Older blog entries for hands (starting at number 4)

DebConf7 Office Phone

DebConf7's phone number is now live: +44 (0)131 516 8575

At present, that number goes through to a phone in the hacklab, so don't be surprised if it gets answered by someone that has little clue about what's going on organisation-wise. We'll get it setup in the office ... when we have an office :-)

Syndicated 2007-06-09 23:00:00 from chezfil

Debian Tartan Kilts expected to be ready on Friday

... which is a nice surprise, since when I phoned the weavers up last week, they said something like "You want the kilts by WHEN?!?" (and that despite me specifying the target date as the first thing I said to them in January -- good job I lied, and told them I wanted them by 1st June, eh?)

Seems that was all due to an internal communications failure, and they've pulled all the stops out to get the order done by the end of the week, so no harm done.

In related news, it seems that there's a few yards more cloth than was expected (due to it shrinking somewhat less between weaving and finishing than expected). That being the case, it's possible that we'll be able to get one more kilt made, so if you're reading this thinking "Damn, I wish I'd signed up for one of them" feel free to get in touch

Alternatively, if the ties we've had made prove popular, I'll use the spare cloth for making more of them.

So, if you do fancy a kilt, if you can get your measurements to me pretty much immediately, it's just possible that the tailors will be able to make a kilt for you before the end of DebConf.

Finally, if people are interested, but not desperate about the timing, there is a table on the wiki to which you could add yourself so that a critical mass for a second order can be accumulated.

Syndicated 2007-06-04 23:00:00 from chezfil

Debian Tartan

The design is now agreed with the weavers, but unfortunately I misunderstood the price-list, so the prices I've been quoting for hand-sewn 8-yard kilts, and machined lady's 4-yard kilt-skirts were too low -- the correct prices for those and a couple of other things being:

Hand-sewn, 8 yard kilt: £420.00
Machined, 4-yard, skirt-kilt (lady's): £237.50
Machined, 6-yard kilt: £270.00
Waistcoat: £113.00

I'm sorry about quoting prices without making absolutely sure they were correct, the reason was that I was quoting the prices for standard weaves from stock, and it turns out that the custom weaves are more expensive.

That said, note that the machined kilts are £80.00 cheaper than the previously quoted price (for hand-sewn), and that these are perhaps more appropriate to the use to which many of us will be putting the kilts anyway (hand-sewn are really an evening dress item, after all)

Even so, I'll probably still fork out for the full 8-yards, on the basis that my dinner jacket is falling to bits after 20 years wear, so I need something new anyway.

In case you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, this has been discussed elsewhere

Just to make sure there are no other nasty surprises, if you are of a more rotund nature, you may find that it will take some extra material to encompass your circumference -- as an example, a 7 yard machined gents kilt will cost an extra fiver to stitch, and an extra £25.00 for the yard of cloth, so will come in at £300.00 rather than the usual £270.00

Confused? Well, so was I --- The designer's sending me a fuller price list, which I will ensure than anyone on the list of currently interested people is fully conversant with before we put the order in, so don't panic that I'll spend your money without giving you a final chance to come to your senses ;-)

I hope that doesn't result in everyone changing their minds, but I'll understand completely if it does. Alternatively, you could decide that this is an opportunity to save yourself £80.00 by opting for a machined kilt (which AIUI are still made to measure, but just have proportionately less work and material in them)

Anyway I'll post any further developments here so as not to continue spamming the lists.

So, if you're interested in getting hold of any of the above despite the new prices, and have not yet told me you need to mail me now! -- the order will probably go in at the end of the week.

Syndicated 2007-03-14 00:00:00 from chezfil

MBNA's lax attitude towards security

Today I received a copy of the PIN for my MBNA credit card in the post, despite not having asked for it.

In response, I've cancelled my account, and reported their incompetence to You and Yours.

I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised, since MBNA have a habit of randomly sending out unsolicited cheques (which also has worrying security implications), but I actually found it quite shocking to see the PIN that I'd chosen printed in clear text.

Obviously, in the first instance they generate a random PIN, and print it out, but I was rather hoping that their systems would be set up so that that random PIN, and certainly any PIN subsequently selected by the customer, would not be available in clear text at any time. If I forget my PIN, they should generate a new one, not remind me of the old one. They should not be able to remind me of the old one.

The two people I talked to seemed surprised that I would cancel an account that I've had for about 13 years over a single PIN in the post, but given that that's their policy, I don't think it's a massive leap to think that a corrupt postman might be tempted to collect these PIN letters (which are pretty easy to spot and most of which are not being expected, so won't be missed). Then, assuming that a reasonable percentage of people will match MBNA's laxness by setting all their PINs alike, the criminals will be armed with all the information they need to do a targeted mugging for the card(s), with an average return in tens of thousands of pounds, especially if they hospitalise/kill the victim to ensure they don't get to cancel the cards.

Syndicated 2006-11-11 00:00:00 from chezfil

The wisdom of appropriate clothing

Yesterday morning I decided to wear my summer bike leathers, rather than my waterproofs, in defiance of the weather forecast's prediction of rain. About twenty minutes later, that decision paid off big time when my motorcycle was helpfully reconfigured into this new shape by an inattentive car driver: post-accident CBR600F motorcycle
(not a great photo, I'm afraid, but I was in mild shock, and failed to notice that my phone was still in only medium photo-size mode, but you'll note that the dangly bits used to be the headlamps, and that the handlebars are in the full-lock-to-the-left position, despite the wheel pointing slightly to the right of middle.)

Despite the fact that the bike is almost certainly a write-off, the main thing that's wrong with me is a slightly bruised ankle, and general soreness of all major muscles similar to that which would result from overdoing exercise a bit.

The driver of the car seemed more shocked than I was. He was a nice chap, and a practicing Muslim (or so I surmised given his comments about having done his prayers in the morning, and wondering what he'd done wrong to cause this to happen). I think he was expecting to see my mangled corpse in the road, as depicted in a recent government safety campaign. While it's nice to see that people are affected to some extent by such campaigns, I think I'd prefer it if they instead promped people to look where they were going.

Syndicated 2006-09-13 23:00:00 from chezfil

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!