Older blog entries for nooks (starting at number 6)

Present them

How the advogato folks who give presentations and lectures cope with rowdy `listeners'? I gave my slide presentations today to a bunch of people who heckled, asked questions about stuff I was just explaining, talked, chattered, walked away and generally did everything they could to be distracting.

I know there are techniques to deal with this (if there's only one thing I learned at Uni, it's that): what do folks find the most effective?

Sliding around on LaTeX

Today is a training day at Plugged In; I'm required to give three presentations: GNUPG, Debian Packaging, and CVS. LaTeX slides for the last two are (more or less) complete, I'm just going to have to wing the GNUPG one. Ah well.


I encountered what I think is a nasty X 4 bug at work: when starting quake-x11 on one of our workstations, the machine hung---totally. The owner is going to be pissed. I suspect it's something to do with MIT shared memory, since it, uh, worked over an SSH X-forwarded connection (slow, yes, yes, I know---I simply wasn't thinking).

Four down; two to go

I've finished Thomas Covenant book 2.1 (``The wounded land''). Not as good as the previous books, I think, but still not bad.

The continuing chronicles

I've finished the First Chronicles and have started on the second; I still think Donaldson's doing a good job---why do people dislike these books so intently?


A small tool I'm writing to download email from Hotmail is turning into a general purpose framework for testing web applications (this would be a killer timesaver where I work) if only I can get the time to talk to another developer about how to design it. I hate design work, but realise it's necessity. I suppose I've just never had the knack for it.


I'm almost done with Thomas Covenant (well, the first chronicles, at any rate---I've rarely come across anyone who liked the second), and have a recommendation for Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, so I may try to pick that up soon.

Fileserver Upgrade

The upgrade over the weekend seems to have gone well---apart from restoring the wrong share to the new disks, and losing a few LDAP changes (no users lost! Whew!) everything appears to have gone well. There are only two hosts on the network that aren't Debian potato or woody installations now.

8 Dec 2000 (updated 8 Dec 2000 at 04:55 UTC) »
Version out of control

I had a shitty time dealing with nasty WinCVS problems this morning: a user had run a `cvs remove' on a file so she could `cvs add' it later with the -kb option (why this should still be necessary even on Windows boxes is just beyond me), and then ran into trouble committing the file because of permission problems, and then because someone else (read: me) messed with it by clocking up a few revisions.

So then she was stuck with an uncommitted removed file that she couldn't commit (it wasn't up to date) and couldn't update (because someone had changed it).

Solution: run a `cvs add', at which point the file is `resurrected'. After finding the hidden `type in any cvs command and I'll run it for you' dialog box, of course.

I will never understand why anyone would want the shitty error reporting and restricted functionality of GUI software.

6 Dec 2000 (updated 7 Dec 2000 at 02:30 UTC) »

I'm trying to find somewhere to spend some portion of my holiday (22nd Dec 2000 to 14th Jan 2001) around the South-East Queensland area. It needs to be inexpensive, and not overly-booked, since it's probably a little late to be arranging this sort of thing.

It'll be my first time away on a holiday under my own steam---family holidays just don't count. How do other people manage to afford this sort of thing?

Google isn't being very helpful, but the information is Out There, I'm sure.

Software stuff

It's almost time to go back to the salt mines, and I don't even know what I'll be working on today. I think I can pretty much rest assured it's going to be more java, though. Ho-hum.

On the other hand I've managed to get a little more coding on my own work (in Perl) to download mail stored on that icky webmail thing so my girlfriend can free herself from it for good. HTML::TreeBuilder is actually pretty cool, and a vast improvement over the standard `callback' parsers (which I never worked out how to use).


I'm working my way through: Tuchman's The Proud Tower, Donadldson's Gap series and Thomas Covenant stuff, and Stephen King's IT (just for old time's sake).

Thomas Covenant bears a striking resemblance to Shinji, the reluctant protagonist in Neon Genesis, I think.


deekayen: By gum, you're a nasty little piece of work. Waiting for HIV/AIDS to come along and wipe out all the undesirables, are we?

Yeah, I see you don't like being stereotyped.

6 Dec 2000 (updated 6 Dec 2000 at 02:47 UTC) »

Work has been several dreary weeks of writing fairly boring Java. On the other hand, on Monday I got to mess more with some basic Perl stuff (which gives me an excuse to troll PerlMonks). On the gripping hand, I had to do something nasty to `verify' email was coming from who I thought it was. Why can't more businesses send PGP-signed messages?

mbp: You were the pilot?

deekayen: Bullshit. Safe sex with a HIV+ person is entirely possible.

Do you have any evidence to back up your claims about the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, or are you just shooting off? Sure, perhaps you've had sex ed. since you've been in junior high, but your own experience shows that isn't always effective (and IMSNHO won't be until there's a cure for the sex-negative outlook of so many people). What are people in South Africa supposed to do when their own government seems to be wilfully ignorant of the cause of AIDS?

Trying to tie AIDS (as a terrible disease that will kill millions) to eugenics sickens me. Do you use painkillers for headaches, or do you suffer through it unaided, as nature intended? If you get a broken arm, will you have it reset and healed, or are you going to starve and die as evolution demands?

People are getting infected, sickening and dying, and you're pillorying the people who are out there, doing something to fight the causes of the spread of this disease.


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