14 Jun 2007 alvherre   » (Master)

O, the joy of these days

Two nights ago I was tired enough to decide that I wanted to upgrade my system. See, this shouldn't be much of an issue — I do that pretty regularly, random packages are automatically upgraded to the newest versions in Debian testing, nothing changes too much, and life is good.

Most of the time.

That night was one of the times that make the previous phrase start with "most of" and not "all".

What I typically do is launch an aptitude upgrade and go to sleep. Which is what I did on that fatidical night. Hilarity ensued the following morning when I got a mail from my early cvsup cronjob, which succintly said


Segmentation fault

"Bah", I said to myself. "Something unexpected must have happened. Care not, because I will run it by hand and all will be well". How ingenuous of me; because when I ran it by hand, not all was well at all! Quite the opposite in fact. I got the same


Segmentation fault

But I surely can fix this little annoyance, can't I? "Sure I can", I eased myself. "I'll just run the crasher under GDB and quickly discover the failure". My ingenuity was still blinding me. Reality struck not long after that:

$ gdb cvsup
(gdb) run -g cvsup.pgsql
Starting program: /home/alvherre/bin/cvsup -g cvsup.pgsql
warning: Lowest section in system-supplied DSO at 0xffffe000
is .hash at ffffe0b4
(no debugging symbols found)
  [repeated about 15 times]


Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault. 0xf7285578 in ?? () (gdb) bt #0 0xf7285578 in ?? ()Cannot access memory at address 0xf86cd0

If I have ever seen a more useless backtrace, it must have been in a previous life.

Of course, this cvsup binary was compiled in a machine that I no longer have, the compiler itself is hard to find, let alone compile, so generating anew cvsup binary is probably out of the question; or at least, it will take a very long while to do.

So here I am, pondering whether I should instead try to run this binary in ai386 Sarge chroot jail that I have lying around (which I use for those peskyAdobe Flash wannabee-webapps), waste my time trying to get a new CVSup binary, orjust give up and start using rsync to fetch the Postgres repository instead.

And it promised to be such a lovely, cold, fire-enjoying morn.

It must have been one of those days I should have stayed in bed, becauselater I had to go out to deliver a letter (yes, that dead tree stuff that makes you go out somewhere and pass it by hand to someone else to take care of); a matter of minutes, I said, so I grabbed my bike and pedaled all the way to the bus stop; chained the bike, delivered thestuff quickly and as I went back to unchain the bike ... the key broke in the lock. So I had to walk home, get my pliers, walk back, and dissassemble the lock. Thiswas a matter of a minute or two (not including the walks), after which I felt really safe about that lock. Of course, I trashed it.

So I think Mother Nature must be against me for some reason. And I think Iknow why: it's probably because I haven't been taking any photos. And whywould that be, you might ask? And I might answer: it is because last friday,as we were going out for the Holden concert, I dropped the bag where I keep my camera — and no! You don't need to guess. I probably went pale for abit, but there was no one there with another camera to take a picture of the event. Colors returned to my face as I observed that the only thing that hadbroken was the UV filter. But still, no one sells UV filters in this little city, nor anyphotographic equipment at all really. So I'm stuck without photos until I can getsomewhere civilized, where they do have stores.

Now, you would say all these things are not really all that much of a problem. And you might even be right. What's more, I would have agreed! So, not havingenough problems, yesterday night I decided that I wanted to upgrade the old fashionedGaim to the new, shiny, non-patent-encumbered, non-trademark-infringing Pidgin. After the process, which was pretty quick, I restarted the thing in order tohave better icons to look at. And now the problem comes — because after the upgrade, Ican't connect to either jabber.commandprompt.com or jabber.postgresql.org. For all intents and purposes, I'm offline.

So this morning I started a good fire first thing after waking up, just to make sure that cold won't be a problem today. Because there will be others — I am sure. And I will leave the camera at home and stay very far away from it so that it doesn't suffer any more damage.

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