21 Mar 2001 schoen   » (Master)

Sick

I'm still sick.

Blackout

We had one of those rolling blackouts here, and took advantage of the opportunity to get some hardware onto UPSes.

There was also something of the sense of carrying fire from one place to another: several models of APC UPS won't turn on (even if the battery inside is charged) unless they are actually plugged in and receiving AC power. That can make it hard to turn a UPS on in a blackout! So I had one UPS that was on, and two that were charged, unplugged, and off.

I plugged the Office into the squealing 600, and turned the former on. It came right up and started beeping. I carried it over and plugged the 420 into the Office, which had begun to supply AC power. Now the 420, too, could be turned on. :-)

I guess this is actually like "intellectual property":

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

Speaking of which:

Patents

Please tell dmarti what you think about his ideas for reforming the U.S. patent system.

Are you a free software developer who has been or felt threatened by a software or business method patent? Please tell Don; detailed, specific examples can help him.

I don't think it's good to circulate this too far while this is still a draft.

Kernel Traffic

I poked at some KT stuff, like writing an HTTP client as a Bourne shell script. This can tell you whether a particular mirror is up. (It's amazingly hard to use a standard client to check a specific mirror from a round-robin DNS list, because the client will probably connect to a randomly chosen host from that list. And if you try to connect by IP address, you will probably not see the results of the right virtual host! So you really seem to need a custom client.)

Aha, but I'm wrong there: curl has a "-H" option which will let you specify arbitrary HTTP headers. That's extremely useful and would have solved the problem if we'd had curl installed. Once again, bagder, nice work.

MSM

I think this MSM is doing some good for my arms.

Taliban

Phil Agre notes these defenses of the Taliban's destruction of the statues at Bamiyan:

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