend and pup appears to be doing the right thing these days. I kinda want to have time to sit down and play with the capplet python support and python dbus bindings to try and work out a notification applet that’s light weight and just gets events from a daemon that updates the metadata. We’ve talked about it before and I think it could be done in reasonably small amounts of time but it will take sitting down and doing it. Just another thing on my wishlist, I guess.

So that’s where I’ve been for a while.