Older blog entries for ladypine (starting at number 58)

29 Apr 2003 (updated 1 May 2003 at 15:52 UTC) »

I have finally finished writing the installfest HOWTO kilmo and I have written.

The installfest HOWTO is designed as a "shopping list " for contemporary Israeli installfest arrangers.

It seems like the available HOWTOs relate to times when the object of the installfest was to allow Linux lovers near a server from which they can download the OS: the problem was not marketing or the problems while installing, but actually getting it, or getting the new beta version.

The fact that it is Israeli is expressed by the Israeli links to companies who tend to sponsor such events, or to relevant Israeli forums mailinglists, but other thatn that it is rather location-less.

Searching for bzip2 I read about the author. While reading about other things he has done, I read that he has written cacheprof- a cache profiler. "What a great idea!" I thought. "I must try this at once!". Last time I was so happy that anyone has written a piece of code was when I found out about valgrind, the awesome memory checker, by Julian Seward.

Then I read the signature on the bottom of the page. It read Julian Seward...

21 Apr 2003 (updated 21 Apr 2003 at 11:43 UTC) »

Having work (corrections to my thesis) to keep me busy untill next week, I believe the most reasonable thing would be to go on a three day trip, wouldn't you?

Having work is also an excuse for watching a great gravity game which is actually a car commercial.

And for (finally) reading A Study in Scarlet. At one point I was reading something that appeared as historic notes, but was rather amazing. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle claims that the Mormons used to kidnap women in order to be able to keep on marring many wives. Since it struck me as rather odd, I went on the net only to find out that apparently, Doyle has only written suspicions and got the Mormons to be rather cross at him due to that.

On the other hand, I have discovered some things, that even if they are half true, it is worse enough. On a site which aims to fill in pieces of Mormon history I found out that the Mormons did not begin poligamy due to their second prophet's command (Brigham Young), due to lack of men after the long journey west. No: the first prophet, Joseph Smith, has already had dozens of wives, including other men's wives and even sisters. Joseph Smith has never made the journey west, so there was no practical reason for poligamy then.

Another document describes the Mountain Meadows Massacre, where Mormons and Indians collaborated to kill 121 emmigrants. The Mormon leaders assured the Mormons that there is not one innocent person among the Gentiles, and yet made sure the Indians got to kill the women in children, so that their hands would not spill the blood of the innnocent, if by any chance there was such.

17 Apr 2003 (updated 17 Apr 2003 at 20:55 UTC) »
mulix has directed me to an unbelievable true story that happened to Accordion guy through his weblog.

I have written a new (Hebrew) story, called "Her diary".

Passover

Seder night was wierd. Our family has invented new traditions. I think they fail to remember the old ones, so they simply add, to be on the safe side. I have prepared muli to some of the things that are done in our family, which are not written in the "Hagada" (the booklet which stated the customary things to read and do on Passover night), but only when we were there did I realize that there were many other things that were special to my family, or maybe to Jewish people from Tunis:

  • Before the "Seder" begins, the main woman (owner of the house, or most respected woman at the dinned table) takes the big heavy Seder plate and passes it in large circles over tha heads of all people present. While she does that, everybody sings the same line repeatedly: "Yesterday we were slaves. Here's to next year in the country of Israel as free people". The sentence is said is a combination of Hebrew and the Language of Aram. Once she has finished, another of the most respected people will pass the plate over her head, as well.
  • When the ten plagues are read, special preparation are required: the most respected woman brings a water jar, and a bowl. The most respected man calls out the plagues, and with each plague read, he pours a bit of red wine into the bowl. The woman pours water into the bowl after each drop of wine, and the whole crown calls "SheMesilenoo". I yet have to figure out if this means "God will save us" (Hshem Yatzilenoo) or "He who saves us" (Shemetzilenoo). Either way, it is said in the Tunisian accent, which replaces each "tz" sound with an "s" sound, the way Arabs do. Later on comes the creepy part: After the last plague, the plague on the firstborn, is called out, no one is to say a word. The woman carries the bowl of water and wine to the toilet, pours it and draws the water. Only when she returns (or when the water is heard), are the people allowed to speak. I wonder why tradition says we are not to speak then. As a child, I have always gotten the impression that tradition must say that a great curse is supposed to fall on the head of he who speaks, otherwise why is everyone so silent?
  • When the word "With a mighty hand" (Beyad Hazaka) are mentioned, all people pass and wave a leg of a chicken, repeating the phrase. It is wrapped in aluminum foil, preferably.
  • When the word "Pesah" (Passover) is first mentioned, an egg is passed, in the same manner. The Hebrew word for egg is "beytza". Transforming the "tz" to "s", and remembering Arabs tend to say "b" instead of "p", the resemblence of "beysa" and "pesah" is obvious.
  • A "matza" is also waved accordingly.

This year, for some reason, we have waved the lettuse leaf, as well. Well, tradition is a repeated mistake.

Yesterday I saw for the first time in my life, live and real, the cracking of a system. It was not fancy, and it was not criminal: It was Aviram, in his security auditing lecture. The crowd took a rather active part in the lecture trying to give the lecture instead of Aviram, who was doing a fine job by himself.

11 Apr 2003 (updated 21 Apr 2003 at 09:55 UTC) »
GO - LINUX 03

Yesterday I went to the GO-LINUX event. Everybody was very enthusiastic, but I expected too much and got disappointed. I expected the technical part to actually have time to be technical, but 20 minutes for the virtual memory or for an overview of kernel 2.6 is hardly enough (not to mention Dan Shachter being sick, and not giving the VM talk).

I guess, if I want a conference that would please me, I need to arrange it. Well, August comes soon, so it is high time to start arranging another August Penguin!

The sawing machine

Another disappointment is the sewing machine I bought, "Sewing Genie" (Were they thinking of Spinning Jenny when they chose the name for the product?). I bumped in the supermarket into a mini electric sewing machine, all boxed and wrapped up, which cost only 50$, and seemed to have all the functionality of a primitive sewing machine, which is just what I needed. Still , I felt there must be a catch. Maybe the catch was that it runs on battteries? A mere plaything? No, it said on the box that it uses an adapter. Maybe the catch was that it needs a 6V adapter? Or was it the garrantee? Well, I could live with a sewing machine that costs just 50$ if I found out it will not do jeans, I thought. And the man vouchered for the garrantee of the store.

Arriving home, I postponed the minute of openning the shrink-wrap, in order to enjoy it more. The package stood in the middle of the living room for several hours, until I decided to open it. With feelings of great awe I removed the plastic wrappers, one by one, and raised the sewing machine to the level of my eyes.

The place where the electricity cord was supposed to be inserted was filled with hot glue, (which was also smeared on the bottom of the machine) and a label said : "Not to be used with an adapter".

What a shame that the nice sewing machine goes back to the store...

Yesterday I avoided trying to get elected for the board of HET, thought the thought had crossed my mind. I still want to get their site in a better location, and better organized, and master the secrets of ezmlm in order to maintain the mailing list for them. Although, when they speak of a mailing list, they refer to a text file which they print on envelopes.

The cause of my surgery is now written in bold letters on my form:

PATHOLOGY: CAT.

Is it not great to know that I am one in 50,000?

And yet, would I have taken the cat, had I known that I would have to go through surgery because she gave me a contamination (and the doctors did not bother to do a simple blood test)?

3 Apr 2003 (updated 9 Apr 2003 at 16:03 UTC) »

This past week has been most eventful. I had a surgery done on Monday. I was foolish enough to think that if it was over fast enough, I will be able to attend Guy's lecture about memory allocation. After two days of bandage and not being able to move my head properly, I am now a free neck. And a body attached.

My exam was finally compeleted. I got 90. Now the notorious corrections, and I will be done with that.

My sister Shunit is the winner of the Zionut contest in her school. She is now the proud owner of a new webcam. They did not give practical prizes in my days...

Ranny has his annual birthday party, and I am not to buy him hamsters. the last ones ran away through the draining pipe. But fish are known to run away as well.

Muli and me are searching for a place together now. We are currently inspecting a flat with a fish pool in the back yard. And some frogs.

Installfests

I have written an installfest howto, intended for the concurrent installfest (installation party) organizers, with a stress on Israeli ones. It seems like the average installfest nowadays is mainly about people who know Linux, who help or do the work for people who are not familiar with Linux. 5 years ago, an installfest was an event of communication: a strong server where people who knew what they were doing got to plug their computer in and download quickly the whole OS. No PR was needed: the assumption was that the difficulty was in getting Linux, not in overcoming the fear of abandoning the "safe", partially functional other-OS with its known bugs.

kilmo gave a good lecture in haifux which made some order in the mess in my mind regarding boot loaders, partitions, cylinders and head. One might expect each head wear a cylinder, right? well, in each cylinder there are 256 heads, it appears. And I almost fell to believe that HardDisks nowadays are made with 256 real heads accessing the data at the same time. Quite an imrovement, I thought, since I read of two heads per disk in 1997...

Hardware has never been my cup of tea. Actually, I see it as the final stage of the "Computer Concept":

  • Write a program which computes something: the area of a triangle, for example. Assume the CPU will do some magic for you.
  • Have the program interact with the user, have it print to the screen, or even to a file. Assume the filesystem and shell will do some magic for you.
  • Have your program actually DO something in the computer world, such as access files, remove them, open sockets and pipelines. Assume the Operating System does some magic for you.
  • Compile your program while taking into account the architecture of the machine you are using. Assume the Virtual Memory and the Hardware will do some magic for you.
  • Stop being childish. There is no magic. Understand how the magic you once had to assume really works. tk, the danger in being named by a number (an ID number instead of my name, in that case) is that any "word" which contains 9 digits is valid. Hence, there is no possibility to correct mistakes in that kind of encoding. There is a limited error detection capability, since the last digit is computed from the others. The only problem is that few people know how to compute it. I do not. And yet, I finally made the Technion clerks (after several months of trying) change my name to what it really is. Now my name finally matches my number, which was the sole solid identification manner so far.
  • I am not a number, I am a free person!

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