Older blog entries for ladypine (starting at number 62)

Portable Programming Lecture in haifux

The portable programming lecture went pretty fine, compared to what I feared. Yes, I did lose my thread of thought several times, and got mixed up with my tongue (saying "backslash backslash" in front of other people while being recorded on video is a nightmare).

About 20 people came, most of which I knew. No masses of people from Tel- Aviv whom I have never seen, and on the other hand- not a lecture for 5 people with no interest whatsoever. Rather surprising, since I did not think people cared about portability at all. After all, most people do not have many machines to run on.

kilmo, mulix and Eli did a great job at helping me keep the discussion under control. This is what it is, actually (as Muli said): Guiding a discussion, rather than giving a lecture.

OK, I crossed the line, now I start thinking about the next lecture.


Maud, my cat, had an operation today. She is the poorest cat I have ever seen, dragging herself around, wearing an Elizabeth collar. She has a piece of plastic sticking out of her shaved skin, to allow for the fluid to pour from her. She has not eatten for a week, and she has lost about 1 Kg of her weight.

Tomorrow I am going to give my first real haifux lecture, about Portable Programming. I have asked people to comment on the slides, and learned a lot from those comments. Most people responded privately, both correcting and enlighting me. I wonder what makes people respond on or off the mailing list.

Ladies First?

I have been getting angry at those gestures for years, but it was not very clear to me why. After all, if a guy opens the door for you, it is because he respects you, is it not? And why should I not want to be approached as a female (using words like she, her)? After all, I am not ashamed of being one. On the other hand, when I get a letter, written for males only, I also get upset: do they think that only men matter? Hey, I am female, approach me as well! Write roadsigns in plural, not in male! So, all in all, it is rather confusing.

Douglas R. Hofstadter presented me with a very good reason to my mixup: the problem lies within the language itself, which has different words according to gender.

A new Hebrew story is online, called Laser. It involves a nice pun, which I dreamt about. Actually, it was a nightmare when I dreamt it, but it got better writing it.

Today is the last day for submitting logo proposals logo competition for Hamakor. Already the Jerusalem club is throwing another competition.

The installfest HOWTO has already caused some rivalries, before it got to doing any good. I hope this status of things changes.

Trying to edit the future linux.org.il site, I also learned about gvim's capabilities in the Hebrew department, though I am still UTF8 challenged. nyh's great three lines are so so comfortable when working bilingulal:

map <F12> :set invrl invhk<CR>
map! <F12> <C-O>:set invrl invhk<CR>
cmap <F12> <C-_>
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".


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) »

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...

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