Older blog entries for haruspex (starting at number 96)

3 Aug 2004 (updated 3 Aug 2004 at 12:01 UTC) »
When bush comes to shove

bolsh: Oh, he'll "win" it. Even if the puppetmasters have to rig another election. Smell a civil war brewing? That's what it will take to oust them. The issues are as serious as slavery... except... this time, we're ALL potential slaves.

If you think of the election as Oscar night, rest assured the name of the new incumbent is already written and sealed in the envelope.

(Pretty soon, we'll be able to skip the "campaign" and "party" and "voting" charades entirely. Just fast forward to the appointment.)

1 Aug 2004 (updated 9 Oct 2004 at 16:55 UTC) »
raph, are you familiar with the research of Lucas de Groot? It's mainly concerned with parameters such as weight and width, less optical scaling, but he's very knowledgeable about interpolation maths in typography. (And of course, the IKARUS program did a lot of the groundbreaking in this area too.)

A friend of mine here in Australia, Nick Summers, owned a hot metal type foundry and bought one of MFB's pantographs when ATF's equipment was dispersed. He and I also met an ex-ATF employee around 1992/3 who was working on next-generation typographic layout software (this is around the time ATF released PostScript format fonts in optical scaled series - late 1980s). His name escapes me for the moment. I think I still have a copy of the program somewhere.

(update) The ATF guy's name is Henry Schneiker, and here's a contemporary article he wrote, Type Technologies Illuminated. The program mentioned is ATF Type Designer I (v1.4 & 1.5b, 1991). Jens Alfke was also on the project. Jens has one of the most enviable resumes in the industry.

I found IKARUS M (Mac versions 2.5 and 3.0, 1992), too.

zeenix: hypocrisy
salmoni, you can talk to me about hosting, I've just set up a nice fast colocated web server and I'm looking for people to help me slow it down :-)
12 Jul 2004 (updated 12 Jul 2004 at 10:35 UTC) »
Go ahead, laugh.

One thing NOT to do with your Xserve and terabyte Xserve RAID: DON'T lock the front security latch (little hex key hole). Because if you do this while the machine is booted, and the Xserve has a kernel panic and reboots itself, on bootup it won't see any of its peripherals, including the RAID. I spent a heartaching three hours today and several tense and expensive conversations with Apple tech support before I figured this out. (Apple didn't tell me the problem. I eventually found it myself in the manual when trying to figure out why I couldn't boot from a CD. Yup, that won't work with the latch locked either. Nor can you use a mouse and keyboard.)

Right now I can't figure out what that latch is good for, because you sure as hell don't want to use it on a production server.

26 May 2004 (updated 26 May 2004 at 08:00 UTC) »
Your boss should read. Your mother should read. Your kids should read this excellent, accessible, sensible explanation of how the GNU General Public License serves software end users.

Money quote:

In the long run, the utility of all non-Free software approaches zero. All non-Free software is a dead end.

This is something I've learned time and again through personal experience.

25 May 2004 (updated 25 May 2004 at 12:08 UTC) »
mentifex, that's the most lucid and right-headed post of yours I've ever seen.

Re: Nobel prizes, wasn't it Tom Lehrer who declared, after H. Kissinger won the Peace prize, that satire was obsolete?

(Yes, the same Kissinger who liked to arrange illegal assassination and murder in foreign countries, as documented in the CIA's own records. The latest euphemism for this activity is, of course, "regime change".)

24 May 2004 (updated 24 May 2004 at 10:22 UTC) »
elanthis, I'm surprised you have to buy a CD-ROM drive ("cheap crap"), those things are thrown out in the tens of thousands every day... There must be a computer recycler somewhere in the vicinity.

Abrupt segue
As somebody fiercely opposed to the very concept of this latest "war", given that some of our worst fears have been realised (to say nothing of the fears of the invaded) - I ask myself, Should I - could I - have done anything more to stop it? I am sure I'm not the only one asking this. Exactly how much further should those who represent humanity have gone in preventing this tragedy? Should we share guilt for not having been able to stop it?

Who would have thought 2004 would be such a horrible blend of 1984 and 1944. At least we have some very intelligent cartoonists to keep us sane.

21 May 2004 (updated 21 May 2004 at 11:01 UTC) »

AST boasts that "on a 4.77 MHz 8088 [MINIX] booted in maybe 5 seconds".

Data point. AMD K6-2/500 (bogomips : 989.18), 256MB, Gentoo 2004.1, kernel 2.6.5-gentoo-r1 boots in 39 seconds[1] (/etc/runlevels/default/ = apache domainname local mysql named net.eth0 netmount squid sshd syslog-ng vixie-cron)

Data point. G4/dual 1.25GHz, 768MB, MacOS 10.2.6: 33 seconds[2]

Data point. G4/350, 576MB, MacOS 10.3.3: 32.5 seconds[2]

Data point. P4 Celeron 2.4GHz (bogomips : 4734.97), 512MB, Gentoo 2004.1, kernel 2.6.5: 27.5 seconds[1] (/etc/runlevels/default/ = domainname local mysql named net.eth0 netmount sshd syslog-ng vixie-cron).

Data point. NeXTstation Turbo 68040 33MHz: 55.5 seconds[3]

1. from confirming Grub screen to login
2. from Apple logo to login
3. from NEXTSTEP boot to login

Gah. No way to do footnote references in mod_virgule? entities don't work, <sup> doesn't work...

Not flamebait, just a prediction: 4-way AMDs will eat the 2006 G5s for breakfast. (I don't think Apple will ever go 4-way - at least, not before say 2007).

This thought was triggered by something Stephen Sprunk said on comp.arch.

(typing this on a G4 I love dearly :)

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